The Mekong Delta Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 330

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi - Halong Bay

After breakfast, transfer to Halong bay. Check-in at our private cruise center in Tuan Chau and embark on Bhaya Classic for a welcome cocktail followed by a cruise briefing. Enjoy a delicious Vietnamese buffet lunch as Bhaya Classic heads to Bai Tu Long Bay passing Oan Lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets and Vung Vieng fishing village. Visit the fishing village by local rowing boat (01 hour). The vessel cruises back through the bay to its overnight anchorage near Ho Dong Tien. Happy Hour & Vietnamese cooking demonstration on the sundeck. Sumptuous set-dinner onboard. Enjoy the movie or join our staff at the reception for squid fishing

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 3: Halong Bay

Start your day with Tai Chi on the sundeck. Bhaya Classic weighs anchor to cruise the Bay. Early breakfast in the dining room Transfer to Bhaya Spirit for Lan Ha Bay excursion. Cycling on Cat Ba Island if weather permits or guided kayaking and swimming at Three Peach Beach, a pristine natural beach lapped by the turquoise waters. Continue your discovery of Ho Ba Ham Islet, the most remote point in Lan Ha Bay and bordering the Gulf of Tonkin. Return to Bhaya Classic. The vessel cruises back through the bay to its overnight anchorage near Ho Dong Tien. Happy Hour & Vietnamese cooking demonstration on the sundeck. Sumptuous set-dinner onboard. Enjoy the movie or join our staff at the reception for squid fishing.

Halong Bay at sunset

Day 4: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Bhaya Classic weighs anchor to cruise through the Bay passing beautiful spots like Trong (Drum), Trinh Nu (Virgin) and Me Cung Caves, Coc Ngoi (Toad) Islet, etc. Explore the Surprise Cave (Sung Sot). Return to Bhaya Classic. Buffet brunch is served onboard. The vessel cruises leisurely back to harbor. Disembark at our cruise center in Tuan Chau. Transfer to Hanoi to explore the tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture, including the Opera House and pass by the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake. Then take a walk through the winding and bustling streets of the atmospheric Ancient Quarter. You will have attending the Water Puppet show.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 5: Hanoi - Hue

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’ and the evolution of Vietnamese independence. Also see the famous One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature. In the afternoon, Transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Danang in central Vietnam. Upon arrival you will take transfer to Hue, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 6: Hue - Hoi An

Enjoy a full day tour of Hue including a boat trip on Perfume River (Huong River) to Thien Mu Pagoda and the imperial city. Thien Mu Pagoda is an octagonal tower of seven tiers that rises majestically over the Perfume River. This afternoon, journey overland to Hoi An via spectacular Cloudy Pass and 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. Picturesque Hoi An has managed to retain its traditional character and charm, with its cobbled streets, markets and row upon row of tailors shops

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

Day 7: Hoi An

You’ll be picked up at your hotel and bike to Cam Thanh Village where you can visit the family of Vietnamese heroic mother Nguyen Thi Cho to hear her experiences and stories of the war. Ride to the boat station the beautiful photo opportunities, bike to Hoi An Town to take a local boat to Cam Kim and bike to visit local schools and kindergartens. Bike to Duy Vinh Village through classic rural landscape, visit local market and spend some time seeing how people here skillfully make beautiful products by hand. Enjoy water buffalo riding in rice field. Bike to Cam Kim Where you can spend time photographing or just relaxing before enjoying side walk foods. Bike back to your hotel.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 8: Hoi An - Saigon

This morning transfer to Danang to Fly to Ho Chi Minh City today and transfer to your hotel. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is Vietnam's most lively, modern and cosmopolitan city. This afternoon enjoy an orientation tour of the city, visiting the former Presidential Palace which is now preserved as a museum and the History Museum. Then continue to Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque Cathedral, Hotel D’ville and Dong Khoi Street, formerly the center of haute couture is Saigon. This evening consider sampling some of Ho Chi Minh's acclaimed gourmet restaurants and bars.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 9: Saigon

Take the drive to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, which is refered to a “Walt Disney fantasia of the East”. The religion is a hybrid of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. Above the main entrance is the all-seeing Holy Eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect. The interior is just as engaging as statues of Jesus Christ, Buddha and the Hindu god – Brahma stand side by side. Explore this fascinating site and attend the colorful noon mass held by the Cao Dai followers. It is an experience not to be missed. Continue to Cu Chi. We then spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels to see the first-hand how the Viet Cong communists were able to survive in this underground network.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 10: Saigon - The Mekong Delta

Boarding at Cai Be at noon. Departure towards Cho Lach on the Tien Giang river. Lunch while en route. Rest on the deck. The Bassac slips into the Chợ Lách canal, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the river traffic, between markets and churches, a unique opportunity for a glimpse of the very varied life on the banks as well as on the water. Visit of a village on the banks of river Mang Thit. Boarding back, complimentary drink as a welcome back on board. Rest on the deck enjoying the sunset. The Bassac sets anchor just downstream from the little Tra On floating market, for the night.

Day 11: The Mekong Delta - Saigon

You may get up for breakfast as early as 06:30, as the ship is resuming its cruise the Tra On floating market. The ship then departs towards Can Tho. Arrival in Cai Rang floating market, check out and transfer onto a local boat to visit the floating market and return to the Ninh Kieu pier. Transfer back to Saigon for overnight.

A street trader in Saigon by William Cho

Day 12: Saigon

Breakfast and hotel check out. Arrangements end today with a transfer to Ho Chi Minh Airport for your onward flight home.