From charming Hanoi with its fading colonial architecture, to the spellbinding scenery of Halong Bay and the steamy city of Saigon on the edge of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is as colourful as it is diverse. We’ve been – its BRILLIANT! #ourEXPOdeal!
See the very best of vibrant Vietnam in 10 captivating days!
All this – 10 days Vietnam Tour 4 star from $1448 per person – HALF price!
Best Holiday Company to South East Asia - British Travel Awards 2016Guaranteed Departures – 5 stars from 114 reviews
HOTEL RATING 4 star
LOCAL PAYMENT None
TOUR GUIDE Yes – escorted by a tour guide
MEALS Breakfast: 9, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 1
DATES available for all dates between 01/10/2017 – 23/06/2018.
Day 1 Hanoi – Saturday. Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Airport to hotel arrival transfer. The remainder of the day offers free time for you to explore the wide tree-lined avenues, beautiful lakes, ancient pagodas and the thriving historic old city, all easily navigated on foot. Overnight: Hanoi
Day 2 Junk boat cruising, Halong Bay
Hanoi – Halong Bay. This morning a scenic drive leads us to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Boarding our traditional wooden junk boat we cruise the emerald waters soaking up the panoramic vista of the thousand or so karst limestone islands that stud the bay. Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to the pristine ‘Dark & Bright Lagoon’. Tonight, there’s a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.
Overnight: Halong Bay, Deluxe Junk Boat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Junk boat cruising, Halong Bay
Hidden grottoes, Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue. Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, we sail back to port.
Arriving to Hanoi mid-afternoon, an hour or so is spent exploring the quixotic web of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. The motorbike-swarming narrow lanes are each named after various guilds of the city’s artisan who established themselves here centuries ago. There is Silver Street, Silk Street, Comb Street, Paper Street and more. The maze of rambling streets are framed by narrow front tube houses and we may have a chance to sample the exotic fruits, sizzling noodle dishes and delightfully sticky snacks being offered by the pavement vendors. Our tour of the area is undertaken by a quintessentially Vietnamese experience from aboard a cyclo (rickshaw).
A little time will be given to freshen up before boarding our train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue. Overnight: Sleeper train | Breakfast
Day 4 Imperial Hue
Upon arrival to Hue we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city, whose 21m high tower has become something of a symbol for Hue and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin. In the countryside lies the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings and here we’ll view the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River, beautifully illuminated at night. Overnight: Hue | Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 Imperial Hue – Delightful Hoi An
Hue – Road of the Ocean Clouds – Hoi An. Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other. En route we stop for a walk along My Khe beach, a beautiful stretch of coastline which was nicknamed ‘China Beach’ by the Americans during the war and famously featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey south along the coast to Hoi An.
The charming, old-world trading port of Hoi An with its cobbled streets, traditional homes and tiny shop houses is a perfect place to lose yourself in a bygone era. Boutique restaurants, hip cafes along the waterfront, delightful craft shops and artisans including some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors (whose services come at a great price), all can be found here.
On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast
Day 6 Delightful Hoi An
Village Life – A bicycle ride into the countryside leads us to Tra Que village. Here, we discover age old farming practices and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands-on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch. Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 Hoi An – at leisure
A free day for you relax or further sightsee. You may wish to take a relaxing rowboat journey along the river or spend the day lazing by the beach or hotel pool. It’s also possible to take an optional excursion to the holiest and most evocative of Vietnam’s Cham sites – My Son, or to Quang Ngai, the site of the My Lai massacre memorial. The massacre was a significant turning point in the Vietnam War and the story is told through photo presentation on a walk through the village. Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast
Day 8 – Cruising the Mekong
Hoi An – Saigon. Early morning flight to Saigon. Drive to the Mekong Delta. Often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as its fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island.
Overnight: Can Tho | Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 – Mekong & Saigon
Can Tho – Saigon. Early today we visit the ever lively Cai Rang floating market. Watch as melons, pineapples, fresh greens, sacks of rice and children’s toys get tossed from one sampan to another at great heights and speed before driving back to Saigon. Once called the Pearl of the Orient, modern Saigon is a thriving metropolis on the move. Sleek sky scrapers, gourmet restaurants, designer malls and swanky bars and spas are scattered between ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and lively street markets. Our walking tour of Saigon includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure. Overnight: Saigon | Breakfast
Day 10 – Mekong & Saigon
Saigon. Monday. Today is free for you to enjoy Saigon before your departure transfer to the airport. Opt for a relaxing foot massage, shop for souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market or visit the grand Independence Palace, with its secret bunker and military command centre beneath.
You could also extend your stay and join us on a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels Here you can go underground to explore the vast network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters, see booby traps, trap doors or test your skill with an AK 47 at the firing range.
International flights and visa. Vietnam visa letter included – stamping fee required upon arrival
Entrance Fees: USD$30-40, paid in USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 – 6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$40-50, paid in USD
Note: prices are based on cash transfer of funds, subject to tour availability. All 2-4-1 deals – 2 passengers must book at the same time, on the same tour and travel date to qualify for deal. Tours are non-refundable/ transferable. Must be paid in full 48 hours after optioning the tour prior to 30/09/2017.