-10-day tour throughout Vietnam
-Visit Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Saigon and more
-Visit the Ho Chi Minh complex and the Ho Chi Minh Museum
-Visit the Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple, Army and Historical Museum
-Private guide to tour the Imperial Citadel
-Private tour of Thien Mu Pagoda, tombs of the Nguyen dynasty emperors
-Visit the Cham Museum in Da Nang
-Trek to the top of the Marble Mountains – through caves and temples on the way to Heaven Gate
-Excursion to Hoi An
-Private guide of Saigon
-Visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, farewell dinner at Xu Restaurant
Hanoi, Da Nang, and more…
You’ll explore the best of Vietnam on this 10-day tour
See the amazing cities, pagodas, and countryside of Vietnam
Arrival in Hanoi, where you will be met by your private driver and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax. Vietnam’s capital is described by a lot of people as “an old-fashioned city”. Old-fashioned in style, it is a city of lakes, parks, trees, villas, mansions and an area called the Old French Quarter where crumbling houses are crammed into narrow alleyways that are still named after the goods that were traded there – Silk Street, Gold Street, even Fried Fish Street! Accommodation at Sofitel Metropole Hanoi.
After breakfast, your private driver picks you up at your hotel. Your first stop will be to visit the Ho Chi Minh complex. See the simple cottage where Uncle Ho lived and worked. Also visit the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum – an extraordinary tribute in abstract form to the life of the ‘father of the country’ and the evolution of Vietnamese independence. French architecture is a feature of Hanoi, and the nearby former Governor’s Residence is a fine example. See also the One Pillar Pagoda, and hear the legend of its construction, born from the love of an emperor in the 11th Century.
Then you continue to the Temple of Literature (the Van Mieu Pagoda) founded in 1070. As an excellent example of traditional Vietnamese architecture, the pagoda housed Vietnam’s first university which was established in 1076 to educate the sons of Mandarins. The temple, dedicated to Confucius, consists of 5 walled courtyards leading to a pavilion where 82 stelae of an original 117 record the names and places of birth of successful candidates of the gruelling mandarin examinations from 1498 to 1787, the years of the Ly dynasty. The stelae sit on the backs of giant turtles, symbol of longevity; these emblems along with the crane, another creature denoting longevity, are also found in the main red-lacquered temple nearby.
After your lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a city tour of Hanoi with your private guide including: Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple, Army and Historical Museum, Hanoi 36 Ancient Streets. Enjoy an orientation of the tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture, including the recently restored Opera House. Pass by Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Lake of the Restored Sword from the legend that surrounds it en-route to one of the city’s fascinating museums (Army, History or Fine Arts, depending on your preference). Then enjoy a walking tour of the Ancient Quarter also called the 36
Streets. This densely populated corner of the city was once a center of commerce where goods were sold under the street name of a particular guild. Still a thriving community of sellers today, you will see street names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper Street. Ancient homes and temples are interspersed with stores in this souvenir hunter’s paradise! Accommodation at Sofitel Metropole Hanoi.
Accommodation at The Float House River Kwai.
This morning, depart Hanoi with your private guide to Ha Long for a day cruise on the Bay. Ha Long Bay is often called Vietnam’s eighth wonder of the world and once visited, it is hard to dispute that claim. 3000 spectacular limestone outcroppings, cliffs, arches and coves compete for space in an area that is without doubt the most outstandingly natural beauty in the country – an incomparable coastal scenery. With a traditional Chinese-style sailing junk whose name translates as ‘Where the Dragon Descends into the Sea’, stop off at an islet and climb through a series of breathtaking caves and grottoes, where you will be amazed at some of the most impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations anywhere in the world. Enjoy a delicious fresh seafood lunch on board. After lunch, stop and walk through one of the many caves found in this area before cruising back to Ha Long City. During the cruise, enjoy the peace and beauty of the bay, marveling at its formations before watching the sun goes down on the deck of your private boat. Later in the afternoon, return overland back to Hanoi. Accommodation at Sofitel Metropole Hanoi.
Today you will have free time before your private transfer to Hanoi airport for flight to Hue. Upon arrival, private transfer to your hotel in Hue. In the afternoon, your private guide will take you to the Imperial Citadel situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, with an area of
500 ha and designed in a series of three circles – named from the outside to the inside: Kinh
Thanh (Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel).
The Citadel started in 1805 under the reign of Emperor Gia Long and was completed in 1832 under the reign of Emperor Ming Mang. Leaving the Citadel you are transferred to Long An Palace that was reopened to the public in late March 2012 after being closed for the last four years while it underwent a major restoration. The Hue Monuments Conservation Center also reopened the Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts inside the palace with more than 10,000 items used by members of the Nguyen Dynasty as well as artifacts from other Asian countries. Then you continue to visit a local market that is very popular – Dong Ba market in Old Hue is near the place where the Dong Ba Canal joins the Perfume River. This traditional market makes an unforgettable impression on all who visit. Return to the hotel at the end of the day. Accommodation at La Residence Hotel.
