Uncover the beauty and mystery of Vietnam in luxurious style, with a totally personal service from leading specialist operator Emperor Tours.
Arriving in the capital Hanoi, your guide will spend the morning escorting you around some of the many ancient sites, lunch will be enjoyed on the scenic West Lake and in the afternoon, you’ll discover the fascinating Old Quarter by rickshaw.
The next day you’ll be whisked away by seaplane to the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, not before a scenic flight over the offshore islands. Upon landing at Halong Bay you’ll board a beautiful junk for a luxurious and leisurely cruise and overnight stay on board.
Its then back to Hanoi and business class flight to laid-back Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a mix of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese influences. Business class flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and it will be time to take in all the historical landmarks in this vibrant city.
You’ll be taken overland to Cai Be on the Mekong Delta, where you’ll board your houseboat for a leisurely cruise along this amazing river, observing the stunning scenery and daily life of the locals. You’ll also pay a visit to the extraordinary market at Cai Rang where hundreds of boats converge to sell their local produce.
Your trip concludes in pure luxury as you fly to Con Dao island for three days R&R on this exotic archipelago island, before returning home via Saigon.
Today we begin our luxurious private tour of Vietnam by departing London Heathrow for international economy flight to Hanoi.
We can also arrange departures from your local airport at no extra cost.
We will be greeted upon arrival by our private guide and driver and transferred to the hotel for check-in and tour briefing.
We’ll take an orientation tour and a chance to acclimatise ourselves if time permits. A scrumptious welcome dinner awaits us tonight.
This morning we’ll be visiting the ancient Temple of Literature, the principal Confucian sanctuary and the first national institution of Vietnam. We continue to the museum of our choice. Amongst the many, the Museum of Ethnology depicting the rich and colourful cultures of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups, is highly recommended.
Our lunch will be served in a restaurant by the scenic West Lake.
Mid-afternoon, we’ll enjoy a performance of the famed Water Puppetry Theatre or the Golden Bell Theatre.
Conclude the day with a rickshaw ride through the Old Quarter, the architectural and commercial centrepiece of Hanoi. Among the ancient homes and attractive temples there is a multitude of tantalising souvenir shops.
This morning we drive to the airport to board a seaplane for the short flight to Halong Bay, which includes a 15-minute scenic flight around the offshore islands.
After landing, we’ll board a beautiful junk (ancient Chinese ship) and set sail across the bay, through the fabulous rocks of the bay’s protected area. Here we’ll have opportunity to visit islands, caves, swim and kayak, and enjoy mouth-watering seafood prepared by our on=board chef.
We spend overnight on-board in our en-suite cabin.
After some morning activities, we enjoy a wholesome breakfast while the junk navigates back ashore. Disembark late in the morning and travel overland back to Hanoi for a business class flight to the coastal city of Danang.
Upon arrival we’ll be met and chauffeured along the scenic coast to the laid-back town of Hoian for the night.
This morning we’ll be on foot exploring the ancient quarter of Hoian, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site because of its historic role in international trade, unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes.
Visit the old merchant’s house with Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese influenced architecture and admire the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, an iconic symbol of Hoian. The tour also includes the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation and the Central Market. B
Remainder of the day is at own leisure.
Today is a at leisure to relax or explore on your own.
This morning we fly business class to Saigon and visit the city’s historic landmarks, taking in the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office, the Opera House and Ben Thanh Market. Early afternoon, enjoy the talented A O Show at the Opera House. The show promises to take us on a journey through rural and urban Vietnam via a series of theatrical sketches that incorporate movement and melodic music. The visual effects, exuberant energy and stunning choreography create a feast for the senses!
We depart Saigon by 8:30 and travel overland to Cai Be in the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival, we embark the houseboat and settle into our cabin.
As lunch is served, the boat starts cruising. Sit back and contemplate the fantastic scenery and the daily activities along the river.
Afternoon, we disembark for a leisurely stroll through a village embellished with orchards and rice fields. As the day comes to an end, we return to the boat and relax at the bar, beholding the exotic sunset. When the boat anchors for the night, we’ll be served with a sumptuous dinner.
Wake up well-rested to the sound of river life and get ready for another exciting day of sightseeing in the Mekong Delta!
We board a sampan and weave our way to the extraordinary market of Cai Rang. Being the largest on the complex of waterways that comprise the Mekong Delta, Cai Rang receives hundreds of boats packed with local produces gather every morning. Boats come from all sides, offering fruits, vegetables, plants, foods, etc. Sellers advertise their wares by hanging samples high atop bamboo poles so that their customers can find from afar.
We disembark around 10:00 AM and transfer to Can Tho airport for the flight to Con Dao Island. Upon arrival we’ll be greeted and escorted to the hotel.
You have three free days to relax or explore the exotic surroundings.
Today we enjoy a private transfer to the airport for a late morning/early afternoon flight back to Saigon for the night.
We will be greeted on arrival and privately transferred to the hotel.
Sadly we have come to the end of our luxurious tour. It is time to say “tạm biệt” (goodbye) and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
5* Sofitel Legend Metropole
The Hotel Metropole Hanoi is an award-winning French colonial-style hotel lying in the heart of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake and the magnificent Opera House. Boasting a classical white facade, green shutters, original wrought iron detail, wood paneling and a lush courtyard lawn, the hotel is one of the regionâ€™s few remaining hotels of its era.
For more information click here
5* Princess Junk
Our Princess Junk is designed in the style of the traditional sailing boats and was the first small deluxe one-cabin junk in Halong Bay. It is an ideal option for a couple on a romantic trip. She is designed with sophistication and a meticulous attention to every single detail, for our guests’ enjoyment, especially their viewing pleasure.
