The Hanoitimes - Vietnam’s wonderful cuisine, friendly people, spectacular natural beauty, fascinating history and rich culture appeal to a growing number of independent travelers looking for something exotic and different.
Independent travel specialist Avanti Destinations, a free independent traveler (FIT) tour operator, has introduced new food-focused itineraries and cultural experiences in Vietnam.
According to Avanti’s Executive Chairman Paul Barry, Vietnam’s wonderful cuisine, friendly people, spectacular natural beauty, fascinating history and rich culture appeal to a growing number of independent travelers looking for something exotic and different.
Cai Be Floating Market, Vietnam. Photo: Avanti Destinations
“And like much of Southeast Asia, Vietnam offers excellent value for the dollar,” he added.
Avanti also announced two new tours that can be added to any itinerary: a shared traditional painting and lantern-making workshop in Hoi An, as well as a private tour of the Ba Na Hills outside of Da Nang. The Ba Na Hills tour includes a visit to a new attraction opened in August of 2018, the 4,600-feet high “Golden Bridge” pedestrian walkway in the shape of two colossal hands.
This nine-day and eight-night completely customizable FIT vacation spending three nights in Hanoi, two in Hoi An, and three in Ho Chi Minh City. Foodie highlights include: a private market visit and street food tour with a Hanoi chef, whose grilled honey chicken was praised by Anthony Bourdain as the best Vietnamese dish he ever had; a private farm-to-table cooking class at the village of Tra Que outside Hoi An, where clients can help sow seeds or pick vegetables, etc; a private “Foodies Afoot in Saigon” walking tour to explore and taste the many specialties of street food considered to be among the best in the world.
Earlier, Vietnamese cuisine along the Mekong has been ranked seventh among the best food tours that you can explore cuisine and culture at the same time, according to a list released by The New York Times.
Vietnam welcomed some 11.616 million foreign visitors in the first nine months of 2018, a 22.9% increase from the same period last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) has said in a monthly report.
Of the total visitors in the first nine months of 2018, over 9 million came from Asia. Chinese tourists topped the list with 3.8 million, followed by 2.5 million from South Korea, 623,700 from Japan, 527,700 from Taiwan (China), 381,800 from Malaysia, 236,600 from Thailand and 202,800 from Singapore.