Apart from the beautiful heritage and natural scenery, Central Vietnam derives most of its splendor from the nature of its people, its unique culture, and of course the great cuisine! So take a ride with us through Central Vietnam, gorging yourself on some of the greatest wonders Vietnam has to offer.
Day 1: Arrival in Hue
Upon your arrival at the airport/train station in Hue, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel for check-in (checking-in is available at 2:00pm).
By 4:30pm, our guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and get ready for a food tour on Cyclo. This tour offers you a great opportunity to explore Hue street foods while basking in the beauty of the night. Moreover, taking a tour around the city with cyclo is ideal as you can enjoy all the sights that the city has to offer while also being regaled with bits of trivia.
You’ll be driven by the Perfume river, to Dong Ba market, where you can familiarize yourself with the local Hue life and culture. Following that, you can continue your trip to a local restaurant where you may taste the traditional Hue rice cakes such as Beo cake, Nam cake, and Loc cake. This is a very light meal and you’ll have plenty of room left to enjoy other dishes such as Hue fried pancake (Khoai cake), and grilled pork skewers in another local restaurant after a short drive to visit the Ho Chi Minh memorial house on Mai Thuc Loan Street. Chè Huế (Sweet soup) will bring an end to your gastronomical adventures, leaving you with a sweet taste and the memories of the local Hue culture.
Once the tour ends at 8:30pm, your cyclo driver will drop you off at your hotel, or you can choose to explore the night market by the Perfume River.
Day 2: Exploring Hue
Are you an early bird? Whether your answer is “Yes” or “No”, you should be prepared to start your day at 4:30am. However, we’ll make sure that you don’t regret missing out on those few precious hours of sleep. (The following activity is subject to change due to the weather conditions.)
Our guide and motorbike drivers will meet you in the lobby and drive you to Chuon Lagoon, where you may enjoy the sunrise over the picturesque lagoon. You are also offered a chance to join the local fisherman on a boat to collect seafood from the traps laid the previous night.
You can follow our fisherman to the local market to sell the seafood and have breakfast with a special dish of fish pancake there. Following that, we continue our trip by taking a drive across the rice field, to the Thanh Toan tile roofed bridge. This is one of the most charming vistas of the rural area, complete with a quaint old bridge over a river.
Next, you’ll get a chance to interact with and familiarize yourself with the locals’ life when we stop by their houses to learn conical hat and Chung cake making. We highly recommend a taste of the
hot Chung cake taken straight from the pot!
Lunch will be served at a local pagoda where you learn something interesting about Buddhism and understand why Hue has the most delicious vegetarian cuisine. In the afternoon, your drivers will take you to 2 famous traditional handicraft villages of Hue, namely Sinh Village and Thanh Tien Village. At the artisans’ houses, you’ll be taught the skills of making a lovely Sinh painting and Thanh Tien paper lotus flower. You may keep your masterpiece as a souvenir.
After a few hours, you’ll return to the city center via dragon boat going upstream of Perfume River. Allow yourself to relax, lay back, and enjoy a view of the beautiful landscapes floating past the river banks. Once back at your hotel, you may rest a while, and prepare yourself for the surprise waiting for you.
As Hue was the former imperial city of Vietnam, there’s a lot of historic and cultural values remnant in the city life. You must explore the heritage sites and the royal cuisine. At around 6:00pm, our guide will take you to a luxurious restaurant to enjoy the royal cuisine with a well-designed menu and a stunning arrangement of dishes. While enjoying the delicacies, you may also enjoy the royal court music, performed in the royal banquet style, as it was done in the old days.
You may later return back to the hotel or explore Hue’s night life as you wish.
Optional: Royal cuisine can be organized in the King Dragon Boat anchored in front of Nghinh Luong Temple, Perfume River.
Day 3: Welcome to the Home Meal and “Di Nhậu”
After breakfast, at around 8:30am you’ll be driven to a local house, where you may learn about family life and culture in Hue. You can even join the host family in preparing lunch. A member from the host family will take you to a local market to buy cooking ingredients and then show you how to cook some of the typical dishes for lunch.
You may enjoy lunch with your host family and enjoy the sense of comfort and coziness you can only ever find in a home.
