5 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 sightseeing

Our day of sightseeing in Hanoi begins with a visit to the solemn Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a revered monument honoring the country's beloved leader. As we pay our respects, we also explore the nearby Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh's living quarters, gaining insight into his life and legacy. Our journey continues with a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, a symbol of Vietnamese spirituality and architectural splendor.

Our exploration of Hanoi continues with a visit to the serene Temple of Literature, a revered symbol of Vietnam's rich cultural and educational heritage. As we step through its ancient gates, we're transported back in time to a place of profound significance.

Founded in 1076 as the country's first university, the Temple of Literature served as a center of learning and scholarship for generations of scholars and intellectuals. Today, it stands as a testament to Vietnam's enduring commitment to education and enlightenment.


Continuing our journey, we venture to the Museum of Ethnology, a vibrant showcase of Vietnam's diverse ethnic minority groups. Through its colorful exhibits, both indoors and outdoors, we gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural mosaic that defines the nation. Continuing our exploration, we take a stroll through the enchanting alleyways of Hanoi's Old Quarter, where guilded streets lead us to the bustling Dong Xuan Market. Here, we witness the vibrant hustle and bustle of daily life, immersing ourselves in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Old Quarter.

As the afternoon draws to a close, we take in the architectural splendor of Hanoi's French-colonial buildings and unwind with a leisurely stroll along the picturesque shores of Hoan Kiem Lake. Surrounded by lush greenery and ancient temples, the lake offers a tranquil oasis in the heart of the bustling city. In the evening, we attend water puppet show, a tradition that dates back centuries. Accompanied by traditional Vietnamese music, the enchanting performance brings to life scenes from rural Vietnam with its charm and artistry. After the show, we return to our hotel for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 2 Hanoi - Van Long - Cuc Phuong National Park

Departing Hanoi between 7:00 to 7:30 we head towards Ninh Binh to Van Long Nature Reserve. Van Long Nature Reserve is renowned for its largest nature reserve in Vietnam. Immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery as you enjoy a rowing boat ride along the nature reserve, amidst towering limestone peaks and serene backwaters.

Continuing our adventure, we drive to Cuc Phuong National Park. Cuc Phuong National Park, located in Ninh Binh province, spans over 200 square kilometers, making it Vietnam's most renowned park which extends across three northern provinces: Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh, and Thanh Hoa, covering over 22,000 hectares. As Vietnam's first national park, it boasts rich biodiversity and serves as a sanctuary for many endangered animals.

As we venture into the park's verdant expanse, following scenic hiking trails we see diverse flora and fauna. Admire ancient and towering trees, vibrant flowers, and lush foliage or listen to the calls of exotic birds. Continuing our exploration of Cuc Phuong National Park, we visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre and the Turtle Conservation Centre. These vital facilities provide invaluable insight into the ongoing conservation efforts dedicated to safeguarding endangered primate species and freshwater turtles.

At the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, we have the opportunity to observe and learn about the various primate species native to Vietnam, many of which are critically endangered. Through educational programs and guided tours, we gain a deeper understanding of the challenges these primates face and the conservation initiatives aimed at their protection and rehabilitation.


Similarly, at the Turtle Conservation Centre, we witness firsthand the dedicated efforts to conserve and protect Vietnam's vulnerable freshwater turtle populations. Through educational exhibits, informative presentations, and interactive experiences, we gain insight into the threats facing these endangered creatures and the measures being taken to ensure their survival.

After our visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre and the Turtle Conservation Centre, we'll journey to Yen Mo, a village nestled in the Red River delta. This area is inhabited by the Kinh people. There, we'll have the pleasure of staying with a friendly local family for the night in a comfortable lodge. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 3 Yen Mo - Bich Dong - Thung Nang - Trang An - Hoa Lu


We depart our lodge for our journey to the pagoda of Bich Dong. Located in Ninh Binh, the Bich Dong Pagoda is a scenic site with its serene beauty and historical significance. Perched amidst stunning natural surroundings, this ancient pagoda complex comprises three levels: Lower, Middle, and Upper.

As we ascend the stone steps leading to the pagoda, they are greeted by lush greenery and scenic views of the surrounding landscape. The Lower Pagoda, nestled at the base of a limestone cliff, features intricately carved statues and altars dedicated to Buddha and other deities.

Continuing upward, visitors reach the Middle Pagoda, which offers panoramic views of the picturesque countryside below. Here, they can admire ancient Buddhist sculptures and architectural details dating back centuries.

