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Writing in Vietnam

Writing in Vietnam

Imagine tasting a steaming bowl of pho noodles with fresh coriander and bean sprouts straight from the markets... Read more

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Upcoming dates

StartsFriday 11 September to Saturday 19 September 2015

Location Vietnam,
An exotic culinary adventure

When 9 days and 8 nights tour
(including writing tour)

PricePrice and itinerary for 2015 is still being confirmed. However, you can download the 2014 itinerary (grey “DOWNLOAD” button above) to get an indication.

Presenters Carli Ratcliff

Your unique writing program

  • 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 Food Writing 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.


  • Carli Ratcliff

    Carli Ratcliff, Sydney

    Carli Ratcliff is a freelance food writer based in Sydney. Carli’s writing appears regularly in newspapers, magazines, food... View Profile

Video: What students say

Graduate testimonials

  • “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

    “The tour was so useful to my writing. I loved being immersed in the culture and learning how to find the stories of a place. Carli was amazing. Her passion, creativity and knowledge regarding freelance writing really shines through. Through her teaching, we were able to immerse ourselves in the colours, the food and the culture of Vietnam. The food was amazing. The scenery was amazing. The people were amazing. The trip was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

    Gillian Saxon