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Vietnam Timeless Beauty
 
Holiday Length: 10 days
Start City: Ho Chi Minh City
End City: Ho Chi Minh City
Departures: Daily
Type of Holiday: Private Tour
Starting and ending in Saigon (links with the Air New Zealand new service departing NZ on Tuesday and Thursday) this private tour allows you to discover the 3 regions of Vietnam, with all the main sightseeing included.  You can tailor the tour to suit your pace, either enjoying leisure time in each city, or taking advantage of the optional tours on offer (cooking classes, Mekong Delta or a unique street food tour of Hanoi). 

Day 1


Ho Chi Minh City arrival
Welcome to Vietnam. Meet, assist and private transfer to your hotel (your hotel room is available from 1.30 pm).  Remainder of day at leisure.  Accommodation is reserved for 2 nights on a bed and breakfast basis.
   
Day 2










Cu Chi Tunnels

This morning meet your private guide and drive to Cu Chi to visit the amazing tunnel network built by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. This incredible system, covering almost 250km in length was shelter to over 16,000 Vietcong guerrillas during the wars. Initially started in 1948 to provide shelter against the French air and ground sweeps, the network went on to serve as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living quarters for Vietnamese fighters throughout the war with America. 
Return to Ho Chi Minh City and set off for an afternoon tour of the former capital of French Indochina.  Historic landmarks include the Old Saigon post office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera house.  Continue your tour by visiting the Reunification Palace which was used as the headquarters of the Saigon Government during  the American war of the 60's.  Also visit the ethnic Chinese district of Cholon with the lively Binh Tay market.  Overnight at your hotel. (B)

   
Day 3





Ho Chi Minh - Hue
Today is free for you to continue your exploration of Saigon at your own pace (or optional Mekong Delta tour).
Then, transfer to the airport on time for your domestic flight to Hue, the former capital of Vietnam.
On arrival, welcome by your private local guide and transfer to your hotel for check in.  Remainder of the day at leisure. (B)

Optional: Mekong Delta Tour:
   

Day 4



 




Hue
This morning  depart on a tour of Hue.  Admire the refined and distinct atmosphere of the town and visit the Imperial Citadel.  Then depart for an easy bicycle ride along the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda.  On the way visit a typical garden house which was built according to precise rules of geomancy.  In the afternoon discover Tu Duc Mausoleum and the Minh Mang Mausoleum two of the most beautiful tombs of Royal Kings during Nguyen Region.  Round off your day by a leisure walk in Dong Ba market (B)
Note: Bike ride can be replaced by a Sampan cruise

Optional cooking class:
After visiting the Imperial Citadel you have the choice of being taken to a typical garden house to discover Hue's culinary arts.

   
Day 5







Hue - Danang - Hoi An
This morning depart for Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van pass which offers beautiful panoramic views over the central coastline.  After a peaceful stop at the white sandy beach of Lang Co continue to Danang and Hoi An, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Remainder of the day at leisure to relax.  Your accommodation is reserved for 2 nights on a bed and breakfast basis. (B)

Optional morning bike ride in the rural outskirts of Hue. Cycle through the quiet and superb landscape of Hue and its rice fields. Stop en route to visit a homemade incense production household.

   
Day 6





Hoi An
In the morning depart for a w walking tour of Hoi An town, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site for its unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes.  Set out to explore the quaint cobblestone streets of the town with more than two-century old Chinese houses.  Sites include the Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Phung Hung chinese-style trading houses.  Then take a short bike tour to the beautiful and peaceful villages in the countryside surrounding Hoi An.  Free time in the afternoon for shopping and exploring Hoi An at your own pace. (B)
   
Day 7












Hoi An - Danang - Hanoi
Morning transfer to Danang for your domestic flight to Hanoi - the capital of Vietnam.  On arrival meet your private local guide and start your exploration of this historical and charming city.  Highlights are: the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a nearby traditional stilt house and the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature also known as the First University in Vietnam.
In the afternoon embark on a fascinating street food tour of Hanoi.  Start the walking tour at Hanoi's largest covered market, Dong Xuan, where dozens of street hawkers sell a staggering variety of produce from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices.  Then walk through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi's Old Quarter, and tempt your taste buds with the famed Hanoi dish Banh Cuon at a local eatery.  Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how this tasty dish is put together.  Your next snack stop is at an outdoor barbecue stall before your guide takes you to one of Hanoi's best kept secrets, a hidden cafe with stunning views over the picturesque Hoan kiem Lake.  This hard-to-find cafe is one of the few left in the city that still serves egg coffee - a scrumptious local delicacy that you can sample whilst admiring the hustle and bustle of the city centre below.  Or, if coffee is not your style, a cold beer awaits!  At the end of the trip you are free to continue exploring Hanoi's Old Quarter.  Overnight at your hotel. (B)

   
Day 8



Hanoi - Halong Bay
Depart Hanoi this morning and head to Halong bay, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay and Gulf of Tonkin.  On arrival board a beautiful junk and sail amongst the islands and inslets of Halong Bay.  Fresh seafood lunch and sinner will be served on board.  Overnight on board. (B, L, D)

                 
 
Day 9



Halong Bay - Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy the bay at its best.  After breakfast cruise back to the harbour.  Check out of the cabin late in the morning and transfer to Hanoi Airport in time for your domestic flight back to Ho Chi Minh City.  On arrival transfer to your hotel for the night. (B)

   
Day 10


Ho Chi Minh City departure
Day at leisure for some last minute shopping or to further explore Ho Chi Minh City at your own pace.  Then, transfer to the airport for your return flight. (B)

INCLUSIONS:





  • Domestic flights to Ho Chi Minh City / Hue; Danang / Hanoi and Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City (economy class)
  • Accommodation in First Class hotels
  • overnight Halong Bay junk cruise
  • private arrival and departure airport transfers
  • air conditioned private transportation
  • private touring and sightseeing with local English speaking guides
EXCLUSIONS



  • Optional tours
  • Customary tips to guide and drivers
  • Personal expenses
  • porterage
  • visa
  • Day 6 bike ride can be replaced by a cyclo ride
   

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