ITINERARY BY DAY
Day 1: Arrive to Hanoi
Welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Either spend the night exploring the town or tuck in for an early night’s rest.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour
After a refreshing night’s sleep, begin your journey to the highlights and hidden gems of Hanoi, starting with Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. This imposing structure houses the remains of the revered former president who led Vietnam’s campaign for independence from colonial rule and is considered by Vietnamese to be one of the country’s most important sites. Next, head onward to the Temple of Literature, an ancient collection of courtyards, gardens and architecture built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. Considered the oldest university in Vietnam, the Temple of Literature dates back nearly one thousand years!
For lunch, sit down for a traditional Vietnamese meal with a contemporary twist at Home Restaurant, a boutique eatery within the quiet Truc Bach Lake area. The yellow walls and rustic décor here hark back to Hanoi’s past life as a French colony.
Follow your guide’s lead while you weave through some of the Quarter’s 36 streets named for the products historically sold there. Along the way, pass by some of the only remaining streets that continue selling the goods of their namesake, including Tin and Bamboo street. Head through labyrinthine back alleys well off the tourist trail and see Hanoi at its authentic best. Peer into temples and traditional houses, hear the stories of the ancient city and meet the people who call this fascinating city home. Wrap up your guided walk with a strong Vietnamese coffee at a café overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake - an important symbol of Vietnamese folklore - before heading to your final stop at Ngoc Son Temple on a tiny island on the lake. Enjoy a water puppet show for a look at traditional performance art in Vietnam before heading back to your hotel.
Day 3: L'Azalee 3 days / 2 nights cruise in Halong Bay
Set off early in the morning for a scenic ride to the port city of Halong Bay. After arrival, board your private junk boat and cruise into the tranquil waters of Halong Bay en route to Cat Ba Island. Your journey takes you past some of the bay’s most pristine natural scenery - a striking kaleidoscope of vivid jungle foliage draped across limestone formations rising from the iconic emerald waters of the bay. After a quiet afternoon of cruising, arrive in the bay area of Kiem Lam for some kayaking, swimming or relaxing on deck. Continue a bit further until dusk, and sit down for a few pre-dinner nibbles while the sun disappears beyond the horizon. In the late evening, try your hand at squid fishing from the boat’s stern or relax on deck with a drink in hand before tucking as the gentle rocking of the boat lulls you to sleep.
Please note: The maximum occupancy of L'Azalee Premium for overnight cruise is 2 persons.
Day 4: L'Azalee 3 days / 2 nights cruise in Halong Bay
Wake up early to watch the sun rise over Bai Tu Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site just far enough off of the tourist track to remain untainted. Not long after sunrise, enjoy breakfast on-board before cruising north toward Ba Hang, home to a local fishing village, caves and grottos. Disembark here to paddle by sampan and explore the caves and water-bound communities before returning to the junk and continuing onward to Soi Sim Island. Here, you can either climb up to a scenic peak overlooking the bay, or go for a refreshing swim before enjoying dinner while anchored alongside the nearby Drum Cave.
Spend your evening relaxing on deck or trying your hand at squid fishing again before another peaceful snooze on the sea.
Day 5: Halong Bay - transfer back to Hanoi - Evening flight to Danang
Wake up among the bay’s stunning limestone karst scenery and nibble on breakfast before setting off on your final cruising leg. Arrive back in Tuan Chau Marina after a few hours of gentle cruising and grab a light lunch snack, if you’d like, before heading back to Hanoi. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your next flight. Upon arrival in Danang, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
Day 6: Hoi An walking tour
Wake up to the cool morning sea-breeze before heading off for a wander around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An Ancient Town. A former trading port that welcomed Chinese, Ditch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants from the 16th to the 18th centuries, it’s one of the country’s most fascinating cultural melting pots. Hoi An is also home to some of the country’s most beautiful ancient architecture inspired by Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese culture.
Start your walking journey through the breezy walking streets lined with honey-yellow buildings, and arrive first at Chua Ong Pagoda. This Chinese inspired structure dates back to 1653, and its interior still wafts the sweet smell of incense during the day. From here, walk onward to nearby Phuc Kien Assembly Hall and Jinshang Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea.
After passing by the 200-year old Tan Ky House, take a short break at the Japanese Covered Bridge - one of Hoi An’s most iconic structures. At Reaching Out Tea House - an establishment that aids locals with disabilities - sit down for a rejuvenating cup of tea before having a tasty lunch accompanied by a cooking demonstration at a restaurant specialising in traditional Hoi An delicacies.
Afterwards, hop on a cyclo and head out toward Cam Thanh Village, a small community located in the outskirts of central Hoi An. Your destination is a small village home where you’ll meet a local family and have the opportunity to interact with the locals that call this village home. On the nearby river, hop in a bamboo basket boat to visit a water coconut forest and then on board a boat bound for central Hoi An. After taking in the stunning riverside scenery along the Thu Bon River, wrap up your journey with a sunset cocktail at a rooftop bar.
Day 7: Free day in Hoi An
Wake up early to enjoy another day of sightseeing around Hoi An. Beside the heritage and architecture, Hoi An is also renowned for its tailors, who can sew up an new and shockingly high-quality outfit in no time at all. If you don’t want to laze on the beach, take a cycling tour in the countryside or roll up your sleeves and become a fisherman or farmer for the day! Enjoy your last night in Hoi An while floating lanterns down the river –a Hoi An rite of passage!
Day 8: Fly to Nha Trang
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight.
Arrive the seaside town of Nha Trang where your guide will meet you to transfer you to your hotel. Afterwards, take in your first sights of Nha Trang’s turquoise sea, golden sand and blue skies along the city’s boardwalk or enjoy a night out on the town.
