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Full Moon Festival, Hoi An

10 days  |  Hanoi to Saigon  |  from USD $2,579  |   Guaranteed Departure 

Vietnam’s Full Moon Festival is as fascinating as it is beautiful. Join us to celebrate the Full Moon Festival in the charming riverside town of Hoi An, where thousands of locals release beautiful lanterns into the night sky or onto a river filled with their hopes and wishes for the future. There is also tasty Mooncakes to be eaten too!

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Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions

Itinerary

Day 1

Lantern Making

Monday 21 September 2015. Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Airport to hotel arrival transfer. this morning offers offer free time for you to explore the wide tree lined avenues, beautiful lakes and ancient pagoda’s and thriving old city. Meeting with our guide at 2pm we set of on foot to explore Hanoi’s charming Old Quarter known as the ‘36 streets of the old Hanoi’. There is Silver Street, Silk Street, Comb Street, Paper Street and importantly Hang Ma street where we’ll browse and learn about the history and traditions of Vietnam’s Full Moon Festival. there may even be deliciously sweet traditional Mooncakes to be shared.
Overnight: Hanoi

Day 2

Halong Bay

Hanoi – Halong Bay. This morning a scenic drive leads us to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Boarding 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 pristine waterway known as 'Dark & Bright Lagoon'. Tonight, there's a Vientnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.
Overnight: Deluxe Junk Boat  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Halong Bay
Day 3

Hidden grottoes

Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck 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 is spent exploring the quixotic web of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. The motorbike swarming narrow lanes are each named after various guilds of the city’s artisan who established themselves here centuries ago. The maze of rambling streets are framed by narrow front tube houses and we may have a chance to sample the exotic fruits, sizzling noodle dishes and delightfully sticky snacks being offers by he pavement vendors. Our tour of the area is undertaken by a quintessentially Vietnamese experience from aboard a cyclo (rickshaw).

A little time will be given to freshen up before boarding the our train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on he ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue.
Overnight: Sleeper train  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Imperial Hue

Upon arrival to Hue we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city, whose 21m high tower has become something of a symbol for Hue and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin.

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. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River, beautifully illuminated at night.
Overnight: Hue  |  Breakfast, Lunch

    Hue
Day 5

Delightful Hoi An

Hue - Road of the Ocean Clouds - Hoi An. 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. En route we stop for a walk along China beach, featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey south along the coast to Hoi An.

The charming, old-world trading port of Hoi An with it cobbled streets, traditional homes and tiny shop houses is a perfect place to lose yourself in a by gone era. Boutique restaurants, hip cafes along the waterfront, delightful craft shops and artisans including some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors (whose services come at a nominal price), all can be found here.

On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Full Moon Festival

Today marks the height of the Full Moon Festival and we will be celebrating with the locals. This morning we ride by rickshaw to a local home on the outskirts of Hoi An where we will learn about the family’s long tradition of lantern-making and handcraft our own lanterns for tonight’s festivities. Heading into town we explore the local market stalls and authentic lantern shops before free time to visit one of the many great tailor shops, take a row boat down the river or spend the afternoon relaxing by the hotel swimming pool.

Tonight we make our way to the waters edge with hundreds of locals to release our lanterns and enjoy the spellbinding spectacle of hundreds of sparkling lights sailing down river and lighting up the night sky.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Village Life

A bicycle ride into the countryside, leads us to Tra Que village. Here,we discover age old farming practices and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Cruising the Mekong

Hoi An - Saigon. Early morning flight to Saigon. 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 downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island.
Overnight: Can Tho  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9

Mekong & Saigon

Can Tho - Saigon. Early today we visit the ever lively Cai Rang floating market. Watch as melons, pineapples, fresh greens, sacks of rice and children's toys get tossed from one sampan to another at great heights and speed before driving back to Saigon. Once called the Pearl of the Orient, modern Saigon is a thriving metropolis on the move. Sleek sky scrapers, gourmet restaurants, designer malls and swanky bars and spas are scattered between ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and lively street markets. Our walking tour of Saigon includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Saigon  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Saigon

Wednesday 30 September 2015. Today offers free time in Saigon till your departure transfer to the airport. Opt for a relaxing foot massage, shop for souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market or visit the grand Independence Palace, with its secret bunker and military command centre beneath!

You could also extend your stay and join us on a day trip to Cu Chi. Here you can go underground to explore the vast network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters, see booby traps, trap doors or test your skill with an AK 47 at the firing range.
Breakfast

Cu Chi Tunnels - go underground!

Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels - a vast underground network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters during the 1960’s. Often lead by a relative of a Viet Cong fighter in green fatigues you’ll walk the bush trails discovering grass covered trapdoors, ingenious, yet gruesome booby traps and hidden underwater entrances in rivers. There is also an opportunity to go underground and pop off a few rounds at the firing range. Our Cu Chi Tunnels bolt-on includes return transportation to and from Cu Chi, guided tour and 1 night accommodation in Saigon.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

2015
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $2579
USD $1099
2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $2599
USD $1079

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Pre Tour Accommodation Hanoi
USD $85
USD $64
Post Tour Accommodation Saigon
USD $65
USD $60

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.

Deluxe
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.

Lavish
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!

Sunway Hotel, Hanoi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This ambient, boutique hotel combines traditional appeal with modern pleasures. Rooms are furnished in a contemporary fashion with an array of amenities for added comfort. Its restaurant provides a great variety of Vietnamese cuisine and you are welcome to enjoy cocktails and live music in the Jazz Bar or relax in the hotel's health spa.

Bhaya Classic Junk Boat, Halong Bay

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Deluxe House Boat

This premier cruise boat offers 18 well appointed cabins with en suite amenities. Cabins are contemporary in design, whilst the finer touches have a distinct oriental influence. All cabins feature large windows creating a bright and airy atmosphere as well as scenic views. Facilities and services onboard include a dining room and bar, a sunbathing area on-deck, masseur and small library. This boat departs from the port of Halong City and plies its route through the karst peaks of Halong Bay during their journey and overnight stay on the water.

Huong Giang Hotel, Hue

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Contemplate the beautiful city of Hue with the panoramic views afforded by this award-winning hotel. The well-appointed rooms blend traditional architectural styles with modern facilities including satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities, whilst the chain of restaurants and bars cover a variety of international cuisine.

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort offers luxury and gracious hospitality in a traditional Vietnamese environment right on the banks of the Thu Bon river with top notch facilities.

Victoria Hotel Can Tho, Can Tho

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Mekong Delta's only luxury hotel, this attractive, colonial-style resort is tastefully decorated with well-appointed rooms and a wide range of facilities including a spa, tennis courts, open-air bar, restaurant and a gym. The hotel also offers sunrise and sunset cruises to the floating markets aboard the Lady Hau junk.

Northern Hotel, Saigon

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Located in Saigon's central business district, the Northern Hotel offers comfortable and stylish accommodation. Guest rooms are contemporary in style and are decorated with warming tones and excellent en suite facilities. The onsite restaurant offers a variety of European and Asian dishes set on the mezzanine floor. The hotel also offers complimentary use of computers in the lobby and a fully equipped gym for those who wish keep fit whilst staying in the city.

Trip Highlights

Celebrating of the Full Moon Festival in Hoi An and witnessing the mass release of thousands of colourful lanterns into the river
Hanoi - Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ancient Quarter
Hue - ancient citadel, Imperial Purple City, Royal Tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda and monastery
Saigon - ‘Pearl of the Orient!. Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office and War Remnants Museum
Can Tho - lively market town in the Mekong Delta and nearby Cai Rang floating market
Cai Be waterways, cottage industries and mansion home
Halong Bay - UNESCO Listed region with thousands of beautiful limestone peaks and islets
Hoi An - UNESCO Listed ancient town, famed for its beautifully preserved old city, tailors, handicrafts markets and nearby beaches
Mekong Delta - a maze of waterways, fertile farm land and floating villages

Included

9 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 1 dinner
Economy class flight Danang - Saigon
Bicycle ride to Tra Que village and cooking demonstration
Airport arrival transfer day 1 and departure transfer day 10
Escorted by an English speaking Vietnamese tour guide.
Lantern making in the home of the Ha Linh family in Hoi An and releasing our lanterns into the river.
Maximum group size: 24 travellers
7 nights 4 star and special class hotels, 1 night deluxe junk boat and 1 overnight sleeper train (Junk boat: private cabin, Sleeper train: basic, 4 berth cabin.)
Halong Bay Junk boat cruise - swim, kayak, explore caves and floating villages
Sampan and row boat journeys in the Mekong Delta
Guided sightseeing - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Ho Ain, Mekong Delta and Saigon
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
Visa approval letter (excl. stamping fee required upon arrival)

Not Included

International flights and visa. Vietnam visa letter included - stamping fee required upon arrival
Entrance Fees: $40 - $50 USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: $40 - $50 USD
Tour Details
Starts
Hanoi
Ends
Saigon
Departs
21 Sep 2015
Hotel Rating
4 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 9, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 1
Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.
Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.