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Audley Travel specialist Ross

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Tour highlights

  • Learn the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine with a series of cooking classes, street food tours and market exploration.

  • Sample some delicious food at local haunts away from the usual tourist options.

  • Discover regional specialities ranging from earthy ethnic Thai cuisine to Hoi An's famed White Rose dumplings.

Price includes

  • Scheduled international and domestic flights
  • In-destination transfers
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • All accommodation

Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Hanoi.

  • Upon arrival in Hanoi you will be greeted by an Audley representative and transferred to the rural village of Ky Son where you will be staying for the next couple of days. Once known for growing poppies used in the opium trade, Ky Son is now a flourishing farming community with age old traditions contrasting with modern irrigation systems.

  • Today will be spent venturing out into the village where you will have the opportunity to meet the locals and learn about traditional farming practices. A leisurely cycle ride through the countryside is nicely rewarded back at Moon Garden where a herbal foot massage and home cooked meal await.

  • After breakfast you will journey out to the beautiful Mai Chau Valley. Here emerald mountains tower above acres of rice paddies and ethnic minority villages dot the foothills. While staying in Mai chau you will have the chance to sample some ethnic Thai cuisine, share a glass of rice wine and learn about the local cultures.

  • Spend a full day in Mai Chau where you can enjoy a guided walking or cycling tour of the area. The morning will be spent visiting local homes, farms and factories before relaxing at your hotel in the afternoon. This evening you can enjoy a cold local beer while watching the sun fade over the horizon.

  • From peaceful Mai Chau you will travel to Vietnam's capital, Hanoi. Here the pace of life changes and ox carts are replaced with scooters. While in Hanoi you will have a chance to learn a little about the city's origins, recent history and most importantly its grasp on the country's food scene. This afternoon you will join a local blogger for a fascinating street food tour of Hanoi. You will negotiate narrow alley ways, peruse market stalls and question your taste buds while being treated to a wealth of knowledge from your guide. This evening you may want to sample one of Hanoi's many wonderful restaurants (we have a few favourites that we can highly recommend). One dish to watch out for is Bun Cha, which is thought to have originated in Hanoi.

  • An early rise today to sample the country's staple breakfast, the hugely popular beef noodle dish, Pho. This will be sampled at a local cafe which has been around for many years serving the people from Hanoi their favourite dish. Beforehand you will enjoy a short tour around the city taking in the flag raising ceremony at HCM Square, botanical gardens and bustling markets. Afterwards your guide will introduce you to some of the city's most well known sites before returning to your hotel for a well earned rest.

  • An early rise today as you are collected from your hotel and taken to Halong bay, a journey of about three hours. Upon arrival you will have time to sample a sweet (but strong) Vietnamese coffee before boarding your Junk boat. After settling in to your cabin you will sail out to the bay through a maze of islands and inlets. A freshly prepared seafood lunch can be enjoyed before journeying ashore to one of the bay's most beautiful vantage points. The afternoon can be spent exploring the area by kayak or simply relaxing on-board. Before retiring to bed enjoy a sundowner on the top deck.

  • This morning you will begin your journey back to the mainland passing remnants of a vast fishing trade that once ruled the waters. Upon arriving back in Halong City you will be met by your guide and transferred to Hanoi Airport in time for your evening flight to Danang. On the way you will have time to visit a rural community famed for its water puppetry and also stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Upon arrival in Danang you will be greeted by an Audley representative and transferred the short distance along the coast to Hoi An. The UNESCO recognised Hoi An was once a busy port linking merchant trade from the north and south of the country. Chinese and Japanese architecture is evident throughout and such is its diversity the town now boasts some of the country's most interesting and delicious cuisine.

  • Today you will head out on the water in traditional bucket boats to experience the everyday life of a Vietnamese fisherman. Explore local fishing communities before trying your hand at catching your own. A fresh seafood lunch will be served on-board afterwards. The afternoon is free to explore or relax at your own leisure. This evening you may want to try one of the town's many riverside restaurants and sample local specialities such as White Rose dumplings or Cau Lau noodles.

  • This morning you will join a local chef for a tour around Hoi An's markets before taking a boat to the renowned Red Bridge cooking school. Here under the guidance of a Vietnamese chef you will learn to marry local ingredients together and create a number of select dishes frequented in the country's cuisine. The fresh herbs used in Hoi An's cooking are renowned for bringing to life many dishes. The afternoon is free to explore or relax at your own leisure.

  • After breakfast you will be collected from your hotel and taken to the airport in time for your afternoon flight to Saigon. Upon arrival in Saigon you will be met by your guide and taken to your hotel. Saigon is modern, vibrant and daring, especially when it comes to its food and the next couple of days will act as a fitting end to your Vietnamese culinary adventure. This evening you will join a small group of food enthusiasts for a city Vespa tour. Your driver will whisk you through the streets of Saigon's outer lying districts stopping off at a number of street vendors, intimate music venues and atmospheric bars giving you a unique and fascinating perspective of local life.

  • Today you will venture out on to the streets of Saigon visiting many of the major sights including the Notre Dame cathedral, War Remnants Museum and Old Post Office. This evening you may want to dine in one of the city's many fine restaurants. We can recommend a few of our favourite options.

  • Today is free to explore or relax at your own leisure before catching your flight home in the evening. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
July is one of the best times to visit
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Ky Son
Mai Chau
Halong Bay
Hoi An
Audley Travel specialist Ross

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