What better way of visiting this fascinating country combined with learning and tasting delicious dishes of Vietnam. Taste your way through the varied cuisines of North, Central, and South Vietnam! This Culinary Tour of Vietnam has been carefully orchestrated to satisfy both your cultural curiosities and culinary taste buds. You’ll explore hidden alleyways in each city to find the most popular street food stalls with locals and cultural gems.
Over the last 18 years Chef Cameron Stauch has had the fortunate opportunity of eating and working in kitchens throughout Asia and North America. His travels allow him to research a variety of regional cuisines and to acquire knowledge about local ingredients, dishes, and cooking techniques. Cameron’s culinary experiences have strongly influenced his cooking style, of bringing world flavors to the table. He prefers to cook globally but source locally.
His time living (in Vietnam, India, Thailand, and Hong Kong) and travelling throughout other parts of Asia reinforces to him that in many parts of the world some of the best cooks are not found in professional kitchens. With deep curiosity he searches and works with traditional home cooks to develop a mutual understanding and tutorship in their respective cuisines.
Cameron currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand but from 2012-15 he lived in Hanoi and extensively travelled throughout Vietnam as he researched his first cookbook, Vegetarian Việt Nam (to be published by WW Norton Books in March 2018).
In between his stints living in Asia Cameron was part of the kitchen team that cooked for the last three Governor Generals of Canada (The Right Honorable David Johnston; R.H. Michaelle Jean; and R.H. Adrienne Clarkson). He collaborated with his fellow chefs to highlight Canadian heritage ingredients and to create dishes and menus that represent Canada’s varied cultural communities. He has shared Canada’s delicious culinary landscape with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth & the Duke of Edinburgh; the Prince of Wales & the Duchess of Cornwall; the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge; the Emperor & Empress of Japan and many other foreign dignitaries, international business leaders and fellow Canadians.
Cameron is thrilled to guide you through the fragrant and vibrant local markets and to introduce you to Vietnam’s best cooking teachers, home cooks, food artisans, and chefs.
|International air not included|
Day 01: November 04, 2018: Arrive Ha Noi
Upon our arrival in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, we are warmly received and transferred to our hotel. Check in time starts from 1500 hrs. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Previously known as Thang Long, the city was renamed Ha Noi in 1831. During French colonial times large areas were built with broad boulevards featuring French-inspired architecture giving the city a charming atmosphere and flair.
Overnight: Melia Hanoi Hotel or similar (3 nights)
Day 02: November 05, 2018: Ha Noi
Chef Cameron and local Chef Duyen will take us around a vibrant neighbor hood fresh food market to purchase the ingredients before we head to our hands-on cooking class. Chef Duyen will teach how to prepare some typical Hanoi dishes and after our class, we’ll sit down together and enjoy our culinary handiwork. Later, we stop in the center of Hanoi at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about legend of the lake, followed by an artistic Water Puppet show. This art form, depicting scenes of rural life and episodes of national history, dates back as far as the 11th century when it originated as a form of entertainment for villagers in their rice paddies in the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. After some time for a rest at our hotel we join Chef Cameron Stauch for our welcome dinner at a restaurant that serves regional northern Vietnamese dishes. Private Menu at 1946 Restaurant. (B, L, D)
Day 03: November 06, 2018: Ha Noi
Today we’ll join our Hanoi street foods expert who has curated a unique street food culinary adventure. We’ll walk the streets and learn about the history of Hanoi’s famous Old Quarter. We’ll enjoy tasting a range of street foods from bowls of Pho Bo (beef) or Pho Ga (chicken), Vietnam’s famous noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, fresh herbs, bean sprouts and a choice of meat to Haiphong crab springs to luscious egg coffee. Pho was originally sold at dawn and dusk by roaming street vendors, who shouldered mobile kitchens on carrying poles. We then go on a walking tour of the Old Quarter. As we explore the Old quarter on our street foods tour we’ll visit different streets that celebrate the varied arts and crafts throughout the area. Hang Gai Street, offers silk clothing ready-made and tailored, embroidery, and silver products; Hang Quat, the street that formerly sold silk and feather fans, now sells brilliantly colored funeral and festival flags and religious objects and clothing: Thinh Street connects the above two and is still the wood turner's street; Hang Ma glimmers with shiny paper products, such as gift wrappings, wedding decorations and miniature paper objects to burn for the dead; Lan Ong Street is a sensual delight of textures and smells emanating from the sacks of herbal medicinal products: leaves, roots, barks, and powders. We’ll finish the tour with a light and refreshing a local beer called ‘Bia Hoi’.
In the afternoon we’ll visit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long*, built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet. It was constructed on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century, on drained land reclaimed from the Red River Delta in Hanoi. It was the centre of regional political power for almost 13 centuries without interruption. The Imperial Citadel buildings and the remains in the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site reflect a unique South-East Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads between influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south. Our next stop is the One Pillar Pagoda built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, North Vietnam’s great leader. Our tour concludes at the Temple of Literature.
In the evening we have some free time to stroll along Hoan Kiem Lake and try some of the local restaurants on our own. Chef Cameron is happy to suggest some of his favorite Ha Noi restaurants for you to choose from. (B, L)
Day 04: November 07, 2018: Ha Noi/Da Nang/Hoi An
This morning we are transferred to Ha Noi airport for our flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival at the airport, we are transferred to our hotel in Hoi An. After check in, we’ll relax and have a short stroll around the old town to acquaint ourselves with the charms of Hoi An and to taste some of the best banh mi sandwiches in Vietnam. In the evening we will enjoy private dinner at the intimate Nu Restaurant, known for its clever interpretation on central Vietnamese dishes such as the pork belly steamed buns with a salad of grilled pineapple, coconut and pomelo, and don't miss the homemade lemongrass, ginger or chili ice cream.
