Saigon Arrival – Cooking Class – Hoian – Cooking Class – Hue – Cooking Class – Hanoi – Cooking Class – Mai Chau – Halong Bay – Hanoi – Deparute
Not only does Vietnam culinary tour in 13 days take you to many famous places in Vietnam, but also it brings you to a deep and thorough understanding about Vietnamese culture through cooking classes. Take your chance to participate in a cooking class at local restaurants, enjoy a vegetarian lunch prepared by the nuns in Dong Thien Pagoda or experience a cyclo trip around Imperial Citadel and Forbidden Purple City. Besides, the two days tour in Hanoi will provide you a beautiful introduction about Hanoi and its cuisine. Have a great discovery of street food in the Old Quarters and learn to make authentic Hanoi food.
Day 02: Saigon and Cooking Class (B.L.D)
Day 03: Saigon – Hoian (B.L.D) by flight
Day 04: Cooking Class – Hoian (B.L.D)
Day 05: Hoian – Hue (B.L.D)
Day 06: Hue and Cooking Class (B.L.D)
Day 07: Hue – Hanoi (B.L.D) by flight
Day 08: Hanoi and Cooking Class (B.L.D)
Day 09: Hanoi – Mai Chau (B.L.D)
Day 10: Mai Chau – Hanoi (B.L.D)
Day 11: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B.L.D)
Day 12: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B.L.D)
Day 13: Hanoi – Deparute (B)
Day 01: Saigon Arrival
Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you will be welcomed and met by our local guide before tranferring to hotel for checking in. Take a walk around the center of the city before having a welcome dinner at local restaurant. Stay overnight in Saigon.
Day 02: Saigon and Cooking Class (B, L, D)
In the morning we will have a cooking class with Vietnam Cookery Center, along with an accompanied market tour to the spectacular Ben Thanh market in an hour before the class. During the market visit, you will learn more about certain classic Vietnamese productions, from fruits and vegetables to meats and seafood. After that, head back to the Vietnam Cookery Center, where our chefs will instruct you while you are cooking by yourself, even inexperienced cook can make tasty dishes within a few hours. Then enjoy your outcome one by one with other members of the crew before receiving a special recipe book for more cooking sessions at your home country when you return.
• Salad, one local soup, braised fish or pork
• Enjoy food self-prepared and by the restaurant
In the afternoon, take a tour to discover Saigon by visiting the renowned Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post office before transferring to Chinatown. From there you will visit Cho Lon – the biggest wholesales market in Saigon and Thien Hau Pagoda – where you can see hundreds of local people come to pray for their Health, Luck and Happiness. You may also enjoy the authentic Vietnamese local coffee shops in the streets of Chinatown, where the famous French movie “The Lover” was filmed. Have dinner at Ngon Restaurant with great collection of local food in Saigon. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Day 03: Saigon – Da Nang – Hoian by flight
In the morning, check out the hotel before transferring to Tan Son Nhat Domestic Airport for a departing flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival at Da Nang Airport, visit Cham Museum then enjoy lunch at Apsara restaurant. Later you will be transferred to Hoian, which was originally one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century.
In the afternoon, you will take the walking tour to Hoian to experience all the typical traditional handicrafts of Hoian, such as wood carving, mat weaving, lantern making, silk worm raising, spinning and weaving, table cloth making and embroidery picture. We will then take a walk to Hoian ancient town, starting from the small alleys on Phan Chu Trinh Street to Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street – the typical ancient street of Hoian which represents you the unique atmosphere of the ancient town, followed by a visit to the Japanese Cover Bridge – the symbol of Hoian. After that, you will visit Tan Ky, the most well known and authentic ancient house in town, then another walk along Nguyen Thai Hoc St. to the market of the town. Visit the local market and Fukien Assembly Hall, where you will encounter an excellent work of architecture that is also considered as a heritage of historical significance, as well as the temple of Thien Hau, the Goddess protecting people on the sea – that was so important for the Chinese Merchant and Fisherman in the past. Later, have dinner and stay overnight in Hoian.
Day 04: Cooking Class – Hoian
In the morning, visit a crowded and busy local market near Hoian, which is very well-known for being the wholesales market with fresh fishes in town, then return to Hoi An for breakfast at Cao Lau Restaurant – a signature dish of the town. After that, travel to Tra Que herb village near Hoian. This village is very famous for growing organic herb for supplying to Hoian. You will interact with local farmers and learn more about different kinds of herb and how to plant them. Visit to a local handmade bread shop before going to Morning Glory restaurant for cooking class with Ms. Vy and followed by lunch.
You will start with a market tour to learn about Vietnamese ingredients & how to choose fresh foods, followed by a short talk on the art of Vietnamese gastronomy, vegetables, herbs & spices & how to prepare & use them in an hour before the cooking class.
The cooking class includes learning cooking & cutting techniques and how to use Vietnamese vegetable grater & knife. You will get hands-on experience with the menu below:
1. Fresh Spring Rolls & Shrimp
2. Green papaya Salad
3. Grilled tuna in banana leaves
4. Crispy Pancake
Day 05: Hoian – Hue
After having breakfast, you will be transferred from Hoian to Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Upon arrival in Hue, check in at hotel and have lunch at Y Thao – the authentic family restaurant which serves its menu in the Royal style. In the afternoon, take a cyclo trip from your hotel, through the famous Trang Tien bridge to Dong Ba market. During transition, you will pass through the streets of the ancient citadel of Hue with many local shops, which still maintain the original architecture of this famous citadel. Stop at the Noon gate of the Imperial Citadel for a walking tour to the inner area of the citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty reigned between 1802 and 1945. This tour includes the Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Forbidden Purple City. Have dinner at a local restaurant and stay overnight in Hue.
