Taste of Vietnam

  • Destination: Vietnam
  • Duration: 11 days
  • Price: $1715

Join Vietnamese cooking classes in Hanoi, Hoian & Ho Chi Minh City; glide across Halong Bay, a World Heritage Site, on a junk boat; relax on the romantic beaches of Nhatrang; stop at the eternal Dalat City; learn about Vietnam history by visiting Cu Chi Tunnels and experience the daily life of locals in Hoian on this 11-day journey that takes you from North to South. It lets you dine your way, indulging all your senses in delicious tastes and tantalizing aromas, while travelling in comfort and style.

Day 1

Hanoi Arrival

Welcome to Hanoi: Vietnam’s bustling colonial capital. Your tour guide and a driver will meet you outside the baggage claim of Noi Bai International Airport and take you to your hotel in the city center. After check-in and refreshment embark on one hour cyclo tour of Hanoi’s atmospheric Old Quarter, a bustling area of narrow streets home to literally thousands of small businesses, shopkeepers and street vendors, selling everything from bananas to books. Savor table delicacies for dinner at one of the finest restaurants in town.  Meals: Dinner.

Accommodation: Mercure Hanoi La Gare Hotel  or similar, Grand Plaza Hanoi Hotel or similar

Day 2

Hanoi Cooking Class & City Tour

This morning, your tour guide will take you to the cooking class. Discover the local market and learn about ingredients, flavors and see how the local prepare for meals. Next is a short talk on the art of Hanoian gastronomy, vegetables, herbs & spices & learn how to prepare & use them. The Chef will share to you her pride of Vietnamese cuisines and the secrets how to make it good. Enjoy the local food in Hanoi style.
In the afternoon take a city tour of Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas, Hanoi is an eclectic mix that offers something for everyone. Your city tour takes you to Hanoi’s key sites: the Temple of Literature, West Lake (including Tran Quoc Pagoda & Quan Thanh Temple) & Hoa Loa Prison (formerly known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam war).
Evening’s highlight is Water Puppet Performance – a unique Vietnamese art form hailing from Southeast Asia’s wet-rice culture. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Accommodation: Mercure Hanoi La Gare Hotel  or similar, Grand Plaza Hanoi Hotel or similar

Day 3

Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, before setting out on a 3 to 4 hour drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Halong Bay.
* The following Halong Bay itinerary is a sample for our standard service on a 3 star junk/ cruise. Different programs are available through our luxury cruise itineraries (Please contact us for more details) *
spend 24 hours on a traditional Junk Cruise in the amazing bay: a natural wonderland composed of jutting limestone islands and sparkling turquoise waters. . Along the way visit one of the bay’s 3 largest caves (Thien Cung, Dau Go or Sung Sot). Stop at an island cove with a sheltered white sanded beach and take a dip in the warm waters of the Gulf of Tonkin (if the weather will be suitable). Pass the night on your junk, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of calm waters. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Accommodation: On Cruise

Day 4

Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Danang – Hoian

Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax watching the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, before setting out to explore the nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk for brunch then take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of Bai Tu Long Bay as you navigate back to Halong City, where your driver will meet you at the dock and take you to Noi Bai Airport to catch your short flight to Danang. Your tour guide and driver will transfer you  to hotel in Hoian, a destination with two faces: the charming, old-world trading port of narrow streets and traditional houses, and the beach with its luxurious resorts and long stretch of clean white sand. Meals: Lunch.

Accommodation: Swiss-Belhotel Golden Sand Resort & Spa or similar, Hoian Beach Resort or similar

Day 5

Hoian Cooking Class – Walking Tour

Today enjoy a half day cooking class in Hoian. Meet at the Hai Scout Cafe in Hoian’s Old Town. From there you will head to Hoian’s colorful market. Explore the market and interact with local vendors to purchase some fresh ingredients for today’s cooking class.
In the afternoon, take a walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the ancient town centre, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Hall, the 200-year old Tam Ky ancestral house and the famous Japanese Bridge.  Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Accommodation: Swiss-Belhotel Golden Sand Resort & Spa or similar, Hoian Beach Resort or similar

Day 6

Hoian – Danang – Fly to Nhatrang

After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to Danang Airport for a southwards flight to the beach city of Nhatrang. Upon arrival at Cam Ranh Airport, meet your tour guide and a driver, then visit the ancient Po Nagar Cham Tower, Long Son Pagoda and Dam Market on the way to your hotel. Rest of the day, spend your free time on the beach.  Meals: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Resort or similar , Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang Hotel or similar

Day 7

Nhatrang – Free at leisure

With its turquoise sea, golden stretches of sand and idyllic islands, Nhatrang is tempting to spend your days just relaxing on the beach.  Meals: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Resort or similar , Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang Hotel or similar

Day 8

Nhatrang – Dalat

This morning, you will drive up-hills to Dalat with a stopover of rural Nhatrang on your way out for a peek of what countryside living in Vietnam is all about. You will reach the mountain town of Dalat, known as the “City of Eternal Spring”, after four hours on the road. An afternoon of sightseeing takes in the art deco former summer residence of Bao Dai – the last Emperor of Vietnam, the old Dalat Railways Station, the Central Market and famous XQ embroidery workshop. There will be the chance for a short walk around the Lake to get a feel for this delightful city in the evening. Meals: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Hotel in Dalat

Day 9

Dalat – Fly to Saigon

Have breakfast at the hotel then leave Dalat for Elephant Falls – one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Vietnam Central Highlands. En route, visit a coffee plantation, vegetable farms, a cricket farm, a rice wine processing plant and a silk-worm factory. Stop at a hill tribe village of the K’Ho ethnic minority group, there, you will learn more about the important Gong culture (The Space of Gong Culture in the Central Highlands of Vietnam) which has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage. You can wander around the village and experience local lifestyles.
Return to the city for lunch. Transfer to Lien Khuong Airport and take your flight to Saigon. On arrival, your driver will pick you and transfer you to your hotel in the centre of the City.  Meals: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

Day 10

Saigon Cooking Class & Saigon City Tour

Enjoy a morning cooking class at the Vietnam Cookery Center. Your hands-on cooking course is conducted by a professional chef.
In the afternoon you will visit such sites as the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Post Office and Ben Thanh Market. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.  Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

Day 11

Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels  – Departure.

Today you travel outside of Saigon to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Cu Chi Tunnels is an underground labyrinth of passageways, used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War (or “American War” as it’s referred to here) as protection against American air raids. Tour ends at Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Safe journey home.

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Inclusions
Accommodations
Breakfast & meals per mentioned in the itinerary
Transportation by private car with AC
English or French-speaking guides
All entrance fees, performances, boat trips & excursions