Vietnam with Meg Galus

Reserve Your Spot | February 11 - 18, 2022

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Culture, Flavor & Adventure

Discover one of the world's most delicious destinations with pastry chef Meg Galus

February 11 - 18, 2022

One departure only—book soon, spots are limited

8 Days, 7 Nights

Best of Ho Chi Minh City, Hue and Hoi An

Price from

$4,750

per person, based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

Thousands of mopeds snake around as you cling to the back of yours as you zip through a market overflowing with the most delicious street foods, all competing for your attention: bánh bèo rice cakes, bánh uót spring rolls, and fresh noodles prepared a dozen ways. Be sure to save room for dessert: French-inspired pastries to fruit-forward sweets, chè puddings with fresh durian and coconut jellies, steamed cassava and colorful bánh bo cakes. These are the true flavors of Vietnam—and it’s impossible to get enough of them.

Our culinary comes accompanied with the perfect companion: Meg Galus, Chicago’s brilliant and award-winning pastry chef. With Meg by our side, we’ll get hands-on with local chefs and bakers, cacao producers and chocolate makers. Bite by bite, we’ll experience Vietnam’s rich culture and French-inspired flavors.

This journey is like a perfectly crafted banh mi, packed with exceptional local experts, then garnished with adventure. We’ll eat very, very well, of course, sleep in supreme comfort, float the Mekong Delta’s canals, taste our way through the markets of Hue and Hoi An, and relax on a beach as we celebrate and watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Discover

French-inspired food and architecture, traditional fishing villages and ridiculously good street food

Connect

With Vietnamese culture, local chefs and bakers, artisans who've been practicing their craft for generations

Savor

Incredible street foods and desserts, flavors you never knew existed—or had the courage to try

Explore

Rev scooters through markets, tour on rickshaw cyclos, and wander through ancient temples and ruins

3 Reasons to Travel with Meg Galus

You could say Meg's culinary career began when she was just a kid, making her parents order dishes from menus she drafted in her childhood basement. Today, Meg is Chicago's brilliant and award-winning pastry chef—she's a three-time James Beard Awards finalist, and the Chicago Tribune’s “Pastry Chef of the Year”—known for her creativity at Michelin-starred Boka restaurant. Vietnam with Meg will be a tasty tour of the country’s best foods, with plenty of room for dessert.

She Loves to Create

Before Meg became a chef, she earned a theater degree and performed semi-professionally in Chicago. She likes how being a pastry chef mirrors theater life, working with a team to create something special each night.

Happiness Matters

Meg’s goal with desserts is simple: Make people happy. She enrolled in pastry school after realizing her theater career wasn’t bringing her the joy she wanted.

Always Learning

Meg isn’t one to rest on her laurels. She’s forever a student, taking classes and broadening her skills in the kitchen. She loves to travel the world, tasting new flavors and bringing them home to incorporate into her desserts.

Your Experience

“I’m excited to dive in with local chefs and producers... and to experience Vietnam's burgeoning chocolate industry.”
Meg Galus

Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hoi An

“I love working with chocolate, eating it, making it, going to its source.”
Meg Galus

Day by Day

Day 1

Welcome to Vietnam! Our adventure starts in the late afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). After meeting up with Meg, we’ll dive right in. First stop: a cultural deep dive, a true celebration,  of traditional Vietnamese dance and song. The venue is stunning: a private Colonial-era villa, reserved just for us.

Ho Chi Minh City’s streets are always a wonder to watch, as the cavalcade of bicycles, rickshaws, cyclos and scooters whir down crowded streets lined with grand 18th-century buildings. Our destination tonight is the former private residence of Henry Cabot Lodge, the American ambassador to South Vietnam in the tumultuous 1960s. It’s a glorious monument to French-Colonial architecture, beautifully restored with original artwork and furnishings. We’ll have the gardens and grand dining room to ourselves for cocktails and some of the city’s finest haute cuisine to celebrate our Vietnam adventures to come!

Day 1 Highlights

  • Arrivals
  • Private Vietnamese dance performance
  • Dinner at Henry Cabot Lodge residence
  • Stay at Myst Dong Khoi

Day 2

Southwest of Ho Chi Minh City are the spidery tributaries of the mighty Mekong river and delta, where the bulk of the country’s produce is grown. We start in Ben Tre, witness how coconut shells are turned into charcoal, then cross the river for a rowboat ride up tight canals—palms pressing over the waters—and a visit at a local home to experience life in the Mekong. Lunch is truly special, catching fish and shrimp by hand, then learning to cook them with a local chef!

