Culinary Tour of Vietnam

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Please note that this proposed itinerary is subject to availability. We will only proceed with all reservations upon receiving your written confirmation. We recommend your confirmation as early as possible.

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi (Own tickets/ flight information to be advised)

Upon arrival, when you leave the airport terminal please look for a tour guide displaying a welcome signboard with the Trails of Indochina logo and your name. Please refer to the Trip Preparation document which will be sent upon confirmation for specific details and a photo of the welcome signboard. Transfer to your hotel. With ochre-colored colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes, Hanoi is full of charm The regular check-in time for all hotels is 2.00pm. Early check-in is subject to availability.

Meals: None ,

Accommodation: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel/ Premium room

Day 2: Hanoi culinary experience & half day city tour

At 08:30am, meet up with Mr. Dung, a key member of Hanoi Chef Association for a market tour. Having a decade-old experience working at a 4-star hotel, he can show you how to choose fresh ingredients. Enjoy sight, sound and flavor of the market. Then drive 40-min out of Hanoi to his beautiful private home for a private hands-on cooking class and stories of his participation in Culinary Festivals in France. Enjoy your own creations at lunch. Return to town for a quick city tour including a visit to the Temple of Literature, a cultural symbol and the first University for the sons of mandarins, a cyclo ride around the central lake and a walking tour through the bustling old quarter for street food stalls. Welcome dinner at Club de L’Orientale, a deluxe Vietnamese restaurant offering authentic Northern cuisine. Chairman of the Hanoi Gastronomy Club and the editor of Culinary Art magazine will join the dinner to provide an introduction to Vietnamese cuisine and the finer points of enjoying it.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:  Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel/ Premium room

Day 3: Hanoi street food with gastronomy expert Mr. Vu Long & Dinner hosted

This morning, enjoy breakfast like a Hanoian at Pho Vuong Restaurant – a bubbling bowl of Pho accompanied by coriander, bean sprouts, onion and either beef or chicken. The rural outskirt of Hanoi is not only famous of its pagodas, temples and communal houses but also for its varied handicraft villages. Head to Uoc Le village, legendary for its pork paste (Gio Lua), where the know-how is a strictly kept secret. Back to Hanoi for lunch at Ngon restaurant which set up like a countryside food market.After lunch, enjoy Street food tour with gastronomy expert Mr. Vu Long; Mr. Vu Long varied roles most relate to gastronomy; he is the head of Hanoi Gastronomy Club, an editor of Culinary Art magazine and a lecturer at Hanoi University. About 0900am, stroll around the Thanh Cong market with Mr. Vu Long. Experience the amazing sights and sounds of the bustling market and see raw materials. Then wander about the old quarter streets to enjoy aromas from local street food stalls. First stop is at Ly Quoc Su Street to taste the pan fried “Banh Goi” which made of rice mashed, pork, and vermicelli) served with vegetables, bean sprouts. Continue to walk to Hang Manh Street where you can have a chance to taste fantastic “Bun Cha”, which served with fried “Nem” filled with pork or mashed sea crab flesh. Explore other street food near by. Walk to Hang Da market where you can try some assorted sweet fried fruits “O Mai”. End the trip at a well-known rustic restaurant- Cha Ca La Vong. There is only one dish – grilled fish served in boneless chunks, smothered in greens and saffron-infused oil. Fantastically fresh food, straight from the frying pan onto your plate.

In the evening, visit the house of a musician couple – the husband is a flutist in the National Orchestra while the wife is a piano teacher – for home-cooked dinner that can accommodate up to 15 guests. Enjoy the meal hosted in the cozy dining room to understand the important role meals at home play in Vietnam. Chat and share with them life experiences. After the meal, enjoy a melodious performance of flute and piano. Come back to your hotel for the night.

Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:    Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel/ Premium room

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most spectacular natural wonders. The tiny limestone islands, with beaches and grottoes created by the wind and the waves, provide an excellent backdrop for relaxation and swimming.

Day 4: Hanoi – Halong/ kayak (drive 3,5 hrs)

A 3.5-hour drive from Hanoi with a quick rest stop en route at a handicraft center (this place is quite touristy but the only best stop available) or local house; you will reach Halong City by noon. Board your private deluxe junk where a welcome drink awaits. After a relaxing break, enjoy a delicious seafood lunch while cruising through the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waters like dragons’ teeth. After lunch, take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay, swim on a quite beach or sunbath on the deck. Later in the afternoon, visit a fishing village and interact with the fishermen who have been living in the bay for generations. At sunset, join a bamboo boat to discover a water tunnel with coral reefs in a scenic lagoon. Back on board for dinner.

