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More than 17 Days
Wonders of Vietnam and Thailand 15 days
Taste, experience and explore your way through Vietnam and Thailand - 2 major cuisines of Southeast Asia must have been unmissable on 15 days. The tour will take you from North to South, head to the source of both countries’ most iconic flavors, learn how to prepare their most famous dishes, and visit some of their most alluring destinations along the way.
- Picturesque province of the Mekong Delta ideal for boat trips and motorbike or cycling tours
Ho Chi Minh City
- Vibrant heart of Southern Vietnam formerly known as Saigon
- A scatter of islands in emerald waters designated UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Bustling capital city of Northern Vietnam
- Captivating multi-cultured town known for its crafts and undeniable charms
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D)
Welcome to Vietnam’s capital and the start of your Southeast Asian food adventure! Upon arrival, you’ll be brought to your hotel to freshen up before meeting with your guide for a culinary tour of
Hanoi’s famous Old Quarter
district. Here you’ll wander through narrow streets and alleys packed with sizzling woks, bubbling pots and pop-up restaurants.
Enjoy the Old Quarter’s unique and bustling ambiance as you sample your way through a range of local delicacies. Wash them down with a classic “bia hoi” –Vietnam’s famous local brew which traces its roots to Eastern Europe. Then, pull up a tiny plastic stool and dine as locals do while enjoying the flame-grilled glory of Vietnamese barbecue. Top it all off with a sweet end to your night at one of Hanoi’s most popular ice-cream parlors. Then, head back to your hotel for a good night’s rest.
Day 2: Hanoi Cooking Class - City Tour (B/L/D)
Start your day early with a visit to
Chau Long Market
. In this vibrant ambiance you’ll shop for ingredients for your cooking class with the guidance of a local. Then you’ll go to the Hanoi Cooking Centre, housed in a restored building at the edge of the Old Quarter. Here you’ll participate in a cooking class led by an experienced and talented Hanoian chef, before enjoying the fruits of your labour for lunch.
Next we embark on a cyclo tour of the most famous historic highlights of Hanoi. The tour will take you through both the French Quarter and Old Quarter, ending at the Northern Gate of the Ancient Citadel. Continue walking to Cua Bac Church, a beautiful remnant of Catholic influence in the city, then to Quan Thanh Temple, which is an 11th-century Taoist temple and one of the oldest in the city. We’ll then go for a walk along the picturesque West Lake, stopping at Pho Cuon Restaurant along the way.
Finally, we get up closer to Hanoian culture and people at Chau Long Market and explore the countless stalls there before heading to “Dessert Street” for some tasty snacks. Come to “Wedding Cake Street” to learn about the unique Hanoian wedding ceremonies, before observing how traditional mats are made in Hang Cot Street. Last we’ll wrap up the day with a Vietnamese coffee before heading back to the hotel.
Day 3: Halong Bay Explorer Day Cruise (B/L)
Departure early in the morning and head through picturesque countryside for the coastal town of Halong City by shuttle van. Halong Bay is a widely celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of some 2,000 stunning jungle-clad limestone mountains known as karsts. Upon arrival, board your traditional “junk boat” and set off on the “Bay of Descending Dragons”.
While careening through the emerald-green waters of Halong Bay, stop at the stunning Dau Tung Lam Bay. In the presence of supreme natural beauty in every direction, enjoy a feast of traditional Vietnamese food. After a fully satisfying meal, set off again and enjoy the scenery as stunning karst formations rise out of the jade waters like the arms of giants. After a quick stop at the famous Trong Mai Island, a hen and a cock - became the symbol of Hạ Long Bay, you will arrive at Paradise Cave. Get out and explore the confines of this geologic wonder, taking time to marvel at the stunning stalagmites and stalactites.
Head back to your junk boat and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the deck of the boat whilst soaking up the scenic ambiance and cool sea breeze of Halong Bay. Enjoy a cocktail or two as the boat slowly makes its way back to Tuan Chau Marina. From there, transfer back to Hanoi, arriving early in the evening. Get some rest or enjoy a night out in the town before your flight to Hoi An in the morning.
Day 4: Hoi An by Flight - Walking Tour (B/L)
Your guide will pick you up from the hotel early in the morning and take you to the airport for your flight to Hoi An. Upon arrival we’ll pick you up and transfer you to the hotel for check-in and quick rest.
Once you’re all settled in, we start our walking tour of the ancient city. The town is unique in its diversity, has been a trading center for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Arab merchants through the 16th to 18th centuries.
We’ll visit some of the most famous landmarks, including Chua Ong Pagoda, built in honour of a Chinese General, the Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, and Jinshang Temple, dedicated to the goddess of the sea. Walk to the 200 years old Tan Ky Ancestral House before winding down the tour at the 17th-century Japanese covered bridge. As the sun sets, we go on a relaxing boat ride up the Thu Bon River, giving us a glimpse of life on this picturesque waterway.
Back to the hotel or continue the evening on the riverside.
Day 5: Hoi An Cooking Class (B/L)
We start the day with a visit to a local produce market to pick out ingredients before heading to the Red Bridge Cooking School along the Thu Bon River. Here we’ll tour the herb gardens and learn about the ingredients before the chef and instructor walk you through some closely-guarded secrets for traditional Hoi An food.
