Indochina gastronomy Journey 18 days

Indochina gastronomy Journey 18 days

18 days | 17 nights

Travel Style

Culinary

Destinations

Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An

Highlights Itinerary Accommodation Inclusions/Exclusions

Highlights


A unique holiday package to Vietnam Cambodia Laos to sightsee landscapes and taste indigenous gastronomy with inspiring cooking recepies in three Indochina countries.  You will delve into Indochina gastronomy in different styles from  street food walking tours to sophisticated dishes at local restaurants, etc. The itinerary suggest many unique things to do in Vietnam Cambodia Laos. Vietnam offers ample dining experiences like a street food walking tour in Hanoi Old Quarter, and a cooking class at a local house nearby Red River, a promising “Rice with salts” meal in Hue and a some of cooking classes at typical local places for the most authentic involvement. Plus, special dinner “Dining in the Dark” in Ho Chi Minh City definitely fulfill your culinary journey in Vietnam. Khmer Cuisine in Cambodia is different and somewhat make their unique taste. We put in the Indochina Gastronomy package with Phnom Penh street food tour accompanied by a local passionate chef; and interaction with local villagers to create rice noodle and cook the noodle soup in the countryside of Siem Reap. Laos gastronomy bring up another inspiration with interesting mix of herbs and pastes into the dish. The cooking class in Luang Prabang as well as a stroll to local market is intriguing. 

Itinerary

Welcome to Hanoi, the first destination in your Vitenam Cambodia Laos tour packages. Hanoi is the city of over a thousand years old, shows its precious values on country's culture, history, economy and of course gastronomy that have been accreted after long period of time. 

Upong arriving at Hanoi's airport, you are welcomed by your tour guide and get transferred to hotel in city center. Check-in and have relaxation on your own till rest of the day.

You will have a glimpse of Hanoi today and get to know the city by visiting highlighted atractions of the city. Your first stop is Tran Quoc Pagoda located at special location on a serene peninsula by City’s West Lake. Its construction was date back to 6th century making Tran Quoc one of the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi. Then, take a leisure walk from Thanh Nien street which is one of most beautiful street in Hanoi leading to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. You can observe Hanoi up close with the nice views of the lakes, busy traffic of so many motorbikes carrying not only people but some very huge stuffs, local people in their daily life and some French colonial buildings. Arriving at Ba Dinh square, you will see Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and catch the sight of Presidential Palace from front. Get into Chua Mot Cot road, you will find a nicely pagoda set on water appearing like a lotus flower called One Pillar Pagoda. You then will have lunch at local restaurant. 

After lunch, you will visit the Temple of Literature renown as the first university of Vietnam since 1070 and also a Confucius Temple in Hanoi. Though the premise of this educational sanctuary was shrunk down, the temple protected by surrounding walls still preserves the studious sprits, the cultural architectures and inspiring relics. This makes Temple of Literature one of the most significant cultural place to Vietnamese students. Next, get to the heart of Hanoi with Hoan Kiem Lake of verdant green water and trees. From there, you will take a traditional cyclo ride and see the other side of Hanoi with Colonial architecture buildings like the Hanoi Opera House, Metropole Legend Hotel, the State Bank, Trang Tien Bridge, etc.

When the sun goes down, nightlife begins; and you will delve into the Hanoi street food walking tour. Hanoi Old Quarter is the best place to see nightlife and experience local food and drink. Afterward, you return hotel for relaxation.

At around 9am, you will get to a local chef and have a cooking class at a traditional Hanoian house. Before your cooking, you will head to local wet market in Hanoi and buy fresh vegetable and other ingredients. Vietnamese housewives go to market daily to buy for newly picked fresh vegetable and some food that only tasty within a day like tofu, fresh rice noodle, glutinous cake, etc. After having all necessary stuffs, you will go to Hanoian house and hand on cooking Vietnamese traditional dishes as your lunch. 

Farewell the chef, you return to city center with a break at Serein Café & Lounge offers stunning views over street, the city pottery mosaic wall and the antique Long Bien Bridge renown as horizontal Eiffel Tower in Hanoi which allow only primitive vehicles these days. The Bridge cross Red River connecting city center and the suburbs. After chilling time, you can walk down and come closer to the bridge, and might see the Vietnamese train running through Long Bien Bridge returning to the station. Afterward, get back to your hotel and have free time at your own till rest of the day.

