We begin our Việt-Nam Culinary Escapade in Northern Vietnam, the cradle of Vietnamese civilization. It was here that after a millennium of Chinese domination, the first truly independent state of Việt-Nam was created in 938, and it would take centuries of conquest and migration for the country to reach what we now consider Central and Southern Việt-Nam.

Hà Nội is the capital of Việt-Nam and is one of the oldest capitals in the world. Hà Nội is built on the bank of the Red River, between rivers that surround the city, and its name literally means “city inside rivers.” For much of Hà Nội’s early history, the city was occupied by the Chinese, and during the French colonial period, it served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902 to 1945. These occupations left lasting cultural imprints – from centuries-old Buddhist temples to French colonial architecture – to create a unique and charming city with its own character.

Northern Vietnamese cuisine reflects this rich and colorful history. A beautiful example is the iconic Vietnamese beef noodle soup “Phở” that was born in Northern Vietnam during the mid-1880s. The origin of this dish was heavily influenced by both Chinese and French cuisines. Rice noodle and spices were imported from China; the consumption of beef was popularized by the French who introduced “pot-au-feu” – the cooking technique for making soup from roasting and boiling beef bones with vegetables. Vietnamese cooks blended the Chinese, French, and native influences to create Phở, a dish that is uniquely Vietnamese. Northern Vietnamese cuisine is also influenced by its geography where the climate is cooler resulting in limited variety of spices and availability of herbs and vegetables. Northern Vietnamese dishes are more delicate and less bold and spicy in flavors compared to the foods from central and southern Vietnam.

Highlights. Who You’ll Meet. Where You’ll Sip & Savor.

  • Arrival to Nội Bài International Airport (HAN) and transfer to hotel by private car. A Welcome Package awaits you.
  • We’ll kick off the Việt-Nam Culinary Escapade with an Orientation Meeting where you’ll be greeted by Chef Hue-Chan Karels, Open Kitchen Team, and In-Country Team Lead. You’ll also meet and get to know the other guests.
  • For our Welcome Dinner, we will feast at one of Chef Hue-Chan’s favorite restaurants in Hà Nội with a special curated menu, featuring the flavors and exotic specialties of northern Vietnamese cuisine, paired with Vietnam’s authentic and award-wining handcrafted rice spirit. You’ll meet the chef team and artisans behind this experience.

Accommodations in Hà Nội

The Apricot Hotel is Hà Nội’s small luxury hotel located in the historic district on Hang Trong Street, with sweeping view of the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake.

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