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Vietnam Discovery

Duration
14 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,345

Discover Vietnam’s fascinating culture, charming locals and scrumptious food with a thorough exploration of this enticing country.


This 14 day small group trip takes you through one of Asia’s brightest travel stars from energetic Saigon to serene Ha Long Bay.

Ho Chi Minh City, still known to the locals as Saigon is at once both frantic and enchanting. In Vietnam’s largest city, every sight is a treasure trove of history, every road ‘rule’ governing the ever moving sea of motorbikes is a mere guideline, and every café and restaurant is ready to charge your senses in one of the world’s great food (and coffee) destinations. Get a different slant on the ‘American War’ at the War Remnants Museum or drive your hardest bargain at Ben Thanh Market. Then journey out to the Cu Chi Tunnels for a close look at guerilla warfare, Viet Cong style.

Spend a day in the Mekong Delta. The food basket of Vietnam, the Mekong produces more than half the country’s rice and supports a large fishing industry. You’ll explore by boat, meeting some of the friendly locals and getting a taste of life in this unique region.

Make your way north to Hue and Hoi An, two of Vietnam’s most beautiful cities. Hue is the former capital, and despite suffering considerable damage in the Vietnam War, still contains spectacular remnants of the Nguyen Dynasty such as the Imperial City and Mu Pagoda. Not far away is Hoi An, which has somewhat overshadowed its neighbour as one of old Southeast Asia’s best preserved trading ports. Much of the architecture here reflects that history, so it can often feel more ‘authentic’ than in other parts of the country. Visit the tomb of Nguyen Dynasty Emperor Tu Duc, before a city and market tour lets you sample the best of Hoi An.

Flying into Hanoi, transfer to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam’s most astonishing natural wonder. Meaning ‘the Bay of Descending Dragons,’ Ha Long contains 1,969 islands and limestone islets. Spend the morning cruising through the bay before returning to Hanoi for a water puppet performance.

Vietnam’s charming capital has earned its reputation as a favourite of many travellers. A walking tour takes you through the Old Quarter, Ba Dinh Square and the Temple of Literature, home to Vietnam’s first national university. You’ll even visit what remains of Hoa Lo Prison (aka the ‘Hanoi Hilton’) and enjoy time at leisure before you depart.


 

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Duration
14 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,345

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive 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!

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Palace Hotel

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    Palace Hotel



    Palace Saigon Hotel features 144 luxury rooms and comfortable suites offering the ideal ambience for both business and leisure travellers. Our Palace Saigon hotel provides a facility and service array including the rooftop Lemongrass Vietnamese restaurant with panoramic city view, Buffet Ganh Restaurant, Calibre Fine ...

    Palace Saigon Hotel features 144 luxury rooms and comfortable suites offering the ideal ambience for both business and leisure travellers. Our Palace Saigon hotel provides a facility and service array including the rooftop Lemongrass Vietnamese restaurant with panoramic city view, Buffet Ganh Restaurant, Calibre Fine Dining Restaurant, Calibre Bar, Palace Café. In Balance Spa, beauty Salon and Fitness centre including an outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour fitness. The hotel's 4 meeting rooms offer the latest AV equipment and provide over 300sqm of space that can accommodate up to 300 persons.

    Facilities

    • Banquet Facilities
    • Beauty Salon
    • Cafe
    • Gym
    • Massage Rooms
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • Swimming Pool
    • Wedding Facilities

    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 tastebuds 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

Saigon to 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. On arrival in the Delta, board your boat, the Mekong Eyes, to begin your exploration of the area cruising along tributaries of the mighty Mekong River. After a delicious lunch on board, feasting on some local specialties, explore the region's canals, and gain a real insight into the lives of the local people. This afternoon, wind your way through picturesque plantations as you take a guided walk through a rural village, before returning to the Mekong Eyes in time for sunset and dinner on board.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Mekong Eyes Classic

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    Mekong Eyes Classic



    The Mekong Eyes Classic combines regional boat-building traditions with modern comforts. 39 meters long and 8.5 meters wide, this river cruiser was built out of an old, traditional rice barge with the finest quality wood, and artfully decorated by skilled craftsmen of the Mekong Delta. ...

