Discover the beauty Vietnam has to offer, travelling from the north in Hanoi to the south in Saigon. Spend time relaxing in the tranquil riverside hamlet of Hoi An, where time has stood still and you find yourself walking cobblestone lanes, visiting colourful markets, historic houses and ancient temples.
Depart 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 and transferred to the hotel for check-in and tour briefing. We will take an orientation tour and a chance to acclimatise ourselves if time permits. A welcome dinner awaits us tonight.
Today we’ll be touring the most outstanding attractions of Hanoi. First, we pay a visit to the complex of memorials to Ho Chi Minh to know the amazing life of the founder of modern Vietnam. Continue to the Temple of Literature to gain understanding of one of the driving forces in Vietnam culture. Our next stop is the Museum of Ethnology which exhibits a large collection of artefacts about the 54 ethnic groups in the country. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the lively Old Quarter, a series of 36 ancient streets where peddlers still trade the way they have done for centuries. The rickshaw tour ends up at an old house on Ma May Street, an example of dwellings in the 19 century. Enjoy a performance of the water puppetry, the famed traditional art form created by village farmers around the Red River Delta region – unique but widely known.
Today we journey east to Halong Bay, the greatest natural wonder of Vietnam, through the Red River Delta, where we see daily Vietnamese village life. On arrival, we board a beautiful traditional junk and spend a full day and night cruising the bay’s 3000 magnificent limestone islets. In the evening when the boat is anchored in the middle of the stunning lagoon, we enjoy a wonderful seafood meal and later there is opportunity for an evening swim from the side of the boat. Spend the night on our luxurious boat.
Wake up to fresh coffee then further cruising and sightseeing. En route the junk weaves through more rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to dragons and even further! Disembark after lunch and return to Hanoi for a late afternoon/early evening flight to Danang in Middle Vietnam. Meet up with our local guide at Danang airport and drive along the scenic coast to 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. Sites include the Japanese Bridge, a Sino-Vietnamese merchant house, a Chinese Temple, the Central Market, and the Culture Museum. There’ll be time for independent exploration and shopping opportunities.
Five days of relaxation on the golden beach of Hoian.
We fly to Saigon in the morning and enjoy a tasty lunch of “Pho” noodle soup in restaurant “Pho 24”. Afternoon, we’ll be visiting the best known sites in the very centre of Saigon, taking in the Reunification Palace, the War Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office, the Opera House, Ben Thanh Market, etc.
This morning we travel to Cu Chi to explore the legendary network of underground combat tunnels. This incredible system, covering almost 250 km in length, served as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living quarters for Vietnamese fighters throughout the wartime. Known as the “Iron Triangle” during the war of the 60’s, the story of Cu Chi is one of struggle, determination against all odds, and eventual victory. Now the tunnels are a major site of interest for tourists and historians, and those interested in Vietnam’s military history. After the tunnels we return to town and enjoy the balance of the day at own leisure.
After breakfast we leave the hustle and bustle of Saigon behind and travel into the Mekong Delta, a world that lives and works on the waters. Arriving in My Tho, 80 km from Saigon, we get on a boat trip on the Mekong River, then into a palm-shaded canal towards an island. Disembark and roam into the insular village to see production of handicrafts and candy from coconut, taste freshly picked seasonal tropical fruits, enjoy folk musical by amateurs, and ride a horse cart along the village road. Row a sampan along a side arm of the river to further experience river life. For lunch, we’ll sample some regional specialities such as Elephant Ear Fish, Rice Ball, Coconut Salad, etc. After lunch we return to Saigon for overnight. A visit to Vinh Trang pagoda in My Tho or Thien Hau pagoda in the Chinese quarter of Saigon can be arranged upon request.
Free before transfer to the airport for departure flight.
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We used Emperor for a group trip to India. they were fantastic with their choice of hotels (some truly incredible) their tour guide, the whole programme and their choice of airlines for the trip. We made things quite tough for them with different members of the group travelling for different periods and arriving in and out of different airports. We specifically had some issues with one of the airlines on the return leg of our trip, through no fault of Emperor, but they did their utmost to put things right and made the journey home as pleasant as possible by meeting the cost of a lounge at the airport for us do to the shortcomings of one of the airlines checking in procedures. The pre holiday package of information was very comprehensive and we were presented with very durable luggage tags. We would have no hesitation in recommending Richard and his team in tailoring a package for a trip to India. We had an amazing culturally stimulating trip and will certainly go back to India in the future.