Best of Vietnam. 18nts fr £2,295

Price includes return flights from London and 18-night accommodation in Hanoi, Mai Chau, Nin Binh, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh and Phan Thiet plus meals, private transfers and excursions and more.

Regional daily departures to Vietnam available with alternative scheduled airlines.

Price valid for February 2018 departures.

Vietnam tailor made holidays 2017 & 2018.

 

PRICE INCLUDES:

FLIGHTS.

  • London – Hanoi scheduled flight.
  • Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) – London scheduled flight.
  • Internal flights as per itinerary description ( Hanoi – Hue, Danang – Ho Chi Minh ).

ACCOMMODATION.

OTHER SERVICES INCLUDED

  • ATOL Certificate issued at time of booking for your financial protection.
  • Meals, guided visits, private transfers and entrance fees as per itinerary description. Also, one bottle of water per person included on half day tours and two bottles per each full day tour are included.

18 NIGHTS BEST OF VIETNAM LOCATION MAP.


 

BEST OF VIETNAM. 18 NIGHTS ITINERARY DESCRIPTION.

Hanoi Old Town Vietnam tailor made holidays

Welcome to Hanoi!

Day 1. Welcome to Hanoi!

Arrival in Hanoi. Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you will be met by your local guide and assisted for your private transfer to your chosen hotel. Your guide will present you with your welcome pack and all original travel documentation for your trip through Vietnam.

2 nights accommodation in a double room on B&B basis at May de Ville City Centre Hotel Hanoi.

Day 2. Discover Hanoi ( breakfast included ).

Sightseeing in Hanoi (70 kms)

Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. Narrow lanes and traditional shop houses invite an exciting exploration by walking, while it’s many beautiful public spaces – lakes, parks, tree-lined boulevards and monuments – give the city an air of elegance and harmony with nature unique among Asian capitals.

Visit the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex.

Start the exploration of the vast Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh (closed Mondays & Fridays and September / October months). View the outside of the Presidential Palace and then stroll through the park to the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days in 1969. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Continue to the miniature 11th century One Pillar Pagoda which was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954.

Temple of Literature Hanoi Vietnam tailor made holidays

Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Visit the Temple of Literature.

The Temple of Literature has a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, and this monument is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam’s first university. 

Visit the Museum of Ethnology (2-3 hours).

The Museum of Ethnology brings to life the astonishing ethnic diversity in Vietnam, with art and artefacts from the 54 different ethnic groups that inhabit the country. Inside the museum are detailed descriptions of minority groups, with examples of their traditional clothing and way of life. Outside are faithful reconstructions of traditional longhouses, cemeteries and other distinctive ethnic buildings.

Walking tour to Huu Tiep lake and the downed B52 (3 hours).

Start the tour at Ngoc Ha Street and wander through the maze of narrow streets and crowded alleys until you emerge at a small lake containing the wreckage of a crashed B52 from the Vietnam War. Enjoy coffee at a small local shop nearby the lake and and carry on to explore the Botanical gardens – the green lung of the capital and continue by walk to Quan Thanh a Taoist temple. Stroll alongside the lake till Tran Quoc – the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, located on a small island near the southeastern shore of the West Lake. The tour ends in the northern part of the city at a colourful market selling herbs, spices, sea products and many other local and exotic ingredients.

Visit a Water Puppet Show.

See a Water Puppet Show, a fantastic art form originating in northern Vietnam, best seen in Hanoi. 

Remarks: The Mausoleum is closed on Mondays & Fridays and September / October for renovations. Museum of Ethnology is closed on Mondays and Vietnamese holidays.

Mai Chau Valley Vietnam tailor made holidays

Mai Chau Valley

Day 3. Hanoi – Mau Chau ( breakfast, lunch and dinner included ).

Sightseeing in Hanoi (30 kms).

Visit the Old Quarter by cyclo. Discover the Old Quarter of Hanoi by cyclo. This fascinating network of narrow alleys and shop houses is also known as The 36 Streets, each street being named after the merchandise traditionally sold there, ranging from fabrics to crafts to medicines to tombstones. Drop off to visit Ngoc Son temple & Hoan Kiem Lake.