    The Mekong Eyes Classic combines regional boat-building traditions with modern comforts. 39 meters long and 8.5 meters wide, this river cruiser was built out of an old, traditional rice barge with the finest quality wood, and artfully decorated by skilled craftsmen of the Mekong Delta. The vessel can comfortably accommodate up to 30 passengers. Cabins feature a private bathroom with shower and hot water, wardrobe and air-conditioning, and all rooms offer panoramic views over the Mekong River. Amenities include a large dining room on the lower deck, a stylish upper-deck indoor panorama lounge, and a top deck open sitting area and sun deck with breath-taking views.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Lounge
    • Restaurant
    • Sundeck

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Day 4

Mekong Delta to Saigon

After breakfast on board the boat, continue exploring the small canals of the region and experience the unique spectacle of a Mekong Delta floating market, where local farmers trade their produce in the same way they have done for centuries. Afterwards visit a local family-run food producer. You will arrive back in Saigon in the 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
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Palace Hotel

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  • starstarstarstar

    Palace Hotel



    Palace Saigon Hotel features 144 luxury rooms and comfortable suites offering the ideal ambience for both business and leisure travellers. Our Palace Saigon hotel provides a facility and service array including the rooftop Lemongrass Vietnamese restaurant with panoramic city view, Buffet Ganh Restaurant, Calibre Fine ...

    Palace Saigon Hotel features 144 luxury rooms and comfortable suites offering the ideal ambience for both business and leisure travellers. Our Palace Saigon hotel provides a facility and service array including the rooftop Lemongrass Vietnamese restaurant with panoramic city view, Buffet Ganh Restaurant, Calibre Fine Dining Restaurant, Calibre Bar, Palace Café. In Balance Spa, beauty Salon and Fitness centre including an outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour fitness. The hotel's 4 meeting rooms offer the latest AV equipment and provide over 300sqm of space that can accommodate up to 300 persons.

    Facilities

    • Banquet Facilities
    • Beauty Salon
    • Cafe
    • Gym
    • Massage Rooms
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • Swimming Pool
    • Wedding Facilities

    More Details

Day 5

Saigon to Dalat

This morning transfer to the airport for your early morning flight to the cooler climate of the Central Highlands and the former French hill station of Dalat. Dalat was founded by the French at the beginning of the 20th century as a retreat from the lowland tropical heat of Saigon. Dalat's cooler climate and its mountainous alpine terrain found favour with homesick French colonials and upwardly aspiring Vietnamese; it's now still a city of great local character with faded French elegance. Enjoy spectacular views as you drive through the highlands to a beautiful Zen monastery, where you can take a stroll through the tranquil gardens. Continue on to the former railway station built by the French, and take a ride on the open-air train to Trai Mat hamlet, a journey that harks back to colonial days. Finish the day with a visit to the central market of Dalat, an experience that awakens the senses, with vibrant displays of fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers, to butchered fresh meat, and unusual dried goods section.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Saigon Dalat

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    Saigon Dalat



    The Saigon Dalat Hotel is located right in the heart of Dalat city, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. It is comprised of 160 luxurious and comfortable rooms with air-conditioning throughout and modern amenities by international standard. The restaurants, tennis court, indoor swimming-pool and other services together ...

    The Saigon Dalat Hotel is located right in the heart of Dalat city, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. It is comprised of 160 luxurious and comfortable rooms with air-conditioning throughout and modern amenities by international standard. The restaurants, tennis court, indoor swimming-pool and other services together with friendly, enthusiastic and professional staff will render guests a relaxing and enjoyable stay.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Massage Treatments
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Spa
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi

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Day 6

Dalat to Hoi An

Transfer to the airport for a flight to Danang, from where you'll transfer directly to Hoi An town. Hoi An was Vietnam's most active trading centre for many centuries and, which has largely been 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. After checking-in to your hotel, enjoy some free time before taking a guided walking tour of the UNESCO-protected old part of Hoi An town, visiting an old merchant house, a Chinese Assembly Hall and the famous Japanese Covered Bridge. The evening is free for you to explore Hoi An's lively dining scene, or you may want to take part in an optional hands-on cooking class where you'll learn how to prepare some of the local delicacies.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Ancient House Resort

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    Ancient House Resort



    Located along the river in the historic Hoi An, the Ancient House Resort provides comfortable lodging and friendly, professional service, and western standard hotel rooms within a 200 year old house and newer villas. Shuttle bus to the old town and beach make staying at ...

    Located along the river in the historic Hoi An, the Ancient House Resort provides comfortable lodging and friendly, professional service, and western standard hotel rooms within a 200 year old house and newer villas. Shuttle bus to the old town and beach make staying at Ancient House Resort especially convenient.