Overnight: Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa Hotel or similar (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 05: November 08, 2018: Hoi An
The Ancient Town of Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and street plan reflect the indigenous and foreign influences that have combined to produce this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the morning we’ll head to the central market with Chef Van of the Green Bamboo Cooking School. Chef Van will teach us about the local ingredients, take us through the preparation, and explain about the uniqueness of central Vietnamese cooking. We’ll each select a dish that we’ll prepare on our own under Chef Van’s expert guidance. Select from Hoi An style spring rolls with chile dipping sauce, Lemongrass Beef Salad with Fresh Herbs; Grilled Fish in Banana Leaves; Stir Fried Morning Glory with Garlic and many other central Vietnamese dishes. In the late afternoon you’re free to relax by the pool or to explore Hoi An on your own. (B, L)
Day 06: November 09, 2018: Hoi An/Hue
After breakfast, we travel to Hue via Danang. We will pass the Hai Van Pass, "Pass of the Ocean Clouds," which offers spectacular scenery. On our way we’ll possibly stop off at local fish sauce factory or fermented soy beans. Hue* was the capital of the Nguyen dynasty and traditionally Vietnam's cultural, religious and educational center. Throughout Hue are splendid tombs of Vietnamese emperors, stunning pagodas and the Citadel that houses the forbidden Purple City, situated on the banks of the Perfume River. Upon arrival in Hue we are transferred to our hotel for check-in, followed by a light lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue, where Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945. We visit the Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns and the Forbidden Purple City. In the evening local artist and chef Boi Tran will welcome us to her family home and art gallery for a meal of classical Hue dishes that graced the tables of Nguyen Emperors.
Overnight: Indochine Palace Hotel or similar (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 07: November 10, 2018: Hue
We board a traditional dragon boat and sail upstream on the Perfume River (Huong River) to visit King Minh Mang Tomb which is located on the left bank of the Huong River, represents the perfect harmony between nature and architecture. Minh Mang King (1821–1840) boasted to have 64 princesses and 78 princes. On the way, we stop at the Thien Mu Pagoda. We continue to a temple nested in a tranquil village, meet our host, the master of this pagoda. Here we’ll enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian meal prepared by the nuns after doing a short meditation pratice. In the afternoon, we visit the Mausoleum of King Khai Dinh, located on Chau Chu Mountain. The tomb was completed in 1931 and houses a long staircase flanked by dragons and decorated with stunning ceiling murals and ceramic frescoes. Dinner is on your own this evening. (B, L)
Day 08: November 11, 2018: Hue/Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Early in the morning we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City. We will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. To acquaint ourselves with Ho Chi Minh City local historian Tim Doling will provide us with a talk on Saigon Through the Ages. Lunch at the hotel before we set out for a tour of Ho Chi Minh City, visiting the beautiful neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its colorful and mysterious ambiance and the Ben Thanh Market. In the evening we’ll enjoy dinner at Secret Garden's wonderful rooftop restaurant, savouring delicious home-style southern dishes are served up with city views.
Overnight: Grand Saigon Hotel or similar (4 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 09: November 12, 2018: Ho Chi Minh City
Today we meet Vietnam’s Julia Child, Ms. Dzoan Cam Van, a well-known food personality, having shared over 1000 recipes on TV and in newspapers or enjoy a Saigon cooking class. Our hands on cooking class will be a memorable time in her kitchen. After lunch we head for Maison Marou café to learn how their chocolates are produced. Return back to the hotel for a free evening or enjoy the optional show at the Saigon Opera House. (B, L)
Day 10: November 13, 2018: Ho Chi Minh City/Mekong Delta/Ho Chi Minh City
Depart from our hotel at around 0800, heading to Ben Tre, which is known as “the coconut island and fruit basket of the South West”. On arrival, we take a short walk through a lush shaded garden to the pier where we will board a traditional boat. Enjoy our welcome drink with fresh coconut juice while cruising along the canal and head to Huu Dinh village. Continue on a rickshaw ride on the village path through rice paddies and cocoa garden to get to Ca Ro dyke. Stop for a visit at a local house to see how the local people make incense sticks. Afterwards, take a rowing sampan through a beautiful small canal and enjoy the tropical scenery with its tranquility. Along the bank of the canal, we will see the daily activities of the locals. Getting back to our boat, refreshing with honey tea and fruits, we continue cruising to visit another local business, to learn how precious the coconut is to the local people, from coconut fibers, oil, candies & etc. Needless to say that this plant plays a very important role in the local economy. Continue the cruise to a local restaurant for lunch. Afterwards, the boat will bring us back to Ben Tre city. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 11: November 14, 2018: Ho Chi Minh City
Today is free. Evening we’ll be joining Chef Cameron for a Farewell Dinner. (B, D)
Day 12: November 15, 2018: Depart Ho Chi Minh City
After an incredible experience of Vietnamese cuisine combined with the culture and history of the country, we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. Check out time is by 1100 hrs. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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This tour operates on a minimum of 08 and a maximum of 12 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
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