Experience the real Vietnam by getting close and personal with the culture and lifestyle of the Vietnamese. Make friends and talk with the locals, join in with their daily activities and get a true sense of life inside Vietnam.
Depart London Heathrow for international economy flight to Hanoi. We can also arrange departures from your local airport at no extra cost.
Upon your arrival, your guide will welcome you at the airport and then transfer to your hotel for check in. After short rest, it will be time for a comfortable body massage and then in the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at one of the finest local restaurant where we will begin our exploration of the culinary delicacies of Vietnam and have our trip orientation.
Enjoy breakfast at hotel before heading to Ky Son village. Arrive at Moon Garden Home stay in Ky Son village around 10:00 am and enjoy a welcome drink with local fresh green tea. Then have some free time for discovering Moon Garden Home stay and Ky Son village on your own (local market, kindergarten etc). After that, join in a cooking class and enjoy your lunch.
In the afternoon, take part in some interesting activities: Hand Spa – enjoy having your fingers dipped in a fragrant lime bowl and the traditional herbal hand massage. Then, free time for relaxing or further conversation with the host family about local snacks, sharing cultures, and learning about traditional customs. If you want to learn Vietnamese, one of the family members can teach you. At 3:00 pm, you have a choice of a short ride (6 km) or long ride (12 km) round trip:
Short ride: Take a bicycle ride to discover the Ky Son, Tam Son, Van Minh, and Cham farming communities to and stop at any home you like for a cup of tea. Visit the kindergarten (if open). Chat with local people about their daily life and farming. You can help with ploughing or making rice beds, transplanting seedlings, harvesting rice (or cassava, corn, sweet potatoes…) depending on the harvest season.
Long ride: Take a bicycle ride with local guide to discover the Ky Son, Tam Son, Van Minh, and Cham farming communities, Duong Lam ancient village and visit Mia Pagoda, Mong Phu Communal House… Then bike ride back along the ritual paths of Thang thac village to discover the Ngo Quyen tomb, Phung Hung temple.
Return to the Moon Garden for happy hour in the evening. While waiting for your steam bath to be prepared, you can enjoy our local drink and taste some of the local products such as maize, sweet potato, cassava, peanuts – (depending on season) or some traditional desserts. Have dinner and then enjoy your foot bath in warm water with ginger, salt and mugwort medicinal herbs before bedtime, which brings you a deeper sleep.
In the morning we join Yijinjing traditional exercises and then have breakfast. After that, enjoy your free time: You can make yourself at home relaxing on the hammock in our garden, taking pictures with Vietnamese traditional clothes, chatting with people, or further discovery of the Ky Son village and the surrounding area.
At a good time, leave Ky Son and then drive back to Hanoi for a half day sightseeing tour. Explore Vietnam’s capital city by visiting Vietnam’s first university, the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature. After that walk around Hanoi Old Quarter and enjoy fresh moment in a private electric car around Hoan Kiem Lake and many streets.
Leave Hanoi this morning and head straight to Halong Bay, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay and Gulf of Tonkin. After arriving at noon, you will board a beautiful boat for an overnight cruise on Halong Bay with an excellent menu of fresh seafood. Lunch and dinner are served on board. Overnight on board.
After breakfast, spend more time to explore the amazing natural beauty of Halong Bay and join some activities such as swimming, kayaking, fishing, visiting floating villages or sun bathing. Lunch and dinner will be served on boat. Overnight on board.
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy aquamarine water of the bay at its best. After tea break, the boat continues to cruise quietly through spectacular limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy this more isolated bay’s spectacular and unique islands of the bay. Return to Halong Harbour after a brunch for transfer directly to Hanoi Airport for your onward flight to Danang. Welcome by local guide on arrival and transfer to your hotel in Hoi An Town, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site because of its unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes.
