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The Foodie's Guide to Vietnam: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
AU$ 3,175

Satisfy your hunger for good food and adventure with this foodie tour of Vietnam. Taste your way through the country from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and explore historical monuments and beautiful landscapes. Feast on delicious dishes from pho to bun bo hue along the way.


This 12-day Vietnamese vacation takes you from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City to explore the nation’s exceptional food scene. It features moderate accommodations, including a night in a guesthouse in the Mekong Delta, active tours, and is perfect for foodie travellers.

Your journey begins in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital and centrepiece of the north. Hanoi’s size isn’t immediately apparent on first visit, since its squat buildings and narrow streets mask the sheer number of people who live here. But you’ll soon experience just how invigorating Hanoi is to explore. On your first evening, meet your group and then head out for dinner into the old town to dine on some northern cuisine. Start your next day with a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake before feasting on some pho for breakfast. You’ll then take a half-day tour to see many of the most popular landmarks in the city, including the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda, and a rice winemaker in the old quarter. You’ll also enjoy a traditional tea ceremony at a hidden tea house in the old town.

From Hanoi, head to the coast to Halong Bay, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Board a junk at Bai Chay and overnight on the water, cruising alongside the karst islands rising out of the turquoise waters. You’ll enjoy all your meals on-board, including a candlelit dinner beneath the stars. The next day, head back to Hanoi and fly south to Hue in Central Vietnam. Hue is the former imperial capital and the best place to explore Vietnam’s past. You’ll explore some of the historical monuments in and around town, including the active Buddhist temple of Thien Mu Pagoda, the Royal Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, and the Imperial Citadel and Forbidden Purple City, which was almost completely destroyed during the Vietnam War. While in Hue, you’ll also have a chance to try bun bo hue, a local vermicelli and beef dish, eat a Buddhist vegetarian meal at a monastery, and share an evening meal with a local family.

Head along the coast and through Hai Van Pass to reach Hoi An, Vietnam’s most popular tourist town. This lovely coastal centre is easily walkable and has some of the loveliest architecture in the country. A morning walking tour will showcase a few popular spots, form the Chinese Assembly Hall to the wooden Japanese Covered Bridge. You’ll also have a chance to explore the herb gardens at Tra Que culinary village on the outskirts of town and enjoy a meal prepared by the village chef. You also have the option of joining a morning fish market tour or taking a day trip into the surrounding countryside.

From Hoi An, fly into Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Enjoy lunch in a popular home-style Vietnamese restaurant before taking a short city tour to see the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral. You’ll then join a cooking class taught by the nephew of one of Vietnam’s most respected food personalities, Mrs. Dzoan Van Cam. The next day, venture south of the city and explore the Mekong Delta, the waterways and rice paddies known as the Rice Bowl of Vietnam. You’ll stay overnight in a guesthouse and gain insight into the local industries and food styles. Return to Ho Chi Minh City, visiting the Cai Be Floating Market along the way. You’ll cap off your foodie adventure with a dinner at a countryside restaurant.

The next morning, you’ll bid your group farewell and head to the airport to connect to your onward destination.


 

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Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
AU$ 3,175

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Hanoi

Arrive in Hanoi, where you'll be met by our representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel. There are no activities planned until an important group meeting in the evening, usually at 6 pm. After this briefing, head out for your first taste of the city's dining scene at an atmospheric local eatery specializing in old-style Hanoi cuisine.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Lan Vien Hotel

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    Lan Vien Hotel



    LanVien Restaurant located on 11th floor, guests can enjoy Western and Asian cuisine and looking down to the beautiful view of City through the restaurant's impressive windows. The LanVien Hotel offers the perfect combination of modern luxuries, impeccable service and excellent value for the business ...

    LanVien Restaurant located on 11th floor, guests can enjoy Western and Asian cuisine and looking down to the beautiful view of City through the restaurant's impressive windows. The LanVien Hotel offers the perfect combination of modern luxuries, impeccable service and excellent value for the business or pleasure travelers Hotel situated in the heart of Hanoi, at the corner of Ly Thuong Kiet street and Hang Bai street. A great location allows you to explore and connect to our wonderful city over 1000 years. You can stroll out of our doors and enjoy the surrounding shopping area.

