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Beyond the Banh Mi

Trip Length

Trip Code

12 days PAFV

Maximum Passengers

12 people

Countries Visited


Start City

End City

Hanoi, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Beyond the Banh Mi

Vietnamese cuisine is diverse, delicious and a feast for your eyes as much as your tastebuds. Nuanced and balanced flavours, delicately herbed and spiced dishes; here is a cuisine that harbours a range of international influences, from French to Indian. The north's cuisine is more traditional, while the dishes of the south are more exotic and liberal. The cuisine of central Vietnam is quite distinct too, using different spices. A cooking class at Hanoi's famous KOTO restaurant is the introduction to this culinary extravaganza. We discover the capital’s graceful charms before enjoying a boat cruise on stupendous Halong Bay. In the former capital of Hue we explore the citadel and the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc before indulging in Hue's famous 'royal' cuisine. In Hoi An, we spend a full day visiting local farmers and picking fresh vegetables from market gardens for our cooking class at the exotic Red Bridge Cooking School. After some leisure time in this charming old town, our journey continues south to vibrant Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), where the trip's highlight is a lesson on preparing southern Vietnamese cuisine. After taking in some 'must-see' sights of Saigon, a day trip to the Mekong Delta, the renowned cornucopia of Vietnam, is a great and fitting way to end this culinary journey.

Why we love it:

Beyond the Banh Mi

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1-2: Hanoi

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Accommodation: May de Ville City Centre 2 Hotel or similar, Hanoi


Day 3-4: Halong Bay - Hanoi - overnight train

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Overnight boat & overnight train, Halong Bay


Day 5: Hue

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Gold 1 Hotel or similar


Day 6-8: Hue - Hoi An

Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Phu Thinh 2 hotel or similar


Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Asian Ruby Hotel or similar, HCMC


Day 10: Mekong Delta

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Homestay, Murghab


Day 11-12: Ho Chi Minh City

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Asian Ruby Hotel or similar, HCMC


Your Trip

What to know

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.


This trip is run by our sister company, Intrepid.

What's Included


Not Included

Optional Extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

What to know


You will be required to cycle on day 7 as the tour of the herb gardens of Tra Que Village is done on bicycle.


Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent. VIETNAM: Australia: Yes - in advance Belgium: Yes - in advance Canada: Yes - in advance Germany Yes - in advance Ireland: Yes - in advance Netherlands: Yes - in advance New Zealand: Yes - in advance South Africa: Yes - in advance Switzerland: Yes - in advance United Kingdom: Yes - in advance USA: Yes - in advance When obtaining your visa you should allow 3 weeks for processing, the cost is approximately US$60 to US$100. Check with your embassy or consulate for further details. Some nationalities are exempt from requiring a visa if their stay is less than 15 days, but if you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance. Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure. If your visa application asks for a point of contact, please write: Intrepid Vietnam 57A Nguyen Khac Hieu St, Hanoi, Vietnam Ph +84 4 3715 0996. Most nationalities do not require a letter of invitation for Vietnam but if you do need one, please contact your sales agent for more information.


You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel ( page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading


There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: The Quiet American- Graham Greene The Sacred Willow-Duong Van Mai Elliot Paradise of the Blind-Duong Thu Huong Vietnam: Yesterday & Today -Ellen Hammer One Crowded Hour- Tim Bowden Catfish and Mandala-Andrew X Pham Hitchhiking Vietnam-Karin Muller Vietnam- Lonely Planet A Bright Shining Lie-Neil Sheehan (on the Vietnam-American War)

Important Information

Important Note on Arrival Transfers
Please note that this tour is operated by our sister company, Intrepid. Contrary to what is mentioned in our printed brochure, an airport arrival transfer is NOT included in this tour, but can be pre-booked at additional cost. Please inquire at the time of booking.

Accommodation & Transport
The accommodation for this tour is Intrepid Original style. Hotels are generally 2 - 3 star, but you may find yourself in a fortress or as the guest of a local family. At some stages during your journey you will find yourself experiencing local transportation.

Local Tour Leaders
By employing and training local guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success.

Infrastructure and Tet Holiday Period
Please note that Vietnam is a developing country whose infrastructure may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences due to such things as restaurants or tourist sites being closed and our regular transport services not always being available, especially so during the Tet holiday period (Vietnamese New Year).

During Tet, most businesses will be closed as Vietnamese people usually spend this period returning to their homes and celebrating with their families. This will involve a major burden on all forms of transport, and despite booking in advance, tickets for planes and trains especially are extremely difficult to obtain. Even if bookings are obtained, transport services during this period will be overcrowded and heavy delays are to be expected, so you will need to make sure that you pack your sense of humour. In order to facilitate your travels during the Tet period, we may need to substitute your train/plane journey with a private bus trip, if required. If you are travelling over Tet, you will get to experience foods and celebrations that only occur at this time of the year.

Single Supplements
If you have booked a single supplement for this trip, please note it will not be applicable for the following nights: Day 3 (Halong Bay), Day 4 (overnight train) and Day 10 (local homestay) To enquire about booking a single supplement please contact your sales agent.

Local Emergency Contacts
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, the Peregrine/Intrepid Vietnam office can be reached on Tel: +84 903 117 770

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

17 December 2014

General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 855-832-4859
Web: Visit Peregrine