Vietnam Culture And Cuisine Tour – Visiting famous tourism sites in Hanoi such as: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, House on Stilts, Hoan Kiem Lake, One Pillar Pagoda…
– Discovering the charming beauty of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes.
– Hue is commonly known as a place of many cultural heritages, discover the bustling Dong Ba Markets, Thien Mu Pagoda…
– Discovering Ancient Hoi An Town, visit the art galleries, explore the network of heritage streets, trying on famous cuisine such as: Beo Cake, Cao Lau…
– Free on your leisure at Cua Dai Beach , Nha Trang Beach with swaying palms, golden sands and deep blue waters.
– Visiting popular tourism destinations in Da Lat such as: Bao Dai Summer Palace, Lam Ty Ngi Pagoda, Valley of Love, discover the colourful central market, relax or explore the winding streets and cobbled paths.
Day 1: Hanoi
You and your fellow travellers will be arriving at all times from around the world today, so there are no arranged activities. Your leader will organize a pre-trip meeting for the early evening. This will be followed by a group dinner. Look for a welcome note at reception in the joining point hotel explaining where to meet. Note that hotel check-in time is 12 noon.
Day 2 – 3: Halong Bay
Early on day 2 we enjoy a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and House On Stilts before a 3 hour drive takes us to Bai Chay Harbour, the entrance of Halong Bay where we board our junk sailing boat. Thousands of islands rise dramatically from the waters of Halong Bay, the limestone karst formations are hallowed by intricate caves. Aboard our traditional sailing junk visit some of the islands and caves, perhaps a pre-dinner swim or kayak before enjoying a seafood dinner and a very peaceful night beneath the stars.
In the morning continue the cruise past the many islands and visit one of the caves by small bamboo boat. After an early lunch on board the boat, head back to Hanoi where the rest of the afternoon is spent learning about northern Vietnamese cuisine at KOTO, a restaurant set up to help disadvantaged and street children. In the early evening we take you on a cycle ride into the old quarter, where we sample traditional northern fare. After dinner we attend a performance of Vietnam’s famous water puppets, and if you like maybe stop for an ice-cream and coffee on the lake.
We catch the late train to Hue which is part of the famous Reunification express, this is a local basic train and we have 4 berth shared cabins.
Day 4: Hue
We arrive mid-morning in the old imperial capital of Hue. Time is available to tour the remarkable tombs of Nguyen emperors, the imposing Citadel and Thien Mu Pagoda. Lunch at a local nunnery is an experience not to miss, nor is the bustling Dong Ba markets, before enjoying a special Hue dinner.
Day 5 – 6: Hoi An
We travel by air-conditioned bus for the spectacular journey over the Hai Van Pass through Danang to Hoi An. We tour this newly declared World Heritage site and introduce you to the rich multicultural history of this once thriving merchant town and river port. While in Hoi An, we head to the market for a discovery tour of the local produce and ingredients. A cooking lesson is also on the menu and you will have the opportunity to roll up your sleeves to chop, dice, stir, and sample the spoils of your labour. There is also plenty of free time to visit the art galleries, explore the network of heritage streets, visit the tailor shop for a new wardrobe, or just relax.
Day 7 – 8: Nha Trang
We have time for a final bowl of delicious Cao Lau noodles, and any last minute alterations at the tailors, before we head back to Danang (1 hour) and board our flight south (approx. 1 hour) to Nha Trang. Nha Trang, once referred to as the ‘Cannes of the Orient’, greets us with swaying palms, golden sands and deep blue waters. Although, Nha Trang is fast developing as a popular beach side resort local fare still abounds. We take a sunset cycling tour to explore the seaside town.
Day 8 is spent on a converted fishing boat, cruising through the islands, swimming, enjoying an incredible seafood banquet prepared on board and just relaxing in a deck chair.
Day 9 – 10: Da Lat
Leaving the golden sands behind, we travel by air-conditioned bus through magnificent rural scenery. As we climb into the mountains of the South Central Highlands, the air becomes cooler, signaling our approach to the former French colonial hill station of Dalat (approx. 5 hours). Arriving in the mid-afternoon there is time to relax or explore the winding streets and cobbled paths. We visit Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace, the extraordinary oddball architecture of ‘Hang Nga’, the gardens and Zen Buddhist paintings at Lam Ty Nghi Pagoda and the colourful central market. This evening we enjoy a superb dinner at Trong Dong restaurant, regarded by many as the home of the best food in Vietnam.
On day 10 we participate in a unique Cooking demonstration and Organic farm visit held by the Sofitel Da lat Hotel. We start at the Sofitel hotel, meet the Executive Chef then visit the famous vegetable gardens of Da lat including a unique visit to an Organic vegetable farm. We then move to a traditional Da lat villa for the Cooking Demonstration ran by the Executive Chef and have lunch.
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City
On day 11, we head to Da Lat Airport in the afternoon. We stop at the ‘Chicken Village’ in the morning where Chill, Cham, and Khor minority groups live side by side, producing magnificent silk and cotton weavings. Boarding our final short flight (approx. 1 hour), we arrive in the busy economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City. Quite a contrast to its more sedate northern counterpart, the city’s food is spicier, sweeter and more varied, with an abundance of great restaurants to choose from for our evening meal.
Day 12: Depart Ho Chi Minh City
You are free to depart at anytime today
• Accommodation at hotels.
• Transfer by private air-conditioned car (van, bus…) as per program.
• English speaking guide for each area as being requested
• Entrance fees for all sightseeing as mentioned on the program.
• Breakfast (B); Lunches (L) & Dinner (D) as being mentioned
• Domestic flights (Hanoi – Hue, Danang – Nha Trang) in economic class with airport’ tax
• Boat trip as itinerary mentioned
• Vietnam Internal flight as program, economy class including all tax
• Government taxes (VAT…)
• Visa for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
• All international flight and departure airport tax
• Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
• Travel insurance
• Other services not mentioned above