Style: SMALL GROUP TOUR - Dedicated or local guides throughout the tour.
Groups Size: Small Group tours 4 to 10 people.
Departures: Available January 2023 - December 2023 - Please select your departure date on the registration page.
Dates are based on Day 1, arrival day in destination.
January 15 and 22, 2023
February 12 and 26, 2023
March 12 and 19, 2023
April 09 and 23, 2023
May 07 and 21, 2023
June 04 and 18, 2023
July 09 and 23, 2023
August 06 and 20, 2023
September 03 and 17, 2023
October 08 and 22, 2023
November 05 and 19, 2023
December 03, 2023
Themes: History & Culture
Activity Level: Moderate
What to Expect: This tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Expect early wake up times and very long days in order to fit in all included visits.
Vietnam Tour - "Land of the ascending dragon"
Vietnam - also famously known as the land of the “Ascending Dragon” for its geographical shape on the world map - is a land of opportunities. As Vietnam celebrates its 72nd independence today, it is remarkable to note how far the country has progressed over recent years. Moving away from a centrally planned system into a market based economy, Vietnam has advanced into the "lower middle income countries" bracket since 2009. In 2017, the nation is now considered one of the most dynamic emerging markets within Southeast Asia.
Day One: After clearing Customs and Immigration, and collecting your baggage, please look for our local representative holding a placard in your name to assist and transfer you to the hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight: La Siesta Premium Hotel (Deluxe Room) Meals: None
Day Two: Early breakfast at the hotel. Begin with an exploration of the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays). This museum showcases art, traditional clothing and reconstructions of traditional longhouses from 54 different ethnic groups. Afterwards head to the Temple of Literature with its walled courtyards and graceful gateways. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam's first university.
In the afternoon, visit Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex where the Vietnamese people honour the country Great Father. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (outside only) which contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh; and Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days in 1969. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Following by the miniature 11th century One Pillar Pagoda which was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. Hanoi clings on tightly to its heritage, best seen in the Old Quarter - a maze of narrow alleyways that date back to the 13th century. Visit Hoan Kiem Lake which contains an islet with the tiny Tortoise Pagoda, and nearby Ngoc Son temple.
Enjoy a taste of local Hanoian life as you explore a local market and some of the city's best street food stalls. Start at the bustling Hom market, one of the biggest and most popular markets in Hanoi. Wander through the narrow alleyways passing colourful stalls piled high with a vast array of fruit, vegetables, sweets and elaborate temple offerings. Take photos of the vibrant colours and breathe in the aromas of the tropical fruits. If you're feeling brave, venture to the exotic section to see kicking frogs, silkworms and wriggling eels. The entire market is alive with the buzz and excitement of the locals bartering and haggling for the freshest ingredients at the best prices.
Your guide will take you to popular street food stalls where you can sample some of the city's signature dishes. Stop at a local coffee shop to taste this rich and flavourful drink then continue your culinary exploration with a stroll through the maze of bustling streets that make up the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Join the locals and pull up a plastic stool at a pavement stall to try Vietnamese snacks and a cup of iced tea, followed by a sweet dessert of fresh fruit and condensed milk. End the tour with a cold draught beer at a sidewalk stall popular with locals. Note: Foodie tour is from 5PM to 8PM. (B, D with street foods). Overnight: La Siesta Premium Hotel (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Three: Breakfast at the hotel. Leave for Halong bay. Surrounded by the hundreds of limestone karst mountains and rock formations rising dramatically from the emerald green water; Halong bay is listed as one of the must-see place in Vietnam. Let's spend a night on the cruise with the stunning view of this wonder.
Arrive at the harbor at noon time and complete the check in procedure on your boat. You will be welcomed and served lunch while cruising towards the bay.
This afternoon is full of activities such as cave visit, floating farm, beach relax or simply enjoy the sunbathing on the sundeck (the program is varied depending on each boat cruise). Prepare your camera for the amazing photos of the bay, hundreds of boats or sunset. Dinner will be served on boat and enjoy the relaxing night while boat is anchoring at the quiet water area.
Note: No local guide or escort on cruise. Local on-board English speaking guide will be arranged by the cruise.
Overnight: Bhaya Classic Cruise (Deluxe Cabin) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Four: Wake up early and enjoy the morning in the middle of the bay. Join in a Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck. Breakfast (or brunch) will be served on the boat while cruising back to the port, passing the majestic peaks. Disembark from the cruise and board your vehicle for your transfer to the airport to board your flight for Hue.
Arrive Hue, transfer to the hotel. Overnight: Indochine Palace Hotel (Palace Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast
Note: The program can be changed due to the weather condition, tide condition and local authorization.
Day Five: Early breakfast at the hotel. Check out and proceed on a full day sightseeing tour in Hue. Visit Tha Om Vinh Tu. Rumoured to be haunted, a flashpoint for anti-government protests, and the site of a famous self-immolation by a monk. Thien Mu Pagoda will lure us in with its beauty, elegant architecture and evocative past. We'll travel by boat along the Perfume River to visit the iconic pagoda. Now let's go back in time and bask in the beauty of the Nguyen dynasty at the 19th century Imperial Citadel - a city within a city. Out in the countryside we'll visit the Imperial Tomb of Tu Duc, a tranquil place with beautiful ponds and temples. Finally, the owner of an exquisite replica of a 19th century garden house will welcome us into their home to talk about the architecture and history of Hue.
