Saigon Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 723

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Arriving in Hanoi, our guide will be at the airport to welcome you and transfer you to the hotel. Rest of the day is free.

The Huc Bridge

Day 2: Hanoi

This morning visit Ba Dinh Square where silent sentries guard the marble and granite mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state. Tour the Ho Chi Minh Museum, an extraordinary tribute in abstract form to the life of the ‘father of country’ . Also see the famous One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature. In the afternoon explore the tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture, including the Opera House and pass by the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake en route to the History and Fine Arts Museums. Then take a walk through the streets of the atmospheric Ancient Quarter .

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning transfer from your hotel in Hanoi to Halong City, the drive takes about 4 hours, stopping off for a refreshment break en route. Upon arrival meet the crew of your traditional Junk boat at the dock and embark upon a scenic cruise to the famous limestone peaked islands of Halong Bay and on to Bai Tu Long Bay which is every bit as beautiful as Halong. Aside from the cave visit and swimming, there is also a chance to explore this stunning area by sea kayak. Returning back to the Junk for a scrumptious dinner.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 4: Halong Bay - Hue

Enjoy fresh air and the gentle breeze of the bay this morning as you relax onboard the Junk. Cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng - where you can gain a fascinating insight into the daily life of the local people before disembarking at Halong Bay dock around noon. Transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue in central Vietnam. Upon arrival in Hue, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 5: Hue

Enjoy a full day tour of Hue including a boat trip on Perfume River (Huong River) to Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang tomb. Thien Mu Pagoda is an octagonal tower of seven tiers that rises majestically over the Perfume River. Minh Mang tomb is perhaps the most majestic of all Hue’s tombs. This tomb is well known for its harmonious blend of architecture and natural landscape, and it's the ideal location for a picnic lunch. After lunch venture to Emperor Tu Duc and Khai Dinh’s tomb.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 6: Hue - Hoi An

This morning journey overland to Hoi An via the spectacular Cloudy Pass, enroute we stop in Danang to visit the Cham Museum, once centre of the ancient Cham civilization. UNESCO listed Hoi An is a former merchant trading post, famed for its beautifully preserved Chinese, Japanese and European architecture. Hoi An has managed to retain its traditional character and charm, with its cobbled streets, markets and row upon row of tailors shops. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour around the cobbled streets of this ancient town, which was once of the busiest trading ports in Asia.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 7: Hoi An

Enjoy a full day tour which provides an insight into the lives of the farming and fishing communities in this beautiful region. Cycle out into the countryside and after a short ride arrive at the village of Tra Que. Tra Que is famous for its sweet scented green vegetables that spice up Hoi An’s famous delicacies such Cao Lau and Mi Quang. You will have a walk around the vegetable garden and join the farmers in preparing the land and planting some crops, before having a cooking demonstration. We then return to Hoi An where you have the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 8: Hoi An

Free day at your leisure.

A local man in front of an ancient building in Hoi An

Day 9: Hoi An - Can Tho

This morning we drive to the airport in Da Nang for the flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, we will be met and transferred to the Ben Tre province for the boat trip along the Mekong river for sightseeing. View of the river’s banks, fish-floating market and islands of Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle and Phoenix. Landing on Unicorn island, visit an orchard of tropical fruits: Enjoy the various seasonal fruits and listen to Southern traditional music. We also pay a visit to a coconut candy workshop. We then board a horse and cart for a journey through the country side. Discover Vam Chua natural canal by rowing boat before we continue by road to Can Tho.

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 10: Can Tho - Saigon

We spend the early morning discover the floating market named Cai Rang which is one of the most colourful markets in the area. Visit some local orchards before heading back to the hotel to collect your luggage and return to Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 11: 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. Returning to Ho Chi Minh City early afternoon and enjoy lunch before embarking on a city tour. Major attractions include the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.

A street trader in Saigon

Days 12-18: Saigon - Mui Ne

This morning after hotel check out we will transfer you to Mui Ne for a few days of relaxation on the beach - staying in a Dove Cottage at the Bamboo Hotel.

Day 19: Mui Ne

Today we will transfer you back to Saigon airport for your flight home.