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VIETNAM CULINARY 10 DAYS

Enjoy our 10 days tour, you will be seduced by this most beguiling country with its long fascinating history, its hauntingly beautiful lakes in the north, its frangipani-scented temples in the centre, its lush rice fields in the south; its resilient people and its exceptional regional foods. 

We will visit Hanoi, not only the seat of power but also the centre for the arts, culture, music and poetry. The cooking is considered by many as more pure and pho, practically the national dish, emanates from here. From Hanoi, we travel to the historic UNESCO-listed Hoi An, not far from the former imperial capital of Hue, to experience the gutsy as well as the elegance and the refined cooking of the centre. Your final destination is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), the vibrant and cosmopolitan hub of Vietnam. The cooking here is robust and free-wheeling southerners are more open to culinary influences.

Quick Reference Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Hanoi arrival
  • Day 2 - Hanoi city
  • Day 3 - Hanoi city
  • Day 4 - Hanoi - Danang, Hoian.
  • Day 5 - Hoian ancient town - Cooking class
  • Day 6 - Hoian - My Son holy land
  • Day 7 - Hoian - Danang - Fly to Ho Chi Minh city
  • Day 8 - Saigon city
  • Day 9 - Saigon - Mekong Delta
  • Day 10 - Saigon departure
View full itinerary

Trip Highlight

Visits to bustling markets in Hanoi, enjoy the vibrant street-food culture (Pho, Bun Cha, Cha Ca La Vong...).

Enjoy a walking tour of the Hanoi Old Quarter and learn to cook Northern Vietnamese cooking.

Visit My Son, Vietnam’s most important Cham site.

Enjoy a cooking class on Central Vietnamese cuisine with Ms Vy at her restaurant, Hoian Morning Glory. 

Ejoy dine at one of the town’s hip restaurants, Mango rooms and Thi Nhan, a super-casual place made famous by Anthony Bourdain.

Dinner at restaurant Tib, one of Saigon’s top Vietnamese restaurants based on Imperial Hue cooking.

Explore Cho Lon. Saigon’s Chinatown, walk to the enormous Binh Tay Wholesale Market.

Boat to cruise the Mekong river to visit to the unique local market.

     

Destinations

  • Hanoi arrival

    Day 1: Hanoi arrival

    You are welcomed by our guide at Noi Bai international airport and transferred to your hotel -  the luxurious French-colonial style sofitel Metropole for check in.

    Welcome dinner at Bobby Chinn restaurant. Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.


    Meals:  D
  • Hanoi city

    Day 2: Hanoi city

    Morning bowl of "Pho Bo - beef noodle soup" at Bat Dan, a local traditional restaurant. Soon after, we visit Lo Banh pho Ba Ngoan noodle factory. Owned by Mrs Ngoan since 1954, noodles made here use no additives and she sells noodles to all the famous pho shops in town. Following the visit, we set out for a guided morning walking tour of the Old Quarter

    We enjoy Bun Cha for lunch, another Hanoi specialty with grilled meat (cha), served with rice noodle (bun), some pickle and fish sauce. This is a dish rarely encountered in south Vietnam. Not long after, we visit the One-Pillared Pagoda, built in 1049 in the shape of a lotus flower. We then visit Temple of Literature, a famous historical and cultural relic consisting of the Temple of Literature and Vietnam’s first university founded in 1076.

    Tonight we dine at Indochine restaurant on fine Vietnamese cuisine. Located in a French villa, this is one of the hottest restaurants in town serving both contemporary and traditional Vietnamese cooking. Expect perhaps stir-fried duck with tamarind sauce, or lacquered pork with honey or beef with peppers.

    Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.


    Meals:  B,L,D
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Hanoi city

    Day 3: Hanoi city

    Early morning, we walk to Hoan Kiem Lake to enjoy a parade of tai chi practitioners and ballroom dancers. After breakfast, we meet with our Vietnamese chefs Mrs Hai who will take us on a visit to the bustling 1912 market to look at some of the ingredients that go into Vietnamese cooking including many fresh herbs such as hot mint, saw-leaf coriander and perilla – and understand why they are significant in Vietnamese cooking. After our visit, we return to the hotel’s kitchen and learn to cook Northern Vietnamese cooking. Madam Hai, celebrated chef, will demonstrate how to cook the dishes, then it’s your turn to have a go!.

