Highlights of Vietnam - Summer Exclusive Offer

Take advantage of this exclusive offer, which enables you to save up to US$ 199/person, and discover the highlights of Vietnam in 2 weeks of adventure. From the limestone Karsts of Halong Bay in the North, to the charming, foodie favourite of Hoi An and the rural beauty of the Mekong Waterways, this is the best of Vietnam.

Book before June 16th, 2017 and travel from May 1st - September 30th, 2017

Destinations included:
Hanoi - Halong - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh - Mekong - Phan Thiet

We pride ourselves in creating personalised travel experiences that suit all your preferences and needs.

With this tour you can:

  • Choose your own departure date
  • Select the comfort level of accommodation
  • Adjust activities to cater to special interests
  • Modify any aspect of the tour as needed
JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Soaking up the hustle and bustle of Hanoi’s Old Quarter.
  • Falling for Vietnam’s striking naural beauty amid the Karst formations of Ninh Binh and Halong Bay.
  • Strolling through the lantern-filled streets and riverside promenade of Hoi An Ancient Town.
  • Feeling the metropolitan pulse of Ho Chi Minh City and experiencing its highlights.
  • Cruising the waterways of the mightly Mekong River Delta and learning about life in this unique landscape.
  • Relaxing in the beautiful beachside town of Phan Thiet.
TOUR INCLUSIONS
  • Carefully selected accommodation with breakfast
  • Other meals listed in the itinerary
  • Expert English-speaking local guide
  • Tours as mentioned and air-conditioned transfers
  • Sightseeing and permit fees during guided times
  • Boat cruises and rides while on tour
  • Flights to tour destinations (Economy Class)
  • Service charges and government VAT tax
TOUR MAP
ITINERARY BY DAY

DAY 1: ARRIVE HANOI

Upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Spend the day at your leisure, soaking in the charm of chaotic Hanoi, with the option of an evening foodie tour.

Hanoi Street Eat Tour (Optional)

Tonight your guide will take you on a culinary adventure, sampling street food in the Old Quarter. It’s a great opportunity to try all those weird and wonderful foods you see but just aren’t sure what they are! Start your Hanoi Street Eats tour at Bia Hoi corner to try the local brew, a draft beer that traces its roots to Eastern Europe. Do as the locals do and pull up a stool and enjoy a drink while watching the world go by.

Vietnamese Draught Beer

Continue through the old quarter’s narrow streets as your guide points out a range of tasty noodles, breads and snacks. At night the sidewalks are packed with locals perched on stools, amongst sizzling woks and bubbling pots. These small pop up restaurants are a nightly feature that all but disappear during the day. Sit down and enjoy a flame grilled Vietnamese barbecue of beef, chicken, tofu and vegetables on skewers. End the night with dessert from Hanoi’s best-known ice-cream parlour.

DAY 2 HANOI - FULL DAY GROUP TOUR

Start your morning with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the resting place of President Ho Chi Minh who led Vietnam to independence from French colonial rule. His preserved body has been an important landmark in the capital city since 1969, and a perfect place to learn more about Vietnam’s rich history. From there, wander through the beautiful surrounding gardens and toward the One Pillar Pagoda and Presidential Palace, where a replica of Ho Chi Minh’s simple working space is on display.

Afterward, set off through central Hanoi toward the Temple of Literature, the oldest university in Hanoi and a perfect example of ancient architecture built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. Then enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch with a chance to get a bit more “hands on” for a cooking demonstration!

Start your afternoon city excursion not by foot, but on board a “cyclo”. Equal parts transportation and travel experience, these traditional bicycle rickshaws move at a leisurely pace that’s perfect for photos and slow-moving sightseeing. Sit back and relax while your driver weaves through some of the Old Quarter’s busiest streets, dodging speeding motorbikes and rolling past French colonial houses on the way to your next destination.

Next, hop off your cyclo at The Northern Gate of the ancient citadel, a gargantuan fortress in the heart of the city. Learn about the history of the imposing structure and Cua Bac Church, a beautiful example of French and catholic influence in the city.

Set off again on foot this time towards Quan Thanh Temple, an 11th Century Taoist temple that is one of the oldest and most culturally significant in the city. Then embark on a lengthier stroll toward West Lake, hearing the story of John McCain and this temple along the way. Head off along a quieter back road, and stop next at historic Pho Cuon Restaurant for a quick snack.

