Vietnam Cooking Tours

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 12 days

Like many others neighbor countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has a precious treasure; its people. Everywhere you go, you will be welcomed by smiles and kind helps from the locals whether they know Vietnamese or not. People from Hue, from example, are famous all over the country for their royal-like attitude; elegant and sweet. Those from Hoi An, on the other hand, are known for being honest. If you have time to spend in the Mekong delta of Vietnam, you will even be more surprised and inspired by the way you are received by the local farmers. Get impressed!
Vietnam has all of the off-the-beaten-path experience and that you are all looking for. From staying with an ethnic family in the Northern mountain area of Sa Pa to talking photos over the sunrise in Hoi An to sand-surfing with the local kids in Mui Ne- you name then all. A unique travel experience is all about yourself – and the best part about Vietnam is that there are so much to discover after all.

  • Day 1: Hanoi arrives (D)
  • Day 2: Hanoi City tour (B, L,D)
  • Day 3: Excursion out of Hanoi
  • Day 4: Hanoi – Cooking class – Fly to Hue (B, L)
  • Day 5: Hue – City tour & boat trip (B, D)
  • Day 6: Hue – Cooking class – Hoi An (B, L)
  • Day 7: Hoi An (B)
  • Day 8: Hoi An – Cooking class – Saigon (B, L)
  • Day 9: Saigon city tour & Cu Chi Tunnel (B, L)
  • Day 10: Saigon – Mekong Delta (B, L)
  • Day 11: Cooking class at Saigon Cooking School(B, L)
  • Day 12: Saigon departs (B)


Detail Itinerary :


Day 01
Hanoi arrives (D)

Aiport pick up and transfer to your hotel. If time permit, enjoy pleasant walk around the lake area for a glimpse of the city. In the evening, we will enjoy our Welcome Dinner at Tonkin restaurant. Overnight at your hotel in Hanoi old quarter.

Day 02
Hanoi City tour (B, L,D)

We start with a cyclo( pedalised rickshaw) ride around the old quarter and French quarter of Hanoi and stop at Hochiminh complex and queue with local to walk solemnly to visit his mausoleum. Short drive to Ngo Si Lien market for authentic local street food market and keep on to visit Temple ofLiterature – the first Emperial college of Vietnam and symbol of Vietnamese education traditions. Have lunch in Cha Ca La Vong Restaurant. Walking in French quarter with tree-lined boulevards and many remained colonial buildings and have a special local coffee while sitting on stools with locals. Enjoy walk along Long Bien historical steel bridge of Hanoi to see local life, visit Dong Xuan central market and old authentic hidden street of Hanoi old quarter. Have some free time in Hanoi. Dinner at a authentic local restaurant called Quan An Ngon for best traditional Vietnamese dishes. Overnight at your hotel in Hanoi.

N o t e : Lunch at Cha Ca La Vong
“Cha ca” is a favourite dish of Hanoian. Located in Cha Ca street, Cha ca La Vong (”cha ca” means grilled fish) is the famous restaurant to many Hanoian as well as visitors from all over the world.

Day 03
Excursion out of Hanoi

Option 1: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B, L)

We are met at the lobby of hotel at 08:00AM, then transfer to Halong Bay. After more than 3 hours driving including a stop-over in Hai Duong city, we arrive in Halong Bay at around 11:30. We will enjoy a delicious, fresh, seafood lunch after that and spend about 4 hours cruising on this secluded bay. During the time we will have the opportunity to visit the spectacular Heaven Palace (Thien Cung) and Dau Go caves, those caves crammed with thousand of stalactites and stalagmites with different colors, shapes and size. We keep cruising to see many lime stone islands and islets, which dotted around the bay including: Incense Bowl islet, Cock Fighting islet, Sail islet, Turtle Island… Transfer back to Hanoi in the late afternoon. Overnight at your hotel in Hanoi

Option 2: Hanoi – Thung Nai ” Halong Bay on Da River” – Hanoi(B)

8:00: Our guide and shuttle bus will pick you up at your hotel. Then start your journey to Thung Nai. 11:00: Arrive in Thung Nai. Get off the car and take a short rest of several minutes before taking a motor-boat to the rest-house of Ngoc Island. After 20 minutes motor-boating, you will reach the rest-house of Dua Island. Relax and help prepare for having lunch with local people( Muong ethnic traditional dishes). 12:00: Have lunch. Enjoy some specialties of Hoa Binh such as “Com lam” (sticky rice in bamboo), Can Wine … and cheer together. 13:00: Travel on motor-boat around the lake of Thung Nai, visit Thac Bo Temple and Thac Bo Cave. Watching the daily life of some ethnic minorities in Hoa Binh Province, drop in Thac Bo Market. Take photo of the Northern mountain area of Vietnam. 16:00: Come back to Thuong Luu wharf, transfer back to Hanoi. The car will drop off you at hotel in Hanoi at about 19:00 pm.