Meals:         Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:     Halong Jasmine (join in junk)/ Private Premium cabin
www.cruisehalong.com

Hue served as an imperial capital to the Nguyen Lords, a feudal dynasty which reigned from the 17th to 19th century. With splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of the Citadel, the city retains its Royal charm.

Day 5: Halong – Hanoi/ Hanoi – Hue via VN247@1920/2030 (economy class)

Wake up early to catch the dramatic sunrise on the bay and enjoy a Tai Chi demonstration on the sun deck. Relax with a cup of hot coffee before departing to the splendid Sung Sot grotto where stalactites hanging from the high ceiling take on numerous shapes and forms. Enjoy late buffet brunch on board while cruising back to the boat docking station. Arrive at the boat docking station around 1100. Return to Hanoi with snack provided en route. Stop en route at a pottery village, one of the last survivors of an old pottery village amidst the modern pressure to industrialize. If time permits, pay a visit to Co Loa ancient citadel on the way to the airport before your onward flight to Hue. Upon arrival, meet and transfer to your hotel for check in.

Meals:         Brunch, Snack en-route
Accommodation:     La Residence Hue Hotel/ Deluxe River View
www.la-residence-hue.com

Day 6: Hue market tour & hosted dinner

Being a residence of Kings, the cooking art of Hue is famous for its refinement and artistic quality. A Hue dish normally requires a dozen different ingredients and an elaborate presentation. In a Hue family meal, each dish has its own complementary sauce while people in other parts of the country normally make just of sauce for all types of food. Morning, stroll around Dong Ba market with a local chef where vegetables and meat are on wholesale and learn about Hue recipes and ingredients. After the market tour, transfer to Ancient Hue restaurant, a beautiful complex of ancient houses, for a cooking class and demonstration of Hue specialties. Try your own creations for lunch. Then proceed to home of a well-known historian, writer and conservationist – Mr. Phan Thuan An – have an interaction with him to get an in-depth insight into the culture and history of this former Royal land and how it affects to culinary tastes. Winder your way to the ancient Imperial Citadel surrounded by moats which was home to the royal court of Vietnam in the 19th century. Transfer back to hotel for a rest. This evening, have meal in a restored royal house where you can learn from the family members how they bring the essence of the Royal ambiance and culture into their home. Menu is inclusive of a local specialty of ‘banh beo’. A dish consists of tiny and round rice flour pancakes, each served in a small bowl. They are topped with minced shrimp and other smaller ingredients. Dipped in fish sauce. Let’s enjoy!

Meals:         Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:     La Residence Hue Hotel/ Deluxe River View

Between 17th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was a prosperous trading port. Today, this World Heritage-listed ancient town boasts well-preserved buildings, pedestrianized streets and unique cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past.

Day 7: Hue – Hoi An (drive 3,5 hrs)

Mid morning, we visit the elaborate Khai Dinh Royal Tomb where architecture and atmosphere showcases influences from both eastern art and western designs. Hue is the center of Buddhism in Vietnam, let get in a tea interaction with monks at an ancient pagoda to get a glimpse Vietnamese Buddhism, monks’ life experiences and their charitable activities for the community, just bring out any of your queries. Followed by a pure vegetarian lunch from natural ingredients, learn what monks usually have at meal (your guide to join lunch). The scenic 3,5-hour drive over Pass of the Ocean Clouds brings you to the ancient town Hoi An. Opt to stroll around the colorful market with stalls brimming with tropical specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day. Dinner is at your hotel.