In the afternoon we celebrate one of Meg’s true passions: chocolate. We’ll visit a cacao farm to experience the journey from lush jungle orchards to fermented cacao pods—and, finally, to Vietnam’s finest organic chocolates. Then it’s back to the city for a night venturing into chic back alley restaurants, and rooftop bars for cocktails as the city that won’t stop blinks its lights back to us.

Day 2 Highlights

  • Explore Mekong Delta canals
  • Hands-on seafood lunch with local chef
  • Cacao plantation & chocolate tasting
  • Stay at Myst Dong Khoi

Day 3

Vietnam is justly famous for its street food. Less appreciated are its desserts, from French-inspired pastries to fruit-forward sweets like chè puddings with fresh durian, crispy chuối chiên (fried bananas) and coconut jellies, steamed cassava and colorful bánh bo cakes. We’ll get hands-on with Meg and local pastry chef Tran Thi Hien Minh, baking and tasting our way through a selection of Vietnam’s most delicious desserts. After lunch, we’ll learn the history of artisanal chocolate-making at Maison Marou, a bean-to-bar factory in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. We’ll taste everything from single-source chocolates to sparkling cacao wine, and celebrate Vietnam’s revitalized cacao producers and chocolate makers.

The city is at its best after the sun sets, so brace yourself for a seriously energized evening. We’ll head out on the backs of scooters and zoom through narrow alleys, stopping to dine with locals on sidewalks as we sip cold beer and down platters of fresh crab, snails and other street food specialities.

Day 3 Highlights

  • Hands-on dessert workshop with Meg
  • Maison Marou chocolate tasting
  • Evening Vespa street-food tour
  • Stay at Myst Dong Khoi

Day 4

Today, we fly north to Hue, the Imperial City. The former capital of the Nguyen Dynasty is home to palaces, shrines and awe-inspiring architecture. In the afternoon there’s time to explore the city, or simply to relax, before meeting up in the late afternoon and making our way to historic An Hien, the original residence of Emperor Duc Duc’s daughter, to explore the beautiful home and grounds. 

Our private dinner tonight is at the historic garden houses of Ngoc Son, former residence of Princess Ngoc Son and curated by direct descendants of the Imperial Court for seven generations, everything pristinely manicured and maintained in perfect feng shui. It’s a peaceful escape to a bygone era, an unforgettable setting for dinner with the family, and a delicious end to our first night in Hue.

Day 4 Highlights

  • Fly to Hue
  • Visit An Hien House
  • Private dinner at Ngoc Son Garden House
  • Stay at La Residence

Day 5

Yesterday we dipped our toes into the incredible culinary history of Hue—today is all about diving deep. Our guide this morning is author, professor, master chef and food celebrity Ni Huy. She’ll lead us through a tasting of Vietnam’s ancient capital. Hue once hosted the Nguyen kings and attracted the nation’s top artists and culinary masters; today Hue is the culinary heart and soul of Vietnam’s traditional cuisine. And we’ll taste it all: cơm hến (clam and mussel rice), sweet soups, bánh bèo rice cakes, and bánh uót spring rolls you’ll be dreaming about for years to come.

Next stop: a French boulangerie and pâtisserie, to meet the bakers and get hands-on with the chefs-in-training, mostly young and disadvantaged Vietnamese on 24-month culinary apprenticeships. Lunch is a delightful petit déjeuner upstairs on the terrace. We end this incredible day chauffeured by cyclos (modern-day rickshaws) to the Imperial Citadel. From here, we’ll head to the market—but not just any. Dong Ba market is the oldest of its kind in Hue, with rows and rows of locally crafted produce, clothing—and, of course, some of Hue’s finest street foods. The evening is ours to discover and explore.

Day 5 Highlights

  • Street food tour with local chef
  • Hands-on bakery visit and lunch
  • Cyclo tour of Imperial City & Dong Ba market
  • Stay at La Residence

Day 6

Today we say goodbye to Hue and make our way to Hoi An over the mighty Hai Van Pass. The name means ‘clouds over the sea,’ and it’s the literal highest pass in all of Vietnam with spectacular views of the coastline. Along the way, we get a taste of rural life in the quiet and peaceful village of Than Toan, where local farmers and artisans will show us their traditional crafts and techniques, which haven’t changed much since the 16th century. 

