travelgrove Travel Tips
 

A Taste of Vietnam with greentrailtourism.com, Hanoi

 
00
    
Legend
  • Food travel tip
  • City center
Distance from city center: n/a
hoanhx's pictureby hoanhx Food travel tip
added on the 23rd of October, 2011
Detail Itinerary
This trip is designed for the traveler with limited time and an unlimited appetite for a culinary adventure. It features a 12-day itinerary of Vietnam 's most popular spots, with many special opportunities to discover and savor the surprisingly varied tastes of this fascinating land. Our travels will take us from tasting the dishes of the North to the delicacies of Hue, down to the unsurpassed bounty of the Mekong Delta with its cinematic abundance of fruits and vegetables. We'll experience the tangy flavor of cha ca (charcoal grilled fish), sample Vietnam's signature pho, become acquainted with infinite types of noodles and rice, and try nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce). Along our way from North to South we'll delight in a medley of elegant foods prepared to please the eye as well as the palate, including traditional Vietnamese fare and dishes influenced by international cuisines. Our tour is well planned, and we save precious time by flying or traveling by overnight train. Highlights include the wonders of Ha Long Bay, one of four World Heritage-listed sites in Vietnam, as well as the capital city of Hanoi with its alluring Old Quarter. We'll also visit Hue, the Imperial City of the 18th and 19th centuries, the picturesque and artsy port town of Hoi An, a favorite with many travelers, and the ever-vibrant Ho Chi Minh City on the bank of Saigon River.

Day 1: Arrival Hanoi

Upon arrival at Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport, our guide will accompany you to your hotel and assist you with check-in. Get intimately acquainted with the narrow and bustling guild streets of Hanoi 's Old Quarter, bursting with wares from medicinal herbs to luxurious silks. Or you may choose to relax around one of the many lakes and parks that make Hanoi one of the greenest cities in Asia. Those who want to hit the culinary trail immediately are invited to lunch with our tour leader at Soho, a charming bistro featuring traditional French bouillabaise with a spicy Vietnamese twist, and rich Vietnamese coffee served hot or cold. After lunch, we'll explore the Hom Market with its aromatic and visually stunning offerings of spices and herbs. This evening, our guide will escort you to dinner at Indochine, set in an authentic French Colonial villa. The inviting menu includes a not-to-be-missed banana flower salad, delicious nem, Hanoi-style spring rolls, and fried chicken with lemongrass and chili. 

Day 2: Hanoi (Breakfast, lunch included)

Mornings are a magical time in this elegant Red River Delta city, and most Hanoians are up early, stopping at their favorite pho (pronounced fuh) stand to breakfast on this most famous of Vietnamese dishes. Pho, served piping hot, is a broth with fresh rice noodles, chicken or beef, green onions and cilantro, enhanced by condiments such as lime and chilies. The day will be filled with exploration, and we'll begin with a morning cyclo tour of city sights, escorted by our guide. We'll take in the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes the Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh's former stilt house residence. Next we'll visit the 11th century Temple of Literature, site of Vietnam's first university. Dedicated to Confucius, the Temple grounds are resplendent with pavilions and walkways invoking peace and contemplation. Our appetite leads us next to Hoa Sua for a very special luncheon experience. Set in a lovely courtyard, the restaurant is part of a training school where disadvantaged Vietnamese children and teens are educated in cooking and restaurant skills that will enable them to have successful careers in the hotel and restaurant industry. Be sure to save room for a luscious dessert from Hoa Sua's own French Patisserie next door. After lunch we'll make our way to Dinh Xuyen, about 16km outside the city, for a unique visit to a spice exporting facility. There, we'll observe the sorting and processing of spices such as Vietnamese cinnamon and star anise, some of which may end up in your teacup back home! 

Back in Hanoi , we'll enjoy dinner and a wine tasting at the award-winning Press Club restaurant where international fare is laced with Asian influences and wines are selected to complement these tastes. 

OR: Tonight we'll visit the famed Water Puppet Theater near Hoan Kiem lake. The theater's origins date back almost a thousand years to when the plays were performed on lakes and ponds. Accompanied by musicians who both play and sing, the puppeteers stand behind a screen, waist-deep in water, using rods and strings to move the wooden puppets as they enact scenes of daily rural life, ancient stories and legends. 

