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Tailor Made Best of Vietnam & Laos (2016)
Days: 11 | From: $4,895
Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a city characterized by wide boulevards and French colonial architecture.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City | Cu Chi Tunnels
Visit Cu Chi, a small community located in the northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, known for its network of deep tunnels that provided shelter and an effective source of infiltration for the Viet Cong during the later years of the Vietnam War. The tunnels, which reached hundreds of miles in total length, housed storage rooms, makeshift hospitals and sleeping quarters. Heavy bombing by U.S. forces did not halt movement through the tunnels, making this an unusually successful defense against the weaponry of the American troops. After lunch at a local restaurant, embark on a city tour, seeing Reunification Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office and Ben Thanh Market.
Park Hyatt Saigon | Meals: B L
Days 3-4: Hoi An | Artistic Treasures
Fly to Danang and proceed to the Cham Museum, which contains 300 stone art treasures and the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. Continue on to Non Nuoc, formerly China Beach, which stretches north and south from the surrounding mountains. Check in to your hotel, perched on an arc of powder-white sand. The next morning, visit to the ancient town of Hoi An on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Wander along its ancient winding streets, marveling at the tile-roofed wooden buildings and perusing vendors’ wares, which include colorful handmade lanterns —a Hoi An specialty. Spend the afternoon at leisure.
The Nam Hai | Meals: B
Days 5-6: Hanoi | Ho Chi Minh’s House
Fly to Hanoi, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. After settling in, travel by cyclo through the bustling Old Quarter. Later, see a traditional Vietnamese roi nuoc (water puppetry) performance. The following day, pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s house; the simple structure, which belonged to the revolutionary guerrilla leader, is located among banyan and milkweed trees. Continue to the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, dating back to the first Vietnamese empire independent from China. See, too, the Temple of Literature.
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi | Meals: B
Day 7: Ha Long Bay | “Dragon Descending to the Sea”
Travel overland to Ha Long Bay (the “Dragon Descending to the Sea”), where you board your luxury junk (boat). Relax over lunch and begin your passage into the magical bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth. Sail to a spellbinding limestone grotto. Take a dip on a quiet beach or simply soak up rays on the sun deck. In the afternoon, visit a small village, where you interact with local fishermen. Back on board your vessel, watch the sunset over cocktails. Then, make your way to the dining room for dinner.
'Halong Violet' | Meals: B L D
Day 8: Luang Prabang, Laos | Land of a Million Elephants
Greet the day with an on board tai chi lesson at sunrise. After breakfast, take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay. Disembark and travel overland to Hanoi, where you fly to Luang Prabang, Laos, the “Land of a Million Elephants.” Upon arrival, you are transferred to your accommodations overlooking the town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening, partake in a baci ceremony, during which a village elder ties lengths of blessed white string around your wrist. Said to protect the wearer, legend holds that the strings must not be removed for at least three days.
Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao | Meals: B
Days 9-10: Luang Prabang | Artifacts, Arts & Nature
Explore the artifact-rich National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace. It houses the gold Buddha image, which is believed to be nearly 2,000 years old. Continue to Wat Xieng Thong, taking note of its low, sweeping roofs. Inside, richly decorated wooden columns support a ceiling vested with dharma-wheels. Visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, a stunning, private museum housed in a grand colonial courthouse. Begin the following day at Phoussy Hill and Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next, witness a silk-weaving demonstration at Ock Pop Tok. In the afternoon, explore Kuang Si Falls, its multi-tiered waterfall tumbling over limestone formations into a series of cool, turquoise-green pools. You may opt to visit the nearby bear rescue center, which protects and rehabilitates the rare Asiatic Black Bear.
Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao | Meals: B
Day 11: Depart Luang Prabang
Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.