Key Info

For more information contact us on +44 (0) 7414 00 66 03paul@greigsmithtravels.com

Greig Smith Travels Ltd. Registered Company Number 7786310.

Travel Trust Association No: U9657

32 Drake Road, Chafford Hundred, Essex, RM16 6PS. UK

No portion of this website may be reproduced without the prior consent of Greig Smith Travels Ltd. All rights reserved.

Highlights

Stroll through the Old Quarter of Hanoi & stay in the city’s finest hotel


Explore the colourful markets of Hanoi & Saigon with Jo Lee as your expert guide, sourcing the freshest ingredients with which to use in your culinary classes. Jo, together with talented local chefs will teach you the finer points of Asian cuisine.


Visit small villages and cook authentic local dishes in traditional Vietnamese & Cambodian homes


Cruise in style throughout the hauntingly beautiful  limestone karst islands of Halong Bay aboard a luxury Junk ship.


Take in the beautiful classical architecture of Hue


Wander through the lantern lit streets of the picturesque riverside town of Hoi An


Relax in complete pampered luxury in one of Asia’s most luxurious beach hotels overlooking the South China Sea.


Visit the floating markets of the Mekong Delta


Explore the ruins of the temples of Angkok and enjoy sundowner drinks as the sun sets over Angkor Wat.

Luxury Culinary Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia with Eurasia Chef Jo Lee

The talented Asian chef, Jo Lee will be leading this culinary odyssey throughout Vietnam and Cambodia.  Under Jo’s expert guidance as well as that of renowned local chefs, you will source the freshest produce from bustling markets and then use them to create delicious and authentic local speciality dishes. In addition to receiving culinary guidance you will be able to explore some of the most impressive cultural, historical and natural sights that Vietnam & Cambodia have to offer.


From the old quarter of Hanoi to the vibrant city of Saigon, from the classical architecture and history of Hue to the lantern filled streets of Hoi An, this is a once in a lifetime journey. We will also cruise in style throughout the stunningly beautiful Halong Bay aboard a luxury junk ship, as well as explore the myriad waterways of the Mekong Delta before moving on to explore the majestic temples of Angkor, from Angkor Wat to the jungle temple of Tha Prohm.


Throughout this epic journey, we shall be staying in the very finest hotels throughout the region. Whether you seriously wish to improve your culinary skills, or just wish to enjoy fantastic Asian cuisine and have the holiday of a lifetime, then get in touch to reserve  your space.


Hotels used (5star option)

GROUP DEPARTS FOR FOR HANOI - 20th Nov 2013


Day 1- 21 Nov 2013: Arrive in Hanoi

Arrive at Noi Bai International Airport, pick up and transfer to your selected hotel. Jo Lee will give you a tour briefing and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax and recouperate after your flight.

Overnight in Hanoi


Day 2 - 22 Nov 2013: Hanoi – Authentic home lunch at Moon Garden (B/L)

After breakfast, transfer by road to west of Hanoi to Ky Son Village – 55 km from Hanoi, a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River Delta.

Arrive in Ky Son Village, transfer to Moon Garden where you will take part in a private  Cooking Class that is very unique in the North of Vietnam.

Afterwards enjoy the lunch you have prepared


In the afternoon, bike ride through ritual paths to discover the Cam Cao Village, Mia Pagoda, Duong Lam Ancient village and Ngo Quyen Tomb.

Transfer back Hanoi in the late afternoon

Overnight in Hanoi


Day 3 - 23 Nov 2013: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)

At 8.30AM, depart from your hotel in Hanoi. Take 3.5 hour drive to Ha Long Bay, one of the World Natural Heritages recognized by UNESCO with over 3,000 spectacular limestone islands rising from the clear, emerald sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. Upon arrival, welcome aboard. Enjoy welcome drink before checking in at your cabin. While the junk is passing many rocky islets, caves, floating villages and beaches, your lunch will be served on board with fresh seafood. Explore Surprise Cave- one of the most beautiful ones of the bay. Free time afterwards for swimming or relaxing on the sundeck. Later on, the junk moves a quiet area to dock for overnight stay. Dinner with Vietnamese food is served on board.  

Overnight on board


Day 4- 24 Nov 2013: Halong Bay – Hanoi (Brunch)

                                   Hanoi - Hue (the flight to be advised/ economy)

Early morning practice Tai Chi on the sundeck and admire the sunrise. Breakfast or brunch is served while the junk cruises back from Ha Long Bay. Ready to disembark and transfer back Hanoi for relax before transfer to the airport for flight to Hue.

Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to your selected hotel.

