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Highlights of Vietnam

  • Ho Chi Minh
  • Hoi An
  • Hue
  • Hanoi
  • Halong Bay
  • 9 nights from
  • £1,350 per person
  • Trip Code: MC-1161

Holiday Overview

A fantastic holiday showcasing the best of Vietnam

Start your journey in southern Ho Chi Minh, visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels and the majestic Mekong before heading northwards to Vietnams cultural centre of Hue and Hoi An. Travel between the two towns over the photogenic Hai Van Pass. Onwards to Hanoi for an authentic walking tour of the railway tracks and a foodie experince and an overnight cruise in the outstanding natural beauty of Halong Bay.

9 nights / 10 Days

Start Ho Chi Minh - End Hanoi (can be done in reverse).

 

 

Highlights of Vietnam includes:

  • Transfers and sightseeing as listed
  • 3 nights accommodation Ho Chi Minh
  • Domestic flights
  • 1 night accommodation Hue
  • 2 nights accommodation Hoi An
  • 2 nights accommodation Hanoi
  • 1 night accommodation on Halong Bay cruise
1

Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh

Ever-vibrant, ever-changing - this is the buzzing city of Saigon, where sleek skyscrapers loom over incense-infused temples and motorcycles rule the roads. There's classic European-style landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Opera House, the ornate City Hall and the art-deco Post Office. Reminders of a recent past can be seen in the Reunification Palace, famously stormed by tanks in 1975. We'll visit all the main sights of the city and make time to browse the stalls in the bustling Ben Thanh Market. Today's Highlights: Reunification Palace, Emperor of Jade Pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Ben Thanh Marke

Meals Included - None

Featured accommodation

Sonnet Saigon Hotel

2

Day 2 - Ho Chi Minh

We're going underground deep into the Cu Chi Tunnels! These hand-dug tunnels changed the course of the Vietnam War. The well-camouflaged entrance holes lead into a network of incredibly narrow tunnels that stretch for over 200 kilometres connecting command posts, hospitals and shelters. We'll learn about the life of the Vietcong and venture into some of the tunnels. The deadly, bamboo-spiked booby traps are another must-see. Today's Highlights: Cu Chi Tunnnels

 

This afternoon take a walking tour. We don't have to walk far to discover colourful back alleyways lined with flower shops, another selling locally-made guitars, and even one that specialises in restoring vintage Vespa scooters. A stroll through lively apartment blocks will reveal scenes of the urban working class. There's a market to explore and an unusual museum that showcases the history of Vietnamese traditional medicine. We'll stop for an iced coffee in a hidden cafe frequented by locals. The oldest coffee shop in Saigon, this retro establishment has a colourful history stretching back over seven decades. 

 

Meals Included - Breakfast

Featured accommodation

Sonnet Saigon Hotel

3

Day 3 - Ho Chi Minh & The Mekong

Today  we cruise the Mekong River Islands. This area may be Vietnam's -rice bowl' but fruit orchards and coconut groves also thrive here. We'll stop to see all the different uses for coconuts. A bicycle ride will bring us to the home of local antique collector, Uncle Six, who will show us how he climbs the coconut trees using just his bare hands. We can even try if we want! A rowing boat will take us along the water palm creek giving us a glimpse of daily life on the delta. Lunch will be an assortment of delicious dishes cooked by one of the locals of the Mekong Delta.

Meals Included – Breakfast & Lunch

Featured accommodation

Sonnet Saigon Hotel

4

Day 4 - Ho Chi Minh - Hue

Transfer to the airport for the short domestic flight to Hue. Go back in time and bask in the beauty of the Nguyen dynasty. The 19th century Imperial Citadel is a city within a city. The striking Flag Tower and imposing Ngo Mon Gate lead into spacious courtyards, palaces, pavilions, reception halls and lotus ponds providing a fascinating glimpse into court life.  Visit the Imperial Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Venture into the countryside around Hue to the Imperial Tomb of Tu Duc. Tu Duc, the longest reigning Vietnamese emperor, designed and built this elegant tomb during his lifetime, using it as a retreat for meditation, reading and theatre performances. Take some time to soak in the tranquil atmosphere, wandering among the gracefully proportioned pavilions, courtyards and lotus ponds. Afterwards visit the Imperial Tomb of Khai Dinh, dramatically located on a hillside. The last of the monumental tombs of the Nguyen dynasty, completed in 1931, this tomb incorporates distinct European elements into traditional Vietnamese architecture. Visit the Imperial Citadel Located in the heart of Hue is the Imperial Citadel, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modelled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Today, most of the buildings have been destroyed due to bombing during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking Flag Tower, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit Dien Tho Residence (Dien Tho palace) where the Queen mother lived, visit Thai Hoa Palace, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the original Nine Dynastic Urns, among other sites, including a visit to the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum

Meals Included – Breakfast

Featured accommodation

Park View Hotel

5

Day 5 - Hue - Hoi An

Visit Vinh Tu Garden House with talking to the owner and enjoy lunch Known as one of the most unique and beautiful buildings in the city, Vinh Tu (Tha Om Garden House) is not only a place to explore the city's architectural heritage but a venue as well for Hue's finest dishes. The house itself is a sophisticated garden with lotus ponds and pavilion, complete with low and dipping roofs to create an unforgettable experience, lunch will be served at the garden house, enjoy the food with the host. Continue by vehicle from Hue to Hoi An with sightseeing in Danang Twisting winding curves, sudden bends, views that take your breath away - welcome to the Hai Van Pass. We get to drive along this incredible mountain pass on the way to Danang. This city is home to beaches made famous by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, several quirky bridges, and the wonderful Cham Museum containing the best collection of Cham sculpture. We'll also stop at the Marble Mountains - a group of limestone and marble hills filled with caves.

Meals Included – Breakfast & Lunch

Featured accommodation

Indochine Hoian Riverside Hotel & Spa

6

Day 6 - Hoi An

Sightseeing in Hoi An with boat trip on the Thu Bon River The quirky mix of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European influences make this ancient town a photographers' paradise. We'll walk through the narrow winding streets of the old quarter past ochre-hued stone houses, lantern-filled shops and colourful fishing boats. One of the most iconic sights is the Japanese Covered Bridge. There are also ancient temples and merchant homes over 200 years old. In the afternoon, we'll take a lazy cruise along the river to traditional pottery villages. 

Meals Included – Breakfast 

Featured accommodation

Indochine Hoian Riverside Hotel & Spa

7

Day 7 - Hoi An - Hanoi

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Hanoi. Walk the Rail Tracks of Hanoi, from Phung Hung Street we will start our exploration on foot. We will walk towards Long Bien train station, cross the bridge and take the stairs down onto the urban island. There's time for a well-earned rest and to visit the orchards. After crossing the bridge, we can either transfer by car or walk to Gia Lam train station. Train tickets in hand, we will board the train to cross over the bridge to the other side of Hanoi. This is a local train full of atmosphere, and we will be riding with the locals in the hard seater wagon. On week days the train will stop at Long Bien, while on Saturday and Sunday it will stop at Hanoi Station. In the evening visit a Water Puppet Show See a Water Puppet Show, a fantastic art form originating in northern Vietnam, best seen in Hanoi 

Meals Included – Breakfast 

Featured accommodation

May de Ville 2

8

Day 8 - Halong Bay

Depart from Hanoi to Halong Bay; en route take a short stop for a break. Transfer with a tender to the comfortable cruise and enjoy a welcome drink aboard. Begin the cruise through majestic Halong Bay while lunch is served. Enjoy the magical bay where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragon's teeth. The cruise continues cruising through a fishing village on the bay and passes the spectacular limestone caves dotted around the bay. Soak up the sun on the top deck with optional on-board activities: sunbathing, and photo opportunities. In the evening the chef will prepare a splendid meal comprised of fresh seafood and other traditional dishes. 

Meals Included – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 

Featured accommodation

Oriental Sails

9

Day 9 - Hanoi

Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise that offer a perfect opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, visit a beautiful limestone grotto then back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Check out luggage and bid tidings to beautiful Halong Bay. Return by vehicle to Hanoi for a Foodies afoot tour Enjoy a taste of local Hanoian life as you explore a local market and some of the city's best street food stalls. Meet your guide at the bustling Hom market, one of the biggest and most popular markets in Hanoi. Wander through the narrow alleyways passing colourful stalls piled high with a vast array of fruit, vegetables, sweets and elaborate temple offerings. Take photos of the vibrant colours and breathe in the aromas of the tropical fruits. If you're feeling brave, venture to the exotic section to see kicking frogs, silkworms and wriggling eels. The entire market is alive with the buzz and excitement of the locals bartering and haggling for the freshest ingredients at the best prices. Your guide will take you to popular street food stalls where you can sample some of the city's signature dishes. Stop at a local coffee shop to taste this rich and flavourful drink then continue your culinary exploration with a stroll through the maze of bustling streets that make up the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Join the locals and pull up a plastic stool at a pavement stall to try Vietnamese snacks and a cup of iced tea, followed by a sweet dessert of fresh fruit and condensed milk. End the tour with a cold draught beer at a sidewalk stall popular with locals.

Meals Included – Breakfast & Dinner 

Featured accommodation

May de Ville 2

10

Day 10 - Hanoi

Today your tour concludes in Hanoi. Depending on the time of your onward flight there are more sightseeing options before transferring to the airport. Just ask your consultant for details.

Meals Included - Beakfast

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