After the success of our previous culinary tours of India we will now be embarking on a new adventure.  Next year we will be running a culinary tour of Vietnam.

The tour will take place from the 20th of Feb 2019 to 3rd of March 2019.

For booking information please contact Janet Lewis

01782 326 256

07966 929372

This is arranged through transindus, AiTO ATOL ABTA registered

The full itinerary can be found here.

The planned itinerary is below:

1 Wed 20 Feb Manchester – Dubai
Fly from Manchester (Terminal 1) on Emirates Flight EK 20 departure 20:35.
Economy Class

2 Thu 21 Feb Dubai – Ho Chi Minh City
Arrive at Dubai (Terminal 3) at 07:50.
Fly from Dubai on Emirates Flight EK 392 departure 09:40.
Arrive at Ho Chi Minh City at 19:35.
Economy Class

Transfer from Ho Chi Minh City airport to hotel
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Stay at Grand Hotel Saigon (Deluxe Room in Luxury Wing) for 3 nights
Accommodation: Grand Hotel Saigon (First Class, Period).
Meal Plan: Room only.

3 Fri 22 Feb Ho Chi Minh City
Half day tour of Ho Chi Minh City
A vibrant metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere
you look, you see the meeting of traditional and modern life. The emerging modern skyline
stands alongside colonial buildings and traditional temples. Outside on the streets, young
professionals zip by on motorbikes, chatting on cell phones; inside the quiet temple
courtyards, worshippers pray amidst clouds of incense.

Begin the tour of this exciting city with a tour of the historic centre, strolling along Dong
Khoi Street, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart
of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall
(Hotel de Ville), the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside), and pay a
quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.
Afterwards dive into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. This Palace of
the South Vietnamese president was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying
the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks
remain on display near the entrance gates. Continue to the harrowing War Remnants
Musuem, which comprehensively documents the travails of the long Vietnam- American
War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions; outside is a collection of tanks, planes and
weapons. A powerful experience, this museum is guaranteed to provoke strong emotions.
Later drive to the historic centre to visit Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of the city’s most
interesting pagodas.

Excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels
Today afternoon, we visit Cu Chi tunnels. Never discovered by American forces, the Cu Chi
tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km,
this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapons factories. You walk through the area and
learn about the day to day life of the Vietcong, bear witness to the cleverly disguised
entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which
have been modified to accommodate tourists. Although an undeniably touristy experience, it
is quite informative.

“Saigon at night” by Vespa
Saigon really comes alive after dark, and what better way to explore this dynamic city than
riding pillion on a vintage Vespa. Start the evening with drinks at the popular Zoom Café and
get to know the drivers of your stylish scooters. Then hop on the comfortable backseats and
set off through the busy streets and alleys of old Saigon to see the city by street lamp. Smell
the aromas wafting out from street side restaurants and pass by important sites such as the
Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office and the City Hall. Stop in local eateries for seafood
appetisers and drinks followed by a delicious barbeque dinner with Southern rice pancakes
and fresh spring rolls. Finish the evening in several hidden cafés and bars that are popular
hangouts for the Vietnamese. Listen to the sounds of live unplugged music while you
immerse yourself in the local nightlife scene.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Saigon (First Class, Period).
Meal Plan: Breakfast & Dinner.

4 Sat 23 Feb Ho Chi Minh City
Full day excursion to Mekong Delta
After breakfast, we will drive to Cai Be (about 2 hours). We will take a private motor-boat to
visit the colourful floating market of Cai Be and cruising through local barges full of fruits
and vegetables. Then stop at local handicraft workshops where you can learn how to make
rice paper, coconut candy and pop-rice, pop-corn. You can try and taste all kinds of
candies with the local family.

Later we take the rowing boats deeper into the countryside passing through smaller canals
and to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. We visit one of the most beautiful ancient houses in
the Mekong delta with the fruits garden to enjoy the tropical fruits.

We will continue cruising on rowing boats and visit another farmer family. We will enjoy a
cooking class here. You will have chance to cook some traditional food with local people
and enjoy what you cook. We will then return to our motorboat which will bring us back to
the jetty. We drive back to our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Saigon (First Class, Period).
Meal Plan: Breakfast & Lunch.
5 Sun 24 Feb Ho Chi Minh City – Danang – Hoi An
Transfer from hotel to airport
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Ho Chi Minh City airport
(please note that check in is 2 hours prior to the departure)

Fly from Ho Chi Minh City on Vietnam Airlines Flight VN 122 departure 11:40.
Arrive at Danang at 13:00.
Economy Class
Transfer from Danang airport to Hoi An

You will be met at Danang airport and driven to Hoi An (45 minutes).
Stay at KOI Hoi An Resort and Spa (Superior Garden View Room) for 3 nights
Half day sightseeing of Hoi An

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was a prosperous trading port. The ancient
town of Hoi An is recognized as a World Heritage Site. The town boasts well-preserved
buildings, pedestrianised streets and unique cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its
illustrious past. The narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour. There is plenty to visit including the old merchant’s houses 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; and the colourful market with stalls
brimming with local specialties including silk.

