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Highlights of Vietnam

Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,615

Experience a country rich in highlights including bustling Ho Chi Minh City, the lush Mekong Delta, ancient Hue, charming Hoi An, exotic and beautiful Halong Bay and Hanoi, the “Paris of Vietnam”.


Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon before 1975. It is the economic centre and the largest city in the country, bustling with life – just watch a scooter go by with a family of five hanging on. Its many markets sell everything from silk to spices and the city is dotted with temples. During your stay here, you will visit the Cu Chi Tunnels situated 40 kilometers/25 miles outside the city. They are an elaborate underground system of tunnels and chambers spread out over 240 kil;ometrs/150 miles which is mind boggling as these tunnels which were built in the 1940’s and used again in the 1960’s to provide refuge from the foreign enemy, housed hundreds of families and even contained hospitals underground. .In the city, begin with Reunification Hall, formerly the Presidential Palace followed by the HistoryMuseum with its Vietnamese antiquities. Take in the Notre Dame Cathedral built by the French during their occupation and the uniquely designed Post Office.

Next up is the Mekong Delta situated in South West Vietnam and is where the mighty Mekong River empties into the South China Sea by way of a network of many small tributaries. It is a land of flat flood plains and a few hills with green fields and sleepy villages. The villages are generally only reached by river or canal rather than by road. It is also known as the Rice Basket of Vietnam. Travelling by road from Ho Chi Minh City, visit Can Tho with its floating markets, pagodas, temples and happy smiling inhabitants. A boat cruise will take you to a number of typical delta villages to introduce you to the .lifestyles of the local people.

Fly the next day to Hue, the former capital of Vietnam, located on the enigmatically named PerfumeRiver. Here sail down the river on a short cruise arriving at the Thien Mu Pagoda. Also visit the impressive burial grounds of former Emperors and the Citadel modeled on the Beijing Imperial Palace.

Drive the following morning to Hoi An, a UNESCO world heritage site. It is a historical port where the old town is a maze of interesting narrow streets and alleyways. Here you will have a walking tour to see its many galleries, tailor shops and cafes.

The next day is at leisure to explore Hoi An on your own.

Then fly to Hanoi and immediately travel by road to Halong Bay region staying in Halong City for overnight. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and quite rightly so as it is a natural wonder consisting of some 1600 islands in a series of bays, most uninhabited. Each of the islands is topped with jungle vegetation. The topography is one of limestone rocks of various sizes and shapes rising spectacularly out of the sea.

There is no doubt that the best way to enjoy HalongBay is to take a cruise. During your morning cruise, you will explore the islands, discover floating villages, and see peaks with panoramic views of the area, lagoons, caves and excellent sandy beaches. Have a seafood lunch on board. Afterwards, drive to Hanoi. In the evening, enjoy a performance of a water puppet show.

Hanoi is a mix of east and west due to its wide boulevards and French influences. The next morning visit the charming and lovely One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature dating back to the 11th Century and the uniquely designed Opera House.  Finally, take a stroll through the ancient quarter called the 36 Streets all traditionally named after artisans and craftsmen.

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Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,615

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Saigon

As you exit the airport, you will be met and transferred to your centrally-located hotel. Tonight meet your fellow travellers over welcome drinks while your Tour Leader (or local guide) briefly explains some important details and logistics of the journey ahead. Please open your welcome pack as it contains details of tonight's activities. After the tour briefing, join your tour leader and savour some tasty Vietnamese dishes at a local restaurant, or discover Saigon independently. The choice is yours!

Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Northern Saigon

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    Northern Saigon



    The Northern Saigon is a boutique hotel offering 99 well-equipped rooms just a short walk from major entertainment and historic landmarks. Amenities include an in-house restaurant and gym.

