“Discover Vietnam” Experience

Another UNIQUE Cooking Passions “Small-Group” Food & Culture Journey

Halong Bay Panorama 600x375
Date : Sunday 03 March 2019 to Wednesday 13 March 2019
11 Days / 10 Nights

PRICING
$US4155 per person  (Double or Twin Occupancy) ~ $US375 per day
Single Supplement (Own Room) + $US995 per person

– 5 Places Remaining –

Booking Deadline**: 20 June 2018


**Due to the limited number of seats on internal flights in Vietnam, these book out very quickly, so bookings for the “Discover Vietnam” tour should be made as early as possible to ensure that internal flights and all accommodations can be secured. Domestic flights will be booked immediately with our Vietnam Travel Agent, once your Booking Form and Deposit have been provided, to secure these places.

Join us as we escort a small group of travellers to one of our favourite food destinations – Vietnam – where we share with you our “hand-picked” Vietnam experiences, cooking classes and luxury accommodation for 11 exciting days.
Our Cooking Passions “Discover Vietnam” experience will overwhelm your senses with the incredible beauty, amazing flavours and rich history of Vietnam, visiting the country from South to North including :
We’ve organised all of the delicious cuisine & culture experiences; all internal Vietnam airfares and transfers for you; most meals; and selected beautiful centrally located luxury accommodation which are all in easy walking distance to the sites and shopping of the cities and towns we will be visiting. All you need to do is pack a bag and a sense of adventure and join us on a delicious journey through Vietnam. Please scroll down for Client Testimonials from our previous “Discover Vietnam” tours.
Cooking Passions “Small Group” Cuisine & Culture Journeys
Cooking Passions Cuisine & Culture Journeys have been designed so that you can make the most of your precious time, as we have done all of the “behind the scenes” research to scope out the finest hotels, local transfers, sights, restaurants, spas & excursions, so you don’t have too.
Each of our tours are designed so you can do as much or as little as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping, relaxation and eating that YOU want to experience (we’ll be happy to provide suggestions and tips on some of our favourites from our many previous trips). So all you have to do is book your preferred flight, pack a bag & a sense of adventure, and join us for an unforgettable and unique Southeast Asian experience!!

VIETNAM – The Destination

Vietnam-Destination 500x375

Vietnam has become one of the most popular destinations for international travellers simply because it has so much to offer. It’s beauty varies from the magnificent limestone peaks in Halong Bay to the the rice paddy lined canals of the Mekong Delta. People have finally begun to look at the country from another perspective, now that travelers and tourists from the West are being welcomed into what was once a forbidden country.
Influenced by Chinese & French culture, the Vietnamese have a strong sense of their own uniqueness and travelers are moved by the charm, hospitality and warmth that they are greeted by in the people. It may take a bit more effort and tenacity to plan an excursion into Vietnam than it would for another Southeast Asian country, but Vietnam has much to offer in terms of culture and sights. So, whether to experience a lively ancient culture, to see beautiful countryside, to get your adventure fix, or to just get a bit of beachside or cosmopolitan comfort, Vietnam has it all!

VIETNAM – The Food

Vietnames Food Spring Rolls. 200x150jpg Vietnames Food Banh Mih 200x150

Vietnames Food Rice Paper 200x150 Bun Thit Nuong

Vietnamese food is one of contrasts and harmony, exploding with the freshness of lemongrass, mint, coriander and basil, while beautifully balanced with the use of chilli, sugar and fish sauce. Influenced by over 1000 years of the rich culinary legacies of China, India and France, Vietnamese cusisine is one of the original fusion cuisines of the world, and one which has taken the very best of these other cultures and refined it into its own unique culinary experiences.

