Hanoi Arrival – Cooking Class – Tay Phuong Pagoda – Duong Lam – Halong Bay – Danang – Hoian – Saigon – Cooking Class – Saigon Departure
The best way to discover the culture of any country you visit would be tasting its traditional cuisine. Not only does this local Food Tour in Vietnam 11 days take you to quite a few essential highlights of Vietnam, it also brings you a deep and thorough understanding about Vietnamese culture through traditional cooking classes with hands-on experience. Have a great discover of Hanoi's traditional and signature dishes in the alleys of the Old Quarters, experience the famous Pho (noodle with beef) for breakfast or enjoy Bun Cha – the unique noodle with barbecue pork at lunch. If you are longing for spiciness, Hoian will be your ideal place in 2 days of discovering and savouring its uniqueness in Hoian; from the morning local fish market to the trip to the famous vegetable and herb village of Tra Que. Moreover, try many delicious dishes in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) with a different taste than the North and the Central Vietnam.
Day 02: Hanoi (B, L, D)
Day 03: Hanoi Cooking Class (B, L)
Day 04: Hanoi – Tay Phuong Pagoda – Duong Lam (B, L, D)
Day 05: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B, L, D)
Day 06: Halong – Hanoi – Danang – Hoian (B, L) by flight
Day 07: Hoian (B, L)
Day 08: Hoian (B, D)
Day 09: Hoian – Da Nang – Saigon (B, L, D) by flight
Day 10: Saigon – Cooking Class (B, L)
Day 11: Saigon – Departure (B)
Day 01: Hanoi Arrival
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, you will be welcomed and met by our local tour guide before transferring to hotel, then take a rest or have a short travel around the capital. Have a welcome dinner at local restaurant before staying the night in Hanoi.
Day 02: Hanoi
In the morning, take a short walk to a local food market – the typical market that supplies food for the daily meals and demands of local people. For breakfast, savor a hot and delicious bowl of “Pho bo” (noodle with beef) at Pho Bat Dan or Pho Bo Hang Dong – the famous and typical Northern Vietnam Pho vendor. After that, visit the nearby Ba Ngoan noodle factory to observe the process of making Pho noodle with no chemical additives, then continue your walking tour around the Old Quarters as our guide proceeds to introduce you some of the signature local dishes, such as Banh Cuon (steam rice pancake rolled with mince perk and mushroom) or Cha Ca La Vong. You may also enjoy some coffee in the local coffee shop and later, enjoy lunch with “Bun cha” (Vermicelli with grilled pork) at Bun Cha Dac Kim Duong Thanh. In the afternoon, take your time to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature, etc… then have dinner at Anh Tuyet Restaurant before staying overnight in Hanoi.
Day 03: Hanoi Cooking Class and Hanoi City Tour
Have breakfast at hotel, then you will take a cooking class at La Verticale with Mr. Didier Corlou:
Class 1: Traditional cooking
Schedule: 09:30 am to 13:00 pm
09:30 – 10:00 am: Meet the chef at La Verticale, followed by a market visit
10:15 – 13:00 pm: Demonstrate and taste 5 dishes
– Vietnamese banana flower salad
– Hanoi nems (deep fried spring rolls)
– Grilled chicken with lemon leaves
– Bun cha
– Sautéed pumpkin branches
In the afternoon, take a half day city tour in Hanoi including the Ethnology Museum and Water Puppet Show. Have dinner at Cha Ca La Vong and stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 04: Hanoi – Tay Phuong Pagoda – Duong Lam
In the morning, take a day-time excursion to the Red River Delta before transferring to Tay Phuong Pagoda, one of the ten most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam. Next, take 45 minutes bike ride in the rural area around Pagoda through many green rice fields and local villages, as well as having chances to discover the local daily life and activities along the banks of Red River Delta. After that, go back to our bus for another visit to the ancient village of Duong Lam which is called “Hoian of the Red River Delta” as it still preserves many traditional houses, then visit Communal House in Mong Phu hamlet – a typical Northern Vietnam village with its nice architecture. You may also visit a local tofu factory before enjoying lunch at a local family, as the house owner explains the processes of making “tuong”, a special black sauce made from soybean and special sticky rice. After that, go back to Hanoi, have dinner at Indochina Restaurant and stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 05: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on boat
12h00 – 12h30: Embark on the traditional wooden junk followed by a short cruise briefing.
13h00 – 15h30: Savor a delectable lunch as cruises among the limestone islands.
15h30 – 16h30: Kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Bo Nau Cave area. Return to the junk.