This morning, you will leave Hanoi for Halong Bay overnight cruise one of the must-do in Vietnam. Arriving the Halong Bay at noon, you will get on the cruise and set sail toward the fantasy bay with thousand limestone island emerging on emerald water. The boat float pleasantly on windy and pictueresque bay for your chilling moment. Have lunch of traditional and seafood dishes on boat. 
This afternoon, you will get transfer to some of islands to explore the dried cave on Halong Bay, do kayaking in area of calm water get closer to the nature. Return the boat for sunset party on top deck with drinks and fruits prepared for you. The cozy dinner will be served at the restaurant of the boat. Rest of the day will be free and easy.

Every morning, Tai Chi class with gentle physical stretch is available on the top deck for in-house guests. Tai Chi is an oriental practice that the body is in constant light motion which is perfect when done in the morning on a quiet and fresh morning on Ha Long Bay. After your breakfast on boat, the cruise will stop nearby other islands for you to explore Halong Bay with a hike up and cast an panoramic overview of the area as well as go swimming. Lately, the boat will set sails toward mainland. Reach the harbour at noon, you farewell the crew and drive to Hanoi's airport for a 1 hour 15 minutes flight to Hue the former capital of Vietnam. Your tour guide in Hue is ready to welcome and escort you to hotel for check-in. Have free and easy time till rest of the day. 

Begin your day tour visiting Hue with Imperial Citadel introducing the typical architecture and rituals of Nguyen Dynasty from early 19th century till mid 20th century. The Citadel is protected by water moats, and then high walls that people can enter via only 10 entrances from 4 directions. As the war caused somewhat damage, the Citadel is not totally intact as its gorgeous period; however meandering around is alluring. Afterward, you will reach Tha Om garden restaurant which is an elegant gardenish house constructed with perfect geomancy rules. You will a traditional tea etiquette in this antique house and then a delightful lunch of Hue cuisine. 

This afternoon, you will pay a visit to Thien Mu Pagoda setting next to the trainquil Perfume River. This ancient pagoda sets on pine hills with a quiet ambience. From outside, you will find the Phuoc Duyen tower of 21m (827 inch) height of seven stories displayed with Buddha statue of each storey. Then, you will pay a visit to Tu Duc Tomb where is resting place of King Tu Duc who have special talents and interest in literature that the design of his tomb is so scenic on the hill and built with a pavilion over lotus lake for wine drinking and reading poems. Return to your hotel, you will have leisure time at your own.

You will have free chilling time on your own this morning. After the check-out at noon, you will enjoy a unique dining experiences with our host Mrs. Nhu Huy to try her recipe of "Rice with Salt". As a gastronomy artisan, she will tell the stories of how the dishes were invented; explain on the taste combination for the best tastes. This shall be a memorable experience of your Vietnam culinary tour packages. Afterward, you will farewell Mrs. Nhu Huy and travel from Hue to Hoi An in roughly 3 hour drive. On the way, you can have breaks and enjoy landscape of Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass. You will arrive in Hoi An and check-in hotel; then have free and easy time.

Today, you will have an interesting full day tour exploring Hoi An. Begin with a walking tour in Hoi An Ancient Town where gathering old houses of which architectures are influenced by foreign styles like Japanese, Chinese, French. The cozy ancient quarter with yellow painted houses decorated with falling flowers trusses over the eaves. As Hoi An Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, most of houses become museums and samples for the travelers visit and get an insight on how the culture have happened years ago. You will ramble around the alleys and visit local worshiping temples of different religious assembly, pottery museum, silk weaving museum, local shops of beautiful silk, leather, and a bunch of stunning cafe. 

Leaving Hoi An Ancient Town tour, you will head to countryside of Hoi An withing 20 minutes drive o reach Tra Que Village where locals plant and supply aromatic herbs. Your hospitable host will welcome you for a visit to their vegetable plantation. You also experiences and learn local planting methods. Return to our host's house, you will hand on making Vietnamese Sizzling cake which requires many types of herbs and vegetable. The freshness of herbs along with sweet and sauce source will balance the fried cake. You will have sizzling cake and local cuises as lunch. After lunch, you can rest on hammocks and enjoy foot massage. Say goodbye to the host, you will return to hotel lately. Tonight, it's optional to see the Hoi An ancient town again as it is more colorful with decorations of lanterns and entertainments. 

This morning, you will have a transfer to Da Nang Airport and take a domestic flight to the next city in southern Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh city. Upon landing, you will see your tour guide and head to hotel in city center. 