Meals:         Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:     Life Hoi An Hotel/ Junior Suite River View
www.life-resorts.com

Day 8: Hoi An countryside & Culinary experience

This morning, we experience the lives and work of the local people in the rural outskirts of Hoi An. Start your morning at Tra Que vegetable village. Stroll around vegetable gardens, join the farmers to prepare the land and learn the local form of fertilization using seaweed from the local lake. Learn the gardening methods and how they cultivate the vegetables. A private home-cooked lunch offers numerous local delicacies including “Tam Huu” spring roll. Come back to Hoi An and late afternoon, enjoy a cooking class at  Red Bridge Cooking School; set in 3 ares of lush tropical gardens, Red Bridge cooking school is one of highlights to the culinary scene in Hoi An. At 0330pm, meet up with your chef at Hai cafe for a brief introduction then meander through a local market with your chef to enjoy its sight, sound and aroma. It is chance to learn how to select fresh produce and which ingredient put into Central cuisine. Then embark on a 30min boat trip to the school. Get your camera ready as the cruise offers a glimpse of local river life. Upon arrival at this green space, enjoy a private hands-on cooking class. Don’t you know the pleasurable bit of cooking classes is smelling the delicious food being prepared and then getting to eat them? Return to your hotel for the night.

Meals:         Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:     Life Hoi An Hotel/ Junior Suite River View

Day 9: Hoi An walking tour

The narrow lanes are ideal for a walking tour to visit the old merchant’s house with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with outstanding wood carvings. An optional stop, subject to availability, is the private home of Diep Dong Nguyen with a stunning collection of artifacts ranging from pottery and seals to paintings, painting, money and old Hoi An photos. Come back to your hotel and the rest of day is free at leisure for own shopping.

Meals:         Breakfast
Accommodation:     Life Hoi AnHotel/ Junior Suite River View

Saigon, with more than 8 million inhabitants, is the country’s commercial centre. Despite the well-documented hustle and bustle, the city retains its connections to the past.

Day 10: Hoi An – Da Nang/ Da Nang – Saigon via VN323@0800/0910 (economy class)
Saigon city tour & Culinary experience

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Danang for the morning flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, transfer to downtown. Embark on a walking tour to admire Saigon’s historic landmarks including a stroll down Rue Catinat of Graham Greene’s ‘The Quiet American’ will reveal more colonial classics; the Opera House, a three-story classical theatre built to entertain the French colonists (outside visit); the former Hotel de Ville constructed for the French bureaucrats of Indochina in 1901, now The People’s Committee building with no public access; the Notre Dame Cathedral, a stunningly massive red-brick edifice with twin spires, a clear reminder that French once ruled this city (open only 3-4pm everyday otherwise just outside visit); the Central Post Office influenced by Renaissance architecture; and the former Presidential Palace, headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war. Lunch is at the small Wrap & Roll restaurant where you will experience various types of local food that can be wrapped and rolled. Free at leisure. This evening, about 0600pm, travel to Saigon Culinary art center for a private cooking class on typical southern Vietnamese dishes, followed by a dinner that you have cooked yourself.

Meals:         Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:     Caravelle Hotel/ Deluxe room
www.caravellehotel.com

Day 11: Saigon – My Tho (Mekong Delta)

After breakfast, we set out on an excursion to My Tho, the charming city in the Mekong Delta closest to Saigon. A 2-hour drive brings you through urbanized areas until you reach the river tributaries, there Mekong Delta! Stop over at Vinh Trang pagoda, an ancient southern architectural gem. Built in 1849, the structure is a mixture of Asian and European architecture including elements from the Renaissance period, Romanesque style, French decorative flowers and Japanese enameled tile. The most valuable collection is the 18 arhats made from jackfruit tree wood in 1907. On arrival in My Tho, board a private but rustic local motorized boat to cruise along upper Mekong and observe the abundant agricultural life. Visit a fish-rearing village before entering Vam Xep canal and its beautiful water palm scenery. Disembark and stroll around Quoi An fruit orchard, visiting fruit-drying kilns and a workshop for coconut craftwares. Take a short horse-drawn cart ride along the village road. Upon arrival at Ben Truc – Phong Phu garden, sample delicious fruits from the Mekong delta and enjoy traditional local music. This is also an opportunity to interact with local people who make their livelihoods on the river. End your journey with a rowing boat trip to explore the water palm canals. After the main boat has transferred you to My Tho, enjoy your lunch at Ngoc Gia Trang restaurant – a simple eatery offering tasty Mekong specialties. Drive back to Saigon. Farewell dinner tonight is at the former residence of the US Ambassador to Vietnam 1960s, Mr. Henry C. Lodge. The cocktail reception will be accompanied by performances from local children before retiring to the cozy dining room for the candle-light dinner, warmed up by a violin and piano performance.