“Discover Vietnam” Tour Inclusions

✔︎  Included ✖︎  Not Included
✔︎ 3 Nights Luxury Five-Star Accommodation – HCMC (Saigon) – Renaissance Riverside Saigon    – International Airfares of your choice
✔︎  3 Nights Deluxe Three-Star Accommodation – Hoi An – Ha An Hotel    – Alcoholic & Non-alcoholic beverages for included meals
✔︎  3 Nights Luxury Five-Star Accommodation – Hanoi – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi    – International Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
✔︎  2 Day / 1 Night Luxury Halong Bay Cruise – Paradise Elegance    – Vietnam Visas ~ $AUD40 per person
✔︎  Two Meals per day – Breakfast & either included Lunch or Dinner daily, as per itinerary    – Non-included local taxi fares
✔︎  Two Hands-On Vietnamese Cooking Classes

  • Vietnam Cookery Centre (Saigon)
  • Ms Vy’s Market Cooking School (Hoi An)
✔︎  Vietnamese Cuisine & Culture Excursions:

  • Ben Than Market Visit (Saigon)
  • Reunification Palace Tour (Saigon)
  • Cu Chi Tunnels & Saigon River Cruise (Saigon)
  • Saigon River Dinner Cruise (Saigon)
  • Hoi An Market Visit (Hoi An)
  • Hanoi Cyclo Ride
 ✔︎  Airport Transfers – Arrival (Saigon) & Departure (Hanoi)
✔︎  Two Domestic Vietnam Airlines Business Class Flights*

  • HCMC/Danang and Danang/Hanoi

**Due to the limited number of seats on internal flights in Vietnam, these book out very quickly, so bookings for the “Discover Vietnam” tour should be made as early as possible to ensure that internal flights and all accommodations can be secured. Domestic flights will be booked immediately with our Vietnam Travel Agent, once your Booking Form and Deposit have been provided, to secure these places.

✔︎  Tips & Gratuities for included meals and drivers
✔︎  Group Escorts
 ✔︎  Tour Photographer
 ✔︎  Pre-Trip Briefing (Perth)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Itinerary

 Day 1 – Sunday 03 March 2019 – SAIGON

– Your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). We have arranged for your Airport Transfer to 5-Star “Renaissance Riverside Saigon Hotel” upon your arrival in Saigon as well as your stay in a Riverview Deluxe Club* Rooms with views over the Saigon River, for our stay. Should you wish to arrive earlier than today’s start to our tour, we can arrange for any additional nights at our hotel.

 * Privileges for Club Floor Guests

19:30pm – Welcome Group Dinner at one of HCMC’s find dining restaurants featuring a Modern Vietnamese interpretation to some of Vietnam’s classic dishes.

ACCOMMODATIONRenaissance Riverside Saigon Hotel

(Included Meals – D)

Day 2 – Monday 04 March 2019 – SAIGON (HCMC)

am – Breakfast at your leisure
7:15am – Cu Chi Tunnels* via Saigon River Express – This morning we will get up close to life on the mighty Saigon River as we have arranged our own Private Speedboat Cruise to visit one of Southern Vietnam’s most important tourist attractions – the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. We will head off early, so that we can beat the crowds and tour groups that arrive later in the morning.


Cu Chi Tunnels
Built during the American/Vietnam War, at its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km from Saigon to the Cambodian border and was three levels deep. This fascinating network of tunnels were specially constructed to accommodated living quarters, field hospitals, schools and command centres. The tunnels have been widened for the benefit of tourists, and only those wishing to feel what it must have been like for life underground can have a go…there are lots of other sights to see on the surface. We’ll travel along the Saigon River while witnessing the daily life that occurs along the river. Upon arrival at the Cu Chi Tunnels our Private Guide will escort us around this amazing attraction.


13:00pm – Return to hotel. Afternoon at your leisure to shop, have a massage or some quiet time poolside.
17:30pm to 19:30pm – Meet for in the Club Room for complimentary pre-dinner drinks and appetisers with full private bar facilities.
20:00pm – Group Dinner at one of Saigon’s famous “street food stall” restaurants where the “best of the best” of Vietnamese street food is presented in a beautiful French Colonial Villa restaurant.
Remainder of the evening at your leisure. For those that might like a nightcap before finishing the evening, join Nico & Belinda for a drink at Saigon’s premier jazz club, owned by Tran Manh Tuan, the first Vietnamese musician to receive a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston and Vietnam’s most celebrated saxophonist.

