Discover the authentic flavors, famous street food and local favorites on this tailor-made culinary tour of Vietnam. With exclusive VIP tours, gastronomic experts to guide you, and curated tasting experiences at famous eateries, this is your ideal introduction to the cuisine of Vietnam!
Experience the VIP Enchanting Service, which includes a fast track personal airport meet and greet facility for your international arrival and departure, airport lounge access for departures, and complimentary premium beverages (including beer) and snacks during your car journeys.
Hanoi has served as an erstwhile capital city and the seat of government for over a thousand years. Explore exotic ancient monuments and remnants of colonial imperialism as well as affable merchants at Hanoi’s night markets and at bustling street food stalls.
Evening Water Puppet Show (One Hour)
Half Day Highlights Tour of Hanoi Soak in some old-world charm! Tree-lined pathways, glittering lakes and charming colonial buildings make Hanoi a visual treat! Your half day tour of this historic city starts at the impressive Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where Ho’s preserved body rests, except on Mondays and Fridays, when visitors are not allowed. At Ho’s beautiful house behind the mausoleum, you can view his belongings which are on display. Follow this up with a cyclo ride through the bustling Old Quarter, where almost everything in the world is on sale! The fascinating maze of back alleys offers great insight into Vietnamese culture. (Half Day; Time of day: Morning; Duration: 4 hrs; Private activity & transfers; Fitness level: Easy. Please note that the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed every afternoon on weekdays except Monday and Friday when it is closed all day; between September to December, it is closed everyday.)
Hanoi Street Eats after Dark Taste your way through the vibrant Vietnamese street food scene in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Enjoy a leisurely walk from your hotel through the city’s hidden alleyways and bustling markets, listening to your guide’s comments on Hanoian street eats and culinary habits. The Old Quarter is known for its family-owned restaurants and stalls dishing out traditional recipes in complex flavors. Sip local brew at a coffee shop striking a conversation with some of the local people. Amble along the streets indulging in typical Hanoian snacks such as pillow cake and fried sweet cakes, and the most popular Pho Ga (noodle soup with chicken). Hop over to Banh My Lan Ong to savor another Vietnamese favorite – the Banh Mi (baguette with a stuffing like pate, fried egg, barbecued pork, herbs and vegetables), which is reminiscent of the country’s colonial period. Head to the ancient night market of Dong Xuan to try more street food, while bargain shopping for souvenirs and local handicrafts, and watching a local dance or two. Try Vietnamese staples such as bun cha, bun thang, La Vong fried fish, and Thanh Tri rolls. The perfect way to wind down the night would be with a few chilled Bia Hois (fresh draft beer) at Beer Corner. (Duration: 3.5 hrs; Time of Day: 1730 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Meal included: Street food; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please note that this activity is closed on Tet holiday.)
Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkins is a dazzling world. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, you can witness the dense cluster of over 3,000 limestone islands as they rise spectacularly from the ocean. Geologically an extension, Lan Ha Bay is just as beautiful as Halong Bay but a lot more isolated.
A Class Legend Cruise in Halong Bay – One Night and Two Days Day One: Leave Hanoi for Halong Bay making a quick stop en route for some refreshment. Enjoy lunch on board the cruise boat as you sail towards mysterious Sung Sot Cave on Bo Hon Island, one of the finest and widest grottoes in Halong Bay. Next, stop at Ti Top Island for some swimming and snorkeling. Return to the boat in time to catch the sunset as you enjoy a cocktail party followed by dinner featuring an authentic Vietnamese menu. Before you retire for the night, try some squid fishing, read a book, watch a movie, or play board games. Day Two: Get up early in the morning for a Tai Chi demonstration on the upper deck before you enjoy a sumptuous breakfast. Sail down to Luon Cave and go exploring on a kayak or jump into one of the bamboo boats rowed by friendly locals. Return to the cruise boat and participate in a cooking demonstration on making spring rolls. Check out and have an early lunch as you sail back. Transfer back to Hanoi by road stop at a local village in the countryside to stretch your legs. (2 Days/1 Night; Shared Activity; Private Transfers; Meals Included; Fitness Level: Easy; Please note that the itinerary may be subject to change.)
