2018 “Discover Vietnam” – Luxury Cuisine & Culture Experience

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

Halong Bay Panorama 600x375

13 Days / 12 Nights
Date : Sunday 25 March 2018 to Friday 06 April 2018
(Includes the 2018 Easter Break)

– BOOKED OUT –

We are currently accepting “Expressions of Interest” from clients interested in joibeing advised of details of our March 2019 tour when they become available. Please email us at enquiries@urbanprovider.com.au to be placed on our “Pre Notice List”.

PRICING

$US4920 per person  (Double or Twin Occupancy)
Single Supplement (Own Room) + $US1150 per person


*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 Nico & Belinda Moretti of Cooking Passions Cooking School as they escort a small group of travellers to one of our favourite food destinations – Vietnam. Join us as we share with you our “hand-picked” Vietnam experiences, cooking classes and luxury accommodation for 13 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

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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
✔︎  4 Nights Deluxe Three-Star Accommodation – Hoi An – Ha An Hotel    Alcoholic & Non-alcoholic beverages for included meals
✔︎  4 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 ~ $AUD95 per person
✔︎  All Meals – Excluding two lunches and three dinners on Free Days    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)
  • Vietnamese Street Food Walking Tour (Hoi An)
  • Hoi An Market Visit (Hoi An)
  • Hoi An  “Full Moon Lantern Festival” (Hoi An)
  • Hanoi Cyclo Ride
 ✔︎  Private Airport Transfers – Arrival (Saigon) & Departure (Hanoi)
✔︎  Two Domestic Vietnam Airlines Business Class Flights*

  • HCMC/Danang and Danang/Hanoi
✔︎  Tips & Gratuities for included meals and drivers
✔︎  Group Escorts (including Registered Nurse)
 ✔︎  Tour Photographer
 ✔︎  Pre-Trip Briefing (Perth)

Tour Itinerary

 Day 1 – Sunday 25 March 2018 – SAIGON

– Your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Private Airport Limousine Transfer to 5-Star “Renaissance Riverside Saigon Hotel” upon your arrival in Saigon. We have arranged for Riverview Deluxe Club* Rooms with views over the Saigon River, for our stay in Saigon.

 * Privileges for Club Floor Guests
Should you wish to arrive earlier than today’s start to our tour, we can arrange for any additional nights at our hotel.
ACCOMMODATIONRenaissance Riverside Saigon Hotel

(Included Meals – D)

Day 2 – Monday 26 March 2018 – SAIGON



ACCOMMODATION – Renaissance Riverside Saigon Hotel

(Included Meals – B,L,D)

Day 3 – Tuesday 27 March 2018 – SAIGON


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.


ACCOMMODATION – Renaissance Riverside Saigon Hotel

(Included Meals – B,L,D)

Day 4 – Wednesday 28 March 2018 – HOI AN


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ACCOMMODATIONHa An Hotel

(Included Meals – B,D)

Day 5 – Thursday 29 March 2018 – HOI AN


Walking Tour Cho Tan Market 250x337 Walking Tour Banh Mie Queen 250x335

ACCOMMODATION – Ha An Hotel

(Included Meals – B,Vietnamese Street Food Samples, L)

Day 6 – Friday 30 March 2018 (Good Friday) – HOI AN


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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 7 – Saturday 31 March 2018 (Easter Saturday) – HOI AN

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.


Hoi An Lantern Festival
Hoi An’s Lantern Festival is one of Southeast Asia’s most popular events. For centuries, the Vietnamese have considered the full moon a time to pay their respects to their ancestors, hold candlelit ceremonies at temples and generally make merry. In recent years, the quaint port town of Hoi An has taken this to the next level, switching off most of the town’s fluorescent lights and raising its coloured lanterns for one night every month – when the streets are filled with crowds of locals and tourists, games, festival food and music. There is a lively, celebratory atmosphere and beautiful displays of floating lanterns on the river. The lanterns are set into the river as an offering and to worship their ancestors as well as the God of the land. This tradition started centuries ago where on the full moon people from all over the region would come to participate. The practice is still alive today and at 8 pm on the eve of the full moon the lights of the town are shut off, and the only light comes from the lanterns being carried down the river.

(Included Meals – B)

Day 8 – Sunday 01 April 2018 (Easter Sunday) – 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



 * 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.
ACCOMMODATION – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi

(Included Meals – B, D)

Day 9 – Monday 02 April 2018 (Easter Monday) – HANOI

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– Remainder of the morning 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.

– Remainder of the afternoon & evening at your leisure.
ACCOMMODATION – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi

(Included Meals – B, Late Lunch)

Day 10 – Tuesday 03 April 2018 – HALONG BAY CRUISE

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.

Cong Dam Fishing Village

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 11 – Wednesday 04 April 2018 – HANOI

06:30 – 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.

07:00 – 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.

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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.
pm – Group Dinner at one of Nico & Belinda’s favourite non-Vietnamese restaurants.
ACCOMMODATION – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi

(Included Meals – B,L,D)

Day 12 – Thursday 05 April 2018 – HANOI

– am – Breakfast at the hotel
– Final Free Day – A great opportunity to do any last minute shopping, sightseeing or just relaxing.
Hanoi Discovery Suggestions:
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

RELAX – Enjoy the views of Hoan Kiem Lake with a final stroll around the lake and over the bright-red Huc Bridge, before relaxing at one of Hanoi’s Parisian-style villa cafes.
ACCOMMODATION – Hotel de L’Opera Hanoi

(Included Meals – B,D)

Day 13 – Friday 06 April 2018 – HANOI – FINAL DAY

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 Private Hotel Airport Transfer to suit your flight departure time.
HOW TO BOOK
If you are able to join us on this special “Discover Vietnam” Luxury Cuisine & Culture Experience to Vietnam, please contact us on 08 9228 0507 or email nico@urbanprovider.com.au to secure your places and request a Booking Form or please download the following “Discover Vietnam” Booking Form (PDF) – 2018 Discover Vietnam Booking Form
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:
HOW TO BOOK
Booking Deposit: An $AUD800 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.
Final Payment: Payment in full is required at least 90 days prior to departure. (Final Payment Due: December 20th 2017)
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