Taste the world famous Vietnamese street food and cuisine of Vietnam. Thanks to regional variations in climate, Vietnam boasts a wide range of food from South to North. During your travels here, you will be introduced to the best dishes of each area while gaining an insight into each region’s history and culture.
Day 1: Hanoi arrival. Old Quarter walk and local street food tour.
Day 2: Hidden Hanoi cooking class and Hanoi city tour.
Day 3: Halong Bay cruise with private chartered cruiser.
Day 4: Continue cruise around Halong Bay. Back to Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi traditional villages and daily village food. Flight to Saigon and street food tour by Vespa.
Day 6: Mekong Delta culture and food exploration.
Day 7: Cu Chi tunnels, Hue food and Saigon city tour.
Day 8: Departure Saigon.
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International airport, you will meet your guide and driver and have a transfer to your hotel in Hanoi downtown.
In the late afternoon, together with your guide, you will take a stroll along the narrow streets inside the Old Quarter, which maintains much of the architecture of old Hanoi. Each of the streets was named after its particular trade. The Old Quarter’s inhabitants are famous for their sophistication in cuisine and there are countless street food stalls with a wide range of food here, each with its own particular style and taste. During your walk, you will explore this food along with the local markets and old houses. You will also enjoy a drink in an old style café before returning to the hotel. (-/-/D)
Overnight in Hanoi.
You may like to have a light breakfast at your hotel or have your guide take you to a local pho stall to enjoy pho bo – beef noodle soup – the favorite breakfast of Hanoians.You then visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum before going to the West Lake for your private cooking class. Accompanied by a member of the cooking class team, you will take a market tour to purchase the ingredients for the cooking class. There are various menus for you to choose from. The team will not only show you how to cook, but also give you more information about Vietnamese culture throughout the course. They will explain the importance of rice and its cultural significance as well as introduce different spices and how they are used. You will also get to know one of the most important ingredients in any Vietnamese kitchen – fish sauce.
At 14:00, after enjoying the food that you have cooked, you will meet your private guide and driver and continue visiting some other attractive sites of Hanoi.
You first visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, constructed in the 6th century and the oldest pagoda in Hanoi. You will then visit the Vietnam National Fine Art museum, showcasing Vietnam’s fine arts from every historical period. Not far from there is the Hoa Lo prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton hotel, as it was once used to house the American prisoners of war, including Senator John McCain. You will be free to have dinner at your leisure, but your guide will be happy to provide a list of good restaurants. (B/L/-)
Note: Sites can be changed according to your wishes.
Overnight in Hanoi
At 8:00, you will join a bus transfer to Halong. Upon arrival at the wharf just before noon, you will get on board for your overnight cruise and enjoy a welcome drink. Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s food heavens thanks to the wide range of sea food that is available.The boat will cruise among the seascape of Halong Bay while you dine on your seafood lunch. The cruising route is customized to offer you the best that Halong Bay has to offer. You can relax on the dock, have a swim in the emerald water and visit a cave.
After enjoying your dinner, you might like to try squid fishing or simply retire to your private cabin. (B/L/D)
Overnight in Halong Bay
After an early start you can try Tai Chi on the deck at sunrise. The boat then continues its cruise between thousands of beautiful limestone islets. Your breakfast and lunch will be served onboard before disembarking.
You will then have a transfer to Hanoi. The rest of the day is yours to spend at your leisure. (B/L/-)
Overnight in Hanoi
You will have an early breakfast and then your private tour guide will meet you at your hotel. You will then drive over the Red River and travel 15km to reach Bat Trang village, which is famous for making fine ceramics. You will be able to stroll in the small alleys of this old village to watch local people producing their fine products and visit some of the houses used as workshops and showrooms.
You will then drive to Dinh Bang, where the old culture and architecture of the Red River Delta are well preserved. The village is also famous for a special kind of cake: phu the, or husband and wife cake. The cake is a must-have in a countryside wedding as it reminds the new couple about the importance of harmony. You will visit a phu the bakery to taste the cake and learn more about it.
You will enjoy your lunch in a local house, sampling local dishes that have been prepared using ingredients bought earlier in the day from the village market. Your hosts are three generations of a family who live in an ancient house; they are always happy to share more about their way of life in this rural part of Hanoi.
