(Bangkok, Chiang Mai)
(Hanoi, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City)
Pamper your palate with this exotic gourmet culinary tour of Thailand and Vietnam. A fascinating blend of diverse cultures, explore the historical highlights and hotspots of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City with the comfort of expert private guide. Learn about the cultural significance and time-honoured traditions behind the diverse cuisines of each delicious destination. Participate in a variety of cooking lessons, explore exotic food stalls with local experts, fish in Hoi An - then cook your catch, shop South East Asia’s largest weekend market, pilgrimage ancient temples and much more. This appetizing adventure features tasty cafes, fabulous restaurants, award winning chefs, inspiring art and stunning tropical beaches. Enjoy the city, countryside and all the delicious culinary and cultural highlights of South East Asia – Active and appetizing, this adventure is sure to please!
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
This tour showcases three of the most stunning temples Bangkok has to offer. You will visit Wat Traimit with its 5.5 ton Golden Buddha and Wat Po, which boasts the impressive reclining Buddha. Wat Po is also regarded as the first center of public education and is sometimes referred to as ‘Thailand’s first university’. Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple educated people on varied subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, meditation, and is considered to be home of the Thai traditional massage. The tour will end with a visit to the Wat Benchamaborpit (also known as the Marble Temple), a representation of an outstanding success of marriage between Italian Carrara marble and classical Thai architecture.
After being picked up at your hotel, your guide will accompany you on a private transfer to China Town, a district full of traditional, cultural, and excellent food. Bangkok is an amazing city for its culinary side of life and there is no better place that showcases this than its myriad of street food stalls. Discover delicious and amazing tastes of authentic Thai food at Chinatown, locally called Yaowarat. Taste a variety of dishes such as Hong Kong noodles, dim-sum (pan-fried taro cake, steamed pork rib with preserved soya bean), grilled jumbo prawn with Thai seafood chili sauce, fried battered mussels, Chinese bun, traditional Chinese herbal drink, black sesame dumpling in ginger tea, and Thai tropical seasonal fruit. (Subject to change due to local condition). After the tour you will be brought back to your hotel.
Spend half of the day visiting Southeast Asia's largest open-air market, Chatuchak. Open only on Saturday and Sunday, this market spans many miles, and is the perfect place to barter for souvenirs, eat some truly authentic Thai street food, or simply sit back, grab a drink, and watch the excitement. Your guide will accompany you through the maze of stalls and help you with your haggling skills.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
This morning’s tour will take you on one of the most unique experiences in Thailand, a visit to a Buddhist temple to offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Each morning before dawn the monks put on their distinctive saffron robes and quietly pad in their bare feet along the streets, carrying alms bowls and receiving boiled rice and condiments from the citizens of Thailand. In return people receive the monk’s blessings. You can participate in this very special Thai custom by personally presenting alms; a brief exploration at the Sri Soda temple may be made as well, religious festivals permitting, including seeing the monks pray in the early morning.
Today you will go to a Lanna style school located in a countryside village, just 15 minutes from the city of Chiang Mai. The school offers lessons on how to cook delicious Thai food, Thai sweets, fruit carving, and presentation. When cooking Thai food, various local spices that enhance your health and physical well-being are used as ingredients. It's the ideal school to learn how to cook Thai food to preserve it for generations to come. The atmosphere surrounding the school is filled with warmth, sympathy, and helpfulness, all representing ancient, traditional Lanna custom and culture.
The two ancient cities of Lampang and Lamphun are located in the southern Chiang Mai region. One of the interesting highlights of this tour is a visit to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. It was founded in 1993 under Royal Patronage, and cares for more than 50 Asian elephants in a beautiful forest with a relaxed non-commercial feel. Here you will learn how to care for an elephant and experience a one-hour jungle ride on top one of these majestic animals. After a delicious local lunch, the tour heads back towards Chiang Mai, stopping at Lamphun. Steeped in a history that dates back to A.D. 700, Lamphun is famous for several ancient and revered temples. Among them is Wat Prathat Hariphunchai, built in A.D. 1044 at the site of the ruins of the Royal Palace, and Wat Jamathevi, named after a 7th century queen and founder of Lampoon. Her ashes are interred in the main stupa of the Wat. The trip concludes with a fascinating ride along the old Lampoon-Chiang Mai Road.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Hanoi, Vietnam via Bangkok.
