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Northern Vietnam Delicacies - 13 Days

Northern Vietnam Delicacies

Vietnam · Private Tour · 13 Days
j
Private Tour
E
culinary
|
landscape
e
culture
D
trekking

Discover the North of Vietnam in-depth visiting its historic towns, vibrant metropolis, charming countryside, and breathtaking landscapes, while you indulge in its mouthwatering cuisine.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Hanoi
Day 2 - Hanoi
Day 3 - Hanoi → Ninh Binh
Day 4 - Ninh Binh → Hanoi → Lao Cai
Day 5 - Sapa
Day 6 - Sapa
Day 7 - Sapa → Lao Cai → Hanoi
Day 8 - Hanoi → Ha Long
Day 9 - Ha Long
Day 10 - Ha Long → Hanoi → Hue
Day 11 - Hue
Day 12 - Hue → Hoi An
Day 13 - Hoi An → Da Nang

What is included

  • Domestic flight Hanoi - Hue
  • Private transfers and transportation on tour
  • Train Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi (Shared VIP cabin – 4 berth cabin)
  • 8 nights accommodation at luxury hotels with breakfast
  • 2 nights accommodation at train
  • 2 nights accommodation at junk
  • Meals as mentioned in this itinerary
  • Activities mentioned in this itinerary
  • Entrance fees at all visiting sites
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Cold towels and water on sightseeing days

What is NOT included

  • International flights
  • Meals not mentioned in this program
  • Drinks and water at included lunches and dinners
  • Tips and personal expenses
Did you know you can make this trip even better? Customize this tour

day
1
Hanoi

Upon arrival Noi Bai Airport, your guide will come to meet you and lead you to your hotel.

Cultural introduction to Vietnam by a scholar

Having lived through the war era, the strict Communist period, and the present modernization of Vietnam, Dr. Doan Tran Lam is a well-known scholar and writer. Participate in a 45-minute lively presentation on Vietnamese history spanning three thousand years and the varied aspects of Vietnamese culture. This is also a great opportunity to find out how he introduces the nation’s culture and his life experiences to the world.

Home hosted dinner with a family of musicians

Located in a quiet lane is the home of a musician couple. The husband is a flutist in the National Orchestra while the wife is a piano teacher. Enjoy the meal hosted in the cozy dining room to understand the important role meals play at homes in Vietnam. Chat and share with them life experiences through their lovely family photo album. After the meal, enjoy a melodious performance of flute and piano entertained by the hosts themselves.

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
2
Hanoi

Culinary experience at EZ cooking class

After breakfast, visit a vibrant market with a local chef from EZ cooking class center, where the trainers have been sourced from famous restaurants & hotels around Hanoi. Select locally produced food, fresh vegetables and spices under the chef’s guidance before returning to the kitchen to learn how to prepare Vietnamese traditional cuisine in this hands-on cooking class. Demonstrate your culinary flair in the kitchen before you have a chance to enjoy your creations with the chef.  


Hanoi half day city tour

Start with a visit to the Temple of Literature, the first University for the sons of mandarins, for an overview about Hanoi culture and an appreciation for ancient Vietnamese architecture. Then head to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum that offers a broad insight into Vietnam’s people including its 54 ethnic groups through a lens of women’s topics. Walk through diverse exhibitions from street vendors to marriage to family life to traditional fashion. End the trip with a cyclo tour from the museum to the Old Quarter. Ride through its narrow streets to indulge yourself in the bustle and hustle of the local daily life. 


My Village Show

Later this afternoon, leave your hotel to see My village Show –a combination of arts highlighting the peaceful country life and poetic scenery of Vietnam. The scene of the show is Northern Vietnam’s village life which is presented under new cirque approach. It contains episodes of Vietnamese traditional folk games, dances and circus acts performed against the background of traditional and modern music combined with artistic lighting. Bamboo pipes and baskets are used throughout the performance as set decorations, and traditional daily activities of villagers and festive celebrations are played by performers and musicians in farmers’ clothing. After the show, enjoy beautifully decorated dishes of innovative Vietnamese cuisine in a different approach at Cau Go Vietnamese cuisine restaurant – located on the top floor of old building which was built 90s with amazing view overlooking Hoan Kiem lake. Transfer back to the hotel after enjoying dinner at this romantic scenery. 