This evening, we’ll stroll through Hoi An’s historic old quarter, a colorful riot of 18th-century merchant houses, covered bridges and riverfront patios. We’ll explore the local markets and meet up with a lantern maker who will show us how to craft our own traditional silk lanterns. Dinner tonight is a tasting tour of traditional Hoi An dishes and street foods, in one of Vietnam’s best-preserved old quarters.

Day 6 Highlights

  • Hai Van Pass & Than Toan village 
  • Hoi An market tour & lantern workshop
  • Food tour & dinner
  • Stay at Hotel Royal

Day 7

Vietnamese chefs have concocted nearly 2,000 dishes, most hailing from central Vietnam. We’ll sample many today, as we immerse ourselves with Hoi An’s culinary delights. We’ll savor new ingredients and flavors, sights and sounds, at a few local markets. We’ll browse herbs, vegetables, seafood, even silkworms for sale. With ingredients gathered, we’ll be led by a local chef at a hands-on cooking class for lunch. Then, we’ll have some time to ourselves to visit the local tailor for custom handmade garments or relax poolside.

We convene later in the afternoon and head to the beach! Our private An Bang Beach barbecue is a celebration of our time together with Meg in Vietnam. This is an oceanside feast unlike anything we’ve experienced, with delectable prawns, scallops and more all grilled to perfection under a sky full of twinkling stars, with an unforgettable desserts prepared specially by Meg.

Day 7 Highlights

  • Visit Hoi An’s central markets
  • Hands-on cooking class lunch
  • Beachside BBQ farewell dinner
  • Stay at Hotel Royal

Day 8

It’s our last day, but no doubt this trip will live on in memory. As we say goodbye to Meg and our fellow travelers, we might have time to make a last dash to the market. Tam biet to Vietnam—until next time!

Day 8 Highlights

  • Transfer to airport

Where We Sleep

Art-filled design hotels in Hue and Hoi An, a luxurious retreat in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City—our accommodations are stylish, modern takes on traditional Vietnamese styles.

Myst Dong Khoi

Ho Chi Minh City

Think “Myst” as in mystery. It’s full-blown luxury in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City's historic center. Tropical plants sprout from the windows of its Cubist-style tower set along a wide curve of the river. You enter an industrial lobby, benefitting from iron beams reclaimed for the old shipyards. The Asian-themed restaurant is by a rooftop lap pool, with more city views. The artful, cozy rooms have all the comforts you'd expect.

La Residence

Hue

An Art Deco masterpiece built in 1930, situated on the banks of the Perfume River. Its stunning architecture embraces the past while incorporating contemporary twists. Whether you choose to kick back poolside or meander through its tropical gardens, La Residence is an absolute oasis of comfort.

Hotel Royal

Hoi An

An impeccable retreat facing the bucolic Thu Bon River and just a stroll away from Hoi An’s ancient Old Quarter. Relax in expansive rooms or at their serene pool, admire their brilliant gallery, or just take in the views from the highest rooftop bar in the city.

Street food was the star of this trip. I felt like I was on an awesome adventure with a group of friends.
Lindsay S.
I loved Vietnam. I was charmed by the people and seduced by the cuisine.
Janice B.
I was blown away by how flawlessly Modern Adventure executed this trip. You exceeded my every expectation.
Joan P.

Book Vietnam with Meg Galus

Number of Travelers

Payment

$4,750

per person, based on double occupancy

Can't travel on these dates?
Call us at

+1 (855) 219-8018

  1. What does the price include?

    Seven nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, hands-on workshops; adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals; gratuities for local staff.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverage not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.

  3. Where does this trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins at the Hotel De l’Opera in Hanoi, Vietnam. The closest airport is Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Our last day is in Hoi An, Vietnam. The closest airport is the Da Nang International Airport (DAD) in Da Nan. Your flight home can be scheduled to depart at anytime on this day.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    U.S. citizens are required to obtain a visa before traveling into Vietnam. It is your responsibility to obtain this required travel document; please visit the Vietnam International Travel Information page on travel.state.gov for step-by-step instructions on how to obtain a Vietnamese visa. Additionally, a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining beyond the date of your arrival is required. For citizens of other countries, please check with your local Vietnamese embassy or consulate for information and requirements.

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is a $1,200 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. If you would like us to pair you with a roommate, that option may be available upon checkout—these spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure Trip Leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before October 14, 2021 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after October 15, 2021, there is a 50% cancellation fee; on or after December 13, 2021 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or of the trip being canceled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details). 

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