Hello friends, I’m back! I had an amazing visit to Vietnam, it’s such an interesting and fascinating country and I would love to go back and see more.
Vietnam is home to over 90 million, that’s over four times the population of Australia. There are 63 provinces and cities and 54 ethnicities including 53 ethnic minorities. Vietnam shares its borders with China to the north, Laos and Cambodia to the west and the East Sea to the east and south. The country is quite narrow with some areas less than 100km wide.
The 12 day Real Food Adventure – Vietnam from Intrepid Travel featured six stops and included three cooking classes. I’ll share my visit to each area in detail over the coming weeks.
Before this trip I had not been on a tour and I was really impressed. Intrepid’s new food tours are perfect for the food lover and with a maximum of 12 it’s a good group size. As well as enjoying some fantastic food, we learnt about the rich culture of Vietnam, the importance of fresh produce, how some regional dishes are made, and how to create authentic Vietnamese food at home.
Our Vietnamese Intrepid Leader was very passionate about sharing the rich culture and was a walking encyclopaedia on all things Vietnam. If he didn’t know something, he found out. As a born organiser, I enjoyed having someone else take care of everything as that helped me forget about all the little things and focus on enjoying the country and the experience. The itinerary also had a good mix of group activities and free time so you could explore on your own or just take a break to relax.
I’m sure the big question you want to ask is:
Was it difficult to eat as a vegetarian in Vietnam?
The simple answer is no. Vietnamese cuisine has a healthy approach by being heavily focussed on fresh, organic, home-grown produce. Most of the places we ate at ranged from one or two veg dishes to 3 whole pages of the menu dedicated to veg options (heaven!). Fish sauce is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine so that’s something to consider if, like me, you don’t eat seafood. I’m sure there were times where I DID have fish sauce but I think when you travel you have to relax a bit as these things happen.
What would I do differently?
Go earlier in the year! May is the start of the wet season in Vietnam and while I was lucky in not seeing much rain, it was VERY hot and humid. The kind of heat where you are constantly covered in sweat. Next time I visit Vietnam, and I absolutely hope to, I’ll aim for January / February when it’s a little cooler.
Would I do another Intrepid food tour?
Absolutely! The India, Mexico and Northern Spain trips sound amazing. They also have a few shorter ‘bite size’ food tours that are worth checking out too.
More posts in this Vietnam series:
- 10 things I’ve learnt in Hanoi
- Fresh food in Hanoi
- Hanoi cooking class
- 5 reasons to experience Halong Bay
- Dining on the water in Halong Bay
- Halong Bay kayak
- Dinner with a local family in Hue
- 5 ways to love Hoi An
- Shopping and eating in Hoi An
- Hoi An cooking class
- 5 things to do in the Mekong Delta
- Eating in the Mekong
- Food in Ho Chi Minh City
- 5 ways to experience Saigon
- Ho Chi Minh City cooking class