Vietnam tailor made holiday

Description of Vietnam tailor made holiday

Explore Hanoi on a private guided tour, spend two nights in a luxury cruise in Ha Long Bay, visit the ancient city of Hue, then discover the floating markets of the Mekong Delta.

Explore some of the most important destinations in Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), taking in the culture, history and natural beauty of the country along the way.

Start your trip from the capital city of Hanoi, where you値l see some of the major sights during a guided tour, before heading to the beautiful limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay. Navigate this natural wonder during a luxury, two-night cruise before heading south to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Hue. Meander the streets of the walled citadel, then journey south to the historic port city of Hoi An. Finally, fly down to Saigon and see some of the city痴 famous landmarks during a private, guided tour. The final destination on the itinerary is the lush Mekong Delta. Cruise down its winding waterways, past floating markets, mangrove forests, Khmer pagodas and lush green paddy fields.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Hanoi - Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your accommodation. Your tour guide will meet you at your hotel in the evening to brief you about the trip, before recommending where to have dinner for your first taste of fragrant Vietnamese cuisine.
Day 2:Hanoi Guided Tour - Your private, guided tour of Hanoi starts in the morning. Visit the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite, where the preserved body of Uncle Ho resides. A short walk from the mausoleum is the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, resting on a single stone pillar emerging from the water. Visit the Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam. Created for the sons of mandarins, it is the perfect place to get an overview of Hanoi's history and culture. Head for the Museum of Ethnology next. This museum offers a fascinating insight into Vietnam痴 natural and cultural history, as well as information on its 54 ethnic minority groups. The evening is free for you to discover more of the Vietnamese capital. You may wish to explore Hanoi痴 Old Quarter, a maze of narrow lanes crammed with shops, art galleries, boutique shops, trendy cafes and restaurants.
Day 3:Ha Long Bay Cruise - Head east from Hanoi to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay, famous for its serene, emerald waters and towering limestone islands topped with green. Upon arrival, you値l be met by your crew and board a traditional junk, which will be home for the next two nights. This stylish, authentic boat has cosy cabins with en suite facilities and you値l receive attentive service from the friendly crew. Once all the passengers are on board, you値l set out into the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin to explore the hundreds of limestone islands and islets. Stop to visit some of the floating communities along the way. As the day draws to an end, the top deck is the perfect place to watch sunset in this magical location.
Day 4:Ha Long Bay Cruise - We recommend that you rise early in the morning to catch a stunning sunrise among the limestone islands of Ha Long Bay. Relax on the spacious sun deck and take in the spectacular natural scenery as you gently glide on the tranquil waters.
Day 5:Explore Yen Duc & Return to Hanoi - You will get the chance to swim in the water after breakfast. Say farewell to your crew next and transfer to the village of Yen Duc. See paddy fields as well as traditional houses and gardens. Meet the friendly locals working their farms. Enjoy a delicious, homemade lunch before continuing your journey to Hanoi.
Day 6:Transfer to Hue - Catch the flight south to the ancient city of Hue after breakfast. Located on the banks of the Huong River (also known as the Perfume River), Hue is one of the most historically significant cities in Vietnam. Most of Hue痴 historic attractions are located close to the river. Enjoy a boat trip in the afternoon to the village of Huong Long and see the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, a seven-storey pagoda which also acts as the unofficial symbol of the city.
Day 7:Explore Hue - Today, you値l visit the spectacular Imperial Citadel (also known as the Complex of Hue Monuments). This is the most popular landmark in Hue and it was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. This massive complex features hundreds of monuments dating back to the early 19th century, including the Forbidden Purple City, royal tombs, pagodas, temples, royal quarters, a library and museum. The historical complex is known not only for its rich architecture but also for beautiful landscaping. On the way back, you値l make a stop at the Dong Ba Market, one of the most famous and oldest markets in Hue. This evening you値l visit a private home in the citadel, where you値l sample some of the dishes from the emperor's court whilst listening to musicians play traditional music.
Day 8:Transfer to Hoi An - Drive on the most scenic stretch of Highway One. Climb up to the Hai Van Pass, also known as the "Pass of the Ocean Clouds." The scenery on the way up is spectacular, as are the views from the top! Continue to Da Nang, stopping at the Cham Museum en route. Housed in a beautiful colonial villa, this museum has the best collection of artefacts from the Cham empire anywhere in the world. Later, you値l stop just outside of Da Nang at the base of the Marble Mountains. The five limestone peaks that make the mountains are said to represent the five elements.
Day 9:Explore Hoi An - With its cobblestone streets, narrow canals, colonial buildings and Chinese-style shop-houses, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An is one of Vietnam痴 most beautiful towns. This morning your local guide will take you out on a walking tour of the historic Old Quarter, then you have the afternoon to explore at your leisure.
Day 10:Explore Hoi An - Today, you have a free day to explore Hoi An and the surrounding area. You may wish to head to Cua Dai Beach, located just five kilometres away from the Old Town. Here, you can relax on the white, sandy beach and take a dip in the South China Sea. You also have the option to enjoy water sports such as kayaking and jet skiing, or take a boat trip to the nearby Cham Islands (Please be advised that swimming is safest from April to October due to the monsoon). Excursions to the Cham Islands are seasonal and tourist boats don稚 visit the islands during the rainy season when the seas are rough.
Day 11:Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City - After breakfast, you値l transfer to Hoi An Airport for a short flight to Saigon. Officially called Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon is still known to locals by its original name; a perfect example how this place is a city of contrasts. Skyscrapers sore into the clouds dwarfing the colonial buildings, old ladies chew betel nuts and sell coconut juice to sophisticated young couples riding on modern Japanese motorbikes. Enjoy a private, guided walking tour of the major sites in the afternoon. Visit the sobering War Remnants Museum, the time capsule of the Presidential Palace and some of the colonial-era landmarks such as Notre Dam Cathedral, the Post Office and the Continental Hotel.
Day 12:Cao Dai & Cu Chi Tunnels - Head for Tay Ninh, approximately 90 kilometres northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, where you値l visit the spiritual centre of Cao Dai religion. Cao Dai was founded in Vietnam in 1926 as a combination of several other religions, including Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, and it attempts to end religious conflicts by representing aspects of many religions. Visit the famous Cao Dai Temple in time for the midday service, which you will get an opportunity to participate in. After lunch, you値l transfer to the Cu Chi tunnels, an extraordinary network of underground tunnels built by the Viet Cong in the to protect themselves and the people from French air raids. The tunnels offer visitors a poignant reminder of the hardships brought by wars and an insight into the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers. If you wish you can crawl through a 100-metre section of the tunnels.
Day 13:Mekong Delta Cruise - It's an early start today as you値l head south from Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta, one of the most beautiful regions of Vietnam. This is a region of winding waterways, floating markets, mangrove forests, Khmer pagodas and lush green paddy fields. Known as "the rice bowl of Vietnam," the Mekong Delta produces enough rice annually to feed the entire nation. Exotic fruits, vegetables and fish are also major produce here. On your way to Can Tho, the economic capital of the Delta, you値l stop at vibrant floating markets, visit local cottage industries and take a trip on a sampan through some of the narrower canals, stopping for a local speciality lunch of elephant ear fish, springs rolls and fresh fruits.
Day 14:Depart from Ho Chi Minh City - Board a boat early in the morning to visit the famous floating market of Cai Rang, the largest floating market in the Mekong Delta. After exploring the market, you'll take a transfer to Saigon Airport for your flight home.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Vietnam tailor made holiday

