Welcome to Hanoi! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The afternoon can be spent exploring the wide, tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture and the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake. This evening enjoy dinner before attending a traditional Vietnamese water puppet performance.
To begin our holiday, why not opt for a traditional Vietnamese breakfast, with a bowl of steaming Pho at one of Hanoi’s most popular eateries. After enjoying the national dish we take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, a focal point for many of the local residents who gather there each day to practice Tai Chi, play badminton and do aerobics. We’ll then visit a local coffee shop to observe how Hanoi locals enjoy sipping Vietnamese bitter sweet coffee at Café Giang.
Our exploration of Hanoi today includes the Temple of Literature – Vietnam’s first university dating to 1070, Ho Chi Minh’s humble “stilt house”, the French colonial Governor’s Palace and the 11th century One-Pillar Pagoda. A short drive into the countryside leads us to Van Giang village, where we’ll attend a cooking demonstration hosted by a local family. After a delicious lunch we return to Hanoi and embark on a cyclo (rickshaw) tour of the winding alleys that make up the atmospheric Ancient Quarter, otherwise known as the 36 Streets of Hanoi.
The remainder of today is at your leisure, why not opt for for the “Taste of Hanoi” tour, a walking tour of the city to discover the unique flavours of Vietnamese cuisine. Or for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture, there is an optional Water puppet show on offer, this traditional art originated from the Red River Delta and has developed over the ages.
Hanoi – Halong Bay. Early this morning journey north to Halong Bay (approx 4 hours drive), stopping for refreshments en route. UNESCO Listed Halong Bay is undoubtedly one of Vietnam’s most spectacular regions. Thousands of karst limestone and jungle covered peaks and isles, rise dramatically out of the emerald waters of the bay. Spend the day cruising around the islands onboard a traditional Junk boat. Stopping to explore caves and coves and to swim in the emerald waters. You can also take a row boat to visit the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng – where you’ll gain a fascinating insight into the daily life of the local people. Enjoy a cooking demonstration on board before tucking into the scrumptious buffet lunch and set dinner whilst onboard.
Halong Bay – Hue. Enjoy the fresh air and the gentle breeze of the bay this morning as you relax onboard the Junk. There will be more opportunities to swim and explore hidden caves before returning to port.
Our next stop is Dong Ho Village, famous for its long-preserved art of making pictures. We’ll visit a studio in village, where you can watch the procedure of carving and printing these paintings and learn about the local folk tales represented in the paintings. Onward to Hanoi Airport for our evening flight to Hue in central Vietnam, where upon arrival we are met and transferred to our hotel.
Enjoy a full day tour of Hue including a boat trip on Perfume River (Huong River) to Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang tomb. Thien Mu Pagoda is an octagonal tower of seven tiers that rises majestically over the Perfume River. Continue to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang, an incredible complex which consists of 40 palaces, temples and pavilions, designed on a symmetrical axis. Later, we visit the Imperial Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City which was created in the 19th century for the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Enjoy free time for some “retail therapy” at Dong Ba Market before transferring back to the hotel. Why not opt for a sunset cocktail on Vong Canh Hill this evening.
Hue – Hoi An. This morning we continue our journey by road to Hoi An via spectacular Cloudy Pass. A stop is made in Danang to visit the Cham Museum, once centre of the ancient Cham civilization. UNESCO Listed Hoi An is a former merchant trading post, famed for its beautifully preserved Chinese, Japanese and European architecture. Picturesque Hoi An has managed to retain its traditional character and charm, with its cobbled streets, markets and row upon row of tailors shops. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour around the cobbled streets of this ancient town, which was once of the busiest trading ports in Asia.
Spend a day at leisure in this enchanting riverside town or head to the nearby An Bang beach.
Alternatively there’s an optional cooking class or a half day excursion to My Son, the holiest and evocative of Vietnam’s Cham sites. Here at the ancient Kingdom of Champa you can see the burial tombs of the Cham royals and national heroes.
Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City today and transfer to your hotel. Ho Chi Minh City, though still referred to as Saigon to all but city officials is Vietnam’s most lively, modern and cosmopolitan city. In the afternoon discover the highlights of the city on a guided tour, taking in the Notre Dame Cathedral (outside only as renovating), the Central Post Office and Chinatown. End the day with a visit to the sobering War Remnants Museum.
Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Can Tho. Explore the beautiful Mekong Delta today! Early this morning drive to Cai Be and board a traditional Sampan boat at around 10:00am to explore the peaceful waterways. During the boat trip, visit a local cottage industries making bricks, producing rice paper and Mr. Sau Khanh’s house – who has been collecting antiques which include ancient and valuable ceramics, pottery pieces like bowls, dishes and vases, to ceiling lights, sculptures and Buddha statues. In the afternoon we travel onto Can Tho for the night.
Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh City. Morning cruise along the Mekong’s small and picturesque tributaries where we will visit the bustling Cai Rang Floating Market. Take in the beautiful scenery and watch the locals going about their daily lives along the Mekong canals. Then return to Ho Chi Minh City and transfer to the airport in time for your international flight.
If you’d like to extend your stay in Ho Chi Minh City we recommend exploring the Reunification Palace and taking a day trip to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels.
Advertised prices are per person, correct at time of publication and are subject to availability and change at any time without notification due to fluctuations in charges, taxes and currency. Offer is valid on new bookings only and is a private tour for your travelling party only, therefore can depart any day of the year. ‘Twin/Double’ prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. Single supplement applies for single travellers wanting their own room and needs to be added to the ‘Twin/Double’ price. Seasonal supplements may apply. Tipping kitty is not included in the advertised price. Travellers must be 16 years and older, 16-18 year old children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. A deposit of AUD400 per person is required within 7 days of booking. Full payment is due 8 weeks prior to departure. International flights are not included. Advertised prices are based on standard accommodation, please contact your personal travel manager for superior or deluxe hotel options. Offer ends 30 June 2022. Your personal travel manager may charge additional service fees. Other restrictions may apply. Please check current COVID-19 travel restrictions for the destination you wish to visit before departure. Other conditions apply. Please view the TravelManagers general terms and conditions here and contact your personal travel manager for more details.
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