Discover Vietnam’s rich culture, ancient history and authentic food on this fantastic 9 day 8 night tour of some of the country’s most popular regions and attractions. From Hanoi’s famous Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to Halong Bay’s incredible beauty, around every corner awaits an overload of your senses. From Hoi An’s ancient town to Tra Que ‘vegetable’ village’s unique farming practices, there’s something new to marvel at every day. In Saigon uncover the incredible history of the unique Cu Chi Tunnels of Saigon before a memorable cruise along the Mekong Delta. From UNESCO World Heritage beauty to traditional cultural displays, unique modes of transport and specialty local cuisine, this unforgettable tour showcases the best of Vietnam.
• Hanoi – Quoc Hoa
• Halong – Non-private Luxury Calypso Cruise
• Hoi An – Hoi An Ancient House Resort
• Ho Chi Minh – Aristo Hotel
• Hanoi – La Siesta Premium Hang Be
• Halong – Non-private Mon Cheri Cruise
• Hoi An – La Seista Hoi An
• Ho Chi Minh – Hotel Grand Saigon
• Hanoi – Hotel de L Opera Hanoi
• Halong – Non-private Orchid Cruise
• Hoi An – La Seista Hoi An
• Ho Chi Minh – Hotel Des Arts Saigon
*Accommodation is subject to change*
Day 1 Hanoi: Arrival
Arrive in Hanoi at your leisure and be greeted by your English-speaking guide at Hanoi Airport. You’ll then be transferred by private car to your hotel for check in any time from 2pm. The afternoon features free time to relax and explore with dinner at your own leisure before returning to the hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 2 Hanoi City Tour: Includes Breakfast
In the morning, you will depart from your hotel to visit Temple of Literature (Van Mieu in Vietnamese), situated in the place once known as the first university of Vietnam. Built in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the university was first opened for princes and mandarins exclusively. Inside, you will find 82 of the original 116 stelae engraving the names of the winners from doctorate competitions. Outside, with its ancient courtyards, altars and roofs, Van Mieu is a very fine example of Vietnamese architecture. After, you will visit the Women’s Museum. Introduced in 1995, this remarkable museum contains a collection of about 28,000 objects, photos, costumes, books and letters highlighting the history of women in Vietnam. It not only presents different female costumes and traditions of various ethnic groups but also pays tribute to the courage and great sacrifice of women during the wars. The scenography of the museum is very pleasant with high quality videos and photos.
In the afternoon, accompanied by a resident scholar, you will walk on the quiet streets of the Mandarin Quarter and take a closer look at the unique and elegant architecture, homes of the Vietnamese elite that were designed in the 1930s and 1940s by Vietnamese architects who graduated from the École Supérieure de Beaux Arts de l’Indochine. They were successful in designing the most modern dwellings in this VIP section of Hanoi. From the gorgeous villa of one the most powerful mandarins, to the homes of intellectuals, artists, and diplomats throughout the last century, this journey takes you back in time through Hanoi’s captivating recent history. It’s a Hanoi that even the locals know very little about.
The walk is based on the experience of our resident scholar who researched, and met these houses’ residents over endless cups of green tea to listen to their tales. It is not just for architecture lovers but is also meant to pique the interest of those who want to gain a deeper understanding of Hanoi’s past and present. Sweet memories and challenging times will be revealed along the two-hour walk and you will recognize that these homes, just like the city in which they reside, have Style, Beauty, and Soul. You will then attend a water puppet show, which began as a hobby for the peasants, and was later elevated to the status of royal entertainment under the Ly and Tran dynasties. Dinner on your own account. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 Hanoi – Halong Bay: Includes Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After breakfast at the hotel your driver will pick you up for the 4 hour journey to Halong City passing through Red River Delta. Stopping on the way for refreshments and to meet the locals, you’ll arrive in Halong City by noon to board the traditional wooden ‘junk’ boat and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay. One of the premier tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, Halong Bat is famous for its scattering of limestone isles and karsts. Delicious fresh seafood will be served on board the boat for both lunch and dinner. You’ll also spend the night on board the comfortable and charming ‘junk’ boat.