ACCOMMODATION – Renaissance Riverside Saigon Hotel

(Included Meals – B,L,D)

Day 3 – Tuesday 05 March 2019 – SAIGON (HCMC)

am – Breakfast at your leisure. For any early risers, join Nico & Belinda for a walk to a local Pho Stall for traditional Vietnamese breakfast of pho with the locals.
9:00am – Pick up and transfer to Saigon’s famous Ben Than Markets for a guided visit with Vietnam Cookery School’s chefs before heading to our morning cooking class.


13:00pm – Return to hotel and afternoon at your leisure  – OR – (OPTIONAL INCLUDED TOUR) – For those that would like to continue to visit some of Saigon’s historic landmarks, we can continue to view Saigon’s famous French Colonial designed Notre Dame Cathedral and historic Post Office, on our way to the Reunification Palace for a visit of one of Saigon’s most iconic and historic buildings. For those that may like to relax, head back to the hotel for a session poolside or book in for a massage at the hotel spa.


Remainder of the afternoon at your leisure.
17:30pm to 19:00pm – Meet for in the Club Room for complimentary pre-dinner drinks and appetisers with full private bar facilities.
19:00pmSaigon River Dinner Cruise – Tonight we will enjoy a 2 hour Saigon River Dinner Cruise aboard the “BONSAI”.


9:30pm – Return to hotel

ACCOMMODATION – Renaissance Riverside Saigon Hotel

(Included Meals – B,L,D)

Day 4 – Wednesday 06 March 2019 – HOI AN

Breakfast at your leisure.
8:00am – Check out from hotel. Group Transfer to Tan San Nhat airport to board flight to Danang. Transfer to Hoi An by bus.


14:00pm – Arrive Hoi An and transfer to our hotel. Hoi An is the charming ancient port town of central Vietnam and one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam, famous for it’s lantern festivals, talented tailors and laid back riverside lifestyle.
Ha An Boutique Hotel
Our hotel during our stay in Hoi An has been a favourite of Nico & Belinda’s, and their groups, for many years due to its charming family-run intimacy and quiet location just a short 5 minute walk from the hustle of Hoi An’s riverside market. Ha An is a pleasant boutique hotel in a French-Colonial style building with your rooms overlooking the hotel’s peaceful garden and courtyard.
14:30pm – After check in, we will go for a little stroll to become familiar with the layout of the town, and to call into Nico’s favourite Banh Mi stall for one of the best Vietnamese Rolls in Hoi An.

19:00pm – Hoi An Group Dinner – Dinner at one of Nico & Belinda’s favourite restaurants, situated in a beautifully restored historic Hoi An riverside building.

2013 Japanese Bridge 600x400

Remainder of the evening at your leisure. Enjoy an after dinner walk around the charming, lantern-lit streets of Hoi An including a visit to the 600-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.

ACCOMMODATIONHa An Hotel

(Included Meals – B,D)

Day 5 – Thursday 07 March 2019 – HOI AN

am – Breakfast at your leisure.
8:30am – 1:30pm – Hands-on “Gourmet Cooking Class” at Ms Vy’s Cooking School. Ms Vy is one of Hoi An’s most successful restauranteurs with four fantastic Hoi An restaurants now under her charge. Ms Vy and her teaching partner, Ms Lulu, are also the original teaching chefs of Hoi An and their cooking classes are incredibly informative, where we not only learn how to make some classic Vietnamese dishes, but also learn how to recognise and buy the fresh produce, herbs and spices that are used in Vietnam cooking and medicinal purposes.


Afternoon at your leisure – For those interested, join Nico & Belinda for a leisurely bike ride through Hoi An’s surrounding countryside as we make our way to the beach for some refreshments at one of the many seaside restaurants & bars at nearby Cua Dai Beach.

cua_dai_beach1 500x

Remainder of the afternoon & evening at your leisure.
Hoi An Discovery Suggestions:
CULTURE – Stroll through the ancient quarter and see the 16th century Japanese Covered Bride, the Pottery Museum; the Tan Ky old house, the Cantonese congregation, the silk street of Hoi An and the Chinese-style temples and pagodas.
SHOPPING – Check out some of the many clothing, jewellery and shoe shops in town or visit the riverside market
RELAX – Book a massage at one of the many spas around town for a special treatment.

