The owner of Quan An Ngon recruited an all-star roster of street-food vendors to cook their signature dishes in a villa courtyard, then added printed menus and table service and watched the crowds pour in. It's packed with not only foreigners but also well-heeled Vietnamese who can’t get enough of the place—which means that while the quality is excellent and the atmosphere convivial, seats are hard to come by.
Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you've really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors' recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
This picture-perfect bay and UNESCO World Heritage site 105 miles northeast of Hanoi will probably look familiar—it's frequently featured in calendars and pretty much any film set in Vietnam. Still, nothing compares to seeing the steep tree-lined mountains plunging into the turquoise sea in real life, especially when viewed from the deck of a re-created Chinese junk.
You'll find whimsical—if not outright flamboyant—handbags, wallets, and glittering charms, among other statement accessories, at this Vietnamese fashion stalwart founded in 1997 by Hong Kong native Christina Yu. Get the It bag here before it's shipped to Barney's and carried on the red carpet by Hollywood celebrities in the know.
For a full-on immersion into the city's food scene, take a market tour and cooking class with Australian expat Tracey Lister and her team at their culinary center in Hanoi's old quarter. Classes range from street food favorites or a spring-roll intensive course to Thai barbecue and traditional Hanoi specialties.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.