Food discovery holiday in Vietnam

“Small group tour of Vietnam including cooking classes, seafood cruises, street food stalls, and a couple of flights, during 12 delicious days.”


Hanoi | KOTO cooking school | Seafood cruise on Halong Bay | Dumpling tour in Hoi An | Dai beach | Noodles and herbs in Tra Que village | Cycle tour | Ben Thanh market, Ho Chi Minh | Rice paper and sweet production on Mekong Delta | Mekong Delta homestay | Cai Be floating market |

Description of Food discovery holiday in Vietnam

Vietnam has so much to offer travellers and in many ways the soul of Southeast Asia can be found within its food. Simplistic in creation and yet tantalising in taste and smell, discovering the cuisine of Vietnam lets you unlock cultural secrets and unravel historic threads all the way from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh.

Balance is everything on this fabulous foodie holiday and you’ll be invited to experience classic regional dishes and meet local chefs as well as learning how to purchase ingredients and cook over the course of 12 days.

From street food stalls in Saigon and sea food suppers in Halong Bay to Dong Xuan market in Hanoi and dumpling dinners in Hoi An, this tour allows travellers to discover the delicacies of Vietnam one delicious dish at a time.

For some it’s a homestay on the Mekong Delta that will be most enlightening, for others it might be a cycle ride through the herbaceous gardens of Tra Que village; no matter what you’re looking forward to the most, this holiday in Vietnam will send your senses soaring with sweet and savoury surprises.

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29 Feb 2020
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10 Oct 2020
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07 Nov 2020
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02 Jan 2021
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06 Feb 2021
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27 Feb 2021
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09 Oct 2021
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06 Nov 2021
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Accommodation and Meals:
We will spend most nights in comfortable hotels and also in some more unique accommodation such as a houseboat and a local guesthouse. This combination of locally run hotels and accommodation providers contributes directly to the community as staff are from the area and food is grown and sold locally. Many of these places also have environmental policies which reduce waste, water usage and energy expenditure.

Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

The Impacts of this Trip

Local Craft & Culture:
We do a lot to celebrate the cottage industries on this tour, as this is not only a way to directly benefit the locals but it is also hugely fascinating and enjoyable for travellers. For example, in the Mekong Delta, we visit a lot of these small businesses and factories which sell handmade coconut sweets, rice paper, soya bean sauce, popped rice and popcorn amongst other things. There is also the option to see a traditional folk dancing or water puppet show at Ho Chi Minh. This encourages local customs to continue and creates employment opportunities. In Hoi An, we also stop by a shop called ‘Reaching Out’, which sells gifts handmade by artisans with disabilities – helping them to develop their talent and independence.

In Hanoi, we encourage groups to have a communal meal at KOTO, which is an NGO that provides a two year course in hospitality, English and life skills training to groups of 16-22 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students also receive accommodation, food, medical check-ups and treatment whilst they are being trained. Many of the 400+ graduates have gone on to continue developing their careers at KOTO restaurants or have gained employment elsewhere with their training so this is a great initiative to support.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit.

On this culinary journey, we get to explore Vietnamese foods which are typically fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a whole myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime which play an important role in their dishes. There are plenty of opportunities to see where the food is produced; by visiting the local markets such as the Dong Xuan market and the Cai Be market travellers can interact with the local people, taste local produce and specialities as well as contribute to the local economy. Cookery classes are arranged for clients to try make some local delicacies on their own at KOTO (Know One, Teach One) cooking school, a training school for disadvantaged youths as well as in Hoi an and Ho Chi Minh City. We also have the opportunity to eat a delicious home cooked meal in a local Vietnamese house – an experience which is always enjoyed thoroughly by our clients.


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