ACCOMMODATION – Ha An Hotel

(Included Meals – B, L)

Day 6 – Friday 08 March 2019 – HOI AN

am – Breakfast at the hotel
Today is an opportunity for you to relax and enjoy Hoi An at your leisure. We are able to suggest some places to visit should you wish to check out some of the villages and sites close by to Hoi An. Private Day Trips to either the UNESCO World Heritage Listed My Son Sanctuary, a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and 14th century by the kings of the Champa civilisation, or alternatively, a little further away, a day visit to Vietnam’s ancient capital Hue and the riverside tombs of Vietnam’s great emperors.
14:00pm – Group Late Lunch at a restaurant we discovered set amongst the rice paddies just outside Hoi An. For those that would like to cycle, we can use the hotel’s complimentary cycles for the short 3 km ride, or taxis can be arranged for those that would prefer a drive.
Remainder of the evening at your leisure for our final night. Take in the tranquil charm of Hoi An’s lantern filled streets or visit the lively night market across the river.



ACCOMMODATION – Ha An Hotel

(Included Meals – B, L/D)

Day 7 – Saturday 09 March 2019 – HANOI

am – Breakfast at your leisure
9:00am – Checkout from hotel – Transfer to Danang Airport for boarding flight to Hanoi. Private Airport Transfer to our hotel upon our arrival in Hanoi.

HANOI
Having celebrated its 1000th year a few years ago, Hanoi is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities, with it’s blend of french colonial architecture and invigorating streetside chaos of motorcycles, cyclos, pedestrians and street vendors.

Hanoi Traffic Circle 500x335 Hanoi Old Quarter Street

13:00pm – Check in to our accommodation at Hanoi’s NEWEST 5-Star Hotel – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi and your L’Opera Deluxe Suite* for our stay in Hanoi.



 * Privileges for L’Opera Suite Guests

– Remainder of the afternoon at your leisure.
Hanoi Discovery Suggestions:
CULTURE – Visit the grounds of the 1000-year old Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university; catch up with Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum or visit Hoa Lo Prison (“Hanoi Hilton”).
SHOPPING – Visit the bustling 13th century Old Quarter markets for its many market streets lined with vendors and shops.
RELAX – Go for a stroll around the peaceful Hoan Kiem Lake and see the local Hanoians jogging, doing tai chi and playing badminton.
17:00pm to 19:00pm – Meet in Hotel de L’Opera’s La Fee Verte Lobby Bar for complimentary evening Free-Flow drinks (wine & beer) with complimentary Tapas.
19:00pm – Group Dinner at one of Nico & Belinda’s favourite non-Vietnamese restaurants.

ACCOMMODATION – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi

(Included Meals – B, D)

Day 8 – Sunday 10 March 2019 – Hanoi

am – Breakfast at the hotel
8:30am – Join us for a morning cyclo ride to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Presidential Palace

Hanoi HCMC 600x335

– Remainder of the afternoon at your leisure.
Hanoi Discovery Suggestions:
CULTURE – Take in one of Hanoi’s famous Water Puppet shows at the Water Puppet Theatre (remember to purchase your tickets early).
EATING/DRINKING– Visit one of Hanoi’s French-Colonial villa cafe/restaurants or pull up one of those tiny plastic stools and enjoy some local bia hoa – “Vietnamese pub culture” at the many cheap & cheerful roadside bars.
RELAX – View the Parisian grace of Hanoi’s tree-lined boulevards with a cyclo ride around town.
CULTURE – Take in a view of Hanoi’s manic traffic chaos from the safe surrounds of a second-floor bar/cafe overlooking one of hanoi’s busiest roundabouts.

