Southeast Asia Culinary Expedition 2018
- Private air-conditioned vehicle as per program
- Local English speaking guide
- Accommodations based on Twin/Double share with daily breakfast
- Meals (excluding drinks) as specified
- Boat fee & sightseeing fee as specified, on a private basis
- Pedal cab fee in Hanoi
- Government tax and service charges
- Complimentary bottled drinking water
next 4 days
Day 1 Depart for Hanoi, Vietnam
Day 2 Arrival Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi airport and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 3 Hanoi – Street Food Tour (B,L)
In the morning, start a city tour that includes Temple of Literature, Opera House and Hoan Kiem Lake, and end with a traditional cyclo ride through Hanoi's Old Quarter. After city tour, our street food tour begins with visiting a traditional house in the old quarter to learn about the old trade and its unique architecture. Stop by Hang Be market, a great way to learn about the fresh Vietnamese ingredients. The first trying dish is ‘Pho’ - the most famous Vietnamese noodle soup. We stop at one of best Pho restaurants in town, where people have to get in line to get seated at peak hours. Continue walking along the narrow streets of the old quarter to savor ‘Banh Cuon’ – Vietnamese flour rolling cakes served with ‘Cha Que’- sausage with cinnamon, that you dip in fish sauce. Our Hanoi street food tour is not complete without ‘Bun Cha’, is the best choice for lunch. Bun Cha is grilled pork served with rice noodles and vegetables. Of course, we cannot miss ‘Che’, a popular dessert soup with many varieties kinds of beans. The tour end at Highland Coffee Shop, you will have the best view of the Hanoi city while enjoy sips of coffee dripping from the filter. Transfer back to your hotel
Day 4 Hanoi – Halong (B,L,D)
Take a scenic drive to Halong and transfer by tender to the deluxe junk at BaiChay/TuanChau. Discover the natural beauty of limestone topography, secret grottoes, pristine beaches and picturesque floating villages across the Bay of the Descending Dragon. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon on board. Dinner is onboard.
Day 5 Halong – Hanoi – Hue (B)
A Tai Chi demonstration is available on sun deck for early risers. Enjoy the breakfast buffet while we continue exploring the bay. Cruise ends at BaiChay/TuanChau late morning. Drive back to Hanoi airport for a flight to Hue. Arrive in Hue and transfer to hotel.
Day 6 Hue - Home Cooking (B,L,D)
In the morning, drive to the surrounding countryside passing peaceful streams and verdant rice paddies until you arrive at the small village of Thanh Toan – home to a legendary market. Learn more about the role of agriculture and spend time exploring the small town. Stop by the beautiful Thanh Toan covered bridge or simply soak up the atmosphere while sipping Vietnamese coffee at the village café. We back in town, visit a typical Hue family and spend time cooking together. We will learn step by step in the preparation of each of ‘banh Hue’, Hue family’s favorite dishes. After walking around the community, enjoy a delicious homemade lunch with the family. Afternoon, we take a boat tour to visit Thien Mu pagoda. Transfer back to hotel. Evening, enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and authentic Vietnamese dinner with the Tuyet Nguyen family, a distant branch of royal lineage. This special engagement is an opportunity to learn more about Vietnamese culture and traditional customs.
Day 7 Hue – Hoi An (B,L,D)
Morning, we visit the Imperial Citadel and its Royal Enclosure, and the Forbidden Purple. Then take a scenic drive over the spectacular Hai Van Pass to Hoi An and stop at Cham museum and Non Nuoc beach on the way. Lunch will be served en route. Arrive in Hoian and check-in hotel
Dinner is at the fabulous restaurant located in a charming garden in the heart of Hoian.
Day 8 Hoi An (B)
In the morning, take a walking tour along Hoi An’s waterfront from the Japanese Covered Bridge to the main market, to the Ancient house Tan Ky, the ornate Fu Kien Chinese temple and down to Hoian local market. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 9 Hoi An – Saigon – Cooking Class (B)
Free time until transfer to Danang airport for a flight to Saigon. Arrive in Saigon transfer to hotel check in. Afternoon, we will join cooking class at Grain cooking class. Learning to cook regional dishes from around Vietnam. Fully hands-on create 4 dishes and enjoy your own cooking. It will be a great Vietnamese cultural and culinary experience. Transfer back to hotel and the rest of evening is free at leisure.
Day 10 Saigon – Mekong Delta Trip (B,L)
Today, we drive to Cai Be to visit Cai Be floating market; this is the most interesting sight of the abundant, colorful and bustling river life in the Delta. Continue visiting some local villages with traditional workshops such as pop-rice, rice paper, coconut candy, and other special candies. We will have a chance to learn how to make Southern Vietnamese rice cake. Then continue to Binh Hoa Phuoc Island to visit the Bonsai and flower garden. Lunch will be served at a local house. After lunch, we take a boat trip to Vinh Long town and a walking tour to Vinh Long market before driving back to Saigon.
Day 11 Saigon – Bangkok (B)
Early morning, transfer to the airport for flight to Bangkok. Arrive in Bangkok and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon, we visit Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple of Bangkok that was built nearly 200 years ago and houses the enormous Reclining Buddha. Then Marble Temple, famous for its traditional architecture built-in marble from Italy. We bring you to a more traditional way of living, more serene and traditional. Visit the Grand Palace, situated close to the Chao Phraya, Bangkok’s River of Kings, the palace occupies nearly one square mile. Built in 1782 by King Rama I, it was the center of power for more than 150 years. Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings. Back to your hotel and the rest of the day is free at leisure.
Day 12 Bangkok – Cooking class (B,L)
Amita Thai Cooking Class offers authentic Thai cooking methods that have been passed on through many centuries. Transfer to River City and take a boat cruise through the canal of Thonburi to the Amita Cooking Class. The cooking tour includes a welcome herbal drink, a short orientation, a visit to the school’s vegetable garden to learn about Thai vegetables and herbs, cooking lessons comprised of four dishes with an experienced instructor and recipe cards to bring home. Lunch will be your own cooking creation plus tropical Thai fruit desserts. After class private transfer back to the hotel and the rest of day is free at leisure.
Day 13 Bangkok – Chiang Mai (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Chiang Mai. Arrive in Chiang Mai and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, we drive up hill to visit the impressive hilltop temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s landmark and the most sacred temple in the North. Continue on to visit the handicrafts village.
Day 14 Chiang Mai – Mum’s Home Cooking (B,L)
Today your ‘Exclusive Experience’ is a typical day in the life of a local Thai family. You will spend the day cooking together and enjoy a delicious homemade lunch with the family. In Mum’s kitchen, you will learn how to cook Thai food and follow every step in the preparation of each of the family’s favorite dishes. After lunch, they will take you around the community. You will visit the local market, Mosque, Church, Buddhist Temple, schools, etc. Late afternoon, say goodbye to the family and return to your hotel. Chances are that you will make a friendship that will last forever!
Day 15 Chiang Mai – departure (B)
After breakfast you will have free time until transfer to the airport for your next destination.
Have a safe trip!