Day 04
Hanoi – Cooking class – Fly to Hue (B, L)

08:30 – 08:45 Meeting our guide and chefs at Viet Kitchen Spring and enjoy a special “Banh Giay”, and Vietnamese welcome “Thai Nguyen” tea. After the welcomes, we will walk to see the “Hom” fresh market nearby our center. The ‘Hom” market is divided into different sections such as Flower, Seafood, Dry herb, Vegetable which is very interesting to go through. It is also considered as one of the most typical market in the Old Quarter of Hanoi with the way of setting out, where the local go and shop daily. 8h45– 9h30: In the market, our guide and chef will give you the chance to discover the traditional Vietnamese market and explain for you all different kinds of food and vegetable which you may see or not see them before. You have lots of opportunities to take photos and also chat with the local people. 09h30 – 11h30: After shopping for our own food, We walk back to Viet Kitchen Spring Restaurant to prepare for your amazing experience with chefs. At get kitted out in your chef’s outfit whilst our chef talks you through today’s dishes. Then our chef will lead you through each dish, giving you plenty of opportunity to get involved in and hand on reproducing the flavors and enjoy on the dishes you have just prepared. We will also supply you with a recipe booklet containing all the information you need to reproduce an authentic taste back home. 11.30: On completion of the cooking class, enjoy the meal with the food we cooked while chatting with the chef about Viet foods and cooking. Back to your hotel after lunch and free at leisure till transfer to the airport for your flight to Hue. Overnight at your hotel in Hue

Day 05
Hue – City tour & boat trip (B, D)

AM : Be met and transferred to the Wharf where we will cruise along the Perfume River to visit:
- Thien Mu Pagoda (The Heavenly Lady pagoda), from here we will have a good view of Perfume River and surroundings.
- Tu Duc King’s tomb, which is one of the most beautiful works of Royal Architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty. The tomb lies in a boundless pine forest.

PM: Visit the Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City; and Dong Ba market. Enjoy our royal dinner at a finest local restaurant called Royal Restaurant.

N o t e : Royal Restaurant is decorated as a Royal Dining Room, the Royal Dining Room will surprise you with its authentic cuisines of Hue’s royalty. Just imagine that you are the King, beside you is the Queen accompanied by Mandarins, all wearing traditional royal clothes. All the food served is royal including dishes symbolizing the dragon, phoenix, or peacock…..All meticulously prepared to the finest details for a sumptuous dinner that fits for royalty.

Overnight at your hotel in Hue

Day 06
Hue – Cooking class – Hoi An (B, L)

Y Thao Restaurant is an ideal place for lunch or dinner: great food, a congenial host, and an unhurried meal in an attractive setting of gardens, ceramics and artworks. The main attractions at Y Thao garden house are the vegetarian and non-vegetarian Hue specialty dishes. The owner is a skilled chef and the food is delicious. Her recipes have been handed down through the family for many, many years. She includes at least one of the Hue‘Royal’ dishes in the menu. This half day cooking experience at this restaurant is a great experience to get to learn about Hue cuisines.

  • At 8.30 am our guide will meet you at your hotel and then we will shop for fresh food at the Dong Ba market, the most hustling market in Hue.
  • Then starts the cooking class with Ms. Vy, the famous chef at Y Thao.
  • Enjoy eating the delicious foods that were just cooked.
  • After lunch, we take a scenic drive on one of Vietnam’s most spectacular routes, the Mandarin Road, to Hoi An passing the Hai Van Pass (Ocean Cloud Pass), a mountainous highway offering splendid views over theSouth China Sea and also stop at Lang Co beach to visit fishing village with real local fishermen life.
  • Overnight at your hotel in Hoian
Day 07
Hoi An (B)
  • AM: Enjoy walking tour around the ancient town to visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Pottery Museum, Tan Ky old house, the Cantonese congregation, the silk street of Hoi An, the temples and pagodas of Chinese appearance.
  • PM: we will take 3 hour boat trip to Thanh Ha Pottery village, where we can see old men who produce jars, bowls, vases… and enjoy local life on the water as well as in the village
  • Have some free time at leisure or at your own exploration
  • Overnight at your hotel in Hoian
Day 08
Hoi An – Cooking class – Saigon (B, L)
  • Meet the chef and enjoy a welcome drink at Hai Scout Café (98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An Ancient Town, Tel: 3863210) – our meeting point.
  • Visit Hoi An’s colorful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.
  • We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red BridgeCooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy.
  • On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – each dish is first demonstrated by the Red Bridge chef’s, before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration).
  • After the lesson, we sit down and eat exactly what we have cooked.
  • Back to Hoian and free at leisure till transfer to the airport for your short flight to Saigon
  • Overnight at your hotel in Saigon
Day 09
Saigon city tour & Cu Chi Tunnel (B, L)
  • Morning start with city tour of Saigon. You will be overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of this lively place. During a city tour you will visit Former Presidential Palace, Central Post Office, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Ben Thanh’s market and enjoy walking around Lam Son square area where much much Frech colonial buildings still remains.
  • Keep on to visit Giac Lam pagoda – one of the most beautiful and sacred pagoda in Saigon
  • Have lunch with the most traditional and popular Vietnamese food called PHo
  • Afternoon drive to Cu Chi tunnels in the west of Saigon to visit this amazing tunnels networks used during the war and get to know incredible history of the areas.
  • Overnight at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

