This whirlwind fifteen day tour through two different countries' highlights begins in Hanoi, the Paris of the Orient. From there, new destination come at a break neck pace, ensuring that our travelers get a good sense of each city and town before moving on to the next stop. This is the perfect itinerary for travelers who know they are on a time budget, and want to get the absolute most out of their two week holiday. An overnight cruise on Halong Bay, two nights in the imperial city of Hue, and two nights in charming Hoi An all combine to offer a thorough understanding of northern Vietnam. Its culture, its history, its people and its food are all represented well. Next up is southern Vietnam as you fly into Ho Chi Minh City. This flip side of the same coin offers a different point of view on modern Vietnam. Spend time exploring the rural parts of the Mekong Delta. This itinerary isn't over yet, though. Jet off to Siem Reap, Cambodia, a perfect base from which to explore the world famous ruins of Angkor Wat, and the surrounding ancient temples.
Welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
This evening, you will be provided with tickets for a traditional Water Puppetry performance. A special art form unique to Northern Vietnam, this show offers the perfect introduction to traditional Vietnamese folk culture. (This service is on a group basis.)
Vietnam's capital is rich in a culture touched by French and Chinese influences over its 1,000-year-long history. One can spend days in the Old Quarter, where fashion houses, art galleries and coffee shops make up the city's most charismatic district. Hanoi features hundreds of serene lakes, great for people watching and strolling an afternoon away. Take an evening to dine at a modern, cosmopolitan restaurant and enjoy a night on the town, but don't forget to take an evening to enjoy the thriving street food scene, one of the city's primary attractions.
This morning after breakfast, you'll begin your city tour with a visit to Ba Dinh Square and Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, his final resting place, a house on stilts. Next to it you'll see the One Pillar Pagoda, built by King Ly Thai To in 1049. Next, visit West Lake, Quan Thanh Temple and the impressive Tran Quoc Pagoda, located on a small island in the center of the lake.
In the afternoon, you'll visit the Temple of Literature. Built in 1076, Vietnam's first university was established to educate royalty, mandarins, and members of the elite. The university functioned for 700 years, and its gardens and well preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam's past. Afterwards, visit Ngoc Son Temple and explore the Old Quarter's 36 streets. Tis bustling area is home to thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Finish your tour on Hang Gai street - a silk shoppers paradise! After a full day of exploring you will be returned to your hotel to relax. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning, you will leave for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karst’ landscape. For your Ha Long Bay excursion, you will board the beautiful Athena Luxury Cruise boat. After a brief introduction and safety procedures overview, you'll be checked into your cabin and have some free time to relax and explore the craft.
On your cruise, you will have the opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful treasures scattered across the Bay, and of course, while you are on board, you can take advantage of the cruise’s facilities and services. Both lunch and dinner will be served on board for you today, utilizing an excellent menu of fresh seafood. Following a day full of activities on the water, the vessel anchors at a very quiet location for your overnight stay. Sleep soundly, as you are rocked to sleep by the waters. (This service is on a group basis.)
Seemingly infinite, the towering islands of Ha Long Bay form a landscape that is other worldly. Named a World Heritage site in 1994, Ha Long Bay offers some of the most beautiful scenes in all of Asia, whether you are lounging on a beach, exploring the inside of a hidden cave or cruising along the water in your traditional Chinese junk style boat. Located just a few hours outside of Hanoi, you can easily trade in the crowded streets of the city, to sail between the striking karst formations instead. Ha Long Bay means "Bay of the Descending Dragons" and mythology says the islands were created from the jewels and jade dropped from the mouth of dragons sent by the Gods. No wonder it's so magical!
Wake up this morning among the crisp and fresh air of the bay and make the most of any time left for activities. After enjoying a tea break, the boat will continue to cruise quietly through spectacular limestone formations, in more isolated regions of the bay for spectacular viewpoints. You will return to the Ha Long Bay Harbor around 11:00 AM, from where you will be transferred back to Hanoi. (This service is on a group basis.)
You will be getting back to your hotel in Hanoi around 4:30 or 5:00pm. You will meet your private driver and transfer to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel to check in and relax, after a long, but exciting, day. (This service is on a private basis.)
The heart of imperial Vietnam's history, Hue is Vietnam's cultural capital. It's architecture calls back to a time when the Nguyen Dynasty built temples, pagodas and palaces across its landscapes. A calm, noble city lives on today, showcasing beautiful buildings that survived bombings during the American War. The easy-going local crowd enjoys a night out, and routinely interacts with foreigners. With a tradition for maintaining authentic recipes, Hue's chefs might be the best example of pure Vietnamese food that dates back to the country's imperial years.