    The Northern Saigon is a boutique hotel offering 99 well-equipped rooms just a short walk from major entertainment and historic landmarks. Amenities include an in-house restaurant and gym.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Lounge(s)
    • Medical Services
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Room Service

    More Details

Day 2

Cu Chi Tunnels and City Tour

Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon as many locals still call it, is a city of extraordinary energy; it is Vietnam's largest city and the country's commercial capital. Nowhere is Vietnam's rush to modernise more visible than in Saigon, yet despite this, the city is a friendly and welcoming place whilst still containing many reminders of its recent turbulent past. This morning drive out to the remarkable Cu Chi Tunnels located in an area known during the Vietnam War, as the 'Iron Triangle'. Established as a means of waging guerrilla war against superior French (and later American) fire power; the tunnel network stretched over 250 kilometres (155 miles) and extended to three levels below ground and provides an insight into the method and determination of Communist forces during the war years. Spend a few hours exploring the various tunnels before returning to Saigon for lunch, where you must try Pho (pronounced 'fur'), a mouth-watering Vietnamese noodle-soup which has become somewhat of a national dish, now enjoyed all over the world.
After lunch, visit a few of central Saigon's main landmarks and attractions including the moving War Remnants Museum, the impressive architecture of French-built Notre Dame Catholic Cathedral, Post Office, and Municipal Theatre. Stroll down nearby Dong Khoi Street filled with local boutiques, walk past Ho Chi Minh Square and the famous Rex Hotel. There's no better way to end a day of sightseeing in Saigon than with a beer or cocktail in hand, as you watch the sun set over this historic city, looking down at the whirl of traffic below, from one of the city's many hidden roof top bars favoured by your Tour Leader or local guide. The rest of the evening is free for you to explore. Indulge your taste buds at either a fine-dining restaurant or pull up a stool at a street-side eatery and meet some local characters. Your local guide and tour leader will share their local favourite tips to help you explore the city's vibrant nightlife at your own pace.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Mekong Delta

This morning travel south of Saigon to the Mekong Delta, known as the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam. The delta is the most fertile region in the country and is the main producer of rice and tropical fruits for Vietnam. Once you arrive in the delta, transfer to your private boat to begin your exploration of the area, cruising along palm-fringed tributaries of the mighty Mekong River. Explore some of the regions narrow canals, and get a glimpse into the lives of the local people. Get real insights into the main
local industries of the area including a visit a local factory to see bricks being hand-made the old-fashioned way using traditional kiln technique. Stop at a riverside coconut processing factory and in the home of a local family who weave mats using local materials. Feast on a delicious lunch featuring local specialties including Elephant Ear Fish. On your return from the Delta, make a brief stop at a Cao Dai pagoda, a uniquely Vietnamese sect that is a dizzying combination all the world's great
religion's including Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. You will arrive back in Saigon in the late afternoon where the evening is free for you to explore and discover the city's countless dining options at your own pace.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 4

Saigon to Hue

This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Hue. Located on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue was the imperial capital during the Nguyen Dynasty and is the country's centre of Mahayana Buddhism and scholarship. Hue was the setting for some of the Vietnam War's most brutal fighting, and the city provides a unique window into Vietnam's culture and its complex past. Begin your exploration of Hue by visiting the elaborate tomb of the former emperor, Tu Duc. Explore the grounds of this large complex, and learn a little bit about the history of this colourful period. Next, visit the imposing Citadel and Imperial Palace, the impressive home of the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty, who lived here with their families between 1802 and 1945. Much of the Citadel was destroyed during the Tet Offensive in 1968 but since then has gradually been restored to its beauty. After time exploring the Citadel, visit the much revered and tranquil Thien Mu Pagoda - Hue's oldest and most beautiful religious monument situated near the banks of the Perfume River.
End the day with a visit to a unique organisation called Spiral Foundation where you'll meet workers who have a disability. These workers will assist you to create your own take-home souvenir, which are made from 100% recycled materials. The S.P.I.R.A.L. Foundation's operations are inspired by the principle of "aid from within the country". Since 1999, the Foundation has financed humanitarian aid projects with proceeds generated from the income of the handicraft workshops. All workshop employees are paid a fair, hourly rate instead of on per-piece basis. All the revenue raised from handicraft sales are returned to fund primary health care, medical, and educational projects. The work gives the employees a great sense of pride, knowing they're helping and sustaining others who are even less fortunate than themselves.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Saigon Morin Hotel

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    Saigon Morin Hotel



    Built in 1901 by French, the Saigon Morin Hotel is the oldest hotel in Hue City, Vietnam. Survived through many wars, this is more than a Hotel, it's a part of the History of Hue city in the last 100 years. Now lovingly restored to ...

