Days
12
Price from
$2,895AUD

Salty, spicy, tangy, fresh — fire up the taste buds in delicious Vietnam

Satisfy the hunger for adventure on this gourmet exploration of Vietnam. Taste your way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and fill the eyes with amazing sights, the stomach with delicious food and the heart with unforgettable experiences. The soul of Vietnam can be found in its cuisine and you will find it in the pho of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the bun bo of Hue, the cao lau soup of Hoi An and the broken rice of Ho Chi Minh City. Explore the markets of Hanoi, enjoy a candle-lit dinner in Halong Bay, cook like a local in central Vietnam and learn the secrets of folk cuisine from a resident master. Taste the country’s history in recipes handed down over generations, and experience it in the old streets, colonial buildings, temples and imperial ruins. This is an adventure where every mouthful will take you closer to the heart of Vietnam.


Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Country
Vietnam
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Gourmet
Code
PAGF
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
2 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Sample street food alongside the locals. This is often where the most delectable and most interesting Vietnamese dishes can be found

  • Feasting beneath the stars while cruising Halong Bay is an experience to remember. This is a dining location that's hard to top

  • There is perhaps no greater insight into a food culture than sitting down to dine with a local family in their home. Share in this special experience in Hue, as well as during your Mekong Delta homestay

  • Meet a true legend of Vietnam's food scene in Ho Chi Minh City and take a personal cooking class to learn her secrets of tasty southern Vietnamese cuisine

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please be aware that in many countries dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, simply contact your agent at the time of booking for further information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed!

  • The facilities on the overnight boat on Halong Bay and at the Mekong Delta homestay are simple, but the rewards of such a true local experience are immeasurable.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 January 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Arrive in Hanoi, where you'll be met by a Peregrine representative and transferred to your hotel. There are no activites planned until an important group meeting in the evening (usually 6pm). Please check the welcome board or reception desk on the ground floor of the hotel for details. Your trip leader will collect your travel insurance details at the meeting, so please bring these with you. Afterwards head out with your group for your first taste of the Hanoi dining scene with dinner at a restaurant with a spectacular view overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake. 
Accommodation
  • Thien Thai or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Welcome dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
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. Pay homage to Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. Along the way, enjoy some of Hanoi's legendary street food. Perhaps select some Banh Cuon (stuffed rice noodle rolls) or Thit Nuong (chargrilled pork skewers). Sample authentic Vietnamese tea at one of Hanoi’s hidden teahouses (tea plays a major role in Vietnamese culinary culture, and the locals tend to favour light, flower-infused varieties). Late in the afternoon, take a guided walk around Dong Xuan Market, followed by a cooking class with a noted expert in northern Vietnamese cuisine. 
Accommodation
  • Thien Thai or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum
  • Hanoi - Cooking Class
  • Hanoi - Traditional Tea House
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Drive to Halong Bay (approximately 3 hours). You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. The scenes on the bay, of sailing junks navigating scattered limestone islands, are nothing short of spectacular. You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where you will board a boat for an exploration of the bay. Visit one of the caves in the area; in the warmer months you can take a swim there. An onboard 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). While the accommodation on the boat is more communal than your usual hotel setting, spending a night on the bay is a wonderful experience. If the weather is obliging, the views at sunset are especially impressive. Consider taking an optional kayaking trip across the bay while you are here.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Halong Bay - Candle-lit Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
All boats used by Peregrine have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning. If you have paid for a single supplement, it will not apply on the Halong Bay cruise, as all accommodation here is on a twin-share basis and there are limited cabins on each boat.
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 trip leader will have a variety of options for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Cherish Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 bún bò Huế which contains rice vermicelli (bún) and beef (bò). This is a signature of the city. Next take a boat cruise on the Perfume River and witness the Thien Mu Pagoda – the unofficial symbol of the city. The Pagoda is an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. 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.
Accommodation
  • Cherish Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise
  • Hue Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue - Empoeror Tu Duc's Tomb
  • Hue - Home-cooked meal
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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. On arrival in Hoi An, a walking tour 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. You will notice a distinctly Chinese appearance to the pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. In the evening you will be taken on a tour of Hoi An’s impressive culinary scene. Over the course of this staggered dinner you will taste some of the city’s signature dishes in cafes, food stalls, markets and restaurants that are well off the tourist trail.
Accommodation
  • Atlas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • Hue - Imperial citadel
  • Hoi An - Street Food Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will delve deeper into central Vietnamese cuisine. Start your morning with a bike ride through the nearby herb gardens of Tra Que village. Throughout the morning you will be introduced to the wealth of produce available in this region. You will then have a hands-on lesson in some classic central Vietnamese dishes at Vietnam’s celebrated Morning Glory Cooking School. For lunch you will feast on your own delicious creations. The afternoon is free for you to explore Hoi An as you please. The market is a good place to buy silk that can be made up into fine garments, and many expert tailors offer a same-day service. If you fancy a swim, there is a nice local beach which can be reached easily by bicycle.

