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Vietnam

VIETNAM: Classic Highlights Tour - 14 days
Cambodia 4 day Extension Available.

Destinations: Ho Chi Min City, Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay,

Tour Grading MODERATE: Suitable for travellers with an above average level of fitness and mobility

Tour Commences In: Ho Chi Ming City

Number of Days: 14 days / 13 nights

Accommodation: Luxury / Deluxe

Leaders: Australian Tour Manager & professional specialised guide

Tour Concludes In: Hanoi

Tour Style: Luxury Escorted Small Group Tour

Meals: Breakfasts; 14: Lunches; 8: Dinners; 8:

Transportation: Luxury private chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles

Tour Summary

Join Boutique Tours & Travel on our luxury Vietnam Classic Highlights small group Tour and gain an insight into Vietnam's  lifestyle and culture.

We begin in the vibrant city of Saigon, (as it is still popularly known) where we will discover the local sights and sounds of a cultural melting pot.  We then head north to the charming city of Hoi An that still retains an old world ambience. It is rich in historical quality that has resulted in its recent listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We stop-over at Hue to discover its brief history as a past capital of Vietnam; with its own Forbidden City.  We fly to Hanoi, full of personality and the capital of Vietnam where we learn more about the nation’s complex history. Finally, we enjoy an overnight luxury cruise at the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay.  Along the way, we will explore local markets with our expert guides and introduce you to local fruits vegetables and plants used in foods and as herbal remedies; participate in a cooking class presented by our Vietnamese chef who will demonstrate many of the unique flavours of the Vietnamese cuisine.  Come join us as a solo traveller, couple or with a group of friends and immerse yourself in a wonderful cuisine and cultural experience.

Tour Highlights

  • Experience the bustling city of HCMC
  • Explore the local markets
  • Visit the famous The Reunification Palace (Presidential Palace) Notre Dame Cathedral, the Centre Old Post Office
  • Be moved at The War Remnants Museum,
  • Experience the Cai Be floating fruit & vegetable market,
  • Enjoy cruising the Mekong Delta River
  • Tour an ancient mandarin house
  • Walk & shop the delightful high-end shopping streets
  • Be captivated UNESCO Listed charming ancient township of Hoi An
  •  ‘Shop till you drop’ amongst masterful tailors, artists and the like.
  • Experience optional cooking & or lantern making lessons
  • Explore the Old City including the 400 year old Japanese Bridge & Chinese Pagoda
  • Spend free time to relax at the beach
  • Be intrigued by the Imperial Citidel at Hue
  • Enjoy cruising the Perfumed River
  • Experience a cyclo ride in the old quarter of Hanoi
  • Step inside Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, house on stilts. One Pillar Pagoda; full of history
  •   Visit Van Mieu- Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature & Vietnam’s first university). Constructed in 11th century,
  •   Stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about legend of the lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple,
  •   the Water Puppet show- a uniquely Northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history
  • Participate in a market tour & cooking class
  • Be overwhelmed by Ha Long Bay, one of the World Natural Heritages recognized by UNESCO
  • Enjoy fabulous fine dining with wonderful cuisine and regional delicacies and much more..

Tour Inclusions

  • Exclusive Private airport arrival and departure transfers in Vietnam for all guests
  • Internal Airfare – Economy Class: Saigon/Danang - Hue/Hanoi
  • Deluxe private air- conditioned chauffer driven vehicles for all your transportation
  • Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
  • 5 and / or  4 Star hotel and or Boutique Hotel accommodation
  • Meals as listed in the program B= Breakfast; L= Lunch & D = Dinner
  • Australian Tour Director experienced professional tour guide
  • Entrance fees to buildings,  monuments and shows as per the program
  • boat fees where applicable
  • Welcome Cocktails
  • Bottled water
  • An exclusive information travel package

Brief Itinerary

DAY 1:         Arrive Saigon:

DAY 2:         Saigon:

DAY 3:        Saigon – Mekong Delta:

DAY 4:        Saigon:

DAY 5:       Saigon – Hoi An:

DAY 6:        Hoi An:

DAY 7:         Hoi An:

DAY 8:          Hoi An – Hue:

DAY 9:         Hue - Hanoi:

DAY 10:       Hanoi:

DAY 11:      Hanoi:

DAY 12:       Hanoi - Ha Long Bay – Overnight on board:

DAY 13:        Ha Long Bay – Hanoi:

DAY 14:    2   Depart Hanoi:

   Cambodia 4 Day Extension Available. 

