Arrive Hanoi. Meet and transfer to hotel.
Prepare for a full city tour of Hanoi today! This morning’s sightseeing begins with a visit to the Van Mieu or Temple of Literature. The temple dates back to 1070, and is dedicated to the cult of Confucius. Note the peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways; this is one of the best examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. After this we will visit the infamous Hoa Lo prison, built by the French colonists to house Vietnamese political prisoners. During the Vietnam War, it was used by North Vietnam, and dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American prisoners of war. Today, only part of the prison still exists as a history museum. At noon we will visit Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex 1, containing a museum and Ho Chi Minh’s final resting place. See the Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, the simple two-room dwelling where he lived from 1958 until his final days in 1969. Nearby, sitting in a lotus pond, view the miniature One Pillar Pagoda, or Chua Mot Cot. Next, we’ll enjoy a walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter - the oldest continuously developed area of Vietnam highlighting more than 1000 years of history. Explore the network of narrow alleyways known as “The 36 Streets.” This is a wonderful place to watch the local life, and peruse market items from fabrics to crafts to exotic medicines. Each street was named to reflect the specialized trade of the merchants who had shops there - such as silk traders, jewellery, etc. Take a break at a local coffee shop to experience the popular Hanoi pastime of sipping coffee and watching life in the neighbourhood. Then, enjoy a lovely afternoon ‘cyclo’ ride through Hanoi’s historic Old Quarter, an intricate network of narrow alleys and shop houses. Following this the rest of the day is yours to spend at your leisure, relaxing or exploring this is a vibrant, teeming metropolis. Following the city tour, the rest of the evening is free to continue exploring on your own. (B)
OPTIONAL TOUR - HANOI MARKET & DINNER TOUR
Travellers can explore a bustling local market with a private chef who will guide you around the market, to demystify the local produce, explain the market culture and encourage you to taste some of its most exotic ingredients. After this tour you will return to to enjoy a 3 course traditional Vietnamese dinner, inclusive of one drink. This is a great opportunity to do more than ‘just have a meal’. It will be an authentic night to remember.
This morning we depart for a leisurely drive to Haiphong, where we will board our Halong Bay cruise upon arrival. On board enjoy complimentary drink and take a seat in the lounge, welcome briefing with fellow guests and you will Start cruising and explore Halong Bay - one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Proceeds to Da Chong islet, where you can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. Have International Buffet Lunch while passing via the islets of Con Vit area. These amazing limestone karst formations rise up out of the sea in an impressive manner. This area is untouched, as not many cruise ships use the route via the Cat Ba Island - Thoi Quyt area - Coc Ngoi islet - through Gia Luan area where is belong to Cat Ba National Park. Explore the bay in the area where Ao Ech is situated. You enjoy on your own for kayaking at Ao Ech area to discover the hidden charm of Lan Ha Bay with its quieter. Continue to visit Tra Bau area, enjoy the green emerald and cool water by swimming. Returning to cruise, you can watch the magnificent sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. On board you may join a traditional cooking class. The chef will instruct you in the making of some Vietnam dishes. In the early evening the boat has its Happy Hour deal. Sumptuous Candlelight Deluxe Dinner Set Menu is served. Enjoy delicious local food prepared and served for you by our wonderful on board catering staff. This is a delightful meal in an intimate romantic setting. Overnight on cruise (Cruise program might change, depends on Cruise Company). (B, L, D)
Drive from Halong Bay to Hanoi airport for flight to Luang Prabang, meet and transfer to hotel. (B)
The first visit today will be Wat Xieng Thong. Walk down a few steps from the temple to the Mekong River, where you’ll board a traditional slow boat for the next part of the journey. We will stop to visit the holy Tam Ting Caves (also called the Pak Ou caves), where the Nam Ou River meets the Mekong. From the boat landing it’s a short walk to Wat Mai (“New Monastery”) built in 1796. Next to Wat Mai is the old Royal Palace (Haw Kham), which is now the National Museum. We’ll end the day’s tour atop Phou Si hill and step to the top of the hill are studded with small shrines. Coming down the other side of the hill, we’ll pass part of Wat Phra Buddabhat (Buddha's Footprint Temple) and its quirky statues. (B)
Travel by car to the beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls, stopping on the way to visit Hmong and Khamu villages. Travel back to town. Free time to visit the town. (B)
