All the highlight locations including a luxury cruise on Halong Bay, three current and former capital cities, beaches and meandering the Mekong Delta.
Your guide will meet you at the airport and private transfer to your hotel.
After your hotel check-in, you may wish to take a late afternoon or evening stroll of 2.5km around Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake is considered the center of Hanoi, not only physically but also symbolically.
Today, discover the highlight sites and sights iof this vibrant capital city including: Streets of the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, One-pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and museums of interest.
This morning leave Hanoi for the approximately 3 hours drive through the Red River delta to Ha Long. Board your traditional junk and set sail through the extraordinary and scenic Karst rock formations.
Enjoy lunch and dinner on-board as you cruise to your anchor location in the bay. Overnight is in your spacious air-conditioned cabin.
Wake to sunrise over the bay. If you feel energetic try Tai Chi on the deck. Breakfast or brunch is served as you cruise back to the mainland by late morning.
You’ll have a private transfer to Hanoi airport and then a one-hour flight south to Hue Phu Bai Airport, where your local guide will meet you and continue your private transfer around 30 minutes to your hotel.
Begin early to miss the crowds and see Hue Citadel in the best light. The citadel palace complex is located on the North bank of Huong River (Perfume River), inside Hue city. Even though suffering extensive damage from the war, it is still a very impressive site.
We’ll take time for a Hue coffee and also walk around the largest market in the region at Dong Ba. Continue to discover the history of the former emperors’ tombs, before a cruise back to Hue on the Perfume River and catch a sunset.
For this unique day, we’ll begin the morning with a short ride by cyclo to a local coffee shop. You’ll be welcomed into a nice and cozy atmosphere, frequented mainly by locals.
We’ll continue our cycle ride for around 45 minutes to Thuy Bieu Village, which is a wonderland of pomelo that possesses a very special taste and fragrance.
Stop by a local garden house and enjoy the story of the people who live there and have kept it original. They will prepare some natural herbs for soaking your feet after your ride and then get ready for a local lunch in the garden.
Our final highlight of the day will be to visit the private gallery of a local engineer and artist, who has revived the ancient art of Phap Lam in Hue. This method uses ceramic enamel paint to cover laminated copper and was a popular 19th century art-form.
You will be able to create your own unique piece of enamelled artwork, to take away with you as a wonderful memento of a unique day.
Following National Highway 1 south to Hoi An is around 4 hours drive. We’ll stop at Lang Co Beach and Lagoons , followed by a scenic drive over the stunning Hai Van Mountain Pass. This is the highest pass in Vietnam (500m above sea level).
The rugged pass is the final section of the Truong Son Range stretching to the sea.Hai Van is translated “Sea Clouds”, since the peak of the mountain is in the clouds while its foot is close to the sea.
The views over Lang Co Bay are stunning. We’ll make stops along the way in Da Nang for photos and refreshments as required.
Begin with a few km cycle ride (or by traditional cyclo) around country lanes to Tra Que village. The locals here cultivate and grow many kinds of herbs. Enjoy a herbal foot massage and a short and fun – but instructive cooking with herbs class. Enjoy lunch here.
In the afternoon, we’ll return to the Old Town – ideal for a couple hours walking tour to understand the historical and commercial development of this former 16th century trading port.
Today is flexible for you to wander the Old Town, there are wonderful artisan workshops, art galleries and of course many tailors if you wish to get something made, usually at a fraction of the cost at home!
Perhaps take a ride out to one of the nearby beaches – Cua Dai or An Bang. Both are around 5km away and offer beachside restaurants with fresh seafoods, along with bars and of course lovely soft sand, to relax on.
Meet you on arrival at Can Tho Regional Airport. Your regional guide and driver will be ready to transfer you to your hotel.
Can Tho is home to a number of interesting temples. If time is available, we’ll visit one or two on the way:
Dating back to the mid-1940s, the Munirangsyaram Pagoda is a little gem in the centre of the city and was built for the local Khmer community. This Khmer Theravada Buddhist pagoda has some fantastic ornamentation and a noticeable lack of Taoist spirit decorations, which are so commonplace in pagodas of the Vietnamese Mahayana style.
After check in at your hotel, the remainder of today is free and easy for you to enjoy this riverside town, with its evening promenade and night market.
We depart early and take a short cruise on our private boat to the largest floating market in the Delta – Cai Reng.
Here we will have to opportunity to see the many barges and boats laden with their produce for sale.
After returning to our hotel for breakfast and check-out, drive to small town of Vinh Long (approx 1 hour).
We now join our private boat to experience local life and industry in the Delta. This is varied – and includes a small brickwork, bonsai gardens, ancient houses and hand-made coconut candy manufacture. Lunch (included) will be taken at a restaurant or house on one of the Delta islands.
We continue our exploration of the Mekong by private boat. There is also opportunity to take a short section of the journey by traditional sampan. Soon we will cross the upper branch of the Mekong, to the small port at Cai Be.
Here, we’ll disembark and rejoin our car, for the drive to Saigon, which takes around 2.5 hours. Expect to arrive in the city and hotel check-in by late afternoon.
What’s in a name? Following the fall of Saigon on 30th April 1975, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. However the old Saigon name is still often used by both Vietnamese and visitors, especially when referring to the most central part of the city, District 1.
This energetic city of some 11 million people (seemingly all on motor scooters together) is the backdrop for exploring the more modern history and stories it’s enduring people.
There are amazing markets, stunning architecture, wartime sites and so much more that you’ll discover.
This morning, Join your speedboat for around 1.5 hours fast cruise up river. Within 15 minutes, the banks of the river change from city sprawl to lush jungle.
After a short documentary, your guide will lead you through the historic Cu Chi Tunnels and the numerous sites, which show how the Viet Cong waged war.
The tunnels were dug with simple tools and bare hands during the French occupation in the 1940s, and further expanded during the Vietnam War in the 1960s to provide refuge and a defensive advantage over the American soldiers.
Enjoy a delicious traditional Vietnamese lunch by the river, consisting of authentic fried spring rolls, chicken and beef dishes and soup, before returning to the city mid-afternoon.
This evening – experience Saigon the local way! You will ride on the back of typical Saigon transportation – the xe-om (motorbike).
With an experienced driver to get away from the main tourist spots and see the ‘real Saigon’. We will be visiting local Vietnamese Street food vendors on the pavement or in small local Vietnamese style restaurants.
The atmosphere is light and fun with a focus on enjoying great Vietnamese food. It is truly like going to a dinner party with local Vietnamese, except this one moves!
Depending on time before your airport transfer, we’ll visit Ben Thanh Market where you can find all kinds of stuff – from local coffee, to candy to jewelry to branded fakes!