ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Hanoi
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. You might like to take a walk around the streets near your hotel and soak up the atmosphere of Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi – Story of Hanoi
Begin your Story of Hanoi by exploring its top sites and labyrinthine Old Quarter. Start at the Ho Chi Minh Complex where you will see the Presidential Palace, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Mausoleum — the resting place of Vietnam’s founding president. Then go back in time to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, an 11th century archaeological site, and the famous Temple of Literature. End the afternoon viewing Long Bien Bridge, which was partially bombed during the Vietnam War, then take a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s 36 streets, finishing up with a coffee in a local café.
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay
Depart Hanoi and drive about four hours to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Spend the next few days cruising on the jade waters, admiring the sublime landscape of limestone karsts aboard a traditional junk boat. As the sun sets enjoy cocktails on the deck and a gourmet dinner.
Day 4: Halong Bay
Explore the far corners of the bay away where remote sandy beaches and clear water make an ideal spot for swimming. Paddle your way through secluded lagoons by kayak for an up-close look at the jungle cov-ered karsts and caves
Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue
Wake up with the sunrise and admire the bay at first light. Take a small tender boat to visit Surprise Cave the largest in the bay and so called because you really are surprised on entering! The cave is filled with impressive limestone formations that have been illuminated for the best views. Cruise back to the main harbour and travel towards Hanoi and the airport for your flight to Hue.
Day 6: Hue
From 1802 Hue was the political, cultural and religious centre of a unified Vietnam, until the end of the Nguyen dynasty in 1945 when the capital was moved to Hanoi. Begin a city tour of UNESCO monuments including the Imperial Citadel and Imperial Tombs of the former emperors. Then take a cruise along the Perfume River as it wends its way through the city centre to Thien Mu Pagoda.
Day 7: Hue – Hoi An
Take a drive along the scenic Hai Van Pass towards ancient port town of Hoi An. This UNESCO recognized town has been artfully restored to its former glory and its quaint architecture makes the perfect picture postcard. This afternoon take a guided walking tour of the charming town to discover a preserved pagoda, assembly hall and beautiful covered bridge – living links to Hoi An’s ancient past.
Day 8: Hoi An
Beside the heritage and architecture, Hoi An is renowned for its tailors, who can sew you up an new outfit in no time at all. If you do not want to laze on the beach, then why not take a cycling tour in the countryside or roll up your sleeves and become a fisherman or farmer for the day!
Day 9: Hoi An
Spend the day lazing on the beach or getting that last minute fitting at the tailor! Getting to know the food is also the great way of learning about a country. Why not take a hands-on lesson on how cook authentic Vietnamese food. By the end of it you’ll be whipping up pho and spring rolls like a professional!
Day 10: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and spend the afternoon on a guided tour of the highlights. Discover the story of Saigon, from a city of conflict to a modern metropolis. You’ll visit key locations such as the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum, to learn about the city’s transition from war-torn Saigon to urban Ho Chi Minh City. This evening, arrive in style by private speedboat to the waterside oasis of the Deck Restaurant, nestled on the banks of the Saigon River and just 7km from the city centre.
Day 11: Mekong Delta
Travel into the heart of the Mekong Delta to explore the waterways on this full-day tour from Ho Chi Minh City. As you meander by boat through rivers and small creeks you will see small home-based factories that produce candy and oil from coconuts. Take a wander down a country lane to see matt weaving and then board the Le Jarai, a beautifully restored teak rice barge for a three course lunch of Mekong specialties.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - Siem Reap
Fly to Siem Reap the gateway to the World Heritage Listed temples of Angkor. The Ankgor complex embodies the entire range of Khmer art from the 9th to 14th centuries and played a formative role in the cultural and political development of the region. This afternoon, visit the Roluos group of temples for your first peek into Angkorian masterpieces.
Day 13: Siem Reap Angkor
Be awestruck by Angkor Wat, marvel at the smiling faces of Bayon and the tree entwined Ta Prohm that featured in the movie Tomb Raider. You’ll also see the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of Leper King, the pyramid shaped Phimeanakas. All the main highlight temples are covered so you won’t miss a thing! Then take a sunset cruise by gondola on the moat at Angkor Thom as the sun sets over this archaeological masterpiece.
Day 14: Siem Reap
Spend a leisurely half-day exploring Kampong Phluk, a village built on stilts over the Tonle Sap Lake. As you tour the village by boat, you will discover a thriving ecosystem that is home to a range of birds and wildlife, especially crab-eating macaques! Then, gain a first-hand insight into Buddhist culture with a visit to one of Siem Reap’s most famous pagodas and receive a monk’s blessing of your marriage. This unique experience includes chanting of prayers, incense and flower offerings.
Note: Kampong Phluk is seasonal due to the water level of the lake. If Kampong Phluk is unavailable an alternative village will be offered.
Day 15: Depart Siem Reap
Pick up some last minute trinkets or a silk scarf at the markets before transferring to the airport for your onward flight.