Day 1: Arrive Hanoi (D)
Arrive Hanoi. Your local English speaking guide will meet you at the arrivals hall of Hanoi airport for the transfer to your hotel. This afternoon a brief walking tour introduces the fascinating old quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake. Tonight an introduction to the cuisine as your local guide escorts you to dinner at a popular local restaurant.
Day 2: Explore Hanoi (B)
After breakfast at the hotel a half-day city tour to visit some of Hanoi’s historical sights. Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minhs house, where he preferred to live simply – behind his Palace! One Pillar Pagoda is a small but significant pagoda with a Buddhist representation of the world and the Temple of Literature which was originally built in 1070.
The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore Hanoi further or simply to shop for the many bargains and items on offer.
Tonight tickets are included for the Water Puppet Theatre – a traditional form of entertainment that originated in the rural areas. (non-guided). We suggest you also check out the night markets, a bustling mix of shopping and dining.
Day 3: 1 Day Halong Bay Tour (B, L)
1-day Halong Bay tour. The drive to the coast from Hanoi includes a visit to a local village popular for embroidery and textile products. Arriving in Halong, board a private sailing boat to discover this World Heritage site, known as the ‘land of 3000 islands’. Rising from the sea the islands offer a wealth of opportunity for the local people. Your visit includes exploring the beauty of this area up close and lunch is served on board.
Day 4: Hanoi – Hue (B)
Day at leisure before a late afternoon transfer to Hanoi airport for the evening flight to Hue. Transfer on arrival to your hotel.
Day 5: 1 Day Hue City Tour (B, L)
A tour of Hue begins with a boat trip along the Perfume River, before visiting Tu Duc Tomb and the Imperial Citadel, a day exploring the early history of the Imperial rulers of Vietnam.
Day 6: Hue – Hoi An (B)
Discover the spectacular Hai Van Pass, rated by National Geographic as one of the 50 ‘must-do’ journeys in the world. This scenic road winds alongside the coast, your driver/guide will stop for photographs along the way. On arriving in Danang a stop is made to visit the Cham Museum which hosts a collection from the Cham people who used to live in the area. Another stop is made at the fascinating Marble Mountain, and then at China beach you may stop for a swim if you wish.
Day 7: Explore Hoi An (B)
A walking tour takes you around and inside the historic old buildings of this World Heritage site. Afternoon at leisure.
During the 17th and 18th centuries Hoi An was a major Asian trading centre, it is a wonderful town featuring cobblestone streets filled with cafés, art galleries, markets, and tailors.
You may like to get some clothes or shoes tailor made or pick up some great art and souvenirs. Hoi An also boasts an excellent beach nearby, you can hire a bicycle or a car & driver to get there, or choose to stay beachside – please ask for prices based on beachside resort options.
Optional tours are available locally to the My Son Holy Land, a series of wonderful ruins of the ancient capital of the Cham Kingdom, or take cooking lessons, either at the Red Bridge school for a professional half-day lesson or at one of the local restaurants that offer a 2-hour course.
Day 8: At leisure (B)
At leisure in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoi An – Da Nang Airport – Ho Chi Minh City (B, D)
This morning transfer through to Danang for the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). On arrival transfer to your hotel. The afternoon is at leisure, you may like to wander the main boulevard to visit Ben Thanh market or enjoy the cafés, shops and restaurants around your downtown hotel.
This evening a special treat as your local guide escorts you to a popular and very local restaurant for you to try some more options of the wonderful cuisine.
Day 10: 1 Day Cu Chi Tunnels and Ho Chi Minh City Tour (B, L)
This morning tour to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels, 30km outside of Saigon, showcases one of the most intact monuments from the war. Dug by hand the tunnels were home to the Viet Cong during the US war.
A video shows their use and parts have been excavated for you to see inside. On the way back to Saigon a visit is made to a lacquerware factory where this beautifully art is produced on site and offers you the opportunity to view pieces being created.
In the afternoon visits are made to the key sights of Saigon including the bustling Cholon (China Town) wholesale market, the ornate and wonderful Thien Hau Pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral and if time allows the War Museum.
Day 11: 1 Day Mekong Delta Tour to Vinh Long (B, L)
1-day Mekong Delta tour. This morning drive through the ‘fruit-bowl’ of Vietnam to the Mekong River. A private boat trip explores the tributaries, visits Orchards and Bonsai Gardens and local ‘home industries’. You’ll get to sample the wonderful array of fruit and other goodies. On the return to Saigon a photo stop is made at the colourful Cao Dai Temple.
Day 12: Depart Ho Chi Minh City (B)
At leisure for you to enjoy Saigon before a transfer to Saigon Airport for your onward journey.
Included: All accommodation including daily breakfast (3-star Hotels), all transfers and sightseeing tours detailed including all entrance fees and local English speaking guide on tours only. All domestic flights, meals as indicated, full pre-departure information and a contact phone number in Vietnam.
Excluded: International flights, Vietnam VISA, Travel Insurance, departure taxes, personal expenses and gratuities.