Optional: Night owls are invited to hit Highway 4 with our guide for a taste of an exotic rice or fruit wine, or a cup of Vietnamese tea. Highway 4's brewed-on-site spirits, particularly enjoyable on the roof terrace, include traditional northern medicinal liquors and herbal potions. 

Day 3: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay (Breakfast & Lunch included)

We depart early today for the wonders of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site regaled with breathtaking limestone formations. We'll board our own private boat for a five-hour cruise around the secluded and majestic bay, which covers more than 1,500 square kilometers in the Gulf of Tonkin. As legend holds, the bay was created when a huge dragon fell to earth, and indeed, Halong means, “Where the dragon descends into the sea.” This is an ideal spot for unwinding from the pace of city life. The islands of the bay are filled with deserted beaches, enchanting grottos and enticing caves, one of which is thought to have been used to store the wooden stakes wielded against 13th century Mongol invaders. We'll have a chance to swim in the bay's tranquil emerald waters, and to visit one of the splendid caves. Onboard, we'll enjoy a fresh seafood lunch. After lunch, take another swim or lounge on the deck, soaking up the ambience of this exquisite place. We'll return to Hanoi in the early evening. 

Optional: If you're up for a Continental dining experience, you may want to accompany our tour leader to one of the popular Italian restaurants in Hanoi, Luna D'Autunno. We'll chat with the chef and enjoy some homemade pasta and fresh tomato sauces made with local produce. 

Day 4: Hanoi (Breakfast, cooking course and lunch included)

Let the cooking begin! After breakfast, we'll pay a visit to the Dec. 19 th Market; a cozy labyrinth of stalls that is a favorite for serious Hanoi cooks. The market is filled with all the freshest ingredients our chef will need for our cooking demonstration in the hotel's well-appointed kitchen. After class, lunch will be served at the Metropole's Spice Garden restaurant. The afternoon is ours for shopping and further exploration. Our farewell to Hanoi dinner will be held at The Emperor, one of the most beautiful restaurants in Hanoi, and a favorite of visiting dignitaries and celebrities. Following dinner, we'll board the Reunification Express for an overnight train to the ancient imperial capital of Hue . 

Day 5: Hue (Breakfast and dinner included)

We'll arrive in this serene city 9:30 a.m. and transfer directly to our hotel. We'll discuss our Hue itinerary over a delicious breakfast. Our exploration begins with a visit to the Linh Mu Pagoda where the monks will host us with a sumptuous vegetarian meal to sample some of the local delicacies: Regarded by many as the culinary capital of Vietnam, Hue takes its culinary cues from its royal heritage. Hue tables are typically covered with several small dishes of local delicacies such as diminutive Hue pancakes or tiny bowls of freshly cut vegetables. After lunch, we bid farewell to our hosts and continue our exploration with the Citadel, home to the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City. We'll also visit the Imperial Museum and the vibrant Dong Ba Riverside Market. There will be another culinary adventure this evening as we sup at the fine-dining establishment, Tropical Garden . 

Day 6: Hue (Breakfast, cooking course & Lunch included)

The morning begins with a hands-on cooking class at Tinh Gia Vien restaurant, highlighting the regal flavors of Hue cuisine as we prepare our own midday meal. After lunch, we'll take a cruise along the romantic Perfume River, passing opulent palaces and gardens of the 19th century Nguyen kings. We'll visit the ornate tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, set within beautifully landscaped gardens, and the tomb of the eccentric Tu Duc, known for his opulent lifestyle. On our way back to the city, we'll stop at the Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue. This is an active Buddhist monastery dating back to 1601. One of its most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk, who in 1963, drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest the South Vietnamese regime and its treatment of Buddhists. In the evening you may wish to stay at your hotel and attend an imperial dinner, wearing the traditional clothes of the emperors. 