Environment

In partnership with a locally based charity we offset the carbon emissions created by your travels in Vietnam. We use our profits to purchase certified carbon credits, this money is then used to turn your carbon footprint into local natural forest in Southeast Asia. These offsets are paid for out of our company profits so that you can travel with a green conscience and at no extra cost to you.

Many travel companies offer their customers the chance to offset the carbon emissions from their international flights too but we have gone a step further and offer to share this cost with you 50/50. If you select to compensate for your international flight emissions when you book with us then what you put in, we put in too!

To ensure that we are offering ground-breaking itineraries and are always keeping up-to-date with the latest developments abroad, our UK staff travel regularly to our destinations. This 層ork also leaves a carbon footprint and we compensate for all our staff travel by donating carbon-mitigating funds to our charity partners.

Our UK office takes a leading role in setting the standards for an environmentally friendly work environment. We work with local government to recycle our waste and continually look for new ways to be greener.

Community

On this adventure tour visit the charming Yen Duc village. You値l have some time to get to know your hosts, share some tea, or, you may like to try your hand at fishing or help with the gardening. Your coming to this village helps to promote and preserve local tradition and culture, as well as supporting the local economy.

We employ local guides and support staff who we pay fair wages, often exceeding government standards which we still consider too low, and thereby remove the reliance on tipping from travellers for livelihoods.

Our accommodation choices make use of locally owned properties where possible and often include adventurous, authentic choices such as local homestays which therefore involve local people and their communities in the very fabric of our holidays.

We encourage all our travellers to research local customs and read your trip notes before you depart to ensure you are conscientious and respectful in a different culture.

In most cases we strongly recommend that you do not give money to children beggars. If begging is a successful enterprise, parents are encouraged to forsake their children痴 education in pursuit of this opportunity.

Talk to us about packing for a purpose and see if you can get involved by making a small material contribution to the communities you are visiting. We have developed partnerships with charities and accommodations throughout Vietnam and are constantly working to extend our reach with the help of our travellers.

1 Reviews of Vietnam tailor made holiday

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 21 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There really were many. However, for me it was probably the Vespa Adventure tour around Saigon. A really fun and exciting (and safe, so far as we were concerned) pillion ride around the city with stops at local eateries, a secret lounge (local singers) and finishing at a night club. A fantastic insight into Vietnamese city life, food and a chance to experience the organised chaos of its
streets close up. Others might enjoy Angkor Wat, the Mekong cruise, halong bay or the chocolate box beauty of hoi an. It's all very good.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Enjoy the culture. You'll see some great sights, but the people are friendly and happy to talk about their country. And the food is outstanding. The only thing I would suggest might be avoided is the sleeper train. We've done these in Thailand; this was cleaner, but the ride was unpleasant. If it's an alternative, fly.

An important note that doesn't seem to be in any literature - a visit to halong bay is dependent on the weather. If it's stormy, the authorities will not permit any sailings - and storms are apparently not uncommon during the UK summer. You will be returned to Hanoi - where there is not a lot to do. For that reason alone, I would but halong bay at the front of the trip, so if you are unlucky, you've got other things to look forward to.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, insofar as we spent money at all locations and these people are poor. So the benefit to local people (individuals) was direct. Vietnam is embracing tourism but not in all cases in an 'environmentally-friendly' way.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Outstanding. The tour company was outstanding in its organisation. The guides and drivers were excellent. When flexibility was required (our cruise in Halong bay was curtailed by a typhoon), they were on hand and alternative arrangements were seamlessly made. I cannot praise them highly enough.

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