Overnight in Hue



Day 5 - 25 Nov 2013: Hue – Cooking Class at Tha Om Garden house & half day city tour (B/L)





In the morning, you’ll be escorted by your guide to Tha Om Garden house. A replica of a 19th century Hue residence, the house which situates in a charming garden which contains a variety of trees, plants and a lotus pond and offers an opportunity to relax and enjoy traditional Vietnamese hospitality. It’s a complex of adjoining rooms including bedrooms, living quarters and a room dedicated to ancestral worship. You’ll join a cooking class of Hue’s cuisines with the owner who is a talented cook. Lunch is served with the dishes you’ve just cooked by yourself.


In the afternoon, transfer to visit the Imperial Citadel where Kings of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, including Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns, Forbidden Purple City, etc. Then continue to visit Tomb of Tu Duc - the ‘poet Emperor’, is set in an elegant garden with a magnificent lake and pavilion complex.





Day 6 - 26 Nov 2013: Hue – Danang – Hoi An (B)

After breakfast, transfer by road to Hoi An via Danang over the scenic Hai Van pass. Upon arrival in Danang, visit Cham Museum and Marble Mountain, then transfer to your selected hotel in Hoi An

Overnight in Hoi An


Day 7 - 27 Nov 2013: Hoi An (B)

After breakfast, take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese assembly hall, a typical Vietnamese merchant’s house, one of the interesting museums and the local market. There’re numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like. The next visit is to home of a craftsman in the old streets. Here you’ll have a brief introduction to the history, shape and color of the lanterns as well as stages of making them. After that you can make a lantern by your own, decorate, pack and keep it as a souvenir of your time in Hoi An.

Afternoon is free at leisure


Day 8 - 28 Nov 2013: Hoi An/ Cooking class at Morning Glory (B/L)

Would you want to know what put into typical Central food that makes it taste so good? Venture off to a local market with Chef Mrs. Vy from Morning Glory Cooking School Center. The Chef will share how to find a fresh food, which herbs to buy and how to select the food for meal. Then get to the school – an elegant old building with a French colonial style exterior and traditional Hoi An interior.

Enjoy a fun hands-on cookery course, chat with your Chef to learn more about typical ingredients of Central Vietnamense cuisine.

Enjoy with what you have prepared with Chef.

Afternoon is free at leisure


Day 9- 29 Nov 2013: Hoi An/ Danang – Saigon (B) (the flight to be advised/ economy)

Free time until transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to your selected hotel.

In the afternoon, visit the Reunification Palace, former residence of the Indochina Governor General and later President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in April 30, 1975. The day ends with visit to Notre Dame Cathedral and the bustling Ben Thanh Market for shopping.

Overnight in Saigon










Day 10 - 30 Nov 2013: Saigon/ Cooking Class (B/L)

After breakfast, you will be accompanied by a local Chef to the vibrant Central market to select the best vegetables and other ingredients under the Chef’s guidance. Then proceed to the spacious Saigon Culinary Center for your private hands-on cooking class. Here you can see a familiar image for a traditional Vietnamese kitchen corner your favorite Vietnamese. This cooking class truly offers authentic Southern cuisine.

Enjoy the lunch you have prepared.


The rest of the day is free at leisure

Overnight in Saigon


Day 11 – 01 Dec 2013: Saigon – Mekong Delta/ Cai Be – Vinh Long - Can Tho (B/L)

Early breakfast, departure for Cai Be in the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival at Cai Be, board the Mekong Queen boat. Along the way, you will visit the puffed rice and rice paper making village and witness the colorful Cai Be floating market. Continue the boat trip through small winding canals for a close up view of lively Mekong river life.

Lunch is served at an Ancient house




In the afternoon, board our boat to Vinh Long. Upon arrival at the pier in Vinh Long, transfer by road to Can Tho

Overnight in Can Tho


Day 12 – 02 Dec 2013: Can Tho/ Cai Rang Floating Market - Chau Doc (B)

Early morning, take the Lady Hau cruise along the small and picturesque tributaries by a rowing boat, we will see the Cai Rang Floating Market - the busiest but nicest one with heaps of rowing boats. See the beautiful scenery and daily activities of the locals

Breakfast is served on the boat during cruising

Disembark at Ninh Kieu quay then continue driving to Chau Doc via Long Xuyen.


Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and relax. In the afternoon, visit the colourful Tay An Pagoda and Ba Chua Xu Temple- Southern Vietnam’s most holiest pilgrimage site. Climb up the Sam Mountain to enjoy the panorama view of the region and the sunset from its top.

Overnight in Chau Doc


Day 13 - 03 Dec 2013: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh (B) via Victoria Express boat @ 07:00/ 12:30

Early breakfast, take speed boat to Phnom Penh.


