Explore ethnic minority villages in the depths of northern Vietnam's stunning mountains, in Sapa
Experience a full-day guided tour of Hanoi City, including Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the 'Hanoi Hilton'
Take an overnight traditional junk cruise through Halong Bay
Stroll through the peaceful ancient streets of Hoi An
Tour Hue City, the former capital of Vietnam and location of the impressive Imperial City
Immerse yourself in the vibrant city life of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon
See the remnants of the Vietnam War at the poignant Cu Chi Tunnels
Savour the rural delights and local lifestyles of the Mekong Delta
Departure Dates 2020-
19FEB, 04MAR, 19APR, 13MAY*, 10JUN, 22JUL, 19AUG, 09SEP, 14OCT, 11NOV
* = Peak season surcharge: $300
Day 1 - Arrive Hanoi
Fly to Hanoi via connecting cities. On arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide and transfer to your hotel. Hanoi is over 1000 years old and is currently the capital of Vietnam, as well the commercial, political, and cultural heart of the country.
Note: Your flights may depart the day before.
Day 2 - Hanoi Sapa – Hike to Cat Cat Village (B)
Transfer by bus to Sapa. Upon arrival, you’ll check in to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit Cat Cat village (medium to advanced trekking required), where you may wish to try the local apple wine or purchase a hand-woven blanket, and Sapa town.
Day 3 - Sapa – Hang Da – Sa Seng – Sapa (B, L)
Drive southwards and up Den Thang Mountain. Explore Hang Da, a Black Hmong village by foot, which displays the age-old lifestyle of the Hmong. Then follow the village path downhill through the stunning valley of Sa Seng. Along the way, you will pass several hamlets which are organised in the typical Hmong style. The walk ends after visiting Sa Pa, another hamlet of the Hmong which is located near the former Sapa traditional market.
Day 4 - Sapa - Hanoi
Day 5 - Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
Day 6 - Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Halong Bay - Hanoi - Da Nang - Hoi An (B, L)
Enjoy the aquamarine waters of the bay at its best as the junk continues to cruise quietly through spectacular limestone formations. Disembark from the junk at noon and transfer to Hanoi airport for a short flight to Da Nang. On arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to Hoi An, an ancient town recognised as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. Check into your hotel in Hoi An.
Note: In the event that insufficient seats are available for the Hanoi to Da Nang flight, you may instead fly from Hai Phong to Da Nang.
Day 8 - Hoi An (B)
You will be escorted by our local guide to discover Hoi An by walking tour through the narrow streets of this charming town. Perhaps more than any other place in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of centuries past. Once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an influential port along the Silk Road. For over 500 years merchants from China, Japan, France, and Portugal settled in the prosperous town resulting in a distinctive blend of culture, cuisine, religions and architecture. In 1999, the town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rest of the day is at your own leisure. You may join the below optional activities (at your own expense).
– Evening Cultural Stage Show – Lune Production (with pre-show cocktail & Vietnamese tasting platter) Note: If Lune Production is not available, you will instead watch the Hoi An Memories Show.
– Evening Cultural Stage Show – Hoi An Memories Show (with pre-show cocktail & Vietnamese tasting platter)
Day 9 - Hoi An (B)
This morning, you will visit the Réhahn Museum, to view the ‘Precious Heritage Collection’, by French Photographer Réhahn. This work focuses on the endangered cultural heritage of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups, attempting to document their rapidly-changing ways of life. Afterwards, you have free time at leisure, or you may enjoy the following optional activities (at your own expense):
Evening Cultural Stage Show / Hoi An Memories Show (with pre-show cocktail & Vietnamese tasting platter)
Photography Foodie Tour - Hoi An At Dawn
Fishing Village & Waterways Eco-Tour
Ba Na Hills & Golden Bridge Tour
Depart Hoi An to Hue City (the driving takes about 3 hours excluding stops). Along the way, you will have the opportunity to stop en route to take pictures at Lang Co Beach. Hue City, during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945), was the political, economic and cultural capital of Vietnam and its historical monuments were recognised as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1993. On arrival, you will take a boat trip to Thien Mu Pagoda – a historic pagoda on the banks of the Perfume River in Hue, Vietnam. Apart from their scenic riverside and hilltop location, the Thien Mu Pagoda and its environs are also rich in history, standing witness to almost four hundred years of tumultuous nation-building in Vietnam. Then travel to the centre of Hue city to visit the massive Kinh Thanh Citadel, comprised of the Imperial City, several museums, lakes, and lovely gardens, all laid out in a series of concentric circles.
