Vietnam

12-day Exclusive Gourmet Journey

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Tour type

Tour Level: Relaxed / Easy / Moderate

Tour Comfort: Luxury / Superior

Tour Period: 12 Days

English, French, Spanish, Russian

tour highlights

  • Sample the most delectable and most interesting Vietnamese street food alongside the locals
  • Meet a true legend of Vietnam's food scene in Hanoi and take a personal walking tour to learn the secrets of tasty Vietnamese cuisine
  • Feasting beneath the stars while cruising Halong Bay is an experience to remember

tour details

Fire up your taste buds in delicious Vietnam following the trail of well-known world leaders visiting Vietnam. Satisfy the hunger for adventure on this gourmet exploration of Vietnam. This journey explores highlights such as the old world charm of Hanoi, charming Hoi An and energetic Saigon. The soul of Vietnam can be found in its cuisine and you will find it in the ‘bun cha” which President Barack Obama had for lunch with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain in Hanoi, the the” bun bo” of Hue, the “cao lau” soup of Hoi An and aromatic “pho” noodle former President Bill Clinton ate in Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of magical Halong Bay from the helicopter, experience the old streets, colonial buildings, temples and imperial ruins and the mighty Mekong, this is an adventure where you can taste the country’s history in recipes handed down over generations and be introduced to the finest cuisine Vietnam has to offer.

Why choose this tour?

An insider’s look at a foodie’s paradise to discover the endless variety across Vietnam along with some must-see cultural highlights

On arrival at Hanoi international airport (Flight details TBA) you will be greeted by representative airport staff at the air bridge. Have fast track immigration and customs clearance as well as assistance with luggage collection and be escorted to the airport arrival hall for transfer to the hotel in the city centre (hotel check-in time is 14:00 hrs; early check-in is subject to room availability and surcharge will apply)

Depending on your flight arrival time, optional day excursions in and around Hanoi are available at a surcharge.

In the evening, enjoy dinner at a selected Vietnamese restaurant.

Accommodation at Sofitel Legend Metropole, Premium room
Meals included:
Dinner at restaurant
08:00 hours
Your street food venture will start with the first stop at one of the many sidewalk cafes in the historic French Quarter. While enjoying a Vietnamese Ca Phe (coffee) or Tra (tea) here the Chef will give an overview of the Vietnamese food scene, particularly in Hanoi, and discuss the daily life and culture of Vietnam from a well-informed expat's perspective.

The next stop will be Truc Bach lake where you will taste the snack of Ph? Cu?n, a grilled beef and rice noodle roll with fresh herbs, along with several other favourite local snacks. The main dish will be provided at one of Hanoi's "Bun Cha" establishments, to enjoy traditional grilled pork and rice vermicelli noodles with fresh herbs, greens and crispy spring rolls (Nem ran) like true Hanoians.

The Chef may change the locations to take advantage of the season or one of his latest discoveries.

In the evening, dress for the dinner at Le Beaulieu, the famous fine dining French restaurant

Accommodation at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, Premium room
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at Wild Lotus restaurant
08:30 hours
Pick up at the hotel lobby after breakfast for a 4-hour transfer to Halong City. Arrival at Tuan Chau international marina around noon time. Relax at the Paradise Cafe while your personal butler will come to meet you to discuss on your cruise itinerary. He will then help you to check-in and accompany you aboard.

Enjoy welcome drink and check in your cabin. The cruise will then commence and a special lunch will be served on-board while the boat is heading towards Cua Van floating village where you will take a ride by row boat or paddle a kayak to visit the village. Continue cruising in Halong Bay passing by Tien Ong Cave, Trong Cave, Ho Dong Tien, Luon Cave and Ti Top Island. The boat will cast anchor at Coconut Three Island for overnight stay.

Enjoy "Happy Hour"- buy one get one on selected beverages from 17:00 hrs. - 19:00 hrs. A cooking demonstration will take place at 18:00 hrs. You are invited to join and learn how to toast in Vietnamese way with rice wine. Pre-dinner cocktail serving canape and nuts will be available on the sundeck until 19:00 hrs.

Dinner will be served from 19:30 hrs to 21:00 hrs. You can put on a traditional Bao Dai dress for a photoshoot with the cruise manager.

Evening activities will follow with movie night or board games or squid fishing or Beauty & Spa services on-board.

