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The Very Best of Vietnam
Fly from London Heathrow to Hanoi, via Bangkok, with Thai Airways
Flight: TG911 London - Bangkok 12.30 - 05.45
Bangkok - Hanoi
Flight: TG560 Bangkok - Hanoi 07.45 - 09.35
Meet & greet: Upon arrival at Hanoi airport you will be welcomed to Vietnam by your private English speaking guide, and then transferred to your hotel.
Accommodation: Stay 2 nights at the Sofitel Metropole Hotel (Premium Room).
Full day guided tour of Hanoi: After breakfast you will set out on a tour of Hanoi. Start at the Soviet style Ba Dinh Square where Ho Chi Minh read out the declaration of the nation's independence in 1945. Visit the museum dedicated to Ho Chi Minh before passing through the mausoleum (you will be asked to remove hats if entering, and no shorts or vests are allowed) escorted by a soldier in full regalia. As you leave, you will be able to walk through the gardens of the Presidential Palace before seeing Ho Chi Minh's house, the modest dwelling he built based on a rural Vietnamese stilt house and where "Uncle Ho" lived for the last years of his life. You will also see the One Pillar Pagoda which is nearby. Afterwards you will visit the ancient Temple of Literature which was built in the 11th century and was the first university established in Vietnam. Lunch will be taken in a local restaurant and this afternoon you will visit the Museum of Ethnology, where you can get a greater understanding of Vietnam's diverse populace. Afterwards there will be a cyclo tour around the Old Quarter and the Ngoc Son Temple and later you will be dropped off at Thang Long Theatre to see the famous water puppet show, the unique Vietnamese traditional art. This art originates from rural festivals in Vietnam and the artists waist-deep in the water manipulating the puppets, making them move about, talk, laugh and even dance on the surface of the water.
Dinner with Musicians: Tonight you will enjoy a home cooked, traditional, Vietnamese meal in the company of some illustrious musicians. After dinner you will have a chance to hear them play.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hanoi - Halong Bay
Overnight Private Halong Bay Cruise on the Princess Junk: This morning drive for approximately 3 hours through the Red River delta to the coast and the Gulf of Tonkin, where the waters of Halong Bay are found. Board your private boat the Princess Junk in time for lunch, and set sail across the bay. Cruise to the famous islands of Halong Bay and onto Bai Tu Long Bay, admiring the fascinating karst formations. Continue cruising to Cap La and Tra San where there are opportunities to swim and explore the beautiful area by kayak. Return to your private boat in the evening for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight Private Halong Bay Cruise on the Princess Junk: Wake up early to enjoy the morning view of the Bay's landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Cruise to Cong Dam where you can enjoy kayaking through the hidden lagoons. Continue to Tra Gioi beach for sunbathing, relaxing and swimming. Enjoy a barbecue lunch on this natural, unspoiled beach. Later visit Cong Dam Fishing Village, passing through the lagoons in a rustic row boat. Here you meet and talk to the local village people. Stop at the Cong Dam floating village and school. Later afternoon cruise back to Cong Do for swimming or kayaking. Return to your private boat in the evening for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue
Halong Bay cruise: Enjoy the fresh air and gentle breezes of the bay in the morning while having breakfast on board. Visit Thien Canh Son Cave followed by swimming. Cruise towards the harbour while an A la Carte lunch is served. Disembark from the Princess Junk late morning.
Road journey from Halong Bay to Hanoi: Travel back by road to Hanoi with sightseeing en route, a journey of approximately 3 hours. On arrival back in Hanoi you will be transferred to the airport.
Flight: VN247 Hanoi - Hue 19.30 - 20.45
Private transfer: Your guide and driver will transfer you to your hotel.
Accommodation: Stay 3 nights at the Ana Mandara Hue (Deluxe Room).