Optional Program: Full Royal Dinner in Hue
Day 11 - Hue - Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Enjoy the morning at your own leisure (time permitting) before transferring to the airport for your direct flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, transfer to visit the imposing Dong Khoi Street (formerly Catinat street) before going to the Notre Dame Cathedral. This is the most famous landmark in Vietnam, as the twin bell towers can be seen from a great distance. In the same square is the famous Saigon Post Office, the largest functioning post office in Vietnam. Continue on to visit Reunification Palace, the palace of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1975, and the War Remains Museum, where you can learn about the Vietnam War. At the end of the day, visit Ben Thanh Market before returning to your hotel.
Day 12 - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta (B, L)
Depart with our guide and driver for a scenic drive through the Mekong Delta, home to the richest agricultural lands in Vietnam. On arrival at My Tho City, take a boat trip on the Mekong River to fishing villages and Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle and Phoenix Islands. Crossing the Mekong River, you’ll cruise along a small canal to see the daily life of locals in Bến Tre Province, visiting Quới An bee farm and handicraft workshop to enjoy some honey-tea and see how people make things from coconut wood. Take a horse-cart along country roads to visit fruit orchards, enjoy tropical fruit and listen to traditional music. Then, take small sampans back to your cruise to ‘Coconut Village’ for a coconut candy workshop and tasting. Visit Phoenix Island for a rice-paper workshop, then return by boat to My Tho and then by road back to Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy the rest of the day free at leisure.
Day 13 - Ho Chi Minh City Cu Chi Tunnels Ho Chi Minh City (B)
After breakfast, we visit the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels, a well-known historical vestige of the Vietnamese revolution. This cobweb-like tunnel complex is a network of underground dug-outs over 200 km long, consisting of many layers and turnings with meeting, living, and fighting quarters where we learn firsthand how the Viet Cong survived their extraordinary underground existence during the Vietnam War. Visit a lacquerware factory on the way back to the city, and then enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure in Ho Chi Minh City.
Optional Program: Lunch at Hoi An Sense Restaurant
Optional Program: Dinner Cruise on Saigon River
Day 14 - Ho Chi Minh City - Australia (B)
Enjoy the day at your own leisure (time permitting) before transferring to the airport for your return flight home.
Day 15 - Australia
Return economy class airfares departing Sydney or Melbourne Vietnam Airlines or China Southern Airlines, China Airlines, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines or similar Chinese/Asian Carriers
Vietnam internal airfares
12 nights accommodation (twin/double) plus 1 night on board during your Halong Bay cruise
Round trip airport & hotel transfers
Entrance fees to attractions in program
Daily meals as indicated (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
Private coach transportation
English speaking tour guide(s)
Government taxes and service charges
Prepaid tipping: $140
Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
Personal expenses & anything optional
Seasonal Surcharges: * = Shoulder Season: $200, ** = Peak season: $400
Interstate Surcharge: Brisbane/Adelaide $300, Perth $300 (flights may be via Sydney/Melbourne)
Stay Behind/Early Arrival Surcharge: From $250
Pre/Post Tour Accommodation (inc. breakfast): From $150/room/night (twin share), $150/single room/night
Child Price: Same as adult
Passengers must remain with the tour group at all times and must not deviate from the set itinerary.
The total length of the tour in days includes time spent in flight and is subject to change depending on the flight schedule, please refer to the day by day itinerary for the time spent on land.