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Vietnam

Vietnam

Highlights of Vietnam

13 days

HANOI TO HALONG BAY

From the moment you arrive in the historic Vietnamese city of Hanoi, you’re truly immersed into traditions and culture. See both sides to Vietnamese life, as we explore the bustling city of Hanoi. Absolutely breathtaking, Halong Bay is a feast for the eyes, dotted with hundreds of rocky islands and outcrops. Sit back and relax, cruising around this natural wonder and sampling some of the freshest local cuisine in the world!

 

From $4,599 per person

General Information

Highlights
  • A tradition dating back to the 11th century in northern Vietnam, we’ll enjoy an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the history and art behind water puppetry.
  • Walk along the ‘Rail Tracks of Hanoi’ and meet the locals who have adapted to daily life just metres from the trains.
  • Visit a colourful local market in Hoi An before taking a short cruise (subject to water levels) along the Hoi An River to the secluded Red Bridge Cooking School for an aromatic and informative cooking class.
  • Go off the beaten track to discover Saigon’s a-little-out-of-the-ordinary sights. Visit the peculiar Dan Sinh Market, Beaux-Arts Museum, Antique Street and traditional French-style Fanny’s Ice Cream Parlour.
Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 1. DEPART AUSTRALIA

DAY 2. ARRIVE HANOI

Welcome to Vietnam and bustling Hanoi! Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure before this evening’s group welcome dinner. [D]

Special Experience: A tradition dating back to the 11th century in northern Vietnam, we’ll enjoy a water puppetry performance by a local renowned puppet master where we will go behind the scenes.

DAY 3. HANOI

An early start this morning to discover Hanoi as the city awakens. We’ll visit the flower market, the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake and finish our tour with a Vietnamese breakfast and coffee.

Special Experience: Walk along the ‘Rail Tracks of Hanoi’ and explore a rarely seen side of Vietnam’s capital. We meet the locals and see how they have adapted to daily life just metres from the trains.

This afternoon our sightseeing highlights include the Presidential Palace, the beautiful Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. [B,L]

DAY 4. HANOI – HALONG BAY

Today we travel to breathtaking Halong Bay, through the picturesque farming lands and rice paddies of the Red River Delta. Here we’ll board our overnight cruise. After lunch we’ll discover the mysterious Tien Ong Cave, one of the finest caves in Halong Bay, featuring stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. We’ll be able to swim at an exclusive platform and witness a traditional cooking and fruit-carving demonstration. Relax with a sundowner this evening and enjoy the incredible views as the sun sets. You might also like to join the crew fishing for squid later this evening. [B,L,D]

DAY 5. HALONG BAY – HANOI – HOI AN

This morning you might like to take part in a tai chi lesson on the sundeck or just sit back and relax as we cruise the waters and islets of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. We’ll explore Cua Van floating fishing village after breakfast. Return to Hanoi after brunch to fly to Danang and transfer to Hoi An. [B,Brunch]

DAY 6. HOI AN

We begin the day with a walking tour of charming Hoi An. Highlights include the Culture & History Museum, the famous Japanese covered bridge and a historic, UNESCO Heritage-listed house. [B,D]

Special Experience: Visit the colourful local market before taking a short cruise along the Hoi An River to the secluded Red Bridge Cooking School for an aromatic and informative cooking class (cruise subject to prevailing water levels).

DAY 7. HOI AN

The day is at leisure for you to enjoy this picturesque town at your own pace. Hoi An’s centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, free from cars and a lovely area to explore on foot. [B]

DAY 8. HOI AN – SAIGON

This morning we fly to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). In the afternoon we’ll take a walking tour of the bustling metropolis. Highlights include the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office and Opera House. We’ll also visit the Presidential Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum. [B]

DAY 9. SAIGON

Today we travel by boat to the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels for a tour with a veteran guide. This network of tunnels served as a base for the Viet Cong and remained undiscovered during the Vietnam War. [B,L]

Special Experience: Go off the beaten track to discover Saigon’s a-little-out-of-the-ordinary sights. We’ll visit the peculiar Dan Sinh Market, the Beaux-Arts Museum, Antique Street and the traditional French-style Fanny’s Ice Cream Parlour, Vietnam’s leading ice cream producer.

DAY 10. SAIGON – MEKONG DELTA

We make our way to the Mekong Delta to board our traditional-style cruise boat. We’ll observe life along the banks of the delta and hop on and off smaller boats on shore excursions, passing villages and rice paddies. Relax on board this evening with an aperitif as the sun sets. [B,L,D]

DAY 11. MEKONG DELTA – SAIGON

This morning we travel to Cai Rang by traditional sampan boat to experience all the action of the floating market – the liveliest market in the Mekong Delta. We’ll also witness rice-paper and coconut candy making, and visit a local farm and tropical fruit orchard. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group farewell dinner back in Saigon. [B,D]

DAY 12. DEPART SAIGON

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

DAY 13. ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

Level of fitness: This tour features 2+ hours of walking, often across uneven ground and in areas of high altitude or heat and humidity on 1 or more days.

