Duration: 12 Days/ 11 Nights
Tour Type: Culinary, Culture, History, Heritage
Tour Category: Vietnam Culinary Tours
Starts/ Ends: Hanoi/ Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Tour Route: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Danang – Hue- Hoi An – Saigon – Mekong Delta
Dates: No fixed departure dates. You may go whenever you wish
Activity Level: Regular itinerary, moderate walking
Tour Customizable: Absolutely! (Tell us your specific requirements in the inquiry form)
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay
Day 4: Hanoi Cooking Class – Fly to Danang transfer to Hue
Day 5: Hue – City Tour & Boat Trip
Day 6: Hue Cooking class – Transfer to Hoi An
Day 7: Hoi An Ancient Town
Day 8: Hoi An Cooking Class – Fly to Saigon
Day 9: Saigon City Tour & Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 10: Saigon – Mekong Delta
Day 11: Saigon Food Tour
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City Departure
Special Experiences of 12-day Vietnam Tour
- Cyclo tour in Hanoi
- Cooking different Vietnam dishes in the North, Central, and South
- Visiting most of the highlights of Vietnam like Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Cu Chi tunnel, Mekong Delta
- Boat trip in Halong Bay, Hue, Mekong Delta
- Royal dinner in Hue
3-Day North Vietnam Tour
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D)
Welcome upon arrival at Hanoi airport by Viet Vision Travel’s tour guide then transfer to hotel. It takes us around 1-hour driving before check-in in the hotel. Relax for the rest of the day until the welcome dinner in the evening at Tonkin Restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
Start our one-day Hanoi city tour from the lobby of the hotel. Firstly visit Ho Chi Minh Complex, where we will spend a couple of hours to explore Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh museum and One-pillar pagoda. Keep going to see the Temple of Literature, originally built as a temple to Confucius and Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. The temple highlights the importance that Vietnamese society placed then and now on education. Lunch will be at a fine local restaurant in Hanoi.
In the afternoon, experience one of the most interesting museums in Vietnam; Museum of Ethnology, which is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. Following that, we will wander around the city by car to see the real-life of Hanoians as well as the different parts of the city.
After that, take one-hour cyclo around the Hanoi Old Quarter, known as the 36 streets, this bustling area of narrow streets is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Originally, each of the 36 streets names was related to the products being sold there.
Before returning to hotel, we will have a chance to enjoy the unique Water Puppet Show. Hear the Vietnamese traditional instruments and singing from the live musicians who play throughout the show. The trip will be finished after the show at the hotel.
Note: Lunch at Cha Ca La Vong. “Cha ca” is a favorite dish of Hanoian. Located in Cha Ca street, Cha ca La Vong (”cha ca” means grilled fish) is the famous restaurant to many Hanoian as well as visitors from all over the world.
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B, L)
Picked up at the lobby of hotel at 08:00 AM, then transfer to Halong Bay – one of the world natural wonders and the best highlight in Northern Vietnam. After more than 3 hours driving including a stop-over in Hai Duong city, arrive in Halong Bay at around 11:30 then move from our car to our private boat. Enjoy a delicious, fresh, seafood lunch and spend about 4 hours cruising on this secluded bay.
During the time in Halong Bay, take a great opportunity to visit the spectacular Heaven Palace (Thien Cung) and Dau Go caves, those caves crammed with thousands of stalactites and stalagmites with different colors, shapes, and size, which will absolutely fire your imagination. Then, we keep cruising to see many limestone islands and islets, which dotted around the bay including Incense Bowl islet, Cock Fighting islet, Sail islet, Turtle Island…Return to the cruise for a short rest and go back Hanoi in the afternoon.
5-Day Central Vietnam Tour
Day 4: Hanoi Cooking Class – Fly to Danang & Transfer to Hue via Hai Van Tunnels (B, L)
“If cooking were art, Vietnam would be a Picasso of it”. The great diversity of its climate and terrain can produce almost anything that can be eaten. The Vietnamese ourselves have no culinary inhibitions and are always willing to try something new. When you combine the two, nothing is ruled out. The picture of Vietnamese cuisine is vast and varied, always subject to innovation, and always vibrantly colorful. Viet Kitchen Spring offers private cooking classes with our team of professional chefs. During the class itself, you will be provided with your own workstation as you enjoy the challenge of producing Vietnamese foods. We will help you to make it happen at VKS.
