Vietnam: Culture and Cuisine

10 Days from $2,334 per person

PRIVATE TOUR - NOT A JOIN-IN TOUR



This 10 day tour covers the highlights of Vietnam, with a focus on the fabulous food for which the country is justly famous. Start in the capital Hanoi, with its lakes and tree-lined boulevards and home to such sights as Ho Chi Minh´s Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature. Taste the best examples of local culinary delicacies including Bun Cha and Che. The former imperial cities of Hue and Hoi An make perfect locations for exploring the atmospheric narrow lanes. In the village of Tra Que, learn from local farmers about the food and herbs they grow before cooking some local treats yourself. Dine at the home of Pham Ba Vinh, a descendant of Vietnamese royalty, and be regaled by stories of the past as the sun sets. Finish in Saigon and experience this energetic city reborn after the war, while learning more about the fighting from the Vietnamese perspective. A food tour of the city on the back of a motorbike is the authentic way to fully appreciate the city. End your journey with a cruise through the Mekong River Delta, witnessing the timeless farming of rice and vegetables for which this region is famous.

ITINERARY DETAILS

day 1Arrive in Hanoi, where you will be met by your expert guide and taken to your hotel. This afternoon enjoy your first taste of the city with a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake – the physical and symbolic heart of the city.

day 2Take in the highlights of the city, including the atmospheric streets of the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature. In the evening take your seat for the Water Puppet Show at Thang Long Theatre and enjoy the unique folk art that has been practiced and perfected for over 1000 years. (B)

day 3The day begins with a "walking and eating" tour in Hanoi, taking in some of the best local specialties including Bun Cha and Che. In the afternoon, fly to Da Nang, where your guide and driver will meet you for the short drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An. (B, L)

day 4Explore the narrow lanes of UNESCO World Heritage listed Hoi An, a well-preserved former trading port, and learn more about its most famous buildings including the Japanese Covered Bridge, Assembly Hall of the Chinese and Tan Ky's House. (B)

day 5Cycle to the village of Tra Que to learn about the food and herbs that are so important to Vietnamese life. Reward your morning endeavors with a relaxing herbal foot massage before taking a cooking class with a local family, producing delicious delicacies from the local produce. In the afternoon, drive to Hue, going over the stunning Hai Van Mountain Pass and past Lan Co Bay. End the day with a truly special dinner at Tha Om. At the home of Pham Ba Vinh, of royal heritage, be regaled with stories of the former Vietnamese royal family in the atmospheric replica of a 19th century Hue residence. Enjoy an exceptional dinner in the beautiful gardens as the sun sets over the lotus ponds. (B,L,D)

day 6This morning, enter the ancient Forbidden City, the former capital of the Tay Son Dynasty. Located on the north bank of the Huong (Perfume) River, the huge complex offers a spectacular view into the lives of Vietnam's emperors. This focus is continued with a visit to the tomb of Minh Mang. In the afternoon, try your hand at enamel painting with a visit to local artist Do Huu Triet, and create your own unique piece of art. (B)

day 7After breakfast, fly to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the bustling and energetic capital of the South, and Vietnam's largest city. Get a sense of life during the Vietnam War for the local Vietnamese with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where the 250 km of hand-built tunnels provided refuge for villagers and Viet Cong. (B)

day 8Start the day with a tour of Old Saigon's streets and its iconic buildings, including the Opera House, Central Post Office and Thien Hau Pagoda. Visit sites from wartime Saigon, starting at the Reunification Palace, the site of the symbolic ending of the war in 1975, before visiting the emotive War Remnants Museum which offers a perspective on the war through Vietnamese eyes. This evening, take a street food tour on the back of a motorbike, the only authentic way to travel in downtown Saigon. See the "real Saigon" by visiting Districts 1, 3, 5 and 10, guided by a local University student, tasting the best (and the strangest) of street foods and local specialties. (B, D)

day 9Spend the day exploring the Mekong Delta by speedboat. The region is verdant and rich and rightly known as the Rice Basket of Vietnam. During the day, visit markets, Cao Dai temple and a local family. Lunch is served at an atmospheric pagoda, where your chef will prepare dishes using the abundant local produce. (B, L)

day 10Visit local markets for any last minute gifts or one last meal, before your transfer for your outbound flight. (B)






TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hanoi’s Old Quarter
  • Walking Street Food Tour
  • Old Town Hoi An
  • Bicycle Tour to Local Village for Cooking Class
  • The Forbidden City of Hue
  • Dinner with Descendent of Former Royal Family
  • Evening Street food tour by motorbike in Saigon
  • Tour wartime Saigon, including War Remnants Museum
  • Boat ride through the Mekong Delta

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

HOTELS

Hanoi: La Siesta

Hoi An: Hoi An Historic Hotel

Hue: Saigon Morin

Saigon: Liberty Central Saigon Riverside



Low Season: $2,334 per person
01 Apr 2016 - 30 Sep 2016

High Season: $2,376 per person
01 Oct 2016 - 31 Mar 2017

Peak Season surcharges may apply

Prices are in US dollars and are based on 2 people sharing a room

HOTELS

Hanoi: Sofitel Legend Metropole

Hoi An: Victoria Beach Resort

Hue: La Residence Hue

Saigon: Park Hyatt



Low Season: $3,313 per person
01 Apr 2016 - 30 Sep 2016

High Season: $3,489 per person
01 Oct 2016 - 31 Mar 2017

Peak Season surcharges may apply

Prices are in US dollars and are based on 2 people sharing a room

Hotel message