Day 1 Depart from the UK.
Day 2 Arrival in Hanoi, check-in to a downtown hotel in the heart of the Old City with the afternoon free to relax or explore the area, before an evening trip to see the unique water-puppet show.
Day 3 Day tour of some of this beautiful old City, with it's French colonial ambience. Sites include Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the 11th century University, Hoan Kiem Lake and a stroll through the bustling back streets of the old quarter.
Day 4 Departure for Halong Port where we’ll board the Bai Tho Junk for a journey through the dramatic limestone scenery of the World Heritage Halong Bay. Local fishermen over the years have given names to the various isles, caves and coves that make up the Bay of the Descending Dragon. Amongst other sites, you'll visit the Monster Head and Teapot Islands, Oan Lagoon, Titop Beach and Surprise Cave. Explore the islands, visit the grottoes and swim on the beaches, before dinner on board and overnight on the junk. (Traditional wooden style, yet now equipped for visitors with air con and en-suite cabins).
Day 5 Early rise for dawn over Halong Bay before continuing the visit with stops at Man's Head and Tortoise Islands, plus a tour of one of the picturesque lagoons by local rowing boat. Return to Halong Port via Bai Tu Long Bay and transfer to Hanoi.
Day 6 Leaving the capital we’ll head into the scenic mountainous region of Hoa Binh Province where we’ll continue to Pu Luong – one of Vietnam’s remotest and most spectacular national parks. Afternoon hike to discover the regions amazing flora and fauna and overnight in the ethnic White Tai village of Mai Chau.
Day 7 Scenic drive through the lush paddy fields and jagged limestone escarpments of this region, sometimes known as the ‘Halong of the rice fields’, to the remarkable cave system of the Trang An Grottoes. Rowing boats will take us through the labyrinth of caves, tunnels and emerald streams for a fascinating visit before continuing to Ninh Binh Town to board the night sleeper train.
Day 8 Morning arrival at Dong Ha and a chance to discover the country’s more recent history with a day trip to the infamous DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) to visit some of the key sites of the Vietnam War. Sites to include the Vietcong tunnels at Vinh Moc, Hien Luong Bridge on the 17th parallel which marked the border between former South and North Vietnam, and Khe Sanh Combat Base - scene of some of the most intense fighting of the war. Overnight in Hue.
Day 9 Time to check out the numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites of this historic city and former imperial capital. Morning cruise by dragon boat along the Perfume River to visit some of the majestic tombs of the former emperors and afternoon walk around the ancient citadel.
Day 10 Short, scenic drive to nearby Hoi An Town with a stop on the way at the beautiful and spectacular beach at Lang Co, and an afternoon tour of the old town and waterfront area. Well-preserved and charming, Hoi An (now UNESCO World Heritage Site) was one of Southeast Asia’s most important ports during the 17th to 19th centuries.
Day 11 Morning trip to the atmospheric ruined temples of ancient My Son City – Vietnam’s most important site of the former Cham Empire. The city was occupied from the 4th to 13th centuries, before succumbing to its powerful Khmer and Vietnamese neighbours. Return to Hoi An and a free afternoon to discover the picturesque old streets at your leisure, visit the bustling silk market or bicycle down to the nearby beach for a dip or massage.
Day 12 Time to explore some of the sites of the Danang region with a visit to the famous China Beach, Marble Mountain and the fascinating Cham Museum before an evening departure for the UK via Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).
Day 13 Morning arrival in the UK.
*Note: from Danang a 4 day, 3 night island extension is available to the unspoilt Whale Island.
Note: this tour is offered with or without flights London – Hanoi & Saigon - London. Those persons not wishing to take up the flight option should join the tour on day 2 in Hanoi and leave on day 12 in Saigon.
Visa requirements: Visas are no longer required for citizens of some countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK for single-entry visits of up to 15 days. For longer visits, and for visitors from some countries, a visa must be obtained before arrival in Vietnam. They are available from your nearest Vietnamese embassy at a cost of about £40 (c. $60). Further information, as well as e-visas on arrival are available on the internet, for example www.vietnam-visa.com or www.vietnam-immigration.org
Please note these are photos of sample hotels and resorts; accommodation options may vary and are subject to availability
The delightful beach-side Seasense Resort is our choice for an extension on Vietnam’s lush Phu Quoc Island; lying off the country’s south coast with easy access to Saigon and onwards
Not sure about the name but the hotel’s great and its location in the heart of Hanoi’s bustling and picturesque old town is perfect. Convenient for exploring or just sitting in their street-side cafe/bar watching the action go by.
A 2 day and 1 night Halong Bay boat tour aboard the plush Bai Tho Junk is certainly going to be a highlight of any Vietnam tour.
Funky decor at the Vinh Lung or Library, Hotel in World Heritage Hoi An. Good location, great cafe and bar area, spectacular roof-top pool and of course plenty of reading material!
The charming Whale Island Resort near Nha Trang is our choice for an optional island extension should you wish to spend a few days relaxing by the South China Sea before your return?
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Please find below a list of suggested extensions for this tour. For reservations please use the tour booking form on the same page
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