After breakfast, you will start your private tour with a visit of Thien Mu Pagoda. You will be transferred to the pier to embark for a boat excursion. Built in 1601 between a river and a pine forest, the Thien Mu Pagoda (“Heavenly Lady Pagoda”) in Hue is one of the oldest and more attractive religious buildings in the country. Among the many interesting albeit ‘somber’ artifacts housed at the complex is the car that took the monk Thich Quang Duc to his self- immolation in Saigon in 1963. Back to the pier, you continue to the Minh Mang’s tomb – well known for its harmonious blend of architecture and natural landscape. The Tomb is 12km from Hue, on Cam Kemountain, near Bang Lang fork, on the west bank of the Perfume River. In September 1840 the construction of the tomb began. By January 1841 while the work was still underway Minh Mang fell sick and subsequently passed away. Emperor Thieu Tri, his successor to the throne, continued the construction in accordance with his father’s plans. Emperor Minh Mang’s corpse was buried in Buu Thanh on August 20th, 1841. The construction was fully completed in 1843. Minh Mang’s tomb is a standard architectural complex consisting of 40 constructions (palaces, temples, pavilions, etc.) designed on a symmetric axis running from Dai Hong gate to the foot of La Thanh (Surrounding Wall) behind the Emperor’s tomb.
Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant.
The hills surrounding Hue are dotted with the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty emperors. Built not only as an eternal resting place the tombs were also designed for recreation – somewhere the Emperor could fish, hunt and enjoy the company of his concubines in his twilight years.
In the afternoon, you will visit two of the most interesting and contrasting tombs. You first visit the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc – resplendent in traditional architecture, paved walkways, resting pavilions overlooking tranquil lotus ponds and a small forest for hunting. In stark contrast continue to Khai Dinh’s Tomb. Remembered as the ‘Puppet Emperor’ because of his affiliation with the French this tomb was designed with colonial flair and a glass mosaic frieze dominates the interior. Return to your hotel by the end of the day. Accommodation at La Residence Hotel.
Today you will have free time before your private transfer from Hue to Da Nang via Van Pass which crosses over a spur of the Truong Son mountain range that juts into the sea. Upon arrival, visit to the Cham Museum in Da Nang – once the centre of the ancient Cham civilisation. Hindu in origin, the Cham people left a legacy of excellent sculptures, now housed in the only museum if its kind in Da Nang, as they were pushed south by the advancing Vietnamese invaders. Close by Da Nang is Non Nuoc Beach, immortalised for many by the US television show and still one of the most spectacular beaches in Asia. Continue to visit the Marble Mountains where the five rocky outcrops are said to represent five natural elements, and are the source of many intriguing legends, as well as housing temples and once even an army hospital! Be prepared to trek up to the top of the Marble Mountains with lot of steps through caves and temples on the way to Heaven Gate. There are spectacular views from the various lookout points of Non Nuoc Beach and Da Nang city. Following your decent you will see skilled artisans carving all manner of statues from marble sourced locally at the mountains’ base before heading back to your hotel Fusion Resort Da Nang.
This morning, your private guide takes you to an excursion to Hoi An. Just a short drive from Da Nang, the unique trading town of Hoi An was a civilisation cut off by destroyed rail lines and a silted river, leaving it untouched by war and frozen in time. See architecture reminiscent of traders of a bygone era – Japanese, French, Chinese, and Indian, as well as beautifully preserved ancient houses. No cars are allowed to pass through Hoi An, rendering it an excellent walking village. Visit the unique Japanese covered bridge and a Chinese communal house. Shop for art at one of the numerous galleries and enjoy the riverside ambience.
After your lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a local Village experience “Cam Kim and Duy Vinh biking tour”. You will cross the river by boat to reach the Kim Bong Carpentry village of Cam Kim. Here you meet with the artisans as they make beautiful and unique items from wood. You will continue to experience the countryside by taking a guided bicycle or motorcycle trip along peaceful village roads and wonderful scenery. One highlight is visiting the Duy Vinh commune mat village, rice paper factory, tropical fruit garden and rice fields. The real countryside of Vietnam- children in kindergarten, farmers and fisherman at work. Return to the hotel at the end of the day. Accommodation at the Fusion Resort Da Nang.
Today you will have free time before your private transfer to Da Nang airport to fly to Saigon, also know as Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival you will be met by your private guide and transferred to the centre. First, you visit the former Presidential Palace, now preserved as a museum and including the underground communications bunkers, headquarters for the Saigon Government during the American War. Onwards to visit Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral in the centre of city. The ‘wedding cake’ styled hotel de ville and Dong Khoi Street, formerly the centre of haute couture in Saigon when it was known as Rue Catinat. Then, continue to the History Museum, which houses an excellent display tracing the origins of the indigenous Vietnamese.The final stop would be the Jade Emperor Pagoda which is a Taoist pagoda first built since 1909 by the Chinese Community to worship to the Jade Emperor – King of the heaven, according to Chinese folklore religion. You will be transferred back to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Accommodation at Caravelle Hotel Saigon.