       Phnom Penh (D)

03/12/2013    Guests arrive at Phnom Penh ferry Port @ TBC

On arrival in Cambodia at Phnom Penh ferry Port, you will be met by our representative, holding a welcome sign with your name on it.

We then transfer the guests to the Hotel, where they have time to relax after their journey.  Depending on the timings we will then organise a cyclo tour of the city as they will only have a very short time in the capital.













Cyclo’s were a popular form of transport throughout Southeast Asia, the cyclo is still widely used in the Cambodian capital and is a comfortable way to see the sights. We start at Wat Phnom, symbol of the city, before heading west past the National Library.  We pass Phnom Penh train station before winding our way down to Psar Thmei, the leading market in the city. We then snake through some of the smaller back streets, including 178 St, brimming with art shops, and Bohemian 240 St with its cafes and boutiques.  We pass Independence Monument, modelled on the central tower of Angkor Wat and continue stopping to visit the infamous Tuol Sleng museum (S-21) before returning to the elegant riverfront. We pass the glittering Royal Palace compound and the stunning National Museum before winding up back at the hotel.  Guests are then free to explore the city under their own steam.

We can then arrange a welcome drink in the famous Elephant lounge followed by a Cambodian welcome dinner at the hotel so they have time to enjoy the hotels surroundings. 


Day 14        Phnom Penh - Siem Reap (B, L)

04/12/2013    We leave after breakfast and start our journey to the home of Angkor Wat and the town of Siem Reap.  We then pause in Skuon, affectionately known as 'Spiderville', where we will sample local insects and the delicacy of deep fried tarantula.  We then arrive in Siem Reap and take guests directly to lunch at 24 Square restaurant.  After a late lunch we then transfer guests to their hotel.




Guest then have a choice of relaxing in their hotel or taking a short 2hr afternoon trip to the local silk farm.  The fascinating silk farm is situated just outside of Siem Reap. Once here you get an insight into the life cycle of silk from the mulberry plants to the weaves to the finished article.  We finish off at the ‘Artisans d’Angkor’ shop where you are able to pick up some high quality traditional Cambodian silk.

Guests are then free to wander into town, explore the night market and then choose their own restaurant to eat at.   We are able to book a table for guests at either the Nest or Abacus restaurant if they wish us to and offer other restaurant suggestions.


Day 15    Siem Reap (B, L, D)

05/12/2013    We start the day with a tour of a typical Cambodian local market, where you will see locals selling indigenously grown vegetables, different fish species and other local produce.  You will be escorted by your guest chef for the day who will explain the different produce before returning to the ‘Village House’ which is located in Kompheim Village (25 mins drive from Siem reap).  It’s a traditional wooden stilt home that overlooks the rice fields in every direction.  It’s a perfect location for hosting events and will be where we will a have cooking stations set up for the guests to cook 3 different local specialties with the guide of your professional chef’s.  Due to the size of the group there will be 2 guests sharing a cooking station.  After cooking guests will sit down and enjoy their creations together.

After lunch we will then take the group to a traditional local village to experience and insight in to local life.  We visit Treak village which is home to over 230 families, half of which surviving day to day.  The village mostly consists of farmers and while Siem Reap is changing so quickly, change in these villages are slow, giving you the opportunity to see life in a typical village.  From the grounds of an ancient pagoda to vast rice fields and stilt homes this is a fabulous incite in to the real Cambodia.

    We then return back to the ‘Village House’ were you can enjoy sunset drinks and nibbles before sitting down to a 2 course Khmer buffet dinner.
After dinner guests will then be transferred back to their hotel. 

Day 16        Siem Reap (B, L, D)

06/12/2013    The group will be split in to 2 or 3 depending on the size and will be taken around the temples by a professional guide.
Rising early, we journey after breakfast out to the Mother of all temples, Angkor Wat. Believed to be the world's largest religious building, this temple is the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength to all Khmers. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, this is most famous temple at Angkor.  We begin by unravelling the mysteries of the bas-reliefs that tell of tales from Hindu mythology and of the glories of the Khmer empire. Stretching for almost one kilometre, these intricate carvings are a candidate for the world’s longest unbroken piece of art.  Following in the footsteps of the devout and the destructive before us, we then continue to the upper levels of the inner sanctuary. The final steps to the upper terrace of Angkor are the steepest of all, as pilgrims of old were to stoop on their pilgrimage to encounter the Gods. Finally the pinnacle, the sacred heart of Angkor Wat, a blend of spirituality and symmetry so perfect that few moments will measure up.





