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Good morning Vietnam! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your city centre hotel. Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Hanoi is the charming capital and cultural heart of Vietnam. Spend the remains of the day at leisure.
This morning head to Hoan Kiem Lake which is the very heart of the city. Residents of Hanoi congregate around the lake early each morning to partake in Tai chi, aerobics and other light exercise. Today enjoy a guided city tour of Hanoi. The city has a rich and fascinating history. Sightseeing includes the Museum of Ethnology (closed Mondays), widely acknowledged as the best in the country, containing an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples and the Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070.
The train pulls into Lao Cai at approximately 06:00am this morning, transfer to Sapa for breakfast. Located 1500m above sea level, Sapa is a former French hill station, nestled in the rugged Tonkinese Alps and surrounded by lush valleys and verdant rice paddy fields. This morning take a light trek to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, Ta Van and Cau May. Walking to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, you meet some of the local ethnic minority people on their way to and from Sapa. These minority people, including the Red Zao, Hmong and Tay people, walk to Sapa to trade at the markets. Tonight you spend the night at the hotel in Sapa town.
Start your morning with a hike to a beautiful waterfall before continuing on to a picturesque Red Dao village. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Sapa before returning to Lao Cai to board the overnight train back to Hanoi. Overnight - Sleeper Train (4 berth shared cabin).
Today we drive to Halong City (approx 4 hours), stopping for refreshments en route. At UNESCO Listed Halong Bay limestone peaks and forest clad islets, hidden coves and beautiful beaches await discovery! Board your Junk boat and cruise to the famous islands of Halong Bay and onto Bai Tu Long Bay, stopping to visit a cave and swim in the warm waters. There is a chance to explore more this stunning area by sea kayak. Return to the Junk boat for a tasty dinner and a memorable night in beautiful surrounds.
Halong Bay - Hue. Wake up to see a spectacular sunrise over the bay! This morning cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng - where you'll gain a fascinating insight into local life. Enjoy Brunch. Cruising back to the dock arrive into Halong City around noon then transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Created in the 19th century, the Imperial City was modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing and holds many palaces and temples inside its giant walls. Many of the buildings were damaged by French aerial bombing and the Tet Offensive in 1968. Now it is slowly being restored thanks to generous funding by UNESCO. Your tour begins after breakfast with the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. Spend the morning wandering through the enclosure before lunch and a trip into the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place of the Emperors at two of the most impressive Royal Tombs. This evening, take a scenic boat cruise along the Perfume River.
This morning, continue south to the riverside town of Hoi An. The five hour trip hugs the coastline along the South China Sea with breathtaking views particularly as the road winds its way up Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the Clouds”). Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, renowned for its silk and popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops and numerous cafes. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century and much of the town is now heritage-listed. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house and the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Spend a day at leisure on the beach or having clothes made by one of the expert, inexpensive tailors that Hoi An is famous for. In the evening, you might want to stroll Hoi An's romantic, silk latern lit streets and dine in one of its fantastic riverside restaurants.
On day 10 transfer to the airport in Danang and fly to the coastal resort of Nha Trang. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure. Nha Trang is a popular coastal resort in central Vietnam, with 7kms of white sandy beach and pristine waters surrounded by archipelagoes and mountains.
Experience the beautiful coast of Nha Trang aboard a boat today. The first stop is Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island, before heading out to Hon Mun Island for swimming and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. Breaking for lunch at the fishing village of Lang Chai, there is time to walk around the village before boarding the boat back to Nha Trang harbour.
Spend the next two days at leisure in Nha Trang. Sample some of the delicious seafood in some of the many restaurants and perhaps enjoy a spot of retail therapy at Cho Dam Market.
In the morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Saigon. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure in this lively and cosmopolitan metropolis with its gleaming sky scrapers, bars and designer shops, which stand in stark contrast to the ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and ramshackle markets.
Today we visit the Re-Unification Palace, the former palace of President Thieu and his predecessors. Today this building is a museum and venue for Government official receptions. Inside you can visit the President’s room. Nearby is the Central Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 – 1883 and is one of the city’s major landmarks. Neo-Romanesque in form, the Cathedral is the major seat of the Catholic religion in modern Vietnam. We continue to visit the War Remains Museum, where you can learn a lot about the Vietnam War. End the day for shopping at Ben Thanh market.
Today enjoy a full day cruise excursion on the beautiful Mekong Delta, one of the world's greatest river systems. Known as the ‘rice bowl of Vietnam’ the Mekong Delta has lush rice paddy fields and colourful fruit orchards, enchanting villages and bustling floating markets. Early morning transfer to Cai Be - Phu An where you board the Cai Be Princess at around 10am. First stop is the colourful floating market at Cai Be. The cruise continues along the Mekong canals to Dong Hoa Hiep Island where you can observe the typical Mekong delta rural life. Lunch awaits you at Le Longanier restaurant at La Residence de Phu An Resort, a superb Indochine style resort before disembarking mid-afternoon and returning to Saigon.
After breakfast and hotel check out, included transfer to Saigon airport for your onward flight.
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