Our Insider Experience
- Be enchanted by the smiling locals and bustling streets of Hanoi and Saigon, the two largest cities in Vietnam.
- Cruise the pristine emerald waters of World Heritage listed Halong Bay on a traditional junk boat.
- Explore the relics and living history in Vietnam’s ancient towns of Hoi An and Hue
- Explore the Mekong Delta with its tranquil villages, floating markets and diverse culture.
Day 1: WELCOME TO HANOIOn arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Tonight meet your fellow travellers over welcome drinks while your Tour Leader explains some important details and logistics of the journey ahead.ACCOMMODATION 2 night THE ANN HANOI (OR SIMILAR) – Deluxe room
Day 2: HANOIThis morning meet your guide at your hotel and depart on your tour after breakfast. Your first stop will be the popular Hoan Kiem Lake, situated in the heart of Hanoi city and Dong Xuan market. Your next stop will be Ho Chi Minh complex comprising Ba Dinh Square, Presidential Palace (for outside photo taken), as well as his private residence from 1954 until 1969. The wooden ethnic minority style house, which was built on stilts, is surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens. In the same complex you will see the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to the Temple Of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. Constructed in 1070, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. You will then visit Hoa Lo Prison (formerly known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the American war). Your tour will also include the historical St Joseph’s Cathedral. The last stop of the day before returning to your hotel will be the visit inside the Opera House ending with a wonderful afternoon tea. Breakfast and lunch includedACCOMMODATION THE ANN HANOI (OR SIMILAR) – Deluxe room
Day 3: HANOI TO NINH BINH This morning travel to Ninh Binh, some 100km (62 miles) south of Hanoi, offers a world of natural wonders and cultural heritage to explore. Stop by Hoa Lu, the capital of Vietnam in the 10th century, known to travellers as Vietnam’s ‘inland Halong Bay.’ After visiting two temples in commemoration of King Dinh Tien Hoang and King Le Dai Hanh in the ancient capital, you will enjoy the amazing boat trip to visit Trang An grottoes which is a gathering of 31 valleys, 50 cross-water caves, and home to 600 kinds of flora and over 200 kinds of fauna, many of them in the Red Book of Vietnam. While rowing through Trang An grotto in the quiet, fresh air of the highlands, with only the sound of birds and the oars stirring the clear water and surrounded by magnificent forested mountains upon which graze white goats, you will enjoy a heaven on earth. Breakfast includedACCOMMODATION 1 night NINH BINH HIDDEN CHARM HOTEL AND SPA (OR SIMILAR) – Superior room
Day 4: NINH BINH TO HALONG BAYMarvel at the towering limestone karsts and vast paddy fields as you make your way from Ninh Binh to Halong City, the gateway to Halong Bay. Dotted with 3,000 limestones karsts, Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s stunning natural wonders. Board a beautifully appointed junk boat and begin to cruise the impressive emerald waters of Halong Bay. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch before stopping to explore the many secluded corners of the bay. In the evening, retreat to your private cabin, or relax on the main deck or at the bar. Breakfast, lunch and dinner includedACCOMMODATION 1 night INDOCHINA SAILS (OR SIMILAR) – ROH cabin
Day 5: HALONG BAY TO HUE Rise early to enjoy a Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck, or choose to relax and take in your final moments in this majestic location before feasting on a delicious buffet brunch. After disembarking, drive back to Hanoi for your onwards flight to the former imperial capital of Hue, situated on the banks of the Perfume River. Brunch includedACCOMMODATION 1 night PILGRIMAGE VILLAGE BOUTIQUE RESORT AND SPA (OR SIMILAR) – Deluxe room
Day 6: HUE TO HOI AN Depart your hotel for your half day tour of Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. You will visit Thien Mu Pagoda. The Pagoda has two sections. The front of the Pagoda houses the seven-storey octagonal Phuoc Duyen tower, which has become the symbol of Hue. The other section of the pagoda is its rear portion, where the monks of the temple live and practice Buddhism. The Pagoda was the center of Buddhism in central Vietnam. In 1963, in an act of defiance against the Diem regime, Thich Quang Duc torched himself in downtown Saigon. Then you drive to visit the Citadel at the Imperial Palace. It was completed in 1833 and from here the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty ruled Vietnam till 1945. Entering the citadel via a stone bridge you can see the Thai Hoa Palace. The ostentatious columns supporting the roof are lacquered and inlaid with gold. You continue your tour to visit the tomb of Tu Duc, which is one of the most beautiful works of royal architecture of the Nguyen dynasty. In a sprawling lush pine forest 8 km (5 miles) from Hue, this tomb is the final resting place of Emperor Tu Duc (1848-83) who enjoyed the longest reign of any monarch of the Nguyen dynasty. The construction of the tomb started in December 1864 and was completed in 1867. You will depart Hue for Hoi An. The guide and driver will take you over the beautiful Hai Van Pass – Vietnam’s geographical and psychological boundary between north and south. The peak of the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel for check-in. This evening is free for you to explore Hoi An at leisure. Breakfast includedACCOMMODATION 2 nights HOI AN SILK MARINA RESORT AND SPA (OR SIMILAR) – Deluxe Pool View Balcony
