Northern and Central Vietnam
This tour will take you from the exciting city of Hanoi to the wonder of Ha Long Bay to the ancient city of Hue, the growing town of Da Nang with its spectacular beaches and finally to the historical town of Hoi An… all done in luxury and style.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL HANOI (D)
Upon your arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide and driver who will bring you into Hanoi City to check into your hotel. Hanoi City is over 1000 years old and is currently the capital of Vietnam as well the commercial, political, and cultural heart of the country. Once rested, enjoy the Zen spa at Zen Spa Westlake. During the evening, enjoy the welcome dinner at one of the local restaurants after which you are free to venture out on your own or take it easy and relax in your hotel room. You will spend the night at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
DAY 2: HANOI TOUR (B/ L)
After breakfast, you will experience a full city tour of Hanoi starting with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex. You can visit the Mausoleum – the final resting place of the Vietnamese great father or Uncle Ho, the stilt house where Uncle Ho lived and worked from 1958 to 1969 and the Museum where tourists can learn about his life, his work and his total devotion to Vietnam. After the HCM Complex, we go to the spiritual setting of the One-Pillar Pagoda before taking a short drive to the Temple of Literature. The temple was built in October 1073 to worship Confucius and is considered to be the first university in Vietnam. Our last stop before lunch will be at Hoan Kiem Lake where you will see the Ngoc Son Temple, built to worship Saint Van Xuong and Tran Hung Dao, a former general commander. After lunch, you will learn about the multi-color features of 54 ethnic groups in the Vietnam Ethnology Museum before finishing the tour with a 1-hour cyclo ride around the 36 streets in the old quarter of Hanoi. Later in the evening, you will get to see the unique and intriguing Water Puppet Show, a traditional folk performance held at Hanoi Theater (first class tickets) before indulging in a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants. You will spend the rest of the night at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.
DAY 3: HANOI – HALONG – CRUISE WITH THE LUXURY AU CO CRUISE (B/ L)
After breakfast, we drive to Ha Long Bay, one of the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The day starts with a leisure boat ride through the breathtaking Ha Long Bay where you will see mountainous rock formations reaching majestically out of the water. Lunch will be served onboard while cruising to Bai Tu Long Bay, Teapot Islet, Blockhouse Islet, and Goat Head Islet. Fresh local seafood will be served in the characteristically delicious style of the Vietnamese. We will explore the mystery of Sung Sot Cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Ha Long Bay before heading for the beautiful beach where you can enjoy swimming & kayaking in the bay. Later we will head back to the boat to enjoy a beautiful sunset while cruising to the Hang Trong area to anchor at Ho Dong Tien, near Trong cave. During the evening, relax to the casual and comfortable atmosphere on the luxury boat where you will have an elegant dining experience. If we are in the right season, we can see fresh squid being caught the traditional way. You can then relax under the clear, starry sky, enjoying the peace and quiet of the Bay before retiring to your cabin for the night. You will spend the night on the Au Co Cruise boat.
DAY 4: CRUISE TO CAT BA ISLAND – BAI TU LONG BAY (B/ L)
Cat Ba Island is famous for its national park which takes up half of the island. This is the largest island in the Gulf of Tonkin and is covered by a dense rainforest which is home to numerous indigenous species of flora and fauna. The secluded village of Viet Hai, is situated in the middle of this pristine environment and is easily accessible by a short walk or cycling trip. Bai Tu Long Bay is located a little further east of Halong Bay and is the most remote area of the voyage. You will get to see a wide variety of geological rock formations that make this area a spectacular site that will surely make this a popular sailing destination in the future. You will also get to go for a relaxing row boat tour through the floating village of Vung Vieng and cruising through the geological park will definitely give you delightful memories you will not forget for a long time. You will spend overnight on the Au Co Cruise boat.
DAY 5: HALONG BAY – HANOI - NIGHT FLIGHT TO HUE (B/ BRUNCH/ D)
After breakfast, we will continue to cruise through the karsts (rock formations) some of which display fantastic and mystical shapes before getting into a small boat to visit the Luon Cave. Back on board for an early lunch before saying goodbye to our boat and crew. After this fantastic visit to Ha Long, we begin our journey on the road back to Hanoi where you will be transferred to Noi Bai Airport to catch the night flight to Hue City in the central region of Vietnam. Once you arrive in Hue, you will be driven the short distance downtown to check into the hotel and then be free at your leisure. Dinner will be served at one of the local restaurants in Hue City. You will stay the night at La Residence Hotel & Spa.
DAY 6: HUE FULL DAY TOUR (B/ L/ D)
During the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945), Hue was the political, economic and cultural capital of Vietnam and was the home of the emperors of the past. We will spend the entire day exploring ancient Hue discovering its beauties and marvels. We start by taking a boat trip down the romantic Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest and most beautiful pagodas in Hue. We will then take a ride to visit the Imperial Citadel, a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993. Here we will see the Imperial City and Forbidden City, the home of previous Emperors, enjoy the various palaces, ornate halls, libraries, residences, colleges, Flag Tower and Noon Gate. Lunch will be served at the luxury and typical garden restaurant Ancient Hue – www.ancienthue.com In the afternoon, we will start our journey by heading to the outskirts of Hue to explore the Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Tombs. After dinner, you are free to roam and explore on your own or rest and relax in your hotel as you wish. You will stay the rest of the night at La Residence Hotel & Spa.
DAY 7: HUE – DANANG (B/ L)
After breakfast, we leave ancient Hue and travel to the rapidly growing city of Da Nang. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to stop en route to take pictures at the summit of Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass and visit the Cham Museum located in Da Nang City. The museum offers the most extensive collection of Cham art sculptures throughout the world. The sculptures date from the 7th to the 15th century. Afterwards, we will drive through the beautiful and famous Marble Mountains located in Da Nang. We then arrive to check in at the Fusion Maia Resort where you are free to explore the city on your own or stay in your hotel for the evening.
DAY 8: DANANG – HOI AN – DANANG (B/ L)
Enjoy the half day tour to get the whole experience of ancient and intrigue that Hoi An has to offer. Hoi An is another UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. This ancient town has lots of life and offers tourists a chance to go shopping and relax at some of the local restaurants. In the morning, we will take a walking tour to the beautifully preserved Chinese Assembly Halls, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and old family houses. Take the whole afternoon to relax and be lazy on the beach or be adventurous and set out to explore the surroundings of Hoi An… the choice is yours. One choice is to go by boat to visit the handicraft villages that specialize in ceramics and boat building (not included in the tour, additional fee is required). You will spend the night at Fusion Maia Resort.
DAY 9: DANANG – BEACH LEISURE (B/ –/ –)
Take the entire day to relax on one of the many beaches or be adventurous and set off and explore the surroundings of Da Nang, the choice is yours. You will spend the rest of the night at Fusion Maia Resort.
DAY 10: DANANG – DEPARTURE (BY FLIGHT) (B/ –/ –)
You will have breakfast at your hotel and will be free to spend your time as you wish before checking out at noon. You will drive to Da Nang airport to catch your flight to either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City where you will connect to your departure flight home.