Activities Aboard Stellar Cruise, Halong Bay: One Night and Two Days Day One – Embark on the Stellar Cruise at Tuan Chau marina. Sip on welcome drinks and set sail soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. Relish a leisurely lunch with stunning views of the dramatic limestone islands. Set out to explore the expansive and beautiful Surprising Cave and afterwards, you can swim and snorkel around the Titop island. Back onboard, enjoy a lavish Vietnamese dinner and retire for the night. Alternately, you can join the crew to fish for squids at night. Day Two – Rise and shine with Tai Chi classes on the sundeck. After a wholesome local breakfast, sail past numerous islets before anchoring at Luon Cave. Explore the island kayaking or take the guided bamboo boats. Lunch is served after a cooking demonstration of spring rolls. Recount your experience returning to shore and bid farewell! (Duration: 2D/1N; Best time to travel: March – December; Shared Activity & Transfers; All meals included; Please bring swimwear, sunglasses and sunscreen.)
The ancient Imperial Capital of Hue, lies at the mouth of the Perfume River and is considered the fulcrum of Vietnam’s two rice baskets – the Red River Delta and the Mekong River Delta.
Taste of Hue with Hoang Thi Nhu Huy In the morning, meet the celebrated gastronomy artisan and multi-hyphenate Nhu Huy, who will guide you through Hue’s culinary history and distinct flavors. Visit the local market to soak in the sights and sounds of Hue’s daily life, and the region’s fresh produce. Learn about Hue’s imperial and folk cuisines, a melting pot of the best food from across Vietnam, conserved by women who have passed down recipes through generations. Pick up a few tips on gathering diverse ingredients that go into the delicate preparations and presentations of these harmonious dishes. Later, hopping between Hue’s village neighborhoods, taste a variety of its popular dishes including mussel rice, rice cakes, and sweet soups. Next up, you can try local specialties such as Banh Uot and grilled pork at Huyen Anh, a popular eatery. Heading back to Nhu Huy’s home, listen to her regale stories of her royal heritage and food culture while sampling an assortment of local foods, before dispersing. (Half Day; Time: 0800 hrs; Duration: 4 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Lunch included; Fitness level: Easy)
Imperial Vietnam by the Banks of the Perfume River Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s rich imperial heritage on this tour of historic Hué. The town is dotted with ancient pagodas, royal tombs, and the remains of an imperial stronghold. Set off after breakfast to visit Hué’s iconic, 17th century monument of Thien Mu Pagoda, whose narrow, seven-storied structure stands atop a hill by the Perfume River. Afterwards, you could either explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Hué Monuments centered on the Imperial Citadel, or the royal tomb of Emperor Minh Mang. At the Imperial Citadel, be dazzled by the regal architecture and royal gardens. Set amid a forested area, the Royal Tomb is equally spectacular. In the afternoon, drive down to the charming little village of Duong No, which was home to the young Ho Chi Minh. Walk over to the ornate Thanh Toan Covered Bridge spanning the Perfume River, featuring traditional Asian design and a timber arch dotted with ceramic elements and elaborate calligraphy. (Best Time to Travel: Oct – Mar; Time: 9 AM; Duration – 5 hours; Private Activity; Fitness level: Easy).
Hoi An pays testament to its remarkable history as a major port town, booming with grand architecture of old Japanese merchant houses, pale yellow houses draped in bougainvillea, shopfronts lit with glowing silk lanterns, and ageing tea warehouses.
Herb Village and Rural Visit Pedal off on a leisurely 4 km bike ride (or drive) to Hoi An’s rural outskirts for an organic herb village visit with local farmers. Tra Que vegetable village is named after the sweet scented herb that is used to flavor Vietnamese specialties, such as Cao Lau noodles. From your host family you will learn about the village history and customs as enjoy a hands-on experience in the garden learning their traditional methods. Head to Cam Thanh and pass through paddy fields, idyllic canals and shrimp raising ponds. Learn how to make traditional rice paper at the village, which you can then grilled over a charcoal fire and eaten as a crunchy snack. (Duration: 4 hours; Timings: 8:30 hrs or 14 hrs, Private Activity, Fitness level: Easy).