    Lunch follows at the hotel’s signature Vietnamese Spices Garden restaurant. Considered as one of the best in the city, the restaurant is known for its traditional offerings like banh cuon, fresh steamed rice rolls filled with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms and chicken grilled with lemon leaves.

    Afternoon we attend the Water Puppet show, a traditional and unique Vietnamese Art. This highly entertaining form of theatre uses the water surface as a stage. Standing waist-deep in the water, the master puppeteers are hidden behind a bamboo screen. The atmosphere is truly enchanting. Rest of the evening at leisure. This is an opportunity to try some of the capital’s French restaurants. The hotel’s Le Beaulieu and Green Tangerine Restaurant are worth considering.

    Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.


    Meals:  B,L
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Hanoi - Danang, Hoian.

    Day 4: Hanoi - Danang, Hoian.

    After breakfast, we leave for the airport to fly to Danang in the Central Coast. Upon our arrival, we check in Anantara Hoi An.

    We will visit the Marble Mountains and the Museum of Cham Sculpture on the way to Hoi an town,

    Dinner at the atmospheric Brothers Cafe. Famous for its super fresh seafood, it features dishes like salt and pepper crispy anchovies and grilled tuna as prawns cooked in tamarind sauce or try Vietnam’s most famous dish, the spring roll (cha gio, cha nem or nem). These are various combinations of minced pork, shrimp or crab, rice vermicelli, onions, bean sprouts rolled in rice-paper wrappers. If available, try the region’s famous cao lau, flat noodles mixed with crispy croutons, herbs and sliced pork.


    Meals:  B,L
  • Hoian ancient town - Cooking class

    Day 5: Hoian ancient town - Cooking class

    In the morning, we drive the short distance to the village of Tra Que, named after a local herb, to visit the organic farms where various greens are cultivated for Vietnamese cooking and traditional medicine. Using sea weed harvested from the local lake, the greens are known throughout the country. After this, we visit a Vietnamese baker to learn how banh mi, the famed baguette made with wheat and rice flour, is made. We then attend a cooking class on Central Vietnamese cuisine with Ms Vy at her restaurant, Morning Glory.

    In the afternoon, we stroll through charming town of Hoi An on a guided walking tour to Phung Hung House, a 3-story shop house built in 1780; the Quan Cong Temple founded in 1653, the beautiful Japanese Covered Bridge, the Hoi an Museum History and Culture, and the colourful and lively local market. This evening, we dine at one of the town’s hip restaurants, Mango rooms, located on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Operated by flamboyant American- trained Chef Duc, he fuses traditional Vietnamese with Western sensibilities. Expect perhaps salsa with corn chips, chicken with lemongrass or seared tuna in rice paper.


    Meals:  B,L,D
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Hoian - My Son holy land

    Day 6: Hoian - My Son holy land

    After breakfast, we will visit My Son, Vietnam’s most important Cham site. Cruise on Thu Bon river to visit some local villages. 

    Enjoy the dinner at Thi Nhan, a super-casual place made famous by Anthony Bourdain. Here, house specialties include the delectable crab cooked in tamarind, grilled prawns with lemongrass and super fresh clams. 

    Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Hoian.


    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Hoian - Danang - Fly to Ho Chi Minh city

    Day 7: Hoian - Danang - Fly to Ho Chi Minh city

    Morning at leisure. Check out of hotel and transfer to Danang airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), the commercial and vibrant heart of Vietnam. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to the deluxe Park Hyatt for 3 nights. Located in the middle of District I and walking distance to major galleries and museums, this is the perfect location to orientate yourself in this wonderfully crazy, bustling city. Adding to this youthful chaos is some 4 million motorcycles, so crossing the road is an adrenalin rush of excitement, and pure faith! Saigon is also the street food centre of the country.

    It is omnipresent and lunch is at Banh Canh Trang Bong for authentic south Vietnamese noodle soup and we sample some of the best baguettes with local fillings like grilled pork with herbs and pickled daikon.

