Saigon, Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi, Halong
10 days / 11 nights
Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), meet your guide and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2: Meet your guide and begin your exploration of Saigon’s historic landmarks. Visit the former Presidential Palace, the History Museum. The afternoon is free to explore Saigon on your own or to visit Cu Chi, an area which played an important role in the French and American wars. Famous for its 124-mile network of underground tunnels used, in the last war, by the Viet Cong. Totally man-made, the Cu Chi tunnels were dug over three levels into the earth and housed the soldiers - acting as garrison, hospital and command center.
This evening you may opt for an optional adventure, exploring Saigon After Dark. Experience the nightlife of Saigon from the back of a Vespa scooter stopping for food and drinks at local restaurants, samplings of Saigon's best authentic street/local food and wrapping up the evening at one of the many local nightclubs.
Day 3: Today’s you will journey to the Mekong Delta and the town of Cai Be where you will board a local boat and cruise along the delta watching daily life enfolds on the river. Visit an ancient mandarin house, a traditional bricks and tiles factory and visit a home-factory. Lunch will await you at Le Longanier, a superb Indochinese villa located in a lush tropical garden by the river before returning to Saigon
Day 4: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hue the ancient royal capital of the Nguyen Dynasty and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the magnificent Mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc, resplendent in traditional architecture overlooking tranquil lotus ponds. 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.
Day 5: This morning enjoy a dragon boat ride on the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda. Continue by boat to one of the most majestic of all of Hue's tombs - the tomb of Minh Mang, known for its harmonious blend of architecture and natural landscape.
Depart Hue and enjoy some of Vietnam most beautiful scenery of the mountains and South China Sea as you travel through the Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Ocean Clouds). Visit the fascinating Cham Museum in Danang. A small museum of a little-known culture that produced elegant monuments and fine sculptures. Explore the ancient town of Hoi An. In a country so ravaged by war, Hoi An managed to remain untouched, and as you wander the completely traffic-free streets of this ancient seaport it is not hard to imagine yourself amidst the sailors and merchants of the 18th Century, when Hoi An was one of the busiest trading ports in Asia.
Day 6: Today walk or bike in Hoi An countryside. Visiting the Cham ruins of My Son, or learn about Vietnamese cooking by joining a cooking class or just relax and enjoy the wonderful beaches of South China Sea.
Day 7: Fly to Hanoi. Visit Hanoi colorful Old Quarter. This densely populated corner of the city was once a center of commerce is full of narrow alleys and shops. This evening enjoy a traditional Vietnamese Puppet Show.
Day 8: Enjoy a morning orientation of the tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture. Visit Ba Dinh Square, where silent sentries guard the marble and granite mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state, his simple wooden house and the One Pillar Pagoda. Visit the Temple of Literature dedicated to Confucius; it later became Vietnam’s first university.
Day 9: Transfer to HaLong for an overnight cruise. HaLong Bay is often called Vietnam's eighth wonder of the world. 3000 spectacular limestone outcroppings, cliffs, arches and coves in an area that is without doubt the most outstandingly naturally beautiful coastal scenery in the country. In a traditional Chinese-style sailing junk cruise the bay, stop off at an islet and climb through a series of breath-taking caves and grottoes, marveling at some of the most impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations anywhere in the world. D
Day 10: Enjoy breakfast on board in the still of the morning continuing to cruise and explore the bay. Return to shore and journey back to Hanoi.