Best of Vietnam - 12days
Starts : Hanoi City , ends : Ho Chi Minh City
Trip code: bov-12d
Ages: Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.
Accommodation: Hotel 4 & 5star
Transport: Boat, Plane, Private Bus
Tour Type: Private - Tailored Journeys
Day 1 Hanoi Arrival
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. There are no planned activities, have a look around the city and get used to the frenetic pace of Vietnam. Some suggestions include: Taking a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter – a maze of streets, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry.
-VRT's Welcome Gift - The Travelers Revival Anti-Jetlag Body Massage
Day 2: Hanoi city tour
Ho Chi Minh died before the conclusion of the Vietnam War, but the reverence in which he was held was such that his body was preserved and a grand mausoleum created in Hanoi to allow the Vietnamese people to pay their respects. Our exploration of the city commences here, at the complex that houses the Stalinist mausoleum, the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh's more humble private residence. Our next stop is the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university constructed in 1070, with lovely gardens and well-preserved architecture. After lunch you are free to head off under your own steam, or see what your Tour Leader has planned. You may like to stop in at one of the city's excellent museums - the recently-opened Ethnology Museum, where Vietnam's diverse minority cultures are explained in a thoughtful and hands-on manner, and the Women's Museum are both highly recommended. Later this afternoon a visit to see the unique Water Puppets, a traditional northern Vietnamese folk art is included.
Day 3 : Halong Bay - Sleep on Boat
Settle in with a complimentary welcome drink as you begin your cruise around majestic Halong Bay. Meet the expert crew and get acquainted with your small group while you dine on a delicious seafood lunch, including tea and coffee. After lunch, unwind and soak up the sun on the top deck – a great spot for photographing the natural wonders of the bay – as your captain finds a secluded area, perfect for swimming in the clear waters.
You’ll have the chance to try your hand at kayaking and explore some of the ancient limestone caves dotting the bay. As you glide along the most secluded lagoons, admire the surrounding limestone karsts amid unforgettable scenery only accessible by kayak! The modern kayaks are lightweight and easy to maneuver, and all participants will be issued water buoyancy vests. The junk boat will be nearby at all times, serving as a back-up vessel for those who need it.
After exploring, retire to the boat for more relaxation on the deck and enjoy a refreshing drink from the bar if you'd like. In the evening, your cook will prepare a splendid meal comprised of fresh seafood dishes as well as traditional Vietnamese fare as your crew weighs anchor in the heart of the bay. Afterward, you’ll have the opportunity to try some night fishing from the boat.
Rising to the tranquil beauty of the bay, there’s time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Then, head to the Cave of Surprises – the biggest cave in Halong Bay – where you’ll discover magnificent stalagmites and stalactites as you walk along the lit paths on a guided tour.
After another delectable lunch around midday, start your cruise back to the main harbor before transferring to your awaiting vehicle for the four-hour journey back to Hanoi. We have a quick dinner before boarding the Reunification Express, the train that links north and south Vietnam, for our overnight journey south to Dong Hoi. Facilities onboard are simple but clean, and very much part of the Vietnam experience!
We arrive early this morning, and after a chance to freshen up and have a spot of breakfast we drive an hour inland to the towering peaks of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, home to the region's most spectacular cave systems. We spend the day exploring this remote and beautiful jungle region; swimming at Nuoc Mooc Spring, where warm waters usher forth from a nearby cavern, and experiencing some of the largest and finest caves in Asia. An undoubted highlight will be the vast cathedral-like edifice of Paradise Cave, deep in the mountains of the park.
From Dong Hoi where we have stayed overnight we head south this morning toward Hue. En route we stop in at the DMZ and Vin Moc Tunnels, constructed at the height of the war by local villagers living close to the notorious 17th Parallel of the Vietnam War-era, to protect themselves from the relentless carpet-bombing. We cross the Ben Hai River and continue to Hue, arriving mid-afternoon; after checking in to our hotel overlooking the Perfume River the remainder of the day is at leisure to explore.
Day 7 : Hue
We discovery Hue today, once the imperial capital of Vietnam. Start out with a visit to the colorful and energetic Dong Ba market, an ideal place to soak up everyday Vietnamese life. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of the market as your guide introduces your small group to some of the traditional foods and local vendors who sell produce and other ingredients.
After sampling enough Vietnamese delights to fill you up, meander to the Hue Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Vietnam’s former capital. Within the high stone walls that measure 6 miles (10 km) long and 6 feet (2 meters) thick, explore the massive palace complex of this Imperial City with your guide. Find decorative pagodas and temples amid hundreds of ornate royal tombs where Hue’s Nguyen Emperors ruled until the early 20th century.
Marvel at the ruins overgrown with foliage inside the Forbidden Purple City, located in the center of the vast compound. Badly damaged during the Vietnam War, this former royal residence was only accessible to the emperor and his royal concubines, as well as eunuch servants who posed no threat.
Once you’ve seen the best sites of The Citadel, stop for a small-group lunch at a local nunnery for a traditional meal. Enjoy the chance to chat with the nuns and discuss the finer points of Buddhism as you gain insight into their daily lives. After lunch, take a short minibus ride through the Hue’s gorgeous surroundings, passing rice paddies and traditional towns en route to a village that specializes in incense production. Learn all about this ancient art before continuing on to see an impressive royal tomb.