    Dinner at restaurant Tib, one of Saigon’s top Vietnamese restaurants based on Imperial Hue cooking on perhaps an enchanting chicken with banana flower salad or sensational prawns rolls wrapped in fresh mustard leaves. Banh beo, tiny steamed rice cakes sprinkled with minced prawns. 


    Meals:  B,L,D
  • Saigon city

    Day 8: Saigon city

    A morning departure for Cho Lon - Saigon’s Chinatown. A thriving commercial centre, it’s a fascinating maze of pagodas, restaurants, temples, jewelry and medicine shops spread over several streets. From here, we walk to the enormous Binh Tay Wholesale Market, with its beehive of stores selling varieties of rice, sugars, dried bamboo shoots and the much-sort after luxurious flower’ mushroom, the shiitake mushroom of the cognoscenti. Look out also for fresh culinary and pharmaceutical herbs, pale but delicious strawberries and artichokes from Dalat, and cassia bark almost a meter long. After this, we hop on a cyclo from Binh Tay Market to the ornate Thien Hau Temple, dedicated to the goddess of the sea, the guardian of travelers and sea farers.

    Lunch at Quan an Ngon restaurant on the street foods of Vietnam. A simple no-frills eatery with complete with faux colonial trimmings, it has a cult following for both tourists and locals for its authentic food. Cooked by street food specialists, the green papaya salad is fantastic and so is the grilled calamari. Even the che – desserts such as sticky rice balls awash with coconut milk, are lovely. After lunch, we continue our tour of the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral and the French colonial general Post office, right next to the Cathedral. Built by Gustave Eiffel of the Tower fame, its beautiful interior reminds one of a European railway station. Keep an eye out for the rococo Hotel de Ville and other French-built residential villas. Rest of the day free to shop on Dong Khoi street or at one of city’s shopping malls for last minute purchases like lacquer ware, silks and silver-tipped chopsticks.

    Early dinner at Com Nieu, a family restaurant that’s much-loved by locals in the know. It serves excellent mussel soup, caramel fish and delicious rice cooked in a claypot with nuggets of pork. The latter is smashed- pure delicious drama!

    After dinner, those who love the night life may like to check out the city’s chic bar Sky Bar. 


    Meals:  B,L,D
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Saigon - Mekong Delta

    Day 9: Saigon - Mekong Delta

    This morning we leave for the town of My Tho in the Mekong Delta. Lusciously green and pancake flat, this heavily populated region is known as Vietnam’s southern ‘breadbasket’. Along the way, we pass verdant rice fields, coconut plantations, fertile orchards and tiny villages – some displaying racks of baguettes and sun-dried calamari. Look out also for the local rice wine that is reputed to pack a hefty punch!

    Upon arriving My Tho, we travel by boat to cruise the Mekong river to visit to the unique local market – note: some vendors sell from the boats. After this, we visit a family known for their hand-made coconut sweet and enjoy refreshments in the shade of orchards. From here, we head for the neighbourhood Trung Luong Restaurant to sample some Mekong specialties including the local delicacy, grilled elephant-eared fish (ca tai tuong, a local delicacy found only in the south) and a delicious savory made with glutinous rice flour.

    We return to Saigon. Enjoy our farewell dinner at one of the city’s gems, Square One restaurant. Glamorous and contemporary, expect a feast of crisp mini pancakes, south Vietnamese curry, soft shell crab, pork spring roll with fresh mustard leaf and a stunning dessert to finish.

    Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Saigon.


    Meals:  B,L,D
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Saigon departure

    Day 10: Saigon departure

    Breakfast at hotel. Free your time for relax or shopping at the famous Ben Thanh market - the symbol of Saigon city then we transfer to Tan Son Nhat international airport for departure flight.


    Meals:  B
    Hotel:
      As Above
Vietnam Travel Land

Suite 503 Luxury Building, 59 Vo Chi Cong Str, Cau Giay Dist, Hanoi Capital, Vietnam.

Tel: 84 (0) 24 3728 1570 * Fax: 84 (0) 24 3728 1569

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Website: https://www.vietnamtraveland.com/

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