6 days A Glimpse of Vietnamese Cooking

 

Hanoi, Van Long, Cuc Phuong, Kenh Ga, Trang An, Yen Mo, Bai Tu Long Bay, Hanoi

This tour is designed for those travellers who wish to experience the delights of food in the Red River Delta. This trip makes a perfect combination of offering hands-on cooking demonstrations in home kitchens and helping collect produce from the home farm. 

Then visiting lively markets, eating with local families, as well as the opportunity to discover Cuc Phuong National Park and losing ourselves in Bai Tu Long Bay. A magnificent combination, and we can see so much in just 6 days. 


Day 1 Hanoi

We begin our Hanoi sightseeing with a visit to Ho Chi Minh  mausoleum, the final resting place erected in his honor. 

Then we stroll around the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's living quarter and One Pillar Pagoda. Later we drop into the serene Temple of Literature and Vietnam's first University.


Let us sample delicious local food. Afternoon finds us in the Museum of Ethnology. A colourful and comprehensive museum and dedicated to Vietnam’s more than 50 ethnic minority people.

We see its beautiful indoors and outdoor exhibits and learn more about the diverse heritage of Vietnam. Following that we wander through the most fascinating portions of Hanoi's Old Quarter.

We pass through some guilded streets and to the colourful local market of Dong Xuan where we can get a real glimpse into the locals’ daily life.

An ideal way to spend the rest of afternoon is to admire the city's French-colonial architechture and stroll along the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, surrounded by lush trees and ancient Buddhist temples.


We attend an incredible water puppet show, a form of traditional Vietnamese entertainment that started in rice fields centuries ago, is performed alongside traditional Vietnamese music that employs drums, wooden bells, horns and bamboo flutes.

After the water puppet show we head to our hotel for a well-deserved rest. (Breakfast and lunch are included).

 

Day 2 Hanoi / Van Long / Cuc Phuong National Park 
Cuc Phuong National Park is located in Ninh Binh province and covers over 200 sq kms. This is Vietnam's most famous park. Departing from Hanoi between 7.45am to 8.00am we journey to Ninh Binh.

 

On arrival at a village of Van Long, we enjoy a boat trip along the beautiful reserve of Van Long, an unique area known for its magnificent limestone peaks. 


Next, we drive to Cuc Phuong National Park. Cuc Phuong National Park spreads across three northern provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa, covering over 22,000 hectares.

It is the first national park in Vietnam, is rich in biodiversity and home to many endangered animals. Cuc Phuong National Park spreads across three northern provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa, covering over 22,000 hectares. It is rich in biodiversity and home to many endangered animals. 

From there, a hike along one of the designated pathways leads us past caves, fossils, ancient trees - including one incredible tree that's 1,000 years old. In addition to the vibrant flora.


The night is spent in the park's comfortable guesthouse surrounded by spectacular mountains and rainforest. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

 

Day 3 Cuc Phuong / Kenh Ga / Trang An 
The morning finds us in the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, which is a wonderful experience, the 'monkeys' are so gorgeous and the success of the centre is laudable. We also check out the Turtle Conservation Centre to see how freshwater turtles are preserved.


After a boat ride across the Hoang Long river, we head to Trang An, an area which is famed for its dramatic rock formations and picturesque villages, offering some opportunities for boating, cycling and mingling with the local people. 

Peaceful waterways, miles and miles of vivid green rice fields stretch along the shores of the Red river's tributaries and the intimacy of the countryside. We spend the night in a local family lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).


Day 4 Trang An / Yen Mo
Yen Mo, a village in the Red River delta is our destination today. This area is home to Kinh people with their rich culture. They provide us a unique opportunity to experience the pace of village life in rural Vietnam.
 

After breakfast we take a stroll around open rice fields and around the village of Ninh Xuan leaves us time for learning about agriculture and its rice cultivation. This is followed by a scenic boat ride along the Ngo Dong. 


The Ngo Dong River is one of the most serene sights in Vietnam. Best experienced aboard a local rowboat, a two-hour trip along this enchanting river passes through the Thung Nang cave system - a series of several caverns, including the stalactite-studded Thung Nang cave - and incredible karst scenery all around.