Day 7: Hue - Hoi An (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

We'll continue south, going by road toward the riverside town of Hoi An. Our five-hour route, hugging the coastline along the South China Sea, serves up breathtaking views that grow even more spectacular as we wind our way up Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Clouds). We'll pause to admire the stunning vistas of Lang Co beach to the north, and the city of Danang to the south. We'll continue on, passing China Beach, where many American GI's took their R&R (Rest and Relaxation!), and the Marble Mountains, home to the Cham legacy. In Hoi An, we'll grab some lunch at the Vinh Hung Café, where the coffee milkshakes are divine and the menu surprisingly extensive. In the afternoon, we'll take a walking tour around this once-thriving port and visit the famed old quarter, the Japanese Bridge, the old Assembly Halls, art galleries and many old houses once belonging to Chinese merchants. Come evening, we'll dine at the Café des Amis along the river. 

Day 8: Hoi An (Breakfast & cooking demo/Dinner included)

Hoi An is a charming, small town which can be easily explored on foot. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, it was a thriving international trading port with a large Chinese and Japanese population. More than any other place in Vietnam, Hoi An exudes a feeling of centuries past and is a favorite with all travelers. You may choose to stroll, soaking up the atmosphere and exploring the many fascinating ancestral homes (some of which have been occupied by the same family for fifteen generations), or rent a bicycle for a scenic ride to Cua Dai beach, 4 km away. The town is also famous for its tailors who are revered for their fine (and fast) work. We'll meet for lunch at the Pho Cu restaurant. We'll shop at Hoi An's riverside market, always a hive of activity, for our dinner ingredients, before spending the afternoon in a cooking demonstration with Miss Vi of the White Lantern, where we'll dine. Hoi An is well suited for an after-dinner stroll, and we'll stop by the Tam Tam Café for a drink or coffee before turning in for the night. 

Day 9: Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast and cooking class and lunch included)

This morning we'll head for Danang airport about a 40-minute drive, to take our one-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)), where we transfer directly to our centrally located hotel. We then attend a cooking class followed by lunch. After lunch, we'll embark on a tour of this cosmopolitan city, visiting Cholon, the War Remnants Museum, and the Reunification Palace. Cholon, home to HCMC's substantial Chinese population, is also the site of the largest market in Vietnam, the Ben Thanh market. The War Remnants museum contains a wealth of images from Vietnam's wars, the most moving being a gallery entitled Requiem, dedicated to Vietnamese and foreign journalists and photographers who perished during the French and American conflicts. The Reunification Palace was the residence of the President of South Vietnam until April 30, 1975 , when North Vietnamese tanks came crashing through the front gates, bringing the Vietnam-U.S. War to a dramatic end. Close to the Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office represent prime examples of French Colonial architecture. The ornate Notre Dame dominates the city's business center. Built by the French between 1877 and 1883, it was constructed of stone imported from France. The Post Office, completed in 1891, is in perfect juxtaposition to the bustling urban city that is modern Hi Chi Minh City with its numerous shopping malls, cinemas, discotheques and a bewildering number of bars. This evening, we'll see what the fuss is all about as we go out on the town! (Optional dinner at Le Mekong). 

Day 10: Mekong Delta (Breakfast & dinner included)

Breakfast comes early this morning as we depart for Can Tho in the heart of the Mekong Delta. We'll stop in My Tho for coffee, and there, we'll have our first taste of life in this amazing Delta. We'll arrive in Can Tho in time for lunch. 

After lunch, we'll drive to some of the orchards that give this region its allure, and we'll be able to see the many varieties of tropical plants native to this part of the world. We'll also visit a bird sanctuary, and stop in at the Song Hau Fram/Rice institute where we will be treated to a taste of some of the many products derived from rice. In the evening, we'll will make our way to the Victoria Hotel, our home for the night. At 7.00 pm, there will be a Vietnamese dinner. Some of the tantalizing dishes may include rich crabmeat soup with minced ham, steamed fish in Soya sauce and much more. 

Day 11: Mekong to Ho Chi Minh City (Cruise/breakfast and farewell dinner included)

We'll depart the Victoria at 6:30 this morning from the jetty of the hotel. We'll enjoy a delectable breakfast buffet onboard the Lady Hau as we cruise the Mekong to visit the floating market of Cai Rang. Our cruise will take us along several channels of the Delta before we say goodbye to the mighty Mekong and begin our drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. The afternoon affords us free time for some last minute shopping or relaxing. We'll enjoy a deluxe farewell dinner at the Mandarin Restaurant. 

