Looking for an adventure to share with all the family? Then a Vietnam Family Holiday with specialist operator Emperor Tours is the trip for you!
Discover this diverse and intoxicating country with a perfect mix of culture, breath-taking sights and fun, ending with perfect relaxation on a sun kissed beach!
Your trip begins in Hanoi where you’ll be guided around some of the major cultural attractions including the Temple of Literature and Tran Quoc Pagoda. You’ll also be transported around the Old Quarter by rickshaw and see the famous Water Puppet Theatre.
From Hanoi you’ll travel along the Red River Delta to Vietnam’s greatest natural wonder – the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Halong Bay. Here you’ll spend a day (and overnight) cruising this spectacular bay with stops for swimming and kayaking. The next morning – after a spot of on-board Tai Chi – it’s time to disembark, travel back to Hanoi and fly to Hoi An.
In Hoi An, your friendly and knowledgeable guide will help you discover this fascinating ancient city with its major historical role in international trade. You’ll even visit a stunningly colourful lantern workshop and learn the ancient art of lantern making.
So that you can experience some of local rural life you’ll be taken on a bike ride to visit local farmers, ride on water buffalo and fish with local fishermen.
From Hoi An you’ll then fly to Nha Trang for five nights at a beachside hotel – time to recharge your batteries and just enjoy the perfect white sandy beaches and clear blue seas.
Today we begin our private family holiday 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’ll be greeted upon arrival by our 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!
After breakfast we set out to visit the Temple of Literature and the Tran Quoc Pagoda to gain understanding of one of the driving forces in Vietnam culture.
Next stop will be the Museum of Ethnology which houses a fascinating exhibition of artefacts about the 54 ethnic groups in the country, indoor and outdoor.
Mid-afternoon, we hop on a rickshaw and ride through the lively Old Quarter, a series of 36 ancient streets where peddlers still trade the way they have done for centuries. We’ll be dropped at the famed water puppet theatre where we will enjoy a performance of the traditional art form created by village farmers around the Red River Delta region – unique but widely known. Free time afterwards makes for excellent opportunities to further explore Hanoi independently. The Old Quarter provides a wide range of quality shops and restaurants.
Today we journey east through the Red River Delta to Halong Bay, the greatest natural wonder of Vietnam. On arrival, we board a beautiful traditional junk (ancient Chinese ship) and set sail for a cruise deep into the protected area of Halong. Bask in the tranquillity and beauty of the unique seascape made up by magnificent rock formations out of the emerald waters.
We’ll have opportunity to challenge ourselves with swimming and kayaking and even fishing. We spend the night in our cabin on the boat.
Wake up to a Taichi class on the sundeck and morning coffee and fruit juice. The junk will be taking us past more rock wonders before heading back to the shore.
We disembark around 11:00 and return by private transfer to Hanoi to take a short flight to Danang City in Central Vietnam.
On arrival we’ll be met by guide and driver and chauffeured 35 km along the coast to Hoian for the night.
This morning we’ll visit the home of a local lantern craftsman and have a hands-on workshop to learn the traditional art of lantern making. Bend the frame and select the cloth to build your own lantern from scratch and even take a completed one home.
After lunch 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.
Balance of the day is at leisure. Maybe shop for silk and embroidery or have something made by one of the many tailors in town.
We commence today’s tour with a bike ride along country roads, witnessing rural life first hand. Visit a beautiful village where we can water and plant vegetables, hoe soil with a local farmers and ride a water buffalo in a rice paddy field!
Later, meet and engage the local fishermen and try fishing with a net in local way. We will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket through the palm-flanked waterways. Enjoy rural fares for lunch on boat then return to the hotel for rest of the day.
After breakfast we fly to Nha Trang, a coastal resort city known for its beaches, diving sites and offshore islands.
We will be greeted upon arrival and privately transferred for check in to our beach-side hotel for 5 nights.
Enjoy four full days at leisure to just relax or explore on your own.
After a wonderful holiday it is time to say “Tam Biet” (goodbye) and transfer to the airport for your home-bound flight.
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 in Vietnam.
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 (whole of Vietnam) – 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 (whole of Vietnam) – 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 (whole of Vietnam) – 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.