This afternoon, you will take haft day city tour of Ho Chi Minh City renown and the most virant and developed city in Vietnam. You will pay a visit to the most iconic attractions in Ho Chi Minh City including the Central Post Office, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, Ben Thanh market and then Dong Khoi walking street. Each spot will reveal interesting stories and histories for your further understanding of Vietnamese culture, people, and history. 

For dinner, you will have a splendid meal at Noir Restaurant bringing up delicious meals and a special dining experiences called "Dining in the dark". It's a journey of dinning make awake your senses on the tastes. 

In the morning, you will depart for a day trip to Cu Chi Tunnels which is one of highlighted things to do in southern Vietnam. To get away from busy traffic, you will reach Cu Chi Tunnels by speed-boat offering amazing experiences on Sai Gon River. You will get transfer from your hotel to Bach Dang Pier in Ho Chi Minh City and get on the Cu Chi Tunnels speed boat on a join-in basis. Very soon, you will arrive at this historical relics of deep down tunnels system of total 200km (124 miles) long. The Viet Minh resistance force dig these tunnels during Indochina War; lately Viet Cong troop had it extended. You will find it full functional accommodations with kitchen, weapon depot, meeting room, clinic, etc. After lunch at local restaurant, you will return Ho Chi Minh City by speedboat; and then transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is at your own leisure.

You will check out hotel in Ho Chi Minh City this morning and have a 55-miunute flight to Phnom Penh as the next destination in the tour package of Vietnam Cambodia Laos. Upon your arriving at airport, you will see your local tour guide and travel to hotel in Phnom Penh for check-in.

Phnom Penh is  the most populated city of Cambodia with population of 1,57 millions people. From 1920s  to 1970s, when the country was under French colonisation, Phnom Penh was called Pearl of Asia as this city is said the most charming French-built city. This afternoon, you will experience a local tuk tuk and get around this dynamic city and glimpse the first glance of the city as well as local life. You are specially escorted by Mr. Nara who has passion on introducing Cambodia cuisine. Through out the journey of Phnom Penh Street Food tour, you will get to know and learn more about indeginous gastronomy.

You will have a full day tour exploring Phnom Penh today including all the highlighted attractions. Begin the exploration with the splendid Royal Palace. Its construction lasted from 1866 to 1870 representing typical Khmer achitecture with protective walls, throne hall where religious and royal ceremonies are celebrated, Emerald Buddha Temple, Silver Pagoda and so many other constructions with impressive decorative carving, towers and stupas. Afterward, you will visit the elegant National Museum displaying Khmer arts in all aspects like sculpture, pottery making, etc.

Carry on your Phnom Penh day trip, you will visit Toul Sleng a secondary school turned into prison by the Khmer Rouge that is renown as S21. Visiting this Security Prison. Lastly, you will reach Wat Phnom located on peacefull Penh's hill at 27m (88 feet) high. Walking through the stairs guarded by the lion and naga, you will reach a quiet and sacred area of the temple. 

After breakfast, you will have some time to relax and prepare for check-out. At good time, kick off your energetic day with a cycling trip to silk island in Phnom Penh. Traverse to the pier to cross Mekong river, you will reach cycling starting point on Diamond Island. Exploring through the local villages, you will find the second river where you will take ferry to Koh Oknha Tei tranquil island. Discover the narrow paths, Buddhist pagoda, farm plantations on this island till a bridge leading to Koh Dach or the Silk Island of Phnom Penh City. Visit the local houses and learn on their traditional ways of silk weaving as well as get to know the famous Krama, a Cambodia scarf.

Return to Phnom Penh city center, you will have a rest and then travel to airport for the flight to Siem Reap. Upon your arrival, you are welcomed by your tour guide; and travel from Siem Reap airport to city center for check-in. Have free & easy time till rest of the day.

In the morning, leave the busy Siem Reap behin, you will journey the world of Angkorian temples. Among the must to see Angkor Temples, Bayon is the first stop as it is located right at the center of Angkor Thom which mean the big city. As an intriguing edifice with 54 massive towers emerging roundabout, Bayon temple is renowned for smiling faces carved with 4 facets of each tower. Carry on the jungle exploration, you will walk toward Baphuon temple built earlier in 11th century. Getting a bit out of the lush jungle, you then spot the Terrace of the Leper King and the Terrace of the Elephants where was the square for Royal announcement or public ceremonies.

Enjoy lunch at Mie Café restaurant setting in the lush garden and serving delectable Khmer gastronomy.

