ITINERARY BY DAY
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN HANOI
Arrive in Hanoi where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax at the hotel or take a walk and explore the city streets.
DAY 2: HANOI DAY TOUR
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, then take a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s 36 streets, finishing with a coffee at a local café.
DAY 3: TRANSFER TO HALONG BAY
Drive about four hours to the coastal port of Halong to explore the amazing natural wonder of Halong Bay a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your two-day cruise through the jade green waters will see you cruise to the far-most corners of the bay on a traditional wooden junk, visit fishing villages and kayak past jungle-clad karsts towering up out of the water.
DAY 4: HALONG BAY CRUISE – HANOI
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 through the bay arriving back at the port around midday. Drive back to Hanoi arriving late in the afternoon.
DAY 5: HANOI – FLIGHT TO HUE
Fly to the former imperial city of Hue and explore the elaborate tombs belonging to past emperors. Nestled against the banks of the Perfume River, Hue has had an interesting history. See the mausoleum of the former emperor Minh Mang situated in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes and walk around the Imperial Citadel the seat of power for the Nguyen dynasty.
DAY 6: HUE – TRANSFER TO HOI AN
Take a cruise down the romantically named Perfume River and let your mind wander to the empires of the past. Then drive about two and a half hours along the Hai Van Pass, the most scenic stretch of coastal road in all of Vietnam! The scenic route climbs over the ‘Pass of Ocean Clouds’ before dropping down to the photogenic fishing village of Lang Co. Arrive into the UNESCO Heritage Town of Hoi An late in the afternoon.
DAY 7: HOI AN DAY TOUR
With its stunning mix of architecture, that tells a story of days gone by, to the colourful boats bobbing in the harbour, Hoi An is has a charm and style all of its own. Once a 15th century fishing village, the town is now a renowned for its tailors, galleries, boutiques and of course its food! This morning, explore the beautifully restored town on a guided walking tour and see all the main sites.
DAY 8: HOI AN – FLIGHT TO HO CHI MINH CITY
Drive to Danang and fly to 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 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 9: CU CHI TUNNELS HALF DAY
Travel by speedboat from Ho Chi Minh City to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground city for Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Cruise the Saigon River, taking in the scenery and river life as you leave the bustling city behind. In the tunnels, discover how the Viet Cong survived underground and see various man traps, bomb craters and other remnants of war. Then visit a farm and taste an unusual local specialty – cricket!
DAY 10: MEKONG DELTA – BEN TRE – CAN THO
Leave Ho Chi Minh city, enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields. On arrival at My Tho, visit Vinh Trang pagoda, take a leisurely boat ride along the river, view stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank. Proceed to Tortoise islet, have lunch in the orchard garden. Then a boat ride to An Khanh – a less touristy attraction in Ben Tre, enjoy cruising on a hand-rowed sampan under the shade of water coconut trees along natural canals. Have a short cycling tour then enjoy seasonal fruit & honey tea to the sound of “Southern Vietnamese folk music”, performed by the locals. Visit a family business which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle, taste delicious coconut candy & observe the pastoral life as you roam through the fruit plantations and villages. Proceed to Can Tho.
DAY 11: CAN THO – TRANSFER TO CHAU DOC
Rise early and go by boat to the township of Cai Rang to see the hustle and bustle of a floating market. Then, drive approximately three hours to the riverside town of Chau Doc, a colourful and sleepy town near the Vietnam-Cambodia border. This afternoon take a cruise along the Vinh Te Canal which helps define the border between Vietnam and Cambodia. After the cruise, head to Sam Mountain for breathtaking sunset views over a chequered patchwork of rice fields and earthen dikes.
DAY 12: CHAU DOC – CRUISE TO PHNOM PENH
Travel by boat four and half hours up the Mekong River to Phnom Penh the capital city of Cambodia. See the jewels of the Silver Pagoda with its floor made of silver and Buddha’s studded in diamonds. Hear the moving stories of the prisoners of Tuol Sleng and end your day on a lighter note as you shop for trinkets at the central market.
DAY 13: PHNOM PENH – FLIGHT TO SIEM REAP
Fly to Siem Reap and the magnificent temples of Ankgor. This afternoon explore the ancient ruins of the Roluos group of temples. These three small temples were the site of a former Angkorian capital. In the evening take your time to wander the old market area of the town with its labyrinth of lanes filled with boutiques, galleries, cafes and small bars. It’s the place to be after dark!
DAY 14: SIEM REAP – TEMPLES OF ANGKOR
Be awestruck by Angkor Wat, marvel at the smiling faces of Bayon and the tree entwined temple of Ta Prohm, that featured in the movie Tomb Raider. You’ll also see the Terrace of the Elephantsand the Terrace of Leper King, the pyramid shaped Phimeanakas and watch the sunset from the top of Pre Rup. All the main highlight temples are covered so you won’t miss a thing!
DAY 15: DEPART SIEM REAP
This morning you might like to pick up some last minute souvenirs at the market before you transfer to the airport for your onward flight.