From the village, you will have a transfer to Hanoi airport for the flight to Saigon (VN259; ETD: 15:30; ETA: 17:30). Upon arrival, you will meet your Saigon tour guide and transfer to your hotel.
Time: 18:30 – 22:30
Your guide will then take you to Café Zoom to enjoy a cocktail and appetizer (inclusive), before heading for a food adventure. 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 Chinatown and then head to District 4 through busy streets and alleys to see the local nightlife and enjoy street seafood and cold drinks in places where foreigners don’t normally venture. You will then pass through downtown District 1 to take in the sights on the way to try Banh Xeo, a specialty of Saigon, in District 3. Then the tour will continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop to have a taste of Vietnamese live music. After this,you will head to a lively bar to enjoy drinks and more live music. Guests ride pillion behind our drivers. (B/L/D)
– Your guide during the Vespa tour is from the Vespa team
– The Vespa tour includes:a guide/driver; street food (2 stops); bar and cafés (3 stops); at least one drink at each stop.
Overnight in Saigon
At 8:00 you will leave Saigon and drive to Ben Tre province. The mighty Mekong River enters Vietnam and splits into two main branches, which later separate into nine smaller branches. All the branches are connected to each other with a network of thousands of small waterways and Ben Tre is located right in the heart of it. It is famous for its coconut production and quiet, peaceful backwaters.
Another short ride by xeloi – a local motorized vehicle suitable for small village paths – a short walk will bring you to the wharf where you board a sampan and start cruising through small canals with beautiful tropical scenery while enjoying a drink and tropical fruits. The cruise will bring you into the Mekong Delta’s most peaceful area, where you will visit a brick factory in which locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand. After thisis a visit to a fruit orchard which belongs to a fishing family and then it’s on to a rice noodle factory which produces hutieu noodles, one of most popular breakfast dishes in the region.
Leaving the boat behind you will cycle on tranquil village roads through green gardens to visit a sampan boat workshop and then a rice paper workshop.
Your lunch of local food specialties will be served at a riverside restaurant. Eating the fresh river fish cooked in the area’s special style will probably be one of your memorial experiences.
You then take a walk to a nearby sticky rice household, where you can feed their stock of catfish and taste some fruit in their fruit garden. The sampan will be waiting for you at the pier nearby to take you back to Ben Tre city for the drive back to Saigon.
Dinner is at your leisure, but your guide can help you choose a good restaurant. (B/L/-)
Overnight in Saigon
Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel for a drive to Cu Chi. The Cu Chi Tunnels are located approximately 70 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City in Cu Chi district. One of the veterans who served during the war will be waiting for you upon your arrival. He will accompany you during your visit to the tunnels to share his rich, personal knowledge of the tunnels and the war in general. You will see a documentary film about guerilla war in the Cu Chi district, then take a walk around the tunnel area to see bomb craters, underground bunkers and deadly traps. You can also try and enter the tunnels to see how the soldiers lived and fought.
Back in Saigon you will enjoy lunch at a nice restaurant. Due to the drastic differences in climate and lifestyles throughout the three main regions of Vietnam – North, Central and South – the foods vary greatly. Up until this part of the tour, you will have been enjoying the food of the North and South of Vietnam, so lunch will provide a taste of Hue food, typical of Central Vietnam.
After lunch, you will visit some attractive sites of Saigon, including the Re-Unification Palace, the former Presidential Palace, the Central Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Another destination is the War Remains Museum, where you can have a closer look at the Vietnam War.As per your wishes, the tour caneither finish at your hotel or at Ben Thanh market, the biggest market in Vietnam, where you can experience more Vietnamese cuisine on your own before departing Vietnam the next day. (B/L/-)
Overnight in Saigon
Day 8 can be spent at your leisure until your transfer to Saigon airport for the onward flight. (B/-/-)
Note: The price is per person and based on a group of 4 persons.
Local English speaking guide(s)
All indicated accommodation (Twin shared)
All land transfer as indication
Boat cruises in Halong Bay
All indicated meals (B as breakfast, L as lunch, D as dinner)
All entrance fees to indicated sites
Flight ticket Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City
Personal pocket money
Visa to Vietnam
All other services not mentioned above