A: There is always some risk with food anywhere, whether at home or while traveling; however, we have found the Vietnamese to be very careful with their handling of food and their insistence upon the freshest of ingredients. Respect for food is an integral part of Vietnamese culture. We believe that the street food in Vietnam is some of the safest in the developing world; don't be fooled by a rubbish-strewn floor or a dilapidated shop, watch how they care for the food and if the place is popular with locals. Most vendors have regular clientele and they cannot afford to serve bad food. The vendors that we use have been personally checked out by Daniel and they have been working with us for some time with no reported problems.
Often while traveling to new places, you can experience a mild digestive discomfort as your body adjusts to the new food and environment. This is not usually due to contamination problems but is rather because of new natural organisms that you are encountering. It usually passes quickly. Careful personal hygiene and attention to your health (drinking plenty of water, sufficient sleep, etc.) will help prevent any serious problems. We have found that eating yogurt or taking an acidophilus supplement can often help prevent any discomfort.
Q: What if I have dietary restrictions?
A: If you let us know in advance so that we can make arrangements and itinerary adjustments, most requests can be honored. A completely vegetarian or vegan menu presents a few challenges here but can be accommodated for a small additional cost.
Q. Do I need to be a great cook or serious "foodie" to enjoy myself on these tours?
A. Absolutely not. Food and cooking is our main focus as a "window" into the Vietnamese cultureand Daniel is happy to delve deeply into it with you; however, he is just as willing to share his knowledge and experience in all aspects of the Vietnamese culture, history and experience.
Q: What kinds of beverages are offered on the tour?
A: Bottled water, Vietnamese green tea, soft drinks (no diet drinks as these are local establishments) and beer are generally available and at some locations fresh fruit juices as well. At the cafe there is Vietnamese coffee in its various options, tea and fresh fruit juices and smoothies.
Q: Why should I choose to go on a tour with Daniel Hoyer, a non-native, when I could take a less expensive tour with a Vietnamese guide?
A: Daniel is a seasoned chef and traveler who has lived in Vietnam nearly five years and has devoted extensive time in researching Vietnamese food and culture for his cookbook and his tours and he has a profound respect and appreciation of the people and food of Vietnam. He gives a unique perspective as he is immersed in the day-to-day life in Vietnam and operates several businesses here, yet he is able to relate to the interests and concerns of those from other countries, particularly western travelers. While many Vietnamese guides lead excellent tours and Daniel recommends that you try one or two as well, Daniel is more aware of what is of interest to his guests and helps them to understand things in a context they can relate to. He is also often willing to discuss aspects of life in Vietnam that native guides tend to overlook or avoid.
Q: What if I am interested in something a little different than what is listed on the itinerary?
A: Daniel is happy to customize an itinerary to suit your needs and interests.
Q: Besides food tours do you offer any other tours around Hanoi and the rest of Vietnam?
A: Daniel's wife, Lai, runs their travel agency, True Color Tours, and she can assist you with all of your travel and tour needs in Southeast Asia.