The food of Vietnam is often a delightfully memorable surprise for many who visit the country, with guests often enthusiastically extolling its virtues and, for this reason, many returning visitors will often include a cooking class or two to better understand the flavour nuances and philosophies involved.

Characterised by extensive use of herbs, spices and their magic ingredient, fish sauce, a pungent and salty liquid made from anchovies, which underpins a great many Vietnamese dishes, the finest quality version of which is produced in Phu Quoc Island, offshore from Vietnam’s most southerly point.

Freshness is the key ingredient, which governs the delicate balancing act, utilising herbs such as several Vietnamese Mints, including Fish Mint, Garlic Chives, Galangal, Ginger, Saigon Cinnamon, Chilli, Cassia, Star Anise, Rice-paddy Herb, Betel Leaf, Mustard Leaf, Amaranth, Water Spinach, Young Coconut juice, Lemongrass, Lime Leaf, Perilla Leaf, Black Cardamom, Green Onions, Dill, Asian Basil and Cilantro, just some of the armoury which form the basis of flavour elements combined with Noodles, Rice, Mung Beans, Fruits, Pork, Chicken, beef and other exotic meats, vegetables, seeds, nuts, salads, fish and seafood.

Vietnam’s geographical elongation and historic cultural heritage gives rise to distinct variations in the traditional recipes.

Northern food is generally subtler, lighter and less spicy, and is characterised by classic northern dishes such as Bun Rieu, Bahn Cuon, Pho Ga, Cha Ca La and Bun Cha.  

In central Vietnam, the food is immediately spicier, and more ornate, presented in a complexity of small dishes derived from the Royal cuisine of Hue, from the time of the last ruling dynasty of Vietnamese Emperors, who ruled from this region, and whose chefs prepared classic Hue dishes such as Bun Bo Hue and Bahn Khoai.

Vietnam’s southern cuisine is innately less spicy than Hue cuisine, but also much sweeter that its northern cousin, and makes much use of the Mekong Delta’s rich agricultural blessings, with traditional flavours enhanced through the additional use of sugar and coconut milk.

Away from the restaurants, and to those in the know, Vietnam abounds with plentiful street food sampling opportunities, many of which can be as deliciously unique as any to be found on 'a la carte' menus.

Country: Vietnam
Type of holiday: Culinary
Destinations: Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Hue, Ha Long Bay, Hanoi
Duration: 12
Guideline price: US$ 3220     (per person for Superior accommodation)
Highlight: Sample travel plan only: for a ‘no obligation’ comprehensive itinerary within 24 hours, click here.

Designed for the food aficionado, and based around the television programme, Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey, as screened by the BBC, this tour combines Vietnam’s cultural, historical and natural sights with ample opportunities to savour its most revered dishes.

Country: Vietnam
Type of holiday: Culinary
Destinations: Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh City
Duration: 12
Guideline price: US$ 3153     (per person for Superior accommodation)
Highlight: Sample travel plan only: for a ‘no obligation’ comprehensive itinerary within 24 hours, click here.

This fascinating and delightfully serene 12 day tour of Vietnam explores the culinary arts of Vietnam, learning to cook in the northern, central and southern styles, visiting the areas from which these cuisines emerged, exploring the countryside and rich cultural heritage of each region, and discovering the ways of their people and their many other skilful arts and crafts.
Country: Vietnam, Cambodia
Type of holiday: Culinary, Favourites
Destinations: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap
Duration: 12
Guideline price: US$ 0     (per person for Superior accommodation)
Highlight:
Bringing you the tastes and sights of destinations along the entire length of Vietnam, as well as the highlights of Cambodia, this tour packs a lot of flavour into just 12 days. From fresh seafood aboard your Halong Bay cruise, to Hanoi’s famed street food stalls, to sidewalk snacks on the charming streets of Hoi An, to local flavours reached by Vespa tour in Saigon and the mouthwateringly luxuriant orchards of the Mekong Delta, there is much in store for you here. In Cambodia, explore the magnificent wonder of the Temples of Angkor, as well as the capital city Phnom Penh. Designed to please your palate and provide a fascinating glimpse of life and culture in Vietnam and Cambodia, if you love to explore new flavours and places, this is just the trip for you.

Feedback from client for whom we designed this tour:
Our travel coordinator gave us a trip of a lifetime through Vietnam and Cambodia. Thorough, accommodating, responsive, attention to details - the consummate professional.  

We hit every highlight on our bucket list. And when I wanted to change something our agent responded immediately. 

As restaurateurs, the food and restaurant choices were the highlight of our trip. 

All our visas were arranged, guides and transportation waited us on every arrival; our guides were delightful and we were often sad to leave them.   

I only wished we had longer in Vietnam that we just LOVED.

Kudos for a top notch job - on all accounts.

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