By vehicle from Hanoi (city) to Mai Chau with visits to minority villages enroute (140 kms).

Travel to Hoa Binh and Mai Chau provinces, the start of the northwest highlands and home to many different ethnic minorities. Stop at the traditional village of Giang Mo where wooden stilt houses are nestled among rice paddies with a backdrop of picturesque hills. Visit the Muong Museum and then continue along scenic roads to Mai Chau province and visit Lac Village, inhabited mainly by White Thai.

Restaurant : Meals at Local Restaurant (Vietnam)(Lunch), and Meals at Hotel (Vietnam)(Dinner),

2 nights accommodation in a Deluxe Valley view room on B&B basis at Mai Chau Valley view hotel, Mai Chau.

Na Phon village Vietnam tailor made holidays

Na Phon village

Day 4. Discover Mai Chau ( breakfast, lunch and dinner included ).

Vehicle available for use.

Cycling excursion around Mai Chau (5 kms).

From Pom Coong village go through Nhot Village and Na Phon village. Have chance to see daily activities of local and enjoy nice landscape of lush rice fields. Pass a small local brick kiln and a small bridge called Japanese bridge. Back to Lac village, end the tour at Pom Coong village. Total biking distance is 10km.

Sightseeing in Mai Hich village (2 hours).

Walking along Mai Hich – a small village located in South West of Mai Chau district in which 96% local people belong to White Thai race (an ethic minority group in Vietnam) living along the Xia stream, in primary forests and palm hills. Have chance to talk with local people to know more about their lifestyle and culture.

Restaurant : Meals at Local Restaurant (Vietnam)(Lunch), and Meals at Hotel (Vietnam)(Dinner).

Ninh Binh Vietnam tailor made holidays

Ninh Binh

Day 5.  Mai Chau – Ninh Binh ( breakfast included ).

By vehicle from Mai Chau to Ninh Binh (154 kms).

Excursion to Van Long wetlands with boat trip (3 hours).

Take a small rowing boat to explore beautiful green paddies and the spectacular karst landscape of Van Long. These wetlands are home to many birds and the rare Delacour Langur considering as a good spot for bird watching or animal spotting.

1 night accommodation in a deluxe river view bungalow on B&B basis at Tam Coc Bungalows ( home stay ), Ninh Binh.

Day 6. Ninh Binh – Halong ( breakfast included ).

Excursion to Tam Coc (Dry Halong Bay) with boat trip and sightseeing at Bich Dong pagoda and Hoa Lu (5 hours).

Start the day with Hoa Lu, which was the first capital of Vietnam. Visit the temples dedicated to Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang of the Dinh Dynasty (968-80), and Emperor Le Dai Hanh of the Le Dynasty (980-1009). The ancient Hoa Lu Citadel (most of which has since been destroyed) once covered an area of three square kms. After visit in Hoa Lu, depart for Tam Coc Town, and along the way stop for photographs of local villages and stunning landscapes.

On arrival in Tam Coc, board your private sampan. As the boat gently slices through the water, notice the enormous limestone karsts jutting out from the green rice fields giving rise to its nick name, “Halong on Land”. Should guests feel adventurous, climb up to Bich Dong Pagoda on the nearby Ngu Nhac Mountain, dating to 1428 and comprising of three structures: Ha, Trung, and Thuong Pagodas, in ascending order. Following its back by sampan to Tam Coc town before returning to Ninh Binh where guests arrive in the late afternoon.

By vehicle from Ninh Binh to Halong with sightseeing at Keo Pagoda (195 kms).

Journey from Ninh Binh to Halong and stop for a visit at the Keo Pagoda. Also known as Chua Keo it was founded in the 12th century to honour Buddha and the monk Khong Minh Khong, who cured Emperor Ly Thanh Ton of leprosy.

1 night accommodation in a Superior room on B&B basis at New Star Halong Hotel, Halong.

Halong Bay Cruise Vietnam tailor made holidays

Halong Bay

Day 7. Halong Bay Cruise  ( breakfast, lunch and dinner included ).

