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On The Go Tours / Southeast Asia / Vietnam / Tours / Flavours Of Vietnam 11 Days

Flavours of Vietnam

11 days  |  Hanoi to Saigon  |  from USD $2,599  |   Guaranteed Departure 

Embark on a culinary journey through Vietnam, visiting local markets, learning about local produce, how to cook it and best of all how good it tastes. This tour includes cooking demonstrations, cooking lessons with local families giving an unparalleled insight into this beguiling country’s delicious cuisine plus stopping off at all the key highlights en route.

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Itinerary
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Inclusions
Day 1

Saturday. Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Airport to hotel arrival transfer. The remains of the day offer free time for you to explore the wide tree lined avenues, beautiful lakes, ancient pagoda’s and thriving, historic old city, all easily navigated on foot.
Overnight: Hanoi

    Hanoi
Day 2
Market Visit & Cooking Course

Hanoi - breakfast. Start the day with an energising coffee at a local cafe in the Old Quarter of the city before heading to a local market. Brimming with fruit, vegetables, meats and sweets this is a perfect introduction to Vietnam's colourful cuisine. Here a local chef helps us pick out some ingredients for our upcoming cooking lesson. We then head to a local house for a lesson on preparing a traditional Vietnamese meal with a family. Enjoy a lunch of your creations and chat to the host about her cuisine and culture.

Later in the afternoon we head back to the Old Quarter for a walking and rickshaw tour, learning about its rich cultural, artistic and culinary history, while enjoying the taste of some typical street food. In the evening tuck into a tasty duck dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Hanoi  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Hanoi – Halong Bay. This morning a scenic drive leads us to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Boarding our traditional wooden junk boat we cruise the emerald waters soaking up the panoramic vista of the thousand or so karst limestone islands that stud the bay. For lunch we have a Vietnamese buffet lunch on board.

Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to 'Dark & Bright Lagoon'. Tonight, there's a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.
Overnight: Deluxe Junk Boat  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, we sail back to port.

Arriving to Hanoi mid afternoon an hour or so is spent exploring the quixotic web of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. The motorbike swarming narrow lanes are each named after various guilds of the city’s artisan who established themselves here centuries ago. There is Silver Street, Silk Street, Comb Street, Paper Street and more. The maze of rambling streets are framed by narrow front tube houses and we may have a chance to sample the exotic fruits, sizzling noodle dishes and delightfully sticky snacks being offers by he pavement vendors. Our tour of the area is undertaken by a quintessentially Vietnamese experience from aboard a cyclo (rickshaw).

A little time will be given to freshen up before boarding the our train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue.
Overnight: Sleeper train  |  Breakfast

Day 5
Imperial Hue

Upon arrival to Hue we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city, whose 21m high tower has become something of a symbol for Hue and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin.

In the countryside lies the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings, here we’ll view the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River, beautifully illuminated at night.
Overnight: Hue  |  Breakfast, Lunch

    Hue
Day 6

Hue - Road of the Ocean Clouds - Hoi An. Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other. En route we stop for a walk along China beach, featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey south along the coast to Hoi An.

The charming, old-world trading port of Hoi An with it cobbled streets, traditional homes and tiny shop houses is a perfect place to lose yourself in a by gone era. Boutique restaurants, hip cafes along the waterfront, delightful craft shops and artisans including some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors (whose services come at a nominal price), all can be found here.

On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. This evening why not head to one of the town's excellent local restaurant which your tour guide will happily recommend.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast

Day 7

A bicycle ride into the countryside, leads us to Tra Que village. Here,we discover age old farming practices and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.

In the evening, stroll around Hoi An ancient town to experience Cao Lau (one of the most typical noodle bowls of Hoi Anwhich should not be missed) and some other dishes of the region such as chicken rice and rice cracker with clam.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

A free day for you relax or further sightsee. You may wish to take the optional cooking class at the Market Restaurant. Alternatively, take a relaxing rowboat journey along the river or spend the day lazing by the beach or hotel pool. It’s also possible to take an optional excursion to the most holiest and evocative of Vietnam’s Cham sites, My Son or to Quang Ngai, the site of the My Lai massacre memorial. The massacre was a significant turning point in the Vietnam War and the story is told through photo presentation on a walk through the village.

The evening is also at leisure for you to enjoy some more of the town’s excellent eateries like Morning Glory and the Mango Rooms.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Hoi An - Saigon. Early morning flight to Saigon. Drive to the Mekong Delta. Often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as it fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island.

This evening is at leisure. Why not stroll around the centre of Can Tho and try local specialties such as Mam Hot Pot and delicious Organic Chicken?
Overnight: Can Tho  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10

Can Tho - Saigon. Early today we visit the ever lively Cai Rang floating market. Watch as melons, pineapples, fresh greens, sacks of rice and children's toys get tossed from one sampan to another at great heights and speed before driving back to Saigon. Once called the Pearl of the Orient, modern Saigon is a thriving metropolis on the move. Sleek sky scrapers, gourmet restaurants, designer malls and swanky bars and spas are scattered between ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and lively street markets. Our walking tour of Saigon includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum.