Half Day Red Bridge Cooking School Experience For the adventurous palates, visit Red Bridge cooking school – a highlight of Hoi An’s culinary scene. Meet your chef at Hai Café in the old town for an introduction and welcome drink. Then explore the central market with him, learning about the quintessential ingredients of Vietnamese cuisine. Enjoy photographic moments on the 20min cruise to the school, with glimpses of local river life. Visit the school’s herb garden and enjoy a private hands-on cooking class. Savor what you have created. (Best Time to Visit: All Year; Total Duration: 4- hrs; Timings: Two slots: 08:00 hrs and 11:00 hrs; Important Notes: Private class is available for the afternoon only)
Walking Tour of Hoi An Accompany your local expert through the narrow lanes of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An, which served as a prosperous trading port from the 15th century to the 19th century. Stroll through the pedestrian-only streets of this well-preserved architectural heritage passing by various buildings, temples, merchant houses, and pagodas showcasing French, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences. Walk across the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge over the stream as your guide narrates its history. Head on to the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation for a closer look at the intricate wood carvings on the walls and beams. Explore the vibrant local market, past stalls displaying colorful wares, spices, and exotic fruits, that is particularly famous for its locally produced silk and tailors who even have a section of the market dedicated to them. (Half Day; Fixed Time: Yes; Time of Day: 0900/1400; Duration: 2 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy.
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), still often referred to as Saigon, was a Khmer seaport in the 17th century before becoming a French colony. Rapid and thrilling and, even with the maddening traffic as cyclo drivers speed under vast neon billboards, you can immerse yourselves in variety at HCMC.
Insider’s Tour of Saigon by Vespa Discover authentic Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City on the back of a vintage-style Vespa! Your tour begins at the Bird Lovers Club, which operates till 9 am in Tao Dan park, from where you continue on to Thich Quang Duc monument, a charming flower market, a Vietnamese funeral parlour, the Nhi Phu temple, a colorful tailor market, the Chinese medicine district, and through the Thu Thiem Tunnels to a local market. As you head back to the city centre you will pass by historic landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace, the CIA Building, Opera House and bustling Dong Khoi Street. (Time of the Day: Morning, 8 am; Notes: Guests ride as passenger behind an experienced Chauffeur; Private Activity; Fitness level: Easy; Please inform us in advance about any food allergies.)
Cooking up a Storm in Saigon Sample a slice of history and some delicious local food in this hands-on cooking class in the historic home of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., former American Ambassador to South Vietnam. Discover his villa, which has been fully restored to its former glory, a beautiful mix of Vietnamese, French and American architecture. Begin your tour with a trip to iconic Ben Thanh Market to purchase fresh ingredients needed for your private cooking demonstration. Head to Cabot’s residence and while the chef preps ingredients, take a tour of this beautiful home. Pick up interesting tips as you watch the cooking demonstration featuring typical Southern Vietnamese cuisine. Learn how to present each dish before the meal and then savor your own culinary creations. (Half Day ; Duration: 3 hrs; Time of the Day: Morning or Afternoon, 0900/1330 hrs; Shared Activity; Distance to the Activity: 10-min drive from downtown Saigon; Meal included; Fitness level: Easy)
Saigon’s Culinary Delights When in Ho Chi Minh City, do as locals and hop onto a vintage Vespa. You will be zipping around the best foodie neighborhoods in your quest for local, authentic eateries, known to only the city’s dedicated food lovers. There are a plethora of treats on offer – try the Vietnamese versions of French-inspired flavors including freshly baked baguettes and a cup of “ca-phe phin” or rich, drip coffee, served in a vintage coffee shop. Appreciate the way the Vietnamese respect fresh seafood in an out-of-the-way restaurant. Marvel at how a mid 20th century apartment complex transforms into hundreds of food and drink stalls in the evening. Wind up your food jaunt with a Vietnamese dessert at a 50-year-old sweet shop, followed by a glass of local beer or a cocktail at a cosy Saigon bar tucked down a quiet alley. (Evening; Time of the Day: 1800; Private Activity & Transfer; Meal included: Street Foods; Please inform us in advance about any food allergies. This tour is not available during Tet holidays.)
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation and meals, as specified in the itinerary
Activities and excursions, as specified in the itinerary
Transportation services, as specified in the itinerary
Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact supporting you during your trip
Entrance fees and meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary description
Tips and personal expenses
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What our guests say about this trip
From our first contact with Walter who planned a wonderful itinerary, to Ashwini who made sure to make contact while we were in Asia, Enchanting Travels made our trip fantastic! The unique activities were so well chosen and the guides were well informed. We can’t wait to take our next trip with you!