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Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Our rep awaits your arrival to assist with transfer to your hotel. Later enjoy a guided tour including the Ho Chi Minh complex, see the French colonial Presidential Palace and the 11th century One-Pillar Pagoda. Afterwards we visit the Temple of Literature, the first Vietnam University dating to 1070. And after some time for lunch we visit the Museum of Ethnology. This evening enjoy the water puppet show. (early check in guaranteed)
This morning a scenic drive leads us to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Here, embark our traditional wooden junk boat we cruise the emerald waters soaking up the panoramic vista of the thousand or so karst limestone islands that stud the bay. Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng. Tonight, there's a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sun deck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.
Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sun-deck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, we sail back to port. Arriving to Hanoi mid afternoon an hour or so free time to explore. Later a little time will be given to freshen up in a hotel lobby (not room) before boarding the our train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue.
Arriving into Hue we have a hotel breakfast before embarking on a sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces. Then in the countryside lies the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings, here we’ll view the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh.
Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other. Along the way you can make stops for photos and taking in the scenery. Arriving into Danang you will check into the Fusion Maya hotel (clients own arrangements).
Early morning flight to Saigon, we drop your luggage at the hotel, then start our walking tour of Saigon includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sobering War Remnants Museum, Giac Lam Pagoda, FITO Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine. Our last stop of the day is the Ben Thanh Market which is a fantastic place for bargains of every kind!
After breakfast, drive to the Mekong Delta. Often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as it fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise Cai Be’s colourful and lively floating markets and continue downstream through the maze of waterways visiting local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home and then we drive back to Saigon.
In the morning travel north west of the city to visit the historic Cu Chi Tunnels which were a key battleground in the Vietnam War. Upon arrival watch a short introductory video on the construction of the tunnels before spending an hour exploring the maze of tunnels, accompanied by a guide. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500-pound bombs from B52 bombers.
Free day to explore - Later in the evening we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home (late check out guaranteed)