Welcome to Vietnam! Please be sure that your visa has been pre-arranged, or that your visa-on-arrival letter is in your carry-on luggage. These documents will be presented to customs at your first point of entry into the country.
Today, you will take a walking tour that explores the French Quarter through the ideas of its architects and the shape of its stones with your own English speaking guide. It's set in the time from the unraveling of all the threads of civilization, which have left their mark on the area, beginning with recent reminders of Soviet style. Just around the corner, discover a different world altogether as you visit the Buddhist pagoda of Quan Su, the center of Vietnamese Buddhism and Tran Hung Dao streets. You will learn about the French approach to justice and punishment and hear tales of daring Vietnamese resistance to the repressive regime. End the tour with a nice cup of Vietnamese coffee.
Daniel, your guide and chef, will meet you in the morning at your hotel with a private vehicle and driver. Start the tour with a typical Vietnamese breakfast. During breakfast, Daniel will give an overview of the Vietnamese food scene, particularly in Hanoi, and discuss the upcoming day’s activities. Then, drive to either the Hôm market or Châu Long market to learn about and taste some of the ingredients used in the local cuisine and to watch the buying and selling rituals of a Vietnamese market. Daniel will introduce you to some of the vendors, explain about the ingredients for sale, and assist you with purchasing items to take home. Mid-morning, enjoy a Vietnamese Cà Phê (coffee) or Trà (tea) with the locals at one of Daniel’s favourite sidewalk cafés, in the historic French Quarter. Drive (or walk) to Trúc Bạch Lake for a snack of Phở Cuốn, a grilled beef and rice noodle roll with fresh herbs and dipping sauce, along with several other favourite local snacks. Visit another neighbourhood market or one of Hanoi’s iconic treasures like the Temple of Literature. Lunch with Daniel will be at one of Hanoi’s Bún Chả establishments, to enjoy traditional grilled pork and rice vermicelli noodles with fresh herbs, greens, and crispy spring rolls (Nem Ràn) like true Hanoians. A final stop will be made at one of Hanoi’s renowned Bia Hoi, where they serve fresh draft beer and tasty snacks. Daniel will also give you some recommendations as to dining around Hanoi and the rest of the country.
Fly from Hanoi to Danang. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Transfer from Hoi An to Danang with with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 40 minutes.
Enjoy this private guided tour to CamKim Fishing Village. Here you will see the sights along the river and learn how to fish with the traditional methods of the Mekong. You will be instructed how to row a boat, spread a net, and catch fish. Afterwards head to a local restaurant and prepare your catch. Return to Cua Dai to take photographs and watch the sunset or to go to the Bay Mau coconut forest in the Thuan Tinh eco- tourism zone.
In the morning, you will be met by your English speaking guide at your hotel who will take you on a half day cooking class. Take a walking tour through the market where you will be shown all the fresh ingredients that would be used in typical Vietnamese recipes. After the market tour, a 25 minute boat ride will take you across the Hoi An River. Take sight of the fishermen casting their nets up along the river while on your way to the cooking school. Upon arrival, walk towards the cooking school. The lesson will begin in an open-air pavilion next to the river where Chef Thanh will teach you how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes. Afterwards, relax and enjoy the lunch that you have prepared.
Fly from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You will be picked up by private car with an English speaking guide and transferred to the Mandarin Restaurant that offers a great Vietnamese menu. The restaurant is located on a quiet side street between busy Le Than Thon and the river, cross the threshold at Mandarin and then you enter a quaint, elegant oasis that will have you forgetting the seething city outside. Decor is an upscale Chinese motif with timber beams, fine Chinese screen paintings, and artwork on two open-plan floors. It's plush but not stuffy, and you'll feel comfortable in casual clothes or a suit.
