Transport: Car, flight
City & around
Update: 11/7/2013 Hits: 1113
DAY 1:HANOI - ARRIVAL (-/-/-) Meet on arrival at Hanoi / Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and transfer to the hotel for check-in. (Check-in time: 14:00 hrs – early check-in is not included.) As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered to be the cultural centre of Vietnam, where every dynasty has left behind their imprint. Hanoi is located in the centre of the Northern Delta with a population 6.2 million people and an area 3,398 square km. Hanoi is an ancient city which had been established and developed for almost 1,000 years since 1010. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Historians liken the life-giving Red River with its banks crowded with green rice paddies and farms to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; a cradle of civilization. Rest of the day at leisure or join our wonderful optional excursions in and around Hanoi, such as our walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter for first impressions.
DAY 2:HANOI - HALONG BAY OVERNIGHT ON EMERAUDE CLASSIC CRUISE (B/L/D) 08:00 hrs: Pick up at your hotel in Hanoi and drive to Halong City. Check-in between 11:30-12:00 hrs at the Emeraude Cafe in Halong City.
After boarding the boat you will start a relaxing and wonderful cruise through World Nature Heritage Halong Bay, passing bizarre rock formations, such as the Dinh Huong (the Incense Urn), Cho Da (the Stone Dog), islands with sandy beaches and Ga Choi (the Fighting Roosters) islets. You will discover Halong Bay, listed as a World Heritage of outstanding natural beauty, known in Vietnamese as “Dragon descending to the sea“. The picturesque Halong Bay has more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from the clear emerald water, many of them containing beautiful grottoes.
Enjoy a refreshing “Welcome Cocktail” upon check-in on the sun deck. The cruise commences and a lavish buffet lunch served at the restaurant. Visit by tender to see the Sung Sot Caves (Surprise Cave), weather permitting.
Option of Kayaking or Swimming near Hang Trong anchorage. Vietnamese cuisine demonstration at the sun deck.
Happy hour with complimentary canapés at the sun deck bar. A scrumptious International Buffet Dinner will be served at the restaurant. Evening Movie show at the sun deck.
DAY 3HALONG BAY - BAT TRANG - HANOI (B/L/-) Wake up the next morning at sunrise, practice Tai Chi on the sun deck, feel the early morning salt water scent; bask in the early sun rising from behind the mountains.
After an energizing western breakfast, check out at around 09:30 hrs, savouring a most memorable trip to Halong Bay onboard the historical Emeraude.
Return towards Hanoi with en-route visit of Bat Trang pottery village. Watch the artisans forming, painting and glazing their products, which are then baked for several days in huge kilns.
In the evening, attend the performance of the famous Vietnamese traditional art of water puppetry at Thang Long Theatre.
DAY 4 HANOI - DA NANG - HOI AN (B/-/D) The morning is at leisure until your airport transfer for the flight to Danang in the early afternoon. From the port town of Danang we drive the short distance south past famous Non Nuoc Beach onto the enchanting town of Hoi An. On foot visit the historic town of Hoi An, listed by UNESCO as a World Culture Heritage and was once a well-known trading centre in Southeast Asia from the 16th to 18th centuries. Its sizeable community of foreign merchants resulted in a unique architectural style with Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese influences. The town with friendly inhabitants, narrow streets, old houses, temples and wooden bridge still keeps its ancient character.
DAY 5:HOI AN - DA NANG - HUE (B/L/-) After breakfast, start the journey to Hue, the former Imperial City of the last dynasty of Vietnam. En route visit Marble Mountain, a scenic spot with caves, temples, shrines, pagodas and a great view of the surrounding area. The caves can be reached by climbing steep steps. In Danang, visit the Cham Museum, which houses the finest collection of Champa sculptures; some may date back to as early as 7th century. Have lunch at a local restaurant and continue the journey to Hue over the spectacular Hai Van Pass. Have a short stop on top of the pass – once regarded as the prime mountain pass on the North-South national road. Arrival at Hue – a charming town set on the banks of the Perfume River.
Located in Central Vietnam, Hue is the only place in the country where many historic, cultural, architectural as well as artistic values have been preserved. Tangible cultural heritage - the system of historic monuments - and intangible cultural heritage - the Imperial court music - have their own national and international values that were acknowledged as World Cultural Heritages. Hue is also the site where the northern and southern ecosystems meet, the area of river-hills, greenery and beautiful landscapes. The rest of the day is at leisure. DAY 6 HUE - HO CHI MINH CITY (B/L/-) In the morning, enjoy a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue. Situated 4 km upstream on the banks of the Perfume River, it is an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. After the boat trip visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue with the Purple Forbidden City. The Hue Citadel is situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River. It covers an area 500 ha and has a system of three circles of ramparts: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Visit the local Dong Ba market, have lunch at a local restaurant and continue to Tu Duc Royal Tomb. Each ruler of the Imperial City built his own tomb during his reign and today you will visit one of the most beautiful mausoleums. Transfer to Phu Bai airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Formerly known as Saigon, today’s Ho Chi Minh City is the bustling and vibrating economic centre of the South. Over the past few centuries, Saigon was called the “Pearl of the Far East” and was an important trading centre for Chinese, Japanese and Western merchants who travelled along the Saigon River.
DAY 7 HO CHI MINH CITY - CU CHI TUNNELS - HO CHI MINH CITY (B/L/-) After breakfast, drive to Cu Chi district (75 km from HCMC) to visit the amazing complex of underground tunnels at Cu Chi. There are more than 200 km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for lunch. In the afternoon our walking tour will take you from the Saigon River past the Opera House, Town Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral and the old Post Office (all magnificent sights from the French colonial period) to visit the Reunification Palace (museum). Finish the tour at the famous Ben Thanh Market, where you can purchase souvenirs for your beloved ones. The evening is free at leisure. You are welcome to join our optional dinner cruise on the Saigon River. DAY 8 HO CHI MINH CITY - MY THO - CAN THO (B/L/-) Have breakfast and drive to My Tho– the heart of the Mekong delta, famous for its vast rice fields and beautiful landscapes. Enjoy a scenic boat trip on Mekong River to an island where local handicraft and coconut candy are being produced. Take a short ride on a horse carriage to a typical local house to taste some homemade honey-tea, savour fresh seasonal fruits in one of the many orchards and enjoy a traditional live music performance. Proceed by small sampan boat through the small canals and side-arms of the “Mighty Mekong” to observe the daily life along the river banks. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant before driving to Can Tho.
DAY 9 CAN THO - HO CHI MINH CITY (B/L/-) Have an early start to visit to the fascinating floating market at Cai Rang. From your boat, see the local farmers trading their products directly on the water as they have done for many centuries and watch the local people performing their trades. Return to Ho Chi Minh City with lunch en route.
DAY 10 HO CHI MINH CITY - DEPARTURE (B/-/-) Time at leisure. You are welcome to join our interesting optional excursions in and around Ho Chi Minh City, such as our Good Morning Saigon Tour. Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City / Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your departure flight. (Check-out time: 12:00 hrs – late check-out is not included.)