• EN | ES
Taste of Hanoi to Saigon - 13 Days

Taste of Hanoi to Saigon

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

Take in Vietnam's must-see destinations as you cross it north to south exploring its vibrant cities, ancient towns and natural wonders, as you feast on its world-class gastronomy and tempting street food.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Hanoi
Day 2 - Hanoi
Day 3 - Hanoi
Day 4 - Hanoi → Ha Long Bay
Day 5 - Ha Long Bay → Hanoi → Hoi An
Day 6 - Hoi An
Day 7 - Hoi An
Day 8 - Hoi An → Hue
Day 9 - Hue
Day 10 - Hue → Saigon
Day 11 - Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 12 - Mekong Delta → Saigon
Day 13 - Saigon

What is included

  • Private airport transfers in Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Saigon
  • Air tickets: Hanoi - Da Nang, Hue - Saigon (Economy class with airport taxes)
  • Transportation on tour in air conditioned vehicle
  • 11 nights accommodation in comfort hotels with breakfast
  • 1 night on cruise with full board
  • Meals mentioned in this itinerary
  • Sightseeing English speaking guide in each location
  • Entrance fees
  • Private boat trip in Mekong Delta
  • Cold towels and water on sightseeing days

What is NOT included

  • International flights
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in this itinerary
  • Tips and personal expenses
Did you know you can make this trip even better? Customize this tour

day
1
Hanoi

Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel with guide.

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
2
Hanoi

Private culinary experience with local chef

In the morning, meet with the local chef for a local market tour. Our local chef is a passionate chef who has many year experience so she can show you how to select the freshest and typical ingredients for local food. Enjoy sight, sound and flavor of the market. Then take a drive out of Hanoi center to her beautiful private home for a private hands-on cooking class while listening to her sharing about the passion for cooking. Taste your own creations at lunch.

Hanoi city tour

In the afternoon, 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.

Water puppetry with a local artisan

Water puppetry is a unique art that originated in Vietnam’s wet rice civilization. Drive 30 minutes to a local house situated in a small alley of Hanoi to meet with a water puppet artisan. Born into a family with a tradition of performing water puppetry in Nam Dinh province, Mr. Liem Phan acquired a passion for this folk art in his childhood. Inherited the talent & tradition from his father, he has profound passion of playing with puppets, making puppets by creating a mini stage for water puppetry and bringing his solo performances to several countries outside Vietnam.

Sit down for a cup of tea and learn his stories about how the water puppet originated, his memorable experience traveling to different corners of the world to bring Vietnamese culture & folklores to international friends. Then join a 30-minute show seeing lion dances, buffalo fighting, rice farming, and boat racing, etc. at his private mini water puppet stage on his top house floor. After the show, get yourself in artisan’s role to handle puppets in the water or join with Mr. Liem Phan to make and paint the puppets. 

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
3
Hanoi

Discover the secrets of sticky rice

In the traditional culture of Vietnamese people, the process of making traditional sticky rice cake Banh Chung is the opportunity for the family to come together, tell one another stories and get ready for Vietnamese New Year. Today meet with a young chef - who is the daughter of one of the most prominent chefs of Hanoi, at Hang Be market. Stroll around the market and buy ingredients before heading to her house/restaurant in the old quarter for a hands-on experience making Banh Chung. While waiting for the Banh Chung to be well-cooked, learn how to make another specialty of Hanoi, Banh Goi.

This crispy pillow dumpling can be found in many street food stalls around town. Banh Goi is not baked but deep fried to create a charming yellow pastry skin, crispy and  fragrant. Later, enjoy the rich pork, mung beans, and aromas from the leaves of the Banh Chung along with the sweet salty Banh Goi served with some fresh herbs and fish sauce for dipping.

Street food tour with local foodie

Eating on the street is a very typical activity for Hanoians and makes up an important part of the city’s unique culture. This afternoon, depart at 15:30 for a leisurely walk with our foodie expert to the Old Quarter. Make your first stop to taste the national dish of Vietnamese - Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup). Then wander around a local market to enjoy the sights, the sounds and the aroma from hundreds of kinds of food on offer. Then sit down at a tiny Banh Duc shop to try a bit of Banh Duc - cooked rice powder with Vietnamese spices. Banh Duc will be served hot or cool, depends on weather.

Your next stop is a little shop selling many different types of traditional Northern cakes such as Com cake (young rice) which is considered to be a part of every Hanoians childhood. Follow your foodie to a small alley to get an idea of a typical tube houses of Hanoi. You will stop at Banh My Lan Ong and try their famous bread with Pate. After the banh mi, you can enjoy some Vietnamese desserts - sweet soups called Che. Then cap off your trip by tasting a cup of Vietnamese egg coffee before returning back to your hotel.

Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
4
Hanoi → Ha Long Bay

Transfer to Halong Bay

After breakfast, depart for a 3.5 hour drive to Ha Long Bay with a quick rest stop at Dai Viet Center - the best place to stop and stretch your legs en route.

Halong Bay cruise

On arrival in Ha Long Bay, let the vacation begin with a lunch buffet as the boat cruises towards Surprise cave - one of the most beautiful cave in the Bay. Later afternoon, a cooking class demonstration is offered with the chef before a wonderful dinner on board tonight. This evening, retire to your cabin or join the squid fishing program. 

Overnight at the cruise.

Q
Hanoi → Ha Long Bay182 km 3h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
t

Bhaya Cruise

Private Premium Balcony cabin Ha Long Bay

day
5
Ha Long Bay → Hanoi → Hoi An

Ha Long Bay cruise

Wake up early and partake in a Tai Chi demonstration which is held on the upper deck. Then visit Cua Van floating village by rowing boat or kayaking. It was once the 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.

Return to Hanoi & transfer to Hoi An

Return to your boat where buffet brunch is waiting. Arrive at the jetty late morning and transfer back to Hanoi with light snack provided en route. Then transfer straight to the airport with guide for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel with guide.

Overnight at the hotel.

 

Q
Ha Long Bay → Hanoi 3h 30min
p
Hanoi → Danang 1h 15min
Q
Danang → Hoi An 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Dinner
]

Hoi An Historic Hotel

Deluxe Hoi An

day
6
Hoi An

After breakfast, enjoy a morning tour of one of the most colorful local market places 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.

Private cooking class with Duc Mango

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.

Hoi An walking tour

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was a prosperous trading port. Today, this World Heritage-listed ancient town boasts well-preserved buildings, pedestrian streets and unique cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. This afternoon, you will start your walking tour. There is plenty to visit including the old merchant’s houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with outstanding wood carvings and the colorful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two.

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Hoi An Historic Hotel

Deluxe Hoi An

day
7
Hoi An

After breakfast, experience an organic discovery tour with the local farmers in the rural outskirts of Hoi An ancient town. Start your morning with a leisurely 4 km bike ride through the countryside, heading to Tra Que vegetable village which is named after a sweet scented herb they grow and use to flavor Hoi An specialties like Cao Lau noodles.

Farming life in herb garden

Upon arrival, walk around the village to see fishpond, buffalo, duck, etc. and learn about the history and custom of this charming village before getting your hands dirty and venturing into the garden - you may like to borrow the farmers clothing provided by the villagers. Join the friendly farmers to learn the traditional gardening methods and how they cultivate vegetables.

After a short relaxing with the water wheel or musical instruments, you will learn how to soak and grind rice by your hand, then make rice paper and grill it on charcoal. Bid farewell to your host family and transfer back your hotel. Afternoon is free at your leisure. The tour takes you off the beaten path to get a unique glimpse into daily life in this lovely city and discover some unforgettable cultural & historical attractions along with interesting and tasty street food.

Private sidewalk food tour

This evening, 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.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Hoi An Historic Hotel

Deluxe Hoi An

day
8
Hoi An → Hue

After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to Hue with guide.

Vegetarian lunch at a pagoda

Hue is the capital of Buddhism in Vietnam. Most Buddhists believe in an afterlife without suffering, and one must have a vegetarian diet to help reduce the Karma made from previous lives. Upon arrival in Hue, pay a visit to Dong Thuyen pagoda. The pagoda was built in 18th century and is one of the earnest pagodas in Hue. Take a walk around the peaceful precinct before having a vegetarian lunch prepared by the nuns. Talk with these Buddhists to have a comprehensive knowledge of their belief, and to understand about the natural ingredients they usually use in vegetarian meals.

Hue city tour

Hue served as an imperial capital to the Nguyen Lords, a feudal dynasty which reigned from the 17th to the 19th century. With splendid emperors tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of the Citadel, the city retains its royal charm. This afternoon, drive to visit 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 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. Continue to visit the serene Tu Duc Royal Tomb, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and built on principles of Feng-Shui. Its architecture showcases elements of eastern art and western design.