Afternoon finds us cycling through Trang An, a maze of rivers and caves. Trang An is defined as the UNESCO World Centre by its craggy limestone facades and jade green water.

The surroundings area are now home to tiny villages, pretty paddy fields, temples and hiking trails. We absorb the daily life and appreciate the warmth and friendliness of the local people. 


After lunch in a local family we take an easy hike around open rice fields leaving us time for learning about agriculture and its rice cultivation.


Then we journey to the village of Xom 9 in Yen Mo district. From here we settle in with a family to make authentic Vietnamese food, such as succulent Spring Rolls, fresh rice noodles and sticky rice and zesty dipping sauce with fish sauce and chilli paste, lime juice and ginger. 

We then enjoy the family's gracious hospitality as they share dinner with us. The food is wonderful. The night is spent in the same lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included).

 

Day 5 Yen Mo / Bai Tu Long Bay / Quan Lan Island
Bai Tu Long Bay of the submerged dragon, which boasts 3000 craggy and towering islets, is amongst the most picturesque places in Vietnam.

 

The fantastic beauty of the bay has given rise to many legends, some of them dating back to the ancient past.

 

It is said that a dragon descended into the deep water spitting out gems as he did so. And thus the rocky islands were formed.

Departing Yen Mo we drive to Halong City and then on to Cai Rong island. Soon after arriving in Cai Rong, we embark on a boat trip among stunning limestone peaks.

 

It is the perfect setting for our lunch, we enjoy the freshness and flavor of steamed squid with ginger and scallion, taro balls and fish in tomato sauce.

Weather permitting, there is an opportunity to swim in the clear waters. Arriving at Quan Lan Island we head to the family home and farm of Mr Sau, a retired fisherman.

 

We are taught how to make excellent seafood, such as Squid, Oyster and Lobster. We stay overnight with them. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

 

Day 6 Bai Tu Long Bay / Hanoi
Quan Lan Island is located in Bai Tu Long Bay. The island is blessed with stunning beaches, scenic hills, sand dunes and surroundings sprinkled with tiny villages. 

After a quiet morning strolling around the picturesque village of Quan Lan, an enjoyable bicycle ride across the island and watching the morning unfold on the island, we board our boat to explore further northern reaches of Bai Tu Long Bay - time to appreciate the sublime beauty of the bay.

Kayaking is one of the best ways to discover a delightful floating fishing village, an example of the way of life where some families spend their life living on the sea. 

Then onto Cai Rong island, where we retire to a beautiful cave and watch the sun go down, before making a wish to have the perfect panoramas of the dramatic rock formations.

 

This is followed by our return journey to Hanoi, arriving there at about 6pm. (Breakfast and lunch are included).

 

The facts….

Physical activities: 

Easy cycling, walking, hiking and kayaking with: 

- a 6-8 km hike on Day 2. 

- a 10-14 km bicycle ride on Day 3.

- a 3-5 km walk on Day 4. 

- a 2-hour bicycle ride on Day 6.

- a 2-hour kayak ride on Day 6.

 

Transport: 

- boat.

- bicycle.

- kayak.

- vehicle.


Tour Guides: 

Our experienced and friendly tour guides speak fluent English. 

They are knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.


Accommodation: 

- hotel (1 night).

- guest house (1 night).

- homestays (3 nights). 

Clean and comfortable home stays with mosquito nets provided.


Meals: 

- 5 breakfasts.

- 6 lunches.

- 5 dinners. 

We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, at local restaurants, markets or homes. We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking.


Trip cost: 

- $398USD per person for a group of 2 to 6 people. 

- $365USD per person for a group of 7 to 12 people.

 

The cost of the trip includes: 

- accommodation.

- transportation.

- tour guides.

- meals.

- entrance fees.

- two bottles of water per person everyday.

- permits where applicable.


The cost of the trip does not include: 

- travel insurance.

- drinks (soft drinks, alcohol).

- personal expenses.

 

What to take: 

Pack essentials including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable hiking shoes.

 

Take a small day pack for cycling, walking and hiking. 

It is essential to bring your passport on this trip.

 

We also recommend packing: swimsuit, insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat.

 

Have a great journey!!!