After your breakfast, travel with your private guide the bustling highway into the surrounding countryside where you will pass lush rice paddies being carefully tended with en-route Vinh Trang Pagoda. Then you board a motorised sampan for a unique experience on the mighty Mekong Delta waterways. You will see how, to the people of Delta, the water is a lifeline – the focus of all daily activity – as you journey through a maze of tributaries and fruit plantations. Enjoy a sample of delicious fruit in the shade of a fruit farmer’s garden before continuing via small canals on a sampan to lunch. Here the speciality is a remarkable dish of ‘elephants ear fish’. Return to Ho Chi Minh City by the late afternoon.
Farewell dinner at Xu Restaurant – One of the newer additions to Saigon’s ever growing dining scene, Xu serves Asian Fusion cuisine with a unique flare. Xu features trendy minimalist décor and a bar lounge area to enjoy a cocktail before or after a delicious interesting meal. Accommodation at Caravelle Hotel Saigon.
Morning at leisure until your private transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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Hanoi – Sofitel Metropole Hanoi or similar
Step back into history at Hanoi’s most storied 5-star hotel. A Grand Dame of Southeast Asia Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi welcomes guests to experience her colonial grandeur and timeless elegance.
Located steps from the Opera House in Hanoi’s French Quarter, this legendary property brings guests into intimate contact with the opulence of another era. Surround yourself in heritage as you stroll stately corridors and explore a dramatic past.
Behind its classical white façade, green shutters, original wrought iron details and stately wood paneling reside over a century of stories. Stand on the walkways that grace its lush courtyard lawn and immerse yourself in the hotels rich traditions.
At Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi generations of staff have learned to master the time-honored art de recevoir. Encounter an iconic landmark making cherished memories since 1901.
Da Nang – Fusion Resort Da Nang or similar
At Fusion Maia Da Nang, every room is a villa boasting its own private pool and courtyard garden. It is a chic atmosphere of relaxed luxury with an absolute feeling of comfort & privacy.
With an exquisite private pool, an intimate green garden and an interior space filled with sunlight, exquisitely designed pool villas at Fusion Maia Da Nang are mesmerizing retreats for couples. There are 80 pool villas.
They created a peaceful space that allows reflection. Set in a lush tropical garden with a striking waterfall at its heart, the extensive facilities include 16 treatment rooms, two beauty salons, steam rooms, saunas, private Jacuzzis, a yoga studio, a library and a boutique.
Hue – La Residence Hotel or similar
Step back in time, indulge serenity. MGallery La Résidence Hue Hôtel & Spa is an enchanting boutique hotel on the banks of the fabled Perfume River overlooking the former Imperial Citadel – once home to Emperors and now preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Endowed with opulence, excellence and warmth, this former residence of the French Colonial Governor was painstakingly restored in 2005 and redeveloped as an exceptional design hotel. The hotel’s distinctive bowed façade, long horizontal lines and nautical flourishes are hallmarks of the 1930’s streamline modern school of art deco architecture.
It’s a rare hotel that can transport guests back to a bygone era but La Residence Hotel & Spa pulls it off in spectacular style. Built in 1930 as part of the former colonial governor’s residence overlooking Hue’s Perfume River, this architectural gem was restored and re-opened in 2005 as a deluxe hotel, and is now a jewel in the crown of Accor Hotels’ stylish MGallery portfolio. The Art Deco design aesthetic runs throughout the hotel from the central reception rotunda, flanked by two wings, to Le Gouverneur Bar, Le Parfum restaurant, formal gardens, swimming pool, and 122 guest rooms and suites.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Caravelle Saigon or similar
Opened in 1959, the 5-star Caravelle Saigon features stylish French and Vietnamese architecture, an outdoor pool and non-smoking rooms with free Wi- Fi. Only 500 feet from the famous Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City, the eco-friendly hotel also has a rooftop bar with live music performances.
Elegantly decorated in soothing neutrals, the air- conditioned rooms feature full-length windows which overlook the city or Saigon River. Modern comfort like a flat-screen TV, a pillow menu and 24- hour room service are included in all rooms.
Caravelle Saigon is just over half a mile from the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre and Ben Thanh Market.
Guests may enjoy a refreshing workout at Caravelle’s gym, followed by a relaxing massage at Kara Salon and Spa. The first floor Club Vegas game room provides late-night entertainment.
International meals are served in a casual buffet style at Restaurant Nineteen, or in fine dining style at Reflections Restaurant. Cocktails and wine are available at Caravelle’s 4 bars and lounges.
Note: Limited Availability, some hotels may not be available. Prices are per person.
Tours can be customized for any number of travelers, on any date.