Culinary Delights of Vietnam

From $2999
Product Number: LTVCD

Along with exploring the rich culture and must-see fascinating landscapes of Vietnam from the North to the South, travelers also have a chance to discover the Vietnamese cuisine, which is flavorful, colorful, and extremely healthy. Moreover, experience the local identities, daily life activities and communicate with friendly people in every destination of this Vietnam Tour.

 

Vietnamese cuisine can be divided into three categories, each pertaining to a specific region. As North Vietnam is the cradle of Vietnamese civilisation, many of the country’s most famous dishes (such as pho) have their birthplace here. The North’s cuisine is more traditional and strict in choosing spiciness and ingredients. The cuisine of South Vietnam has been influenced by the cuisines of the Khmer people and thus Southerners prefer sweet flavours in many dishes. The cuisine of Central Vietnam is quite different from the cuisines of both the Northern and Southern regions, not only in presentation but in flavour as well.  Central cuisine is served as a course of many small side dishes, and compared to its counterparts it has a distinctive spiciness.

Return economy air fares
Meals as per itinerary
4* hotel accommodation
Sightseeing
Vietnamese cooking class
English-speaking escorted tour

On arrival you wil be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel by private car where you will be free to rest   in preparation for the tour.

Visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, and visit the former president’s house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. Continue on to the small but iconic One Pillar Pagoda before heading back to the hotel. Next is the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam. Founded in 1076, Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.

Head into the city to visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake, stopping off at Ngoc Son temple. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers.

After breakfast leave Hanoi for an overnight boat trip on Halong Bay. Journey there through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta, observing everyday life of Vietnamese villagers along the way.. Arrive in Halong City late morning and board the boat for the overnight journey into the Bay. Lunch will be served en route, whilst cruising along the bay’s iconic limestone formations. Towards the end of the day set anchor for the night. As the sun sets over the bay, dinner is served on board with fresh seafood, salads, and fruits.

Overnight on Halong Bay.

For early risers, complimentary tea and coffee are served on the sundeck followed by a Tai Chi class. On the cruise back to Halong City, enjoy a wholesome brunch as the boat weaves back to port through strange-shaped limestone rock formations. Upon disembarkation, the driver will provide a private transfer back to Hanoi.

Afternoon and evening at leisure.

Transfer to the Noi Bai airport for a flight to central Vietnam. From the Danang airport, take the 30-minute drive south to the ancient port town of Hoi An. Despite the passing of 200 years and the ravages of weather and war, the centre of Hoi An remains relatively untouched since its heyday.
A walking tour is the best way to see this marvellous town, paying visits to the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and the colourful market.

Enjoy lunch at Morning Glory Restaurant. Situated in an elegant traditional style building in the heart of Hoi An’s old town, Morning Glory offers ‘Street Food’ on the ground floor of the restaurant featuring Hoi An specialty foods. The upstairs balcony is perfect for small group as the views are excellent over the street.
Evening at leisure.

Begin the day with an 08:00 meeting at Hai Cafe. Enjoy a welcome drink at the restaurant before traveling by minivan (10 minutes) to Tra Que Organic Village. Take a walk through the gardens where local farmers work the fields using traditional methods. Pick fresh, saw-tooth coriander and Vietnamese mint, which will be used later in the day’s cooking class. Head to the local village market to peruse and peruse and purchase local ingredients, from star anise and cardamom to sesame rice paper, water spinach and banana flower.

Continue on to Red Bridge Cooking School for a chance to freshen up before the class. Working together with the resident chef, learn the traditional means of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food from scratch. Using the day’s fresh ingredients, cook four famous dishes, including the national dish, Pho.

After preparing the meals, sit down to enjoy the day’s creations along the tranquil Thu Bon River of Hoi An. After the meal(s), enjoy a dip in Red Bridge’s swimming pool. The meals of the day will feature:
1. Beef Noodle Soup (Pho), includes the making of fresh rice noodles
2. Clay Pot Fish with Fresh Dill (Cha Ca)
3. Lemongrass Shrimp grilled in Banana Leaves (Tom Nuong La Chuoi)
4. Grilled Chicken and Banana Flower Salad (Goi Hoa Chuoi Ga Nuong)
* Lunch includes all of the above meals

The experience will finish around 14:00. Transfer back to Hoi An and enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure.

Embark on the 3-hour drive from Hoi An to Hue. The scenic route passes through Danang, where a visit to the Cham museum is in order. Continue the drive over the Pass of Ocean Clouds, dropping down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co.

No culinary tour of Vietnam would be complete without a visit to Hue. Regarded as the best in the country, the ‘royal cuisine’ of Hue originated in the days of the Nguyen Dynasty, when the rulers were served lavish meals meeting specific culinary demands.  Although the emphasis today is on presentation, the delicious flavours of the royal cuisine continue to tempt modern palettes.
Lunch at Ancient Hue restaurant

Pick up from hotel by cyclo and head to dai noi ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake (a former emperor holiday spot). Continue by cyclo to Tay Loc Market, located in the northwest part dai noi. This market is mostly for locals and is rarely visited by tourists.

From here transfer by vehicle to the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The ancient citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern (the Royal Citadel was badly damaged in the latter stages of the war).

Dinner this evening will be held at the ‘garden house’ known locally as ‘nha vuon’. This traditional style house, which is set in a large and attractive formal garden, has connections with the ancient Hue Royal Imperial Court. A traditional Vietnamese greeting will be encountered on arrival, followed by an extraordinary meal prepared by the lady of the house. Meal is served privately in the traditional manner in the private gardens of the home.