N o t e : Phở is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually served with beef (phở bò) or chicken (phở gà). The soup includes noodles made from rice and is often served with Vietnamese basil, mint leaves, lime, and bean sprouts that are added to the soup by the person who is dining. It is listed at number 28 on World’s 50 most delicious foods complied by CNN Go in 2011

Day 10
Saigon – Mekong Delta (B, L)
  • 08:00 hrs pick up at your hotel in Saigon and transfer to Cai Be.
  • Upon embarkation, clients are welcomed with fresh cotton towels.
  • The tour will begin with the visit of Cai Be colorful floating market, cruising among local barges full of fruits and vegetables… Cruising further, your sampan will bring you to see some local home factories to discover traditional rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies, and longans drying process.
  • A delicious lunch will await you at a superb Indochinese villa, Le Longanier, located in a luxuriant garden by the river…
  • After lunch, your sampan will proceed the cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep. On the way, you will be able observe the typical Mekong delta rural life. These evergreen islands among the Mekong River still remain unknown to many people.
  • Visit at an ancient mandarin house dating from the 19th century where the family will welcome you with a cup a tea. We will proceed to Vinh Long, passing beautiful landscapes along Dong Phu canal, Binh Hoa Phuoc and An Binh islands famous for their fruit orchards.
  • Stops on the way can be made at An Binh ancient Church or at Tam Ho bonsais garden.
  • After crossing the Co Chien River, the excursion will end at Vinh Long pier around 4pm, where your own private transportation vehicle will await you for your transfer back to Saigon.
  • Overnight at your hotels in Saigon
Day 11
Cooking class at Saigon Cooking School(B, L)
  • Enjoy market visit with our chef through the colorful and vibrant Ben Thanh market to purchase the ingredients what are used during the cooking lesson.
  • Cooking class from 10:00 to 13:00 with typical southern dishes
  • Enjoy lunch with delicious food we cooked while chatting with the chef about Vietnamese southern food
  • Free afternoon at leisure or doing your own things
  • Overnight at your hotel in Hochiminh city
Day 12
Saigon departs (B)

Free at leisure or doing your own things till transfer to the airport for your outgoing flight

Included in above prices:
  • All transfer and transportations with private, new modal, A/C vehicle during mentioned tourings
  • All accommodations based on double/Twin room in hotels mentioned
  • Private cruise in Halong Bay( or Thung Nai), Hoian and Mekong Delta
  • Professional English speaking guide during the touring days
  • 2 internal flights: Hanoi- Hue; Danang – Saigon
  • 4 cooking classes in Hanoi, Hue, Hoian and Saigon
  • All activities as specified with entrance fees and permits
  • Meals as mentioned: ( B=Breakfasts, L= lunches & D=Dinners)
  • Gov’t tax and service charge
Exclusive :
  • International flight not mentioned, bank fees, visa, special event surcharge, travel insurance, meals not mentioned, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Tour Note :
  • Time for check-in from 12.00 to 14.00 and check-out from 11.00 to 12.00 depending on the hotels. Late check-out or early check-in are often subject to surcharges
  • Please inform us in advance for any special food request
  • All traveler are required to have passport valid for more than 6 months from arrival date for Vietnam
  • The tour involves plenty of walking, over uneven surfaces and climbing stairs, in varying weather conditions.
  • Visa requirements: All persons entering Vietnam require a visa. Travellers need a tourist visa which cannot be issued on arrival unless prior arrangements have been made. Please note normal tourist visas are valid for single entry only. For more information about visa to Vietnam, please contact It is your responsibility to make sure that visa requirements are fulfilled.
  • Health issues: Good medical advice usually recommends vaccinations/ prophylactics in advance of travel to Vietnam. We suggest that you consult with your doctor to discuss health care needs specific to your holiday.
  • Insurance: You must be comprehensively insured as a condition of travelling with Travel Authentic. Insurance should include cover for personal accident and medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation, baggage loss, and cancellation or curtailment of your holiday.
Absolute Tours & Travel

Your journey will be a private, customized travel experience, based on your individual schedule, interests and budget.


Prices above are based on below local standard hotels and room types
Cities 3 Stars Hotel / Resort 4 Stars Hotel / Resort 5 Stars Hotel / Resort
Hanoi LaDolce vita (Superior) Chalcedony Hotel (Deluxe) Hotel de L’Opera (Deluxe)
Hue Asia Hotel (Deluxe) Saigon Morin (Superior) La Residence de Hue (Superior)
Hoian Vinh Hung Emeral Resort (Deluxe Pool View) Vinh Hung Riverside Resort (Superior Pool View) Sunrise beach Resort (Deluxe)
Saigon Ruby River Hotel (Deluxe) Liberty Central Hotel (Deluxe) Majestic Hotel (Colonial Superior)