Covering all the main attractions of this historical and once turbulent land, the Highlights of Vietnam tour rewards with informative and fascinating glimpses of this delightful country. Enjoy views from the seat of a traditional cyclo (three wheeled bicycle), from a cruise boat sailing along Halong Bay as well as more usual methods of transport! An ideal introductory tour for the first-time visitor, offering the choice of Four or Four-and-a-half Star hotels throughout.
Four or Four-and-a-half Star as described. On occasion it may be necessary to use alternative accommodation due to local availability, weather and road conditions.
Breakfast is included throughout; lunch is included Day 2-6, 8 and 9; dinner is included on Days 1, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9.
This tour is escorted from Days 1-10 by a local tour guide. Extensions are not escorted but assistance is provided in each destination by our local representative.
Don’t forget you can tailor make your own Kuoni holiday.
• As early check-in requests cannot be guaranteed we recommend travellers with early flight arrivals pre-book an additional night in Hanoi (at extra cost) so as to ensure access to rooms on arrival
• Maximum 25 passengers
• This tour is subject to a minimum number of passengers (please call for details).
• Tips are often the main source of income for those working in the travel industry.
• Tipping for drivers, guides and porterage is at your discretion
• Children under the age of 16 are not permitted on this tour unless travelling on a private journey
• Vietnam celebrates New Year’s Day (Tet) on 31 Jan 2014 when domestic
travel increases dramatically and transport availability is limited. Many markets, shops and restaurants close although hotels remain open
• Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is closed every Mon and Fri and throughout Oct and Nov.
• Sep 10, 24
• Oct 08, 22
• Nov 05, 12, 19
• Dec 03, 17
• Sep 10
• Oct 08
• Nov 12
• Dec 03
Dates prior to September 2013 the tour operates under its current name 'Vietnamese Discovery'.
• Jan 14
• Feb 04†, 11, 18†† 25†
• Mar 04†, 11, 18†† 25†
• Apr 08, 15, 22††
• May 06†
• Jun 10†
• Jul 22†
• Aug 12†
• Sep 09†, 23
• Oct 07†, 21
• Nov 04, 11†, 18
• Dec 02†, 16
† 4 and 4½ Star
†† 4½ Star tour only
All other dates 4 Star only.
DAY 1 - HANOI
Upon early morning arrival in Hanoi, transfer to the Sunway (Four Star) or the Mövenpick (Four-and-a-half Star) for a two night stay. Enjoy a relaxing late afternoon tour of the fascinating shops and alleyways within the Old Quarter of Hanoi by traditional cyclo. This three-wheeled bicycle with a unique seating arrangement at the front has been a form of transport within Vietnam for many years.
This evening relax with a cocktail and an informative talk on Vietnam’s remarkable history by a local historian. Later, enjoy dinner and a traditional water puppet show before retiring to your hotel.
DAY 2 - HANOI
This morning continue your tour of Hanoi with a visit to the One Pillar Pagoda and the monumental marble mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh (closed Mondays, Fridays and September to early November). See the simple house where he lived and learn about his fight for the independence of this beautiful country. Your morning tour concludes at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, which was established in 1076. The afternoon is at leisure, or you can join an optional visit to the Museum of Ethnology.
DAY 3 - HANOI TO HALONG BAY
Depart for an overnight cruise around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay - a picturesque landscape of over 3000 limestone islets dotted throughout warm emerald waters - and be welcomed on board with a refreshing cocktail. Set sail following a Vietnamese buffet lunch and over the next afternoon and morning explore the caves and grottoes that once offered shelter and a hideout to pirates that sailed the South China Sea.
Hear myths and legends connected with these grottoes while relaxing on deck. Enjoy the picturesque landscape, with an opportunity for swimming and kayaking when your traditional junk sets anchor within the Bay.
DAY 4 - HALONG BAY TO HUÉ
This morning enjoy t'ai chi on the sundeck before breakfast. Disembark for the drive back to Hanoi before transferring to the airport for your flight to Hué where you will spend two nights at the Gerbera Hotel (Four Star) or La Residence (Four-and-a-half Star).
DAY 5 - HUÉ
Situated on the Perfume River, the ancient imperial city of Hué was once home to Vietnam’s last ruling dynasty. An important cultural centre of Vietnam, Hué has many historical and religious monuments.
Today visit the city's sights, beginning with a cruise along the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Royal Tombs of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Later, seek out some incredible bargains at Dong Ba Market and take an informative tour of Hué’s Imperial Citadel. Despite heavy war damage this important and historical collection of buildings still stands proud within the city. Dine later at a local restaurant.
DAY 6 - HUÉ TO HOI AN
Depart Hué via the Hai Van Pass. This scenic journey passes pretty villages and fruit orchards as you hug the coastline on your journey to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An. Stop by in Danang and visit the Cham Museum, take a stroll on Non Nuoc Beach, where the Americans first landed back in 1965, and visit the Marble Mountain. Upon arriving in Hoi An transfer to the Life Resort (Four Star) or the Victoria Hoi An (Four-and-a-half Star) and rest a while before a relaxing walking tour of the central market, Japanese Bridge, Fukien Assembly Hall and Tan Ky Old House.
DAY 7 - HOI AN
Today is at leisure. Choose to browse the many tailors or handicraft shops or relax on the beach just outside of town. Alternatively, join a popular cookery class in the morning which includes a visit to the market to choose your ingredients and lunch. Later, an optional tour to the 7th to 13th Century Champa ruins of My Son reveals a little more of Vietnam’s varied history.
DAY 8 - HOI AN TO HO CHI MINH CITY
Leave Hoi An this morning for your flight to the commercial hub of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. Stay two nights at the Duxton Hotel (Four Star) or the Renaissance Riverside (Four-and-a-half Star). Formerly known as Saigon, this beautiful city has inspired many writers and artists. Its wide tree lined boulevards are home to street hawkers selling traditional Vietnamese food and strong iced coffees. See touches of colonial architecture in the buildings and watch the streets throng with a million mopeds. On arrival, take a short tour of the city, visiting the thought provoking War Remnants Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, former Presidential Palace and Ben Thanh Market.
DAY 9 - HO CHI MINH CITY TO MEKONG DELTA
Drive two hours to My Tho which is nestled deep within the ricebowl of Vietnam – the Mekong Delta and is famous for its extensive orchards and rice fields. Enjoy a cruise on the Mekong River to a fruit orchard to see a rural cottage industry at work and take a horse and cart ride through the village. Following lunch return to Ho Chi Minh City. Your final evening includes a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
DAY 10 - HO CHI MINH CITY
Enjoy a day at leisure for additional sightseeing or shopping with an optional tour to the tunnels at Cu Chi. Drive through scenic areas of paddy fields and fruit farms that provide produce to local markets and traders bound for the city. Explore this underground network that was once a hideout and home for scores of Vietnamese insurgents during the Vietnam War.
Early evening transfer to the airport for your onward journey or alternatively you could choose to extend your stay.
NB *Please note that from April to November 2013 Hué airport will be closed. On Day 4 of the itinerary during this period, passengers will instead fly from Hanoi to Danang before then transferring by road to Hué.