Meals:         Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation:     Caravelle Hotel/ Deluxe room

Day 12: Depart Saigon (Own tickets/ flight information to be advised)

Free time until you transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

The regular check-out time for all hotels is 12.00pm.
Late check out is subject to availability.

Meals:         Breakfast
End of services!

Tour Cost – Subject to an Acceptance Payment/Deposit of £250 per person

Cost per person on twin share basis as per the itinerary. TOUR PRICE is subject to ACTUAL at time of enquiry and confirmation

OPTION 1: DELUXE HOTELS

Tour Price/ US$

(Price per person)

01

person

02

persons

03 / 04 persons05 / 06 persons07 / 10 persons11 / 14 personsSingle supplement
01 Jun 10 – 30 Sep 105,6643,2672,8792,4982,4122,2281,065
01 Oct 10 – 20 Dec 105,9133,4033,0152,6342,5482,3641,202

OPTION 2: SUPERIOR HOTELS

Tour Price/ US$

(Price per person)

01

person

02

persons

03 / 04 persons05 / 06 persons07 / 10 persons11 / 14 personsSingle supplement
01 Jun 10 – 30 Sep 104,8092,8452,4572,0761,9901,806644
01 Oct 10 – 20 Dec 105,0892,9952,6072,2262,1401,956794

The tour price is based on the above suggested hotel/room categories. It is subject to change due to availability and increases in air and train fares.

All Tours are subject to an Acceptance Payment/Deposit of £250

REMARK
– The above tariffs are subject to change accordingly to the increasing of gasoline cost till 30th day prior to the date of departure

– The above hotels are subject to change accordingly to the availability of the hotels

Payment.
1. On acceptance£250 per person, Acceptance Payment/Deposit (non refundable) by bank transfer or cheque payable to “S W & M Miller”.
 Your Contract for all tour arrangements is directly with our Partner Company in Vietnam to whom payment for the tour is made.

2. You pay eight weeks prior to arrival in Vietnam, or on Acceptance – 50% of the total in US $, by Credit Card or International Bank Transfer.

3. On arrival in Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos– the balance of 50% is payable, in US $, by Credit Card or Cash.

Please Note:  A credit card charge may apply.

Cancellation Charges

35 days prior to arrival a cancellation fee of US$200 per person will be applicable.
30 days notice of cancellation a fee of 25% of the total amount will be applicable.
25 days notice of cancellation a fee of 50% of the total amount will be applicable
Less than 25 days notice incurs the full amount. Acceptance Payment non refundable

Included in the Cost

  • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis in the hotels mentioned above or equivalent – subject to availability.
  • Any single room subject to supplement shown.
  • Room and breakfast basis – or meals as indicated in the itinerary (B), (L) and (D)
  • 2days/1night Halong cruise (join-in)
  • Kayaking on Halong Bay
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guide
  • Private transfers and transportation on tour Air-ticket (economy class): HAN-HUI/DAD-SGN with domestic airport taxes
  • Entrance fees and private boat ride
  • Cyclo tour as mentioned
  • Meals as specified (no drinks/water)
  • Water & tissue on sightseeing days
  • Special activities as mentioned

Welcome pack

  • All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle where appropriate.
  • Services of an English speaking local guide (or a naturalist in National Parks)
  • Entrance fees at monuments and parks where applicable
  • Train journeys where applicable – Train ticket from Hanoi to Hue (night train)
  • Boat trip
  • One bottle water a day per person
  • Basic porterage at airports, rail stations and hotels (not tips).
  • All currently applicable taxes.
  • Where US$ or Thai Baht are quoted,  the UK pounds price shown is for comparison only and is subject to change.
  • Excluded from the Cost
  • Expenses of a personal nature:  table drinks, laundry, telephone calls, Internet charges, mineral water, tips, shopping etc.
  • Any other meals or services not mentioned in the itinerary or ‘includes’ list.
  • Any international airfares to India and Asia
  • Any airport taxes where applicable in each country
  • Domest flight-Supplement for flight from Danang to Saigon: DAN / SGN = $80.00/ person
  • Any subsequent increase in airfares, fuel costs, monuments/sightseeing fees.
  • Any other taxes subsequently introduced by Government, State or Tourist Ministry.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa Fees, if applicable, in any country
  • Any Christmas, New Year and Gala Dinners

General note:
All elements included in this quotation are subject to availability until the booking is made.  The hotels/ services  as quoted may change when giving you the final confirmation, based on current availability.

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