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“Good Value Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Thuan Tinh Island

Thuan Tinh Island
Cam Thanh Village, Hoi An, Vietnam
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Ranked #1 of 32 Attractions in Hoi An
Type: Islands, Outdoors
Attraction details
Halifax, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Good Value Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2012

Compared to many tours,this is reaonable value at $30 including taxi pick up at hotel.Opportunity to shop in the local market was very interesting.The run down island resort could be better but the professionalism of the chefs was good.The cooking is easy but the food means no need for lunch.

Visited April 2012
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English first
Chula Vista, California, United States
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Perfect way to spend half a day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

Our group of 5, which included 3 non-cooks and an 11 year old, absolutely LOVED this tour. Sure it wasn't really cooking-intensive, but the whole experience was wonderful, and the dishes we made were absolutely perfect. Our tour guide, Nguyet (pronounced 'wick') was very good - personable, engaging, and she did a very nice job of explaining the ins and outs of the market. She shared some of the secrets of picking the best ingredients and where to pay the best prices. I was very excited to buy a tool to make Green Papaya shreds (been wanting one since I saw it on Luke Nguyen's show). The boat tour up the river was great, and we had a nice walk to the villagers' homes. Everyone loved learning about milling rice and making rice milk. We didn't pick any vegetables as others have mentioned, and that would have been a nice addition. The spinning table was kinda fun but really sort of unnecessary, though it was neat seeing inside the villager's home and learning how the family lives on the top floor when the island floods.
The sampan ride through the water coconut groves was amazingly relaxing, and arriving at Thuan Tinh Island was a little surreal, as it is essentially an abandoned resort. We felt like we had an entire island to ourselves (which we did). The setting was perfect - cooking riverside, waving at passing fisherman and families coming home from the market. Everything was prepped and ready for us, and there was just enough explanation to keep everyone (11 year old boys and 40 year old men) interested and involved in the actual cooking. My son had two ladies helping him with his dishes, and we made 4 of my favorites: Pho (in an hour!), Goi Cuon with peanut sauce, Bun Bo Xao, and (my absolute favorite) Banh Xeo - with the rice milk we made earlier. It was more food than we could eat, and the fresh passion fruit juice was wonderful. Washing our hands with fresh water ladled out of a large ceramic jug added to the rustic feel of the day.
The sampan and boat ride back was just as nice, and we continued our afternoon strolling through the market on our own.
Overall, a very nice tour - if you're looking for a comprehensive cooking class, this probably isn't for you, but we loved it.

Visited March 2012
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A few changes could make this excellent”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012 via mobile

I signed up to a cooking course but really we only cooked for a small portion of this trip. The rest was spent milling around the market, sitting on a boat and looking around a small village. The cooking section was fantastic, although our chef only spoke Vietnamese so listening to him through a translator became quite tedious. We learnt to cook sime delicious dishes - pho, banh xeo, spring rolls and a beef salad - I hope I can replicate them at home. I really enjoyed the whole trip but feel it could have been better organised. There was no welcome at the start, we were just dropped by the side of the market and ordered to follow the guides - the names of whom we were never told. At the end we were plopped in the same spot with no farewell. A bit strange.

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Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Don't know what the other reviewers are talking about!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

I did two cooking classes in Hoi An - this and the Morning Glory one. When I compare the two I'm just a bit puzzled.
Thuan Tinh island $30 USD - picked us up from hotel, dropped us off at the market. Did a very brief and rushed tour of the market - didn't really have any time to look around, we just bought our ingredients, hardly any explanation, no time to explore the market - and then were shipped off onto the boat. Got to Thuan Tinh island, and had a break for 4 minutes. Then were taken to another island where we visited the locals, which was slightly interesting (seeing how rice is milled, how they made rice milk). The spinning table is stupid, and was a waste of time - might be entertaining for children, but adults?!! They did serve rice crackers which was a nice touch.
The cooking course itself was OK - it wasn't really informative about anything, we just cooked. The chefs were pretty entertaining, but just not really that informative! As usual, the recipes included adding a bit of helper - MSG. The infinite passionfruit juice was good. We made pho bo, fresh spring rolls, bun bo nam bo, and ban xeo - ban xeo was my favourite!

Visited March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Wow. Fantastic day. Great cooking lessons and entertaining day. Loved it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2012

You should do this is you have between 8am and 230pm spare in Hoi An. Shopping at the markets was an experience, boat trip good (loud engine, but lovely to go on the river). Arriving at the island you go and learn about how they process the rice and make rice milk for the delicious pancakes we were to make later that day. The Spinning Table was a big hit with even all the sceptics. Then comes the cooking class. Great fun tour leader made this so much fun. Hands on from the word go and you make about 4 dishes. Then eat the dishes you've made. Fantastic day out, well worth the money, thanks!

Visited April 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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