AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Vietnam Food Tour

Vietnam Food Tour

Vietnam Food Tour Overview

Vietnam Food Tour Explore Vietnam's interesting culinary scene. Sample the best of Saigon’s authentic street food sit with the locals and tuck into Vietnamese favourites in his south to north culinary tour. Touring Style - a private tour with an English speaking driver and a professional guide.

Best time for this tour: November to April

Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City

Upon arrival, your private guide and car will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 2: Old Saigon Walking tour and Street food at night

After breakfast, meet your guide for an Old Saigon Walking Tour. Take a walk through the city streets to unearth the secrets of Saigon. Set off from your hotel to a thriving local market to see how these bustling and vibrant markets play a major role in the daily lives of Vietnamese people. From here stroll through the colourful back alleyways lined with flower shops and breathe in the aromas of the freshly cut blooms. Pass through another street where mechanics specialise in restoring vintage Vespa scooters. Take in the scenes of local life as you wander these narrow lanes. Stop for a refreshing traditional iced coffee in a hidden café frequented by locals. The oldest coffee shop in Saigon, this old fashioned establishment has a colourful history stretching back over seven decades. Continue on foot through adjacent blocks with some old yet lively apartment compound and where one will encounter authentic life scenes of the urban class. Walk towards an interesting museum which displays an amazing collection of more than 3,000 artifacts relating to the history of Vietnamese traditional medicine. After the visit, hop on the vehicle and drive back to your hotel. This evening, head to the Ben Thanh market in the early evening, to our meeting point at Pho 2000, and get ready to be fully immersed in the bustling streets of Saigon, and its world-famous street food culture. Hit the streets with your guide and head to the sidewalk stalls most popular with locals. Enjoy this lively and informal atmosphere alongside locals, sampling special dishes and popular local favourites. Visit Saigon’s walking street, a popular meeting point for Saigon’s youth, then cap off the evening with a cocktail at one of the city’s lively rooftop bars while enjoying panoramic night views of the city below. Overnight in Saigon.

Day 3: Day trip to the Mekong Delta

In the morning you will be met at your hotel and taken to Cai Be jetty in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Board the boat where you will be welcomed by the crew with cold towels and a refreshing drink. Then sit back and enjoy the picturesque scenery as the sampan cruises along the peaceful waterways. Pass by scenes of typical riverside life – locals setting off to work in their boats and farmers toiling in the fields. On arrival at Tan Phong islet hop onto your bicycle, one of the best ways to explore this beautiful green island. Cycle along narrow roads through rustic villages and lush orchards full of fragrant fruit trees. Stop to visit some local cottage industries where families are preserving the traditions of this unique area. See how everyday objects are produced from the local materials such as paper made from rice and homewares crafted from water hyacinths. Then board the boat again for the cruise to the village of Phu An. Lunch will be served at Le Longanier, a beautiful two-storey colonial-style villa set in a tropical garden by the river and surrounded by fruit plantations. Enjoy your lunch in the refined surroundings that evoke the atmosphere of traditional Indochina. After lunch, take a short walk along the canal to Ba Bon Bridge where your driver will be waiting to take you back to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 4: Fly to Danang and car to Hoi An

Transfer to the airport for a flight to Danang, You will be met on arrival for a private transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 5: Enjoy an authentic cooking experience with a local family on a unique river island setting.

Take a boat ride to a village located on a small island in the river delta of Hoi An. On arrival, you will be warmly welcomed into the family’s own home. Enjoy a refreshing fruit drink while you meet Grandma and the other members of the family. In the open-air kitchen learn, step-by-step, how to prepare some tasty traditional Vietnamese dishes that are typical to the region. You will get to try your hand at using traditional utensils such as a stone grinder to transform rice into rice flour. You will also be shown how rice paper is prepared and then used to make Vietnamese spring rolls, also known as ‘nems’. Throughout the day you will be regaled with interesting stories about village life, and be given insights into Vietnamese culture. The class ends in Grandma’s garden with a lunch of the delicious dishes you have just cooked. Overnight in Hoi An

Day 6: Engage with nature and learn to plant rice with a local farmer on a family-focused bike and boat tour.

After meeting your tour guide, hop on your bike and peddle your way along the winding village paths and shady pathways past garden houses. Visit some of the local cottage industries to see the production of traditional handicrafts including bamboo furniture and rice paper. A local family will welcome you into their home for a cup of tea. While you relax they will demonstrate how they earn a living from making sleeping mats. Another short boat trip brings you to the village of Cam Thanh, a tranquil oasis of intricate nypa-palm waterways and mangrove forests. Climb into a traditional round basket boat, still used by the local fishermen in the area, and paddle through the underwater nypa-palm forest. Continue cycling through the scenic countryside. Then, stop at a farmer’s house in Cam Thanh village, and enjoy local Vietnamese food cooked from the fresh ingredients from the farm. After lunch, you will learn about rice production, a main staple in the Vietnamese diet. You can wade into the rice paddies, roll up your sleeves, and join the host in tilling the soil and planting the rice seedlings. Next, you will be taught milling with very basic tools which the Vietnamese have used for hundreds of years. After your great local experience, it’s time to say goodbye to the host and cycle back to town. Overnight in Hoi An

Day 7: Fly to Hanoi. Street Food tour in Hanoi

Transfer by road to Danang Airport for a flight to Hanoi. You will be met for a private transfer to your hotel. This evening, enjoy a taste of local Hanoian life as you explore a local market and some of the city’s best street food stalls. Meet your guide at the bustling Hom market, one of the biggest and most popular markets in Hanoi. Wander through the narrow alleyways passing colourful stalls piled high with a vast array of fruit, vegetables, sweets and elaborate temple offerings. Take photos of the vibrant colours and breathe in the aromas of the tropical fruits. If you’re feeling brave, venture to the exotic section to see kicking frogs, silkworms and wriggling eels. The entire market is alive with the buzz and excitement of the locals bartering and haggling for the freshest ingredients at the best prices. Your guide will take you to popular street food stalls where you can sample some of the city’s signature dishes. Stop at a local coffee shop to taste this rich and flavourful drink then continue your culinary exploration with a stroll through the maze of bustling streets that make up the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Join the locals and pull up a plastic stool at a pavement stall to try Vietnamese snacks and a cup of iced tea, followed by a sweet dessert of fresh fruit and condensed milk. End the tour with a cold draught beer at a sidewalk stall popular with locals. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 8: Walk the Rail Tracks of Hanoi

Start your tour between the rails a few metres north of Hanoi’s main train station. Walk along the very narrow streets hosting the rails sometimes not even a meter away from the entrance door of the houses! Enjoy this original and photogenic scene walking along the street until 153 Phung Hung where you go back down to the road and follow the street’s sidewalk. Walk past the funeral home where you will probably see a group of people mourning and wearing the traditional white fabric around the forehead, which is equivalent to the western tradition of wearing black clothes. Continue walking toward Long Bien train station. From Long Bien train station start to cross the bridge and stop halfway to go down the stairs onto the urban island. Have a rest and visit the orchards. Continue crossing the bridge and meet the car which will transfer you to Gia Lam train station. Take your train ticket and jump in to cross the bridge the other way, riding with the locals in the hard seater wagon. On weekdays you will stop at Long Bien as the final station and on Saturday and Sunday, you will stop at Hanoi Station. Meet the car when disembarking and transfer back to your hotel.

Day 9: Departure

Why not extend your holiday with a beach stay in Phu Quoc Island? Find out more about the Vietnam Food Tour