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Asia Transpacific Journeys

Hands-on Tour de Gourmet

Culinary Journey to Vietnam

Boulder, CO - March 8, 2011- Vietnamese cuisine is renowned amongst food lovers throughout the world, and the country hosts no shortage of great eateries, fascinating local markets and hands on culinary activities. All of this can be explored by travelers on a tour de gourmet with Asia Transpacific Journeys, which connects cuisine, culture and lifestyle through a hands-on, farm-to-table approach enjoyed by the locals themselves.

On a private Custom Journey in Vietnam, travelers get an exclusive insight into one of the world's greatest cuisines in all its marvelous variety as they traverse north to south, all the while taking in the country's greatest sights.

A customized culinary adventure should definitely include a visit to Saigon's Benthanh market, one of the city's most famous landmarks and a food lover's paradise. Travelers will be accompanied by a local chef, who will give them an in-depths insight into the Vietnamese cuisine and a mind-boggling variety of fresh and exotic local ingredients.

Also not to be missed is an informal cooking class at the wildly successful The Mermaid restaurant in Hoi An. The owner, celebrated cooking expert Ms. Vy, has appeared on national television many times and the class introduces travelers to Vietnamese cooking and exotic local dishes, such as steamed fish in banana leaf with vegetables and spices, in a fun, light-hearted and hands-on way. And the best thing is, the newly made cooking experts get to eat their delicious self-cooked meals at the end of the class!

A great way for foodies to interact with the locals and enjoy a range of fabulous homemade dishes is visiting a village market in Tra Que and purchasing a range of local ingredients, including star anise, cardamom, sesame rice paper, water spinach and banana flower.

Visiting a local village home and working together with the family chef, travelers will then learn more about the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food from scratch. Using the freshest ingredients and traditional Vietnamese utensils (still in use today), they will cook up a variety of fabulous dishes, which of course afterwards can be enjoyed in company of the family.

After some hands-on immersion, travelers can relax and savor some of the great Vietnamese delicacies such as a seven-course menu of traditional imperial cuisine featuring elaborate presentation in dynastic-era Hué, along the walls of the Forbidden Purple City, or steaming bowls of pho (beef noodle soup) and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) with locals in a crammed café in Hanoi.

Travelers will combine those and many more culinary activities with a visit to the country's most captivating sights, from Hanoi, to Halong Bay, Hué, Hoi An and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

Length: Plan 5 to 7 days with flexible departure date.