The Living Cookbook: A Writing and Food Tour of Vietnam

Ever since being blessed by Anthony Bourdain, Vietnamese cuisine has become famous the world over. Pho, Bánh mì, Bánh xèo,  what once were regional delicacies appear in food trucks and high-end restaurants around the world.

On this tour, we aim to reconnect you to the roots of Vietnamese food through your own hands, as we will be pairing you with some of Vietnam’s best chefs, writers, and photographers to create a one of a kind cookbook.

Along the way we will document your journey, recording your interactions with these culinary ambassadors, photographing you as you cook and transcribing their recipes. Upon your return home you will be presented with a one of a kind gift: A cookbook, featuring you as the head chef, containing photos of the food and recipes from your time in Vietnam.



Upon arrival to Noi Bai International Airport, your tour guide and driver will meet you then transfer you to your hotel for check in and relax.

This afternoon, your tour guide will meet you again at 3.30PM and accompany you with a short walk to Mrs. Anh Tuyet Restaurant for a cooking class. It’s a small but cosy and well decorated restaurant. All the traditional northern Vietnamese bourgeois cuisine can be found here, prepared by the famous chef, Mrs. Anh Tuyet.

Mrs. Anh Tuyet, the owner of the restaurant, is a culinary artist. She is familiar to those who love the traditional cuisine of Hanoi. As a 7th generation of an origin family in Hanoi, Mrs. Anh Tuyet is lucky to inherit cooking ingenuity of her grandmother. At the age of 9, Anh Tuyet was shown how to choose fresh vegetables to create delicious and healthy dishes. In the 1930s her grandma was a cook for the French colonialists. She used to help her, and learned cooking skills from her.

Firstly, you will have a tour to Hang Be market. It is a typical market of Vietnam, ranked number 1 and named as “high-ranking” market (for the rich of Hanoi). Thus, foods are carefully selected by the sellers right from the very first stages. Vegetables of all kinds are fresh. You can select ingredients by yourselves and be explained on what is the key for a good dish and food hygiene safety.

Hanoi is famous for many special kinds of spices thanks to its four-season climate. You will be shown different kinds of mint vegetables and guided how to differentiate those kinds through smelling. You will buy fresh ingredients from market and then back to the ancient house for an instruction on preliminary treatment and soaking. Then comes the practice on actual cooking.

You will hand on and cook by yourself the dishes: green papaya salad, steam fish with 5 different spices and fried spring roll. And then you will enjoy 3 dishes you just cook and the restaurant will offer you 2 more dishes are: chicken roasted with honey (very famous in restaurant) and fried banana.

After dinner with your cook, you will wash your hand by herb (very special), that is a traditional way of Master chef Anh Tuyet’s family, and you are given a certificate of Mrs. Anh Tuyet. Say goodbye to Mrs. Anh Tuyet, you will walk back to your hotel.



Overnight in Hanoi


9.00AM: Your tour guide will pick you at your hotel then you will leave behind all the noise of the city to visit a peaceful village outside of Hanoi. You will be very welcome by a girl also the host. She will bring you to visit a traditional house and a bonsai garden. When you drink a cup of tea, she will introduce the tour program and other activities today.

Firstly you will visit the village by bicycles. The tour will start with visiting the pagoda of Thuy Linh village, the most important place of local residents. Then you will be directed to a local market where all the villagers gather to exchange their agricultural products. The host will also aid you in choosing materials for your cooking program. Following the rhythm of bicycles pedal, you will come to vegetable fields and fruit farms. Stopping by here to taste season fruits and to take pictures while you can have a chit-chat with local sellers.

Return to the house. Together with the host, you will start your cooking course, the set menu and the prepared materials are ready for Vietnamese specialties. This course is not only a show, but is a real exploration because you are cooking your own food from the beginning to the end.



Lastly, enjoy your food! Enjoy your hard-work results in an adventurous space, sharing and happiness! The tour will be finished with learning about a weaving handcraft. After watching the guidance, you will practice making your own bamboo basket with the host aid and support.

Overnight in Hanoi


Departure Your tour guide and driver will meet you at your hotel then transfer you to the airport for your flight to Danang.

Upon arrival in Danang, you will be picked up at the airport for transfer to your hotel in Hoi An. The rest of day is free at your leisure



Hoi An Ancient Town

Trần Quang Khải, Thành phố Hội An, Quảng Nam, VN

Overnight in Hoi An


8.00AM your driver will meet you at your hotel then transfer you to Vy’s Market Restaurant for another cooking day to learn about the foods of Hoi An with Chef Vy. Mrs. Vy has over 30 years experience in the kitchen – the first 11 of which were in her parents’ restaurant followed later by her own. Over this time, Ms Vy has gathered an unrivaled repertoire of Vietnamese dishes. Being born and raised in Hoi An, Vietnam’s most cosmopolitan merchant city – Mrs Vy was also blessed with having parents from the North and South. This allowed Vy to acquire the whole picture of cuisine from the length of the country, which can differ greatly from region to region.