Hanoi Cooking Class Detailed Itineraries
08.30 – 8h45: Meeting our guide and chefs at Viet Kitchen Spring and enjoy a special “Banh Giay”, and Vietnamese welcome “Thai Nguyen” tea. After that, we will walk to see the “Hom” fresh market near our center. The ‘Hom” market is divided into different sections such as Flower, Seafood, Dry herb, Vegetable which is very interesting to go through. It is also considered as one of the most typical markets in the Old Quarter of Hanoi with the way of setting out, where the locals go and shop daily.
8h45– 9h30: In the market, our guide and chef will give you the chance to discover the traditional Vietnamese market and explain for you all different kinds of food and vegetable which you may see or not see them before. You have lots of opportunities to take photos and also chat with the local people. That is a great fun journey with chefs and us.
09h30 – 11h30: After shopping for our own food, we walk back to Viet Kitchen Spring Restaurant to prepare for your amazing experience with chefs. At getting kitted out in your chef’s outfit whilst our chef talks you through today’s dishes. Then our chef will lead you through each dish, giving you plenty of opportunities to get involved in and hand on reproducing the flavors and enjoy on the dishes you have just prepared. We will also supply you with a recipe booklet containing all the information you need to reproduce an authentic taste back home as our slogan: Not only food but also local experience!
11h30: On completion of the cooking class, enjoy the meal with the food you have made and more!
13h30: Finish the meal
In the afternoon, we will transfer to Noi Bai airport for our flight to Danang airport, upon arrival, we will transfer to Hue via Hai Van tunnel. Along the way, we will stop at Lang Co beach. Arrival in Hue, we will have our free times at our leisure for the rest of the day. Overnight in the hotel in Hue.
Note: Lunch at cooking class
Day 5: Hue City Tour & Boat Trip (B, D)
Hue is known as an ancient Vietnamese Capital city of many original historical vestiges. There are more than 100 architectural works to be extremely reflected in the life of Emperors and Mandarins under Nguyen’s reign. Situated in the middle of hills on the Southern Bank of Perfume River are very beautiful tombs of Nguyen Kings. Our tour starts at 08:00 in the morning at the lobby of the hotel. We will be met and transferred to the Wharf where we will cruise along the Perfume River to visit
- Thien Mu Pagoda (The Heavenly Lady pagoda), from here we will have a good view of Perfume River and surroundings.
- Tu Duc King’s tomb, which is one of the most beautiful works of Royal Architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty. The tomb lies in a boundless pine forest.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Citadel, the Forbidden Purple City and Dong Ba market. Tonight we enjoy our Royal Dinner at a fine local restaurant in town.
Note: Dinner at Royal Restaurant
Decorated as a Royal Dining Room, the Royal Dining Room will surprise you with its authentic cuisines of Hue’s royalty. Just imagine that you are the King, beside you is the Queen accompanied by Mandarins, all wearing traditional royal clothes. All the food served is royal including dishes symbolizing the dragon, phoenix, or peacock…..All meticulously prepared to the finest details for a sumptuous dinner that fits for royalty.
Day 6: Hue Cooking Class – Transfer to Hoi An (B, L)
Y Thao is an ideal place for lunch or dinner: great food, a congenial host, and an unhurried meal in an attractive setting of gardens, ceramics, and artworks. The main attractions at Y Thao garden house are the vegetarian and non-vegetarian Hue specialty dishes. The owner is a skilled chef and the food is delicious. Her recipes have been handed down through the family for many, many years. She includes at least one of the Hue ‘Royal’ dishes on the menu. This half-day cooking experience at the restaurant is very worthy.
8.30 AM: our guide will meet you at your hotel and then we will shop for fresh food at the Dong Ba market, the most hustling market in Hue. Then start the cooking class with Ms. Vy, the famous chef at Y Thao. We will have our lunch here, eating the delicious foods that were just cooked. The trip finishes at 1.00 PM then we transfer to Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.
Note: Lunch at cooking class
Day 7: Hoi An Tour (B)
NO FLUORESCENT LIGHTS. NO MOTORCYCLES. NO TELEVISION. On the 15th day of each lunar month, the riverside town of Hoi An gives modern life the night off.
Hoi An is an old town, which used to be known as the international market with many different names as Faifo, Hoai Pho and Hoi An, about 30km south of Danang city. What is so special about Hoi An is that this little port town is in an incredible state of preservation. It offers some of the most densely-concentrated sights in Vietnam with its old streets bordered with ancient houses and assembly halls, its pagodas, temples, ancient wells, and tombs.