Afternoon, visit the most well-known and the largest temple Angkor Wat. Far from the axis leading to central towers, you’ll realize how huge the place is. Walking around or under the corridors, you can find artistic sculptures and meaningful images of Khmer culture and religions factors. The last temple is Ta Prohm which appeared in the movie “Tom Raider” with the famous scenes of Angela Jolie. From the parking place, you will tread under the jungle trees, then explore each corner of Ta Prohm temple being eaten by the tropical nature.

Spending this morning in a local village, you will get an insight on rural lifestyle in Siem Reap and have further interaction to local culture. During the journey, you will learn how to make the rice noodle in their traditional way to make local breakfast. Additionally, you will see local handicraft works, enjoy the delicious snacks and call at sugar palm stalls to observe how the villagers process this fruit and its juice. Afterward, travel back to Siem Reap city with a stop to visit enticing Banteay Srei Temple which is renown as Citadel of Women. This is among the smallest Angkor Temples, but showcases unique stone hue of red pink as well as the finest carvings. This afternoon, you will head to Siem Reap Airport for your flight to Luang Prabang.

Welcome to Luang Prabang ancient town situating at the confluence of 2 rivers Mekong and Nam Khan. Renown as a spiritual city of 33 gilded temples, saffron-clad monks, Colonial style villas and fusion gastronomy, Luang Prabang is a beguiling and unique city to enjoy the pleasant and nourish your spirit. Upon your arrival, your tour guide will welcome and take you to hotel in Luang Prabang for your check-in. Have free time till rest of the day to get revived.

This morning, get to Tamarind Restaurant in Luang Prabang and meet with the chef who will escort you to the local central market by tuk tuk. The market in Luang Prabang is modestly nestled in narrow streets where all the colorful vegetables, meats, fishes, wild animal, household amenities, etc. are on display on the ground. Finish shopping, you will head to cooking venue and learn on Laos inspiring gastronomy. The chef will show how to prepare each dish and which is the traditional way of flavor combination. After cooking, you will enjoy lunch of your own creation.

In the afternoon, you will explore the best attractions of Luang Prabang. Beginning with the Royal Palace which was built in 1904 and home of King Sisavang Vong. The king statue is still presented outside the museum. Royal Palace in Luang Prabang is now the National Museum housing precious items which formally belong to the Royal family. Also, you can admire the statue of Prhabang Buddha and a large array of statuettes in the premise. Afterward, have a leisure walk to reach the Wat Xieng Thong, the most beautiful temple of Luang Prabang. Laos finest arts are well introduced in this temple along with a complex of sacred shrines and temples. Lastly, you will have a hike up 328 steps to the Phousi Mount peak for a panoramic view of Luang Prabang.

Early this morning, you will meet up with your tour guide and get to local temple by tuk tuk for a holy observation of traditional Tak Bath ceremony. The local residents prepare devoted food and wait for the monks in saffron robes passing by. You then have a short stroll along local center market before heading back to hotel for breakfast.

At good time, you will travel to Khuangsi Waterfalls which is a must-to-see attraction of Luang Prabang. Just pass through the main entrance, you will catch a sight of a rescue center housing moon bears, an endanger species. There are 23 bears are natured and protected in this sanctuary. Keep walking along for a while, you will find the mesmerizing giant Kuangsi Waterfalls tumbling down many tiers creating pools of turquoise water. You can come down and have a refreshing swim or follow the trails to admire the charming waterfalls. Afterward, head back to your hotel in Luang Prabang. Balance of the day is on your own account to do shopping, enjoy a local drink at café looking over Mekong River, stroll to Luang Prabang night market and so on.

It's your last day of your trip plan in Vietnam Cambodia and Laos today. You will have free and easy time at hotel till appointed time, you will meet up with your local guide and travel to Luang Prabang Airport for your flight to your next destination.

Inclusions / Exclusions

Inclusions:

  • Accommodation in double/twin sharing basic

  • Daily breakfast at hotel and meals as indicated in the program

  • Private air-conditioned transfer

  • Excellent English-speaking guide (other language on request)

  • Cooking classes and street food tours as mentioned in the program

  • Entrance fee, boat trip, cycling for sightseeing as mentioned

  • 2 bottles of water per person per day

Exclusions:

  • International and domestic flights

  • Cambodia Visa

  • Tips and gratuities for guide, driver, etc.

  • Personal expenses and services not mentioned

 

Remark: The price is applied for group of 4. Please contact us if you are at different size group

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18 days
From: 4600 $

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