People love Vietnam for its French colonial history entrenched in its pavement cafes, architecture and wide tree-lined boulevards. The outstanding culture, lovable food, recreational activities, and friendly people will help in making your tour a memorable one! To get the feeling of normal lifestyle you must take a ride on tuk-tuks on the streets.
Arrive in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. You are met and transferred to your hotel upon arrival. Overnight in Hanoi.
arrive in hanoi, the capital of vietnam. you are met and transferred to your hotel upon arrival. overnight in hanoi.
After breakfast, start exploring Hanoi, the quintessential Southeast Asian colonial city. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and house; the latter is a simple structure surrounded by banyan, poinciana and milkweed trees. Visit the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, a historic Buddhist pagoda built in AD 1049. Then stop by the Quan Thanh Temple, a Taoist temple, home to the 13-foot-high Tran Vu bronze statue. After lunch, explore the National Museum of fine arts and sample a local form of transport with a cyclo ride through the Old Quarter. In the evening, catch a rui nuoc (water puppetry) show. This traditional art form centers on stories of local village life, with puppets maneuvered by wires and rods over a “stage” of water.
After breakfast, drive overland through the Vietnamese countryside, passing rice paddies and blue skies en route to Ha Long Bay. Board your luxury junk (boat), your accommodations for the night. Sail through this magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waters. After lunch on the boat, disembark and trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the sail-dotted bay or swim on a secluded beach, or choose to stay on deck to sunbathe. Later, visit a fishing village and meet third-generation fishermen to learn about a traditional way of life. Return to the boat to see a sunset with a sundowner in hand, before enjoying dinner.
Greet the day with a tai chi lesson on board as you catch the sunrise. After breakfast, sail to a spellbinding limestone grotto before heading back to shore. Return overland to Hanoi. In the evening, fly to Hue, a historically significant city; it was the imperial capital for the Nguyen Dynasty, which left behind regal monuments and sprawling temples.
This morning, continue your exploration of Hue. Visit Emperor Tu Duc’s tomb, a complex of terraces and pagodas. Then set off to discover Emperor Khai Dinh’s mausoleum — though smaller than Tu Duc’s, it is far more elaborate. Following lunch, take a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River, watching Vietnam’s mountainous backcountry landscapes pass you by as you cruise to Thien Mu Pagoda. Afterward, visit the Imperial Citadel, a 19th-century walled fortress taken by North Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War, shocking South Vietnamese and U.S. forces.
After breakfast, transfer overland to Danang and continue to Hoi An. Upon arrival this afternoon, explore Hoi An, once a flourishing port under the Nguyen lords. Today, the charming town retains the spirit of a bygone era, with tile-roofed wooden buildings and ancient winding streets. Stroll through this pedestrianized town, losing yourself in the potpourri of vendors selling colorful handmade lanterns (a Hoi An specialty), tailor shops with local fashions on display and the intoxicating aroma of Vietnam’s undeniable cuisine.
This morning after breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly called Saigon. In contrast to sleepier Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City is an electrifying cosmopolitan city. In the afternoon, discover Cholon, the city’s historic Chinatown, with its narrow streets lined with delis and homes of prestigious local businessmen. Then stop at the Thien Hau Pagoda, the most important in the city.
Explore the rest of this fascinating city and surrounding sites today. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, a key Vietcong resource during the Vietnam War. They span hundreds of miles underground and accommodated the Vietcong for up to two weeks at a time. Later, savor Vietnam’s intriguing culinary heritage at a local restaurant. After lunch, visit the Reunification Palace, formerly South Vietnam’s presidential palace, which remains largely untouched since it was built in the 1960s.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.