Day 1: Hanoi Arrival.
Welcome to Hanoi: Vietnam’s bustling colonial capital. Your guide and driver will meet you outside the baggage claim area Noi Bai Airport and take you to your hotel in the city centre. In the afternoon, we take a walk to visit some of Hanoi’s main attractions: the Opera House, Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son Temple. In the evening we enjoy a traditional Water Puppet Performance – a unique Vietnamese Art form, followed by a welcome dinner at one of Hanoi’s finest restaurants.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour – Halong.
Enjoy a half day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas, Hanoi is an eclectic mix that has something for everyone. Your city tour will take you to Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and stilt house), the nearby One Pillar Pagoda; the Temple of Literature, the Fine Arts Museum. In the afternoon, leave the bustle of the big city and drive through the peaceful Red River Delta to Halong Bay (3 to 4 hours drive), Vietnam’s premier tourist destination
Accommodation: Hotel in Halong.
Day 3: Halong Bay Cruise – Hanoi – Fly to Danang – Hoian.
Today you enjoy a day cruise on Halong Bay: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and natural wonderland where thousands of islands and islets composed of limestone reach skywards from the sparkling turquoise waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the Halong harbor to board your private junk cruise for a 4-hour journey. Cruise on the calm waters of the bay, between looming, limestone outcrops to visit Dau Go Cave “(Grotto of the Wooden Stakes)” where, in 1288, one of Vietnam’s most famous generals, Tran Hung Dao, stored hundreds of stakes before battling the invading Mongolian army. A short walk away, visit the newly discovered Thien Cung Cave (“Grotto of the Heavenly Palace”), now famous for its stalagmites and stalactites. Enjoy your fresh seafood lunch, served on board, before sailing back to Halong City, where your car will be waiting to take you to Hanoi and your flight to Danang, where on arrival, you transfer to your hotel in Hoian.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Accommodations: Hotel in Hoian.
Day 4: Hoian Walking Tour – Boat trip.
Immerse yourself in the tranquility and charm of this sleepy riverside town. From the 16th to 18th centuries Hoian was a thriving international port frequented by Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders, who came to trade in the high quality silk still produced in the region. Today, Hoian is a relaxing resort, popular with tourists for its unique architecture that dates back centuries, its skilled tailors and numerous cafes. Take a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the ancient town centre, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Hall, the 200-year old Tam Ky ancestral house and the famous Japanese Bridge. After lunch, take a short boat cruise to a nearby island and visit a handicraft village specializing in hand-made ceramics. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy a free evening at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.
Day 5: Hoian – Danang – Hue
Depart Hoian for the scenic mountainous drive to Hue. Stop for photo’s and refreshments at the Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of North and South Vietnam, the views from this pass are spectacular. Admire the scenic views of the Lang Co fishing village. Spend the afternoon on a leisurely walking tour through Vietnam’s ancient capital city, visiting the Royal Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and the Mausoleum of King Tu Duc (a replica of the king’s palace built for the next reincarnation of the king), before exploring the Imperial Museum and Dong Ba Market.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue.
Day 6: Hue – Fly to Saigon.
Have breakfast at your hotel then drive to the airport of Hue, to catch your flight to Vietnam’s modern metropolis: Saigon. Arrive in the late morning and enjoy an orientation tour through Ho Chi Minh city’s bustling streets en route to your hotel. Have lunch at a downtown restaurant of your choosing then set out on a guided city tour. Visit the War Remnants Museum, learn about Vietnam’s recent history at the Reunification Palace, visit the nearby neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the City’s Centre Post Office before passing by the ornate Opera Theatre and the City Hall. Finally, end up at the Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon.
Day 7: Saigon – Mekong Delta day trip.
Today you travel to the Mekong River Delta region to explore the rich culture and lush landscapes. After breakfast, your guide & driver will meet you at your hotel and take you to Cai Be. Start your tour with a visit to Cai Be’s colorful floating market, cruising among the local barges stuffed-full of fruits and vegetables. Visit some local workshops then enjoy a delicious lunch served at an ancient house in the cool shade of An Binh Island’s orchards. In the afternoon, take a traditional rowboat and venture deeper into the countryside, floating through narrow canals to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Stop at a nursery garden to discover how farmers along the delta produce their sweet fruits and vegetables. The cruise ends around 3:30pm in Vinh Long, where your driver will meet you at the dock and return you to Saigon.
Meals: Breakfast. Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon.
Day 8: Saigon Departure.
Today is free time, at your leisure for last minute shopping or sight-seeing before driving to the airport to catch your departure flight home.