SHORTLIST

Vietnam Real Food Adventure

Chop, slice and eat your way through Vietnam, experiencing one of the freshest and most fragrant cuisines on the planet. From pho and ancient buildings in Hanoi, banh khoai and imperial citadels in Hue, banh xeo and lantern-lit streets in Hoi An and banh canh and pulsating markets in Ho Chi Minh City, experience Vietnam’s cuisine and its tightly woven place within the culture. Drink in cafes and beer halls that sprawl out over city streets, buy fruit from wicker baskets draped over a vendor’s shoulders and sit at market stalls as aromatic noodle soups are whipped up in front of you. Experience all of Vietnam’s iconic sights, spend time cooking some of the country’s top dishes and get a true taste of Vietnam on this delectable Real Food Adventure.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement exclude Day 3 (Overnight Boat), Day 4 (Sleeper Train) and Day 10 (Homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. While we endeavor to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.
3. Please provide your full name exactly as it appears on your passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for transport tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket if an amendment occurs.
4. This trip includes domestic flights. The luggage allowance is 20kg for check in luggage and 7kg for carry on.

Tour details
Tour Provider Intrepid Travel
Price From
$2,300
Number of Days
12
Start Location
Hanoi, Vietnam
End Location
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
1 to 12
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Food
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Itinerary Open all
Day 1: Hanoi
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. After your briefing, head out for your first introduction to Vietnam’s lively culinary scene. Stop at a family-owned restaurant and savour a bowl of noodles with an unexpected secret ingredient! After dinner enjoy a bia hoi. This foamy, light beer is made fresh each day and served in basic, open-walled ‘brew halls’. Pull up a chair and sip your tasty brew.
Day 2: Hanoi
Start the day with a traditional breakfast of pho – a dish that originates in Hanoi – designed to awaken the senses and prepare you for the day. Join your leader on a city tour and tuck into some of Hanoi's renowned street food specialties before heading to a hidden tea house, learning about Vietnamese tea traditions from a true master. Afterwards, visit a local Xo community where an expert winemaker will lead a tasting of local Vietnamese varieties. You’ll walk down alleyways lined with French colonial architecture, passing by artist collectives, pottery workshops and back-alley fashion houses – you’re in the true heart of Hanoi now. Once arrived, head down into the basement of a 100-year-old French villa and into the world of Xo Liquid – an alcohol made of rice wine. Your expert wine maker will take you through his story and explain to you the process of making this traditional product – the knowledge and care for his craft is infectious. After your special wine experience, visit a traditional Vietnamese house, where you’ll be greeted by a local family and enjoy a meal which showcases fresh produce and regional vegetarian cuisine.
Day 3: Halong Bay
Travel by private vehicle to the spectacular World Heritage-listed site of Halong Bay (approximately 4 hours). Set sail on emerald-green waters, gliding between limestone karsts and soaking in the old-world tranquillity. Halong Bay is a secluded harbour with 2000 limestone islands rising from the turquoise waters of Bac Bo Gulf. It spans an area of about 1500 square kilometres and is dotted with beaches and grottos created over thousands of years by waves and wind. Visit one of the lesser known caves, then return to your vessel late in the afternoon and enjoy a delicious feast prepared by an onboard chef.
Day 4: Overnight train
Take a bus back to Hanoi (approximately 3.5 hours), then board an overnight train bound for Hue (approximately 12 hours). Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are a rewarding experience. It's an efficient way to travel long distances and a great way to get a sense of the country. Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travellers take an opportunity beforehand to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure.
