There are many ways to explore Vietnam. I believe the best way to explore is a mix of land and sea. In this fabulous small group of never more than 16 passengers with Alexander and Roberts, you get the best of both worlds and enjoy it luxuriously.
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Check in to the luxurious Park Hyatt. Our exceptional hotel in the heart of town is the city’s finest.
Out and about in Saigon
Descend into the Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast underground network of secret trapdoors, living quarters, kitchens and even conference rooms that once stretched for more than 200 miles. The adventurous can even explore the deeper second and third levels. Back in the city, your tour includes the Presidential Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Le Cong Kieu Street with its many antique vendors. Dine tonight at Hoa Tuc, famed for its fine Vietnamese cuisine.
Excursion into the Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is a fertile region with thousands of waterways and tributaries. Exploring by sampan allows you to experience firsthand the rhythms of daily life on these waters. Sample exotic fruits in the shade of a farmer’s garden before sitting down to a congenial lunch of regional specialties.
Travel to Hoi An
Fly to Danang and drive past the Marble Mountains and China Beach to Hoi An. As you join your guide for a stroll through this remarkably preserved seaport with its ancient temples and fine homes built by merchants of old, it’s easy to imagine yourself in the 18th century when the city was one of the busiest ports in all of Asia. This evening, delight in your deluxe beachfront room at the Victoria Resort.
Get to know Hoi An
Mingle with residents at the local market and learn how to select the most fragrant spices and freshest produce – ingredients you’ll use at a hands-on cooking class. After the lunch you’ve helped to prepare, your afternoon is free to enjoy as you wish. Tonight, dine on the riverfront at Brother’s Café.
A scenic overland journey to Hue
Visit the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh and the Imperial Citadel, built 200 years ago and modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing. At Dong Thien Pagoda, you’ll learn much about Vietnam’s Buddhist traditions when you sit down with resident nuns for a typical Buddhist vegetarian lunch. Later this afternoon, join Hue residents as they shop for exotic produce and prepared foods at the bustling Dong Ba Market. Then cruise down the Perfume River past the many sampans where fishermen and their families live. After dinner, retire to La Residence, our boutique hotel on the Perfume River.
Fly to Hanoi
Upon arrival, tour the impressive Temple of Literature, founded a thousand years ago. After lunch, you’ll visit Hoa Lo, the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” before stepping aboard a traditional cyclo to explore the charming lanes of the historic Old Quarter. Tonight, attend an enthralling Water Puppet performance and spend two nights at the Sofitel Metropole.
The Flavors and sites of Hanoi
Our local chef joins you today to give you a taste of the city’s thriving culinary scene. Explore an exotic local market and meet the vendors before joining him for coffee or tea at a charming sidewalk café in the French Quarter. This relaxed setting is the perfect place to learn more about daily life in this vibrant city. Stop for Pho Cuon, a crepe-like snack of grilled beef and herbs, and then sit down with our chef for an authentic Vietnamese lunch at one of his favorite restaurants.
Fly to Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise!
We take you to Ha Long Bay this morning aboard a new, American-built seaplane for an unforgettable bird’s-eye view over the towering peaks and hidden coves of Ha Long Bay. (You can travel by private car if you wish.) Touch down amidst the emerald waters and transfer to our deluxe Paradise Cruise vessel for an unforgettable overnight voyage. Enjoy lunch, dinner and a wonderful journey deep into this captivating tableau of mountains, sea and sky. There’ll be plenty of time to take in the scenery and maybe even go swimming or kayaking as our ship explores along hidden caves, tranquil inlets and cliffs draped with lush tropical vegetation.
Disembark and return to Hanoi
Early risers can watch as the sun casts its first light across the peaks and waters of Ha Long Bay. Relax over breakfast as your ship charts a leisurely course through the Bay. Step off mid-morning and return to Hanoi where our services end at the airport for your onward flight.
After your adventure in Vietnam, why not extend your stay to go to Angor Wat? Since you are all the way over there, spend an extra 4 days and visit the infamous Unesco Heritage site.
From Vietnam to Angkor Wat
Your international flight today from Hanoi, Vietnam to Siem Reap, Cambodia is included. Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the deluxe Sofitel Royal Angkor hotel.
Unhurried exploration of Angkor
After breakfast, your expert guide will be waiting to show you these amazing jungle ruins, a spectacular legacy of the once-mighty Khmer Empire. You’ll begin the day at Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops Pyramid in Egypt. Inspired by 12th century Hinduism, it took an estimated 30 years to build Angkor Wat, including the intricately carved bas-reliefs which adorn all four sides of the temple.
Enjoy lunch at Viroth’s Restaurant and then continue your touring with the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom. The last capital of the Khmers is renowned for its impressive Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King, and the stunning Bayon temple. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. Late in the day, your guide will lead you to a prime vantage point to witness the sunset over Angkor. Dine tonight at the Sugar Palm Restaurant.
The luxury of a second day at Angkor
Today’s sightseeing focuses on the lesser-known but equally significant sites of Angkor, like the oft-photographed Ta Prohm. Dedicated in 1186, this vast temple complex has been largely left in its natural state, surrounded by the massive roots and limbs of the encroaching jungle. At tonight’s dinner, you’ll enjoy a cultural performance of dance and music.
Depart Siem Reap
Our tour program finishes this morning after breakfast.