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Day 2

Hanoi

Start your day with a sunrise walk around Hoan Kiem lake. This is the best way to see the city come to life. Enjoy a truly authentic Hanoi breakfast of pho. This iconic dish has its origins in a village not far from the city and is designed to awaken the senses and prepare you for the day. Embark on a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda. Sample authentic Vietnamese tea at one of Hanoi's hidden tea houses, tea plays a major role in Vietnamese culinary culture and the locals tend to favor light, flower-infused varieties. Afterwards, visit a local Xo community where an expert winemaker will lead a tasting of local Vietnamese varieties. You'll walk down alleyways lined with French colonial architecture, passing by artist collectives, pottery workshops and back-alley fashion houses, you're in the true heart of Hanoi now. Once arrived, head down into the basement of a 100-year-old French villa and into the world of Xo Liquid, an alcohol made of rice wine. Your expert wine maker will take you through his story and explain to you the process of making this traditional product, the knowledge and care for his craft is infectious. Your evening is free to explore and your leader can recommend local restaurants and specialties to try!

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Hanoi - Halong Bay

Drive to Halong Bay (approximately 3 hours). You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where you will board a boat for an exploration of the bay. The scenes of sailing junks navigating scattered limestone islands are quite spectacular. Visit one of the caves in the area where you'll be able to explore. An on board chef will prepare all your meals (both seafood and non-seafood options are available). A highlight of the cruise is a candlelit dinner under the stars on the top deck of the boat (weather permitting).

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 4

Halong Bay - Hue

In the morning you will sail back to the port, disembark and drive to Hanoi. Collect your luggage then transfer to the airport to board a mid-afternoon flight bound for Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. After checking in at the hotel, your leader will take you on an evening orientation walk of the city. Afterwards, choose to relax at the hotel or explore the Hue dining scene. Your group leader will have a variety of options for dinner, be sure to ask them for their recommendations.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Cherish Hotel

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  • starstarstarstar

    Cherish Hotel



    Phu Bai Airport: 15 km . Located in the heart of Hue city, close to Perfume river, Cherish Hotel is harmonized among the world historical heritage by UNESCO, the life-cultural destinations, the citylife services as well as entertainment

    Phu Bai Airport: 15 km . Located in the heart of Hue city, close to Perfume river, Cherish Hotel is harmonized among the world historical heritage by UNESCO, the life-cultural destinations, the citylife services as well as entertainment

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Day 5

Hue

Hue is the hub of Vietnam's historic past. This former imperial capital is an eclectic mix of busy streets and peaceful beauty. Satisfy your hunger with a popular dish called bun bo Hue, which contains rice vermicelli (bun) and beef (bo), this is a signature of the city. Next, take a boat cruise on the Perfume River and marvel at the Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of the city. The Pagoda is an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. We will enjoy a traditional Buddhist lunch here. You will also visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees. This evening you are invited to share a meal with a local family in their home. It's a unique chance to partake in everyday local life, and perhaps leave with some secret family recipes.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Hue - Hoi An

After breakfast, visit the Imperial Citadel, including the Forbidden Purple City. The latter was almost completely destroyed during the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War. Depart for Hoi An, passing through the beautiful Hai Van Pass, a mountainous stretch of highway with views across Lang Co beach. Continue on to Hoi An, arriving in the afternoon. Hoi An was originally a port town and has been influenced by traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance to the pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. Today it is a delightful backwater town with a charming air about it and the tranquility of Hoi An, coupled with its low tiled houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Atlas Hotel Hoi An

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    Atlas Hotel Hoi An



    Atlas Hoi An Hotel - a brand new 4 - star boutique Hotel & Spa, with modern and stylish rooms provides exceptional facilities and services compared with standards of a four - star hotel. The hotel with 48 stylish rooms & suites is next to ...

    Atlas Hoi An Hotel - a brand new 4 - star boutique Hotel & Spa, with modern and stylish rooms provides exceptional facilities and services compared with standards of a four - star hotel. The hotel with 48 stylish rooms & suites is next to Hoai River, thus creates an impressive hotel surrounded by Vietnamese lifestyle greenery. Provided with more than 100 cantilevering concrete planters, the hotel will make you feel closer to nature in a luxurious and comfortable setting. The main material of the hotel is local sandstone, which will give an unforgettable accommodation experience as the town itself.

