ARRIVE HANOI, VIETNAM
Arrive in Hanoi, where you receive fast-track assistance through customs and immigration formalities before being met and transferred to your hotel.
HANOI | HO CHI MINH’S HOUSE
This morning, pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s stilted house, located among banyan and milkweed trees. Continue to the iconic, lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda, built by King Ly Thai To as thanks to the deity he believed helped his wife give birth to his son. See, too, the Temple of Literature (Quoc Tu Giam). Recognized as Hanoi’s first university, the temple is featured on the back of the 100,000 VND banknote. Proceed to the home of Mr. My, a former Vietnamese pilot who shares stories from his time during the Vietnam War, including the close friendship he developed with a U.S. pilot. After lunch at a local restaurant, pay a visit to the gatehouse-turned-museum at Hỏa Lò Prison, used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners and, later, by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Next, travel by cyclo (rickshaw) through the bustling Old Quarter along its time-honored streets before returning to your hotel.
HA LONG BAY | “DRAGON DESCENDING TO THE SEA”
Travel overland to Ha Long Bay (the “Dragon Descending to the Sea”), where you board your traditional wooden junk (boat). Relax over lunch and begin your passage into the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth. In the afternoon, visit Cua Van Fishing Village, where you may explore from small sampans (bamboo boats) rowed by villagers. Back on board your vessel, join your chef for a Vietnamese cooking demonstration. Enjoy dinner and cocktails on board.
HOI AN | TIME TO UNWIND
Rise early to tea, pastries and a tai chi class on the sun deck, watching the picturesque bay scroll by. Transfer back to Hanoi where you fly to Danang, and continue to your hotel in Hoi An. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
HOI AN | CHARMING OLD TOWN
Travel to Tra Que Village, where you visit a local home and sample juice made from freshly squeezed fruits, followed by a stroll through the village gardens where local farmers still use traditional farming techniques. You may even assist some farmers with their crop collection. Return to Hoi An this afternoon and set out on a walking tour. Visit the Old House of Tan Ky, Fukien Assembly Hall and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge.
HO CHI MINH CITY | ENERGETIC URBAN ENVIRONS
After a morning at leisure, transfer to the airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel.
HO CHI MINH CITY | CHU CHI TUNNELS
This morning, visit Cu Chi, a small community located 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. Return to Ho Chi Minh City for lunch, followed by a city tour, seeing Reunification Hall, the Historical Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office and Ben Thanh Market. Return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
DEPART HO CHI MINH CITY
Transfer to the airport and board your departure flight.
Enhance Your Journey
Elevate your experience with a host of options available for an additional cost.
HANOI CULINARY ADVENTURE
Explore Hanoi’s culinary scene, sampling traditional dishes prepared by local vendors in the Old Quarter, food street at Dong Xuan market, and lakeside Truc Bach. Make one final stop to enjoy an Egg Cappuccino, a regional specialty no foodie should miss.
HOI AN CULINARY ADVENTURE
Enjoy a morning at The Market cooking school in Hoi An, learning about regional spices, herbs, grains, veggies and fruits. Tour a vast array of specialty food counters, observing live cooking demonstrations, trying your hand at local recipes, and sampling new flavors along the way.
HO CHI MINH CITY BY VESPA
Enjoy a night on the town and a culinary adventure as you explore Ho Chi Minh City from the back of an expertly driven Vespa. Buzz through neon-lit streets en route to lively District Four, where you experience local nightlife, cuisine and café culture rarely glimpsed by other travellers.
YEN DUC VILLAGE
Enjoy authentic local interactions with a cultural visit to Yen Duc, an idyllic riverside village. If time permits, visit Cảnh Huong Pagoda, an ancient Buddhist temple.
BEN TRE BY BOAT & BICYCLE
Explore tropical Ben Tre’s vast network of canals, village roads and bridges by sampan, rickshaw and bicycle, stopping to visit with a local family and a former Vietcong soldier who survived two years fighting the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh.