Day 1: Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi and fall into the pace of the city with an evening street eats tour. Hanoi is famous for its street food cuisine and this walking tour has been designed for you to enjoy some of the very best of Vietnam’s street food. Pull up a stool and sample the local brewed beer while you people watch, then head through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter to have a Vietnamese style barbeque dinner of flamed grilled meats, tofu and vegetables on skewers.
Day 2: Hanoi
Discover the story of Hanoi by exploring its top sites and labyrinthine Old Quarter. See all the highlights including the Presidential Palace, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum — the resting place of Vietnam’s founding president. You’ll also see the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, an 11th century archaeological site, and the famous Temple of Literature. End the afternoon viewing Long Bien Bridge, which was partially bombed during the Vietnam War, take a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s 36 streets and finish with a coffee at a local café.
Day 3: Halong Bay
Depart Hanoi and drive about four hours to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Spend the next few days cruising on the jade waters, admiring the sublime landscape of limestone karsts aboard a traditional junk boat. As the sun sets enjoy cocktails on the deck and a gourmet dinner.
Day 4:Halong Bay
Explore the far corners of the bay away where remote sandy beaches and clear water make an ideal spot for swimming. Paddle your way through secluded lagoons by kayak for an up-close look at the jungle covered karsts and caves.
Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hoi An
Wake up with the sunrise and admire the bay at first light. Take a small tender boat to visit Surprise Cave the largest in the bay and so called because you really are surprised on entering! The cave is filled with impressive limestone formations that have been illuminated for the best views. Cruise back to the main harbour and travel towards Hanoi and the airport for your flight to Danang. From Danang it’s only a short 30 minute drive to the artfully restored ancient town of Hoi An.
Day 6: Hoi An
This UNESCO recognized town has been artfully restored to its former glory and its quaint architecture makes the perfect picture postcard. This afternoon take a guided walking tour of the charming town to discover a preserved pagoda, assembly hall and beautiful covered bridge – living links to Hoi An’s ancient past.
Day 7: Hoi An
Beside the heritage and architecture, Hoi An is renowned for its tailors, food and way of life. Today why not take a cooking class or roll up your sleeves and become a fisherman or farmer! The day is free for you to do as much or as little as you want.
Day 8: Hoi An – Nha Trang
Today fly to the seaside town of Nha Trang, with its turquoise sea, golden sand and blue skies. Aside from the lovely beaches the region has lots of small islands dotted off the coast that are perfect for snorkelling amongst the coral reefs.
Day 9: Nha Trang
Flop and drop on the beach or get out and about with a city tour of Nha Trang. Or for a beauty treatment with a difference, why not visit the local mud baths that are unique to the town.
Day 10: Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh City
This evening fly to the sultry and cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City, formerly called Saigon and feel the pulse of the city. With its heady mix of past and present architecture, scooters whizzing past, noodle sellers on the sidewalk, Saigon is a city on the move.
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City
Discover the story of Saigon, from the days of the French rule to the war years with America – this is one city with a tale to tell! See all the main sights this afternoon, including the Reunification Palace, the Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. End your day with a speedboat trip down the river to see a different side of the city.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City – Le Jarai Cruise – Mekong Delta
Travel into the heart of the Mekong Delta to explore the waterways. See small home based factories perched on the river banks producing candy and oil from coconuts as you meander by boat through rivers and small creeks. Take part in a cooking demonstration and learn how to make the perfect spring roll before sitting down to feast on a three-course lunch aboard Le Jarai, a beautifully restored teak rice barge.
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City
This morning take a speedboat along the Saigon River to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground network that housed thousands of Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Discover how the Viet Cong survived underground and see various man traps, bomb craters and other remnants of war. On the way back to Ho Chi Minh City, stop at a cricket breeding farm and sample the tasty cricket spring rolls!
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City
Pick up those last minute souvenirs or snap a few more photos before transferring to the airport for your onward flight.