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  • Ha Noi - Ha Noi
  • 9 Nights / 10 days

Culinary Experience of Vietnam 09 nights/10days

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Tour Highlights

  • Explore the local tastes of the vibrant city of Ha Noi including a tour of street vendors.
  • Revel in the Royal food in historical Hue where evidence of the evidence of past glories are evident
  • Delight in the historical and charming town of Hoi An with it's eclectic style of cooking.
  • Visit the main sites in all three areas as well as an overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay.
  • Vegetarian food is a specialism of the centre and south especially Hue.
Tour Route - Where you'll visit
1 Ha Noi
Vibrant and exciting Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, is a buzzing city that oozes self-assurance. Because it was bombed far less during the war, its Old Quarter remains intact - with each street devoted to different wares, from shoes to chicken's feet, conical hats and deities. Sit back in the elegant French quarter and observe the city on parade; watch traditional water puppetry, or join a  public Tai Chi session on the shores of the Hoan Kiem Lake. In the centre of the lake is a beautiful Chinese temple, reached by crossing an ornate red bridge. You may also wish to visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex and the Temple of Literature. 
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2 Hue
Hue is a small town in the central area of Vietnam. It is the Imperial city of the country being where the Emperor and his entourage lived within the walled city up to the end of the French colonial rule. Meandering through the city and into the countryside is the lovely Perfume River. A trip on one of the Dragon boats will take you to visit the impressive Temples assigned to one or another revered leader of the past as well as a lovely riverside monastery where Thich Nhat Hanh lived before he had to flee the country due to his humanitarian work during the Vietnam/American war. With its history and charming relaxed way of being, Hue is a perfect stopover for 1 or 2 nights en route south to the lovely town of Hoi An. 
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3 Hoi An
Hoi An is a small ancient town that was famous on the Silk Road as being a trading centre for people from the East to meet people from the West to barter, buy and sell their goods. Today it is a busy tourist centre welcoming thousands of people every year to enjoy the charm that it exudes. 

A UNESCO supported town, the old buildings are skillfully maintained using local produce in the time honoured way that has always been done. The majority of the town centre buildings now are shops, cafes or restaurants. Wander along the river to find a spot to sit and enjoy watching the world go by as you eat and drink. And if you fancy having some clothes made to measure or even shoes made to measure to your own design, this is the place for you. 

And as a bonus to all of this, Hoi An has a very lovely beachfront within a short taxi or bicycle ride. 

The nearest airport is Da Nang, just a short 30/40 minute drive. 
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Detailed Itinerary

Day ONE +-
  • Arrival in Ha Noi 
You will be greeted at the airport by our Vietnam Travel Centre representative and taken directly to your hotel to rest or explore as you choose. Ha Noi is the capital city of Vietnam and the second largest city next to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).  It is a 1000 year old city that is packed full of diversity, character and vitality. The heart of the city is Hoan Kiem Lake where locals and tourists alike sit, walk or join in with daily Tai Chi and exercise groups. To the north of the city is the Old Quarter where an ancient style of living among the narrow streets and tiny buildings dominates. To the south of the Lake is the elegant French Quarter with its wide tree lined boulevards and Colonial style architecture. After a rest, you can enjoy a Cyclo ride around the central area to get a snap shop of this vibrant and busy city. After the cyclo rid, you can enjoy the unique Water Puppet show accompanied by talented local musicians playing traditional instruments. The rest of the evening is at your leisure. Overnight in Ha Noi.
Day TWO +-
  • Ha Noi
This morning you will embark on a city tour of Ha Noi. We will begin our day by visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where  'Uncle Ho' read the manifesto in 1945. The next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature, the site of Vietnam´s first University. Here we will also have a chance to enjoy a traditional music performance. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant where you can taste the authentic Hanoi Pho (noodle soup).

In the afternoon, you will experience the day to day life in Ha Noi. First we travel to the markets where dozens of streethawkers sell a staggering variety of produce from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices. We then go to the busy and exciting Old Quarter where life continues as it has for decades. Tourists and locals alike can buy just about anything they want from the traders. But more than that, this is where peoplelive and work on these narrow streets.