Your next stop is Chau Long Market for a closer look at Hanoian culture in the flurry of a local market. After exploring the street stalls here, set off along Nguyen Truong To Street - famous for its desserts -- toward Hang Than Street, the epicentre of Hanoi’s thriving wedding cake stores. Learn a bit about Vietnam’s unique wedding culture while sampling some wedding cakes. Shake off your sugar rush on a stroll to nearby Hang Cot Street for a look at Hanoi’s mat weaving borough before stopping off along Hang Ga Street for a local coffee.

DAY 3 ESSENCE OF NINH BINH - WATERWAYS AND KARSTS

Meet your guide and driver in the morning and depart Hanoi bound for Ninh Binh Province. Known lovingly as "Halong Bay on land", this stunning province boasts similar limestone karst topography that rises from emerald rice paddy fields and winding rivers. After a two and a half hour drive, arrive in Gia Vien District and swap your car for a bicycle - embark on a short cycling journey through paddy fields en route to the nearby Van Long reservoir area. Along the way, stop at Mai Trung hamlet for an in-depth experience in local rice farming. Follow the lead of your local host for seeding, putting down fertilizer, scooping water or harvesting, depending on the time of year.

Afterwards, cycle onward to a local family home, and get an up-close demonstration of traditional cooking. Then, sit down with your local family hosts and enjoy the local specialties along with another Vietnamese favourite - rice wine! After lunch, challenge your hosts to a game of chess or kick back for a chat to learn about their lives here.

In the afternoon, reach Van Long wharf and set off on a short boat trip into the reservoir at Van Long Nature Reserve - the largest wetland in northern Vietnam. Float past poetic landscapes and rolling jungle hills that are perfect for photos, before heading back to Hanoi for arrival in the early evening
 

DAY 4 HANOI - HALONG - 1 NIGHT CRUISE

Depart from Hanoi and travel by shuttle bus to the seaside port of Halong Bay. Transfer to Tuan Chau island to board the L’Azalee Deluxe, a beautifully restored traditional wooden junk boat. Settle in and enjoy the view from the water.

Lunch is served as you leisurely cruise between Cat Ba Island and Ha Long Bay, before dropping anchor for a tour through Sung Sot cave. Cruise on through to the Lom Bo Canal area to visit a local Pearl Farm and have the opportunity to purchase a unique Halong Bay gift. If you’re feeling adventurous, disembark for a spot of kayaking in the floating village.

Back on board, head on to your mooring for the evening and take part in a Vietnamese cooking demonstration from the on board chefs! Enjoy dinner on the deck and wrap up your day with a cocktail or try your hand at squid fishing.

 DAY 5 HALONG - HANOI - FLY TO HOI AN

Rise early to catch the sunrise over Bai Tu Long Bay while taking part in a Tai Chi class with the boat’s Tai Chi guru. Enjoy breakfast on the sundeck before cruising onward to Ti Tov Island. Your final stop at Titov leaves plenty of time to explore, hiking up to the scenic viewpoint or swimming off of the beach. On the final leg of your cruise pass by well-known karsts of Thumb Island, Fighting Cocks and the Incense Karst, which is featured on the 200,000 dong note. Say goodbye to the crew at the main harbour and take the private transfer about 4 hours back to Hanoi.

In the evening head back to the airport to fly to Danang and transfer from there to your hotel in Hoi An.


DAY 6: LOCAL LIFE - HIDDEN HOI AN WALKING HALF DAY SMALL GROUP TOUR

Begin your tour of Hoi An, a former trading port that welcomed Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants between the 16th to 18th centuries. Today, Hoi An is famous for its restored architecture, homemade silk, expert tailors and delicious noodles and seafood. Its relaxed vibe and pedestrian streets make this town a pleasure to walk around and discover new things.

Hoi An Ancient town

The tour includes stops at several famous landmarks. The first is Chua Ong Pagoda, dating back to 1653 and built in honor of the Chinese general Quan Cong, who is worshipped by many as a symbol of loyalty and justice.

Next, pop into Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, to see the Jinshang Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea and the protector of sailors. From there it’s a short walk to Tan Ky House, a 200 year old ancestral house and finally, stroll across the photogenic 17th century covered bridge built by Japanese craftsmen. The beautifully built bridge doubles as a temple and is a major landmark of Hoi An. End your afternoon with a boat trip along Thu Bon river.
 

 DAY 7 HOI AN - FREE DAY - STREETFOOD TOUR

Enjoy the day at your leisure before an evening of foodie delights.

Set off on a culinary adventure in Hoi An to discover the flavours and dishes that make this coastal town unique. Alongside an expert local guide, your journey introduces you to the stories behind Hoi An’s most iconic dishes at the town’s most famous eateries.

Start your tour at a local restaurant famous for white rose dumplings, found exclusively in Hoi An. The staff churn out up to 6000 of these dumplings every day and each one is as beautiful as the last. Your visit here includes a chance to try making a few of your own dumplings too!