In the afternoon, you can visit the Thuy Bieu village, famous for the lush pomelo gardens and the peace of the land close to the Perfume River. Next, you’ll be taken on a short ride around the village to visit the Luong Quan Temple, the royal family ancestral house, and finally stop by a local house to enjoy a herbal soaking and foot massage. You can also enjoy some seasonal fruits at the local house. It’s ideal to visit this area during Autumn to enjoy the charming fragrance of pomelo flowers in the atmosphere.
For dinner, we will “đi nhậu” (go drinking) at a local restaurant. This is an unforgettable yet exclusive experience, a rite of passage into becoming a true member of Vietnamese culture. As is often said, you can never really know a culture until you’ve shared a drink with its people! This
will be a night of fun, revelry, and friendships forged over drinks and food.
Day 4: Hue — Hoi An, Food Tour on Vespa in the Ancient Town
Hue beef noodles is one of the most famous specialties of Hue so we will take you to a local restaurant to have this specific dish for breakfast.
Next, you will depart for Hoi An ancient town, stopping by Lap An lagoon and Hai Van pass where you may enjoy the great landscapes and capture a lot of stunning photographs. The trip may take you around 2 hours so when we arrive in Danang – the modern city located in between Hue and Hoi An ancient town — you will have lunch at a local restaurant to enjoy its specialties of Bánh tráng cuốn thịt heo (sliced pork and vegetables wrapped in soft rice paper).
After lunch, you may visit Marble Mountain on the way to Hoi An ancient town, where you shall
check into your next hotel.
Hoi an Evening Vespa Food Tour (Departure time: 5:30PM)
Starting out at our central Hoi An café, you may sample the delicious local street food that is Banh Can, while observing the activity on the streets & stalls. After the first taster, we shall head out on the Vespas to try the famous ‘White Rose’ in town.
Following that, we go to lantern lit An Hoi Islet and jump into a local boat for a slow ride alongside the ancient town to Cam Nam Island, where we join the locals for a seafood starter overlooking the Thu Bon River, as the sun sets on Hoi An and enjoy a few cold beers.
A leisurely drive along the banks of the river, through the alleyways and streets, will bring you to a lively local restaurant where we cook a hot pot at the table and learn the art of wrap ‘n’ roll, Vietnamese style!
Following that, we shall move on to our last port of call, and a recent addition to Hoi An’s vibrant dining scene, a modern Vietnamese restaurant where we indulge ourselves with some BBQ specialties, grilled DIY style at our table! As is customary, cold beers are consumed, and we finish with the delicious dessert of Banh Flan, a light version of crème caramel.
Stops include: Cafe Zoom, street food snack, Hoi An specialties, local boat ride, and many local restaurants.
Day 5: Red Bridge Cooking Class/ Cam Kim Island Discovery
Option 1: Red Bridge Cooking Class
We start the day at 8.15am with a welcome drink at Hai Café – our meeting point.
We visit Hoi An’s colorful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds, and aromas of this busy market. We even have the opportunity to interact with local sellers and learn about all the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.
We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy.
On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb garden before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – the Red Bridge chefs first demonstrate each dish before we prepare the same dish ourselves.
The class also includes a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, we sit down and eat what we have cooked!
Bring your swimsuit along because once we’re done feasting, we can relax and swim in the 20 metre swimming pool — towels and showers provided.
You’ll be transferred back to your hotel and you’re free to spend the rest of the day as you choose.
Optional: After the cooking class and lunch, we may proceed to go to Hoi An beach to enjoy swimming until it is time to get back your hotel at around 5:00pm. You can stay a bit longer at the beach to have dinner with seafood or you may got back to the town to explore the site yourself.
Option 2: Cam Kim Island Discovery on Bike
No island is more beautiful than Cam Kim, and your adventure starts with a short boat trip crossing the river from Hoi An.
During the tour, we will visit a number of families who make delicious my quang noodles, home made rice wine, and weave colorful straw sleeping mats. We will have plenty of time to chat with them and ask questions to learn about their history, local customs, and way of life.
We shall also enjoy lunch lovingly prepared by the host family to experience the real taste of Hoi An. During the tour, we will also learn about the traditional farming methods, sea water buffaloes, and witness the fishermen setting and harvesting their nets. If you are looking for the real Hoi An, join us for this delightful morning.
Day 6: Hoi An — Da Nang — Departure
You’ll be free to do as you please until it’s time to go to the Da Nang airport to catch your next flight.
End of services.
This itinerary has been provided by HGH Vietnam.