Destinations: Ho Chi Minh-Cai Be-Vinh Long-Sa Dec-Cai Be-Hanoi-Halong Bay Cruise-
Welcome to Vietnam - the Land of the Ascending Dragon. Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), your friendly local guide will greet you at airport and then take you to your hotel to check-in. The rest of the day is yours to relax, settle in and, if jet lag permits, do a little exploring on your own.
Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City Highlights
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh-Cai Be -Vinh Long- Sa Dec
Day 4: Sa Dec -Cai Be
Day 5: Cai Be-Ho Chi Minh
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh- Hanoi
Day 7: Hanoi Highlights
Day 8: Hanoi- Halong Bay Cruise
Day 9: Halong Bay Cruise- Hanoi
Day 10: Hanoi Departure
Welcome to Vietnam - the Land of the Ascending Dragon. Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), your friendly local guide will greet you at airport and then take you to your hotel to check-in. The rest of the day is yours to relax, settle in and, if jet lag permits, do a little exploring on your own.Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will start your tour by visiting Cu Chi Tunnels; a vast network of tunnels made by the Viet Cong during the war. On the way back to the city, you will make a stop to have a traditional Vietnamese cooking class, which includes a fascinating trip to a local organic farm. At the end of the lesson, you can sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour!
After your delicious lunch, drive back to Ho Chi Minh and enjoy an afternoon of sight seeing, which will include: admiring the architecture of the Old Saigon Post Office, getting a taste of a local marketplace at the Binh Tay Market, learning more about the wars of Vietnam and the effects they had on the country, at the War Remnants Museum and finally visiting the impressive French colonial-style City Hall.The evening is yours to explore the city and sample some of the world's favourite food!Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
At 9:30 am, a coach will pick you up from your hotel in Saigon to take you to Cai Be. Upon arrival to Cai Be, you will board your cruise ship. Savor a delicious lunch while we set sail, enjoying the breathtaking views and lush scenery as we travel along the Mekong River to Vinh Long. Located in the middle of the delta between two arms of the mighty Mekong River, life in this city centers on water, consisting of houses that are hoisted up on stilts that are planted into banks of the river. From Vinh Long, you will be transferred to a small boat which will take you to the An Binh Islands. Here you will be given a bicycle tour of the city, discovering the Tien Chau ancient pagoda, tropical fruit orchard gardens and a glimpse into the everyday life of the Mekong Delta people. You will also visit a traditional Vietnamese house where you be able to taste some exotic local-grown fruits.We will drop our anchor near Sa Dec for the night. Enjoy a lovely welcome dinner followed by free time to relax for the rest of the evening.
After a leisurely breakfast on board, we will depart for Sa Dec, where you will take a short panoramic tour of this charming city full of tree-lined streets, fading colonial villas and a myriad of orchards and flower markets. French writer Marguerite Duras spent her childhood here, writing about many of these sites in her novels. Visit the ancient house of Huynh Thuy Le and the tomb of L'Amant. As you walk around the town, you will pass the school where Marguerite's mother taught as well as the house she used to live in. On your way back to the ship, take a stroll through the lively markets and mysterious side streets of this fascinating town.Enjoy a nice meal on board before a cooking demonstration where you will learn about local Vietnamese ingredients and learn how to cook a typical Vietnamese dish. Taste the Mekong's mouth-watering tropical fruits and relax on deck as the boat sails back towards Cai Be.To end our last night, you will be given a farewell dinner on board. The rest of the evening is free for you to relax and enjoy the mesmerizing sunset.
After an early breakfast on board, you will check out of the cruise ship and be transferred to a small sampan boat that will allow you to fully experience Cai Be, a floating market full of local people selling, buying and trading goods from their boats. Row through the waterways and admire the vibrant colors and the hustle and bustle of this busy, beautiful market. Our last stop will be at an ancient colonial house and a rice popcorn factory where you will be able to taste the local specialties.You will then be taken back to Saigon by coach, arriving back at your hotel in the afternoon to continue your onward journey.
Spent a few hours in Ho Chi Minh in the morning, before your guide takes you to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. You will be met by your guide and taken to your hotel to check in. The rest of the day is yours to settle in.
After breakfast, you will enjoy a morning touring around Hanoi city. Begin with a visit to The Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, Stilt House, Presidential Palace and Museum. Then, its on to, the One Pillar Pagoda, this temple rises from the centre of one pillar and is said to be have been built in the shape of a lotus. Finish your day with a stroll around the Fine Arts Museum; showcasing pieces from a range of historical periods.
Your afternoon will be spent at the fascinating Ethnologic Museum, where you can learn a bit about the many different ethnic minorities in Vietnam. After this, you'll be taken to visit the ancient Hoan Kiem Lake; you can find out all about the very interesting mythology that surrounds it. The tour ends with a special Vietnamese treat – you will take a cyclo or rickshaw around the picturesque Old Quarter.You can relax until the evening, when you will be able to enjoy a cultural treat – a famous Water Puppet Show at the theatre.
Can you think of a better way to finish your trip than a one and a half day cruise down Halong Bay? You will be driven to Halong Bay, in the morning, the interesting journey gives you the opportunity to see the rustic scenery of typical Vietnamese villages.
You will board by noon and enjoy a nice welcome cocktail before you set sail! You're sure to marvel at the incredible views over this magnificent landscape - a peaceful and unique experience. The cruise ship offers a variety of optional fun activities like kayaking, swimming, diving which will definitely add to the trip.Overnight on cruise at Halong Bay.
This morning, you can get up early for Tai Chi class on the sundeck or just soak up the breathtaking views. You'll disembark at around 11am; your private guide will be waiting to meet you at the pier to take you back to your hotel in Hanoi. The afternoon is yours to enjoy and explore the city.
Your last morning in Vietnam is yours to grab a few last minute souvenirs or simply soak up the atmosphere. Finally, it'll be time for your guide take you to the airport for your flight on to your next destination. Vietnam is a unique cultural experience and hopefully, by the time you leave, you will have a new appreciation for this incredible country and it's people.