Accommodation aboard Paradise Peak, Superior suite
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch and dinner on-board
06:00 hours
Early risers can join the Tai Chi session on the sundeck. Coffee and tea with assorted homemade pastries will be available from 07:00 hrs to 07:30 hrs.

At 07:30 hrs you will take a transfer by tender boat to visit Sung Sot Cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Halong bay. The magnificent limestone formations inside the cave will really take you by surprise. Return to the boat for an international a-la-carte breakfast and then set sail back to the pier. Check out and settle bills at 09:30 hrs.

Arrive at Tuan Chau Island at around 10:30 hrs. Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi with a stop en-route at a village for a water puppet show performed by local farmers/artists and taste some local snacks. Arrive in Hanoi, check in the hotel and have time at leisure.

Accommodation at Sofitel Legend Metropole, Premium room
Meals included:
Breakfast on-board
Dinner at hotel
Your journey will continue today with the morning flight to Danang.
Danang is the biggest city on the Central Coast of Vietnam and is in a close proximity to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Hoi An, Hue and and Myson. The city boasts several famous historic sites and fine beaches such as the Marble Mountains, Ba Na Hill and Non Nuoc Beach. Your hotel is situated in Son Tra, also one of the city's top scenic spots.

Accommodation at Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Resort Classic room
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at hotel
Dinner at hotel
Transfer to Hai Scout Cafe in Hoi An town for a welcome drink. Visit Hoi An's colourful market and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. Take the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about all the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.

Board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is ready. On arrival, explore the cooking school's herb garden, before learning about some of Hoi An's and Vietnam's well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours. The Red Bridge chefs first demonstrate each dish before you prepare the same dish yourself. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, enjoy lunch and indulge your cooking.

Accommodation at Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Resort Classic room
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at Red Bridge Cooking School
Dinner at hotel
08:00 hours
Your journey takes you along the coast to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The scenic route passes through Danang where you will visit the open air Cham Museum. This small museum displays an array of artefacts from the Hindu kingdom of Champa. Continue your journey over the spectacular Hai Van pass (meaning pass of the ocean clouds) and then continuing down to the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co. On arrival in Hue, check into your hotel.

In the afternoon, visit the mausoleum of former Emperor Tu Duc with its tranquil setting of gardens and lakes followed by the elaborate European-influenced mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh.

In the evening, you will be treated to the Governor's Colonial Dinner. An aperitif to be had on the Le Gouverneur terrace followed by a singular culinary experience by the poolside and amidst frangipani trees for a repast inspired by colonial era traditions

Accommodation at La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa, Deluxe River-view room
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at Ancient Hue Restaurant
Dinner at hoetl
08:00 hours
In the morning, drive to visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower that has become Hue's most widely recognized monument. Relive the grandeur of the Imperial Citadel, where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Afterwards, take a cyclo through the 'Old City' to Tinh Tam Lake where the emperors used to come to relax.

Get an insight in to the royal history of Hue and its influence to the local culture during a meeting with an expert on Hue study. Local snacks will be served for your delight. Afterwards visit Cat Tuong Quan Zen House. You will be shown around the facilities and introduced to the "Nha Ruong", a typical architectural house in Hue city and to the spiritual meaning of the Zen House complex and then enjoy a vegetarian lunch the Hue style.

The afternoon is at leisure.

In the evening, have a dinner cruise on Perfume River (18:30 - 21:00 hrs). You will depart from the hotel towards Thien Mu Pagoda. Enjoy Champaign in the sunset followed by sumptuous dinning style with a delicious signature menu in the background music performed by a traditional band.

Accommodation at La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa, Deluxe River-view room
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Vegetarian lunch at Cat Tuong Quan Zen House
Dinner cruise on Perfume River
06:30 hours
Have early check-out and transfer to Hue airport for the morning flight (by VN1371 08:50 - 10:10, subject to change) to the dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals.

Enjoy a full day city tour. You will first head to Cholon, the city's Chinatown district. Visit the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda, dedicated to the goddess of the sea, and Vietnam's first traditional medicine museum, the FITO Museum. Head back to the city centre to visit Ben Thanh Market where an incredible display of fresh produce is offered.

In the afternoon you can either visit the War Remnants or History Museum and the former Presidential Palace. Then take a leisurely stroll to the major sights of colonial Saigon including the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall.

Dinner tonight will be served at Restaurant Strata Bitexco on the 50th floor of the Saigon's landmark, the 262 m high Bitexco Financial Tower. You will have opportunity to experience a fantastic 360 degree view of Saigon city and its surroundings at night by taking the high speed elevator up to the observation deck.