DSC_1094 Hanoi-night-out-tour

17:00pm to 19:00pm – Meet in Hotel de L’Opera’s La Fee Verte Lobby Bar for complimentary evening Free-Flow drinks (wine & beer) with complimentary Tapas.
20:00pm – Group Dinner in one of Hanoi’s beautifully restored French Colonial villas in the Old Quarter.

ACCOMMODATION – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi

(Included Meals – B, Late Lunch)

Day 9 – Monday 11 March 2019 – Halong Bay

 

8am – Checkout from our hotel for a 3 1/2 hour drive through the Red River Delta to Halong Bay. Halong Bay spreads over an area of approximately 1,553 km2 including 1,969 islets, most of which are limestone topped with thick jungle vegetation rising from the ocean.
12noon – Transfer to Halong Bay and boarding one of Halong Bay’s newest and most luxurious vessel – The Paradise Elegance – launched in 2017, for our overnight exploration of the limestone karsts (islands) and emerald waters of Halong Bay, giving us the chance to take in the stunning scenery of this World Heritage Site.

– Once on board, settle into your luxurious Executive Paradise Cabin with your own Private Balcony. We will then enjoy a delectable lunch on board in the Le Marin Restaurant and get acquainted with the facilities of the boat and we commence cruising into Halong Bay.

14:45pm – Choice of visiting one of Halong Bay’s floating fishing villages, Cua Van Village, or visiting “Dark & Bright Cave”. Cua Van Floating Village is the largest of five remaining floating fishing villages with an estimated population of 733 inhabitants in 176 households. “Dark & Bright Cave” is one of the many limestone caves with their beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and was formed out of ancient limestone karats about 700,000 years ago. Alternatively, stay on board and enjoy high tea or a spa treatment at Paradise Spa.
17:00pm to 19:00pm – Following our afternoon exploration of some of Halong Bay, the remainder of the afternoon & evening will include Happy Hour at Le Piano Bar, with jazz music or enjoy a Vietnamese Cooking Demonstration on the L’Odyssée Sundeck.
19:00pm – Dinner at Le Marin Restaurant

21:00pm – Mixology at L’Odyssée Sundeck; Live Music at Le Piano Bar.

ACCOMMODATION – Paradise Elegance

(Included Meals – B,L,D)

Day 10 – Tuesday 12 March 2019 – Halong Bay

06:30am – For earlier risers, enjoy a Tai Chi class on the sun deck, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views of the bay as the boat starts cruising.

07:00am – Light breakfast at Le Piano Bar while cruising along Me Cung Cave and Tung Sau Pearl Farm.
– Optional morning excursion to Ti Top Island or Sung Sot Cave, or enjoy the amenities on board. Ti Top Island is named after the Russian astronaut German Titov during his first visit to Halong Bay. The only beach in the bay with a 200-step path that leads to a spectacular view point of the majestic World Heritage Site. Sung Sot Cave, commonly known as Hang Sung Sot, is the largest cave in Halong Bay. It was discovered by a group of French explorers in the early 1900s, and is popular because of its panoramic views of the bay from the top.

Cave 600x397

08:00am – 9:30am – Breakfast at Le Marin Restaurant while cruising past Thien Cung and Dau Gi Caves and the Fighting Cock Islet.
10:30am – Return to Tuan Chau Marina where we will then enjoy a traditional Vietnamese Lunch at the Paradise Suites Hotel.
12noon – Return group transfer to Hanoi.
15:00pm – Check into our Hotel de L’Opera.
17:00pm to 19:30pm – Meet in Hotel de L’Opera’s La Fee Verte Lobby Bar for complimentary evening Free-Flow drinks (wine & beer) with complimentary Tapas.
20:00pm – Final Group Dinner.

