Vietnam Culinary Tour 12 Days

Vietnam Culinary Tour  12 Days

Discover the culinary arts of Vietnam, go market shopping with chefs for fresh produce and share meals, recipes and laughter, all against a backdrop of historic cities and spectacular scenery.

Saigon  •  Mekong Delta  •  Hue  •  Hoi An  •  Halong Bay •  Hanoi
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 – Arrive Saigon
    On arrival in Saigon, take a guided transfer to your hotel.
    Stay three nights at the Paragon Saigon Hotel (deluxe room) or Saigon Prince Hotel (deluxe room) in Saigon.
    Day 2 – Saigon city tour and Grain By Luke
    A morning city tour of dynamic Saigon, officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1976, takes in the former Presidential Palace, the Old Post Office, a walk around the outside of Notre Dame Cathedral and a visit to Ben Thanh Market.
    Make your own way to nearby Grain Cooking Studio to join a group cooking class that commences at 1400 hrs. Founded by celebrity chef Luke Nguyen and his talented team, Grain Cooking Studio is home to a unique and fully hands-on cooking experience in a spacious, chic space right in the heart of the city. Enjoy a cooking class with one of Luke’s selected chefs. Each cooking class starts with a basic lesson about fish sauce, the basis of almost every Vietnamese dish, followed by some traditional yet innovative dishes to cook and taste. There is a pantry on-site where you can familiarize yourself with fresh produce, herbs and spices used in Vietnamese cuisine. In addition to learning the fundamentals of food preparation and presentation, you can expect to experience a glimpse of Vietnamese history and culture through each individual dish that you create. Enjoy dinner with the food you will have cooked, before making your own way back to your hotel.   (B,D)
    Day 3 – Ben Tre in Depth
    Depart Saigon for a 1.5-hour guided drive to Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta, known for its tropical fruit orchards and traditional products made from coconuts. Visit a brick factory to learn how bricks are made by hand using centuries-old traditional methods before boarding your private local boat and cruising along the waterways to observe the local life on the river. Shore excursions include a coconut workshop where almost every part of the coconut is used for candies and crafts, and a family run mat workshop where you can try your hand at weaving straw sleeping mats. A 3km ride by tuk-tuk takes you to the home of a fruit farmer where you can sample tropical fruits. After a visit to a chopstick workshop and lunch at a local restaurant, board a rowing sampan for close up views of the palm-lined waterways of the Delta. Travel back to the Hung Vuong pier by boat before transferring by road back to Saigon in the afternoon.  (B,L)
    Day 4 – Saigon – Hue
    Transfer (vehicle with driver) to Saigon airport for your morning flight to Hue in central Vietnam. On arrival in Hue take a guided transfer to your hotel.
    In the afternoon take a 10 minute cyclo ride to the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO listed site. Enter through the towering main gate where you will appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens. Your guide will explain the events and intrigue of the former royal court. Despite being bombed heavily, there are some incredibly well preserved sections still intact and others which are being lovingly restored. From there you will be driven to visit Thien Mu pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower, the pagoda is a sight to behold.
    Stay two nights at the Eldora Hotel (deluxe city view room) in Hue. (B)
    Day 5 – Hue food tour with Ms. Nhu Huy
    Step out and explore the delicious world of Hue food with the celebrated gastronomy artisan, Ms. Nhu Huy. She is a professor, author of cookbooks, food television presenter in Vietnam and Europe and the recipient of several prestigious talent awards in Vietnam. Start off with a visit to the local market to see the sights and sounds of daily life. Ms. Nhu Huy will share some advice of how to select the freshest produce and ingredients necessary for Hue food. Later, visit several villages which each specialize in a different popular dish. During the day, sample many wonderful foods including com hen (mussel rice), banh beo, banh nam banh loc (varieties of soft rice cakes) and banh uot (steamed rice pancake). These dishes are not merely considered local food, but an indispensable culinary trait of Hue. End the trip at the local restaurant Huyen Anh which serves Hue specialty of banh uot and grilled pork. (Note: should Ms. Nhu Huy be unavailable, a similar food tour will be substituted.)
    Afternoon at leisure. (B,L)
    Day 6 – Hue – Hoi An
    In the morning take a 3-hour guided drive over the Pass of Mountain Clouds, past photogenic Lang Co Beach, to Hoi An. Visit Danang market, Cham Museum and Marble Mountains en route.
    Lunch is Mi Quang, a popular noodle dish that originated from Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam.
    In the afternoon, take a short guided walking tour of the old town visiting former merchant’s houses, the 400 year old Japanese Covered Bridge and the market.
    Spend two nights at the La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa (deluxe window room). (B,L)
    Day 7 – La Siesta Hoi An’s cooking class
    Meet with the hotel tour guide at the hotel lobby at 0900 hrs this morning for a join-in group cooking class. Travel by bicycle (easy cycling grade) to the countryside to visit Tra Que vegetable village that is well known for its herbs and non-fertilizer farms. Walk through the gardens where local farmers work on their fields using traditional methods. Continue cycling to Hoi An market. Have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about the ingredients you will use in the cooking lesson later. Return to the hotel to start your cooking class. Learn more traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. The hotel chef will show you how to cook Cao Lau – Hoi An’s unique noodle, “Tam Huu” (Three friends) dish with Tra Que’s herbs, traditional sweet & sour broth soup, and your choice of main dish. After the lesson, enjoy what you will have cooked for lunch. Balance of the day at leisure. (B,L)
    Day 8 – Hoi An – Danang – Hanoi
    Transfer (vehicle with driver) to Danang airport for your flight to Hanoi. You will be met by your guide on arrival at Hanoi airport and transferred to your hotel. Take an orientation tour of Hanoi by cyclo. A water puppet show (1st class seating) is included this evening, including private guided return transfers.
    Stay two nights at the The Lapis Hotel (superior room) or the Hanoi Pearl Hotel (deluxe city view room) in Hanoi. (B)
    Day 9 – Hanoi street food tour
    Morning at leisure.
    Eating on the street is a very typical activity for Hanoians and makes up an important part of the city’s unique culture. Depart at 15:30 for a leisurely walk with our tour guide to the Old Quarter. Make your first stop to taste the national dish of Vietnamese – Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup). Then wander around a local market to enjoy the sights, the sounds and the aroma from hundreds of kinds of food on offer. Then sit down at a tiny Banh Duc shop to try a bit of Banh Duc – cooked rice powder with Vietnamese spices. Banh Duc will be served hot or cool, depends on weather. Your next stop is a little shop selling many different types of traditional Northern cakes such as Com cake (young rice) which is considered to be a part of every Hanoians’ childhood. Follow your guide to a small alley to get an idea of a typical “tube houses” of Hanoi. You will stop at Banh My Lan Ong and try their famous bread with Pâté. After the banh mi, you can enjoy some Vietnamese desserts – sweet soups called Che. Then cap off your trip by tasting a cup of Vietnamese egg coffee before returning back to your hotel.  (B)
    Day 10 – Hanoi – Halong Bay overnight cruise
    A highlight of your visit to Vietnam is sure to be your overnight cruise on Halong Bay. In the morning take the cruise company’s group transfer (a journey of up to 4 hours), without guide, to Halong and on arrival board your boat for a cruise among the rocky limestone islands in the emerald waters of Halong Bay. Seafood lunch and dinner are served on board.
    Stay one night on the Aclass Legend cruise (deluxe en-suite cabin) in Halong. (B,L,D)
    Day 11 – Halong to Hanoi
    Further cruising around Halong Bay this morning. Disembark at Halong and return to Hanoi by the cruise company’s group transfer, without guide.
    Stay one night at the The Lapis Hotel (superior room) or the Hanoi Pearl Hotel (deluxe city view room) in Hanoi. (B,L)
    Day 12 – Depart Hanoi
    Time at leisure before transferring, without guide, to the airport. (B)