Day 12: Depart Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast included) 

Today is departure day and time to bid your guide farewell. There will a transfer waiting to take you from the hotel to the airport for your flight home. We wish you a pleasant journey home and we know you will take away many wonderful memories of the sights and tastes you have savored.

On the web:
http://www.greentrailtourism.com

 
Tour of Vietnam Highlighting the Culture, Cuisine & Scenery With greentrailtourism.comVietnam Cooking Tour By Greentrailtourism.com
 
 
 
Food
tips

Recent travel tips for Hanoi

  • Top 3 luxury destination with luxury holiday makers
    Hanoi: A capital city of Vietnam with population of about seven millions with a glorious history dating back to over thousands years ago attracts visitors from everywhere; there are a lot of things to see while in Hanoi and no vacation is [...]
    D: n/a00
  • Vietnam tour packages
    Hanoi Sky Travel has now become one of the best tour operator in Vietnam and has successfully helped thousands of travelers realize their dream of traveling to Vietnam.HST provides customers with abundantly and detailed destination [...]
    D: 0.5mi00
  • Vietnam Family Vacations 8 days | Luxury Travel Vietnam
    Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City On arrival at Ho Chi Minh's Tan Son Nhat International airport, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel in town. Overnight in HCMC. Day 2: Cao Dai Temples & Cu Chi Tunnels (B) This [...]
    D: 1.1mi00
  • Car rental in hanoi
    Itinerary Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam since the 11th century dazzles visitors its unique blend of oriental lifestyle, French colonial architecture, tree-lined boulevards and peaceful lakes. Still retaining a charming air from its colonial [...]
    D: 0.6mi00
  • Halong Bay Tours
    Halong Bay Vietnam is recognized as the famous World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994 and the New 7 Wonders of Nature voted by the tourists over the world in 2012. Founded in 2006, Amazing Halong Bay becomes one of the best halong bay [...]
    D: n/a00

Things about Hanoi you may be interested in

 
 
 
guides

Recommended

Hanoi Sights

Hanoi is a place that offers a perfect blend of age old Asian traditions and contemporary cultures. It is a place where medieval epoch meets the modern ethnicity. Hanoi sights offer something for everyone. There are architectural marvels, historical avenues, stylish restaurants and entertainment arenas. Hanoi guarantees a fun-filled vacation and getting a Hanoi cruise deal will definitely add to [...]
 
 
 

More travel tips you might be interested in

Henan, China
Shaolin means 'young forest' and the temple city was found in around 500 AD. These are the most well known Buddhist churches in the world, mainly...
History & Culture: Shaolin Temples in Henan

Iraklion, Greece
If you are at Heraklion, visit the archaeoligical museum. There you can see famous findings, also the bullĀ“s head called Monitaurus and the Snakes...
History & Culture: Archaeological museum of Iraklio

 

Cochin, India
Pookode Lake is a scenic freshwater lake in the Wayanad district in Kerala, South India. The lake is surrounded by forests, and boating is allowed....
Sightseeing: Pookode lake

Lucknow, India
Apart from the great architectural heritage the city has, the Mughalai cuisine is something that one should never miss. The famous Kababs(made of...
Food: Travel tip

 

Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap is one of the most enchanting city in Indochina where you can enjoy peaceful nature, stunning temples of Angkor, colourful life on Tonle...
General: Top things to enjoy in Siem Reap

Skopje, Macedonia
Getting to Skopje and sightseeing the city!
General: Skopje trip

 

Covasna, Romania
Because really close to Covasna there is an ice cream factory, they opened a store in the center with a really tasty ice cream. But not only that....
Food: Tasty ice cream

Denver, Colorado
Quite a young restaurant, considering it has been open only for a few years, but the Fruition Restaurant is excellent in every aspect. Their food...
Food: Fruition Restaurant

 

Saint Louis, Missouri
Definitely a must in St. Louis and just because it is so popular for locals and visitors as well but because the whole experience you get at the...
Family & Fun: City Museum

Woodstock, Illinois
I am a nice and good looking girl tall and slim that searching for a man
General: I am a good looking girl

 
 
 
 
   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it 
 
 
*