Vietnam's Culinary Experience Tour

Travel through Vietnam tasting local flavours and learn more about the heritage of each place by trying different cuisines, from "pho" noodle soup, the typical street food, to sumptuous banquets and dinner cruises. Hand on cooking classes are included in this tour and, at the end of the day, you can even enjoy the meal you prepare!

Duration
9 days

Guide Price

€2,939 pp
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey

Trip highlights

  • Dinner cruise on the Saigon River aboard Vietnam's biggest dragon boat
  • Cookery classes in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi
  • Explore Chau Long and Ben Thanh markets
  • Enjoy an overnight cruise along Halong Bay

On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, transfer to your hotel for two nights. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the bustling and vibrating economic centre of the South. This evening, cruise the waters of the Saigon River and savour a sumptuous dinner, accompanied by live entertainment, while floating past Ho Chi Minh's enchanting night-time cityscape. Complimentary cocktails, canapés, and a friendly crew welcome you aboard the biggest dragon boat in Vietnam, the double-decker Bonsai. A multi-member band sets the mood with a musical fusion of the East and West as you cruise out into the Saigon River. Settle in as the executive chef and Vietnamese show cooks prepare, in concert, an impressive Eurasian buffet. The Bonsai also offers cocktail lounges and airy verandas for an after-dinner stroll. Relax with a complimentary head and neck massage and enjoy the live entertainment that continues throughout the evening, concluding with a fire-dance performance.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Liberty Central Hotel or similar

Enjoy an early morning Tai Chi session in the park opposite the New World Hotel before visiting Ben Thanh market. Walk along Saigon's streets and admire some of the city's most important landmarks. Experience the morning glory of Saigon as the city awakes and enjoy a bowl of the famous "pho" noodle soup for breakfast as well a traditional Vietnamese coffee or tea, before joining your cookery course. A visit to Vietnam is a memorable experience and with the help of the Vietnam Cookery Centre you will be able to bring back home some of those memories. In the morning course, you will learn more about the most popular Vietnamese dishes. You will be taught the correct blending of the many ingredients and spices to create the famous "nuoc mam" fish sauce. Apart from the preparation and cooking under the chef's guidance, you will be introduced to the traditional Vietnamese kitchen with cooking utensils, understand the intricacies of the Vietnamese dining etiquette and the technique to master the chopsticks! In the evening, enjoy a guided stroll through the Ben Thanh area, one of the best areas in the world for street food.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Liberty Central Hotel or similar

Enjoy a half day city tour this morning. Visit bustling Cho Lon, Thien Hau pagoda, one of the oldest Chinese pagodas in the area, and colourful Ben Thanh Market. Notre Dame Cathedral, inaugurated in 1880, became the spiritual and cultural crucible of the French presence in the Orient, as did the Gustav Eiffel-designed Post Office, which resembles a grand railway station. Visit the former Presidential Palace, renowned for its symbolic role in the fall of Saigon in 1975, and enjoy a traditional concert. Transfer to the airport this afternoon for your flight to Hue. On arrival, transfer to your hotel for two nights. In the evening, experience the Royal Cuisine of Hue during a sumptuous dinner at a local restaurant.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Gerbera Hotel Hue or similar

Enjoy a full day tour of Hue today. Your first stop will be the Hue Citadel on the northern bank of the Perfume River. Continue your tour with a visit to the garden house of Mr Phan Thuan An, the famous Hue study researcher, who will give a brief lecture on Hue's history and culture. In the afternoon, visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Royal Tombs, considered to be two of the three most beautiful mausoleums around Hue. Construction of the tombs was meticulously carried out, starting while the king was still alive in order to ensure his comfort in the next life. Most of the tombs have courtyards, a temple for worship, statues, and a pond, but the layout of each is different reflecting each king's personality and style.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Gerbera Hotel Hue or similar

In the morning, visit the Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts and Dong Ba Market, where you can choose the local specialities and souvenirs. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel two nights.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sunway Hotel or similar

This morning, experience a hands-on cooking class at the Hanoi Cooking Centre. The course begins with a brief introduction to Vietnamese cuisine, highlighting the ingredients of traditional dishes. Afterwards, walk to the Chau Long Market and enjoy a market tour. The chefs will highlight some of the daily produce sold, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and silk worms. Return to the Hanoi Cooking Centre and get started. The chefs will explain how to prepare the various dishes on the menu. Printed recipes as well as samples of some local fruits, green bean cake, and quail eggs can be taken home after the class. Enjoy the meal you prepared and visit the Hanoi Cooking Centre shop where you may find useful cooking utensils, recipe books and spices. In the afternoon, take a half day Hanoi city tour, visiting the historic Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One-Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature, before continuing to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Sunway Hotel or similar

Transfer to Halong City this morning to board the Emeraude Classic for a memorable overnight cruise along Halong Bay. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of this UNESCO listed World Natural Heritage site with its wonderful caves, tiny islets and beaches as well as the many floating villages scattered around.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Emeraude Classic Cruise or similar

View the sunrise over the bay and have breakfast while cruising through the bay. Upon disembarkation, transfer back to Hanoi and your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your stay in Hanoi at leisure. Discover Vietnam's wide array of street foods, which has won the hearts of the international chefs who have made Vietnam their second home.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Church Boutique Hotel or similar

Transfer to Hanoi airport for your onward journey, or alternatively extend your stay in Vietnam.

Included

  • Accommodation as detailed in double or twin room with private facilities (alternative but similar hotels may be used at certain times of the year).
  • Hotels featured are subject to confirmation at time of booking.
  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • Services of an English speaking local driver/guide
  • All entrance fees during sightseeing as detailed
  • Meals included as stated. Breakfast is usually a Western style buffet in your hotel. Most other meals are taken at local restaurants.

Not included

  • International flights from Ireland
  • Visa fees
  • Beverages during meals
  • Tips for the driver/guide
  • Optional excursions