Accommodation: KOI Hoi An Resort & Spa (First class, Modern).
Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast.

6 Mon 25 Feb Hoi An
Morning is at leisure (our hotel is a short walk from beach).
Cooking class at Red Bridge
In the afternoon, we will be picked up from our hotel and taken to Hoi An’s colourful
vegetable market. Experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We
will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about all the ingredients
to be used in the cooking lesson later.

We then board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise of about half an hour along the Hoi
An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School.
Set in three acres of lush tropical gardens, Red Bridge cooking school is one of the highlights
of the culinary scene in Hoi An.

On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb garden, before learning about some of Hoi
An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – the Red
Bridge chefs first demonstrate each dish before we prepare the same dish ourselves. We will
also learn about Vietnamese fruit carving (plate decoration).

Typical menu for cooking class at Red Bridge:
1. Beef noodle soup (Pho) – includes the making of fresh rice noodles
2. Clay Pot Fish with Fresh Dill (Cha Ca)
3. Lemongrass Shrimp grilled in Banana Leaves (Tom Nuong La Chuoi)
4. Grilled Chicken and Banana Flower Salad (Goi Hoa Chuoi Ga Nuong)
(Note: Vegetarians are provided with replacement ingredients)

After the lesson, we sit down and eat what we have cooked in a lovely restaurant overlooking
the river. Then we return back to our hotel.

Accommodation: KOI Hoi An Resort & Spa (First class, Modern).
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner

7 Tue 26 Feb Hoi An
Excursion to Cam Thanh Coconut Village and Tra Que Herbs Village
After breakfast, we visit Cam Thanh Coconut village. Enjoy the fresh air and the peaceful
atmosphere of Vietnamese village. Witness the local life, fishing man rowing boat on river to
catch fish. You will also have chance to ride a sampan boat and row deep inside coconut
Later we will drive on to An My Rice village where we will experience riding a buffalo!!
We will then drive on to Tra Que Village, located on a quiet and peaceful stream. Tra Que
village is famous throughout Vietnam for the quality and variety of its vegetable and herbs,
grown using a special method of organic farming.
Tour the gardens with a local farmer, with explanations of the different plants. Join the
farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with algae from the local lake. We can join in
by helping them with other activities such as raking the ground, sowing seeds, watering
greens, picking vegetables.
We return the farmer’s house and learn to prepare local dishes.

Menu for reference at Tra Que Herbs village:
1. Bánh Xèo – sizzling cake (Vietnamese pancake with fillings of meat, seafood or vegetable)
2. Chả Giò Hải Sản – Fried seafood spring roll.

Enjoy lunch with the local family.

7 Tue 26 Feb Hoi An
After some rest, we will drive back to our hotel in Hoi An.
Remainder of the day is at leisure.

Accommodation: KOI Hoi An Resort & Spa (First class, Modern).
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Lunch

8 Wed 27 Feb Hoi An – Danang – Hanoi
Transfer from Hoi An to Danang airport
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Danang airport (45 minutes)
(note that check in is 2 hours prior to the departure)

Fly from Danang on Vietnam Airlines Flight VN 164 departure 11:35.
Arrive at Hanoi at 12:55.
Economy Class

Transfer from Hanoi airport to the hotel

You will be met at Hanoi airport and transferred to your hotel (45 minutes to 1 hour
depending on traffic)
Stay at Silk Path Luxury Hotel (Deluxe Room) for 2 nights
Cooking class at Hanoi Cooking Centre (HCC)
Late afternoon, we will be taken to Hanoi Cooking Centre (HCC) for a private cooking class.
Enjoy “La Han Guo” – a special Vietnamese tea made of monk fruit. We will have a brief
introduction to Vietnamese cuisine, highlighting the contents of a tradition meal.
We will take a short walk to the Chau Long Market with HCC chef. Not for the faint of
hearted, this is a wet market with an array of fresh vegetables, live fishes, and strange regional
delicacies out on offer. It is nevertheless an experience worth having, as like the most of them,
it is real and authentic. You will have lots of opportunities to take photos.
Return to HCC and commence cooking class with HCC chef.
Typical menu at Hanoi Cooking Centre is:
1. Beef noodle soup
2. BBQ pork with rice noodle
3. Fried pork spring rolls
4. Green papaya salad
5. Fruit cup
After the cooking class, we will enjoy dinner in their dining room.
After dinner, we can explore the cooking shop where Vietnamese culinary tools, books, spices
etc available for purchase before returning back to our hotel.

