Essential Vietnam with a Culinary Twist
Bespoke Holiday Itinerary / Experience Tour

Info : Essential Vietnam with a Culinary Twist

Experience the main historical and cultural highlights of Vietnam on a privately guided tour that gives you an extra insight into the local food and plenty of time to relax too.

The long north-south coastline of Vietnam produces varied crops whilst the bordering countries and the French influence makes each regional cuisine distinct. Vietnamese food provides an excellent historical narrative as well as a delicious meal!

You'll have the opportunity to take in the sublime local street-food of both Hanoi and Saigon, shop for fresh ingredients and learn to make spring rolls in Hoi An. You wont' miss any of the sights with an overnight cruise on Halong Bay and a tour of Saigon's Presidential Palace amoung the highlights along the way. 

Highlights include:

  • Pull up a stool and mingle with the locals as you sample popular street food snacks on a Hanoi Street Food Tour and a specialist coffee tour
  • Cruise overnight across stunning Halong Bay 
  • Zip through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City on the back of your own private vintage Vespa and discover some of Ho Chi Minh City’s night time street food hot spots
  • Cruise down the Perfume River in Hue and enjoyed a hosted lunch in a traditional Garden House
  • Visit a local market to buy fresh ingredients then try your hand at cooking some classic Vietnamese dishes

Pricing & Inclusions

An indicative price for this holiday is £2,940 per person inclusive of flights from the UK. Prices may be less in low season and higher in peak season.

Call our Vietnam experts on 020 7924 7133 for an inclusive, personalised quotation for your preferred dates.   


Your personalised quotation with Experience Travel Group will include:

International Flights (which can be omitted from your quotation if you prefer)

  • Accommodation as described
  • Privately guided tours and transfers 
  • Original Experience Travel Group "Signature" experiences 
  • Full financial protection (full ABTA and ATOL bonding)
  • Meals as described
  • 24 hour in-country backup whilst away
  • Your own dedicated travel expert in the UK 

For more on our pricing policy read here.


Day-to-Day Itinerary : Essential Vietnam with a Culinary Twist

Day 1 – Depart the UK

Depart the UK.

Day 2 – Hanoi

You will be met by your guide when you arrive at the airport. You will then be transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city. On your first evening you'll enjoy a complimentary dinner in one of the cities many fine restaurants. 

Day 3 – Hanoi

This morning you will take an exciting tour through the alleyways and cafes of Hanoi on a hand-crafted coffee tour. Taste different types of Vietnamese coffee, see how it is made and meet the locals that make their living from selling it. The afternoon is free. 

Day 4 – Hanoi

The most unique way to experience Vietnamese daily life and cuisine is on a private street food tour. This morning your guide will take you on a walk through Hanoi’s Old Quarter and a local market, trying out some of the wide range of dishes and snacks on offer. Eat as the locals do, and balance out your savoury food with various sweet snacks and drinks too!

In the evening you will experience a unique and traditionally Vietnamese performance art – water puppetry. Marvel at the craftsmanship of the colourful puppets and the deft manoeuvring skills of the artists as they control the puppets behind a “water stage”.

Day 5 – Halong Bay

You will transfer to Halong Bay by road and board your junk boat that will take you out into the beautiful archipelago made up of 1969 islands and famed for its picturesque ocean karst topography. Cruise past craggy peaks and small, beach-fringed islands and visit glittering stalactite caves. Dinner will be served on board where you can sit back, relax and watch the sun set behind the karst peaks of the bay.

Day 6 – Hue

After visiting a small fishing village in the morning, you will return back to Halong Bay harbour and be met by your guide, then transferred back to Hanoi.

You will then fly to Hue, where you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

Day 7 – Hue

Combine a relaxing cruise on the Perfume River with some of Vietnam’s most important historical sites, including the ancient Imperial Citadel and the serene Thien Mu Pagoda. In the afternoon you will also have the chance to visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh’s tombs.

Day 8 – Hoi An

Visit a traditional garden house in Hue – exquisite buildings featuring old timbers, typical brick roofing and beautiful landscaped gardens. You will be welcomed by a family to their traditional garden home and enjoy a freshly prepared lunch.

In the afternoon, travel overland to Hoi An via the Hai Van “Cloudy Pass”, a spectacular three-hour coastal drive with stunning views of the azure ocean and dazzling coastline of central Vietnam.

Day 9 – Hoi An

The morning is free to enjoy the town or the nearby beaches then in the mid afternoon you'll embark upon a fun Vespa tour of the countryside surrounding Hoi An. Riding pillion with your guide you'll weave through narrow roads into quiet villages and along the waterways. A lush landscape awaits, with insightful stops meeting rural families, learning about their lifestyle and sampling delicious fresh foods along the way. 

Day 10 – Hoi An

This morning you will visit a local market to learn about herbs, spices and traditional Vietnamese ingredients. You will then head to Miss Vy's cooking school.  Miss Vy is the third generation of chefs in her family and an expert on Hoi An cuisine, featured in international publications such as the New York Times, Travel & Leisure and Lonely Planet. 

After an introduction to Vietnamese street food, Miss Vy will perform a cooking demonstration of how to prepare some classic local dishes. You will then have the chance to cook these dishes yourself, before all sitting down together to feast on your culinary masterpieces.

Day 11 – Ho Chi Minh City

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, where you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your centrally located hotel.

Day 12 – Ho Chi Minh City

This morning you will have a guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City including visits to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame cathedral, the fascinating History Museum and the former Presidential Palace, where you can explore the underground communication tunnels.

After lunch you will head out of the city to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast underground network of tunnels used by the Vietcong during the American War.

Day 13 – Ho Chi Minh City

Today you will be collected from your hotel to begin the day at a vibrant local market. Then you'll explore the cities districts 3, 10 and 5 to savour a range of local delicacies, snacks and drinks whilst discovering traditional city life, flower markets, temples and more. The afternoon is free.

Day 14 – a day in ho chi minh city then Fly Home

Before your evening flight back to the UK there is a unique opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Saigon and enjoy a fascinating urban walking  tour through the hidden backstreets of the city.

Customer Feedback
Nick actually listened to the type of trip we wanted. He then shared his knowledge and expertise to help with the detail of the countries that we did not have. Refreshingly he did not try and sell something 'off the shelf' or anything that would have been easy for him!

Customer Protection


The air holiday packages shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 9324. Please see our booking conditions for more information.

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