A twelve-day overland exploration of Vietnam from North to South's highlights, including the elegant capital city of Hanoi, the magnificient UNESCO Heritage site of Halong Bay and charming town of Hoi An. Your trip will be private and you will be accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide at each city. You will love it.
Price Per Person From:USD 1890
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Optional activities, tailor-made experiences shall be added on the itinerary upon request.
Good morning Hanoi - the charming Vietnamese capital of Vietnam. You will be met and greeted by a local representative and enjoy a private transfer to the city. Checking into your accommodation and remainder of the day will be at your own leisure. Hanoi is a bustling and fascinating place – a whirlwind of colours, smells and sounds and a wonderful place to get a real flavour of life in Vietnam. At 15:00, you will be escorted by a Hanoian lady for a guided tour of Hanoi's local food market. We buy all the ingredients for our class and design our menu based on the best and freshest produce available that day. We then return to the host's house by car for an interesting cooking demonstrations with hands on involvement and many food tastings. Enjoy very delicious dinner with our friendly Hanoian host. Transfer back to hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.
Breakfast is followed by a comprehensive city orientation which you will have a chance to get closer to see ochre-coloured colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes. You will explore the city's historic landmarks and sights. The moring tour is spent with a visit to see the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilt where his belongings are on display and next is to visit One Pillar Pagoda - a historic Buddhist temple which was originally built in the 11st century and now is one of iconic temple of Hanoi city. Just a short distant drive will take you to visit the Temple of Literature which is made up of five temples and peaceful courtyards within one complex and parts date back to the 11th Century.
After a lunch break, you will then enjoy a visit Hoa Lo prison - South East Asia's top 5 macabre destinations which was used by the French colonists in French Indochina for Vietnamese political prisoners, and later it was nicknamed the 'Hanoi Hilton' by US prisoners of war (POWs) that housed American prisoners of war -- invited memories of a long and bitter war.
Breafast at hotel and we will depart for Halong Bay, we go through the scenic countryside. The wondrous Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. Heading out of the town we embark on a boat for an exploration of the legendary Halong Bay. This exciting cruise will provide us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karsts formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. Stay overnight on the cruise in Halong Bay.
Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise with an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, visit beautiful limestone grotto then back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Private transfer back to hotel in Hanoi. Free at leisure until 20:00 then you will be taken to Hanoi Railway Station to board an overnight train to Hue city. Overnight in a private cabin on the train.
The train arrives in Hue city early morning. You will be met by a local tour guide and transferred to a local restaurant where you will have breakfast. Hue, the one-time capital of Vietnam, commands the south and north banks of the fabled Perfume River, several kilometres inland from the sea. Located more than halfway from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, Hue is a Vietnamese world all of its own and keeper of the country’s soul.
After breakfast, the day is spent with a comprehensive cultural sightseeing to visit the Citadel, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City, as well as the expansive tombs of the Nguyen emperors, should be priorities on any first-time visitor’s list of things to do in Hue. These palaces and temples together form the foundation of the city’s listing on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Then you will visit the renowned Thien Mu Pagoda high on a bluff above the Perfume River or Tu Hieu Pagoda, where Thich Nhat Hanh lived as a novice in the 1940s.
If time permits, you will visit very beautiful garden homes. In addition to the grandiose architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue is also home to many garden homes, some clustered in the north bank district of Kim Long, others scattered throughout the Citadel. Some of these homes, including one built for the daughter of an emperor, are open to the public.
Spend your free time to hang around Dong Ba market where you can buy some traditional Hue handicrafts. Overnight at hotel in Hue city.