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
3
Hanoi → Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh karst and rice fields tour

After breakfast, drive to Ninh Binh province. Trang An Landscape complex was recognized as a World Heritage Site in June 2014, and is a spectacular landscape of limestone karts peaks permeated with valleys, some of which are submerged, and surrounded by vertical cliffs.

Start the trip at Hoa Lu ancient capital. This was the capital of the first centralized feudal state in Vietnam at the end of the 10th century. The ravages of time have destroyed the ancient citadel but some vestiges including King Dinh and King Le worship temples, still stand to this day among the rice paddies and are a worthwhile visit to get a glimpse of the ancient Vietnamese past.

Lunch at a local restaurant in Ninh Binh then continue on to Tam Coc also know as "The Ha Long Bay on Land" for a 2-hour row-boat journey. Enjoy the beauty of the karsts formations as you pass along their base and row into three of the many caves carved through the limestone and paddy fields. 

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Hanoi → Ninh Binh94 km 1h 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
4
Ninh Binh → Hanoi → Lao Cai

Ninh Binh countryside tour & cooking class

After breakfast, enjoy a short drive to Tho Ha village in Nho Quan for a leisurely biking trip ranging from 5 km to 15 km (depending on your wish) passing by sleepy villages and picturesque countryside sceneries. Then head to Dong Tam hamlet to take part in some fun agricultural activities on fields such as catching crab, fishing, transplanting and watering vegetables and more.

After an hour or so, return back to the hamlet to join a cooking class and lunch with a local family where you learn how to prepare sweet potato cake and toasted fish. After lunch, keep riding to Nha Le boat pier and enjoy a row boat trip to Galaxy Cave. Later, transfer back to Hanoi in the late afternoon.

Water puppets performance

Early evening, transfer to a public theatre for a Water Puppet performance. The art of water puppetry began approximately a thousand years ago, possibly in the flooded rice fields of Vietnam. Puppeteers stand in waist-high water and manipulate their charges in such a way that you can’t help but be swept away by the legend being told. Each short skit in the performance relates to the daily life of the people in Vietnam.

After that, transfer to a restaurant for dinner before heading for Hanoi Railway Station for your night train to Lao Cai.

Overnight at the train.

Q
Ninh Binh → Hanoi94 km 1h 45min
M
Hanoi → Lao Cai283 km 7h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
T

Chapa Train

Sapa

day
5
Sapa

Upon arrival Lao Cai train station in the early morning, meet up our guide and transfer to a local restaurant for breakfast.

Sapa rice terraces and minority villages tour

After your meal, drive 30 minutes south of Sapa town into the Muong Hoa valley, home to the largest terraced rice fields in Vietnam. If your visit is between May and October, you will be on time for with the planting and harvesting time, and you will get a chance to see the local farmers in action.

The walk takes you from the Lao Chai village of the Black Hmong minority to Ta Van village of the Giay minority. The magnificent views of the terraced fields, the Fansipan mountain range and the cool climate all contribute to an excellent experience. Enjoy a boxed lunch on the way. Continue trekking through farmlands and rolling hills to Giang Ta Chai village to visit Red Dao people. Return to Sapa by car.

Overnight at the hotel.




Q
Sapa → Lao Chai233 km
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
6
Sapa

Bac Ha market visit

Bac Ha is the largest and most colorful market in the area. Every Sunday morning, many different ethnic groups such as Flower Hmong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities gather to buy and sell local products that cannot be found elsewhere.

After breakfast, a 3-hour drive over hills from Sapa, explore the market where ethnic people sell homemade wares ranging from embroidery, tobacco and rice wine to farmyard animals such as chickens, pigs, horses and buffaloes. This is also a place for the locals to catch up and meet friends, drink rice wine and enjoy life at the end of the week.

Visit the Trung Do village and have a packed lunch at the village. Then enjoy a short local boat journey down the Chay River for some stunning scenery. Transfer to Sapa.

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Sapa → Bac Ha98 km 3h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
7
Sapa → Lao Cai → Hanoi

Morning trekking to Ma Tra

After breakfast, trek downhill through pine forests until you reach a small village of Suoi Ho is inhabited by Black Hmong ethnic minority. Their house is normally built without windows due to the cold weather in the winter. Continue your walk through rice paddy fields and spectacular scenery to Ma Tra. Chance to see tea plantations and cardamom gardens (in the right season from February to April) along the way.