Down a nearby alley, depart the dumpling shop and head onward to visit an 250 year old ancient house. This is your chance to step inside a traditional Hoi An home and see how the locals live (and eat if you are lucky to come over on their dinner time)! Stroll around the house, spending time with the host to learn about his life. Before moving on, visit his workshop where his skillful hands spend hours creating sophisticated and creative silver jewelry. Take home a unique and personal souvenir or simply share your admiration with him.

Continue on to find another local specialty: banh can. These crackers are served with quail eggs, pork and a tasty salad and are a Hoi An street food favourite. Pull up a small street side stool and enjoy with your guide. Am alternative is banh mi, the ,much-loved “Vietnamese baguette”.

Continue onward to sample grilled pork satay and visit the central market on your way. Finally, the famous Cao Lau noodles or equally popular chicken rice. Wrap up the tour with a local Vietnamese coffee- the perfect ending to any meal.


DAY 8 HOI AN - HO CHI MINH CITY - STORY OF SAIGON

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

Start your Story of Saigon tour with a visit to the War Remnants Museum. Here, your guide will tell the story of the city’s darkest and most tragic hours during the Vietnam War. The museum contains displays of military aircraft, weaponry and many photographs - some that are quite graphic in nature. Although many of Vietnam’s 90 million people are now too young to remember the war, its legacy is still felt strongly across Vietnamese society.

Next, visit the Reunification Palace, once a symbol of the South Vietnamese Government. It was here on 30 April 1975, that the war ended when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates. See the war room, the banquet hall and the presidential office with the unusual gifts which have been received. Then, continue to the Central Post Office, designed and constructed by the renowned architect Gustave Eiffel, and take a moment to send a postcard! Just behind the post office is the Notre Dame Cathedral, an iconic Saigon landmark built in neo-Romanesque style by the French between 1863 and 1880. Today it’s a favoured backdrop for Vietnamese wedding photographs.

Stroll onward down Dong Khoi Street, which figured prominently in Graham Greene’s famous Vietnam novel, The Quiet American, as Rue Catinat. The walk ends at the Saigon Opera House. From acting as a bomb shelter to housing the parliamentary Lower House, the Opera House has seen an interesting history. End your day with a speedboat trip along the city’s ancient canals where life carries on unchanged. Return to your hotel as the sun sets on this fascinating city.
 
 
DAY 9 HO CHI MINH CITY - MEKONG DELTA ON CAI BE PRINCESS

Meet your guide at your hotel and make the 2 hour journey to the Cai Be jetty to board your traditional Sampan boat. The crew warmly welcome you with cold towels and a refreshing drink as the Cai Be Princess sampan sets off for its leisurely cruise on the busy waterways of the Mekong Delta.

Observe a little of river life as it plays out on the banks - noting the people and the stunning landscapes - while your attentive crew serves you tea and seasonal fruit. At Tan Phong Islet board a little rowing boat to explore the canal’s hidden mangroves. Return to your sampan to visit an ancient house built in the 19th century. Make stops along the way to provide glimpses of local cottage industries, including factories for the production of coconut candy and puffed rice (the local equivalent of popcorn), products that provide a living for the river people.

Your cruise ends at Le Longanier Restaurant. Lunch is served in this exquisite colonial-style villa set in a lush tropical garden by the river. After lunch, take a short walk along a small canal, towards the Ba Bon Bridge where your personal vehicle awaits to drive you back to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at your hotel in the afternoon.

DAY 10 HO CHI MINH CITY - PHAN THIET - TRAIN

This morning board the early morning train for the four hour journey to Phan Thiet. Watch through the windows of the train as the rural landscape unfolds, passing through small villages to see daily life from a different perspective. Phan Thiet has an interesting history and was once at the heart of the Vietnam War, but those days are long gone and today the city is a hub for fishing, agriculture and aquaculture. It also boats some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Vietnam!


DAY 11 – 12 PHAN THIET

The next two days are yours to spend entirely as you please. Grab one of the resort’s bicycles and explore the town and country roads, or jump in a jeep for a giant sand dune adventure. If all that tires you out, relax with a massage or treatment at the spa! And, of course, don’t forget to enjoy cocktails and seafood by the sea!
 

DAY 13 PHAN THIET - TRAIN TO HO CHI MINH CITY

It’s your last chance for a dip in the sea! This afternoon take the train back to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving in the afternoon.
 

DAY 14 DEPART HO CHI MINH CITY

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your onward flight.


*price is quoted in USD and based on 2 adults. Terms and conditions apply

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