16h30 – 17h30: Cruise to Soi Sim Island. You can enjoy swimming and relaxing on the beach of Soi Sim, or climb up to the peak of the island for a panoramic view of Halong Bay.
17h30: Cruise back to the main boat for a shower. Relax or take photos as the sunsets.
19h00: Enjoy dinner as you meet and greet with other guests. You can either fish for squid, or just get on the deck to enjoy the gentle and refreshing night breezes. Stay overnight on junk.
Day 06: Halong – Hanoi – Da Nang – Hoian by flight
06h30 – 07h00: Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or participate in a photo hunting challenge.
07h30 – 08h30: Have breakfast as the sunrises.
08h30 – 09h30: Explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave – the nicest cave in Halong Bay.
09h30 : Return to the boat. Freshen up before checking out of your cabin.
09h30 – 10h30: Continue cruising to explore the Bay with Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, etc...
10h30 – 11h30: While going back to the harbor, watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch.
12h00 – 12h30: Disembark and visit Tho Ha – the famous village of terracotta products before 20th century before transferring to Noi Bai Domestic Airport for the flight to Danang. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to Hoian for a check-in at hotel. Have lunch and stay overnight in Hoian.
Day 07: Hoian
In the morning, we will take you to a very impressive and busy fish market near Hoian. The market is for wholesale orders of fishes and certain seafood with fresh and newly-harvested only ones. Later, go back to Hoian for breakfast at Cao Lau Restaurant before visiting the nearby Tra Que herb village – a big source of supplying organic herbs for Hoian. You will interact with the local farmers and learn more about certain types of herb and how to grow them. Visit a local handmade bread factory before going to Morning Glory restaurant for cooking class.
You will start with an one-hour market tour to learn about Vietnamese ingredients & how to choose fresh foods, along with a special introduction to the art of Vietnamese gastronomy, vegetables, herbs & spices...
The cooking class includes learning cooking & cutting techniques & how to use a Vietnamese vegetable grater & knife. Later, you will get to cook by yourself under instruction by chef with dishes below (can be changed daily):
1. Fresh Spring Rolls & Shrimp
2. Green Papaya Salad
3. Grilled tuna in banana leaves
4. Crispy Pancake
In the afternoon, take a walking trip to Hoian ancient town. Visit the ancient Fukien assembly hall, Japanese Cover Bridge and Tan Ky ancient house. In the evening, have dinner with some the most famous and popular local dishes in Hoian, such as Com Ga (Chicken Rice) and Cao Lau, then stay the night in Hoian.
Day 08: Hoian
In the morning, you may choose to discover Hoian, go shopping or just relax in the hotel before having lunch, then depart for the cyclo trip to Cam Nam Village. The cyclo will take you from the town to Cam Nam Bridge before travelling along the banks Thu Bon River, during which you can take photos along the journey, then cycle through local villages of Cam Nam – an untouched area by tourism with very friendly and hospitable local people before ending at the green small canal covered by water coconut trees. After the trip, embark on the boat and take a cruise along Thu Bon River for a rare glimpse of the local daily life along the river, such as fishing, farming… then come back to Hoian during sunset. Have dinner at Cargo Restaurant and stay overnight in Hoian.
Day 09: Hoian – Da Nang – Saigon by flight
In the morning, you will be transferred to Danang Airport for the flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, you will take a tour to the former Residential Palace, the renowned Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post office after checking in for hotel, then have lunch at Indochina Restaurant. During afternoon, visit Cho Lon – the biggest wholesales market in Saigon for souvenirs and Thien Hau Pagoda – where you can see hundreds local people come to worship for their Health, Luck and Happiness. Have dinner at Ngon Restaurant before staying overnight in Saigon.
Day 10: Saigon – Cooking Class
Have breakfast at hotel before participating in a special cooking class with Vietnam Cookery Center. An one-hour mini tour to the spectacular Ben Thanh market is included before the class, during which will be the time for you to learn more about the classic Vietnamese products, from fruits and vegetables to meats and seafood, along with learning how to differentiate certain Vietnamese ingredients and their usage in daily life. After the mini tour, head to the Vietnam Cookery Center for your upcoming special cooking sessions with the chefs.
Menu (selected daily):
– Salad, one local soup, braised fish or pork
Enjoy your self-prepared food with other visitors and the chefs. In the afternoon, take your free time for shopping or to discover Saigon on your own. Stay overnight in Saigon.
Day 11: Saigon – Departure
In the morning, you may take your free time to relax until transition to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for departure flight. Tour ends.
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