Transfer to/from Tuan Chau Marina Port (10 kms).

Aboard the traditional cruise through Halong Bay. Depart from Hanoi to Halong Bay; en route take a short stop for a break. Transfer with a tender to the comfortable cruise and enjoy a welcome drink aboard. Begin the cruise through majestic Halong Bay while lunch is served. Enjoy the magical bay where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragon’s teeth. The cruise continues cruising through a fishing village on the bay and passes the spectacular limestone caves dotted around the bay. Soak up the sun on the top deck with optional on-board activities: sunbathing, and photo opportunities. In the evening the chef will prepare a splendid meal comprised of fresh seafood dishes and other traditional dishes. 

Restaurant : Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam)(Lunch), and Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam)(Dinner),

Overnight in Cruise, deluxe cabin on full board basis at Garden Bay Cruise Tonkin Halong Bay.

Halong Bay Cruise

Halong Bay Cruise

Day 8.  Halong Bay Cruise – Halong – Hanoi – Hue ( breakfast and lunch included ).

Aboard the traditional cruise through Halong Bay.

Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise that offer a perfect opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, visit a beautiful limestone grotto then back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Check out luggage and bid tidings to beautiful Halong Bay.

By vehicle from Halong to Hanoi (Noi Bai Airport) (160 kms).

Flight from Hanoi to Hue.

Restaurant : Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam)(Lunch),

2 nights accommodation in a Superior room on B&B basis at Rosaleen boutique hotel, Hue.

Hue Vietnam tailor made holidays

Hue, Vietnam

Day 9. Discover Hue ( breakfast included ).

Excursion to Dmz and Vinh Moc Tunnels.

From Hue, drive northwards to the former Dmz. Visit the battle of Quang Tri, which was heavily bombed during the war and not many of the original buildings of the time are left. 

Doc Mieu Base: located on a low rise south of the Ben Hai River – part of the former Mc Namara line – this base was once part of an elaborate electronic system intended to prevent infiltration across the Dmz. Ben Hai River: once the demarcation line between North and South Vietnam. Cua Tung Beach: a long secluded stretch of sand where the last emperor – Bao Dai King, used to go on his holidays. Vinh Moc Tunnels: 2.8km of tunnels built by the local villagers and it was an essential strategic position between North and South of Vietnam.

Day 10.  Hue – Lang Co – Hoi An ( breakfast included ).

Hoi An Vietnam tailor made holidays

Hoi An, Vietnam

Sightseeing in the Old Imperial City (3 hours).

Located in the heart of Hue is the Imperial Citadel, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modelled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Today, most of the buildings have been destroyed due to bombing during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking Flag Tower, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and stroll around the Dien Tho Residence (Dien Tho Palace) where the Queen mother lived.

Visit the Thai Hoa Palace, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the original Nine Dynastic Urns, among other sites.

Visit Vinh Tu Garden House with the owner’s introduction (1 hour).

Visit Vinh Tu (Tha Om Garden House) and enjoy traditional Vietnamese hospitality in the surroundings of an exquisite replica of a 19th century Hue residence. This traditional garden house is a complex of adjoining rooms including bedrooms, living quarters and a room dedicated to ancestral worship, all set in a charming garden complete with orchid trees, tropical plants and a lotus pond. The owner will personally welcome guests and talk about the architecture of the house and the history of Hue.

Excursion to Thien Mu Pagoda with a boat trip on the Perfume river (2 hours).

Embark on a local boat and cruise down the Pefume River to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower which has become Hue's most widely recognizable monuments. During the early 1960s, this became a centre of anti-government protests, and the site of the famous self-immolation by the monk Thich Quang Duc.

By vehicle from Hue to Hoi An (140 kms).

Drive south from Hue along scenic mountain roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Highlights along the way include the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of North and South Vietnam; Lang Co, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the East Vietnam Sea; and the large coastal city of Danang.

Stop over at Lang Co Beach.

3 nights accommodation in a double room on B&B basis at Phu Thin Boutique Resort, Hoi An.

Day 11. Hoi An ( breakfast and lunch included ).

