Tours & River Cruises

Tours in Vietnam

A Taste of Vietnam’s Finest

A Taste of Vietnam’s Finest

10 Days / 9 Nights

from Hanoi / to Ho Chi Minh City

Tour Highlights
• Visit the historic Women’s Museum
• Set foot at Vietnam’s first university
• Learn about traditional Vietnamese cooking ingredients
• Experience cooking Vietnamese cuisine
• Enjoy a relaxing lake cruise
• Choose from a variety of mouth-watering meal options
• Learn about life in rural Vietnam
• Attend a 2-hour authentic Vietnamese cooking lesson
• Visit ancient sites and temples
Experience the best of Vietnam in this 10-day tour as you visit historical and ancient sites as well as meet and interact with the locals. Try your hand in preparing sumptuous local dishes and have a feast of authentic Vietnamese cuisines. You can also choose from several delectable meal options during the tour.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival

Arrive in Hanoi, welcomed by your guide and transfer to your hotel for check in.  The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi (B, L, D)

After breakfast, you will visit the Vietnam Women’s Museum to learn about the lives of Vietnamese women and the traditions of births, weddings, motherhood, spirituality and more. Then, explore the Temple of Literature. In 1076 Quoc Tu Giam – Vietnam’s first university also referred to as Van Mieu, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Enjoy lunch at Koto Restaurant, near the Temple of Literature. Continue to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh (viewed from outside), and visit the former president’s house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary. Visit the small but iconic One Pillar pagoda before heading back to your hotel. In the afternoon you will participate in a cooking class. First, visit a neighborhood ‘wet’ market to learn about Vietnamese ingredients before proceeding to the home of a true Hanoian chef to prepare a northern Vietnamese meal. Then, enjoy your very own creation for lunch. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B, L, D)

Today, you will travel 3.5 hours to Halong Bay. Arrive at the Halong City jetty this afternoon for a relaxing overnight cruise around the bay. You will be served lunch dinner and breakfast onboard as you view the stunning lake scenery and bustling village life. Overnight on Halong Bay.

Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Danang – Hoi An (B)

This morning, enjoy breakfast and the scenery as your boat returns to port. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi airport for your flight to Danang. In Danang, have a short transfer to your hotel located in Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.

Note: This tour may be subject to change depending on weather conditions

Dinner options in Hoi An:

Morning Glory offers Street Food on the ground floor of the restaurant featuring Hoi An specialty foods. The upstairs balcony is perfect as the views are excellent over the street.

Secret garden is on one of the best addresses in Hoi An for traditional Vietnamese food. The location is in the middle of the old town down a hidden alley. Both the atmosphere and cuisine come highly recommended.

Mango Rooms serves original and creative cuisine that can only be described as Vietnam-Latin American-Japanese fusion.

Mango Mango is exquisite and the fruit cocktails are to die for. Perfect for a pre dinner aperitif whilst watching the sun set over the Japanese Bridge.

Mai Fish offers simple but delicious Southern and Central Vietnam food. This is the 3rd restaurant of Chef Duc with Mango Mango and Mango Rooms.

Day 5: Hoi An (B, L)

Today, you will enjoy a short bicycle ride through rice paddies to a farm where you will be warmly welcomed with tea by a local family host and a visit to their home. You will learn about the different steps of rice cultivation, traditional farming clothes and conical hats worn for sun protection. Then, hop on to a water buffalo and learn the how to plough, rake, carry water, sow, pull up the rice seedlings and transplant rice. Afterwards, return to the house for a pancake making lesson.  Enjoy lunch with the host family before riding back to the hotel.  (A vehicle can be arranged for those preferring not to cycle). The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.

Note: this tour is non private and operated on a join in basis.

Day 6: Hoi An – Hue (B, D)

After breakfast, embark upon a walking tour of Hue to discover traditional houses, former merchants’ homes, the 400-year old Japanese covered bridge and the vibrant market. In the afternoon, drive through Danang and the Pass of Ocean Clouds to the fishing village of Lang Co before visiting the Cham Museum, containing the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world. Enjoy an exclusive private dinner at the lovely Tha Om garden house. Overnight in Hue.

Day 7: Hue (B, L)

Today, you will participate in an exclusive 2 hour cooking class to learn how to prepare a Hue Royal meal. You will prepare 4 or 5 courses ranging from traditional Vietnamese spring rolls to a delicious banana leaf salad. After the meal has been prepared, sit down and enjoy the authentic meal. This afternoon, embark upon a tour of the city. First, visit the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The Royal Citadel was badly damaged in war but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today. Next, take a cyclo through dai noi ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake, full of lotus flowers in summer. Enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the many local coffee shops surrounding the lake. Then, travel to the tomb of the former emperor Khai Dinh and the Dong Ba Market. Participate in everyday life as you shop the stalls full of unique items. Overnight in Hue.

Dinner options in Hue:

Le Parfum is a beautiful restaurant of La Residence offers delicious Vietnamese or Western menus in a nice setting.

Les Jardins de la Carambole offers some Hue specialties such as Bun Bo Hue (noodle soup with thick rice noodles) or Banh Khai (fried rice pancake).