Breakfast is followed by a drive over the spectacular Hai Van "Ocean Cloud" Peak pass - The Hai Van Pass: 19 kilometres of roadway that winds up and over a fortress of mountains, connecting Da Nang with the town of Lang Co in Hue province. BBC's Top Gear presenters called the Hai Van Pass "a deserted ribbon of perfection, one of the best coast roads in the world". The highlight of the overland tour is to drive along the very beautiful winding roads and soak in breathtaking views of the mountain and coast. We then will make our way to Danang city and Hoi An. Checking into your accommodation and remainder of the day will be at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
In the morning, you will enjoy a boat trip from "Vy's Market Restaurant" to Hoi An's colourful central market. Tour of the market with an English speaking guide followed by an interesting and informative tour of Vy's Market Restaurant, watching live cooking demonstrations with actual involvement and many food tastings. After two hour hands-on cooking class you will enjoy your lunch there. After lunch, you will enjoy a guided walking tour to visit Hoi An town, going through the Old Quarters to see the town's landmarks of Japanese Covered Bridge, ancient Assembly Hall, Phuc Kien Temple and then we take a river trip and you will enjoy the scenery along the Thu Bon River and the general view of Hoi An Ancient Town. It transforms itself at night, when many of the shops hang lanterns outside. We will transfer you back to the town and rest of time at your own leisure. Hoi An is well know for souvenir shopping with great prices and also famous for its large number of tailor shops, so if you want to get a cloth tailor made to measure, this is the time to do it. Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Spending the balance of the days at your leisure to relax or indulge in a variety of activities on resort ground, shopping or go to the beach to unwind. Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel and you will be transferred to Danang airport to catch one-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh city. Meet and greet by a local tour guide and driver and then you will discover Vietnam's most exciting and bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh on this interesting half day tour. You will visit all interesting sites and landmarks in Saigon City. First stop is Notre Dame Catholic Cathedral which is based on Paris' original monument, the Central Post Office plus the War Remnants Museum. Here at the war museum you will have the chance to gain an intense insight into the war through the eyes of the local people. This tour will also show how Ho Chi Minh is steeped in history with stops at historic landmarks including the former Presidential Palace where Saigon's government ruled from throughout the American war. You will also visit the gorgeous 19th-century temple is dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau, and always attracts a mix of worshippers and visitors who mingle beneath the large coils of incense suspended overhead. On the way coming back to the hotel, you'll spend your free time to hang around Saigon's iconic Ben Thanh market - a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. Evening is free at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Wake up early morning and you will be transferred to the jetty to join in a group to travel to visit famous Cu Chi tunnels. Enjoy a light snack consisting of sandwiches or pastries, fresh tropical fruits and Vietnamese iced coffee on board your speedboat. This interesting river journey will provide a glimpse of the changing faces of Vietnam – from the glittering skyscrapers and busy commercial centres to green paddy fields and pottery villages dotted along the Saigon River. On arrival you’ll visit the underground Cu Chi tunnels, exploring the tunnel site, which includes weapon and booby trap exhibitions, navigating authentic Viet Cong tunnel, visiting different underground bunkers (kitchens, meeting rooms, ammunitions etc.), a firing range and much more. Try the local cassava root that sustained Viet Cong fighters for years. Enjoy a light lunch on board during your journey back to the city. Evening is free. Overnight at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel and you will leave the city for a full day Mekong Delta exploration. Enjoy 3 hour drive will take you to Cai Be. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with cold towels and a refreshing drink by the crew while the private sampan sets off for its leisurely cruise on the busy waterways of the Mekong Delta. On the river, all sorts of boats ply the water, from small fishing boats to cargo barges loaded with fruit and vegetables. Observe from the comfort of your sampan life as it plays out on the riverbanks the people, the stunning landscapes while your attentive crew serves you tea and seasonal fruit. Next you will board a small row boat to better explore the canal’s hidden mangroves. Return to your sampan to visit an ancient house built in the 19th century. We’ll make stops along the way to explore local cottage industries including the making of coconut candy and puffed rice. Your cruise ends at local restaurant where lunch is served is set in a lush tropical garden by the river and surrounded by fruit trees, giving you a sense of privileged life during Indochinese times. After lunch, you will take a short walk along a small canal where your personal vehicle awaits to drive you approximately 2 hours to the city. Evening is free. Overnight at hotel.
The morning will be spent at leisure before you are transferred to Tan Son Nhat International for an outbound flight back to a next destination or the country of origin after a memorable 12 Classic Vietnam Holiday tour covering Vietnam's all must-see destinations and 3 UNESCO Heritages of Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An. Goodbye and See You Again.