The morning starts with a visit to the Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River. Constructed in 1601, a 21-meter tall tower is the centrepiece of the pagoda representing seven reincarnations of Buddha. Also located within the grounds of the pagoda is the Austin car made famous during the 1963 self-immolation of a resident monk, one of the most famous images from the American War. Continue the visit to the tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, located in a tranquil setting of gardens and ponds.For lunch, sample some of Hue’s specialty food at Huynh Anh Kim Long. Frequented only by locals, this restaurant serves banh uot, a steamed rice pancake stuffed with delicate, finely chopped pork and bun thit nuong which is a rice noodle dish served with grilled meat.Proceed in the afternoon to the 500 year old weaving village of Bao La, on the road to Thanh Toan Bridge. Bao La villagers work hard to meet the demands of foreign and domestic market and are proud of their dexterity, creativity and passionate expressions.After visiting Thanh Toan (one of two covered bridges in Vietnam), take the hour drive north to the 500-year-old village of Phuoc Tich. Once famous and prosperous for its pottery, the village has dozens of homes that date back 100 to 200 years, in addition to several old temples, pagodas, worship halls and communal houses. The religious culture of the village is seen via families, which have their own ancestor worship halls, each worshiping five direct generations.At the end of the afternoon head back to the hotel

After a morning of leisure, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh city. Upon arrival, a guide and private car will provide transport to the hotel for check-in.Step off the beaten track in the afternoon into the oldest quarter of the city. Explore Saigon’s well-kept secret, Antiques Street (Le Cong Kieu), followed by a visit to the Beaux-Arts Museum, a superb neo-colonial building home to various modern arts.Top off the visit with a taste of Ho Chi Minh City’s best ice cream. Fanny’s serves everything from durian ice cream to lychee sorbet in its French-parlor setting.

SAIGON AFTER DARK: 18:00 – 22:00

Experience the nightlife of Ho Chi Minh City the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter!Begin at 18:00 with a pick up from the hotel before hitting the buzzing streets. The first stop will be a varied sampling of light evening snacks before continuing to a traditional quan (bia hoi) for dinner and drinks. Complete the evening out just like the locals- with a visit to a Vietnamese-style coffee shop. The night adventure finishes at 22:00 with a transfer back to the hotel.Notes:+ It’s best to not eat or drink before the food tour!+ All clients sit on the back of Vespas to travel from place to place+ Guides/Drivers are from the Vespa Team.

Overnight at Park Hyatt, Ho Chi Minh City.

Enjoy a free morning at hotel. Pick up and transfer to the airport for a flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels . The Cu Chi tunnel was built during the war time by the Vietnamese for fighting with enemies, but nowadays it has become an interesting and fun place for tourists.

Enjoy lunch at Dong Pho restaurant.

After that we driver back to Saigon to visit the flower market entrance. Open day and night, this market sells flowers from all over Vietnam. Walk through small alleys and meander through countless flower stalls, taking time to learn the flower names, smell their exhilarating perfume, and interact with the vendors. Exit the quiet freshness of the flower market and delve into a bustling local market. Discover different types of local products such as vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, rice, clothes and jewelry. This tour is a wonderful, non-touristy glimpse into daily Saigonese life.
Back to hotel

Head out of the city in the morning for the 2.5 hour drive to the Mekong Delta town of Cai Be. Upon arrival, board the Victoria boat. Modelled after traditional sampans, these are the perfect way to see the Delta. The tour starts with the visit of Cai Be’s colourful floating market. Proceed on to visit some local industries crafting rice popcorn and coconut candy. The day’s journey continues with an excursion to Dong Phu, Binh Hoa Phuong, and Anh Binh islands. These evergreen islands among the Mekong River bring about large networks of meandering rivers, crossed with countless arroyos. Lunch awaits at a superb colonial style villa located in a quaint village. The specialty of the Mekong, ‘elephant ear fish’, will be served, grilled and wrapped in rice paper together with fresh herbs.
Following the meal, it’s back on board the boat to discover the beautiful landscapes along the river. After crossing the Co Chien River, the boat will dock and the trip will continue back to Ho Chi Minh City via road. The evening is free to discover the vibrant southern city.

Free time for shopping or optional visit before transfer to the airport for flight back home.
It’s time to say goodbye, we thank you for travelling with us and warmly welcome you to come again.

Arrive in Sydney or Melbourne, on your way to share your experiences with family and friends.

Inclusions

  • Return economy flight from Australia
  • Flight from Hanoi – Danang
  • All airport taxes and fuel surcharges
  • 4* hotel accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Vietnamese cooking class
  • English speaking escorted tour

Exclusions

  • Personal Expenses
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tour Guide Gratuities
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

Optional Activities & Fees

Optional: Evening: Saigon tour by night on Jeep car– Private tour
We’ll start Saigon by night tour where we will admire the most magnificent French colonial monuments of the city such as Opera House, City Hall, Notre Dame, Post Office and Walking street…We’ll take you to explore the local night market where we can stop for shopping if you would like. After that you will visit the streets known for their vibrant night life, a very busy and exciting area of the city. We’ll head for the suburbs of the city to chill out with some fresh air and see the city from a different perspective. End up at a Rooftop bar to enjoy panorama view of Saigon ( drink cost will be paid by yourself)
Your guide will take you back to hotel by jeep, finish the tour.

Book or enquire about this tour

Use the form below to book this tour. Alternatively, call us on 02 9947 1284 to speak to one of our travel consultants.

Book or enquire about this tour

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