Accommodation at Park Hyatt Hotel, Park room
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at Nam Phan Restaurant
Dinner at Restaurant Strata
08:00 hours
Pick-up at the hotel and transfer to the pier in District 1 for a half-day tour by speed boat to Cu Chi Tunnels (70 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City), an amazing complex of underground tunnels used during the Vietnam War. There are more than 200 km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels. For a more "thrilling" experience, you can even test your shooting skills on original AK47s and other guns from past war times (subject to a surcharge).

In the evening, take a street food tour adventure by the legendary Vespa scooters. Your first stop is at Caf'e9 zoom to "watch the world goes by" (quoted by The Lonely Planet) and enjoy a cocktail and appetizers (inclusive) before adventuring into favourite local eating spots. You will experience the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. The tour will start with a ride to part of Chinatown and then heading to District 4 through busy streets and alleys to see the night life of locals and enjoy street sea-food and cold drinks, places that foreigners would hardly venture to. Leave district 4 for district 3 through downtown district 1 to a famous Banh Xeo shop to enjoy the specialty of Saigon, and southern food with the locals. Then continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop to have a taste of Vietnamese music. Afterward venture to a lively bar to enjoy drinks along with live music.

Accommodation at Park Hyatt Hotel, Park room
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at local restaurant
Dinner during the evening street food tour
An early morning departure takes you to Cai Be, deep in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Embark on your private deluxe junk boat, the Cai Be Princess and cruise to the colorful Cai Be floating market.

Your tour continues with a visit to a local home factory which produces rice paste, rice popcorn and coconut candies. Continue cruising to the evergreen islands, located in the Mekong River, through large networks of meandering rivers which are crisscrossed with countless canals.

Enjoy a relaxing lunch in a local restaurant before cruising to Dong Hoa Hiep and An Binh islands. Take in the beautiful landscapes and observe typical rural life on the Mekong Delta.

Disembark at Cai Be pier and return to Saigon late in the afternoon.

The evening is at leisure for more discovery of Ho Chi Minh City on your own.

Accommodation at Park Hyatt Hotel, Park room
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at Le Longanier restaurant
At leisure until transfer to Ho Chi Minh City/Tan Son Nhat Airport for your international flight to the next destination (hotel check-out time is 12:00; late check-out can be arranged at a surcharge)

Airport pre check-in of luggage will be done two hours prior to departure. You will arrive at the airport 30 minutes prior to departure. Executive see-off service include: assistance with fast track immigration and customs clearance. You will be escorted to the gate to board the aircraft.
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel

customise the tour

You can add to your wish list our Street Eats discovery and our cooking excursions in other regions to experience the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine.  We have featured the most comprehensive optional day trips in Vietnam. For your convenience, our scheduled and customized tours depart from Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Phan Thiet and Ho Chi Minh City. More than that, most of tours are seat-in- coach, depart daily, and can be customized to suit individual interests and schedules. These trips are your best introductions to the key cities, best golf courses, and beaches, cooking classes, cruises and attractions. You can easily combine an extension to other nearby destinations at any point during your stay in Vietnam. 

includes

  • Accommodation in shared twin room with air-condition (AC) and private bathroom
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinne-Transfers and tours with locally stationed English or French-speaking guides in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Fast track immigration and custom clearance service upon arrival at Hanoi airport and Departure from Ho Chi Minh City airport
  • Expert guide on history and culture of Hanoi
  • Expat chef and cook book writer in Hanoi
  • One night in Halong Bay aboard Paradise Peak, one of the most luxurious wooden junks, with personal butler
  • Dinner cruise on Perfume River with traditional music band
  • Private cooking class with market visit at Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An
  • Half-day private tour to Cu Chi by speedboat
  • Full-day tour in Mekong Delta with private deluxe junk boat Cai Be Princess
  • All entrance fees, boat fees and cyclo fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Welcome gift on arrival
  • Special surprise during the course of tour
  • Drinking water and cold towels available on the vehicles

excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately and is subject to change)
  • International airfare to / from Vietnam (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lunar New Year (TET) holiday
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • Visa application and visa stamp fees at Vietnamese embassies overseas and/ or upon arrival (Please note that a visa is compulsory for most nationalities.)
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
Tour code: WEBHANDHEGJ

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