These secrets of cooking will be released to make a perfect meal. Enjoy your happy meal. Then you will back to the hotel to rest for a bit.
Late in the afternoon, we set out again, this time on a food tour of the city. On the route, we’ll make three stops at different restaurants to enjoy several different iconic Hoi An dishes, and wrap up at a Sky Coffee Bar for a drink and a chat before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
Day 6: Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh by Flight - Evening Street Food Tour (B/L/D)
After an early breakfast, we finish our time in Hoi An with a boat ride where the Thu Bon River meets the Cua Dai Sea. Here you’ll get to witness the daily life of the fishermen, and we’ll also make a stop at a local fishing market where you can help the locals take the fish out of their nets. You will have a chance to learn how to paddle the unique Vietnamese boats known as Thung Chai, before enjoying coffee and a traditional fisherman’s breakfast (for lunch).
Back to the hotel and then proceed to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
On arrival, your guide will take you to your hotel for check-in and a quick rest before we set out on a tour of the city. We’ll get to see the best examples of French colonial architecture in the form of the Central Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Deep on strolling toward the Saigon River along Dong Khoi Street, arriving at Saigon Opera House, another stunning colonial structure. We continue with a visit to Reunification Palace, the site of the end of the war, and finally the War Remnants Museum, offering a sobering and harrowing look into the futility of war.
After the sights, the evening takes a culinary turn with a visit to the downtown area which is the heart of the city’s food scene. Let's taste all the best dishes and snacks in Southern Vietnamese cuisine, before ending the night either by going back to the hotel or enjoying the vibrant nightlife.
Day 7: Mekong Delta Cruise (B/L)
After getting a good night’s sleep, depart from your hotel in the morning and drive approximately two hours to Ben Tre. Here, you will board a small boat to start your sightseeing around the waterways of the Mekong Delta. Known also as the rice bowl of Vietnam because of its large rice production, the area has also diversified into activities related to aquaculture, rearing of animals, cash crops and fruit trees.
Visit a brick factory and board a small boat for a wander through the canals and waterways of the area. Along the way, stop at a small homemade coconut processing plant to see how coconuts have been turned into oil, candy and woven mats that are later sold in the market. After the boat trip you will have a short walk to a local village to see mat weavers at work. Then, jump on the delta’s version of a tuk-tuk and travel down country roads to the pier. Here you will board a beautiful teak boat and continue your cruise along the river. While on board, join in the demonstration of Vietnamese cooking before sitting down to a sumptuous three-course lunch of Mekong specialties. After lunch, relax on the top deck and take in the scenery back to Ben Tre where, on arrival, you will be transferred back to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving late in the afternoon. Spend the evening at your leisure either exploring the city’s nightlife or relaxing at your hotel.
Day 8: Fly to Bangkok - Evening Street Eats by Tuktuk (B/L/D)
Take an early flight to Bangkook. Upon arrival, your guide will meet you at the airport and give you a private transfer to your hotel. Let's take some time to relax at your hotel before heading out to explore the city.
Guide and driver will pick you up and embark from BTS National Stadium Station on an exciting tuk-tuk ride through Bangkok’s vibrant streets. Stroll along Phetchburi Soi 10, where food carts spring up as the day turns from evening to night, and sample delicious street eats such as skewered sausages and Thai-style grilled meat. Continue via tuk-tuk to Saphan Khao Market, where you can sample the vast array of fried fish-paste balls. Traveling next to Phra Athit Road, you will have a chance to encounter Bangkok’s Roti expert and sample incredible Thai-Indian cuisine, from freshly-baked Roti to uniquely flavourful curries. Indulge your taste buds at Bangkok’s most famous Pad Thai restaurant, enjoying the explosion of spicy and savoury flavours and the amazing variety of textures from the delicate noodles and crunchy peanuts. Take a short break from eating to visit the majestic Wat Pho after dark, where you can enjoy the temple’s sparkling golden towers beautifully lit up and marvel at the sight of the magnificent Reclining Buddha. Sip on a refreshing cocktail at the Eagle Nest Bar in Sala Arun Hotel as you take in splendid views of the Chao Phraya River. Later, stroll through Pak Klong Talat, Thailand’s largest flower market, which only operates overnight. End the day on a sweet note with mango sticky rice before the tuk-tuk carries you back to your hotel. Be sure to get a good night’s rest to prepare you for the eventful day ahead.
Day 9: Bangkok Cooking Class (B/L/D)
Launch your day with a sampling of hot congee, a favourite breakfast long enjoyed by Chinese immigrants to Thailand. The journey will start visiting the architecturally stunning Wat Traimit and the glistening Golden Buddha within, and encounter the fascinating history behind Chinese migration to Thailand. Discover local Chinese businesses, shops and temples as you trek along Yaowarat Road, through Bangkok’s centuries-old Chinatown neighborhood. Along the route, enliven your senses with tastes of traditional foods brought by the Chinese, including moon cake and chestnuts. Enjoy the colourful buildings and rich history found at Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, the most important Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok.
