|from $4,295* per person||16 Days||February
Exertion level: 4
|Operator: Cultural Explorations
24 people max
We're endlessly fascinated by the subtle flavours and diversity of Vietnamese cuisine. What better way to get to know a country than to share a meal, visit a market and cook in a kitchen?
The signature flavours of Vietnam are the signposts along our route; we'll meet nuoc nam, the distinctive fish sauce; rice, the essential staff of life; wet, dry, thick and thin noodles and throughout, the fresh herbs, leaves and vegetables so essential to Vietnamese cuisine. There are markets to explore, the scent of street food to enjoy and meetings with cooks, chefs and farmers. Finally there is the influence of the French who introduced baguettes, crème caramel with coconut milk and the delicious ca phe.
We begin in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, rich in contemporary history and overflowing with Asian Tiger dynamism. We plunge right into the kitchens, learning to prepare Vietnam's signature pho and exploring the Mekong, the 'rice basket' of Vietnam, with its dynamic floating markets. Next it's a short flight north to the magnificent old port town of Hoi An, a treasure house of fine architecture; a graceful town of bridges and canals and shops chock full of silks, paintings, embroidery and lacquer ware. Mrs Cuc will introduce us to the regional cuisine of Hue and we'll dine in one of the town's delightful garden houses. We've allowed plenty of time in the surprisingly graceful and green city of Hanoi to sip coffee at sidewalk cafes, visit the fine art galleries and dine in the best fusion restaurants. We'll learn how to blend east and west to dramatic effect from a top chef. Our exploration concludes with an overnight cruise through jaw-droppingly gorgeous Halong Bay where the scenery is like a painting.
Our accommodation is in super central city hotels and a fine selection of heritage inns. Wherever we go we will be welcomed by an exceptional level of luxury and gracious hospitality.
And to complete the trip, consider adding a visit to Siem Reap visiting the landmark temples of Angkor Wat, Bayon and the more remote temples of the jungle. These magnificent monuments have survived the collapse of the sophisticated civilization that built them, centuries of consumption by the suffocating jungle and decades of strife to yield an enthralling finale to your journey.
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