If eating is always the highlight of your holiday, this one’s for you. Think of it as the highlights of Vietnam: foodie edition.
Find out why Vietnam was Anthony Bourdain’s favourite country as you explore its rich and varied cuisine, guided by our very own culinary connoisseurs. Want to change the route? Tell us! We can adapt any destination to suit your tastes (quite literally).
Most journeys will be by private car, with the exception of two internal flights (Hanoi to Danang, and Hue to Ho Chi Minh City).
Contrast the different cuisines of northern, central and southern Vietnam
With plenty of guided experiences included, you’ll have lots of chances to engage with the locals and get first-hand experience of Vietnamese culture
Covering all of Vietnam’s classic destinations (except Halong Bay), this is a great itinerary for first-timers with a passion for food
It couldn’t be easier to add a beach extension in the south, or a few days at the temples of Angkor in Cambodia
Things to consider
Halong Bay doesn’t feature on this trip
It's not a great choice for vegetarians or vegans, as there are lots of included meals and it’s not always possible to substitute
This is an action-packed itinerary, so it won’t suit people who like to take their time!
Be prepared for all weathers – covering such a range of latitudes means it’s quite likely to rain somewhere along the way
Your first few days in Vietnam are a crash course in Vietnamese food culture, designed to get you involved from the word go. Start with a guided visit to a local market for a noodle-soup breakfast, then head to the Old Quarter to sip sweet iced coffee and browse stalls decked out with ceremonial cakes. The next day, team up with a former Masterchef finalist to buy ingredients at a local wet market, then learn to slice, dice and cook them in her home kitchen. In between these food-focussed experiences, tour Hanoi’s famous sites with a guide to find out how its ancient temples, colonial-era history and Communist monuments add to its rich and unique flavour.
Tour Hanoi’s markets and Old Quarter with a passionate food blogger as your guide
Give your trip some historical context with a tour of Hanoi’s iconic sites, from 11th century temples to Communist-era monuments
Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local family and share stories about everyday life and culture in the capital
Explore Hanoi’s food culture with Chef Ai, who’ll take you to visit a local market and then show you how to cook up a storm in her home kitchen
Less than two hours’ drive from Hanoi but a world away in every other sense, the traditional village of Ky Son is a place where nature still sets the schedule. Start with a cooking lesson and you’ll begin to see how food here differs from in the city, and how its cultivation dictates the rhythms of countryside life. Over the next couple of days, you’ll get to know your hosts as you explore the village, stopping in for cups of tea with the locals, helping with the planting and ploughing, or just relaxing with a traditional steam bath. You'll also have the chance to visit one of the oldest villages in Vietnam, whose brick houses and pre-colonial courtyards feel like stepping back in time.
Set your inner clock to the rhythms of countryside life in the traditional rural village of Ky Son
Learn how to prepare, cook (and eat!) a traditional Vietnamese meal
Cycle or drive through lush rice paddies to an ancient village whose maze-like streets have been preserved intact for over 300 years
The finer detail
Breakfast every day
Seven lunches: one at Chef Ai’s cooking class in Hanoi; one at the Moon Garden Homestay in Ky Son; one at a local home in Duong Lam Village; one in Triem Tay Village near Hoi An; one at a Garden House in Hue; one at the Mango Home Restaurant in the Mekong Delta; one at Chef Hong’s house in Ho Chi Minh City
Five dinners: one at a local restaurant in Hanoi; one at a local home in Hanoi; two at the Moon Garden Homestay in Ky Son; one on the Vespa tour in Hue
Two full-day experiences: one countryside tour near Hoi An; one day trip to the Mekong Delta
Six half-day experiences: one street food tour with a blogger in Hanoi; one Hanoi historical city tour; one home dinner in Hanoi; one cooking class in Hanoi; one Hue city tour; one cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City
Two evening experiences: home dinner in Hanoi; Vespa street food tour in Hue
Moon Garden Homestay activities
All entrance fees to sites included in guided experiences
All domestic transfers and transport
Logistics and journey time
Car transfer fom Hanoi to Ky Son (1.5 hours)
Car transfer from Ky Son to Hanoi Airport (1.5 hours)
Flight from Hanoi to Danang (1.5 hours)
Car transfer from Hoi An to Hue (2.5 hours)
Flight from Hue to Ho Chi Minh City (1.5 hours)
What's not included
Any necessary visas
Any lunches or dinners unless stated
Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences
Tipping and personal expenses