ACCOMMODATION – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi

(Included Meals – B,D)

 

Day 11 – Wednesday 13 March 2019 – DEPARTURE

Hanoi Hoan Kiem Lake, Sunrise

– am – Check out from hotel and we say our farewells to the group before departure from HANOI for home or your next chosen destination. We have arranged for a Hotel Airport Transfer to suit your flight departure time.
HOW TO BOOK
If you are able to join us on our special 2019 “Discover Vietnam” Luxury Cuisine & Culture Experience, please contact us on 08 9228 0507 or email urbanprovider@icloud.com to secure your places and request a Booking Form or please download the following “Discover Vietnam” Booking Form (PDF) – 2019 Discover Vietnam Booking Form
Booking Deposit: An $AUD900 non-refundable BOOKING DEPOSIT is required to hold a booking for the tour, at the time of your reservation. Booking Deposits are used to secure Vietnam Airlines domestic flight tickets and accommodation deposits, at the time of your booking.
Booking Deadline: Wednesday 20 June 2018 (or while places remain)
Final Payment: Payment in full is required at least 90 days prior to departure. (Final Payment Due: December 3rd 2018)
Also, please don’t hesitate in contacting us should you have any questions on our tour.

The following is INCLUDED:

**Due to the limited number of seats (both Business & Economy) on internal flights in Vietnam, these book out very quickly, so bookings for the “Discover Vietnam” tour should be made as early as possible to ensure that internal flights and all accommodations can be secured. Domestic flights will be booked immediately with our Vietnam Travel Agent, once your Booking Form and Deposit has been provided, to secure these places.

The following is NOT INCLUDED in the price:

We look forward to hosting you on this very special Vietnam experience! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate in contacting us.
Bon voyage,
Nico & Belinda Moretti
Cooking Passions Cooking School
267 Vincent Street, LEEDERVILLE WA 6007
AUSTRALIA
www.urbanprovider.com.au

“Discover Vietnam” Traveller Reviews

TRIP ADVISOR – February 2016 : An amazing trip around Vietnam tasting our way from bottom to top, with three fabulous cooking classes along the way. Nico and Belinda are wonderful hosts whose experience and knowledge of this country make the trip all the more enjoyable. Nico goes the extra mile to ensure everyone has a great trip. Another very memorable holiday – (our fourth with Urban Provider). Absolutely recommended *****  …Denise

Hi Belinda and Nico, Thank you so much for a really wonderful holiday. We weren’t sure how we’d go being part of a group tour, but the whole experience far surpassed our expectations in every way. That is in no small part due to the fact that the trip was so well planned and everything seemed so effortless, but we know what goes on behind the scenes to create this illusion!! Our next task now is to look for another tour so that we can join you again for another memorable experience…Shauna 

HI Nico and Belinda, Thanks so much to you both for such a wonderful time in Vietnam. It was such a memorable time in so many ways, no doubt due to very careful planning, insight and experience on both your parts. Your care of everyone was so evident in everything you both do. You are so right about the group – what a fantastic and diverse group of people. It all clicked so well. Thanks also for your amazing photos – they capture so many moments candidly and bring back the things we did so vividly…Lots of love,Steph

Nico & Belinda, I’m lost for words to say. A simple ‘thank you’ must suffice for one of the most magical Asian experiences. The fact that we all seemed to drop out of our urbane worlds for what, at the end, seemed like a blink of an eye, was a testament to your abilities to do what you do. The chance to share Vietnam with such a wonderful group of people was the icing on the cake…Ric and Jill

Hey Nico & Belinda, It was a perfect holiday, great mix of organised activities and free time, couldn’t have asked for a better time! …Court & Jess

Hi Nico & Belinda, Thank you both so much for hosting an amazing trip. It was indeed a great bunch of people and it was a pleasure to be in the company of such a great welcoming bunch. I had a blast & wouldn’t change a thing. I loved all the places we visited, tours and cooking classes and all your knowledge of places we went & all your stories that were shared. Take care guys & stay safe…Jules

Dear Belinda, dear Nico, Thank you so much for this wonderful trip. I enjoyed it very much and the combination of cooking and sightseeing is really a wonderful combination…Best regards, Manuela

Hi Nico & Belinda, Once again many thanks for your great cooking and culture tour of Vietnam. The areas we visited certainly provided a valuable insight to the country and it’s rich and tragic history…Cheers, John & Max

Upcoming Classes

Date Time Price Availability
Sunday 3rd March 2019 4pm $ pp 5 Places
None of these dates suit you? request a class

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