Drive south from Hue along scenic mountain roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Highlights along the way include the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of North and South Vietnam; Lang Co, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the East Vietnam Sea; and the large coastal city of Danang.
You will arrive in Hoi An in early evening and check into the hotel. Overnight: Silk Marina Resort (Deluxe Riverview Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Six: Breakfast at the hotel. The exquisitely preserved merchant town of Hoi An was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Its colourful shophouses and temples reflect a diverse heritage, dating back to the 16th and 17th century, when it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. Today it is a thriving centre of traditional crafts and a shoppers' paradise, best explored on foot. Wander through the cobbled streets, past low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central market and the small harbour where colorfully painted boats are moored. The walking tour will include visits to a private house, where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting; to one of the family chapels built by prominent merchant or official families as centers for ancestor worship; and to a typical Chinese-style pagoda or assembly hall. Continue to the famous Japanese covered bridge, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream.
Finally, pause to visit a local workshop and try your hands to make a Hoi An lantern. Under instruction of local skillful master, you will experience how to fold the silk into a colorful lantern to create a unique souvenir to take home.
In the afternoon, hop on a vintage scooter to explore the countryside life. Setting off from Café Zoom in Hoi An, we head out west along the banks of the Thu Bon River, first stopping at a bustling local fish market before heading into the rice paddy rich countryside and local villages, stopping to meet a local family producing the local rice crackers. Crossing a bridge over the Thu Bon River takes us through more quiet villages and then into beautiful farmlands, where we take a break for some local food while surrounded by seasonal vegetables in the picturesque fields of corn, aubergine, sweet potato, cucumbers and herbs. As the sun starts to go down, we set off through the rice paddies, passing duck farms, visit a local mat weaving family and then ride along by the prawn farms and over the river to visit a charming family home where they produce the local & potent favourite brew - rice wine. It’s then a short ride over the Cam Kim Bridge into Hoi An as the sun begins to set on this beautiful heritage town. Overnight: The Silk Marina Resort (Deluxe Riverview Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Seven: Breakfast at the hotel. Take a morning flight from Danang to Saigon. Upon arrival, drive to outskirts of Saigon, we're going underground - deep into the Cu Chi Tunnels! These hand-dug tunnels changed the course of the Vietnam War. The well-camouflaged entrance holes lead into a network of incredibly narrow tunnels that stretch for over 200 kilometres connecting command posts, hospitals and shelters. We'll learn about the life of the Vietcong and venture into some of the tunnels. The deadly, bamboo-spiked booby traps are another must-see. Overnight: Alagon D’Antique Hotel (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Eight: Breakfast at the hotel. Today we’ll explore Saigon. Ever-vibrant, ever-changing - this is the buzzing city of Saigon, where sleek skyscrapers loom over incense-infused temples and motorcycles rule the roads. There's classic European-style landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Opera House, the ornate City Hall and the art-deco Post Office. Reminders of a recent past can be seen in the Reunification Palace, famously stormed by tanks in 1975.
We'll enjoy a leisurely traditional cyclo ride head out to Cholon, the historic Chinatown district to discover colonial-era gems, Chinese temples and vivacious street life. Make sure you save some energy for browsing the stalls in the bustling Ben Thanh Market. We'll also get to try a cup of Vietnamese coffee - strong and flavourful, and often made with yoghurt or eggs! Overnight: Alagon D’Antique Hotel (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Nine: Breakfast at the hotel. From Saigon, drive into the heart of the Mekong Delta the small town of Cai Be with an elegant Neo-Romanesque Cathedral at the town centre recalling the presence of the French colonialists back in the 19th century. Embark on one of the local boats to explore the riverside village in which local families are running age-old cottage industries. Pay them a visit and see how the delta residents make traditional treats including dried longans, rice pancakes and puffed rice candies, a chance to sample these local delicacies.
Continue the trip across a main flow of the mighty Mekong then follow narrow waterways through peaceful lush green orchards and also lively scenes of well inhabited canals. Return to Saigon for the final night. Overnight: Alagon D’Antique Hotel (Deluxe Room) Meals: Breakfast
Day Ten: Breakfast at the hotel.
12:00 noon check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport to board your onward flight. Meals: Breakfast
END OF OUR SERVICES
Your tour includes:
- All services as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Local English speaking tour guide services during sightseeing only
- Accommodation at the hotels mentioned above or similar to include currently applicable taxes
- Meals per itinerary
- Transfers and sightseeing by standard private, air-conditioned vehicles.
- Drinking water and cold towels during sightseeing.
- Economy class airfare on domestic sectors: Hanoi / Hue - Danang / Saigon only
- Airfare and taxes on international sectors
- Visa and visa fees
- Personal expenses like baggage porterage at airports/hotels, tips, gratuities, laundry, telephone calls, etc
- Any item not mentioned above
**Times may vary according to traffic and weather