Salt rice dinner at Madame Nhu Huy's home

Salt Rice, one of the most opulent and symbolic dishes in the former Imperial capital of Hue, has made a comeback thanks to the Chef Madame Nhu Huy. There are up to nine kinds of salt such as from sesame, lemongrass, galingale, shrimp and the dishes are prepared by frying, steaming and braising. We can talk with Madame Nhu Huy, who was born and grew up in a Royal family, to understand her effort to search and preserve ancient recipes. And of course, you will have the chance to appreciate this delicacy at Madame Nhu Huy’s home. It is necessary to enjoy these dishes slowly to enhance the fragrance of rice and the salty, peppery, sweet, and sour taste of different types of salt rice. 

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Hoi An → Hue145 km 3h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Hotel Saigon Morin

Premium River Deluxe Hue

day
9
Hue

The delicate ingredients, preparation, and presentation of Hue Royal cuisine have long been considered cultural hallmarks of the ancient imperial city. It is considered not only a sophisticated work of culinary art but the embodiment of the philosophy of the ancestors. Hue royal food not only has a delicious taste but is also eye catching. It creates a harmony between color, and taste, between yin and yang, between hot and cold.


Classic royal culinary experience

This morning, meet your experienced chef in her late 60s who was born and grew up in a Royal family. Stroll through a fresh market. Learn about and taste some of the ingredients used in the Royal cuisine and watch the buying and selling rituals of a Vietnamese market. Then get to her home for a hands-on cooking class of the food of the Imperial Court. Share her life and experiences, and enjoy what dishes you have made.


Hue traditional culinary tasting & food carving

Hue is famous not only for the thousand-year-old history but also for its diverse traditional food culture. In the afternoon, emerge yourselves in this interesting culinary tasting tour around Hue city. Your first stop will be at Me Xung sweets workshop. Me Xung is a perfect combination of sesame, crushed peanuts and handmade malt, and is one of Hue’s famous desserts. Then drive to Ba Do's house to learn how to make some other Hue’s specialties such as banh beo (small steamed rice cake), banh nam (steamed rice cake wrapped in banana leaves), banh bot loc (clear shrimp and pork dumpling).

Enjoy the dishes you have made while chatting with the owner to understand more about Hue’s food culture. Complete your day by tasting Hue royal tea. Once served only to the Royal family in ancient times, royal tea has now become widely enjoyed throughout the country. The royal tea includes a variety of herbs such as: artichoke, chrysanthemum, sweet grass, kudzu, ginseng, apple, liquorice, jasmine, and more. Learn from the host who will explain the benefits of drinking royal tea, and learn how make a cup of royal tea yourself before returning your hotel.

The local tradition of food carving in Hue has been handed down from generation to generation for centuries. This evening, head to the beautiful restaurant - Ancient Hue, and meet with the artisan who will present the uniqueness of traditional Hue food, and the beautiful art of hue food carving and plate garnishes. Try it yourself and practice some fruit and vegetable carving and learn a Vietnamese way to decorate your dinner table more colorfully. Later, you may enjoy your dinner (own expense) at the restaurant before transferring back to your hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Hotel Saigon Morin

Premium River Deluxe Hue

day
10
Hue → Saigon

After breakfast, transfer to the airport with guide for your flight to Saigon.

Hidden secrets of Saigon tour

Upon arrival in Saigon, drive to a secret weapon chamber which the Viet Cong used as a place to hide and store weapons during Vietnam War. Weave through narrow slum area, opportunity to meet and chat with the locals whose families with few generations are living together in the same tiny houses. Then chill out at a coffee shop tucked away in an old French colonial apartment block. Meander across a local market to meet a street artist who has spent half of his life making souvenir carvings (closed at 17:30). If you want your rings, pens or other souvenirs carved with names, dates or poem, he surely can help. Transfer to your hotel for check-in.

Saigon street food tour

For hundreds years street eats has become a typical culture of Saigonese’s life style. A visit to this young bustling city is not complete without experiencing its night life and street food. This evening at 18:00, meet up with your guide - also an enthusiastic foodie. Your first stop will be at a local Banh Mi shop (bread roll) which is known to sell the best bread rolls in Saigon. You might need to line up for few minutes to be served, and it is a good chance to observe how the famous bread rolls are made. After receiving the bread, walk 3 minutes to a street juice store, grab a sit outside, enjoy the bread while listen to the introduction of street eats culture of Saigonese before setting out to discover the best hidden street food you can imagine.