In the morning, you’ll visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue, once the seat of the Emperors of the powerful Nguyen Dynasty that ruled Vietnam from approximately 1800 to 1945. You’ll begin with a stroll around the area between the Citadel’s massive walls and the defensive moat, now filled with lotus flowers. You’ll then enter via the Noon Gate to wander around the Thai Hoa Palace, the Pavilion housing the Nine Urns of the Nguyen rulers, and the remains of the Royal Palaces, followed by a visit to the Museum of Antiquities.
In the afternoon, you will take a cruise along the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda. From there, you’ll drive to the Royal Tombs of Emperor Minh Mang. After a full day of touring you'll be returned to your hotel.
This morning after breakfast, your adventure continues onward to Hoi An. Led by your driver and guide, the journey passes through spectacular scenery along the National Highway 1. This route includes the breathtaking Hai Van Pass, which once formed the boundary between the kingdoms of Dai Viet and Champa and also forms a boundary between the climates of northern and southern Vietnam. The Hai Van Pass is the highest and longest pass in Vietnam, with the North-South National Highway zigzagging through it for almost 20 km. There will be plenty of photo opportunities along the drive, for you to get the perfect shot of the striking landscape of Lang Co Beach or the peaceful fishing vicinity.
From the pass, your drive continues to Da Nang, where you will stop to visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture, opened in 1915. After exploring the museum and admiring the sites, you will finish off the transfer to your final destination of Hoi An. Upon arrival, you will be lead on a walking tour of this charming small town. Decorated with hundreds of historic houses, congregation halls, pagodas and other structures, it is truly beautiful. The buildings and streets reflect the indigenous and foreign influences that have harmoniously blended together to produce this unique heritage site. There is plenty to see in this delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, Pottery Museum, 200 years old Tan Ky House, Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant local market. During the tour, you can admire the many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls, which reflect the town's multi-cultural past. By the end of the day, you will be taken back to your hotel for a well deserved night's rest. (This service is on a private basis.)
There is a reason we encourage first time travelers to Vietnam to visit Hoi An. Following the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities, travel in Hoi An feels effortless. There is little modern motor traffic, and the shops and restaurants are mainly tailored for tourists. A romantic cafe culture is featured in French colonial buildings, along with a thriving art scene, that can keep you busy shopping for days. Hoi An is also a great base from which to enjoy a couple of beach days, or to venture inland for a cultural experience with local farmers.
Today's cultural adventure offers an exclusive look into both the local farming and fishing communities. Accompanied by your expert guide, your day begins with a leisurely cycle across country roads. This will be your chance to witness local Vietnamese rural life first hand. Hop off your bike to explore an organic vegetable village, where you will help to water and plant vegetables, and hoe the soil with the instruction of a local farmer. Watch the ducks, as they swim along the rice farm, or observe the farmers tending to their crops, as they go about their daily routines. You will have plenty of opportunities to engage with the friendly local people, who will be greeting you throughout the day.
From the farm, your adventure continues on a boat where the river meets the Cua Dai Sea. This will be your time to meet and get to know the local fishermen, as you enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. You will also get to try your hand at paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats, as you glide along the waterways of coconut palm paradise. Continue biking to a local house in a rice village and be welcomed with a glass of passion fruit juice, where you'll learn all about wet rice cultivation and have lunch with a local family. At the end of this cultural experience, you will be driven back to your hotel to reminisce on another beautiful day. (This service is on a private basis.)
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Hoi An and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
This afternoon, you'll get your first introduction to the country's most dynamic city - a vital economic hub with bustling life. Saigon is a reconciliation between American and Chinese influence, with modernity interspersed in traditional Vietnamese life. Your first stop will be the Reunification Palace, the former residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1975. Next, visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office, and the War Museum before returning to your hotel to spend the evening free at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
While much of Vietnam is set in its traditions, and content to live life at a slower pace, HCMC is where the nation's urban warriors congregate to work hard and play harder. The city that some still call Saigon has been the driving force leading Vietnam into the 21st century, and the result is a whirlpool of activity that one cannot help but be swept into. Remnants of Vietnam's history pockmark the city, creating a charming contrast of old and new.