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5* The Nam Hai
Along a seemingly infinite stretch of sand, amidst Vietnam’s richest cultural heritage, a strand of sophisticated, visually striking villas lines the dramatic beachfront. Inspired by 2,500 years of history, The Nam Hai’s architecture and interior design present a dramatic play on wind and water inspired by ancient feng shui philosophy and the grandeur of the Tu Duc royal tombs of Hue.
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5* Park Hyatt
Park Hyatt Saigon is one of the premier Ho Chi Minh City hotels, enjoying a prime location overlooking Saigon Opera House on the city’s most famous square. The elegant, French colonial-style hotel is within walking distance of the most popular cultural and historical attractions and things to do in Ho Chi Minh City – including Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica and Reunification Palace.
For more information click here
5* Six Senses Con Dao
Six Senses Con Dao, the first five-star resort in the archipelago islands, is contemporary in design and reflects the essence of a traditional fishing village. True to Six Senses’ philosophy of selecting remote yet accessible destinations in areas of outstanding natural beauty, Con Dao is a breathtaking location, which has been protected for decades as a national and marine park.
For more information click here
Tour Price includes:
Tour Price excludes:
FLIGHT TIMES: 12.50 hours direct from London Heathrow to Hanoi (Vietnam Airlines Sun-Tue-Thu-Fri only) / 12.35 hours direct from Saigon to London Heathrow (Vietnam Airlines Sat-Mon-Wed only). Other airlines fly indirect every day of the week.
TIME DIFFERENCE: +6 hours in summer time / +7 hours in winter time (BST).
CURRENCY: Vietnamese dong £1 = approx. 31,000 VND.
MONEY: Almost all goods and services are calculated and paid for in US dollars. Credit cards are accepted only at major hotels, restaurants owned by foreigners and souvenir shops. Travellers cheques and currencies other than US Dollars are accepted only by major banks. We recommend changing a small amount into local currency on arrival, for drinks and gifts etc.
TIPPING: If you are happy with the services of the driver and guide in each city then tipping is an accepted way of showing your gratitude. We recommend anything from $10 upwards for each, usually more for the guide. We advise placing any tips in separate envelopes and handing to the guide and driver at the end of their service in a particular city.
VISA: No visa is required for UK passport holders if stay is 15 days or less.
LANGUAGE: The official language spoken in Vietnam is Vietnamese.
BEST TIMES TO VISIT: Generally Spring and Autumn months – February to April and August to October. The temperatures are more moderate and rainfall is lighter.
FESTIVALS: Here are the main Vietnamese festivals and what you will expect to see and experience during these festivities…
Vietnamese New Year ‘Tet’ – mid to late February
Vietnamese people gather with their families to exchange best wishes and pray for prosperity over the coming year. In big cities, the streets are adorned with beautiful flower decorations. It’s a great time to see the preparations and immerse in the festive atmosphere before Tet, but travel during the festival is not recommendable.
Mid Autumn Festival – 15th day of the 8th lunar month in the Chinese lunar calendar
Marked with fanciful lanterns, the festival is a favourite with children, as the occasion calls for more toys, candies, fruit, and entertainment than any other time of the year. Mid-Autumn parties serve cakes, traditional and modified. Lion dances are commonly performed by travelling troupers who go from house to house to perform for tipping.
Reunification Day – 30th April yearly
Also known as Victory Day or Liberation Day, this national holiday marks the fall of the Saigon government on 30 April 1975. The communist troops captured Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and brought the Vietnam war to an end. This began the process of reuniting the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the north and the Republic of Vietnam in the south
National Independence Day – 2nd September yearly
This day commemorates Vietnam’s declaration of independence from France in 1945. On that day, President Ho Chi Minh, read out the Declaration of Independence. Nowadays, national red flags are raised high everywhere. People are entitled to one day off. Public and official celebrations can be found in all cities.
Lantern Festival (Hoi An) – 14th day of each lunar month
The festival features many hundreds of colourful lantern lit up throughout the town. The houses and shops are beautifully decorated and activities are often held in the streets and along the Thu Bon River.
Dong Da Festival (Hanoi) – 21st February
The festival celebrates the victory of King Quang Trung who defeated the army of 200,000 Qing dynasty soldiers at Dong Da Hill. A dragon procession, games and martial arts activities are performed to celebrate the strength of the Vietnamese people during this historic victory.
FOOD & DRINK: Light, subtle in flavour and astonishing in their variety, Vietnamese dishes are boiled or steamed rather than stir-fried, and a huge emphasis is placed on herbs and seasoning. In the south, Indian and Thai influences add curries and spices to the menu, while other regions have evolved their own array of specialities.
Buddhism introduced a vegetarian tradition to Vietnam, while much later the French brought with them bread, dairy products, pastries and the whole café culture. The quality and variety of food is generally better in the main towns than off the beaten track, where restaurants of any sort are few and far between.
SOCIAL ETIQUETTE: People throughout Indochina are very kind and easy going. People are very relaxed with foreigners and their different habits.
Showing anger is seen as a weakness.
Respect and care should be shown when visiting temples and shoes should always be removed before entering.
HEALTH ADVICE: Although no vaccinations are officially required for entry to Indochina, they are highly encouraged. Visitors are advised to check with their GP or travel immunisation clinic regarding protection against malaria, typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A & B. Any essential medications should be brought with you as there is no guarantee they will be available in the areas you will be visiting.
If travelling in Summer months, please bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent etc.
It is not safe to drink tap water in Vietnam – please drink boiled water or bottled water only.