Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City. Your gourmet experience begins in Ho Chi Minh City. Depending on your flight arrival time an optional city tour or visit to the historic Cu Chi Tunnels can be arranged.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City. Today, you will begin your culinary discovery with a fun cooking class in Saigon. Enjoy being taught how to prepare some traditional Vietnamese dishes at the Mai Home Cooking Centre. The experience begins with a fascinating visit to the market, where you are sure to marvel at the foodstuffs on display. Here the expert chefs will introduce you to some of the ingredients and ways of substituting them those more commonly found in western countries.
Then, it is back to the cooking centre for a fun ‘hands on’ cooking lesson. Here, you will be taught how to prepare a variety of dishes. After the class, it is time to enjoy your delicious creations. At the completion of the experience you will be presented with a handbook that contains all the recipes you have experimented with. On your return home you will be able to impress your friends with some authentic Vietnamese dishes.
Day 3: Mekong Delta – Le Jarai Cruise. From cosmopolitan Saigon it is time to head to the Mekong Delta. Enjoy a relaxing day’s Mekong cruise on the converted rice barge Le Jarai and local boat. Sail through the broad waterways and small creeks of the Mekong River, enjoy a sumptuous three course lunch and see traditional rural life including a local village, communal temple and traditional matt weaving at a local farmer’s house. This trip is the ideal way to spend the day in the delta.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City – Danang - Hoi An. From Saigon, fly to Danang on the Central Coast and drive to the quaint fishing village of Hoi An. Go on a walking tour of this beautiful town, be inspired by its fascinating architecture, dine in its many gourmet restaurants and get some shopping therapy at one of the many tailor shops.
Day 5: Hoi An. This morning take a tour of the markets before cruising downriver to a villa set in lush tropical surroundings, where you will enjoy a fun cooking class. Relax with a glass of wine as you savour your wonderful creations. Spend the afternoon lazing on the beach or exploring the town.
Hoi An Cooking Class. Visit Hoi An’s colourful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. You will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about all the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later. We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise along the Thu Bon 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, you explore the cooking school’s herb garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s famous dishes.
The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – the Red Bridge chefs first demonstrate each dish before you prepare the same dish yourself. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving, which is an art in itself. After the lesson, sit down and enjoy your creations. Bring your swimsuit and after the cooking tour has finished relax and enjoy free use of the school’s 20 metre swimming pool.
Day 6: Hoi An – Hue. Make the scenic journey to Hue and spend the afternoon on a guided tour of this former Imperial city. Explore the Citadel and catch a boat down the Perfume River to visit ancient temples & pagodas. This evening you will have the opportunity to chat with one of the city’s chefs who will explain the history of Hue’s cuisine and traditions. This engaging experience is followed by a fabulous authentic Hue dinner fit for an emperor.
Day 7: Hue – Hanoi. From Hue fly to Hanoi and set out on a 'street eats and market tour' with a local chef and learn all about the unique delicacies of North Vietnam. In the evening enjoy dinner at one of the oldest restaurants in Hanoi which specializes in the famous fish dish, ‘Cha Ca’.
Day 8: Hanoi. The next day join our favorite cooking school in Hanoi and enjoy the delicious lunch you have prepared. In the evening dine at a well known Hanoi restaurant, which acts as a hospitality training institute for underprivileged street kids. Offering a mix of Vietnamese and Western fusion dishes, you will be truly impressed by the gourmet cuisine at the restaurant and the enthusiastic service of the staff.
Hanoi Cooking Class: You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Hanoi Cooking Centre. On arrival, sit back and relax with a welcome drink. Begin your culinary experience with a trip to Chau Long Market and enjoy a guided tour with the chef. On your return to the Hanoi Cooking Centre you will begin the cooking class. On completion of the class, you will be able to feast on your tasty creations. Following the meal, you will have the opportunity to chat with the chef over a drink. Before departing the Hanoi Cooking Centre, you will be provided with printed recipes so that you can impress your friends at home with some authentic Vietnamese dishes.
Day 9: Hanoi Departure. The day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
Prices vary depending on level of accommodation, group size and dates of travel. Contact us to customize a vacation itinerary and price to meet your needs and budget.
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