Day 1: Overnight Flight
Set out on a journey that reveals the best of Vietnam, a beautiful country with a long and rich history.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Tour Begins
Your tour opens in historic Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. For centuries, the city has been the commercial hub of the region, creating a cultural melting pot.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City
This morning, head to the Cu Chi Tunnels, a maze of underground passageways used as hideouts by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. After lunch at a local restaurant you’ll get acquainted with the city’s colonial landmarks on a tour that features the Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral,* the Reunification Palace and the Old Market in District 1. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City
Today we explore the famous Mekong Delta, rich with natural and historic wonders, during a cruise along this bustling river. Be introduced to daily life during a visit to a home where coconut candy is made. Enjoy a lunch of regional cuisine in a lush tropical garden. Visit a local residence to learn about their traditional way of life. Later, enjoy a visit to Cao Dai Temple and explore the region’s rich architectural style.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi
Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. From the ancient past, through colonial rule to the modern day, this vibrant city boasts many layers of history. Hanoi’s French influences and traditional motifs paint a rich cultural portrait that enthralls visitors.
Day 6: Hanoi
Begin your day in Ba Dinh Square, home of the mausoleum built to honor Ho Chi Minh, a revered figure in Vietnam. Behind this impressive site and standing in stark contrast is Minh's simple house that sits on stilts. Admire the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda resting on a single stone pillar emerging from the water. Take in the well-preserved traditional architecture at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, founded in the early 11th century. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Then, set out on a cyclo tour of Hanoi that takes you through its Old Quarter. Catch a glimpse of ancient Hanoi and see the traditional Vietnamese architecture including the “long house.”
Day 7: Hanoi - Ky Son – Hanoi
Venture to the countryside to Ky Son village. It’s your choice! Come to know life here as you embark on a stroll or a bike ride through the village. Next, learn about local culinary traditions during a cooking demonstration with a local chef before a lunch highlighting regional cuisine. En route to Duong Lam village, meet villagers and see their unique historic homes and communal places of worship. Enjoy a visit to the Mia Pagoda. Stop at the humble Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung temples, built by the locals in the 8th and 10th centuries to honor their kings. Return to Hanoi for an evening at leisure.
Day 8: Hanoi - Halong Bay
Journey to Halong Bay for your overnight cruise on a luxury junk boat. Travel through the rice paddy fields and stop in some of the villages. Marvel at the thousands of limestone islands that dot these waters. Enjoy a lunchtime seafood feast aboard followed by a swim in the crystal clear waters of the bay. This afternoon it’s your choice! Explore the floating fishing village by traditional row boat or by kayak! Overnight among the dramatic limestone peaks rising out of the sea.
Day 9: Halong Bay - Hanoi – Hue
Wake as the fog gently lifts, revealing the morning light. Enjoy cruising through the emerald waters of Halong Bay back to the harbor. We then return to Hanoi to board a flight to Hue, the Imperial capital city.
Day 10: Hue
Travel to the shores of the Perfume River and embark on a cruise that reveals Hue’s Imperial past. Our first stop is at Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest and most remarkable religious buildings in the country. Then it’s on to see the incredible mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc, the most elaborate royal tomb in the country. Continue on to explore the sprawling Imperial Citadel that originally encompassed 148 buildings before arriving at the Dong Ba Market to witness or partake in the timeless art of bartering. Later, savor the local flavors during dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 11: Hue - Hoi An
Travel along the coast and through the countryside via the breathtaking Hai Van Pass on your way to Hoi An. En route, pause to see the quaint Lang Co fishing village. Enjoy a visit to the Cham Museum in Da Hang which houses the finest collection of Cham artwork. Arrive in Hoi An, an ancient merchant trading port and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 12: Hoi An
Explore Hoi An during a morning tour. Learn about the local cuisine at today’s cooking class. Begin with a visit to a local market to interact with vendors and learn about traditional ingredients. Learn how each of the vegetables and herbs are used to create everyday Vietnamese cuisine and enjoy lunch after your class. Then, visit one of Hoi An’s famous lantern workshops and try your hand at lantern making. These colorful handmade creations are a part of the culture of the city and symbolize luck, happiness and wealth to the residents. Set out on a walking tour of this well-preserved town. Feel like you have stepped into the past as you stroll by the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, the ancient merchant house, a 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge, and the vibrant riverside market. Later, enjoy a peaceful boat trip along the Thu Bon River before time at leisure to explore the old town.
Day 13: Hoi An
Catch a glimpse into the Champa Kingdom at the remarkable ruins of My Son Sanctuary (UNESCO), situated in a remote jungle valley. This once thriving epicenter of religion and politics dates back to the 4th century and has more than 20 well-preserved monuments to discover. Next, explore the local way of life at Tra Que Herb village, a small farming community. En route, stop to see 17th-century Japanese tombs, the only ones of their kind outside of Japan. Arrive in town and observe the farmers tending to their crops and sample some local delicacies. Relax as you soak your feet in an herbal bath before returning to Hoi An. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 14: Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Tonight, toast to the end of a remarkable adventure while savoring your farewell dinner.