Day 4 Halong – Hanoi – Danang – Hoi An: Includes Breakfast
Breakfast is served on the boat today as you continue to cruise beautiful Halong Bay, disembarking later in the morning. If time permits, you’ll stop at a pottery village on your way to Hanoi Airport for the brief flight to Danang. Arriving in Danang, you’ll be greeted by your local guide and transferred to Hoi An Town to your hotel for check in. Dinner will be at your leisure before returning to the hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 5 Tra Que Village – Hoi An Town: Includes Breakfast
Start the day with a leisurely 20 minute trip to Tra Que village riding a 3 wheeled cyclo or bike. Renowned as the ‘village of vegetables’, Tra Que is famous for its special aromatic herbs. The unique farming practices used for centuries means leaves of the plants grown here are actually smaller than usual, however they pack a very particular aroma. The local people will show you how they grow the herbs and vegetables as well as teaching you how to cook some of the local specialties including a popular pork, shrimp and herb dish called Tam Huu.
The afternoon offers free time for you to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An Town, recognised for its incredibly well-preserved streets and ancient homes. The quaint cobblestones follow the Chinese Temple, Japanese Bridge, Phung Hung Chinese trading house and 200 year old Chinese houses. Dinner is at your leisure before an overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 6 Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City: Includes Breakfast
There’s time this morning to enjoy free time exploring Hoi An on your own before your transfer to Danang Airport for your afternoon flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival you’ll be greeted by your local guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy dinner at your leisure before returning to the hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 7 Cu Chi Tunnel by Saigon River Express boat - Ho Chi Minh half day city tour: Includes Breakfast & Lunch
In the morning, at 07:00, your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and bring you by car to your boat at Ho Chi Minh City’s central pier at District 1. Depart Saigon by boat. Within 15 minutes, the banks of the river change from city sprawl to lush jungle. Arrive at the Cu Chi Tunnels site, before the majority of larger bus tours arrive. Watch a brief introductory ‘propaganda’ video to the Cu Chi area. Explore the Cu Chi 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. A traditional Vietnamese dinner of local specialties like lemongrass chicken and caramelized clay pot pork will be served after your visit to the tunnels. Arrive back at Saigon’s central pier. Les Rives staff will take you back to your hotel by car around 13.00.
In the afternoon, be met by your guide and driver to set out on a city tour of the former capital of French Indochina, once known as Saigon but now officially named Ho Chi Minh City. We visit historic landmarks of the colonial city once known as Saigon include the Old Saigon Post Office, the Chinese district of Cho Lon and the Thien Hau pagoda. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8 Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh: Includes Breakfast & Lunch
A 2 hour drive from Saigon to Phong Nam in Ben Tre District marks the beginning of your day and the start of your journey into the Mekong Delta. Boarding the boat at Phong Man pier you’ll cruise the Chet Say River stopping at a coconut processing factory and coconut activated charcoal factory to experience how the local economy works. You’ll then continue on a small canal spotting local wildlife before a stop at a quiet village to experience real Delta life. Here you’ll visit a mat weaving house and try your hand at weaving before making your way into the village by bike or xe loi motorised rickshaw. Discover farms, vegetable crops and rice fields before enjoy a lunch of local specialties including elephant-ear fish and river shrimp at a local house. You’ll then enjoy a relaxing sampan trip along narrow canals before taking the boat back to the pier and transferring to Saigon for dinner is at leisure and overnight at the hotel.
Day 9 Ho Chi Minh Depart: Includes Breakfast
There’s time for breakfast at the hotel this morning before transferring to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination. Your hotel room is at your disposal until 12 noon only.
Concludes: Ho Chi Minh
Children: A child rate is available for children 0-11 years of age
What to bring: Clothing adequate for duration of tour and appropriate to weather conditions, good quality insect repellent, sweat-resistant sunscreen, personal first aid kit and any required medication.
Fitness requirement: Low level of fitness required for this leisurely paced tour.
Note: This tour does not include drinks during the meals, meals not mentioned, personal insurance, tips and personal expenses, any service not mentioned in the program, International flights and airport taxes, visa fee upon arrival to Hanoi airport.
Rates: Are based on 2 persons sharing room/cabin. Please ask your consultant for assistance if you require a sole use price.
Operated By: Exotic Voyages