Excursion by bicycle to local farming and boat to fishing villages (6 hours).

Start with a bicycle to Van Lang fishing village. Take on the basket boat along the water coconut river. Fishermen will teach you how to catch the crabs, rowing basket boat, pulling fishing round net, casting a net and learn how to make funny tools by water coconut leaf. Then take bicycles to pick up guest(s) at the appointment in Cam Thanh village, have chance to take some photo with the water buffalo. Join with local farmers to work on the field. Go to a farm house and enjoy some Vietnam tea. Learning how to make rice milk and cooking rice cake. Have meal at the farm house with some specialties of the area. Farewell the farm family.

Return hotel by car with tour guide

Walking tour around Hoi An.

Hoi An is a picturesque riverside town south of Danang. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South East Asia’s major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Now, this beautifully preserved historic city is best seen on foot. See the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge – the first bridge on this site was constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. The bridge was provided with a roof so it could be used as a shelter from rain and sun. Visit the nearby Sa Huynh Museum, which contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history. Stroll to the Tran Family Chapel, a house for worshiping ancestors that was built about 200 years ago with donations from family members. The Tran family traces its origins to China and moved to Vietnam around 1700. The architecture of the building reflects the influence of Chinese and Japanese styles. Visit the Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, a Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and then restored and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese clans that were established in the Hoi An area. The temple is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau (Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Sailors and Fishermen).

Restaurant : Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam)(Lunch).

Day 12.  Hoi An ( breakfast and lunch included ).

Cooking Class at the Red Bridge Restaurant with market visit (Sic) (5 hours).

Start the day with a drink at the Hai Scout Cafe and then proceed to Hoi An market. While selecting the ingredients take time to chat with the local vendors and experience the sights and smells of this colourful market. If weather permits, enjoy a leisurely twenty-minute boat cruise up the Thu Bon River to the Red Bridge Restaurant and Cooking School. Then learn how to prepare five traditional dishes for lunch, and watch a demonstration of fruit and vegetable carving.

Afternoon free at leisure.

Restaurant : Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam)(Lunch).

 

Day 13.  Hoi An – Danang – Saigon ( breakfast included ).

Transfer to Danang airport (35 kms).

Flight from Danang to Saigon.

On arrival at Saigon, private transfer to your chosen hotel.

2 nights accommodation in a Grand Deluxe room on B&B basis at Le Duy Grand Hotel, Saigon.

Hoi An Old Town Vietnam tailor made holidays

Discover Saigon

Day 14. Discover Ho Chi Minh ( breakfast included ).

Excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels (5.5 hours).

Never discovered by American forces, the Cu Chi Tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapons factories. Today, walk through the area and learn about the day to day life of the Vietcong, bear witness to the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists.

Sightseeing in Saigon [Half day] (4 hours).

A vibrant metropolis, Saigon teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere you look, you see the meeting of traditional and modern life. Begin with a tour of the historic centre, strolling along Dong Khoi Street, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside), and pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.

Afterwards dive into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates. Continue to the harrowing War Remnants Museum, which comprehensively documents the travails of the long Vietnam- American War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions ; outside is a collection of tanks, planes and weapons. A powerful experience, this museum is guaranteed to provoke strong emotions. Finally, visit the Emperor Of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon’s most interesting pagodas.

Pan Thiet Vietnam tailor made holidays

Phan Thiet, Vietnam beach

Day 15. Saigon – Phan Thiet ( breakfast included ).

By vehicle from Saigon (city) to Phan Thiet (200 kms).

Afternoon free at leisure.

4 nights accommodation in a Deluxe room on B&B basis at Phu Hai Beach Resort, Phan Thiet.

Days 16 / 17. Beach relaxation in Phan Thiet ( breakfast included ).

Two full days relaxing on the beach.

 

Day 18.  Phan Thiet – Saigon airport.

Morning free at leisure.

By vehicle from Phan Thiet to Saigon (Tan Son Nhat Airport) (208 kms).

Special note: International Flight from Saigon MUST NOT be earlier than 1900hrs.

End of services.


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