Ho Chi Minh

Highlights of Vietnam 10 Days / 9 Nights

Day 1 – Arrival in Saigon – On arrival into Saigon early this morning you will be transferred from the airport to the hotel for check-in, before meeting your group for 1/2 day afternoon sightseeing tour of Hanoi. A vibrant metropolis, Saigon teems with energy, activity and motion. Begin the trip into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president. Afterwards drive to the historic centre to visit Emperor Of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon’s most interesting pagodas. Proceed to pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Pass by the classic European-style landmarks such as City Hall (Hotel De VIille), the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside). Finally, end up at the central Ben Than Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.

Day 2 – Saigon – Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before embarking on the 90 minute drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Never discovered by American forces, the Cu Chi Tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapons factories. Upon returning to Saigon your afternoon is spent visiting Cholon (Chinatown)The sprawling, densely packed Cholon (Chinatown) constantly bustles with activity and retains a traditional feeling, unlike the more modern Saigon city centre. Explore the highlights of this fascinating area, beginning with the Chinese Medicine Market and Binh Tay Market, the vast wholesale market selling every kind of good from dried foods, T-shirts, to electronics. Continue to Thien Hau Pagoda, built by the Cantonese congregation and dedicated to the heavenly goddess. (B)

Day 3 – Saigon – This morning enjoy breakfast at your hotel before you embark for a day on the Mekong Delta. After a journey through Ben Luc and Tan An, proceed to Ben Tre to take a boat trip on the Mekong River to Vam Xep canal where local handicrafts and coconut sweets are produced. Enjoy fresh seasonal fruits, a performance of traditional songs, and observe the local life. Take a short ride on motor cart to a typical local house to taste some homemade honey-tea. Proceed by sampan through the small canals to observe the daily life of local people along the riverbanks with some stops for a leisurely stroll. At the conclusion its time to return to Saigon for the evening at leisure. (B)

Day 4 – Saigon to Hue – This morning you will enjoy and early breakfast at your hotel before being transferred to the airport for your onward flight north to the former capital of Vietnam, Hue. On arrival in Hue your first visit is to the Imperial Tomb Of 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. Your next visit is to the Imperial Tomb Of Khai Dinh, dramatically located on a hillside it is the last of the monumental tombs of the Nguyen dynasty completed in 1931. Spend the afternoon visiting the impressive Old Imperial City. 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. (B)

Day 5 – Hue to Hoi An – Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel and check-out as you will around 8.30am embark on boat at Toa Kham wharf and start a cruise on Perfume River. Your stops this morning include the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda before the cruise  continues to Thuy Bieu Village. Upon arrival, walk or enjoy a bike tour around the village. Visit families making incense or joss paper and learn more about the traditions of Vietnamese people and you will enjoy lunch at local house with Hue traditional specialties. Its now time to board to the bus for the trip south to Hoi An, via Danang. Halfway between Danang and Hue lies the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and south Vietnam. After arriving in Danang, tour the Cham Museum, an elegant colonial building which now houses the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world and briefly pass Non Nuoc Beach, a famous spot for American soldiers during the Vietnam-American War. Continue south to Hoi An, stopping enroute to visit the Marble Mountains, five stone hillocks, once islands, that now rise sharply from the surrounding rice fields. Riddled with caves and shrines, they are said to each represent one of the five elements of the universe. (B,L)

Day 6 – Hoi An – At the completion of breakfast its time to expire Hoi An, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, today it is a thriving centre of traditional crafts and a shopper’s paradise, best explored with a walking tour. The tour will include a visit to a Private House, where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting.  Continue to Sa Huynh Museum, located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, it contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history. Visit a handicraft workshop in Hoi An where local products are being made and finally, continue to the famous Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. In the afternoon, board a local boat and cruise down the Thu Bon River, enjoying the unspoiled countryside and stopping to visit a Pottery Village and a Woodcarving Village before returning to Hoi An harbour. (B)

Day 7 – Hoi An to Hanoi – Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel before check-out and the transfer to Danang for the onward flight to Hanoi. On arrival in Hanoi you will enjoy a short tour of the city centre with a 60 minute ride on an electric car through Hoan Kiem Lake, Quan Su Pagoda, Silk Road, Hanoi Railway Station and Hoa Lo Prison and concluding at Hanoi Opera House and finish the evening by enjoying the water puppet show. (B)

Day 8 – Hanoi to Halong Bay – This morning you will enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel before embarking on the 3 – 1/2 hour drive east to Halong Bay. On arrival at the dock, transfer with a tender to the comfortable junk 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. The junk 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 or enjoy the many photographic opportunities. In the evening the chef will prepare a splendid meal comprised of fresh seafood dishes and other traditional dishes. (B, L & D)

Day 9 – Halong Bay to Hanoi -Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi lesson that offer a perfect opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After enjoying breakfast on the junk visit a beautiful limestone grotto before you get 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 before the 3-1/2 hour bus ride returning you to Hanoi. (B)

Day 10 – Hanoi – Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before embarking on a full day sightseeing of Hanoi. Your first visit of the day is to the Temple Of Literature, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, this monument is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. No visit to Hanoi is complete without a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where visitors can pay respects to the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. The Mausoleum is closed in the afternoons, on Mondays and Fridays, and closes annually in October and November for restoration (only viewable from the outside). Continue to the Presidential Palace (may be viewed from the outside only). Stroll through the park to Ho Chi Minh Stilt House, the simple two-room dwelling where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Finish the day with a visit to the Museum Of Ethnology. This museum brings to life the astonishing ethnic diversity in Vietnam, with art and artefacts from the 54 different ethnic groups that inhabit the country. Inside the museum are detailed descriptions of minority groups, with examples of their traditional clothing and way of life. Outside are faithful reconstructions of traditional longhouses, cemeteries and other distinctive ethnic buildings. For this travellers who have a late afternoon onward flight you transfer will meet you at a pre designated location, and for those who do not, enjoy 1 more night in the wonderful city of Hanoi. (B)

Tour Inclusions: 

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Accommodation on a twin / double share basis.
  • Local English speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits.
  • Transfers and touring by private air conditioned vehicle.
  • Meals as described in the itinerary – 9 Breakfasts / 2 Lunches / 1 Dinners

 

Seat in Coach Dates

10 Jan 2020 17 Jan 2020 24 Jan 2020 31 Jan 2020 07 Feb 2020
14 Feb 2020 21 Feb 2020 28 Feb 2020 06 Mar 2020 13 Mar 2020
20 Mar 2020 27 Mar 2020 03 Apr 2020 10 Apr 2020 17 Apr 2020
24 Apr 2020 01 May 2020 08 May 2020 15 May 2020 22 May 2020
29 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 12 Jun 2020 19 Jun 2020 26 Jun 2020
03 Jul 2020 10 Jul 2020 17 Jul 2020 24 Jul 2020 31 Jul 2020
07 Aug 2020 14 Aug 2020 21 Aug 2020 28 Aug 2020 04 Sep 2020
11 Sep 2020 18 Sep 2020 25 Sep 2020 02 Oct 2020 09 Oct 2020
16 Oct 2020 23 Oct 2020 30 Oct 2020