Arrive at the restaurant, you will start visiting Hoi An’s colorful and bustling central market by boat in small groups with an English speaking tour guide where you will




Today, you will have a chance to explore the wonderful Hoi An river culture and daily life while you immerse yourself in Hoi An food culture.

This tour isn’t only about eating delicious food, it is about enjoying it the traditional way: “an com gia dinh” literally translated as the family meal, or family eating rice. Sharing a family meal is the foundation of Vietnamese culture.The real treasure in Vietnamese food isn’t the combination of the dishes, it is about sharing.Communal serving platters prepared for everyone to enjoy, the group sits around the table to share the meal. It is polite and respectful to place food in each other’s bowls: younger to elders and hosts to guests and enjoy long conversation and family time while the meal is eaten. There is no hurry at all. It is about taking time and enjoying each other’s company and hearing the news of the day.

There is no better place to enjoy a family meal than on our Chic boats. Our boats are traditional Vietnamese fishing vessels that have been refurbished to the highest standards and designed specifically for cooking and dining on board. Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest in the world using fresh ingredients that are low in fat. Enjoy the balanced combination of sweet, savory, crunchy and smooth textures in each dish.

Your tour begins when our US Military jeep collects you at your hotel to take you to the Chic boat. This tour operates for 3.5 hours, starting at 10.30am. Embarking, it is time to relax and enjoy the romance of the river. Perhaps enjoy a glass of wine? Watch the local people go about their daily lives in Tra Nhieu village and explore the river coconut forest. After exploring the stunning river and its river culture we sit to savor the freshly made dishes “an com gia dinh”. Your meal is accompanied by some of our local wines and to be enjoyed in an unhurried and relaxed manner. On arrival in Hoi An, your jeep will be waiting to return you to your hotel.

Optional activities: 1 hour biking in Duy Hai village or 1 hour kayak/padding a traditional coracle boat




Overnight in Hoi An



Flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Your tour guide will come to pick you up at your hotel then transfer you to Danang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by your tour guide and driver.


Saigon After Dark tour

Time: 18:00 – 22:00
Pick up at hotel and first stop is to Café zoom to “watch the world goes by” (quoted by The Lonely Planet) and enjoy cocktail and appetizer (inclusive) before adventuring into favorite local eating spot. Guests experience the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. The tour will start with a ride to part Chinatown and then heading to District 4 through busy streets and alleys to see the night life of locals and enjoy street sea- food and cold drinks, places that foreigner won’t be found. Leaving district 4 to district 3 the tour pass through downtown district 1 to take in the sights on the way to Banh Xeo, specialty of Saigon, and southern food with the locals. Then the tour will continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop to have a taste of Vietnamese music (live) as a local. After this the tour will bring guest to a lively bar to enjoy the drinks with live music. Guests ride pillion behind our drivers.

– Guide during the Vespa tour is from the Vespa team, who is also the drivers;
– The Vespa tour includes guide as drivers, street food (2 stops), Bar and café (3 stops) and at least one drink at each stop.





Overnight in Saigon


Travel back in time to experience the true Vietnam by joining us on a scenic trip through the countryside of the south. While most visitors to Vietnam inevitably visit the chaotic major cities, most of the population of Vietnam resides in small rural communities and follows a simpler traditional lifestyle.

7.30AM: Our tour starts when your tour guide picks you up at your hotel. We then travel to a local morning market where you will get a chance to enjoy a traditional breakfast as well as sample many local delights. We will also purchase some exotic fruits of your choice for you to enjoy during our full day tour. Next we will begin our journey to the countryside, making stops along the way for you to take pictures and get a closer look.

We will then arrive at the cooking school farm where you will be given a tour of some of the traditional crops there and also pick out the recipe you wish to make. You will harvest all of the ingredients you need for your dishes. Our professionally trained chef will teach you how to make your dish using local techniques. After finishing your class you will sit down and enjoy your meal.

We will then depart from the cooking school and travel to a traditional rice farm. Once there you will be greeted by a fresh coconut and given a tour of the farm. The



farmers will then demonstrate the making of some of the famous rice based products in the countryside such as rice paper, rice wine, and rice cakes. We will then depart back to the city making a quick stop along the way for a refreshing fruit smoothie. We will then drop you back at your hotel.

Overnight in Saigon


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