- Cookery class in the home of a Vietnamese couple.
- Visit an imperial city and an ancient village by bicycle.
- Meditate in the home monastery of Thich Nhat Hanh.
- Make visits at local NGOs doing inspiring work in the community.
- See the temples and bridges of Hoi An’s old town.
- Enjoy cozy live performances of traditional theater and music.
- Marvel at the 3,000 islands of Halong Bay.
Day 1 : Arrive in Ho Chi Minh
Majestic Saigon Hotel
Upon your arrival, be warmly welcomed by your local guide and transferred to the city and to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free at your leisure.
Formerly called Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the most populous, modern and lively city in Vietnam. Many buildings in the city center are reminiscent of a French presence. Ho Chi Minh is also characterized by its fabulous cuisine.
For tonight, enjoy welcome dinner at cozy Mandarin Restaurant.
Day 2 : Ho Chi Minh City
Majestic Saigon Hotel
Set out for a half-day guided tour of Ho Chi Minh, once known as Saigon. Historic landmarks include the Reunification Palace, the colonial French quarter, the former City Hall, the Municipal Theatre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Central Post Office, with its imposing architecture of Gustave Eiffel distinguished by its superb metal structure. This quarter is home to the most famous hotels, which will give you a flavor of Vietnamese splendor and modernity.
Continue on to FITO, the first private museum in Vietnam, where you will discover many documents and information about traditional Vietnamese medicine. End the day with “À Ố” (“new circus”) show. Alternately, visit the home of a folkloric Vietnamese musician couple, enjoying an intimate performance and warm hospitality.
Day 3 : Ho Chi Minh City – Hue
La Residence Hotel & Spa
Spend the morning at leisure until taking your brief 1-hour flight to Hue – a former capital of Vietnam and a UNESCO Heritage Site. On arrival at Hue Airport, meet your local guide and be transferred to your hotel for check in. Lunch is on your own.
In the afternoon, a charming Vietnamese couple will welcome you into their lovely garden-house in Hue named Tha Om for a private cookery lesson. The landlord will give you a guided tour of the various centenarian buildings. Your hostess will then take you to the kitchen to teach you how to prepare a selection of traditional Hue dishes and how to play with the combinations of flavors. During dinner you will be able to taste the dishes you have prepared yourself along with other Hue specialties prepared by your hosts.
Day 4 : Hue
La Residence Hotel & Spa
The morning visit will start with a trip by bicycle to the Imperial Citadel. We continue with Tu Duc’s tomb, located in a narrow valley, about 8kms from the center of Hue. The place is a model of traditional Vietnamese art and an invitation to tranquility.
Transfer to Tu Hieu Pagoda, one of the most important Buddhist shrines in Hue, and the home monastery of Thich Nhat Hanh, a worldwide famous Vietnamese meditation master. There you will meet with a monk who introduces you to basic notions of the Buddha’s Teaching and practice a few meditation exercises.
Day 5 : Hue – Danang – Hoi An
Almanity Hoi An
Early this morning, depart on a cycling tour (about 12 kilometers) along poetic Như Ý River, from Vinh Vệ village to Chuồn Lagoon – a part of famous Tam Giang Lagoon (around 1 hour). The scenery of the ancient village captivates visitors with its tradition and detail. Reach Chuồn Lagoon and board a boat for a floating excursion on the lagoon.
Return to the hotel for breakfast then depart to Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van Pass. On the way, we will pass by “Family 4 House” which is managed by a French non-profit organization Association Xuan that works with disadvantaged children. Depending on the schedule, we may be able to visit with the kids and enjoy a meal together. Upon arrival in Hoi An, spend the remainder of your day free at leisure.
Day 6 : Hoi An
Almanity Hoi An
Avoiding the touristy Main Street, we will take you to the small lanes hidden inside the old town. The small streets of Hoi An are ideal to wander through the shops on foot or on a bike. Cars and motorbikes are forbidden in the entire area, which allows you to peacefully enjoy some of most important sightseeing of Hoi An such as Chinese temples, traditional houses, the Japanese bridge and daily active life of local people.
Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea at Reaching Out – a special teashop where all the waiters and waitresses are hearing impaired staff.
Day 7 : Hoi An – Danang – Hanoi
Hotel De L’Opera
Transfer to Danang Airport for the flight to Hanoi, where you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. Today we will visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 by Emperor Thanh Tong. After that, starting off from Hoan Kiem Lake, we will start a walking trip passing by the famous coffee street of Hang Hanh. Weaving your way between old and new Hanoi, your senses will be bombarded with a cascade of different sights, sounds, smells and characters.
This afternoon, see inside the Tuong Vietnamese national art theatre and enjoy a unique theatrical experience! Combining music, theatre, mime and singing, it’s an art form inspired by different historical, folk and contemporary themes. The show even becomes interactive!
Day 8 : Hanoi – Halong
‘The Legend Ha Long’ (private wooden junk)
After breakfast, we leave Hanoi this morning and head straight to Halong Bay, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay. After arriving at noon, you will board a beautiful boat for an overnight cruise on Halong Bay with an excellent menu of fresh seafood. Lunch and dinner are served on boat. Optional – help keep the bay clean with a rubbish collection activity.
Day 9 : Ha Long – Hanoi – Departure
Wake up in the morning to enjoy aquamarine water of the bay at its best. After tea break, the boat continues to cruise quietly through spectacular limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy this more isolated and unique islands of the bay. Return to Halong Harbor after a brunch for transfer to Noi Bai Airport for your onward flight.
Interested in booking this itinerary, or customizing your own? Get in touch, and our travel designers will put together your perfect trip.