In the morning, you will depart from the pier located in the old city of Hoi An on a local boat, the only means of transport to sail to the island of Cam Kim. After the crossing of a few minutes, you will reach the village of Kim Bong, and then visit M.Huynh Suong’s workshop, a famous sculpting artist who will teach you about his art. You will then ride your bikes towards the mat weaving village of Duy Vinh. Over the 13-km route, you will enjoy landscapes of rice fields, bamboo fields and shaded paths. Once in the village, you will discover its traditions and special know-how’s, which have been passed on from generation to generation. After this initiation, you will cross a small dam to reach the fishing village of Duy Vinh. Finally, you will once again board and return to Hoi An for lunch (own expense). Then is the free time at your leisure until being taken to have a lovely dinner in a nice restaurant.
Free at leisure until transfer to Danang Airport for a brief 1 hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Welcome by local driver on arrival and transfer to your hotel for check in.
In the early evening, enjoy part night excursion, part street local food adventures. You experience the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. Stops include drinks at a cafe shop, food and drinks at local restaurants (one stop for sea food and one stop for Southern food), samplings of Saigon best authentic street local food, a Vietnamese-style coffee shop (with live music) and wrapping up the evening at one of the many local nightclubs (with live music), where the new generation of Vietnamese unwind and flaunt their unique style. You ride pillion behind your drivers to enjoy and experience the Vietnamese night life.
This morning we will leave the city by private vehicle to visit the amazing tunnel network of Cu Chi. This incredible system, covering almost 250km in length was shelter to over 16,000 Vietcong guerrillas during the wars. Initially started in 1948 to provide shelter against the French air and ground sweeps, the network went on to serve as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living quarters for Vietnamese fighters throughout the American war. If you are interested (and game) you can even descend into the tunnels to learn more about the harsh conditions faced by Vietcong guerrillas who lived there. Return to Ho Chi Minh City late in the morning.
In the late afternoon, you will be picked up for A O Show “À Ố” is the name given to the show which is a new kind of art performance commonly acknowledged globally as “new circus”. The show surpasses all the limits that were previously constructed by many other art shows in Vietnam over the years. You are offered the opportunity to let loose your imagination once they are set off the visual creation and lighting of each performance.
The main visuals of the show are bamboo basket boats and their use in the daily life of many Vietnamese. During 60 minutes of the show, you are gently introduced to many different tones of emotion.
This morning, we depart from Ho Chi Minh City around 8 am and head south to Ben Tre province, famous for its coconut production and quiet, peaceful waterways.
On arrival, take a Xe loi ride through the local village of Huu Dinh to enjoy the green fields and gardens. Continue with a short walk to Huu Phuoc Bridge, where you will start your boat trip through small canals with beautiful tropical scenery. On board the boat, enjoy a welcome drink and tropical fruits while cruising. The cruise will first stop at a Coconut processing family owned business. Here you will learn what Ben Tre is known for and the hundreds of uses of each single coconut. Return to your boat and cruise across the water to a brick making factory, where the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand.
Enjoy a casual cycling trip that will take you to visit a local rice noodle factory which produces Hu Tieu noodles, one of the most popular dishes in the region. After your visit take a short walk to one of our friends, Mrs. Huong, who lives with her 3 children and grandson – they live on fishing, shrimp and fruit orchards. Enjoy fresh fruits and tea and then board a rowing sampan taking you through a lush narrow canal, displaying the tranquil nature of the region.
After our team rows you through the quiet canal, reconnect with your Day Cruiser and enjoy a cruise to a private riverside restaurant. It is time for you to relax and enjoy a 5-course lunch of localÂ specialities. Relax and have a walk around the lush garden setting. Then continue your cycling trip to My Long to visit Mr Sau Tuong, a former Vietcong soldier who survived two years fighting the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh. Now he and his wife live on making rice paper which is the most famous speciality of My Long village. Have a chat with him and enjoy the crispy rice paper made by his wife, and see how it is made. Then visit the nearby house of Mr Hung, who is a famous sticky rice maker in the village. You can also feed his stock of catfish and walk through his fruit garden. After the visit, the boat will be waiting for you at the pier nearby to bring you back to Ben Tre city where your car will be ready to take you back to Ho Chi Minh City. Then is the free time at your leisure.
Free time until transfer to airport for your departure flight to the UK.
Tour Price includes:
Tour Price excludes:
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.