On this 10 days tour, you will learn much about the charming capital of Hanoi, HCMC, Hue, Halong Bay and more. Not only that, but after sampling the country’s finest cuisine, you will be become your own chef as you take part in cooking classes. You will get to know all about the local cuisine by sampling and creating a variety of local dishes… and hopefully be enticed to come back for more!
Day 1: Arrival Ha Noi (D)
Day 2: Hanoi ‘s Specialties (B,L,D)
Day 3: Hanoi – Ha Long bay (B/L/D)
Day 4: Halong – Hanoi – Hue – Spicy Corner (B/L/D)
Day 5: Cooking Class – Boat trip and Royal Banquet (B,L,D)
Day 6: Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An (B/L/D)
Day 7: Hoi An – Fusion Cuisine (B/L/D)
Day 8: Hoi an – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
Day 9: Mekong Delta – Exotic food (B/L/D)
Day 10: Departure (B)
Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. Then, you’ll take a cyclo (the Vietnamese version of the rickshaw) to Nam Phuong restaurant for an introduction to Vietnamese food. Set in a beautifully restored French villa, Indochina serves specialties originating primarily from southern Vietnam. You will no doubt be introduced to “nuoc mam” (a fermented fish sauce that compliments most dishes in Vietnam) and “cha gio” (Vietnamese spring rolls).
You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.
Dinner: Nam Phuong restaurant
Hanoi, the present day capital of Vietnam, is a city of tree-lined boulevards and lakes. It boasts a unique blend of French colonial buildings and Chinese inspired architecture. 08:30 You will have a full day to explore this fascinating city and visit the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum, the Temple of Literature, the Lake of the Restored Sword and the bustling “Old Quarter”, with its 36 ancient streets. You’ll have lunch at “Cha Ca La Vong” and enjoy seasoned fish. In the evening, you can take in a performance of the famous water puppets, followed by dinner at Wild rice restaurant, which specializes in superbly prepared northern Vietnamese cuisine. Northern Vietnamese food has a strong Chinese influence, with stir-fried dishes and less spicy food being among the most popular. Specialties of Hanoi include “Cha Ca” Hanoi and the ubiquitous noodle and meat soup known as “Pho”, which is usually eaten at pavement food stalls for breakfast. You’ll spend another night in Hanoi.
Upon being met at your hotel at 08:00 am, you will be driven to Halong City, approximately 3 hours away. Once at Halong City, you will board our private boat for a 4 hour cruise of this stunning area, stopping along the way to visit one of the limestone caves in the area. As you cruise, our boat staff will serve a sumptuous local seafood lunch. After 4 hours, you will cruise back to the harbor and transfer to your hotel in Halong City. In the evening, a buffet dinner of Local Specialty will be served before you retire for the evening.
You will return to Hanoi by road on the way back to Hanoi before transferring to Hanoi Airport for an early afternoon flight to Hue. Flight time varies depending on day of week. Upon arrival in Hue, you’ll transfer to the hotel and settle in.
In the evening, you will go to Ancient Hue restaurant for dinner. Food in Hue is spicy, with considerable use of chili, reflecting its imperial roots. It is often presented in carefully displayed small servings, a kind of Oriental nouvelle cuisine. You’ll then spend a restful evening in Hue.
In the morning, you will meet Mrs. Cuc, the owner of Y Thao Garden House, who will take you to Dong Ba central market. She will provide instruction on how to choose food for your cooking lesson at 09:30 at Y Thao Garden House. You must pay careful attention, because you will be preparing your own lunch! In the afternoon, you will travel by Dragon Boat on the romantically named Perfume River which leads to the Thien Mu pagoda, standing on the riverbank with its seven-story tower. You will then transfer by car to the Imperial Citadel, from which the Nguyen emperors once ruled Vietnam. Then you’ll take a cyclo ride for a royal banquet in Huong Giang Hotel on the river bank before an overnight stay.
In the morning, you will drive to visit Tu Duc Mausoleum with its traditional Vietnamese architecture. Leaving Hue mid-morning, you’ll enjoy a scenic journey on Highway One. The road passes by vivid green fields of rice and the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co with its blue lagoon and deserted sandy beaches. Then you will experience climbing over the dramatic Pass of Mountain Clouds. Once over the mountain pass, the road drops down to Danang. You’ll stop off at Danang to visit the famous Non Nuoc Beach, once a ‘rest and recreation’ resort for American servicemen. You’ll also and pass by the sacred Marble Mountains whose caves contain dozens of Buddhist shrines.
Upon arrival at the former trading port of Hoi An around five in the afternoon, you’ll go to your hotel and stroll down to the picturesque river front for a refreshing drink before dinner.
After your breakfast at the hotel, you will have a cooking class at Red Bridge Restaurant, visit Hoi An’s colorful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – each dish is first demonstrated by the Red Bridge chef’s, before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, we sit down and eat exactly what we have cooked.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy an afternoon walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter , visiting Chua Ong Pagoda , the Chinese Assembly Halls , the 200 year old Tam Ky Ancestral House, and the Japanese Bridge. Dinner at super local restaurant.
You will transfer to Danang Airport after breakfast for the early flight to Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City as it is now officially known.
After checking in to your hotel, you’ll have a lunch of “pho”. Next up is a half day city tour which includes the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Saigon Post Office. You’ll then have dinner at one of HCMC’s best-known restaurants on Cruise Indochina Junk on Sai Gon River. The cuisine of the south uses many herbs and spices and has been influenced by Cambodia, Thailand and India, among others. Curries using coconut milk are an example of this influence. The south also has a wide selection of tropical fruits and vegetables that are not readily available in the cooler north. You experience all of this before retiring for a restful overnight stay.
After breakfast at the hotel, our tour guide will meet you at hotel’s lobby and transfer to Cai Be pier. We will take a motorized boat to visit Cai Be, you will have a chance to observe the lively activities of local merchants trading their products from vessels. Visit a village (a part of Dong Hoa Hiep village) where you will see some family run personal businesses that produce rice cakes and rice paper, popcorn (or pop-rice) or coconut candy. Then you will continue to take boat to Tan Phong islet where has long attracted tourists thanks to the fruit orchards throughout the year and depend on the fruit season such as rambutan, durian, longan, guava and rose-apple. You can enjoy some fruits while listening traditional music (Đờn Ca Tài Tử). Your trip will continue by enjoying an interesting activity with a rowing boat to explore the small natural canal system of Mekong Delta.
Notes: Biking tour is recommend depends to each group by tour guide.
Have lunch at a local restaurant and take a short relax before getting boat to disembark to Cai Be pier and drive back to Saigon.
The morning is free until time for transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flight.