One night in Hanoi, one night Halong Bay, one night on the sleeper train, one night in Hue, three nights in Hoi An, one night in Can Tho, and one night in Saigon.
Discover once-in-a-lifetime experiences, unforgettable sights, and the unique culture of Vietnam on this ten-day tour.
Explore the vibrant capital city of Hanoi during your overnight stay, before taking a scenic drive to Halong Bay to board a deluxe junk boat. Admire the thousand or so karst limestone islands as you sail past. Swim in a sheltered cove and take a rowing boat to the Dark & Bright Lagoon. Back on board; enjoy a cooking demonstration on the sundeck and a delicious seafood dinner.
Hanoi is next; where you can spend time exploring the 36 streets of the old quarter by cyclo and sampling food from pavement vendors. Board the sleeper train to Hue and take a guided tour of Thien Mu Pagoda, Imperial Purple Palace, Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings, and Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh mausoleums, before a sunset cruise on the Perfume River.
Travel along the Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds) towards Hoi An, stopping en-route to walk along My Khe beach which featured in the film 'Apocalypse Now'. On arrival; join a walking tour to Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, and the 400-year-old Covered Bridge. Experience village life in Hoi An and explore independently during your remaining time in the city.
Fly to Saigon and admire the fascinating scenery and the hubbub of daily life as you cruise in a sampan through the maze of waterways at the Mekong Delta. Next morning, visit Cai Ran floating market before the drive to Saigon. A walking tour highlights famous sights such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office, and War Remnants Musem. Next day, enjoy free time until your airport transfer and flight home.
|Day 1||UK to Hanoi|
|Day 2||Hanoi to Halong Bay - Junk Boat Cruise on Halong Bay|
|Day 3||Halong Bay to Hanoi to Hue - Hidden Grottoes, Halong Bay|
|Day 4||Imperial Hue|
|Day 5||Hue to Road of the Ocean Clouds to Hoi An - Delightful Hoi An|
|Day 6||Village Life|
|Day 7||Hoi An - at leisure|
|Day 8||Hoi An to Saigon - Cruising the Mekong|
|Day 9||Can Tho to Saigon - Mekong and Saigon|
|Day 10||Saigon to UK|
Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel for check in. 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.
This morning a scenic drive leads you to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Boarding the traditional wooden junk boat, cruise through the emerald waters soaking up the panoramic vistas 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 with Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, the boat sails back to port.
Arriving at 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 artisans 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 you may have a chance to sample the exotic fruits, sizzling noodle dishes, and delightfully sticky snacks being offered by the pavement vendors. Your tour of the area is undertaken on a quintessentially Vietnamese vehicle, aboard a cyclo (rickshaw).
A little time will be given to freshen up before boarding the train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue.
Overnight: Sleeper train with Breakfast
Upon arrival to Hue, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. Visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city, whose 21 metre-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 you can 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 with Breakfast and Lunch
Today, 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 you'll 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 your 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 nominal price), can all be found here.
On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, 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 with Breakfast
A bicycle ride into the countryside leads you to Tra Que village. Here, you'll discover age-old farming practices and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands-on experience today where the group will assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
Overnight: Hoi An with Breakfast and Lunch
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 presentations on a walk through the village.
Overnight: Hoi An with Breakfast
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. Admire the fascinating scenery and the hubbub of daily life as you cruise in a sampan through the maze of waterways. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming, 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 with Breakfast and Lunch
Early today, 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. Your 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 with Breakfast
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 take 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.