    Built in 1901 by French, the Saigon Morin Hotel is the oldest hotel in Hue City, Vietnam. Survived through many wars, this is more than a Hotel, it's a part of the History of Hue city in the last 100 years. Now lovingly restored to its century-old glory, Saigon Morin Hotel is once ready to live up to its reputation as the choice of celebrities, intrepid adventures and businessmen. The Hotel offers everything a discerning traveller would expect form a world class hotel without sacrificing the old world charm that made the Saigon Morin Hotel legendary.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Internet Access
    • Lounge(s)
    • Massage Treatments
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Spa

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 5

Hue to Hoi An

This morning, drive south to the beautiful town of Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass (meaning ocean and clouds in Chinese). This drive is considered one of the most beautiful in Vietnam and takes you through a combination of both rural and coastal settings. The World Heritage listed old part of Hoi An town was Vietnam's most active trading centre over many centuries and has been largely preserved. The architecture of the city reflects the influence of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, French and British traders. Hoi An is also the town where French Missionary Alexandre De Rhodes introduced Catholicism to Vietnam as well as the Romanised script that has become the standard Vietnamese script. Arrive in Hoi An in time for lunch before exploring the historic centre on a walking tour in the afternoon. Visit an old merchant house, a Chinese assembly hall and the famous Japanese Covered Bridge. Check-in to your centrally-located hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening exploring Hoi An independently.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hoi An Historic Hotel

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    Hoi An Historic Hotel



    Established in 1991, the Hoi An Hotel is admired for its location, charm, and world-class facilities. Guests can access stunning Cua Dai beach, 4km East, by hopping on a shuttle bus that runs on the fifteen minutes. It is also a quick walk to the ...

    Established in 1991, the Hoi An Hotel is admired for its location, charm, and world-class facilities. Guests can access stunning Cua Dai beach, 4km East, by hopping on a shuttle bus that runs on the fifteen minutes. It is also a quick walk to the Old Town. Room design discards the minimalist fad of recent years. The hotel also offers use of a vast, outdoor pool with poolside recliners, Jacuzzi, tennis courts, souvenir shop and art gallery, beauty salon and tour desk.

    Facilities

    • Art Gallery
    • Badminton Court
    • Bar(s)
    • Bicycles
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lounge(s)
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Medical Services
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa
    • Tennis
    • y Exchange

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 6

Hoi An

Hoi An is famous for its clothing tailors and distinct local cuisine. You have an entire day free to explore the town's many clothing shops, colourful fish market and river life. Alternatively spend the day enjoying the nearby beach or simply relax by the pool at your resort. Have a good night's sleep for an early start tomorrow morning.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Hoi An To Halong Bay

An early airport transfer and flight takes you north to either Haiphong or Hanoi (arrival airport is subject to flight schedules). On arrival, venture north-east to Halong City, the gateway to Halong Bay. Considered Vietnam's greatest natural wonder, Halong Bay boasts over 3,000 islands that rise out of the sea to provide a spectacular natural landscape. En-route to the bay, catch the first glimpses of karst-limestone-mountains appear in the distance as Halong Bay draws nearer. Halong Bay's beauty received international exposure as the prime location in the 1992 French film 'Indochine' starring Catherine Deneuve. The bay has assumed an important position in Vietnamese legend for many centuries, with stories of a giant mythical dragon residing in the bay with the limestone peaks representing the dragon's spine. These legends continue to capture the imagination of locals and visitors alike. On arrival at the port, board your deluxe Indochina Sails junk boat, your home for the night, and begin your exploration of the bay. On board, feast on a fresh seafood lunch, soaking in the beautiful surrounds.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 8