Also this morning, we continue to Ta Prohm temple, which has been abandoned to the elements, a reminder that while empires rise and fall, the riotous power of nature marches on, oblivious to the dramas of human history. Left as it was ‘discovered’ by French explorer Henri Mouhot in 1860, the tentacle-like tree roots here are slowly strangling the surviving stones, man first conquering nature to create, nature later conquering man to destroy.

In the afternoon, we visit the immense walled city of Angkor Thom that was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. Following the occupation of Angkor by the Chams from 1177 to 1181, the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress at the heart of his empire. The scale is simply staggering and we are immediately overwhelmed by the audacity of Jayavarman on arrival at the city’s gates. The causeway is lined by an intricate bridge depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk from Hindu mythology in which devas (gods) and asuras (devils) play tug of war with a naga (seven-headed serpent) to obtain the elixir of immortality.

We begin our visit at the Terrace of the Leper King. This intricately carved platform was the royal crematorium and the statue that was originally thought to be the leper king is now believed to be Yama, the god of death. We continue along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances and traditional sports. At the southern end lies the Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman in the 11th century. It has undergone a massive renovation by the French and is now once again open for viewing.

Our climax is the enigmatic and enchanting temple of the Bayon. At the exact centre of Angkor Thom, this is an eccentric expression of the creative genius and inflated ego of Cambodia’s most celebrated king. Its 54 towers are each topped off with the four faces of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion), which bear more than a passing resemblance to the king himself. These colossal heads stare down from every side, exuding power and control with a hint of compassion, just the mix required to keep a hold on such a vast empire. Before clambering upwards, we unravel the mysteries of the bas-reliefs, with their intricate scenes of ancient battles against the Chams and their snapshot of daily life during the Angkor period.

We end your time in Siem Reap with the fabulous and unique ‘Smile of Angkor’ stage show.  Showcasing Cambodian history through a big stage dance and cultural show.  You will be picked up from your hotel at 6pm so you have plenty of time to enjoy the elaborate buffet dinner with an array of choice.  This is then followed by the show performance at 7:15pm.  You will then be picked up and transferred back to your hotel or into town at 8:45pm, for you to enjoy the rest of the evening as you wish.


Day 17        Siem Reap to Bangkok (B)

07/12/2013    Guests are free until we pick them up in plenty of time before transferring them to the airport.




07 Dec 2013: Arrive in Bangkok (D)


Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, pick up and transfer to your hotel

Dinner at Local restaurant

Overnight in Bangkok


Day 18 - 08 Dec 2013: Bangkok departure (B) (the flight to be advised)

Free time until transfer to the airport for your departure flight back home.



Vietnam & Bangkok Tour Includes

  1. Accommodation with daily breakfast as mentioned

  2. 4 & 5 Star accommodation throughout the tour

  3. Transfer services in a private air conditioned vehicle

  4. Entrance fees, other boat fees where applicable

  5. Victoria speed boat Chau Doc – Phnom Penh (join-in)

  6. Cooking classes as in the program

  7. Meals as listed in the program B= Breakfast; L= Lunch & D = Dinner: pre-arranged at local restaurants based on local food with set menu.

  8. Tours with local English speaking guide

  9. Mineral water & tissue on day tour

  10. Guiding services & culinary tuition of Jo Lee throughout the tour



Vietnam & Bangkok Tour Excludes:

  1. Drinks and other meals not clearly mentioned

  2. Surcharge for special request on food, and meals.

  3. Entrance fees, permits and guide service during free time.

  4. Insurance, gratuities and personal expenses

  5. Surcharge for public holidays (if any)

  6. Internal airfares in the tour (please refer to the supplement quotation)

  7. International airfare from/to Vietnam

  8. International airport departure tax

  9. Visa handling fee, visa stamp fee.

  10. Personal expenses such as Bar, telephone & Laundry bills

  11. All other service not stated in the program


Cambodia Tour Includes

  1. Transfers as mentioned in a private air con vehicle for the group

  2. Overnights as mentioned in 5 star accommodation

  3. Guiding services & culinary tuition from Jo Lee

  4. internal airfares as per itinerary

  5. Excursions as mentioned

  6. English speaking guide

  7. Meals as mentioned (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner - excludes drinks)

  8. Public liability insurance

  9. All applicable taxes






Cambodia Tour Excludes:

  1. All International flights & Visa fees, currently $20 per person (Tourist Visa)

  2. International airport tax, currently $25 per person (However this should be included in your flight ticket and you must have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining on it)

  3. Meals, unless mentioned differently

  4. Beverages and personal expenses

  5. Other excursions and entrance fees

  6. Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident of illness)