PRIVATE TOUR: See northern Vietnam's most captivating destinations with a 5 day break that covers the best of Hanoi from the Old Quarter to Ba Dinh Square with a night spent on a traditional junk boat cruising around Halong Bay.
Welcome to Hanoi, one of southeast Asia's most charismatic cities with just the right amount of colonial charm and modern commotion with mopeds zipping along narrow streets lined with traditional houses and shopfronts. On your arrival at Hanoi's international airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in (available from 2pm onwards). The remainder of the day is at leisure so you may wish to head out and explore Hoan Kiem Lake.
Hanoi City Tour
Today's sightseeing tour takes in the best of Hanoi, kicking off with Ba Dinh Square where the squat granite mausoleum of Vietnam's most famous leader - Ho Chi Minh - is laid to rest. Close by is the attractive and well-preserved stilted house where Ho once lived, now surrounded by well-tended gardens. Next up on the itinerary is the historic Buddhist temple known as the One Pillar Pagoda.
Touring continues with the Temple of Literature, the first university to have been built in Vietnam back in the 11th century. The complex features pagodas, courtyards, ponds and ancient trees making it a lovely spot for a little wander. Get to know Vietnam's colourful ethnic groups at the absorbing Museum of Ethnology. A highlight of your visit is sure to be the full-scale village houses arranged in the garden of the grounds.
Later this evening discover Hanoi's historic heart and soul as you head out on a walking tour of the Old Quarter where you can sample some of the city's tastiest snacks and street food from noodles to pancakes. The final stop of the day is the lively 'international corner' where locals and visitors alike gather to enjoy a cold beverage watching city scenes play out in front of them.
Overnight: Hanoi | Breakfast
This morning depart Hanoi and transfer to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the jewel in Vietnam's scenic crown. Board a traditional junk boat for a cruise among the karst islands, carpeted with vegetation and rising dramatically from the vivid green waters of the bay. During your cruise you'll pass striking rock formations and sample a delicious lunch of freshly caught fish and seafood.
In the afternoon there will be the chance to swim in the waters, watch a cooking demonstration out on deck or simply relax on one of the loungers enjoying the incredible vistas. The day ends with a gastronomic feast with the other guests on board.
Overnight: Halong Bay | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tai Chi and Caves
Start the day with a calming Tai Chi lesson, often accompanied by an amazing sunrise and the quiet breathtaking beauty of the bay’s landscape. It's the perfect way to start your day. On the way back to the harbour the boat will pass many beautiful spots, stopping for the chance to explore Surprise Cave, one of the bay's many impressive caves that have been illuminated with neon lights to reveal a magical landscape of mineral formations.
Returning back to dock you will be met and transferred back to Hanoi by car where the remainder of the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Hanoi | Breakfast
Today marks the end of your touring arrangements with a departure transfer to the airport in time for your onward departure flight.
Site Opening Information
Please Note: Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is only open in the morning. The mausoleum is closed each week on a Monday & Friday and the entire months of September & October for annual maintenance.
Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts is also closed on Monday & Friday afternoons.
The Museum of Ethnology is also closed on a Monday.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons (or 3 persons if you wish to book a triple) sharing a room. The 'Solo Room' price is applicable to all solo travellers, or if your booking party cannot reach the minimum of 2 persons in a room. Solo Rooms can also be booked by any other person wanting the comfort and privacy of their own room.
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.
Lan Vien Hotel, Hanoi
A warm welcome awaits guests at the Lan Vien Hotel. The hotel offers spacious rooms with luxury hard wood flooring and excellent marble en suite facilities. Wi-Fi is available throughout and the sumptuous buffet breakfast on the 11th floor restaurant affording fantastic views across the city is a wonderful way to start the day.
The Ann Hotel, Hanoi
In the centre of Hanoi sits the contemporary and sophisticated The Ann hotel. Guest rooms are spacious and well appointed with delightful en suite facilities including bath and shower. The hotel boasts both a bar and restaurant. The swanky A lounge offers a wonderful selection of beverages and diners can enjoy the Onyx house for delicious local and international dishes on A la carte or buffet style. Our top tip is to head to the roof top pool for a refreshing dip and wonderful views across the city.
Sunway Hotel, Hanoi
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 I Junk Boat, Halong Bay
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.
Syrena Junk Boat, Halong Bay
A tradition hand crafted boat, the Syrena Junk Boat offers superb en suite air conditioned cabins with comfortable interiors and balconies. The on board Lotus Restaurant serves up a delicious array of Vietnamese and International cuisine. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the public areas. Swimming, kayaking and tai chi are all offered on board and movie nights are also very popular.