Accommodation: Silk Path Luxury Hotel (First class, Modern).
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner.

9 Thu 28 Feb Hanoi
Half day tour of Hanoi
Although it is the modern day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a city that is centuries old, and as
such it retains a mystery and charm that is often lacking from the typical bustling
metropolises of today. Its narrow lanes and traditional shops beg to be explored, whilst its
many public spaces – splashes of green parks, lakes and tree lined boulevards, give the city an
air of elegance and harmony. It is a city that is unique among Asian capitals.
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. View the outside of
the Presidential Palace and then stroll through the park to the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House where
Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days in 1969. Preserved in the same condition as
during his life, it may be viewed through the windows.

9 Thu 28 Feb Hanoi
Continue to the miniature 11th century One Pillar Pagoda which was rebuilt after being
destroyed by the French in 1954.
Visit the Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature has a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways,
and this monument is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese
architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam’s
first university.

We will also visit Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son Temple – both of which are located
in the heart of Hanoi. During our sightseeing we will many colonial remnants such as the
Opera House and St Joseph’s Cathedral.
Street Food tour of Hanoi

Today evening, we will embark on a culinary adventure, sampling street food in the Old
Quarter of Hanoi. It is a great opportunity to try all those weird and wonderful foods you see
but just aren’t sure what they are!
Start your tour at Bia Hoi corner to try the local brew, a draft beer that traces its roots to
Eastern Europe. Do as the locals do and pull up a stool and enjoy a drink while watching the
world go by. Continue through the old quarter’s narrow streets as your guide points out a
range of tasty noodles, breads and snacks. At night the sidewalks are packed with locals
perched on stools, amongst sizzling woks and bubbling pots. These small pop up restaurants
are a nightly feature that disappear during the day. End the night with dessert from Hanoi’s
best-known ice-cream parlour.
(We will give you money for purchasing the drinks and food. You will select, negotiate and
pay for dishes as the locals do)

Accommodation: Silk Path Luxury Hotel (First class, Modern).
Meal Plan: Breakfast and Dinner.

10 Fri 1 Mar Hanoi – Halong Bay
Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay
You will be picked from your hotel and driven to Halong Bay. This is a scenic drive through
countryside lasting about four hours. We will stop in between to stretch the legs and
refreshments. Our guide will hand you over to the cruise staff who will escort you to the ship
by tender boats.

Stay on board Paloma Cruise (Deluxe cabin) for 1 night
After welcome drink and de-briefing session, our ship will start sailing. Enjoy set menu lunch
while cruising to magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay. We will pass through famous Islets like
Indochina studio, Am Islets.
After lunch, we will be transferred by tender boats to Thien Canh Son caves. We will
explore these amazing caves before returning back to ship.
Enjoy sunset party followed by dinner on board.
Overnight on board the ship.

Accommodation: Paloma Cruise (Standard grade, Modern).
Meal Plan: Full Board.
11 Sat 2 Mar Halong Bay – Hanoi
For early risers, there will be Tai Chi demonstrations on the sun deck.
Tea/ Coffee will be on offer.
After breakfast, we will visit Vung Vieng Fishing Village. We will take bamboo boats to visit
the village and discover the daily life of the fishing community. We will also visit the Pearl
farm to learn how they are naturally grown.
Return back to the ship and start clearing your room, settling bills.

11 Sat 2 Mar Halong Bay – Hanoi
A short cooking demonstration will be arranged in the restaurant which is followed by an
early lunch as we ship cruises slowly back to the Marina.
Disembark from the ship.
(please note that cruise program is subject change due to local conditions)
We will be received and driven back to Hanoi (4 hours’ drive).
Stay at Silk Path Luxury Hotel for few hours.
You can relax, freshen up and have dinner in the hotel before going to airport.
Transfer to Hanoi international airport
Late evening, you will be transferred to Hanoi international airport
(please note that check in is 3 hours prior to the departure)

12 Sun 3 Mar Hanoi – Dubai – Manchester
Fly from Hanoi on Emirates Flight EK 395 departure 00:40.
Arrive at Dubai at 05:25.
Economy Class
Fly from Dubai on Emirates Flight EK 17 departure 07:20.
Arrive at Manchester at 11:20.
Economy Class