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Gastro Obscura
food & drink • 9 days, 8 nights

Vietnam: A Culinary Adventure from Hanoi to Saigon

Vietnam
Gastro Obscura
food & drink • 9 days, 8 nights

Vietnam: A Culinary Adventure from Hanoi to Saigon

Vietnam
See Dates
  • Group Size 12 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
    Moderate
  • Travel Style
    Overland Adventure
from $4,435 USD per person
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  • Implemented expansive new safety protocols
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  • Made it easier than ever to reschedule your trip

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Trip Overview
Overview

From the colorful dragon boats that glide across the Perfume River to the sparkling skyscrapers that tower over Saigon, Vietnam is home to a breathtaking assortment of architectural and natural wonders. But what you see is only half the story—there’s a world of history, culture, and tradition that’s best experienced through taste, not to mention what’s arguably the best street food on the planet. On this nine-day journey, we’ll explore the country through its unique cuisine, tasting our way across north, central, and south Vietnam by way of steaming pork belly meatballs in Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the white rose dumplings of Hoi An. Along the way, we’ll learn from local chefs, sample street eats, and savor freshly caught seafood. Between bites, we’ll meet with artists, authors, veterans, and friends to learn about the history of these different regions. Come with an eager palate, an empty stomach, and, possibly, a flexible return ticket—once you’ve had a taste of this place, it’s difficult to say goodbye.

Gastro Obscura Trips: inspiring wonder and curiosity about the world through food and drink.

Highlights
  • Distinct flavors of north, central, and south Vietnam
  • Street eats, soup stalls, and outdoor markets
  • Hands-on cooking classes with local chefs
  • Conversations with local artists, journalists, veterans, and more

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
Vietnam

Trip Leaders

Cahn Nguyen
Born in Hanoi, Cahn has led culinary trips in his hometown and throughout Vietnam for over 15 years. Growing up, he wanted to be a chef, but the open road won him over. An expert on street food and skilled cook, Cahn knows not only the best places for pho, but the finest details about ingredients, preparation, and regional styles. A notorious joker, Cahn is always up for a good laugh and while passing soup shops can be heard saying, “What the pho?,” which also is a helpful reminder how to pronounce pho.
Duc Can Do
A Hanoian by birth, Duc has guided trips in North Vietnam for over 20 years, specializing in cuisine. His particular interest is wet markets, where Duc—or “Duke”—says one can discover the most authentic sights and sounds of Vietnam. He's also a passionate explorer of Vietnam's fabulous “street buffets,” where one can learn the most about regional herbs and cooking styles, rather than in more formal restaurants. When not hosting travelers, Duc likes to imitate his hero, Lionel Messi, on the local fields in Hanoi.

Additional Info

Pricing

The listed price of this trip is per person based on double occupancy. Internal flight costs are charged at a supplemental cost of $280 per person. If taking the Angkor Wat extension, the total price per person is $1,250 based on double occupancy, plus an internal flight supplemental cost of $220 per person. 

*For our December 22, 2022 departure, the Angkor Wat extension price is $1370 per person based on double occupancy. 

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $530 (An additional $360 if taking the extension). After booking your trip, please request a single room when you fill out your traveler information form and we’ll send a separate invoice for the cost.

*For our December 22, 2022 departure, have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $575 (An additional $380 if taking the extension). 

Arrival & Departure

When planning your travel, we recommend that you arrive in Hanoi by 3 p.m. on Day 1 and depart from Ho Chi Minh City anytime on Day 9 (or, if taking the extension, depart from Siem Reap, Cambodia, anytime after 5 p.m. on Day 12). If you'd like assistance booking flights, let us know and we'll connect you to our flight specialists.

Activity Level

This trip is fairly active; travelers should feel comfortable walking three to five miles over the course of each day, and remaining on their feet for long periods of time. Several parts of the tour involve some longer walks, including up and down stairs and on uneven ground. There will also be an optional cycling opportunity in the countryside.

Included
  • Accommodation in modern, well-equipped hotels.
  • All meals listed in the itinerary.
  • Experienced, bilingual local guides to accompany you for the duration of the trip, as well as special guests throughout.
  • Transportation throughout the trip. Travel throughout Vietnam will be by private, comfortable minibuses.
  • Admission to all proposed activities and experiences.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura travelers, excited to explore all that Vietnam has to offer!
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue.
  • Special access to unique places and extraordinary experiences.
Excluded
  • Internal flight from Hanoi to Hue on Day 4.
  • Internal flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap (if taking the Angkor Wat Extension).  
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings.
  • Airport transfers (recommendations for travel between the airport and our accommodations will be provided).
  • If applicable, applying for a Vietnam visa. 
  • Pre- and post-trip accommodations.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Covid-19 testing requirements. 
  • Customary gratuities for the trip leader, local guides, and drivers.
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Trip FAQ

As long as you give us advance notice, we can happily arrange alternatives. There are lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.Vietnam is a largely Buddhist society, so vegetarianism is common; you can expect stir-fried dishes, often with bok choy, carrots, and other vegetables, served with steamed or sticky rice. (Not to mention Vietnam’s French fries are out of this world—the best you'll ever taste!) For examples of other dietary options, feel free to reach out to us. 

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Upcoming Departures

  • Nov 19–Nov 27, 2022
    from $4,435
    Few Spots Left
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  • Dec 22–Dec 30, 2022
    from $4,860
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  • Feb 18–Feb 26, 2023
    from $4,435
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  • Mar 11–Mar 19, 2023
    from $4,435
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  • May 27–Jun 4, 2023
    from $4,435
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