Note: For passengers who would prefer not to cycle, a taxi will be offered as an alternate form of transport to Tra Que village.
Accommodation
  • Atlas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Herb Garden Bicycle Tour and Cooking Class
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Thu Bon sunset river cruise - VND4227222
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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.
Accommodation
  • Atlas Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 one of Vietnam’s most respected food personalities, Mrs Dzoan Van Cam. After trying your hand at preparing and cooking southern Vietnamese food with this master of the form, you can enjoy the results for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Paragon Hotel, or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • HCMC - Cooking class and dinner
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast you will drive south to Cai Be 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 your homestay which is your lodging this evening. Here you will enjoy a beautiful home-cooked meal of dishes distinct to the Mekong Delta region.

Notes: Facilities at the homestay are simple, with cold water only. Your dorm-style room will have a single camp bed fitted with a mosquito net. Amenities may vary, as homestays are rotated in order to share business around. While the conditions are basic, this part of the trip is a fascinating insight into local life and a rewarding experience.
Accommodation
  • Mekong Delta Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mekong Delta - River Cruise and Producer Visits
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Rise early, as the locals do, and enjoy a delicious traditional breakfast. Afterwards you will be taken to visit the bustling Cai Be floating market – an interesting bazaar on the delta awash with colour and activity. Browse for exotic tropical fruits and other local produce. This is a great chance to not only interact with some local mechants but also see another facet of daily Mekong life. You will return to Ho Chi Minh City in the early afternoon. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for an aperitif at a rooftop bar overlooking the city lights, then head out for a taste of Ho Chi Minh City's exciting contemporary restaurant scene with dinner of modern Vietnamese dishes at a top dining establishment.   
Accommodation
  • Paragon Hotel, or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Farewell Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast this morning, and you are free to leave at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Boat, Plane, Taxi, Bicycle (optional)

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (9 nts), Overnight boat (1 nt), Homestay (1 nt)

Included Activities

  • Hanoi - Welcome dinner
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum
  • Hanoi - Cooking Class
  • Hanoi - Traditional Tea House
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Halong Bay - Candle-lit Dinner
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise
  • Hue Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue - Empoeror Tu Duc's Tomb
  • Hue - Home-cooked meal
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • Hue - Imperial citadel
  • Hoi An - Street Food Tour
  • Hoi An - Herb Garden Bicycle Tour and Cooking Class
  • HCMC - Cooking class and dinner
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Mekong Delta - River Cruise and Producer Visits
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Farewell Dinner

Reviews

Our Gourmet Explorer Vietnam trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Gourmet Explorer Vietnam , November 2016

Lisa Angwin

Gourmet Explorer Vietnam , October 2016

Alister Ritchie

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available for single travellers who would like their own room.

2. This is a culinary journey, with a focus on exploring the different food and beverages of each region. There are more meals included on culinary trips than other trips, so please let us know if you have any allergies or dietary requirements.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.