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Day 7

Hoi An

This morning, embark on a walking tour which will take you around the major sites of Hoi An's charming Old Town, including an historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. Continue your day with a transfer to the expansive herb gardens located on the outskirts of the city at Tra Que culinary village. You'll have time to discover the daily life of farmers in their trade here and will enjoy a traditional meal prepared by a village chef specializing in the cuisine of the Pho Hoi people.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

Hoi An

Today is free for you to continue exploring Hoi An and its surrounding areas. There is an optional fish market visit for early risers, as well as an optional fishing experience to learn more about the life and work of Hoi An's fisherman. Alternatively, a great day trip is to cycle into the surrounding countryside to discover a world of verdant grasslands and fascinating scenes of daily rural life unfolding. In the evening, perhaps enjoy some seafood by the water or take a boat ride out to a nearby island for a barbeque feast.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh

After breakfast, take a short flight to Vietnam's economic hub, Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1 hour). Vietnam's largest city is a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. The French influence is evident in the excellent baguettes and coffee on offer. For lunch today you will dine in a restaurant famed for its fantastic home-style Vietnamese cuisine. Next, take a short city tour that covers Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. Along the way, you'll be able to admire the many beautiful French colonial buildings, such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall). Finish the day with a true highlight, a cooking class with the nephew of one of Vietnam's most respected food personalities, Mrs. Dzoan Van Cam. Learn about the distinct flavors and dishes of southern Vietnam that has been passed down the generations and enjoy the results of your cooking over dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Millennium Boutique Hotel

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    Millennium Boutique Hotel



    Millennium Boutique Hotel features 72 rooms and suites, fully equipped with comfortable, sophisticated and cozy guest rooms, stylish restaurants, rooftop pool bar, meeting room. It is perfect for business and leisure travelers. All of the guest rooms have the fantastic view to the city and ...

    Millennium Boutique Hotel features 72 rooms and suites, fully equipped with comfortable, sophisticated and cozy guest rooms, stylish restaurants, rooftop pool bar, meeting room. It is perfect for business and leisure travelers. All of the guest rooms have the fantastic view to the city and Saigon River.Located in gateway and prime destinations in Ho Chi Minh City, it aims to extend its footprint in more locations around the region. Guest will explore vibrant Ho Chi Minh City from the contemporary and comfort of Millennium Boutique Hotel. The hotel is located in a CBD area which is next to the Saigon River, just few steps to The Opera House, close to historical attractions, premier Saigon dining, and local businesses.

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Day 10

Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta

After breakfast you will drive south for a boat cruise along the Mekong Delta (approximately 2-3 hours). The Mekong Delta is renowned for its fertile land, rich in tropical fruits, flowers and rice. For this reason, it is often referred to as the Rice Bowl of Vietnam. Visit some local cottage industries located along the river, then continue to a guesthouse surrounded by an orchard, which is your lodging this evening. Here you will enjoy a beautiful home-cooked meal of dishes distinct to the Mekong Delta region.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 11

Ho Chi Minh

Rise early, as the locals do and enjoy a delicious traditional breakfast. Afterwards, visit the bustling Cai Be floating market, a place awash with color and a hive of activity. Mingle with the locals selling their produce and witness the chaotic rhythm of a floating market. Later on, return to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving early afternoon, and then head out with your travel pals in the evening for a special dinner at a countryside restaurant. This space was designed by an acclaimed Vietnamese architect whose desire was to match the traditional space in harmony with the fundamentals of Vietnamese cuisine. Admire a rooftop view of the city whilst indulging in the authentic flavors of Vietnam, a truly special experience to farewell your Food Explorer journey.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Millennium Boutique Hotel

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Millennium Boutique Hotel



    Millennium Boutique Hotel features 72 rooms and suites, fully equipped with comfortable, sophisticated and cozy guest rooms, stylish restaurants, rooftop pool bar, meeting room. It is perfect for business and leisure travelers. All of the guest rooms have the fantastic view to the city and ...

    Millennium Boutique Hotel features 72 rooms and suites, fully equipped with comfortable, sophisticated and cozy guest rooms, stylish restaurants, rooftop pool bar, meeting room. It is perfect for business and leisure travelers. All of the guest rooms have the fantastic view to the city and Saigon River.Located in gateway and prime destinations in Ho Chi Minh City, it aims to extend its footprint in more locations around the region. Guest will explore vibrant Ho Chi Minh City from the contemporary and comfort of Millennium Boutique Hotel. The hotel is located in a CBD area which is next to the Saigon River, just few steps to The Opera House, close to historical attractions, premier Saigon dining, and local businesses.

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Day 12

Ho Chi Minh Departure

With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time after breakfast this morning. This doesn't mean that your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to spend some more time in Ho Chi Minh City, we'll be happy to organize additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2020: Jan 11; Mar 7; Apr 4; May 2; July 18; Sep 19; Oct 17; Nov 14; Dec 19

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 9 nights hotel acommodation
  • 1 night in a guest house
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Arrival transfer
  • Overnight Halong Bay Cruise
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Departure transfer
  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB INTREPIHAN0120SG: TFGV
19 Sep 2020
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