Breakfast & lunch
Morning Perfume River cruise, Thien Mu Pagoda & Imperial Citadel: Take a morning cruise on the Perfume River, named after the tree resins and blossoms it carries on its way to the Pacific. Visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, sitting on the riverbank outside the city, this octagonal seven tier stupa has long On arrival in Hue, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.been regarded as the symbol of Hué and was founded in 1601. It is still a site of Buddhist worship and its huge bell is said to be audible from the city. Continue by road to the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City. Modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing by the Nguyen emperors in the early 19th century, the city was badly damaged during the war but the imposing city walls surrounded by a large moat afford good views of Hué. The palace retains a feeling of its past scale and importance, with detailed stonework and pavilions and it is at the moment in the process of being restored to its former magnificence.
Dinner at the old Mandarin's house: Enjoy a romantic, home hosted, dinner at a restored royal home of Nguyen's Emperor descendent.
Breakfast & Dinner
At leisure: Day at leisure to explore Hue independently, or simply relax at your resort.
Hue - Hoi An
Road journey from Hue to Hoi An: After breakfast depart south along highway 1 to Hoi An, a journey of approximately 3 hours. Soon the highway meets the Hai Van Pass (meaning Pass of the Ocean Clouds.) Here the Truong Son mountain range cuts across the narrow centre of the country. There will be a stop in Danang to visit the Cham Museum, which houses some magnificent examples of Cham art, China Beach, made famous during the American war and the Marble Mountains. Continue on to arrive in Hoi An in the late afternoon.
Accommodation: Stay 3 nights at the Nam Hai (One Bedroom Villa).
Suggested activity this evening: You may want to visit one of Hoi An's tailors this evening to get measured up. Our recommended tailor is Yaly, 47 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. Tel: 84- 510 -910474.
Morning cooking class: After breakfast, enjoy a private cooking class at the Morning Glory Restaurant. A market tour is followed by the cooking class. Afterwards enjoy the fruits of your labours for lunch.
Afternoon tour of Hoi An: Enjoy a walking tour of the ancient town center, take in the former merchants' houses, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with outstanding wood carvings and the colorful market with its stalls brimming with tropical specialties. The market is a good place to buy silk, which can be made upon into fine garments, all within a day. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Breakfast & Lunch
At leisure: Day at leisure to wander around Hoi An's ancient district, or relax at the nearby beach.
Hoi An - Nha Trang
Private transfer: Your guide and driver will transfer you to the airport.
Flight: VN323 Danang - Ho Nha Trang 13.40 - 14.50
Private transfer: You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel by car and boat.
Accommodation: Stay 5 nights at the Six Senses Hideaway Resort Ninh Van Bay (Hill Top Villa).
Days at leisure: Free days to relax in the Six Senses Hideaway. Activities can be arranged by your hotel including water sports, scuba diving and spa treatments.
Nha Trang - Saigon - Bangkok, with Vietnam Airlines
Private transfer: Return to Nha Trang city by boat from the resort. Your guide and driver will then transfer you to the airport.
Flight: VN1363 Nha Trang - Saigon 16.55 - 17.50
Flight: TG557 Saigon - Bangkok 20.50 - 22.15
Bangkok - London Heathrow, with Thai Airways
Flight: TG910 Bangkok - London Heathrow 01.10 - 07.15
The above tour costs from £4495*per person, based on 2 people sharing a twin room for departures in May.
*Please note the price shown is indicative only and based on a departure in May. This price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of departure and the availability of flights and accommodation.
The price includes:
• International flights with Vietnam Airlines.
• Accommodation in a shared double or twin room throughout.
• Meals as specified in the itinerary.
• Private transfers and tours with an English speaking local guide.
• Entrance fees for the sightseeing described above.
• Domestic flights within Vietnam with airport taxes (times to be confirmed).
• Service charges, room tax and handling fees.
The price does not include:
• Vietnamese visa fee of £54 per person payable before departure.
• Personal insurance.
• Expenditure of a personal nature, such as drinks, souvenirs and laundry etc.