Inclusions

TRAVEL

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Vietnam. Taxes included
  • 2 economy-class flights within Vietnam
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding water based activities)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $100pp pre-paid

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

  • 8 nights in good quality hotels (4 star)
  • 1 night on board a Vietnamese cruise boat on Halong Bay
  • 1 night on board a river cruise vessel on the Mekong Delta
  • 10 breakfasts, 1 brunch,  4 lunches and 5 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

TOUR GUIDES

  • English-speaking locally based guides
  • English-speaking locally based national guide throughout
  • English-speaking local Guide on board Mekong Cruise

PORTERAGE

  • Porterage included where available

SIGHTSEEING

Explore stately Hanoi & amazing Halong Bay 

  • Go Behind-The-Scenes at a traditional water puppet show in Hanoi.
  • Discover the city of Hanoi as it awakens, visiting the flower market, old quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake before a Vietnamese breakfast and coffee.
  • Tour stately Hanoi including the Ho Chi Min Memorial, Hoan Kiem Lake and Old Quarter on foot.
  • Walk the Rail Tracks of Hanoi and explore a rarely seen side of Vietnam’s capital city!  Meet the locals and see how they have adapted to daily life along the rail tracks.
  • Spend the night on beautiful Halong Bay on a Vietnamese Cruiseboat.

Heritage-listed Hoi An

  • Spend 3 nights in World Heritage-listed Hoi An and explore the town on foot, including the Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, Culture & History Museum, the Chinese Assembly Hall of Fujien Chinese Community and an old historic house (UNESCO Site).
  • Cruise down Hoi An River to the secluded Red Bridge Cooking School and learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Saigon and the lively Mekong Delta 

  • Tour bustling Saigon including the French-style Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Opera House, Reunification Palace and the very moving War Remnants Museum.
  • Visit the remarkable Cu Chi Tunnel complex north of Saigon, with a veteran guide. This elaborate 200km-long tunnel complex was built by the Viet Cong and never discovered during the Vietnam war.
  • Enjoy an “A Little out of the Ordinary” tour of Saigon – a unique look at Saigon visiting the peculiar Dan Sinh Market, Beaux-Arts Museum, Antique Street (Le Cong Kieu), Fanny’s Ice Cream Parlour, the trendy boutiques and shops of Ton That Thiep Street.
  • Spend the night on the Mekong River, exploring the tributaries and canals while observing daily life along the banks.
  • Visit the Cai Be Floating markets and walk along the canals and the palm-shaded creek witnessing local houses, green orchards, ship building yards, the rural and water activities of the Mekong.
Accommodation

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation listed is subject to change and the list should be used as a guide only. Every effort is made to avoid changes however if a change becomes necessary then accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

SILK PATH HOTEL, HANOI

Centrally located near the Old Quarter of Hanoi, the Silk Path Hotel is within walking distance to Hang Da Market, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature. The property offers contemporary guestrooms and modern facilities including a restaurant, terrace café, piano bar and premium bar, as well as a sauna and fitness centre.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities

STELLAR – ACLASS CRUISES

Stellar cruise offers a one-of-a-kind experience aboard a traditional oriental-style boat. With crews providing excellent service throughout the length of your journey, it will make your vacation a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

The cruise liner contains twenty-one spacious cabins, full of luxuries including a private en-suite bathroom. The cruise liner also boasts a large sundeck, elegant dining room, lounge bar, beauty spa and massage, along with other exciting entertainment.

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HOI AN TRAILS RESORT & SPA, HOI AN

The stunning 4-star Hoi An Trails Resort & Spa is centrally located between Cua Dai beach and the famous historic district of Hoi An. Immerse yourself in the authentic Vietnamese culture, gaze out over iconic rice fields or dine in one of the two delicious on-site restaurants.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities; swimming pool; fitness centre; spa

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HOTEL EQUATORIAL, HO CHI MINH CITY

This five star hotel is located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, where the borders of the city’s four main district intersect. The city’s major commercial and entertainment area is only a mere 8-minute drive away. The hotel provides world-class facilities and services is the ideal choice while visiting Vietnam’s most vibrant and exciting city.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar;safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities; outdoor swimming pool.

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LE COCHINCHINE CRUISE, MEKONG DELTA

Designed in a style reminiscent of the traditional sampans which have navigated the Mekong Flows, Le Cochinchine cruises the Mekong Delta while passengers relax in comfort and witness the various landscapes of the Delta and the local daily life along the banks. Enjoy a welcome drink as you board before experiencing a variety of excursions along the way including floating markets, strolls in the countryside and of course, tasting fresh local cuisine on board.

Visa Requirement

Please note, Australian passport holders need to obtain a visa for this tour. Please check with your travel agent for further details.

Australian passport holders
A Vietnam E-visa needs to be applied for prior to travel. This can be applied for here: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/trang-chu-ttdt
Non-Australian passport holders
Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.