per person onwards
Transfer from your hotel to the airport (with guide).
CU CHI BY ROAD
Enjoy a two hour drive northwest of Saigon, through urbanized areas and typical lush southern Vietnamese countryside, to the famous Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnel complex was initially started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as communication routes, storage facilities for food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the American war. A visit to the underground villages will provide a better understanding of the tunnels’ history, the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. Return to Saigon.
SAIGON HALF DAY CITY TOUR
Saigon is the country’s commercial centre and, with over eight million inhabitants and four million motorbikes, a city that never sleeps. Despite the well-documented hustle and bustle, Saigon retains its connections with the past. Embark on a city tour to admire Saigon’s historic landmarks including the Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires based on the original construction from Paris (It is only possible to visit inside when no service is being performed). Then head across the square to the Central Post Office, designed by the French architect, Gustav Eiffel. Continue to visit the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war, revealing the history of Saigon during its turbulent recent past. Further, drive to visit the War Remnants Museum for a vivid insight of the American war through the local’s eyes (Please note that some of the photos are very graphic).
Pick up at your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival in Danang, meet your guide and transport to Hoi An. Check into your hotel once you arrive in Hoi An.
Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
HOI AN WALKING TOUR
Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was a prosperous trading port. Today, this World Heritage-listed ancient town boasts well-preserved buildings, pedestrianized streets and unique cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. The narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour. There is plenty to visit including the old merchant’s houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with outstanding wood carvings; and the colourful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two. An optional stop, subject to availability, is the private home of Diep Dong Nguyen with a stunning collection of artefacts ranging from pottery, seals and paintings to money and old Hoi An photography.
After breakfast, transfer to Hue for the night, visit Cham Museum and Marble mountain en -route.
CITY HIGHLIGHTS TOUR
Hue served as an imperial capital to the Nguyen Lords, a feudal dynasty which reigned from the 17th to the 19th century. With splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of the Citadel, the city retains its royal charm. Start from your hotel with a 10 minute cyclo ride from your hotel to the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO listed site. Enter through the towering main gate and you will appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while your guide explains about the events and the intrigue of the former royal court. Despite being bombed heavily, there are some incredibly well preserved sections still intact and others which are being lovingly restored. From there, vehicle will take you to visit Thien Mu pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower, the pagoda is a sight to behold. Afternoon, drive out 30 minutes to the elaborate Khai Dinh Royal Tomb. Its architecture and atmosphere showcase elements of eastern art and western designs. Continue to the serene Tu Duc Royal Tomb, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and built on principles of feng-shui. Transfer back to your hotel with an optional stop en route at an incense stick making house.
Meet your guide and transfer from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, your guide, waiting at the airport, will welcome and transport you to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
HANOI CITY TOUR
With ochre-coloured colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes, Hanoi is full of charm. Start the tour at the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite, and where the preserved body of “Uncle Ho” resides. (Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed every Monday & Friday, all afternoons and from late September until December) A short walk from the mausoleum is the lotus shaped One Pillar Pagoda – resting on a single stone pillar emerging from the water. Wind your way afterwards to the Temple of Literature, the first University for the sons of mandarins, for an overview about Hanoian culture and appreciation for ancient Vietnamese architecture. In the afternoon, visit the serene Museum of Ethnology is a 20 minute drive out of town that offers a fascinating insight into Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups (Museum of Ethnology is closed on Mondays). Drive back to central Hanoi for a walking tour through the Old Quarter to enjoy the bustling local life, then cap off the day with a show at the water puppet theatre - a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes of rural life and episodes of national history.
Depart for a 3.5 hour journey to Halong Bay stopping for a break at Hong Ngoc Center – the best place to stop and stretch your legs en route. On arrival in Halong Bay, board your junk, settle into your cabin and prepare your appetite for an enjoyable lunch on deck. In mid-afternoon visit the mysterious Tien Ong cave, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, and then continue to the Cua Van fishing village, the largest fishing community on the bay. Head back to the boat, participate in a cooking class with the chef or enjoy sunset on the top deck before dinner.
Rise early and greet the day with another refreshing Tai Chi class on the upper deck. Transfer from the main boat to a small beach on Ti Top Island. Those wanting a bit of exercise can climb to the top of the island (20 minutes). Later, board the main boat and enjoy a delicious buffet brunch while cruising back to shore. Arrive at the jetty in late morning then transfer back to Hanoi. (Light snack provided en route. Option to stop at a small pottery workshop en route).
Pick up at hotel and transfer to the airport for flight to the next destination.
Return airfare, airport taxes, visa charges, insurance, tips, all items of personal nature and anything not mentioned in the 'Inclusions'. GST 5%.
Cost per person on twin sharing basis. Any Increase in the rate of exchange leading to an increase in land arrangements and high season surcharge if any, will have to be borne by the client. Standard terms and conditions apply.