In total, more than a thousand places of interest. The architecture of Hoi An is characterized by a harmonious blend of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese influences. After many centuries, Hoi An is still respectful of its traditions, folk festivals, beliefs, and its sophisticated culinary art. Set in a quiet environment, Hoi An is surrounded by peaceful villages that have crafted such as carpentry, bronze making, ceramic…
At 8:30, after the tour guide picks up; we will start walking tour around the ancient town to visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Pottery Museum, Tan Ky old house, the Cantonese congregation, the silk street of Hoi An, the temples and pagodas of Chinese appearance. In the afternoon, we will take a 3-hour boat trip to Thanh Ha Pottery village, where we can see old men who produce jars, bowls, vases… Back to downtown for coffee and relax.
Day 8: Hoi An – Cooking Class – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (B, L)
Start the day (8.15am/ 1.00pm) with a drink at Hai Scout Café (98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An Ancient Town, Tel: 3863210) – 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 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 lesson runs for about 2 hours – each dish is first demonstrated by the Red Bridge chef’s before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration).
After the lesson, we sit down and eat exactly what we have cooked.
- Making fresh Rice paper
- Fresh Rice Paper Rolls of Shrimp
- Crispy Hoi An Pancakes with Shrimp, Herbs & a Peanut Sauce
- Seafood Salad with mixed Vietnamese Herbs served in Half a Pineapple
- Vietnamese Eggplant in Clay Pot
- Food Decoration – Tomato Rose & Vietnamese Cucumber Hand Fan
Lunch includes the above meals as well as Steamed Ocean Fish on a bed of Freshly Chopped Vegetables (not included in the demonstration). A vegetarian lunch can be provided on request.
Finish at approximately 1pm– transfer back to central Hoi An. In the afternoon, we transfer back to Danang for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City. After 1-hour flight, arrive at Ho Chi Minh City airport where a local tour guide waiting for us. Transfer to hotel and relax.
Note: Lunch at cooking class
4-Day South Vietnam Tour
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City tour & Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)
After breakfast at hotel, at 8:00, we depart our hotel for the Reunification Palace, the former Presidential Palace for the president of the South of Vietnam. After that, we will visit War Remnant Museum, where we can see countless artifacts, photographs, and pictures documenting about the second Indochina war. We also stop at Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post office to get good shots for our memory of the big, modern city of Vietnam. Our delicious lunch will be served at a nice restaurant in the central city.
In the afternoon, we will leave Saigon for the Cu Chi tunnels, the best highlight to discover artifacts since Vietnam – US War, otherwise known as the “Iron Triangle” or “Iron Land”. On our way there we will drive through the pleasant countryside; rubber plantations and rice paddies. Before entering the tunnels, we will see a short introductory video showing how they were constructed, followed by an exploration of the maze of tunnels, some of which have been widened to allow tourist access. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank, as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500lb bombs, dropped by B52 bombers. After that, we transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta (B, L)
Best departure time from Saigon: at 07:00 AM to get the full view of Cai Be floating market, regarded as one of the most Vietnamese colorful reflection of the floating market. Leaving busy Ho Chi Minh City we drive to Cai Be, boat through the busy floating market for seeing how people of lower Mekong Delta do business on the water. We then cruise through the lush green vegetation of the canals to an orchard, where we are treated to a delicious lunch complete with tropical fruits.
After lunch, we keep on cruising along the river to see the peaceful tranquil life of villagers, admire the marvelous natural setting of Mekong Delta region. About 03:00 PM, the boat will arrive at Vinh Long Market, walking around to explore the market. On the way back to Ho Chi Minh with a stop at Bonsai Garden. Arrival at your hotel in the late afternoon.
Note: Lunch at Bonsai Garden
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City – Cooking Class & Market Tour (B, L)
Market visit from 08:30 to 09:30AM: our Vietnamese Chef will guide us through the colorful and vibrant Ben Thanh market to purchase the ingredients that are used during the cooking lesson.
Cooking Class from 10:00 AM to 13:00 PM
We will use the Vietnamese kitchenware to really and enjoy a tasty 3-course meal with Chef, complimentary dessert and a free flow of Tra Da (Ice Tea) & water, and nice folder with detail recipes.
In the afternoon, we are free at our leisure to visit Market again to buy herbs or something for our home-cook. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Note: Lunch at cooking class
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B)
Today our awaiting vehicle will transfer us back to the airport for our flight back home. The 12-day Vietnam taste tour package ends.