Day 1: Saigon arrival. Our representative/tour guide will meet and greet you at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City, which is formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a sprawling metropolis that is home to over 5 million people and a fast-paced city full of contrasts as street vendors selling fruit and vegetables can be seen next to glitzy western-style bars and boutiques. Free at leisure for the rest of day. Overnight at hotel in Saigon.
Day 2: Saigon. Aimed at the enthusiastic non-professional, this course is an initiation into the Art of Vietnamese Cuisine. It provides the opportunity not only to taste Vietnamese delicious dishes, but also, by actually cooking them under the friendly guidance of our professional chef, to learn how to reproduce them after returning home.
Chefs, MC and staff in Vietnamese traditional costumes will be welcoming guests at the door of our lovely colonial style villa. Whilst guests take place at their personal cooking station and prepare their dishes, have fun cooking them, our MC will tell tales, stories and anecdotes to explain how the Cuisine and the Culinary Art of Vietnam have developed throughout the years.
The MC will also detail the roots of the Cuisine prevailing in each of the three main regions of Vietnam, explain the set up of an original Vietnamese kitchen, the traditions the Etiquette as well as the historical influences on Vietnamese food. In the afternoon, you will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the best examples of classic French colonial architecture and where every single stone used to build it has amazingly travelled from France!
You will also have the chance to see the countries largest Post Office, another fine example of French Colonial architecture. Next. you will visit Hau Temple devoted to the Goddess of Mothers and Newborn Babies, the most attractive feature is the roof packed with figurines. The tour concludes with a visit to the vibrant atmosphere of Ben Thanh Market. Here you can find a wide selection of goods ranging from fake Nike trainers to beautiful silk Ao Dais. Back to the hotel. Dinner at Lemon Grass restaurant in the city. Overnight in Saigon. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Saigon - Mekong Delta. Leave your hotel at 7.30 for a 3-hour drive to Cai Be with stop en route at Trung Luong Bonsai garden for a tea break. Upon arrival, board Cai Be Princess or Mekong Queen. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of coconut palms, sugar-cane groves and fruit orchards from the vessel as you head to the Cai Be floating market.
Here you can cruise through the colorful barges full of fruits and vegetables and then proceed to local home factories such as rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies. The trip continues along the Mekong canals to Dong Hoa Hiep Island located between Vinh Long and Cai Be. Along the way you will find the local people engaged in their daily tasks and see brightly colored Khmer pagodas. Stops on the way can be made upon request for particular visits or photos making.
These evergreen islands among the Mekong River still remain unknown to many people. Lunch will await you at Le Longanier, a superb Indochinese villa located in a lush tropical garden by the river, surrounded by fruit orchards. After a short walk along a beautiful canal, the excursion will end at approx. 3.30 pm at Ba Bon Bridge where your own private transportation vehicle will await you to transfer you back to Saigon City. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Saigon - Danang - Hoi An. At Leisure and then you will be taken to the airport to take 1 hour flight to Danang City. Pick up upon arrival and transfer to Hoi An. Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Enjoy a walking tour through the Old Quarters to see the town's landmarks of Japanese Covered Bridge, ancient Assembly Hall, Phuc Kien Temple and then we take a river trip and you will enjoy the scenery along the Thu Bon River and the general view of Hoi An Ancient Town. Hoi An is also famous for its large number of tailor shops, so if you want to have a new wardrobe made up, this is the time to do it. Dinner at Fullmoon restaurant in Hoi An. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Hoi An Cooking Tour. We start the day (8:45 am) with a drink at Hai Scout Cafe as our meeting point. Visit Hoi An's colorful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later. We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy.
On arrival, we have a chance to explore the cooking school's herb and vegetable garden, before learning about some of Hoi An's and Vietnam's well-known dishes. The cooking class is an interesting and fun way to learn about the local cuisine - the class runs for about an hour and 15 minutes, and includes demonstrations from the school's chefs as well as the chance for us to help prepare some dishes. Included in the demonstration is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). Free at leisure by your own to explore the ancient town of Hoi An or shopping at tailor shops. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Hoi An - Hanoi. At leisure and we will transfer you to the airport in Danang city for flight to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is an elegant city located on the banks of the Red River. You will be transferred to your hotel in the city center to refresh. Tonight, we will experience a cuisine delights at Cha Ca La Vong restaurant or simply grilled fish. is the famous restaurant to many Hanoians as well as visitors from all over the world. Ambiance atmosphere, simple meals but it was truly experience. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi City. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Hanoi Cooking Tour. Morning cooking class: Today’s class begins with a walk, accompanied by the Chef to the local market, where participants get a chance to learn all about Vietnamese ingredients. After that, everyone rolls up their sleeves in the kitchen to prepare a proper Vietnamese meal. After the class lunch will be served to sample all the different dishes prepared during the class. This afternoon you will discover Hanoi to visit essential sites with an English speaking guide.
Part of your tour will include sightseeing by cyclo, by which you’ll discover the Old Quarter made up of the so called "36 streets," most of which are named after the crafts or merchandise traditionally sold there. Dinner tonight at another of Hanoi’s fine restaurants. Afterwards enjoy a performance of a traditional water puppet show. This fantastic art form originated in northern Vietnam and is best seen in Hanoi. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi City. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi. Morning depart for Halong Bay, we go through the scenic countryside. The wondrous Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. Heading out of the town we embark on a boat for an exploration of the legendary Halong Bay. This exciting five hour cruise will provide us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karsts formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. Back to Hanoi and dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Hanoi departure. Free at leisure until transferring to the airport to take departure flight for next destination. Includes: (B).
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