You will see cafe/restaurants serving intriguing dishes, street sellers created and selling their goods by the roadside  as well as families gathering outside their houses to cook and eat their meals. You can try rice pancake roll, herbal chicken dishes, beef noodle,  grilled fish and delicious fried banana.  We’ll make our way to Hoan Kiem Lake direction and end up our walking tour by tasting the local porridge (sweetsoup) and of course, a cup of Vietnamese tea or coffee,

Alternatively, you might opt for the local Bia Ha Noi where they serve a delicious and refreshing beer unique to these establishments. We head back for your hotel around 7.30pm. The rest of the evening is at your leisure. Overnight in Ha Noi. 
Day THREE +-
  • Ha Noi 

Leaving the high energy atmosphere of Ha Noi, you will tracel across the bridge that straddles the Red River to arrive in a significantly quieter and calmer area of the city. We arrived in a village and were greeted in their lovely home by our hostess and guide and her mother. 

After a drink and introductions, you have the opportunity of exploring the village by bicycle (or car if you prefer) on the way to the local market to get fresh produce for the cooking class.

Unlike English markets, this one was full of fresh produce of all descriptions from vegetables and fruit to fish and meat. The local vendors will undoubtedly be curious about you, extremely friendly and more than happy to have their photographs taken.  On the way back, you may also stop to get some fresh noodles and maybe a delicious drink of freshly made sugar cane juice that is about the most refreshing drink you could ever want.

Back at the house, the gathering of produce is not yet complete as you will head out with 'Mum' to the market garden that she farms.   Under instructions, you will collect a number of items needed for lunch before heading back to the house to start putting all of this together.  

This was not a cooking class where you will stand and watch. Involvement is key throughout the process. You will make three dishes in total with a mixture of meat and vegetable ingredients, some of which came from the market and some from the garden. And then of course, you get the true prize of sitting down with your hosts to enjoy the fruits of your labour. 

All guests will receive detailed recipe cards to take home at the end of the class. In this class you will prepare some old Ha-Noian favourites like caramel pork, banana flower salad, seafood spring rolls and “che” (a kind of dessert). After lunch we will take you  back hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in Ha Noi.

Day FOUR +-
  • Hanoi - Hue (~70 minute’s flight)

You will be taken to the airport for a midday flight to the central area of Hue. You will be greeted at the airport and taken directly to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore this small but interesting town. Hue is famous all over the country for its cuisine. It has a distinctive style of cooking reminiscent of the days when the last Emperor of Vietnam lived in the Citadel in Hue. Unlike Ha Noi cooking that relies on combinations and fresh produce for flavour, the Hue style of cooking uses spices. It is also an area of the country that is famous for it's vegetarian cooking with a number of excellent restaurants. Overnight in Hue.  
Day FIVE +-
  • Hue
At 8.00 am, your guide will meet you at your hotel with your bicycles to head out into the lovely countryside around Hue to the Thanh Toan Bridge, about 8 km.  You will cycle through flat, peaceful terrain passing through local villages alongthe way. En route, we will stop off at the Banana farm. Your guide will tell you stories about the bridge and describe the architecture aspects of note. On the far side of the bridge, is a small but interesting museum where there are displays of Vietnamese farmer’s implements such as axe with mattocks blade, barrel for water carriage, trap for spreading net, tools for cooking and distilling alcohol, scimitar, earthen pot, four stringed bucket, round bamboo fishing basket and so on. Then cycle around 5km down quiet roads with beautiful villages to see vegetables, rice fields and orchards.  

Lunch will be at a vegetarian restaurant or pagoda where you will get a flavour of the unique style of cooking in Hue. Back to the bikes, we head to Vong Canh Hill forthe best view of the Perfume River and Pine Trees. You can then choose to cycle back to Hue or meet the car to transport you back.   Overnight in Hue.

Please note: if you prefer, you can do the whole tour by car.  
Day SIX +-
  • Hue

Hue was the home of the Emperors of Vietnam until the end of the French domination of the country in 1954. Although the last Emperor was very much a figure head and puppet of the French, pre French domination, the dynasty ruled the country with the Royal family and entourage living in the Citadel behind high walls and closed doors.

