Discovery Journeys | 8 nights
This morning, leave bustling Ho Chi Minh for the 2.5-hour drive to the delta town of Cai Be on the Mekong River. First board your boat for a cruise of Cai Be floating market. After visiting the market continue to a cottage factory where ‘pop-rice’, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Return to the boat for the cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep Island. Along the way admire the scenery and the daily life of the local villagers. Lunch will be local Mekong style serving specialties of the area. Following your cruise, drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
After breakfast transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for the short flight to the central port city of Danang. On arrival in Danang transfer to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market. In the afternoon take a sunset boat trip. Overnight in Hoi An.
Places: Ho Chi Minh City; Hoi An; Hue; Hanoi, Halong Bay
Activities: City tour of Saigon's landmarks and bazaars; day trip on the Mekong River visiting bacwater villages and floating markets; be enchanted by Hoi An and the ancient kingdom at Hue; enjoy the gentler pace and charm of Hanoi; cruise unforgettable Halong Bay
Designed to capture the real essence of Vietnam, this fascinating nine-day journey takes you from the deep reaches of the Mekong Delta to the timeless capital of Hanoi. Unique guided excursions provide insight into the country’s architecture and traditional cultures and introduce you to the friendly local people and spectacular landscapes. Whether it’s enjoying a bowl of noodles with the locals in Hanoi or venturing through ancient mausoleums in Hue, this Essential Vietnam tour is full of unforgettable experiences.
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Depart your hotel for a full day tour of Ho Chi Minh City visiting the historic and colourful Chinatown District. Then head back into the centre of the city to visit Ben Thanh Market where an incredible display of fresh produce is offered. Simply stroll through the market seeing and enjoying the variety of goods for sale.
This afternoon visit the War Remnants or History Museum (choose which one you would most like to see) and the former Presidential Palace, from there stroll (your vehicle will be available at all times) to the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. At the end of the afternoon head back to your hotel. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Leave Hoi An via Danang for Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Drive through Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and dropping down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co.
Arrive into Hue and rest. Then visit the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. After exploring the ruins of this wonderful monument depart for the Mausoleum of Tu Duc, built decades before its occupant's death the tomb was used as a palace retreat before the emperors resting place. Finish up the day at Khai Dinh’s Tomb which is traditional Vietnamese in design with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue. Overnight in Hue.
Start your day with a visit to the city’s vibrant Dong Ba Market to see it’s abundance of fresh produce. After exploring the market take a cyclo through the ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to come to relax, full of lotus flowers in summer. There are many local-style coffee shops around the lake where university students come to study and chat, and makes for a young vibrant atmosphere.
Drive onto Thien Mu Pagoda, constructed in 1601, the 21-meter tall tower is the centerpiece of the pagoda. From here transfer to Hue Airport for the short flight to Hanoi. On arrival transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
Depart for a full day tour of Hanoi. Following the major sights, take a tour by cyclo, a chauffeur-pedaled tricycle, through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as the ‘36 streets’. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore, especially by cyclo, with plenty of photo opportunities all around you. At the end of the day, transfer back to your hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.
After breakfast leave Hanoi for an overnight boat trip on Halong Bay. Arrive in Halong City late morning and board your traditional wooden junk for the overnight journey into the Bay. En-route lunch will be served. This is followed by a cruise to the rock formations with such names as Sail, Dog and Dinh Huong (incense pot). Towards the end of the day set anchor for the night. As the sun sets over the bay, dinner is served on board with fresh seafood, salads, and fruits. Overnight on Halong Bay.
On your return to Halong City enjoy a wholesome brunch as your boat weaves through strange-shaped limestone rock formations. Upon disembarkation your driver will meet you for the transfer back to Hanoi. *As an optional extra and according to your flight schedule visit one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam ‘But Thap’ on the way back to Hanoi. At leisure for shopping until your transfer to Noi Bai Airport for onward flight.
Couples & Families | Visit All-Year | Fly to Ho Chi Minh City