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Day 7

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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Hoi An to Hue

Enjoy some more free time in Hoi An before travelling to the former imperial capital of Hue, via the spectacular Hai Van Pass Pass. This drive is considered one of the most beautiful in Vietnam and takes you through a combination of both rural and coastal settings before arriving in Hue. Hue with its lovely location on the banks of the Perfume River was 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. Drive a short distance into a nearby local village and spend this evening enjoying a group dinner with a local family in Hue. Sample some of the local specialty dishes that are found in this area.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
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

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 9

Hue

Begin the day with a visit the impressive home of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors (1802-1945), the Citadel and Imperial Palace. Much of the Citadel was destroyed during the Tet Offensive in 1968 but is gradually being restored to its original beauty. Continue on to the much revered Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's oldest and most beautiful religious monument. In the afternoon, continue your exploration of the city with a visit to one of the magnificent Royal Mausoleums that surround Hue - the tomb of the fourth emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, Tu Duc.
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
Day 10

Hue to Hanoi

After a leisurely breakfast, continue your journey north to Hanoi with a flight to the nation's capital. After checking-in to your hotel, which is located in the old town, 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
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Golden Silk Boutique Hotel

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    Golden Silk Boutique Hotel



    The Golden Silk Boutique Hotel is a popular pick for both business and leisure travellers. The hotel is located in the very heart of Hanoi's famous old quarter. It is centrally located and provides access to the city's biggest attractions and is 100 meters away ...

    The Golden Silk Boutique Hotel is a popular pick for both business and leisure travellers. The hotel is located in the very heart of Hanoi's famous old quarter. It is centrally located and provides access to the city's biggest attractions and is 100 meters away from Hoan Kiem lake.

    The hotel has 55 modern rooms which contain all amenities. Whatever your purpose of visit, the Golden Silk Boutique Hotel is an excellent choice for your stay in Hanoi.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Meeting Rooms Available
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • Spa/Jacuzzi

    More Details

Day 11

Hanoi to Halong Bay

Early this morning, drive east to Halong City, the gateway to Halong Bay (approximately a 4 hour drive). Along the way, witness traditional rural life as rice farmers tend to their crops and locals do business on the side of the highway. 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 junkboat, your home for the night, and begin your exploration of the bay. On board, feast on a fresh seafood lunch, as you cruise through the beautiful surrounds.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Indochina Sails

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    Indochina Sails



    Indochina Sails is a brand name of Huong Hai Group, one of the top tourism services companies in Vietnam. Service, quality and luxury are the hallmarks of this meticulously sails, which epitomize style, flair, wonderful comfort and the latest modern amenities. Moreover, its experienced and ...

    Indochina Sails is a brand name of Huong Hai Group, one of the top tourism services companies in Vietnam. Service, quality and luxury are the hallmarks of this meticulously sails, which epitomize style, flair, wonderful comfort and the latest modern amenities. Moreover, its experienced and highly motivated crews look forward to make your trip impeccable and unforgettable.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Lounge
    • Restaurant
    • Sundeck

    More Details

Day 12

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. Arrive back in Halong City before continuing back to Hanoi where the evening is free for you to enjoy as you wish.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Golden Silk Boutique Hotel

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Golden Silk Boutique Hotel



    The Golden Silk Boutique Hotel is a popular pick for both business and leisure travellers. The hotel is located in the very heart of Hanoi's famous old quarter. It is centrally located and provides access to the city's biggest attractions and is 100 meters away ...

    The Golden Silk Boutique Hotel is a popular pick for both business and leisure travellers. The hotel is located in the very heart of Hanoi's famous old quarter. It is centrally located and provides access to the city's biggest attractions and is 100 meters away from Hoan Kiem lake.

    The hotel has 55 modern rooms which contain all amenities. Whatever your purpose of visit, the Golden Silk Boutique Hotel is an excellent choice for your stay in Hanoi.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Meeting Rooms Available
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • Spa/Jacuzzi

    More Details

Day 13

Hanoi

Start your day with a bowl of Hanoi's famous Pho, arguably the best in the country!
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 14

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:

 Classic & Deluxe  
2018 2019

January 14
February 11
March 11
April 8
May 6
June 10
July 8
August 5
September 9
October 7
November 4
December 2

January 13
February 10
March 10
April 7
May 5
June 9
July 7
August 4
September 8
October 6
November 3
December 1

 

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 11 nights' hotel accommodation
  • 2 nights' cruise accommodation
  • Meals as specified
  • Small group touring and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • National tour leader added with a minimum of 10 travellers
  • 3 regional flights
  • Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Airport transfers
  • Porterage and incidental gratuities

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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 TRAVELIHOC18SG: VDIC
2 Dec 2018
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