Hop on car or keep strolling through a super busy streets food area and make your next stop at Banh cuon (steamed rice cake stuffed with meat). Banh cuon is originally from Northern Vietnam, but has been widely savored in Saigon for many years with a twist in flavor to make it more suitable for Saigonese palate. After banh cuon, take a walk to a nearby street food stall for a real experience of street eats with Banh trang nuong (grilled rice paper). Banh trang nuong is a special nosh of Dalat and has just become popular in Saigon for the past few years. Then walk through a short quiet alley to a dessert stall selling delicious Chuoi nep nuong (grill banana with coconut milk).

Continue stroll up to enjoy a fashionable dessert which has just been arose recently: shaking mango. Your final stop will be at a small yet crowded street famous for fresh grilled seafood, if you wish to enjoy something else rather than seafood, there are many other choices such as thick noodles crab soup, dumpling soup, fried rice cake with eggs, etc. Later, transfer back to your hotel in the late evening.

Overnight at the hotel. 

p
Hue → Saigon 1h 20min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Grand Hotel Saigon

Premium Deluxe Saigon

day
11
Cu Chi Tunnels

After breakfast, drive to Ho Chi Minh Cooking Class venue, almost 2-hour drive from Saigon. It is a basic open-air venue surrounded by gardens and farms.

Private cooking class in Cu Chi

Meet with your friendly chef and learn how people grow mushrooms - one of locals' main income sources. Then get your hands dirty and venture into the garden to pick some vegetables. This is your chance to learn how to select fresh produce and ingredients essential for Vietnamese cuisine. Roll up your sleeves for a private hands-on cooking class. Savor your own culinary creations at lunch in the peaceful countryside scenery.

Cu Chi Tunnels tour

Next, head to the famous Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnel complex was initially started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as communication routes, storage facilities for food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the American war. A visit to the underground villages will provide a better understanding of the tunnels history, the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. Return to Saigon.

Overnight at the hotel.  

Q
Saigon → Cu Chi Tunnels70 km 2h
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Grand Hotel Saigon

Premium Deluxe Saigon

day
12
Mekong Delta → Saigon

After breakfast, depart Saigon and drive south to Ben Tre province. Situated in the Delta of Mekong River, Ben Tre is famous for its tropical fruit gardens and traditional handicrafts made of coconuts. Your first stop at Ben Tre is a brick kiln to see how the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand.

Mekong Delta tour

Then board on your private boat and start cruising to a coconut workshop where you can learn about the multiple uses of coconut in the daily life. Back on board for another short cruise to a small family-run mat workshop. Get involved in learning how to make sleeping mats under the instruction of the friendly mat-makers. Afterward, get on tuk-tuk (or hop on a local bicycle and ride of 3 km) and travel along the narrow shady village roads to admire the tranquility of the Mekong villages.

Arrive at the Garden House of a tropical fruit farmer and enjoy a walk around his orchard. Chat with the farmer whilst tasting fresh seasonal fruits in his garden. Hop on tuk - tuk (or bike) and continue your leisure sight-seeing. If requested, take an optional stop en-route at a small wooden chopstick workshop. Continue touring around these sleepy villages until arriving at a charming local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, have a short break before getting on sampan for rowing through the idyllic water palm creek.

Dining in the dark

Arrive at your main boat and cruise back to Hung Vuong Pier where your driver awaits for a drive back to Saigon. This evening, transfer to Noir restaurant for a special culinary journey - dining in the dark. The concept is to imitate the experience of having meals like a blind person, which is a unique mind-altering experience. Leave behind the sight and let your other senses lead your mind to feel the taste of food.

Overnight at the hotel.

Q
Saigon → Ben Tre86 km 1h 45min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
]

Grand Hotel Saigon

Premium Deluxe Saigon

day
13
Saigon

After breakfast, transfer to the airport with guide for your onward flights. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodations

Hanoi
]

Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel

Deluxe
Ha Long Bay
t

Bhaya Cruise

Private Premium Balcony cabin
Hoi An
]

Hoi An Historic Hotel

Deluxe
Hue
]

Hotel Saigon Morin

Premium River Deluxe
Saigon
]

Grand Hotel Saigon

Premium Deluxe

Price for comfort experience

Customizable private tour
Prices per person2 pax
Double Sharing
1 Jun 2018 - 30 Sep 2018$2969
1 Oct 2018 - 31 Dec 2018$3029

Photos

Food Noir Restaurant, Saigon
Temple of Literature, Hanoi
Cooking Class, Hoi An
Minh Mang Tomb, Hue
Street Food Tour, Hanoi
Halong Bay
Street food
Dinner with Ms. Nhu Huy, Hue
Old Town, Hoi An
Hoi An
Mekong Delta
Cu Chi Tunnel, Saigon

Map

Get Your Free Quote-You'll get an answer in less than 48h-