Drive to airport for flight to Hanoi, then connect to domestic flight to Danang. Meet and transfer to hotel. (B)
OPTIONAL TOUR - HOI AN MEMORIES DINNER & SHOW
Tonight, you are in for a special evening of breath-taking entertainment followed by a delicious dinner at the famous 100 year old restaurant, Little Faifo. The show will take you back to the Hoian trading port of the 16th and 17th centuries to witness the ups and downs of the city over the course of 400 years. The dinner will allow you to sample the local cuisine, and will include one free drink (soft drink or beer). (B)
OPTIONAL TOUR - HOIAN FISHING VILLAGE CULTURE & BASKET BOAT WITH DINNER
Today, enjoy a wide range of experiences - from learning traditional fishing techniques, paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats, riding on a buffalo, experiencing rice culture to learning about the Ba Trao cultural folk music from the local fishermen. This optional tour will allow you discover the local Vietnamese way of life, with authentic social and cultural insights. (B)
Free Time at Hoian Beach. (B)
Free Time at Hoian Beach. (B)
After breakfast this morning, we will check out of our hotel and begin our full day journey to the coastal resort city of Nha Trang. The trip will be broken up with stops along the way. Having lunch en route, before continuing on to our hotel in Nha Trang. Located in southern Vietnam, this beautiful city is known for its beaches, diving, and offshore islands. After settling in at the hotel, spend the rest of the evening at your leisure. (B)
This morning begins with a thrilling boat trip off the shores of Nha Trang to find some interesting snorkelling sites. Revel at the crystal clear water and colourful marine life that surrounds you as you submerge yourself in the turquoise sea. Lunch at local restaurant (by your own), back on shore then drive to Da Lat. Along the way we will visit some local farms and make a stop at the quaint village of Trai Mat. Upon arrival in Da Lat this evening, check into your hotel and relax. (B)
Located in southern Vietnam’s Central Highlands, Da Lat is surrounded by a magnificent landscape of hills, pine forests, lakes and waterfalls. It is also known as the “City of Eternal Spring” due to its distinctive temperate climate. This morning we will enjoy a lovely guided tour beginning at the antique villa, Bao Dai Summer Palace, the summer retreat for Vietnam’s last emperor. From here we will also visit the Da Lat station and bustling local market. In the afternoon you’ll have time to relax or continue discovering this picturesque town and view its alluring central lake. (B)
Following breakfast this morning we will begin our drive to Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon. The journey towards this immense city will take most of the day. Along the way we’ll visit the gorgeous Pongour waterfalls. These cascading terraced falls are certainly an awe-inspiring sight and are easily accessible from steps leading through lush, landscaped gardens to the gaping valley below. Here you will be able to reach out and touch the water as it falls. Enjoy the opportunity to stretch your legs and witness some absolutely beautiful vistas. After this we will continue on our drive to Ho Chi Minh City via the city of Bao Loc. We will arrive at Ho Chi Minh City in the evening where you can enjoy the rest of the night at leisure. (B)
Today will include a tour of Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon), famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. Our morning will begin with a drive to Cu Chi underground tunnels. Here we’ll explore part of the 151-mile underground network that zigzagged from the southern tip of the Ho Chi Minh Trail near Cambodia, to the Saigon River. Visiting Cu Chi will give you an intimate understanding of the vital aspect of guerrilla warfare fought by the Vietnamese against both the French and the Americans. Developed in the late 1940s, these criss-crossing tunnels were constructed by local resistance fighters looking for a place to hide their weapons from the French. Discover secret trapdoors, field hospitals, command posts, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms. After lunch we’ll head back to downtown Ho Chi Minh City, where we’ll visit Dong Khoi Street, the heart of the city’s commercial life. We’ll also visit the Post Office and the War Museum. Upon completion of our city tour, your final evening in Vietnam is free to spend as you wish. Don’t hesitate to ask your guide for some last-minute recommendations. (B, L)
OPTIONAL TOUR - SAIGON RIVER CRUISE WITH DINNER
Tonight, indulge yourself on the beautiful and serene Bonsai river cruise within the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, including a scrumptious dinner. The cruise will run from 6:45pm to 9:00pm, which will allow you to enjoy a fusion style buffet and an open bar.
Unfortunately, today marks the end of your fantastic tour through Vietnam. This morning you may enjoy some free time until you need to transfer to the airport to catch your flight home. (B)
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