Antarctica & Arctic
Spend a week discovering the delights of Vietnam.
a Destinations d > Vietnam > Essence of Vietnam
Five nights hotel and one night cruise cabin accommodation, meals as indicated, sightseeing as specified, services of a private car and driver and local English-speaking guides.
This short itinerary offers an introduction to Vietnam’s main destinations - its thousand –year old capital Hanoi, the vibrant trade hub of Ho Chi Minh City, charming Hoi An, and spectacular Halong Bay.
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The fascinating cities of the north and south – Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
An overnight cruise on beautiful Halong Bay
Explore the World-Heritage town of Hoi An
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On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore this bustling metropolis.
Today tour this fascinating and lively city. Start in one of its most colourful districts, Cholon – the city’s Chinatown. See myriad shophouses and markets, and the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda - dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Also visit Vietnam’s first traditional medicine museum. Head back to the city centre to visit popular Ben Thanh Market. After lunch, see the War Remnants Museum, History Museum, or the former Presidential Palace, and take a walk past historic sites like the Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), the Opera House and City Hall. (B)(L)
This morning, drive to the delta town of Cai Be and board your boat to explore the mighty Mekong Delta’s waterways and tropical landscapes. Pass Cai Be’s floating market, then a cottage factory where ‘pop-rice’, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep Island; along the way admire the scenery and the daily life of the local villagers. Lunch will be local Mekong style. Afterwards return to Ho Chi Minh City. (B)(L)
This morning fly to Danang, where you will be met and transferred to Hoi An. A major trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries, Hoi An’s architecture and unique style have been well preserved and offer a charming contrast to the bigger Vietnamese cities. Take a walking tour of the town centre, visit a former merchant’s home, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market. Hoi An also offers some of Vietnam’s best cuisine, so make sure to enjoy the offerings at the local restaurants and cafes. (B)
Transfer to Danang airport and fly to Hanoi. This afternoon visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s thousand year old centre of learning. Also visit the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049, and the home and mausoleum of the father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. Wander the streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and Hoan Kiem Lake. Finish the evening with a performance of the Water Puppet Theatre. (B)
Following breakfast drive to Halong Bay and board your overnight cruise boat. Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise through the Bay’s famously dramatic landscapes. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and taking in the stunning views of the limestone islands. Overnight on board. (B)(L)(D)
Enjoy your morning on the spectacular bay as you cruise back to port. Transfer back to Hanoi for your onward journey. (B)
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