Today, you will be taken to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels. These underground tunnels can be found 75 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, in an area that played an important role during Vietnam's wars for independence and reunification. More than 200 km of tunnels were built here by the Vietnamese guerrillas, and for obvious reasons, are often the highlight of trips through Southern Vietnam. You will have the opportunity to explore the bedrooms, meeting rooms, air-raid shelters, smokeless kitchens, and truly get a feel for what life underground in this extraordinary tunnel complex must have been like. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
After escaping from Ho Chi Minh City’s urban sprawl, you will travel to Ben Tre. Enjoy a boat cruise along a tributary of the Mekong, before taking a short walk through various local workshops observing cottage industries. Continue the boat trip to My Long village, walking through the hamlet to see rice paper production and enjoy some rice cake. Following the Cai Son Canal, you'll visit a coconut workshop and see traditional processing before stopping at a bee garden to enjoy some fruit and honey tea to the sounds of local music. Visit a candy mill and visit a farmer who makes sleeping mats. Bike on rural tracks or take a Xe Loi (motorized rickshaw) through coconut groves, diverse vegetable patches, and jump back on the boat to reach Green Garden Riverside restaurant for lunch. After the tour, you'll be taken to your hotel to relax for the evening.
Today, after breakfast, you will be driven to Cai Rang for a boat cruise to its floating market, one of the best on the Mekong Delta, with good views of the riverside lifestyle along the way. You will then journey back to Ho Chi Minh City. En route, you will call in at the beautiful and ancient You will drive further into the Mekong Delta to Can Tho. Upon arrival you’ll call in at the Munir Ansay – an ancient Khmer style pagoda, renowned for its unique structural decorations. You’ll then drive to your hotel in Can Tho where you’ll spend the night.
Munir Ansay Pagoda has many statues and pillars with sophisticated decoration; the main gate was built in the shape of the towers illustrative of Angkor architecture.You will arrive in Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon with time to freshen up in your hotel before the evening.
In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and transferred to the airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)
Siem Reap is the best option for an international traveler's base from which to explore the Angkor temples. If not for the tourism boom brought on by the awesome sites around the city, Siem Reap might have been another sleepy Khmer village. Instead we find a bustling tourist town, complete with a well-named Pub Street, food vendors, luxury hotels, backpacking hostels, and the international travelers that drive it all. Sure, you'll probably want to spend most of your time outside the city, but don't underestimate the awesome opportunity to hit the town and mingle, bargain, eat, and drink your way through Siem Reap.
Early this morning you will be met by your private guide and transferred to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise. Angkor Wat is the largest and most breathtaking monument at Angkor. Built as the funerary temple for Suryavarman II, who ruled from 1112 to 1152, Angkor never fails to reward the first time or repeat visitor with its grand scale, surreal bas-reliefs and unbelievable attention to detail. Here, you will spend the morning exploring one of man's most magnificent creations, before returning to the hotel for a late breakfast.
Following a colorful morning sight and well deserved breakfast, you will continue on to visit the fortified city of Angkor Thom. This site was built by Angkor's greatest king Jayavarman VII who ruled from 1181 to 1201. You will also have time to explore the Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, and the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King. From there, it's off to the South gate of Angkor Thom to the Bayon temple, before stopping for lunch at a local restaurant.
Later today, you will visit the majestic Ta Prohm. Built in 1186 and dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII, Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, closed courtyards and narrow corridors. Unlike the other temples of Angkor, Ta Prohm has been left to the elements and looks very much like the other temples must have looked when "rediscovered" by Henri Mouhot in the 1860s. At the end of your angkor adventure, you will be returned to your hotel to spend the rest of the evening as you wish. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning, you'll be met by your guide and driven to Kampong Khleang Floating Village - approximately one hour outside of Siem Reap. Imagine wooden houses on 10-meter-tall stilts, surrounded by water in the wet season, and on the flood plains of the lake in the dry season. You will drive on dirt road to the village. Along the way, you will see wooden houses and traditional fishing equipment, as well as small children waving to say hello as you arrive. You will meet with a local family who will welcome you into their traditional stilt home for some tea and coffee. You'll then proceed to walk around and explore the village to learn more about life on the lake and the traditional fishing techniques employed here.
After a delicious lunch, you'll begin your work with a water filter installation. Together with the assistance of your guide, you'll set up the water filter in the home of the recipient family, which will provide them with clean drinking water for the next five years. After this inspiring experience, you will continue to the beautiful Banteay Srei Temple.
Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, Banteay Srei is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Because of its small size, pink sandstone walls, fairytale-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favorite with visitors.
Finish your incredible day with sunset at Pre Rup temple. The beautiful rusty-red hue of the laterite stone and brick used to build Pre Rup is accentuated during sunset and stands in brilliant contrast to the lush green of the jungle in the distance. (This service is on a private basis.)
Today, you will be picked up at your hotel in Siem Reap and transferred to the airport. (This service is on a private basis.)
Opened in May 2010, the well-known Hanoi Elegance Diamond Hotel is perfectly located in Hanoi’s historic Old Quarter, just a 2-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake (the Sword Lake). The hotel is perfect for value-conscious travelers, with a great location, nice clean rooms, and good service.
The Athena Cruise is the brand new five-star luxury cruise vessel in Ha Long Bay – Bai Tu Long Bay. Built in 2016, the Athena Cruise made her maiden voyage on July 1st, 2017. The ship has 3 decks: a lower deck with reception, cabins, and boarding area, a middle deck with cabins, an indoor restaurant and bar, and a rooftop sundeck with open bar, coffee lounge, spa and sauna. On board the Athena Cruise there are 21 high-end cabins with 5 different styles available to custom-tailor your voyage with us. Our journey from the legendary Ha Long Bay to the less-traveled Bai Tu Long Bay will give you a unique experience that other cruises do not offer. On the Athena Cruise you will find yourself surrounded by natural beauty and captivated by the mysterious, ancient, natural wonder of Ha Long Bay. Our friendly and professional staff and crew are dedicated to your safety and enjoyment. We are available 24 hours a day to deliver to you the most luxurious and enjoyable experience on our ship. Whether you seek adventure, luxury, romance, or relaxation, the Athena Cruise will give you the experience of a lifetime.
Within walking distance to Huong River and in the heart of Western Town, the location of The Moonlight Hotel Hue could not be more central or ideal for those wanting experience the popular attractions of Hue City. The Moonlight Hotel provides a wide selection of accommodation from Superior, Deluxe to Suites rooms. All 91 guest rooms and suites are equipped with luxurious, modern facilities and come with a river and city view. The hotel features Moonlight Restaurant which is on the highest floor with a spectacular river view and Lobby Bar offers a unique and sophisticated of wine, cocktails and dining options.
Hoi An's Ancient House Resort & Spa welcomes you into a unique fusion of traditional Vietnamese style and modern luxuries. The property offers you a genuine, simple and relaxing stay right at the doors of one of the most acclaimed Vietnamese UNESCO World Heritage wonders. Founded in 2003, the Hoi An Ancient House Resort & Spa is a local family-run property that offers a true replica of Hoi An’s Ancient Town architectural style with its clay-tiled roof houses, small streets and water ponds. The resort provides an utmost relaxing atmosphere, surrounded by lush garden, that borders the outdoor swimming pool and gives it an exotic feel.
As a 4-star standard hotel, Eden Saigon is located right in the center of business, shopping, commercial and entertainment of Ho Chi Minh City and only a 5 minute walk from the Ben Thanh Market. From the very beginning, the Hotel targets the customers for business and leisure purposes. With the advantage of convenient transportation system, Eden Saigon Hotel also offers the luxury guest rooms, hospitable services as well as the completely furnished business facilities. The hotel also has massage area and fitness center with an outdoor swimming pool and bar with views of the city.
Nestled in the heart of Ninh Kieu Quay, Hau Giang Hotel Can Tho is an ideal spot from which to discover Can Tho. Set 0.5 Km outside of the excitement of the city, this 3-star hotel commands an excellent location and provides convenient access to the region's biggest attractions. The guest rooms are simplistic, yet comfortable and offer all the amenities you will need for a pleasurable accommodation experience.
La Niche Boutique Hotel offers 36 rooms, decorated with a modern style, simple, natural and comfortable. The rooms feature private bathroom facilities. Most of rooms have terrace and views of the big beautiful swimming pool setting in the middle of a lush tropical garden. The open air restaurant with terrace offering a choice of traditional Cambodian cuisine and international dishes with local influences. The restaurant is set in a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere overlooking the garden and swimming pool. When you need to re-balance and rejuvenate your body in between daily routines, La Niche Spa is the perfect answer for a time and resource saving relaxation. A therapeutic health massage well suited to urban lifestyle, La Niche Spa provides professional massage to restore and enhance natural beauty from the inside Tune your body, mind and spirit.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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