Next, head to Bang Pai Thai Cooking school for a culinary learning experience. Learn how to make some of Thailand’s most iconic dishes such as Green Chicken Curry, Tom Yum Kung, Pad Thai and much more during a fun and hands-on workshop in a traditional Thai house considered to be one of the best cooking schools in Bangkok. Here you will be encouraged with a hands-on experience that incorporates traditional techniques and essential knowledge of Thai cuisine altogether. Sit down and taste your dishes by yourself, don't forget to pick up a recipe book on your way out just in case you forget anything you learnt.
Afterward, head back to your hotel with a full stomach and spend the rest of the day at your leisure: either relax at your hotel or head out for some independent exploration.
Day 10: Bangkok Floating Market - Fly to Chiang Mai (B/L/D)
Visit the peculiar “Maeklong Railway Market” in the early morning, which is a market located right on the railway tracks. We’ll spend some time here perusing the stalls, watching out for the train as it passes mere inches from the stalls and goods.
Head to Damnoen Saduak one of the most famous floating markets in Thailand, and here you can take in the vibrant sights, sounds and smells as you explore by boat. Back to the hotel and transfer by fly to Chiang Mai.
Upon arrival, you’ll be taken to the hotel for a quick rest followed by a street food tour of the city. Afternoon, visit Wat Chedi Luang, a 15th-century stupa that looks its best when lit by moonlight. We’ll enjoy some noodles here before going to another of Chiang Mai’s food streets. Especially, we will head to a bar not often visited by foreigners but a mainstay among locals.
Day 11: Patara Elephant Farm - Dinner with a Local Family (B/L/D)
Breakfast at your hotel before departing roughly 60km or 1.5-2 hours of driving to Elephant Nature Park. Here you can observe the magnificent creatures as they go about their peaceful existence, get the chance to watch the elephants as they bathe, walk with them as well as feed them from a viewing platform. Enjoy a happy lunch at the Park before heading back to Chiang Mai for your final overnight stay.
Optional program: visit Conserve Natural Forests in Pai is the second option. It’s slightly further away, taking roughly 3 hours to reach the city, but features some extra eco-activities. As CNF is primarily focused on reforestation so you’ll get to help out with planting trees and learn about their projects. They also rehabilitate elephants rescued from poor conditions here, and if there’s one present you’ll get to feed and bathe the elephant(s). However, since the project focuses on rehabilitating the elephants in the wild, these elephant activities can’t always be guaranteed, so make sure to check with us first when booking if this is a vital part of the experience for you.
Day 12: Chiang Mai City Tour - Fly to Phuket - Phuket Street Food Tour (B/L)
Start the day with a rickshaw tour of the city, starting from Tha Pae Gate, before visiting Wat Puak Tam Community, a charming artisanal village. Have lunch at the unique Chiang Mai Woman Correctional Institution restaurant, and then visit Wat Chiang Man - the oldest temple in the city which features spectacular Buddhist art.
Continue our culinary experiences by visiting Waroros market and perusing the food stalls. Back to the hotel and then head to the airport for our flight to Phuket.
Food day will be continued with another street food tour, passing by sights such as Khao Rang Hill Viewpoint and the LED-lit Talang Road along the way.
End of the day, back to the hotel or spend the rest of the evening enjoying the Phuket nightlife.
Day 13: Chalong Bay Rum Distillery Tour (B/L)
Meet your guide in the afternoon and head to Chalong Bay Rum Distillery. Tour the facility and learn from an expert rum distiller how award-winning natural rum is sustainably produced from Thai sugarcane. Check out the traditional French copper still and see the bottling plant in action and sample the distillery’s signature ingredient, Chalong Bay Rum, try your hand at bartending. Learn how to make three impressive cocktails in a group bartending workshop and taste your creations accompanied with sumptuous snack.
Head back to your hotel for a relaxing night or head back out again to explore the island.
Day 14: Free Day in Phuket (B)
Enjoy a full day in Phuket to explore the island at your leisure. Check out some of the island’s greatest temples on a Phuket City tour, stopping to take a photo at some of the island’s best viewpoints. Sample some delicious street food and pop into the shops and cafes along the way. If you’re feeling really adventurous, stop in at a Thai cooking class, where you’ll be able to eat the traditional meals you make, take a fruit carving course or just relax by the edge of a pool on your own.
Day 15: Phuket Departure (B)
On this last morning in Phuket, enjoy breakfast and take your last moments to explore the city at your own pace before being transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
Tour price includes:
• Complimentary arrangement for Visa Approval Letter – single entry Vietnam.
• Transfer by private air-conditioned vehicle as per program.
• English speaking guide as per program.
• Lunch (L) & Dinners as mentioned (L/D).
• Visit fees for all sightseeing as mentioned on the program.
• Accommodation in sharing double room including breakfasts at hotels as mentioned.
Tour price excludes:
• Stamping fee for visa to Vietnam.
• Meals not mentioned.
• International flight and taxes.
• Domestic air tickets and domestic a/p taxes.
• Other personal expenses: drinks, souvenir, etc…
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