28 September 2016
There are so many ways to see and experience all the highlights of the fascinating country of Vietnam but on this classic 10 day tour you really pack them all in. Beginning in the throbbing Ho Chi Minh City, which is still known by its old name Saigon, you will visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, made famous during the Vietnam War, you will explore the Mekong Delta, fly to Hue on the banks of the Perfume River, visit Hoi An and shop in the markets and end up in beautiful Halong Bay where you will cruise the islands of this natural wonder. During this great tour you will meet the locals, eat the local cuisine and get a wonderful insight into this enigmatic country.
After your arrival in Saigon you will be met at the airport by a Travel Indochina representative and transferred to your hotel. Once settled in you will meet your tour guide and the other members of your group for welcome drinks and a briefing about what you will be seeing and doing over the next 10 days.
Saigon is city of extraordinary energy. Despite this, Saigon, as it is still known, is a friendly and welcoming place. We start our explorations with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Established as a means of waging guerrilla war against superior French and later American fire power; the tunnel network stretches over 250km (155 miles) and extends to three levels underground, providing a remarkable insight into the method and determination of Communist forces during the Vietnam Wars. After viewing the tunnels we will transfer back to Saigon for lunch where you may like to try ‘Pho’ (pronounced ‘fur’) the delicious Vietnamese noodle soup. In the afternoon take a tour of the War Remnants Museum. Finish the tour with a walk through the heart of the city see the Notre Dame Cathedral and Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), walk past the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh Square, and Municipal Theatre.
Today you travel south from Saigon to the gateway to the Mekong Delta. Known as the Rice Bowl of Vietnam, the delta is the most fertile region in the country. Stop at the unusual Cao Dai pagoda before boarding a boat for an exploration of the Mekong River and its narrow canals. Visit a coconut processing factory and a local family home and experience their hospitality. Overnight Saigon.
Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Hue. Situated on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue was once Vietnam's capital and provides a unique window into the country's complex past. Visit the impressive citadel and the revered Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's oldest and most beautiful religious monument. Overnight in Hue.
This morning we will drive south to Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass. This drive is considered one of the best in Vietnam and takes you through a combination of rural and coastal settings. In the afternoon take a walking tour of enchanting Hoi An seeing the Japanese Covered Bridge. Overnight Hoi An.
Today is free for you to explore Hoi An at leisure. This beautiful town is awash with clothing shops and has a colourful fish market and river life. If you tire of the town, which is unlikely, you can head for a nearby beach for a spot of sunbathing or stay beside your hotel pool at the Riverside Resort and Spa where you stay for the night.
This morning rise early for your transfer to the airport for and flight north to Hanoi (please note that flight schedules are subject to change). Upon arrival, your journey will take you east (approximately 170 km/105 miles or four hours) to Halong City, the gateway to Halong Bay. En route pass fields of busy workers farming their rice using traditional methods of cultivation. Halong Bay achieved international fame as a key location in the French film ‘Indochine’ starring Catherine Deneuve. The bay has assumed an important position in Vietnamese legend for many centuries and continues to capture the imagination of visitors. On arrival transfer to the port and board your boat for the cruise out to the Bay, enjoying a fresh seafood lunch on board along the way. Considered Vietnam’s greatest natural wonder, Halong Bay boasts over 3,000 islands that rise out of the sea to provide a spectacular natural environment. You will visit some of the beautiful caves and islets around the bay, then enjoy dinner on board before retiring to bed.
Today you rise early to make the most of Halong Bay’s stunning scenery. After breakfast, visit more of the spectacular islets and caves that make this area so unique and then head back to Halong City, enjoying a tasty seafood lunch en route. This afternoon travel back to Hanoi. Hanoi has been the political and historical centre of Vietnam for over 1000 years and has a wealth of sights to explore. Heavily influenced by French colonial architecture, Hanoi is both a historically beautiful and vibrant capital which is sure to entice you. This evening you will have the opportunity to enjoy a performance of Hanoi’s famed water puppets.
Begin your discovery of this city with a walking tour through the bustling Old Quarter - 36 ancient streets where you can observe the bustle of daily life. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Quarter and the humble house on stilts from which 'Uncle Ho' ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Also see the presidential palace and One Pillar Pagoda. In the evening join the rest of the group for a farewell dinner.
Today the tour ends and after breakfast you may have some time for last minute shopping before being transferred to the airport for an onward flight or the journey home carrying with you a lifetime of memories from this classic tour of Vietnam.
Standard Rate fr £1096pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated