At a glance
Awaken your inner foodie on a Food Tour through Vietnam. This week-long trip will inspire you to experiment in the kitchen as you finally learn to make those famous Vietnamese dishes. Vietnam is famous for its healthy and varied foods, as well as its love for rich coffee, so you’re in for a treat.
You’ll taste the different cuisine found in the country and get to try many local delicacies from rice wine to egg coffee. You’ll even sit down to a special dinner based on life during the subsidy economic period where you’ll buy your food using food stamps/vouchers.
As you learn about the history in Vietnam, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how the flavours and fragrances of popular dishes were influenced. Get ready to have your taste buds wowed.
Throughout the yearSee Dates
18 or over
What are the highlights of my Food Tour in Vietnam?
Get ready for full bellies and happy taste buds. Here are the highlights of our Food Tour in Vietnam:
- Try different cuisines from all over Vietnam
- Eat at a pre-1986 eatery of the subsidy period in Hanoi
- Learn how to cook Vietnamese cuisine
- Cycle through rice fields in the mountain valleys of Mai Chau
- Be guided through the chaos of Hanoi’s Old Quarter markets
- Eat street food in Hanoi and traditional homemade delicacies in Mai Chau
- Visit temples, museums and monuments in Hanoi
Is this trip to Vietnam right for me?
If you classify yourself an avid foodie and love experimenting with new dishes in the kitchen, then our Food Tour in Vietnam is for you. Our local guides will teach you about the history, culture and traditions of the country and the influence it had on food. You’ll experience flavours from all regions of the country and be taught by chefs, restaurant owners, local experts and families about their food.
All travellers over the age of 18 are welcome to join this tour. During your stay, you’ll be living in shared accommodation in various areas. In Mai Chau, you’ll stay in a rural homestay which will give you a deeper insight into how the Vietnamese people live.
Day 1 – Arrival in Hanoi
The moment you land in Vietnam, our staff will be there to collect you. They’ll take you directly to your accommodation where you’ll meet up with the rest of your group. Use this time to get to know each other or relax by the pool until everyone has arrived.
Your day will end with a welcome dinner and a mini-tour around Hanoi. Our staff will show you the areas around Hoan Kiem Lake, which is usually closed to traffic on weekends. There, you’ll visit the night market, play traditional games, and watch the performances and dancers.
Day 2 – Tour of Hanoi, egg coffee and Hue cuisine
After your mini-tour last night, you’ll dive right in. You’ll start with an introduction to Vietnamese culture followed by an overview of your itinerary so that you know what to expect during your stay.
This session will be followed by a tour of the bustling Old Quarter and elegant French Quarter of Hanoi. You’ll get to try egg coffee in a hidden cafe before visiting the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Continue your day with a tour of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ba Dinh Square, the resting place of the Vietnamese Revolutionary leader who led the country to independence. You’ll climb the Hanoi Flag Tower and learn about the Vietnam War at the Military Museum.
For dinner, you’ll get to try Hue cuisine. This food originated during Vietnam’s imperial period and is viewed as a more sophisticated form of dining. These dishes were often fed to Emperors and royal families of the Nguyen Dynasty. The flavours contrast with those found in other regions of the country and are often accompanied with peanut sauce.
Day 3 – Mai Chau and cooking class
Today, you’ll travel to Mai Chau where you’ll live in a rural homestay. This is a great opportunity to experience life as a local as you become part of their family surrounded by rice fields and farms.
For an early dinner, you’ll get to eat the makings of your own food. The locals will teach you how to combine fragrant herbs and spices to create some of the best Vietnamese dishes around. You’ll also get to taste rural delicacies as part of your homemade meal. This includes tofu, rice wine, fermented eggs, silkworms and rat.
Day 4 – Cycle tour, Chieu Cave, street food and military procession
You’ll wake up early to see the mist flowing over the mountains and farmers taking their cattle to nearby pastures. To start the day, you’ll take a bicycle tour of the valley and learn about different farming techniques. You’ll learn about the traditions of the White Thai and Black Thai minority groups and see their unique weaving methods and traditional villages.
For lunch, you’ll stop off and taste the food at some of the rural markets before climbing 1200 stone steps to explore Chieu Cave with its pristine stalactites.
In the afternoon, you will travel back to Hanoi and try Ban Xeo and other street food before watching the military procession at Ba Dinh Square. You’ll then have time to explore the busy street bars of the Old Quarter and try Bia Hoi, a cheap, home-brewed beer popular with both locals and tourists. You can sit on any tiny plastic stool and watch hundreds of people enjoy the night together on the street.
Day 5 – Markets, Temple of Literature, Saigon cuisine and food tour
You’ll spend the morning exploring vegetable, meat, fish and fruit markets. Don’t forget to try snacks and flavours throughout the tour.
Midmorning, you’ll stop off and enjoy the tranquillity of the Temple of Literature. This temple houses the Imperial Academy, Vietnam’s First University. The gardens and shrines are a beautiful setting to wander and relax.
You’ll try Saigon cuisine for lunch. A Saigon chef will teach you about the differences between Northern and Southern Vietnamese cuisine while telling tales of working and running restaurants in Hanoi. The climate, culture and history of these regions have resulted in very different tastes and flavours.
You can get some rest in the late afternoon before meeting for an evening food tour. Your guide will take you to various street food vendors and hidden cafes. You’ll try a variety of foods including steamed rice cakes, chả cá, dry chicken noodles, papaya salad, mixed fruits with condensed milk, and coconut coffee.
Day 6 – Ceramic village, Tran Quoc Pagoda, special dinner and water puppet show
In the morning, you will travel to the ceramic village where you’ll get to try your hand at pottery. If it’s any good, you can paint your creations and take them home as a souvenir. Here, you’ll get to try Bun Cha, a grilled pork and noodle dish originating from Hanoi.
After you’ve eaten, you’ll stop by Tran Quoc Pagoda. It’s the oldest Buddhist Pagoda in the city and sits idyllically on a small island near the southeastern shore of West Lake. You can try pancake and ice cream from local vendors nearby before going for dinner.
Tonight is a special dinner. You’ll learn about the subsidy economy period of 1975-86 at a nearby eatery. Here, you’re shown how Vietnamese people survived through difficult times and how the food was served. The owner will explain how coupons were used as payment, and what food was created as a result of this government control.
You’ll end your evening with laughter at a water puppet show followed by traditional live music that accompanies the show.
Day 7 – Departure from Hanoi
Before your flight, use the free time you have to pack, share stories and have your last taste of Vietnamese food. You’ll be taken to the airport throughout the day depending on when your flight is.
Food and accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad travellers during your stay in Vietnam. This is a great way to get to know each other, share experiences, and explore your surroundings during your free time together.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Meet the team in Vietnam
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