Then, transfer to a local restaurant in Lao Cai for having dinner before your transfer to Lao Cai Railway Station for your train back to Hanoi.

Overnight at the train.

M
Lao Cai → Hanoi283 km 7h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
T

Chapa Train

Sapa

day
8
Hanoi → Ha Long

Ha Long Bay cruise

Upon arrival, meet up our guide and transfer to your hotel to freshen-up and have breakfast. Depart for a 3.5 hour journey to Ha Long Bay stopping for a break at Dai Viet Center - the best place to stop and stretch your legs en route. On arrival in Halong Bay, board your deluxe junk, settle into your cabin and prepare your appetite for an enjoyable lunch on deck.

In mid-afternoon visit the mysterious Tien Ong Cave – a wide cave but short entrance which is said to resemble the shape of frog’s mouth. In 2007 a team of Vietnamese archaeologist conducted extensive research which led to the discovery of human bones and artifacts dating to 10,000 – 8,000BC, and then continue to Cua Van area.

It was once a fishing village, however most of them have moved on land for their children’s future due to the lack of education system and access to vital information. Head back to the boat, participate in a cooking demonstration with the chef or enjoy sunset on the top deck before dinner. 

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Hanoi → Ha Long182 km 3h 35min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
t

Violet Junk

Ha Long Bay

day
9
Ha Long

Ha Long Bay cruise

Rise early and greet the day with a refreshing Tai Chi demonstration on the upper deck. Transfer to our day boat named Sunset, discover the biggest cave in Ha Long Bay with 10,000 square meters - Surprise Cave which like Vietnamese house with three chambers as lobby, dining room and bedroom with most beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. Set sail for the Luon Cave, join the kayaking excursion to the Luon cave and surrounding waters and beautiful scenery.

Lunch is served while sails to the Pearl Farm Village, then visit Pearl Factory. Head back to the boat, participate in a cooking demonstration with the chef or enjoy sunset on the top deck before dinner. 

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
t

Violet Junk

Ha Long Bay

day
10
Ha Long → Hanoi → Hue

Ha Long Bay cruise

Rise early and greet the day with another refreshing Tai Chi demonstration on the upper deck. Then it is time for an early morning swim - in the Bay. By tender boat we bring the guests to a natural white sandy stretch. Sporty ones can also climb up to a hill top to have a last view from above over Ha Long Bay before we return to the boat and cruise slowly back to Ha Long City.

During our trundle breakfast is served before we arrive at the jetty in late morning. Disembark at Heritage Line Lounge in Tuan Chau New Marina. On the way back to Hanoi, guide will directly transfer you to the airport for your flight to Hue.

Upon arrival Hue Airport, your guide will come to meet you up and transfer you to your hotel.

Dinner at Princess Ngoc Son's former home

After that, transfer to Home Of Princess Ngoc Son. Princess Ngoc Son was a daughter of Emperor Dong Khanh - when she married, her father granted her the land to build a home. Today, it is one of the best garden houses and has been maintained largely in its original form. The house is a classic structure with three bays and two wings. The highlight is a small artificial rock garden. The present owner also has a fascinating collection of artifacts and mementos from the days of the former Royal Empire. Enjoy a dinner of traditional Hue specialties prepared by the family at their historical home while you unearth Hue’s fascinating past.

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Ha Long → Hanoi182 km 3h 35min
p
Hanoi → Hue 1h 10min
  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Dinner

day
11
Hue

Cooking class with celebrity chef Nhu Huy

After breakfast, step out and explore the delicious world of Hue food with the celebrated gastronomy artisan, Ms. Nhu Huy. She is a professor, author of cookbooks, food television presenter in Vietnam and Europe and the recipient of several prestigious Talent awards in Vietnam. Start off with a visit to the local market to see the sights and sounds of daily life. Ms. Nhu Huy will share some advice of how to select the freshest produce and ingredients necessary for Hue food.

Later, visit several villages which each specialize in a different popular dish. During the day, sample many wonderful foods including com hen (mussel rice), banh beo, banh nam banh loc (varieties of soft rice cakes), Hue sweet soups. These dishes are not merely considered local food, but an indispensable culinary trait of Hue. Continue to the local restaurant Huyen Anh that serves Hue specialty of banh uot and grilled pork. End the trip at Nhu Huy's house to taste more local food then return your hotel. 