  • Make a Booking

    • Tour prices

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      Depart any day.   Tour prices are per person in Australian dollars.  Sole traveller prices apply for one person travelling on their own and staying in a single room. The Single Room price applies when two or more people travel together and a single room is required.  Surcharges may apply during Christmas/New Year, local holidays and festivals.

    • Price Includes:
      •  10 nights in 4 star hotels as listed, or similar
      •  1 night 4 star Halong Bay cruise in en-suite cabin
      •  11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 dinners
      •  Domestic economy class flights Saigon-Hue, Danang-Hanoi including taxes and fuel surcharges
      •  Return transfers, sightseeing tours, entrance fees
      •  Quality air-conditioned vehicles, experienced drivers and guides

      Price Excludes:

      • Visa fees
      • Gratuities

      Sole traveller prices apply for one person travelling on their own and staying in a single room. The Single Room price applies when two or more people travel together and a single room is required.  Surcharges may apply during Christmas/New Year, local holidays and festivals.
      International airfares are not included in the tour price. Ask InterAsia for the current fare with our airline partners SINGAPORE AIRLINES, VIETNAM AIRLINES, THAI AIRWAYS and MALAYSIA AIRLINES.


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    Vietnam Culinary Tour  12 Days


    • The food!
    • Hue food tour with renowned chef
    • Halong Bay overnight cruise
    • Street food tour of Hanoi
    • Did we mention the food?
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