Finally, at the Upper Pagoda, visitors are rewarded with breathtaking views of the entire area, including nearby karst formations and winding rivers. The tranquil atmosphere and spiritual ambiance make it a perfect place for hikers.

Leaving Bich Dong behind we embark on a serene rowing boat ride along the Nang River, surrounded by lush greenery and towering limestone cliffs. The two-hour boat excursion weaves along this enchanting river and through the Thung Nang cave system, featuring several caverns adorned with stalactites.

We also devote time to a scenic bicycle ride in Trang An. Trang An is renowned for its intricate network of rivers and caves, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rugged limestone cliffs and emerald waters. The surrounding areas are dotted with tiny villages, picturesque paddy fields, temples, and hiking trails, adding to the charm of this UNESCO World Centre.

During our bicycling excursion we weave between towering limestone mountains, serene waterways, peaceful villages, verdant rice paddies, and enchanting historical sites. This presents a wonderful opportunity to immerse ourselves in the rhythms of everyday rural life.

Our journey continues as we make our way to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam, holds a special place in the country's history and heritage. Situated in the picturesque Ninh Binh province, Hoa Lu was the political and economic center of the country during the Dinh and early Le dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries.

We explore the remnants of this once-thriving capital, including the remains of royal palaces, temples, and citadels. One of the most notable sites is the Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, dedicated to the first emperor of the Dinh Dynasty. The temple's architecture and ornate decorations offer insight into the grandeur of the era.

Nearby, the Le Dai Hanh Temple honors the founder of the early Le Dynasty and provides a glimpse into the cultural and religious practices of the time. Aside from its historical significance, Hoa Lu is also renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, with limestone karsts and lush greenery surrounding the ancient ruins. Following a leisurely stroll through nearby villages and along the banks of the tranquil Sao Khe River we make our way back to our host. Here we join a local family for a cooking lesson.

Our culinary journey begins with a visit to a vibrant local market for fresh ingredients. Additionally, we gather vegetables from our host's lush garden before learning the art of making traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, zesty dipping sauces, and sticky rice.
We enjoy the family's gracious hospitality as they share dinner with us, showcasing their wonderful cuisine. The night is spent in the same lodge. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included)

Day 4 Yen Mo - Bai Tu Long Bay


Departing from Ninh Binh, we arrive at Bai Chay, the gateway to Bai Tu Long Bay. Upon arrival, we embark on an enchanting boating adventure, gliding through the serene waters of Bai Tu Long Bay. Discover hidden coves and towering karst formations as we explore this pristine marine landscape. Our journey then takes us to Cap La, where we have the opportunity to embark on a kayaking excursion. Paddle through crystal-clear waters, marveling at the beauty of the surrounding limestone cliffs.

As the sun begins to set, we make our way to Cong Do, where we'll spend the night aboard our comfortable boat. Relax on the deck and soak in the tranquil atmosphere as you enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by our onboard chef. Fall asleep to the gentle lapping of the waves, surrounded by the beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 5 Bai Tu Long Bay - Hanoi

After a serene night spent on the boat in Cong Do, we wake up to the stunning vistas of Bai Tu Long Bay. Our journey continues as we make our way to Vung Vieng floating village, a fishing community built on the waters of the bay. Take a rowing bamboo boat to explore the village and withness the way of their life. Next, we head back to Bai Chay, where our adventure in Bai Tu Long Bay comes to an end. From there, we embark on our journey to Hanoi, arriving there by 4 pm. (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 1-2 hour kayak ride on Day 4
  • A 1-hour bamboo boat ride on Day 5


Transport: 
 

  • Air-conditioned vehicle (Car or Bus)
  • Boat
     
  • Bicycle
  • Kayak


Tour Guide: Our experienced and friendly tour guide speaks good English. He is knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.

Accommodation: 
 

  • Hotel (1 night)
  • Family lodge (2 nights)
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
     

Clean and comfortable home stays with mosquito nets provided.


Meals: 
 

  • 4 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 3 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: 
 

  • $498USD per person for a group of 2 to 8 people
  • $425USD per person for a group of 9 to 16 people


The cost of the trip includes: 
 

  • Tour guide
  • Meals
     
  • Purified drinking water
  • Accommodation
     
  • Transportation
  • Entrance fees
  • VAT and other taxes


The cost of the trip does not include: 
 

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks (soft drinks, alcohol)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities


What to Bring:

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!!!