Cyclo city tour

In the afternoon, start from your hotel with a 10-minute cyclo ride from your hotel to the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO listed site. Enter through the towering main gate and you will appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while your guide explains about the events and the intrigue of the former royal court. Despite being bombed heavily, there are some incredibly well preserved sections still intact and others which are being lovingly restored. From there, driver will pick you up and drive to visit Thien Mu pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower, the pagoda is a sight to behold.


Dinner at Ancient Hue Restaurant

In the evening, transfer from your hotel to Ancient Hue restaurant. Set in a lush garden, the peaceful Ancient Hue site boasts a ceremonial gate backed by 8 protective pillars. More than just a restaurant, Ancient Hue has 5 distinctive ancient houses offering a glimpse of the city’s splendid past. Enjoy a great cultural feature inherited from the Nguyen Dynasty, Royal Martial Arts performance at the restaurant’s courtyard. Witness a 30 minutes long performance of different techniques of martial arts, a reminiscent of the past heroic plots of Vietnamese patriots against colonialists’ oppression. Then savor in an unforgettable dinner at the restaurant. Transfer back to your hotel after dinner. 

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
12
Hue → Hoi An

Hoi An countryside tour

After breakfast, free time until your guide picks you up for your transfer to Hoi An. Upon arrival, enjoy your lunch at local restaurant and start you tour. Discover Hoi An countryside by a fun buffalo cart ride passing by rice paddies and vegetable farms at Cam Thanh village.

Your guide will explain the methods of farming in the area and the produce grown before getting your hands dirty and venturing into the rice fields - you may like to borrow the farmers’ clothing provided by the villagers. Join the friendly farmers to learn the traditional farming methods including ploughing, ranking soil, transplanting rice and scooping water. Sip a cup of tea with the farmers before returning to your hotel.

Hoi An street food tour

In the evening, discover some unforgettable cultural & historical attractions along with interesting and tasty street food. Meet your guide and driver for a private transfer to the meeting point where your local foodie is waiting to take you on a private walking food tour.  Stroll through zigzagging alleys to explore real neighborhoods and indulge in Hoi An’s best foods at places which have been making these delicacies for generations.

We’ll try foods such as white rose, bread, and banana sweet soup and coconut pancakes. Next, go to the local Hoi An market and roam around the food stalls where you can find amazing Cao Lau noodles and much more. Finally, gather at a local house for a home-hosted dinner. Then walk to the heart of Hoi An ancient town, sit on a local boat cruising along Hoai River and enjoy the view of Hoi An at night while floating lanterns are released

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Hue → Hoi An128 km 2h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

The Nam Hai

One Bedroom Villa Hoi An

day
13
Hoi An → Da Nang

Cooking class with Duc Tran

After breakfast, enjoy a morning tour of one of the most colorful local marketplaces in all of South East Asia. Chef and proprietor Duc Tran from Mango Mango restaurant creates eclectic and innovative flavors reflective of his worldwide culinary journey.

A passionate and extremely talented chef with in depth knowledge on the Hoi An food scene, Duc will take you on a culinary journey embracing a combination of refreshing flavors, beautiful presentations as well as a visit to Hoi An Market to meet the vendors who supply him daily with some of the finest and freshest ingredients in Vietnam. Join Duc in an intimate hands- on learning at his boutique restaurant, and reward yourself with a wonderful meal at the end of the class.

After that, transfer to airport for your flight.

Q
Hoi An → Da Nang29 km 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodations

Ninh Binh
]

Emeralda Resort Ninh Bình

Sapa
]

Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa

Deluxe
Sapa
T

Chapa Train

Ha Long Bay
t

Violet Junk

Hoi An
]

The Nam Hai

One Bedroom Villa

Price for luxury experience

Customizable private tour
Prices per person2 pax
Double Sharing
1 Apr 2018 - 30 Sep 2018$4505
1 Oct 2018 - 31 Mar 2019$4869
1 Apr 2019 - 30 Sep 2019$4831

Photos

Dinner at Ancient Hue Resto
Tam Coc Grotto, Ninh Binh
Caramel Fish in Clay pot
Terrace Field, Sapa
Temple of Literature, Hanoi
EZ Cooking Class, Hanoi
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Bac Ha Market, Sapa
Ha Long Bay
Bun Heo Nau Chua
Forbidden City, Hue
Hoi An Countryside

Map

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