Day 5: Hue
Hue is Vietnam’s former royal capital and its cuisine is considered by many Vietnamese as the best in the country. The food is influenced by its imperial heritage (small dishes and a focus on aesthetic presentation) and its strong Buddhist heritage, reflected in the high proportion of vegetarian restaurants in the area. On arrival (approximately 8:30am), enjoy a classic breakfast of bun bo Hue – a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (bun) and beef (bo). After leaving your luggage at your hotel, embark on a tour of the city’s imperial monuments on the back of a motorbike! Stop past Thien Mu Pagoda, an active Buddhist monastery since 1601. Here you'll see a car that belonged to one of the self-immolating monks of the 1963 protests. A dragon boat cruise on the Perfume River (approximately 40 minutes) will be followed by a special lunch stop for a plant-based Buddhist meal at a pagoda, finishing with a visit to the royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. The evening is free for your own food adventure. Perhaps ask your leader for the best place to try imperial street specialties like banh hue (rice flour cakes stuffed with shrimp, pork and spices).
Day 6: Hoi An
Start your day with a visit to the Imperial Citadel, which includes the Forbidden Purple City. The latter was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric, and the gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war. Head south by bus through coastal rice paddies and traverse the mountainous Hai Van Pass, stopping en route to see the traditional preparation of My Quang – a Vietnamese noodle dish originating from the Quang Nam Province. The local expert will show you how it is made, then enjoy a tasting with your group. Afterwards, continue to Hoi An (approximately 4 hours, with your lunch stop). This beautifully restored city retains the feel of centuries past, making it the sort of place that grows on you the more you explore it. Take the chance to indulge in some shopping and perhaps have some clothes tailored. There's a great array of original paintings, handcrafted woodwork, ceramics, embroidery, lanterns and fabrics on display. On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk around the Ancient Town. Pop into the Reaching Out Tea House – the peace and quiet of this establishment stands in stark contrast to the bustling streets outside. The teahouse is a non-government organisation that supports the local deaf and mute community by providing employment and vocational training. While here you’ll sip some delicious teas in total silence – a tranquil experience you won’t soon forget. Your evening is free to do as you wish, and your leader can recommend the best local examples of Vietnamese cuisine.
Day 7: Hoi An
Start your day with a walking tour of Hoi An, where you’ll see all of the sights, like the Japanese covered bridge and the Old Town’s maze of alleys. Afterwards, head to a rustic food market and keep your eyes out for things to buy – this is a great place to pick up Vietnamese cooking gadgets. In the afternoon, head to a small village called Cam Thanh. Be joined by a local chef at the village market, for a spot of ingredient shopping and to take in the aromatic herbs, vibrant fruit and vegetables, and local life. Head back to the home of our local chef and enjoy visiting their own edible garden, before rolling up your sleeves for a hands-on cooking class. Feast on your delicious creations, dishes that highlight the cooking of the Pho Hoi people.
Day 8: Hoi An
Today is free for you to explore Hoi An at your leisure and of course your leader can recommend the best food and activities. For early risers, take the opportunity to visit the Hoi An fish markets – they are at their most vibrant in the mornings! Afterwards, if the weather's fine, perhaps hit the local beach for a swim (a great way to get there is by bicycle, which you can hire in town). In the evening, you could enjoy some seafood by the water, or jump on a boat for a barbecue feast on a nearby island.
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City
Take the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1 hour). Take a guided tour to get a feel for the city's frenetic, fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. You will notice a strong French influence in Ho Chi Minh City, which means excellent coffee and baguettes. Stop past the War Remnants Museum, GPO and Notre Dame Cathedral, finishing up at one of Vietnam’s most pulsing markets, Ben Thanh. This is the perfect place to pick up any last-minute snacks, cooking utensils, ingredients, or presents for friends and family. Tonight, take part in a cooking class where you'll learn some contemporary twists on traditional Vietnamese dishes with a passionate chef. Sit down and enjoy the delicious feast you've prepared over dinner.
Day 10: Mekong Delta
Take a private bus out to the Mekong Delta (approximately 2–3 hours), then cruise up this mighty river on a sampan (traditional boat), one of the most common forms of transportation in these parts. Glide past farms and orchards to your guesthouse, set alongside a family home. Meet your hosts and take some time to wander the garden, relax or lend a hand with dinner preparations. Enjoy a southern Vietnamese feast on the wide verandah overlooking the garden as the sun gs down.
