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Food Writing in Vietnam

Dates for 2014

Friday 16 May to Saturday 24 May 2014
9 days and 8 nights tour

  • Imagine tasting a steaming bowl of pho noodles with fresh coriander and bean sprouts straight from the markets in Hanoi.
  • Or picture yourself walking through the Temple of Literature in the historic city of Hanoi before sampling the best street food Vietnam has to offer.
  • Wander along the streets in old Hanoi and be enchanted by the traditional French restaurants and the scent of just baked croissants and steaming café au lait at streetside cafes.
  • Explore the Mekong Delta by boat, and see where the freshest produce comes from, before enjoying it, prepared in authentic home-style way.
  • Stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Hoi An, then take a boat along one of Vietnam’s most picturesque waterways before attending your very own cooking class.
  • And experience the best food writing classes from one of Australia's most popular food writers.

Writing About Food in Vietnam …
This opportunity will only be offered once in 2014.

This nine-day tour of Vietnam combines a unique cultural experience with the quality learning experience you've come to expect from the Australian Writers' Centre.

Your welcome to Vietnam starts with dinner at the Club de L'Orientale where the Chairman of the Hanoi Gastronomy Club will give you a personal introduction to Vietnamese cuisine.

It is the first step in an amazing journey that combines unforgettable culinary experiences with world-class writing instruction from acclaimed Australian food writer Carli Ratcliff. You'll also experience the best cultural attractions that Vietnam has to offer. Whether you choose to take a cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter of Hanoi, get measured for tailor-made clothes in Hoi An, or participate in a private cooking class to learn about southern Vietnamese dishes at the Saigon Culinary art centre, you'll love this tour that will keep you enchanted from beginning to end.

Your writing course and tour

This writing course is based on the popular course "Writing About Food" at the Australian Writers' Centre.

On this tour, you’ll learn that the world of food writing is actually very similar to the art of making the dishes themselves – both involve discipline, creativity and plenty of flavour.

Since your reader can’t be there with you in Vietnam (or wherever your travels take you), your job is to make them feel as though they are right by your side.
And when you’re done with the creating, we will show you how to plate up your articles to catch the eye of editors and readers alike.

Over the course of the nine days, you'll experience:

  • 10 hours of "classroom" group writing instruction.
  • Unique food excursions where your presenter will guide you on the sounds, sights and tastes that you should be aware of.
  • Instruction from local food experts in Vietnam such as the head of the Hanoi Gastronomy Club.
  • A walking tour through the narrow lanes of old Hanoi to visit an old merchant’s house with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture.
  • Tours of Saigon’s historic landmarks including a stroll down Rue Catinat of Graham Greene's The Quiet American and a visit to the Opera House, a three-story classical theatre built to entertain the French colonists.
  • And much more!

This personalised instruction on writing on an overseas foodie tour is unparalleled. The tour will book out so we suggest you secure your place early.

Your tour director

Carli Ratcliff is a freelance food writer based in Sydney. Carli’s writing appears regularly in newspapers, magazines, food guides and online. She contributes features to The Sydney Morning Herald (Good Living), The Australian Financial Review (Life + Leisure) and The Age (Epicure).

She writes regularly for international magazines including, Monocle (UK) and DestinAsian (Jakarta). She has sub edited and contributed to guides including Cheap Eats (Sydney) and Fairfax’s Good Food Shopping Guide: Sydney. Her food-based travel stories appear regularly in SBS Feast magazine, Virgin’s Voyeur magazine, and The Sydney Morning Herald / The Age (Traveller). In 2010 Carli was honoured at The Australian Food Media Awards.

Bookshop Travel is a provider of unique travel and learning experiences for specialist groups and corporations. Managing Director and tour specialist, Carol Crennan, holds valuable experience in working with other dedicated professionals to tailor your tour to specific interests and goals.

Carol is more than a travel agent. She is a cooperative partner who contributes new ideas and offers groups the chance to see another country and enjoy the learning experience. Passionate about helping local communities, Carol and the team at Bookshop Travel works with experienced and discerning partners on the ground in a variety of countries.

More information

To download the course itinerary, including information about costs and accommodation, please complete this form.

Privacy Policy: We will never sell or distribute your personal details. Any details collected will only be used by the Australian Writers' Centre to notify you of relevant course information.

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"The best thing about the tour to Vietnam was having a small group of like-minded people who love food and writing ... and experiencing 10 days together in a new country. Exploring and eating our way through it was just fantastic. I learnt about writing about food and how to describe it better than I had in the past. I learnt about new ingredients and a new cuisine that I wasn't overly familiar with - but which I absolutely loved!"
- Dianne Bortoletto

"Carli was excellent. She was very personable, comfortable presenting, happy to share her experiences and always made us feel 100% at ease to ask questions and share our work with her. She made the course fun and enjoyable as well as a great chance to learn."
- Amanda Whitelegg

"The course opened my eyes and further fired up my passion about food. The course is excellent and helped me improve my skills in writing about food. I would recommend it."
- Zurinah Watt

"Carli was genuine and knowledgeable and gave good advice."
- Debbie Dalgliesh

"The depth of the content was covered was invaluable and Carli was amazing. Honest and well-prepared."
- Belinda Bentley

"I enjoyed Carli's stories and practical knowledge. She was amazing - approachable, extremely helpful and generous with her information. She
delivered the course perfectly."
- Natalie Fiorenza

"The pallet exercises and taste tests were really interesting. It's good to have a practical exercise, to break up all the theory.
Carli is great. Very knowledgeable and helpful, she has so much experience to share and really knows her stuff."
- Tara Mathews

"Carli was fantastic, so knowledgeable and very generous with her knowledge. I can not talk highly enough about her."
- Samantha Ihring

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