Understanding Vietnamese cuisine is a great way to experience the culture of this fascinating country. Vietnamese food is healthy, simple to cook, and delicious. This half day tour gives you a hands-on lesson on how to shop and cook authentic Vietnamese cuisine. You will be picked up at your hotel and greeted by your chef at the local Ben Thanh market where you will learn more about the ingredients, Vietnamese herbs, and spices. This cooking class is held in a wonderful traditional setting. After all that hard work, enjoy your meal!
You will be met by your English speaking guide at your hotel and taken to the War Remnants Museum, which features a comprehensive collection of the machinery, weapons, photos, and documentation of Vietnam's wars with the both the French and Americans. The exhibit begins with a room listing war facts such as troop numbers, bomb tonnage, and statistics on international involvement in the conflict, including numbers of casualties on both sides. Your visit will also include exhibits dedicated to the journalists who were lost during the war as well as biological warfare, weaponry, and worldwide movements for peace. Continue the tour to the Reunification Palace, which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Afterwards, stop at Ben Thanh Market for a shopping experience.
Welcome to the Ariyasom Villa located in the heart of Bangkok – step back in time to a more leisurely lifestyle. The villa was built in 1942 and is still in the hands of the original family who built it. With beautifully appointed rooms and suites, Na Aroon Restaurant, room service, swimming pool, spa, library, and meditation hall makes them well equipped to look after guests while they stay in the "City of Angels".
Tamarind Village is a unique and charming boutique property that nestles in the heart of historic Chiang Mai. Surrounded by ancient temples and quaint shopping streets, it takes its name from the magnificent 200 year old tamarind tree that shelters the hotel. Set around a series of garden courtyards, the guest rooms and suites reflect the rich ethnic diversity of northern Thailand by using fabrics and patterns drawn from various tribes of the region. Intimate, serene and relaxing, Tamarind Village is an oasis of calm and tranquility, the perfect base for exploring Chiang Mai and beyond.
The Silk Path is located in the heart of the charming old quarter of Hanoi, which has countless tourist attractions, government and diplomatic institutions, as well as proximity to the business district of the city. With the hotel's 106 well-appointed exclusively designed rooms and suites, it is no surprise that Silk Hotel is a preference choice of a traveler. The hotel has a 2 level restaurant with private dining rooms, a unique bar, and a fitness center and sauna. Silk Path Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay with all luxury amenities within reach.
At Anantara Hoi An Resort experience an idyllic blend of riverside relaxation in Anantara luxury, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on your doorstep, and beautiful beach life just a short bicycle or boat ride away. Scenically positioned on the banks of the Thu Bon River, Anantara Hoi An Resort is a charming boutique retreat in the historic port town of Hoi An. Designed with French, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese influences that reveal Hoi An’s fascinating cultural diversity, split level rooms and suites open onto porches with comfortable daybeds, overlooking the river or a garden courtyard. Delve into Vietnamese culture with language, savour authentic local dishes and popular world flavours in elegant and casual settings beside the river. Meet up at the heritage inspired wine bar for an atmospheric view of Hoi An’s street life or laze by the pool and let the staff bring an exotic cocktail to your sun bed.
The Renaissance Riverside is located in the heart of Saigon's business district, the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon offers first-class hospitality, comfortable rooms and modern amenities. After a long day, relax at the poolside terrace or enjoy a leisurely dinner at Kabin, known as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the city. Take a dip in the rooftop pool and visit the Health Club for an invigorating workout with the latest gym equipment. Otherwise, simply enjoy the incredible views of the Saigon River and stroll to museums, galleries and other area attractions. You’ll find that the hotel’s central location, panoramic views and impeccable service makes this the ideal place to stay while visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
Maynard Fossum ,
December 12, 2014
"My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure. "
Craig Gelman ,
December 12, 2014
"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent. "
Ruth Reinhard ,
December 12, 2014
"The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience."
SixtoCastenada Jr. ,
December 12, 2014
"100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!"
December 12, 2014
"We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken."
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
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