Halong Bay to Hanoi

Today, rise early to make the most of Halong Bay's stunning scenery. After a light breakfast, continue your exploration and discover what makes this area so unique. On the cruise back to Halong City, enjoy a tasty brunch. This afternoon travel to Hanoi. Take a walking tour of the Hanoi backstreets to visit some local markets and specialty food stores. You will have the opportunity to try some local dishes and in the process learn more about daily life and culinary customs and habits of the Vietnamese people. Sample "Che" a local dessert served with crushed ice, and made with sugar cane, green bean, black bean, glutinous rice, and lotus seed. Perhaps try Banh Tom or "shrimp cake", a local Hanoi specialty, sold in a small tucked away food alley. We make a fun stop at a local 'Bia Hoi' establishment. Available throughout Vietnam but originating from Hanoi, these small roadside cafes are not just about beer but are a social outlet for many Hanoians. These local establishments offer a
wonderful opportunity to interact with the friendly and sometimes boisterous patrons! Afterward, sample a Hanoi specialty called "Banh Cuon", a Vietnamese-style cannelloni, made with steamed rice pancake, filled with mince pork and crunchy black fungus pork, and served with fresh baby herbs and sweet and sour fish sauce, Yum!

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

The Ann Hanoi Hotel

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    The Ann Hanoi Hotel



    The Ann Hanoi is a stylish, contemporary hotel located in the city centre of Hanoi, within walking distance of the Old Quarter and key historic landmarks. Facilities include a health club with a rooftop pool, lounge and restaurant.

    The Ann Hanoi is a stylish, contemporary hotel located in the city centre of Hanoi, within walking distance of the Old Quarter and key historic landmarks. Facilities include a health club with a rooftop pool, lounge and restaurant.

    Facilities

    • Airport Shuttle Service
    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym
    • Jacuzzi
    • Laundry Service
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Safety Deposit Box
    • Sauna
    • Swimming Pool

    More Details

Day 9

Hanoi

Today's exploration begins with a walking tour through the bustling Old Quarter - 36 ancient streets where you can observe the daily bustle of life around the markets where peddlers continue to trade as they have done for centuries. Continuing, we visit the infamous Hoa Lo Prison Musuem, aka 'Hanoi Hilton' - Hanoi's former central prison made famous first for the incarceration of the leaders of Vietnam's National Liberation movement and later US Air force pilots shot down over North Vietnam. Drive across the city to Hanoi's first university - the Temple of Literature - dating back to 1070. This historical centre of learning is now dedicated to Confucian worship. Later visit the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, starting at Ba Dinh Square, site of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and where Ho Chi Minh first declared the goal of attaining independence from French rule in 1945. Ho Chi Minh is arguably one of the great figures of 20th century history and the 'father of modern Vietnam'. You'll visit the humble House on Stilts where 'Uncle Ho', as he is affectionately known, led North Vietnam until his death in 1969. You'll also visit the nearby Presidential Palace, and One Pillar Pagoda.
This evening we've included a delicious group dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants, to celebrate the end of a memorable holiday in Vietnam. It's a chance to farewell your fellow travellers and the new friends you've made during a memorable trip through Vietnam.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 10

Depart Hanoi

It's time to say your final goodbyes, but just think of all the wonderful stories you will take home. Your private car will transfer you to the airport for your onward travels.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES: 

2018:
Classic
- every Saturday (except Jul 7, 21; Aug 4, 18)
Deluxe - Jan 6, 20; Feb 10, 24; Mar 3, 17, 31; Apr 14; May 12; Jun 16; Jul 14; Aug 11; Sep 15; Oct 6, 13, 27; Nov 3, 10; 24; Dec 1, 22

2019:
Classic - every Saturday (except Feb 2; Jul 6, 20; Aug 3, 17)
Deluxe - Jan 5, 19; Feb 9, 23; Mar 2, 16, 30; Apr 13; May 11; Jun 15; Jul 13; Aug 10; Sep 14; Oct 5, 12, 26; Nov 2, 9, 23, 30; Dec 21.

PRICES INCLUDES:

  • 9 nights' accommodation as indicated or similar
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Small group touring
  • Western tour leader based on minimum of 7 travellers
  • Local English Speaking guides
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Sightseeing as indicated

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visas if required
  • Meals not specifically noted in the itinerary
  • Beverages unless specified
  • All international and domestic airfares and airfare taxes unless specified

    TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

    Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

The above departures are guaranteed to operate with at least 1 traveller booked Single travellers are welcome to join this tour. You can choose the option of "willing to share" and share a room with another same-sex traveller or pay the single supplement for a private room.    Note: It is compulsory to have comprehensive travel insurance on this itinerary (additional charge).

TB TRAVELIHOC0217SG: HOV C
15 Dec 2018
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