Exotic Culinary Tours
There are few better ways to understand a new place than by tasting—and cooking—its food.
Following the S-shape curve of the country from north to south, Artisans of Leisure’s private, custom Vietnam for Foodies tours take in both cultural and gustatory attractions along the way. Trips start in Hanoi, where guests explore the city’s famed markets, colonial architecture, historical sites and French-influenced restaurants. Next they hop on a traditional junk for a sail across Halong Bay, whose waters teem with prawns, oysters, squid and snapper that are staples of the local cuisine. Visits to the former imperial city of Hue, a vegetarian Buddhist monastery and the herb farms around Hoi An follow (participants pick lemongrass, basil and cilantro and use them to make fresh spring rolls). The final stop, in Saigon, includes both chef-led cooking classes and a street-food tour—and boundless opportunities for trying snacks like banh mi, pho (spicy noodle soup), goi du du (green papaya salad) and banh xeo (rice pancakes with pork and shrimp). 11-day trips (by appointment), from $6,810; 800-214-8144; artisansofleisure.com.