Vietnam has a lot to offer the intrepid traveller. A country with a eclectic variety of experiences, in this itinerary, you can get a glimpse of the history and culture of this lovely country by exploring Hanoi – the political and cultural capital, Halong bay – the picturesque Wonder of Nature, exploring the Central part of Vietnam – the last Imperial capital city of Hue and the Charming ancient trading town of Hoi An – also known as the city of lanterns. End your journey in the modern cosmopolitan city of Ho Chi Minh City; take a boat ride along the Mekong delta and take a peek into history with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
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- Explore the 1,000 year old city of Hanoi; the political and cultural capital of Vietnam
- Enjoy the vibrant city life at Hanoi around the Ho Hoan Kiem Lake.
- Enjoy a cruise in the World Heritage (nature) site of Halong Bay – the land of the descending dragons
- Travel back in time to the Royal period in the Imperial city of Hue
- Try and resist the charm of the ancient city of Hoi An – the city of Lanterns!
- Be a spectator to the rural life along the Mekong Delta on a boat ride.
- Glimpse into history on a visit to Cu Chi tunnels
Arrive at Hanoi, and get whisked away to your hotel. Explore the River bound city at your own pace. The city’s fascinating beauty characterized by unique cultural relics, ancient streets of antique houses, elegant French colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and romantic lakes has made it one of the most charming cities of Asia. Don’t forget to visit Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple located on an islet in the lake.
Get your dose of evening entertainment with the Vietnamese traditional art of water puppetry at Thang Long Theatre.
Hanoi – City Tour
Start the day with visiting Ho Chi Minh Complex and Museum and the Presidential Palace. Stop by one of Hanoi’s icons, the One Pillar Pagoda, built in the 11th Century in dedication to Avalokiteshvara or Buddha of Compassion and reminiscent of a lotus blossom rising from a pond. Drive further to the West Lake, the largest lake of Hanoi and Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda of Hanoi, located on an islet in the lake. Walk/cycle through Hanoi’s downtown to the Old Quarter of 36 ancient streets and enjoy your evening around the vibrant Ho Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old quarter.
Relax in the evening with a Bia hoi drink at a little street side bar.
Cruise on Halong Bay
Drive through the countryside towards Halong Bay soaking in the country side life. Board a cruise boat to explore the legendary Ha Long Bay. Ha Long means Descending Dragon in Vietnamese, legend has it that a holy dragon landed down here from the sky. The bay, famous as one of the world’s wonders and heritage sites whose formation dates back 500 million years, consists of around 2,000 karst islands and islets scattered over an area of 1,553 square kms.
At night enjoy a sundowner on the top deck and look out for shooting stars.
Wake up to a view of jagged karst mountains outside your boat. Soak in the splendid yet tranquil view of the bay at the crack of dawn. Enjoy your Tai Chi session, cooking classes and bid a reluctant farewell to your cruise after an early lunch. Transfer to Hanoi back to your hotel. Late evening – take a flight to Danang and then to Hue.
Hue – the Imperial City
Explore Hue – the former Imperial capital of the Ngyuen dynasty – the last stage of Monarchy in Vietnam. Visit the Hue Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, including the forbidden city and the royal palace, Thien Mu Pagoda – the iconic symbol of the imperial capital and the exquisite tombs of the past emperors including Khai Dinh and Minh Magh.
In the evening relax by the Perfume River and appreciate the talent of artists on the Walking streets in the art capital of Vietnam.
Marble Mountains & Hoi An
Drive to the ancient city of Hoi An. Enjoy a stunning headland-and-bay panoramic view from the Hai Van Pass (Ocean Cloud Pass), which the mountainside along the shoreline and overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
On the way, explore the famous Marble mountains – Rocky limestone outcrops jutting out of the beach just south of Da Nang, they are home to several Buddhist and Hindu grottoes.
Reach Hoi An and try and resist the charm of this World Heritage Site which was once a bustling maritime commercial port of Asia.
Stroll through the villages and the vibrant local market to observe the local daily life still carrying an old-fashioned touch from the past.
Hoi An is a peaceful town of well-preserved architecture, lifestyles and traditions. Leisurely explore this charming town with well deserved breaks in the numerous coffee roasteries, charismatic restaurants with the delightful Hoianian cuisine and the vibrant markets. Visit the museums to understand how the fascinating fusion of cultures between Vietnam and the outside world including China, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines brought about the character of the city of lanterns!
Have a leisurely day – explore the green countryside of Vietnam on bicycles, take a coconut boat ride in the lagoons of Hoi An and shop for lanterns in the bustling night market.
Ho Chi Minh City
Take the domestic flight to the commercial capital of Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City.
Explore the city on a short tour, visiting places like the Re-unification palace, War remnants museum and the bustling markets of this city.
In the evening, opt for exploring the flavours of Southern Vietnam cuisine aboard a River cruise.
Ho Chi Minh City and Cu Chi Tunnels
Start the day with a dose of history and culture at Tay Ninh. Visit the Great Temple also known as The Holy See Temple of a rare religion named Cao Dai native to the province. Cao Dai was established in 1926 as a monotheistic religion with its name meaning “Way of the Highest Lord”. It incorporates some aspects of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity.
Drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels, which were once a major underground hideout and resistance base of Viet Cong forces during the two wars against the French and later on Americans.
Mekong Delta Boat Ride
From beaches to the mighty Mekong, drive to a riverside town in the vast Mekong Delta, the world’s largest delta. Cruise to lively Cai Be floating market and through a maze of shady canals to Hoa Binh Phuoc Island. The landscape of zigzag canals, lush vegetation, small villages and glimpses of rural life is a visual delight. Get a slice of the Vietnamese rural life by interacting with farmers, and also learn about their trades of bonsai gardening, rice paper and coconut candy making.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home. With memories of days spent in the midst of ocean, ancient civilization and beautiful nature … we don’t know about you, but we ended up promising ourselves that we’d be back soon…