This evening we enjoy a delicious farewell dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants.
Overnight: Saigon  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11

Tuesday. Today is free for you to enjoy Saigon before your departure transfer to the airport. Opt for a relaxing foot massage, shop for souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market or visit the grand Independence Palace, with its secret bunker and military command centre beneath!

You could also extend your stay and join us on a day trip to Cu Chi. Here you can go underground to explore the vast network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters, see booby traps, trap doors or test your skill with an AK 47 at the firing range.
Breakfast

Cu Chi Tunnels - go underground!

Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels - a vast underground network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters during the 1960’s. Often lead by a relative of a Viet Cong fighter in green fatigues you’ll walk the bush trails discovering grass covered trapdoors, ingenious, yet gruesome booby traps and hidden underwater entrances in rivers. There is also an opportunity to go underground and pop off a few rounds at the firing range. Our Cu Chi Tunnels bolt-on includes return transportation to and from Cu Chi, guided tour and 1 night accommodation in Saigon.

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.

Deluxe
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.

Lavish
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!

Sunway Hotel, Hanoi
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This ambient, boutique hotel combines traditional appeal with modern pleasures. Rooms are furnished in a contemporary fashion with an array of amenities for added comfort. Its restaurant provides a great variety of Vietnamese cuisine and you are welcome to enjoy cocktails and live music in the Jazz Bar or relax in the hotel's health spa.

Bhaya Classic Junk Boat, Halong Bay
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Deluxe House Boat

This premier cruise boat offers 18 well appointed cabins with en suite amenities. Cabins are contemporary in design, whilst the finer touches have a distinct oriental influence. All cabins feature large windows creating a bright and airy atmosphere as well as scenic views. Facilities and services onboard include a dining room and bar, a sunbathing area on-deck, masseur and small library. This boat departs from the port of Halong City and plies its route through the karst peaks of Halong Bay during their journey and overnight stay on the water.

Huong Giang Hotel, Hue
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Contemplate the beautiful city of Hue with the panoramic views afforded by this award-winning hotel. The well-appointed rooms blend traditional architectural styles with modern facilities including satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities, whilst the chain of restaurants and bars cover a variety of international cuisine.

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An
Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort offers luxury and gracious hospitality in a traditional Vietnamese environment right on the banks of the Thu Bon river with top notch facilities.

Victoria Hotel Can Tho, Can Tho
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Mekong Delta's only luxury hotel, this attractive, colonial-style resort is tastefully decorated with well-appointed rooms and a wide range of facilities including a spa, tennis courts, open-air bar, restaurant and a gym. The hotel also offers sunrise and sunset cruises to the floating markets aboard the Lady Hau junk.

Northern Hotel, Saigon
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Located in Saigon's central business district, the Northern Hotel offers comfortable and stylish accommodation. Guest rooms are contemporary in style and are decorated with warming tones and excellent en suite facilities. The onsite restaurant offers a variety of European and Asian dishes set on the mezzanine floor. The hotel also offers complimentary use of computers in the lobby and a fully equipped gym for those who wish keep fit whilst staying in the city.

Trip Highlights

Hanoi - Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ancient Quarter. Local markets and Vietnamese cooking.
Hue - ancient citadel, Imperial Purple City, Royal Tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda and monastery
Saigon - ‘Pearl of the Orient!. Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office and War Remnants Museum
Cai Be waterways, cottage industries, mansion home and Dong Hoa Hiep Island
Halong Bay - UNESCO Listed region with thousands of beautiful limestone peaks and islets
Hoi An - UNESCO Listed ancient town, famed for its beautifully preserved old city, tailors, handicrafts markets and nearby beaches
Mekong Delta - a maze of waterways, fertile farm land and floating villages
Can Tho - lively market town in the Mekong Delta and nearby Cai Rang floating market

Included

10 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 3 dinners
Economy class flight Danang - Saigon
Hanoi Market visit and cooking lesson
Sampan and row boat journeys in the Mekong Delta
Guided sightseeing - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Ho Ain, Mekong Delta and Saigon
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
Maximum group size: 16 travellers
8 nights 4 star and special class hotels, 1 night deluxe junk boat and 1 overnight sleeper train (Junk boat: private cabin, Sleeper train: basic, 4 berth cabin.)
Halong Bay Junk boat cruise - swim, kayak, explore caves and floating villages
Bicycle ride to Tra Que village and cooking demonstration
Airport arrival transfer day 1 and departure transfer day 11
Escorted by an English speaking Vietnamese tour guide.
Visa approval letter (excl. stamping fee required upon arrival)

Not Included

International flights and visa. Vietnam visa letter included - stamping fee required upon arrival
Entrance Fees: $45 - $55 USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: $45 - $55 USD

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

2015
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $2599
USD $1099
 
USD $2599
USD $1099
 
USD $2599
USD $1099
2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $2599
USD $1099
 
USD $2599
USD $1099
 
USD $2599
USD $1099
 
USD $2599
USD $1099
Tour Details
Starts
Hanoi
Ends
Saigon
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
4 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Lunch: 5, Dinner: 3
Tour Bolt-ons
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons
Cu Chi Tunnels
USD $179 / 2 days
Bangkok City Stay
USD $749 / 3 days
Mui Ne Beach Break
USD $839 / 5 days
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Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.