Day 9: Free day in Nha Trang
After breakfast, lounge your day away at the beach, get out and about with a city tour of Nha Trang, or hop on a boat to discover some of the pristine surrounding islands. Alternatively, enjoy rejuvenating mud baths that are unique to Nha Trang or spoil yourself with a relaxing spa treatment.
Day 10: Fly to Ho Chi Minh city - Dinner on Lady Hau cruise
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your next flight.
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, and transfer to your hotel for a brief refresh before taking views of the city. With its heady mix of past and present architecture, scooters whizzing past, noodle sellers on the sidewalk, Saigon is a city on the move.
Next, glide along the Saigon River on-board a beautifully restored rice barge from the Mekong Delta. Originally used to ferry goods to and from floating markets, today the Lady Hau offers a unique dining experience. Relax on the open air decks as you cruise the length of the Saigon riverside, and watch as the bright lights of the city start to turn on. Enjoy a delicious Vietnamese buffet and BBQ, prepared by one of Saigon's leading chefs, and take time to soak up the atmosphere of Vietnam's busiest city. This 3 hour dinner cruise is the perfect way to finish a hectic day in the city and enjoy the unique flavours of Vietnamese cuisine at its best. Enjoy the rest of your night out over a cocktail at some of the city’s chic bars or tuck in early for the evening.
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh city tour
Your journey begins with an introduction to Vietnam’s vibrant southern metropolis by private car. Set off into the bustling morning atmosphere of downtown Ho Chi Minh City, en route to a collection of its most famous landmarks. Start your journey at the Central Post Office and Opera House, both colonial-era architectural masterpieces with dazzling French design. From the Post Office, walk onward to the nearby Reunification Palace, so-called for the building’s integral part in the reunification of the country following the war. Explore the stately meeting rooms within the Palace’s interior before enjoying beautiful third-storey views across its vast grassy lawns and gardens.
Just nearby, pay a visit to the War Remnants Museum for a first-hand look at the mid-twentieth century war through the eyes of the Vietnamese people. By private car, make your final stop before lunch at Ben Thanh Market for a glimpse at the city’s bustling commercial heart. At Mandarin Restaurant, enjoy a freshly-prepared Vietnamese lunch accompanied by a cooking demonstration, before your private car continues on to the Chinatown District. Upon arrival, you’ll swap out your car for a wander around its bustling alleys on one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most charming modes of transportation - the cyclo! This traditional rickshaw will take you through the winding alleyways of the Chinatown area, arriving at Cha Tam Church and Chua Ong Pagoda, a stunning example of Chinese-inspired architecture.
By foot, head down a traditional herbal medicine street for a closer look at how locals use herbal remedies for everything from headaches to energy boosts! With a tea bag as your souvenir, wave goodbye to the friendly owner and head onward to Bitexco Building - a glittering example of modern architecture in the city. As the fifth highest building in Asia, the views from the EON Cafe Shop offer unrivalled panoramas of sunset. Enjoy a leisurely cocktail as the sun dips below the horizon for the perfect wrap up to your tour of Saigon. Your car will take you back to your hotel at the culmination of your journey for a relaxing night at your hotel.
Day 12: Mekong Delta Le Jarai cruise
This morning depart from your hotel and drive approximately two hours to Ben Tre, and a gateway to the delta. Here, you will board a small boat to start your sightseeing around the waterways of Mekong Delta. Known also as the rice bowl of Vietnam because of its large rice production, the area has also diversified into activities related to aquaculture, rearing of animals, cash crops and fruit trees.
Visit brick factory and board a small boat and meander through the canals and waterways and stop at a small homemade coconut processing plant to see how coconuts have been turned into oil, candy and woven mats that are later sold in the market. After the boat trip you will have a short walk to a local village to see mat weavers at work, before jumping on the deltas version of a tuk tuk and travelling down the country roads to the pier. Here you will board the beautiful teak boat Le Jarai to continue your cruise along the river. While on-board join in the demonstration of Vietnamese cooking before sitting down to a sumptuous three-course lunch of Mekong specialties. After lunch relax on the top deck and take in the scenery back to Ben Tre, where on arrival you will transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving at your hotel late in the afternoon.
Day 13: Cu Chi tunnels by Saigon river
After breakfast, head to the Ho Chi Minh City pier to begin your speedboat journey on the Saigon River and watch as the city fades into the background. Observe how life along the river slows to a lull as you make your way to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
The cramped tunnels were central to a few of the war’s strategic operations, including the famous 1968 Tet Offensive, and they didn’t escape damage. American B52 bombers dropped hundreds of bombs leaving huge tell-tale craters behind. The tunnels also have “mantraps” - large camouflaged holes dug deep into the ground that ensnared enemy soldiers on bamboo spikes. But don’t worry, you won’t step in one! You’ll also discover the remains of an American tank that was destroyed by a landmine which you can climb on for great photos. The Cu Chi experience can be emotionally draining for some visitors, but it offers fascinating windows into the hardship and traumas of war.
Next, it’s a short drive through the countryside to visit a cricket farm. Some Vietnamese consider crickets a delicacy, and local lore says that hungry soldiers ate them to beef up their nutrient-poor diets. At the farm you’ll see crickets in various stages of growth. You’ll also have a chance to sample crickets wrapped up in tasty spring rolls. Make sure you snap a photograph so that your friends will believe your unusual tale! Stop for a traditional Vietnamese lunch - it won’t include crickets - en route to your hotel Ho Chi Minh City, arriving mid-afternoon. Enjoy a final night out on the town by exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife.
Day 14: Depart Ho Chi Minh city
Pick up those last minute souvenirs or snap a few more photos before transferring to the airport for your onward flight.