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City
For those who fancy an early morning cycle, join your hosts on a ride to the nearby village market for breakfast supplies for the group, and then enjoy a meal back at the homestay. Afterwards, return to Ho Chi Minh City by bus. The rest of your day is at your leisure. If you've got energy left in the evening, you might choose to enjoy a final Vietnamese meal with your new friends.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City
With no activities planned for today, you are free to depart the accommodation at any time. If you wish to spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Inclusions
  • Meals: 11 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Transport: Plane, Private Vehicle, Taxi, Overnight sleeper train
  • Accommodation: Hotel (8 nights), Homestay (1 night), Overnight Boat (1 night), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)
  • Hanoi - Welcome Dinner
  • Hanoi - Hidden Tea House visit & tasting
  • Hanoi - Master Winemaker visit & tasting
  • Hanoi - Xo Community visit
  • Halong Bay - Overnight Boat Cruise
  • Hue - Highlights & back streets by motorbike (lunch included)
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise
  • Hue - Royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc
  • Hue - Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue - Imperial City entrance and guided visit
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Hoi An - My Quang noodle demonstration
  • Hoi An - Tea Tasting in Silence
  • Hoi An - Cooking class with local chef
  • Hoi An - Market tour and garden visit
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Ben Thanh market visit
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cooking Class with Local Chef
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
  • Mekong Delta - Homestay & Home Cooked Meal
Departure dates
Start End Availability Price NZD
12 Jun 2022 23 Jun 2022 8 $2,300
24 Jul 2022 04 Aug 2022 8 $2,845
21 Aug 2022 01 Sep 2022 11 $2,845
04 Sep 2022 15 Sep 2022 7 $2,845
18 Sep 2022 29 Sep 2022 10 $2,960
02 Oct 2022 13 Oct 2022 12 $2,960
16 Oct 2022 27 Oct 2022 10 $2,960
30 Oct 2022 10 Nov 2022 7 $3,015
13 Nov 2022 24 Nov 2022 11 $2,960
20 Nov 2022 01 Dec 2022 12 $3,075
27 Nov 2022 08 Dec 2022 12 $3,075
11 Dec 2022 22 Dec 2022 12 $3,075
18 Dec 2022 29 Dec 2022 10 $3,075
25 Dec 2022 05 Jan 2023 12 $3,075
01 Jan 2023 12 Jan 2023 12 $3,225
08 Jan 2023 19 Jan 2023 12 $3,225
22 Jan 2023 02 Feb 2023 10 $3,225
05 Feb 2023 16 Feb 2023 9 $3,225
19 Feb 2023 02 Mar 2023 12 $3,225
05 Mar 2023 16 Mar 2023 10 $3,105
19 Mar 2023 30 Mar 2023 12 $3,105
02 Apr 2023 13 Apr 2023 12 $3,105
23 Apr 2023 04 May 2023 12 $3,105
07 May 2023 18 May 2023 11 $3,105
21 May 2023 01 Jun 2023 12 $2,985
11 Jun 2023 22 Jun 2023 12 $2,985
25 Jun 2023 06 Jul 2023 12 $2,985
23 Jul 2023 03 Aug 2023 12 $2,985
20 Aug 2023 31 Aug 2023 12 $2,985
03 Sep 2023 14 Sep 2023 12 $2,985
17 Sep 2023 28 Sep 2023 12 $2,985
01 Oct 2023 12 Oct 2023 12 $2,985
15 Oct 2023 26 Oct 2023 12 $2,985
29 Oct 2023 09 Nov 2023 12 $3,105
12 Nov 2023 23 Nov 2023 12 $3,105
19 Nov 2023 30 Nov 2023 12 $3,105
26 Nov 2023 07 Dec 2023 12 $3,105
10 Dec 2023 21 Dec 2023 10 $3,225
17 Dec 2023 28 Dec 2023 12 $3,225
24 Dec 2023 04 Jan 2024 12 $3,225