Today you will take a boat trip down the lovely Perfume River on one of the Dragon Boats. The tour will take you to a number of Royal Temples and Tombs (Tu Doc Royal and Khai Dinh) and the Thien Mu Buddhist Monastery. The sites were all designed to show the splendour and glory of days when Hue was a very important town in Vietnam.

The boat ride itself offers a time to relax and enjoy the countryside as it passes by at a slow pace.

In the afternoon a tour of the Citadel is planned. This is a walled city within the city of Hue where the last Emperor of Vietnam lived with his family and entourage in splendid isolation from the 'real' world.  It was sadly badly damaged during the war with America but some very sensitive re construction brings more of the buildings back to life. Where this has not happened, it is interested to walk around the extensive land where you will come across parts of buildings or gates that avoided the damage and show their previous glory in a more natural light. Overnight in Hue. 

Please Note: there are no specific cooking plans for this day. If you prefer, that can be added into the itinerary either as a cooking class or an accompanied visit to a local restaurant. 

Day SEVEN +-
  • Hue - Hoi An (BY ROAD)
After breakfast this morning,  you will be driven south to the culturally rich city of Hoi An. The drive will take 4 hours including stops on the way including Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass, Cham Museum,and the Marble Mountains. You will arrive in Hoi An late in the afternoon where you will check into your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the lovely town of Hoi An with its rich array of history, shops, tailors, restaurants and cafes. 

Hoi An was voted by Wanderlust readersas the favourite city on earth, and not without reason. This historical citysituated on the banks of the Thu Bon River is a fascinating mix of ancient townhouses, bridges, food markets and lush paddy fields. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day EIGHT +-
  • Hoi An 
You will be picked up after breakfast and taken to the countryside of the Hoi An town to visit the Tra Que Organic village  where you can visit the gardens managed by local farmers. Learn about their traditional methods and farming techniques :  no machines are used here.   We will pick fresh saw-tooth coriander and Vietnamese mint for our cooking lesson later, before trying a special herbal drink at a local home.

Then it's a trip to the local village market to purchase a range of local ingredients, including star anise, cardamom, sesame ricepaper, water spinach and banana flower. Arriving at Red Bridge Cooking School we have a chance to freshen up before beginning our class. Working together with our Red Bridge Chef you will learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food from scratch. Using the freshest ingredients and traditionalVietnamese utensils (still in use today) we cook 4 famous dishes, including the national dish ‘Pho’.

After the class you can sit down and savour the dishes youhave prepared before taking a leisurely cruise (25minutes) along the Hoi An River back to central Hoi An. You will have the opportunity to walk around the town and experience its charming and unique culture. You can visit the old Tan Ky House, the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, and the stylish Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. Return to thehotel in the afternoon. Spend the rest of the evening at leisure. Overnight inHoi An.
Day NINE +-
  • Hoi An 
The day is free to spend at your leisure to explore the town and surrounding areas, relax at your hotel or on the beach.
Day TEN +-
  • Hoi An - Ha Noi Airport for the Homebound Flight
Transfer to Da Nang airport for flight to Ha Noi for your return flight. 

Note: this tour can be extended by adding days on at the end and finishing the tour in HCM City instead of HA Noi. 
Select a Destination
  • 2nts
Resort Ratting
Select a hotel for more information
Destination Nights Standard Superior Deluxe
Ha Noi 2 Skylark La Siesta La Siesta
Hue 3 Saigon Morin Saigon Morin La Residence
Hoi An 3 Betel Garden Homestay Palm Garden Resort Palm Garden Resort
Hoi An 3 Hoi An Beach Resort Palm Garden Resort Palm Garden Resort


Skylark Hotel is located on one of the most beautiful streets in Hanoi – the Phan Dinh Phung Street, named after a Vietnamese revolutionary who led the rebel army against French colonists. The Hanoi Ancient Citadel, Cua Bac Church, Old Quarter, Dong Xuan Market, Weekend Night Market, Hoan Kiem Lake and other city attractions are within easy walking distance. The hotel has a health club, a roof top indoor pool and a well equipped gymnasium. Skylark Hotel has a well equipped Conference room with facilities like LCD projector, high quality audio systems, DVD players and large screen. The rooms are bright, spacious, well-appointed, fitted with modern interiors and appropriately warm lighted make for a true home-away-from-home experience.

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