WHY IT RATES: Pacific Delight has overhauled its culinary experiences in Southeast Asia with the launch of a new Vietnam itinerary. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer
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After developing specialized niche culinary programs for kosher and gluten-free travelers, Pacific Delight Tours is implementing a complete overhaul of its Southeast Asia program beginning with an introduction to Vietnam’s Culinary Delights.
The new 12-day program launches in March 2019 and will feature a foodie-driven approach to exploring the Vietnamese cultural centers of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh as well as UNESCO-recognized Hoi An and Ha Long Bay.
The program begins in Hanoi where, in addition to seeing fascinating temples, pagodas, palaces and iconic landmarks such as the Temple of Literature, passengers will learn about authentic local culinary techniques from a Vietnamese celebrity chef.
Chef Anh Tuyet, who rose to fame in the U.S. when the late Anthony Bourdain praised her grilled honey chicken as one of the best Vietnamese dishes he ever tasted, will introduce passengers to Hanoi’s famous street food culture where they can sample aromatic dishes such as rice vermicelli, fresh papaya salad and classic pho noodle soup.
The gastronomic experience continues onboard a luxury cruise through Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where a cooking demonstration by the ship’s chef will complement the majestic limestone formations for which the destination is most revered.
In Hoi An, travelers will delve deeply into the culinary scene of the well preserved port city which achieved UNESCO World Heritage classification in 1999. Activities will include an afternoon cruise through Water Coconut Forest, an introduction to organic farming methods which have revolutionized local agriculture and an opportunity to learn how to cast a net to catch fish, shrimp and crabs from a local fisherman onboard a traditional Vietnamese sampan.
A hands-on cooking class will be followed by dinner in a bamboo house overlooking sights of the river and rice paddies, as vacationers will get to taste the fruits of their labor.
The tour concludes in Ho Chi Minh (also known as Saigon), where travelers will sample traditional Vietnamese iced coffee in the city’s oldest coffee shop dating back seven decades.
They will also experience Ho Chi Minh by street lamp with a nightlife tour on a vintage Vespa that begins with drinks at the popular Zoom Cafe and culminates with a delectable barbecue featuring fresh spring rolls accompanied by the sounds of live unplugged music for a fully immersive experience.
In addition to exploring the regional cuisine of Vietnam’s most populous southern city, guests will trace the footsteps of Vietcong soldiers through the Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground network connecting command posts, hospitals and weapons factories that was never discovered by American forces during the Vietnam War.
The program is priced from $3,299 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes transportation throughout Vietnam, deluxe hotel accommodations and all meals and activities outlined on the itinerary. International airfare is not included but can be purchased from Pacific Delight Tours and arranged at the time of booking.
For more information or to book, contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179 or visit PacificDelightTours.com.
SOURCE: Pacific Delight Tours press release.