Vietnam Discovered Tour
The ideal trip for the first-time visitor to Vietnam discovering the main highlights in few days: the capital Hanoi, the natural heritage site of Halong Bay, the charming town and beautiful beach of Hoi An, the ancient Citadel of Hue and the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh City. A perfect introduction to this country, steeped in ancient and mystical treasures, hidden in time.
HANOI – HA LONG BAY – HOI AN – HUE – HO CHI MINH
You arrive at Hanoi airport to a warm welcome from your local guide, who will escort you to the awaiting transport and onwards to your hotel. The room is available from lunchtime and the afternoon is free at leisure to explore your surroundings. Hanoi’s tree-shaded streets are filled with lovely examples of French colonial architecture.
You depart from your hotel in the early morning to take a walk through Hang Be market – one of the most famous markets in Hanoi thanks to its diverse array of goods and eye catching displays. Then you start to explore the diversified architecture of Hanoi and its famous 36 streets of the Old Quarter by a walking tour. The purpose of today’s walking tour is to discover Hanoi’s architecture, which reflects the atmosphere and soul of Hanoi. Included is a visit to Hanoi’s first university – the Temple of Literature – Continue your visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (visiting outside), the traditional stilt house and the revered One-Pillar Pagoda. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.
This morning we check out of the hotel in Hanoi and head straight to Halong Bay, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay and Gulf of Tonkin ( 180km – 3.5 hrs – 4hours) to arrive early afternoon. We board our junk and begin our exploration of magical Halong Bay, one of the premier tourist highlights. A fresh seafood lunch is prepared whilst we get under sail into this area of outstanding beauty. Both lunch and dinner are served on board.
An early morning rise is anticipated to capture the bay in the best light and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. After breakfast you enjoy a leisure cruise amongst the stunning limestone formations around the bay before docking late morning. You then check out of the cabins and disembark to be transferred to Haiphong airport and the flight to Danang. Transfer to the ancient city of Hoi An.
In the morning take a walking tour in Hoi An town, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site because of its unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes. Set out to explore the quaint cobblestone streets of the town with more than two-century-old Chinese houses. Sites include the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Chinese Assembly Hall and Phung Hung Chinese-style trading house. Then you continue by car (or jeep -at a supplement) to explore the Hoi An countryside and have a relaxing lunch at one of the local houses with a setting overlooking the river. After lunch, you will be transferred back to your hotel with the remainder of the day at leisure.
Morning is free at leisure to relax or further discover Hoi An on your own. In the afternoon you leave for Hue via the scenic Hai Van Pass where you can enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramas in Vietnam as you look out over the central coastline. You will also pass through the quiet, white sandy beach of Lang Co along the way. Arrive in Hue at the end of the morning. Check in at the hotel followed by a cyclo tour to enjoy the refined and distinct atmosphere of the town.
In the morning you visit the famous Imperial Citadel, and then continue with a leisure boat trip to Thien Mu Pagoda which is located right on the bank of the Perfume River, that offers a very nice photo shot of river and the city. You end the morning with a visit to a typical garden house which was built according to precise rules of geomancy. In the afternoon, you visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh tombs – an example of the most beautiful tombs in Hue inspired by Vietnamese traditional art. This is also an opportunity to learn about the history of the Nguyen Dynasty and the French colonial period. The rest of the day is spent at your leisure.
The morning is at leisure before your transfer to Hue Airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as Saigon, this is Vietnam’s biggest city with 7 million inhabitants and 2.5 million motorbikes. As soon as you get out of the airport, you will be struck by the bursting energy of youth and the flow of motorbikes ready to start at each traffic light. The rest of the day is free at leisure to relax or discover Ho Chi Minh City on your own (No guide, no vehicle). Historic landmarks include the Old Saigon post office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunion Palace, War Museum, and the ethnic Chinese district of Cho Lon and Thien Hau Pagoda.
After your breakfast, you board your speed boat at Ho Chi Minh City’s pier; your English-speaking guide will introduce you to life along the banks of the Saigon River as your boat gracefully slips through knots of floating water hyacinths on this scenic one-hour boat trip. After a short documentary, your guide will lead you through the historic Cu Chi Tunnels, dug by resourceful guerrilla fighters to provide communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters during numerous conflicts. A traditional Vietnamese lunch of local specialties like lemongrass chicken and caramelized clay pot pork will be served after your visit to the tunnels. Return to your hotel in the early afternoon then free (no guide no vehicle).
The morning is at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Your room is at your disposal until noon.
Return transfers in Vietnam
Bed & Breakfast
2 lunches, 1 dinner
English speaking guide
Boat trips as described
Site entrance fees
Flight & hotel taxes
Regional UK departures
5* Hotel upgrades
Additional hotel nights
Bespoke tour variations
HA LONG BAY
HO CHI MINH
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