Day 06: Hue and Cooking Class
We will visit Dong Ba Market in the early morning, which is the best time to experience and learn about the food and daily life activities in Hue. Dong Ba Market is the biggest wholesales market in Hue for food, vegetables, herbs, spices and fruits. Later, go back to hotel for breakfast before visiting Thien Mu pagoda, the symbol of Hue city. You will then take a walk around Kim Long Village for a rare glimpse of the local lifestyle there and later to Tu Duc Tomb. At noon, visit Dong Thien Pagoda to enjoy a vegetarian lunch prepared by the nuns. Our visit contributes to the Pagoda’s kindergarten that educates children from needy families. We will interact with the nuns and learn more about the Pagoda before going back to the hotel. In the afternoon, we will have one more chance to take part in a cooking class at local restaurant. Enjoy food prepared by yourself and the restaurant. Stay overnight in Hue.
Day 07: Hue – Hanoi by flight
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Phu Bai Airport for the flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, visit the Ethnology Museum before having lunch in the Season of Hanoi restaurant, then visit Hoa Lo prison which was known as the “Hanoi Hilton” by American Pilots during the Civil War. After checking in the hotel, you will have time to freshen up before participating in the Water Puppet performance show. Have dinner at Cha Ca La Vong, one of the most famous and authentic local food of Hanoi, before spending the night in Hanoi.
Day 08: Hanoi and Cooking Class
In the morning we will take a short walk to a typical local food market, then another walk through the Old Quarters of Hanoi, where you can feel the traditional atmosphere at the heart of Hanoi. Enjoy your breakfast with a hot bowl of “Pho bo” (noodle with beef) at Pho Bat Dan or Pho Bo Hang Dong, then you may visit the nearby Lo Banh pho Ba Ngoan (noodle factory – Mrs. Ngoan) to see the process of making noodles with no additives. Continue your walking tour around the Old Quarters as our guide introduces you a few more signature Hanoi food, for example Banh Cuon (steam rice pancake rolled with mince perk and mushroom) or Cha Ca La Vong... You can also enjoy some coffee at the local coffee shops and have lunch with “Bun cha” later. In the afternoon you will have an opportunity to take a cooking class at Anh Tuyet Restaurant and learn how to prepare 3 traditional dishes of Hanoi. The class will be started with an one-hour market tour to learn about Vietnamese ingredients & how to choose fresh foods, followed by a short talk on the art of Hanoian gastronomy, vegetables, herbs & spices & how to prepare & use them. The cooking session includes learning cooking & cutting techniques & how to use a Vietnamese vegetable grater & knife, along with a special menu of the day for you to cook. Have dinner at the restaurant and stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 09: Hanoi – Mai Chau
Depart from Hanoi for Mai Chau, the peaceful valley to the West of Hanoi with spectacular scenery of the mountain area and enormous rice fields. Upon arrival at Mai Chau, check in and have lunch at a local house of the Thai ethnic in Pom Coong village. In the afternoon, take a walk around the valley to visit some villages nearby and Mai Chau Market, where you can buy ingredients for your next cooking class at your homestay in the long house. After dinner, enjoy a traditional music show performed by local people in the village.
Day 10: Mai Chau – Hanoi
After having breakfast, you will be transferred to Xa Linh, then take a 2 hour trekking through the primitive jungle to the area of Muong ethnic. Located on a beautiful plateau on the bank of Hoa Binh reservoir, this village is hidden from tourists and is very friendly to visitors. There you will have the chance to interact with the people before returning to the bus. Next, visit the village of the Mong ethnic at Xa Linh, then drive back to Mai Chau for lunch at the stilt house of a Thai family. After lunch, you can say good-bye to our very hospitable hosts and drive back to Hanoi. Have dinner at local restaurant and stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day 11: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on boat
Take a morning trip to Halong Bay through Red River Delta.
12h00 – 12h30: Embark on the traditional wooden junk, followed by a short cruising brief.
13h00 – 15h30: Savor a tasty lunch while cruising among the limestone islands.
15h30 – 16h30: Kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Bo Nau Cave area, then go back to the junk.
16h30 – 17h30: Cruise to Soi Sim island. You may either go swimming and relax at 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 snap photos as the sunsets.
19h00: Enjoy the dinner while you meet and greet with other guests, fish for squid, or just laze around. Stay overnight on board.
Day 12: Halong – Phu Lang Village – Hanoi
06h30 – 07h00: Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or 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, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, and more.
10h30 – 11h30: While going back to the harbor, watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch.
12h00 – 12h30: Disembark and visit Phu Lang, a traditional village of terracotta products dating before the 20th century. Explore the village’s narrow and zigzagged alleys, with old houses constructed from broken pieces of old terracotta. After that, drive back to Hanoi, have dinner and stay overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Hanoi – Departure
In the morning, iyou may take your free time until being transferred to Noi Bai Airport for departure flight. Tour ends.
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