Visit the 17th-century sprawling temple complex of Bao Quoc Pagoda, perched on a hill overlooking the Perfume River. Upon entering the triple-gated hall, view the seven-tiered pagoda before walking to the Tiger Arena. Here, duels between elephants and tigers were arranged for the emperor’s entertainment until 1904!
Complete your day tour with a relaxing afternoon cruise along the enchanting Perfume River, taking in the natural splendor of the area as you meander past. Afterward, your guide will transfer you back to your hotel in Hue’s city center, where you can spend your evening at leisure.
Day 8 Hue - Hoi An
After breakfast today we head onward to the ancient port town of Hoi An, on one of the most scenic drives in the country, passing the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co before ascending the Pass of Ocean Clouds. Our hotel in Hoi An is located on the edge of the pedestrianised Old Town, making it an ideal spot for personal exploration. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 9: Hoi An
A short walking tour of the Old Town this morning helps you get your bearings sufficiently to make the most of your afternoon at leisure. The pool at the resort hotel is inviting, or the many wonderful riverside cafes and restaurants might appeal for a spot of people-watching. For those of a more active persuasion bikes can be hired to get out into the countryside, or your Tour Leader could help you to arrange a cookery class or a visit to the Cham Dynasty ruins at My Son, an hour's drive from town.
Day 10 - Ho Chi Minh city
This morning we continue our journey south with a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's most energetic and electric city. We are staying at a great value hotel in a fantastic location just behind the Opera House and surrounded by bustling streets full of cafes, restaurants and shops. District One, where our hotel is located, is an incredibly accessible area with many of the city's highlights, including the former Presidential Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Benh Thanh Market and Dong Khoi Street, all within walking distance. Take your pick and head out this afternoon to make your own discoveries.
Day 11 Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta Tour
After a high-paced few days, we slow things down today as we head south from the city into the evocative Mekong Delta. There are few more relaxing experiences than a cruise through the laid-back tropical world of the delta - we board in Ben Tre and sail downriver past mountains of coconuts and heavily-laden rice barges to the Mango Homestay where we stop for a tasty home-prepared lunch. After lunch we explore the local villages and fruit orchards on foot or by bike, seeing local handicrafts and cottage industries, before returning to Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon. A final group dinner rounds off our adventure, with a last chance to reminisce on the highlights of the trip and exchange addresses before parting ways the following day.
Day 12 Ho Chi Minh Departure
Today, you will be taken to Ho Chi Minh International Airport by your tour leader or a guide and waved off on your return flight home.
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•All accommodations (with Twin/Double rooms at Hotel 4 & 5 star) while on tour
The tour price includes all hotel accommodations with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available accommodations without sacrificing value. Although the quality may vary slightly from one hotel to another, our commitment to your comfort is unwavering. Two-bedded rooms and One-beded with Queen size rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are accommodated in two-bedded rooms plus a rollaway cot where available, and are not recommended for comfort.
All transfers and road transport in modern, air-conditioned vehicles
- For a private smaller groups (2pax -10pax), modern sedan cars and minibuses are used.
- For tour groups of 11pax or more travelers, air-conditioned Hyundai with 19- 25-35 seats are used on all road journeys. These vehicles are designed with excellent viewing windows and a high roof. All our vehicles are modern, spacious, comfortable, well-maintained, and safe
•Complimentary airport transfer on arrival and on departure days
All Breakfasts & Lunches on tour
• Breakfast – Is always included on all Vietnam Royal Tourism – European Continental breakfasts are supplied at the hotels where you stay. The Continental style usually consists of rolls, butter, jams, tea or coffee and juices.
• Lunch - Your Lunch meals are included and generally served at a local restaurant
• Dinner – is not included and is always up to you – allows you the freedom to eat what you want and enjoy the local flavors.
Please note: If you have special dietary requirements (eg Vegetarian), let us know so we can notify restaurants and prepare appropriate food for you.
Experienced, friendly and knowledgeable guides.
Your tour guide is a professional, fully trained employee of Vietnam Royal Tourism
All sightseeing as specified including entrance fees
Airfare While on Tour
- All on-tour flights must be purchased through Vietnam Royal Tourism as part of your tour package . From the moment you land in the starting city to the moment you are transferred to the airport in the end city, all transport arrangements are taken care of by us.
- The cost of international flights from your country to Asia (starting city) is not included in our prices. We believe we are giving all our customers, wherever you live, the flexibility to travel from regional airports, in any class of travel and include a stopover en route if you so wish. It also allows you the opportunity to use your frequent flyer points if you so wish
Visa Approval Code or Visa on Arrival
- After approval, we will fax or email you a copy of the Approval letter as an attachment
- Our Service do not include the Stamping Fee of about US$25-65/ 1pax to be submitted directly to the Embassy or Consulate (the stamping fee vary from Embassy to Embassy) or pay at Airport for Visa on Arrival
Tips - Laundry - Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages unless explicitly noted - Optional activities/extras – Visas (unless noted) - Vacation insurance
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