Vietnam Food Explorer

Vietnam Food Explorer

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Satisfy the hunger for adventure on this authentic food exploration of Vietnam. Taste your way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and fill the eyes with amazing sights, the stomach with delicious food and the heart with unforgettable experiences. The soul of Vietnam can be found in its cuisine and you will find it in the pho of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the bun bo of Hue, the cao lau soup of Hoi An and the broken rice of Ho Chi Minh City. Explore the markets of Hanoi, enjoy a candle-lit dinner in Halong Bay, cook like a local in central Vietnam and pick up some contemporary twists on classic dishes with a passionate young chef. Taste the country’s history in recipes handed down over generations, and experience it in the old streets, colonial buildings, temples and imperial ruins.

Trip Name
Vietnam Food Explorer
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  • Sample street food alongside the locals. Your expert guide will know all of the delicious spots off the tourist trail so you can enjoy some authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
  • Feasting beneath the stars while cruising Halong Bay is an experience to remember. With limestone karsts and emerald green waters surrounding you, this is a dining location that's hard to top.
  • There is perhaps no greater insight into a food culture than sitting down to dine with a local family in their home, and in historic Hue, you’ll share in this special experience.
  • Visit the aromatic vegetable and herb gardens of Tra Que village, where you’ll source local ingredients for a cooking class in nearby Hoi An.
  • Meet a passionate young chef in Ho Chi Minh City and take a personal cooking class of family recipes being passed down the generations.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi, where you'll be met by a Peregrine representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel. There are no activities planned until an important group meeting in the evening, usually at 6 pm. After this briefing, head out for your first taste of the city's dining scene at an atmospheric local eatery specializing in old-style Hanoi cuisine.
Day 2 - Hanoi
Start your day with a sunrise walk around Hoan Kiem lake. This is the best way to see the city come to life. Enjoy a truly authentic Hanoi breakfast of pho. This iconic dish has its origins in a village not far from the city and is designed to awaken the senses and prepare you for the day. Embark on a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda. Sample authentic Vietnamese tea at one of Hanoi’s hidden teahouses – tea plays a major role in Vietnamese culinary culture, and the locals tend to favour light, flower-infused varieties. 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.Your evening is free to explore and your leader can recommend local restaurants and specialties to try!
Day 3 - Halong Bay
Drive to Halong Bay (approximately 3 hours). You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where you will board a boat for an exploration of the bay. The scenes of sailing junks navigating scattered limestone islands are quite spectacular. Visit one of the caves in the area where you’ll be able to explore. An onboard chef will prepare all your meals (both seafood and non-seafood options are available). A highlight of the cruise is a candlelit dinner under the stars on the top deck of the boat (weather permitting).
Day 4 - Hue
In the morning you will sail back to the port, disembark and drive to Hanoi. Collect your luggage then transfer to the airport to board a mid-afternoon flight bound for Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. After checking in at the hotel, your leader will take you on an evening orientation walk of the city. Afterwards, choose to relax at the hotel or explore the Hue dining scene. Your group leader will have a variety of options for dinner – be sure to ask them for their recommendations.
Day 5 - Hue
Hue is the hub of Vietnam’s historic past. This former imperial capital is an eclectic mix of busy streets and peaceful beauty. Satisfy your hunger with a popular dish called bun bo Hue, which contains rice vermicelli (bun) and beef (bo) – this is a signature of the city. Next, take a boat cruise on the Perfume River and marvel at the Thien Mu Pagoda – the unofficial symbol of the city. The Pagoda is an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. We will enjoy a traditional Buddhist lunch here. You will also visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees. This evening you are invited to share a meal with a local family in their home. It's a unique chance to partake in everyday local life, and perhaps leave with some secret family recipes.
Day 6 - Hue - Hoi An
After breakfast, visit the Imperial Citadel, including the Forbidden Purple City. The latter was almost completely destroyed during the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War. Depart for Hoi An, passing through the beautiful Hai Van Pass – a mountainous stretch of highway with views across Lang Co beach. Continue on to Hoi An, arriving in the afternoon. Hoi An was originally a port town and has been influenced by traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance to the pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. Today it is a delightful backwater town with a charming air about it, and the tranquillity of Hoi An, coupled with its low tiled houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam.
Day 7 - Hoi An
This morning, embark on a walking tour which will take you around the major sites of Hoi An’s charming Old Town, including an historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. Continue your day with a transfer to the expansive herb gardens located on the outskirts of the city at Tra Que culinary village. You’ll have time to discover the daily life of farmers in their trade here and will enjoy a traditional meal prepared by a village chef specializing in the cuisine of the Pho Hoi people.
Day 8 - Hoi An
Today is free for you to continue exploring Hoi An and its surrounding areas. There is an optional fish market visit for early risers, as well as an optional fishing experience to learn more about the life and work of Hoi An’s fisherman. Alternatively, a great day trip is to cycle into the surrounding countryside to discover a world of verdant grasslands and fascinating scenes of daily rural life unfolding. In the evening, perhaps enjoy some seafood by the water, or take a boat ride out to a nearby island for a barbeque feast.
Day 9 - Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast, take a short flight to Vietnam’s economic hub, Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1 hour). Vietnam's largest city is a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. The French influence is evident in the excellent baguettes and coffee on offer. For lunch today you will dine in a restaurant famed for its fantastic home-style Vietnamese cuisine. Next, take a short city tour that covers Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. Along the way, you'll be able to admire the many beautiful French colonial buildings, such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall). Finish the day with a true highlight – a cooking class with the nephew of one of Vietnam’s most respected food personalities, Mrs Dzoan Van Cam. Learn about the distinct flavours and dishes of southern Vietnam that has been passed down the generations and enjoy the results of your cooking over dinner.
Day 10 - Mekong Delta
After breakfast you will drive south for a boat cruise along the Mekong Delta (approximately 2–3 hours). The Mekong Delta is renowned for its fertile land – rich in tropical fruits, flowers and rice. For this reason, it is often referred to as the Rice Bowl of Vietnam. Visit some local cottage industries located along the river, then continue to a guesthouse surrounded by an orchard, which is your lodging this evening. Here you will enjoy a beautiful home-cooked meal of dishes distinct to the Mekong Delta region.
Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh City
Rise early, as the locals do, and enjoy a delicious traditional breakfast. Afterwards, visit the bustling local market – a place awash with colour and a hive of activity. Return to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving early afternoon, and then head out with your travel pals in the evening for a special dinner at a countryside restaurant. This space was designed by an acclaimed Vietnamese architect whose desire was to match the traditional space in harmony with the fundamentals of Vietnamese cuisine. Admire a rooftop view of the city whilst indulging in the authentic flavours of Vietnam – a truly special experience to farewell your Food Explorer journey.
Day 12 - Ho Chi Minh City
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time after breakfast this morning. This doesn’t mean that your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to spend some more time in Ho Chi Minh City, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


Comfortable hotel (9 nts),Overnight boat (1 nt),Guesthouse (1 nt)


Private vehicle,Boat,Plane,Taxi,Bicycle (optional)