"Do not seek the truth. Only cease to cherish opinions." - Rosalia de Castro
12 Days from US$3,155 per person
PRIVATE TOUR - NOT A JOIN-IN TOUR
Treat yourself to the best the whole of Vietnam has to offer with this North to South Journey. From the Heart of Hanoi and the Parisian French Quarter, to the bustling backstreets of Saigon. On the way visit the limestone Karsts of Halong, the Forbidden City of Hue and the Ancient Town of Hoi An.
day 1Arrive in Hanoi, where you will be met by your expert guide and taken to your hotel. Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, considered the city's physical and symbolic center, and witness the daily routines of the residents.
day 2Take in the highlights of the city, including the atmospheric streets of the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature. In the evening, take your seat for the Water Puppet Show at Thang Long Theatre and enjoy the unique folk art that has been practiced and perfected for over 1000 years. (B)
day 3This morning we head into the centre of Hanoi, eating with the locals. Each visit is different - you might be enjoying Pho (noodle soup), fried meat roll on Han Be; Rice Doughnuts or Shrimp in Batter. Depending on the time of day, why not also stop for a 'bia hoi' (fresh beer), or Vietnam's famous 'Egg Coffee'. (B, L)
day 4In the morning drive through the Red River Delta to Halong Bay, where your overnight cruise boat awaits. Enjoy one of the most famous natural areas in the world with everything taken care of. Float amongst the limestone karsts and islands which dot the area, with swimming and kayaking options available. (B, L, D)
day 5Welcome the sunrise from the deck before enjoying a fabulous late breakfast/brunch as you cruise towards the mainland. Transfer to Hanoi airport for your flight to Da Nang, and then travel by private car to Hoi An. (Brunch)
day 6Explore the narrow lanes of UNESCO World Heritage listed Hoi An, a well-preserved former trading port, and learn more about its most famous buildings including the Japanese Covered Bridge, Assembly Hall of the Chinese and Tan Ky's House. In the late afternoon, head out by bicycle to sample Hoi An's unique food before ending up for a beer overlooking the lanterns by night. (B, D)
day 7This morning we head out to a local market to learn about the ingredients used in Vietnamese cooking, before giving it a try yourself! Learn to make dumplings, rice paper, Cao Lau and take the recipes home for your friends.
In the afternoon we drive across the Hai Van Pass, taking in breathtaking views as we make our way to the former royal capital, Hue. (B, L)
day 8Head out into the ancient Hue countryside and learn about the Nguyen Dynasty, who ruled from 1802 to 1945. We explore three tombs of major emperors, so you can see the change in architecture from the classical Gia Long Tomb, up to the French-inspired tomb of Khai Dinh, reflecting the influence of the colonial era.
In the evening eat an exceptional dinner at a traditional garden house, exploring the lotus pond gardens and pavilions as it might have looked back in the 19th Century. (B, D)
day 9Today we see the most famous monument in Hue, the Forbidden City. This huge complex comprises three circles of ramparts and spreads across 520 hectares. After the old city, take a boat up the perfume river to vist Thien Mu Pagoda, the "Elderly Celestial Woman" and the official symbol of Hue.
Head back to the hotel, shower and fly onwards to Ho Chi Minh City, and experience Saigon at night the local way, with a Back of the Bike street food tour! Sample exotic edibles from the local vendors, progressing from one venue to the next with your guide, a knowledgeable local University student. (B, D)
day 10Start the day with a tour of Old Saigon's streets and its iconic buildings, including the Opera House, Central Post Office and Thien Hau Pagoda. Visit sites from wartime Saigon, starting at the Reunification Palace, the site of the symbolic ending of the war in 1975, before visiting the emotive War Remnant's Museum which offers the perspective of the war from Vietnamese eyes. (B)
day 11Travel by speedboat through the verdant Mekong Delta by Speedboat, home to Vietnam's important rice and fruit farmers. Stop off to visit local temples, workshops and markets before enjoying an atmospheric lunch at a pagoda, featuring locally grown produce and freshly caught fish. (B, L)
day 12Start the day with a morning at leisure, and a chance to explore local shops and markets for local products, before your private transfer to the airport for your outbound flight. (B)
Hanoi: La Siesta
Halong Bay: Bhaya Classic Cruise
Hoi An: La Siesta Resort & Spa Hoi An
Hue: Moonlight Hotel
Saigon: Liberty Saigon Riverside
Low Season: $3,155 per person
01 April - 30 Sep
High Season: $3,239 per person
01 Oct - 31 Mar
Hanoi: Sofitel Metropole
Halong Bay: Paradise Elegance
Hoi An: Anantara Hoi An Resort
Hue: La Residence d'Hue
Saigon: Park Hyatt Saigon
Low Season: $4,984 per person
01 April - 30 Sep
High Season: $5,165 per person
01 Oct - 31 Mar