Day 7: HOI AN This morning you will be picked up at your hotel lobby and transferred to Vong Nhi village, you receive the bikes and we start cycling through the village (around 6 km). On the way we may see lots of stunning landscapes from peaceful countryside such as green water coconut forest and prawn & red snapper farms or immerse ourselves in rustic beauty of rice fields. Arrival at Thanh Dong organic farm – a 10,000sqm organic garden supporting 11 local families. We will take a short stroll around the vegetable garden while listening to the life-changing story of the farmers since they have been approached organic method of cultivating herbs. Afterwards we join the farmers to do some gardening activities like preparing and applying organic manure to the land, raking the ground, sowing herb seed, watering or picking vegetables. Then, we leave the farm for taking the basket boat ride along the Do River to The Field Restaurant. You may enjoy the beautiful scenery or fishing life of local villagers on the way there. Before getting back to the hotel, we will enjoy short cooking class and have Vietnamese family style lunch. In the afternoon, we start a walking tour at the Museum of Folk Culture where you will learn about the history of this charming and peaceful town before you walk around the small market. Walk along the main street to the Chinese Assembly Hall of Fujien Chinese community. The hall, built in 1697, has been used as the worshipping place to dedicate to Thien Hau (the Goddess of the Sea or Holy Mother). Continue to the river bank along narrow streets – on both sides are old houses transformed into beautifully decorated shops with colourful lanterns in different shapes. Next, we’ll stop to see the Japanese covered bridge built in the early 17th century by Japanese traders who settled in the town. The special pagoda-shaped bridge is now the official symbol of Hoi An. We finish with a visit to a historic old house of this UNESCO-recognized town. Breakfast and lunch includedACCOMMODATION HOI AN SILK MARINA RESORT AND SPA (OR SIMILAR) – Deluxe Pool View Balcony
Day 8: HOI AN TO SAIGON After breakfast, take a short drive to Danang for your flight to Saigon. Upon arrival in Saigon, transfer to your hotel for check-in. This afternoon your journey continues to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Established as a means of waging guerrilla war the tunnel network stretched over 250 kilometres (155 miles) and extended to three levels below ground and provides an insight into the method and determination of Communist forces during the war years. On returning to Saigon, spend the remainder of day enjoying the various sights and sounds of the boisterous city. Breakfast included.ACCOMMODATION 1 night THE HOTEL EQUATORIAL (OR SIMILAR) – Deluxe room
Day 9: SAIGON TO CAN THO An early morning departure from your hotel takes you to Cai Be, deep in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Embark on your wooden boat to explore the Mekong Delta’s unique market and, also the symbol of the region, Cai Be floating market. This is not the biggest floating market, but it is good to understand the life of the river, one of the tourist magnets of the Mekong Delta. Just only 2 hours away from Saigon, beautiful countryside sceneries and surprisingly hospitable people are waiting for you. Board our traditional boat at the local Cai Be pier and start cruising along the floating market while sampling our tropical fresh fruits, letting the cool breeze touch your hair, you will find the place a truly destination to spend the day relaxing. You will be surprised by the way the locals trade and advertise their products. Disembark the boat temporarily to explore deeper about the local life by visiting the town’s business and craft factories. Have fun with a leisure sampan ride through canals before we transfer you to an ancient house where a delicious home hosted lunch with Mekong’s specialties awaits. After lunch, continue to cruise upstream the Mighty Mekong toward Vinh Long. Along the way, you will observe the typical Mekong Delta rural local life with stops at a local brick & pottery making factory and a floating fish farm before we take you back to the mainland where your car already waiting to take you back to Can Tho for overnight. Breakfast and lunch includedACCOMMODATION 1 night TTC HOTEL PREMIUM CAN THO (OR SIMILAR) – Deluxe city view room
Day 10: CAN THO TO SAIGON Can Tho is a university town on the confluence of three rivers in the heart of the delta. The Mekong Delta was once part of the Khmer Kingdom, and today many ethnic Khmers still live here. You make an early start this morning to visit the floating markets of Cai Rang which are in full swing at 0700. You’ll take a small boat and explore the waterways, which are packed with people who have come from the surrounding rural areas to sell all manner of fruits and vegetables. It’s a lively and colorful scene. Return to Saigon by mid-afternoon for check in to your hotel. This evening, join your group for a farewell dinner. Breakfast and dinner includedACCOMMODATION 1 night THE HOTEL EQUATORIAL (OR SIMILAR) – Deluxe room
Day 11: DEPART SAIGONIn the afternoon, depart from your hotel for a half day tour of vibrant Saigon. This dynamic city has a unique life of its own. Visit the former Presidential Palace, it was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese resistance fighters tanks (Viet Cong) rolled on the morning of April 30, 1975 as Saigon fell. From the palace you will go on foot (your car will be available at all times) to visit the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City including the red-brick Catholic cathedral of Notre-Dame, the nearby 19th century Empire-style Post Office, and the next door ‘Hotel de Ville’ or City Hall all look indomitably European, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Opera House. Continue your tour by stopping at Ben Thanh market, one of the biggest market in the downtown area of Saigon. The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and today is considered one of symbol of Saigon, popular with tourists seeking local handicrafts, textiles, ’’ao dai“ (Vietnamese traditional custom), and souverirs, as well as local cuisine. It is now time to say goodbye, but just think of all the wonderful stories you will take home. A transfer will take you to the airport for your onward travels. Breakfast included
Departure Dates and Rates
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From AUD $ 2,855