Day 8: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City (B, D)

After breakfast transfer to Hue Airport for the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. This afternoon, embark upon a tour of Ho Chi Minh City. Visit the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace, the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. Then, visit the War Remnants Museum where exhibition halls display imagery of both the French and American wars. Continue to the Jade Emperor Pagoda, dating from 1909 and built by Cantonese Buddhists showcasing ornate statues and effigies. This evening, join the locals for an authentic Vietnamese evening. Begin your evening tour with a visit to the public park where local people gather to socialize and dance. Then, enjoy some Banh xeo, a large rice pancake filled with vegetables, shrimps and pork, at a local street restaurant famous for the best banh xeo in Saigon. Continue to another street food shop to sample the delicious local soup, inspired by Chinese recipes. Next, enjoy a tasty com suon non nuong muoi ot, a local dish from HCM with rice and pork ribs. Finally, enjoy a delicious dessert at a Vietnamese café. Enjoy the end of this evening at a live music cafés. At the end of the tour return to your hotel (around 10:30 pm). Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Lunch options in Ho Chi Minh City:

SH Garden is a restaurant where romantic memories of an old Saigon can suddenly come to you. A variety of delicious traditional Vietnamese dishes are served in a nice and simple family style. To reach the restaurant, you take an old and unique wooden elevator that brings you to a banana and lemon grass garden on the terrace.

Cuc Gach Quan serves traditional Vietnamese cuisine in a homely and atmospheric setting. Hoa Tuc serves excellent, authentic Vietnamese cuisine and the outside courtyard is perfect for dinners.

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City (B, L, D)

Today, you will participate in an exclusive cooking class. First, visit a local suburban market with your host, to shop for ingredients. Continue to the house kitchen where you will choose what meal you would like to cook. After the cooking class, dine on your own creation. After your lunch return to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City free to leisure the rest of the day to explore Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy a last blast of savors at Mandarin Restaurant, a beautiful, charming and traditional place. You may have the opportunity to meet the chef and have a cooking demonstration. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B)

Departure day. Leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for onward flight.

Rates & Services

Rates: 01.05. 2015 – 30.09.2016

Price per person in USD (private tour) 2 persons in double room 1 person in single room(single traveller) Single room supplement
Hotel Category Standard 1.519 2.568 311
Hotel Category Superior 1.807 3.197 635
Hotel Category First Class 2.362 4.240 1.106
Supplement for domestic flights in Vietnam: 246  USD per person *
Note: During certain dates seasonal surcharges may apply, especially during Christmas, New Year and the Tet Festival (February 2016). Please inquire with us to find out whether this applies for your tour.
* Price-Tip: If you buy the long-haul flights with Vietnam Airlines about us, we can offer the domestic flights in Vietnam in combination with long-haul routes to a less expensive price than above mentioned offer. Should you opt for a different airline or booking flights on their own, the costs listed for the domestic flights are in addition to the prices indicated in the table for the round trip.

Would you like to book this tour or request changes to the itinerary?

Please fill out our form for tailor-made changes to an itinerary here.

For rates for 3 or more travellers in one booking, please inquire with our team.

Services included in our rates:
• accommodation inc. breakfast (B)
• other meals as detailed in the itinerary (L=lunch, D=dinner)
• local specialized tour guide (English-speaking, other languages available on request)
• all transfers
• boat tours and air-conditioned car/van transportation as detailed in the itinerary
• sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary inc. entrance fees
• cooking classes as per itinerary
• one high-quality guidebook per room
Services NOT included in our rates:
• international flights from and to your country of origin
• domestic flights (Hanoi / Danang & Hue / Ho Chi Minh City)
• travel insurance • meals other than those explicitly mentioned, drinks, tips and personal expenses
• visa fees
Travel dates [&] minimum no. of travellers:
• any day departure
• this tour is a private tour and you will not be travelling with people other than those you booked with
As this is a private tour, you can depart on the day of your choosing and alter the daily sightseeing program to suit your interests. Inquire with our team to extend this tour or to combine it with our other programmes.

Our Selection of Hotels for You

Hotel Category Standard:
Hanoi: Golden Rice Hotel *** (Deluxe Room)
Halong Bay: Bhai Tho Dchunke (Deluxe Cabin)
Hoi An: Vinh Hung Emeralda Resort *** (Superior Room)
Hue: Eldora Boutique Hotel ***(*) (Deluxe Room)
Ho Chi Minh City: Signature Saigon *** (Deluxe Room)
Hotel Category Superior:
Hanoi: Golden Silk Hotel **** (Deluxe Room)
Halong Bay: Indochina Sails (Superior Cabin)
Hoi An: Boutique Hoi An **** (Superior Room)
Hue: Saigon Morin **** (Premium City Deluxe Room)
Ho Chi Minh City: Grand Hotel Saigon**** (Premium Deluxe Room)
Hotel Category First Class:
Hanoi: Intercontinental West Lake ***** (Superior Room)
Halong Bay: Paradise Cruise (Deluxe Cabin)
Hoi An: Victoria Beach Resort ****(*) (Deluxe Room)
Hue: La Residence ***** (Superior River View Room)
Ho Chi Minh City: Renaissance ***** (Deluxe River View Room)

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