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Vietnam Culinary Delights

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What better way to experience a culture than through its food. Tantalize your taste buds on this 12-day tour that takes you through Vietnam, finding culinary inspiration in the rich history, vibrant culture and beautiful landscapes.

PRIVATE TOUR RATE: Prices are quoted in US dollars per person double occupancy. 

Group size 2 persons 4 persons 6 persons Single Supp
Land Tour/pp 1,410 1,188 1,054 300
2 Flights/pp 206 206 206  
Total/pp 1,616 1,394 1,260  


Included:
- 2 Domestic flights
- Cooking Class
- Accommodation based o­n Double/Twin-shared room
- Daily breakfast
- Transportation by private car as itinerary
- English/French speaking guide.
- All entrance fees, boats, performance & excursions.
Excluded:
Drinks, except those mentioned
International flights, tipping, and other personal expenses.

BRIEF ITINERARY

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival – Tour briefing (D)
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B)
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Cruise (B,L, D)
Day 4: Halong – Hanoi Airport – Hue (B)
Day 5: Hue City Tour (B)
Day 6 – 7: Hue – Hoian – Cooking Class in HoiAn (B)
Day 8 – 11: Saigon – Mekong Delta – Cooking Class in Mekong Delta (B)
Day 12: Saigon Departure (B)
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Days 1: Hanoi Arrival
Welcome to Vietnam’s eclectic capital: Hanoi. Our driver and guide will meet you outside the baggage claim of Noi Bai Airport and take you to your hotel in the city center. In the afternoon enjoy a cyclo tour through the Old Quarter’s narrow streets lined with French colonial buildings.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
Today we have a full day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas; Hanoi is an eclectic mix that offers something for everyone. Our city tour will take you to Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and stilt house); the Presidential Palace; the nearby One Pillar Pagoda; the Old Quarter; the Temple of Literature; West Lake; the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda & Quan Thanh Temple; and one of the city's museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum). In the evening enjoy a traditional Water Puppet Performance—a unique Vietnamese art form hailing from Southeast Asia’s wet-rice culture.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Meal: Breakfast

Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, before setting out on a 3 to 4 hour drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site: Halong Bay. Spend 24 hours on a traditional Junk Cruise in the amazing bay: a natural wonderland composed of jutting limestone islands and sparkling turquoise waters. Arrive at the dock around noon and board your private junk. Savor a gourmet lunch of fresh seafood onboard as we sail out into the mystical bay. In the afternoon, cruise around some of Halong’s many islands, including Dinh Huong and Ga Choi. Along the way visit one of the bay’s 3 largest caves (Thien Cung, Dau Go or Sung Sot). Stop at an island cove with a sheltered white-sand beach and take a dip in the warm waters of the East Sea (Bien Dong) (weather permitting). Pass the night on your private junk, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of calm waters.
Accommodation: Cruise on Halong Bay
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi airport – Hue
Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, before setting out to explore nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk for breakfast then take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of Bai Tu Long Bay as we navigate back to Halong City. Have lunch on board the boat before returning to Halong pier. Our driver will meet you at the dock and take you to Noi Bai airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival, our driver and guide will meet you and take you to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 5: Hue City Tour
Spend an entire day touring Vietnam’s former ancient capital. Start the day with a visit to the Imperial Citadel, home to the Imperial City and Forbidden Purple City—once the Emperor's private residence. The Imperial City was created in the 19th century and modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing. The Imperial Enclosure houses many palaces and temples within its walls. In the afternoon, continue on your tour stopping at the Imperial Museum, Tu Hieu Pagoda and the vibrant Dong Ba riverside market.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: Hue—Hoian
This morning we drive from Hue to Hoian, passing over the 500m-high Hai Van pass and stopping en route in Danang for a visit to the Cham Museum and handicraft villages at the foot of Marble Mountain. Arrive in Hoian, a sleepy riverside town and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the afternoon. Check in at the hotel then enjoy  a half-day walking tour through the narrow, winding streets of the ancient quarter, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Hall, the 200-year old Tam Ky ancestral house and the famous Japanese Bridge. Conclude the day with a relaxing sunset boat trip.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Hoian—Cooking Class
Today enjoy a cooking class at the Red Bridge Cooking School. Meet at the Hai Scout Cafe in Hoian’s Old Town. From there we will head to Hoian's colorful market. Explore the market and interact with local vendors to purchase some fresh ingredients for today’s cooking class. Next, board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely 25min cruise along the Hoian River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. Discover the school's herb and vegetable garden before starting your cooking lesson. The class runs for about an hour and 15min and includes demonstrations from the school's chefs as well as time to help prepare traditional dishes. At the end of class, enjoy an introductory lesson in the art of Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). In the afternoon embark on a family run “fisherman eco-tour.” Explore Hoian’s surrounding farmland and countryside then try your hand at local fishing techniques as you learn to navigate a basket boat through narrow waterways. Return to Hoian in the evening for a delicious dinner of fresh seafood.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Hoian—Saigon
Have breakfast at the hotel then drive to the airport to catch your flight to Vietnam’s modern metropolis: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Arrive in the late morning and enjoy an orientation tour through Ho Chi Minh City’s bustling streets en route to the hotel. Have lunch at a downtown restaurant of your choosing then set out on a guided city tour.  In the afternoon we will visit such sites as the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Post Office and Ben Thanh Market. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9: Saigon— Mekong Delta –Homestay
Today we leave Saigon and travel to the Mekong River Delta. Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before driving to the riverside town, Cai Bai. Along the way, stop at a candy factory and orchard garden, where you have an opportunity to listen to traditional music. Enjoy a relaxing lunch at a riverside restaurant, then cross the river by motorized boat to an island in the middle of the Mekong. Explore a small local village by bicycle, before heading to your homestay. Spend the afternoon shopping for ingredients for tonight’s dinner with the house matriarch. Then learn to cook traditional cuisine as you help the family prepare the evening meal.  
Accommodation: Homestay
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10: Mekong Delta—Saigon
Wake early and have breakfast with the family, before heading to the famous Cai Rang floating market by motor boat. Continue the boat ride to visit the Mekong Delta’s famous orchards and sample the fresh, exotic fruit. Then venture deeper into the country side, passing traditional houses made of wood and palm leaves as you observe the activities of the local people. Have lunch in Can Tho then drive back to Saigon, arriving in the late afternoon.  
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Saigon—Cu Chi tunnels—Tay Ninh
Today we travel outside of Saigon to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Cu Chi Tunnels are an underground labyrinth of passageways, used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War (or “American War” as it’s referred to here) as protection against American air raids. Those inclined are invited to crawl through selections of the tunnels to better understand what life was like for the Vietnamese soldiers during wartime. Next we will visit the beautiful Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh and partake in the noontime prayer service. This large and colorful compound is home to the hybrid religion founded in the 1920s: Caodaism, which combines elements of Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam in order to promote peace. Have lunch in Tay Ninh and return to Saigon in the late afternoon.
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Saigon Departure
Have breakfast at the hotel then enjoy the morning at your leisure before driving to the airport to catch your return flight home.

 
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