Country Information

 

Accommodation:

Our hotels in Vietnam are excellent four and five star boutique hotels. We highly recommend these hotel as they have excellent services and facilities. All rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms with double & two twin beds. Triple share accommodation may also be available and consists of two single beds plus a rollaway/fold-up bed.

Climate & Clothing:

The climate in Vietnam is tropical and is warm to hot all year around. The rainy season is June till October. The general rule is to bring comfortable clothing including lightweight cottons. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as is a light waterproof jacket. We provide a detailed packing list to all our guests prior to departure.

Currency & Money Matters:

Dông (VND; symbol ₫) is the official currency of Vietnam. We recommend that you take a combination of cash and credit cards including a ‘Travel Card’. (From your bank or post office) Only a limited number of places take major foreign credit cards.

Electricity:

The electrical current in Vietnam 220/110 volts AC, 50Hz; two-pin flat plugs are in use.

Insurance:

You must obtain Comprehensive Travel Insurance as a condition of travelling with Boutique Tours & Travel. We recommend that you purchase insurance at the time of Booking.

Language:

Vietnamese is the official language.

Meals:

Our hotels offer a wonderful selection of dishes at their buffet breakfasts with a wide variety of both menu and venue for lunches and evening meals.

Medical Services & Facilities:

Our hotels have access to a doctor if required. They can also assist guests with purchasing of medicine. The international hospitals in Cambodia are very good and have western trained medical and surgical specialists. Dental care is also available.

Passports & Visas:

To enter Vietnam you require a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry and with at least two blank pages. A visa is required for most guests and will be organised prior to departure.

Pre & Post Tour Accommodation:

Boutique Tours & Travel suggests that you may like to arrive a day before the start of your tour to allow time to relax and refresh. You are also very welcome to linger longer after the tour is completed. We have negotiated special overnight rates at this hotel for both pre and post tour accommodation. Please ask for details at time of booking. Local tour guides are also available on request.

Solo Traveller:

We welcome single travellers and we are able to arrange single accommodation. We negotiate strongly to keep single supplements at a reasonable cost. If you wish to share a room, we will endeavour to match you with another single guest and adjust the costs accordingly and refund any costs after you return home. We accept no responsibility for the suitability of a room partner.

Special Requests:

Specific requests such as adjacent or connecting rooms, bedding requests, smoking or non-smoking rooms and special dietary needs or any other arrangement should be advised at time of booking. Please note that every effort will be made to secure your special request; however, they cannot always be guaranteed.

Time Zone:

Vietnam standard time is GMT +7.

Tour Group:

Our small group tours provide you with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery.

Transport:

We generally use modern deluxe minibuses for tours. We also walk where and when it’s suitable.

Vietnam Weather:

Overall, * South = Always warm

* North typically cooler!

Water & Beverages:

Our hotel offers bottled water, and soft drinks and bottled water are provided throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of this tour.

Full Itinerary

Day 1:         ARRIVE - Ho Chi Minh City: (Saigon)    (SD)

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City as it is called by the younger generation. You will be met by our tour director and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have free time to explore Saigon. Our tour director is able to assist you with a number of options

 

Day 2:           Ho Chi Minh City: (Saigon)               (B/L)

After breakfast we depart for a full day tour and discover more about this hectic city. Visit a local market, The War Remnants Museum, The Reunification Palace (Presidential Palace) Notre Dame Cathedral, Thien Hau Pagoda and Ben Thanh Market for shopping. Afternoon at Leisure.

 

Day 3:          Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) - Mekong Delta:          (B/L/D)

This morning transfer by land from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta via My Tho where you will take a boat trip over the Tien River to Ben Tre Island. As you cross over the river (a branch of the Mekong) you will pass sand barges and small sampan fishing boats, an insight into daily life on the Mekong Delta.  Half way across the river you will stop at Phoenix Islet where you will encounter local families making coconut rice paper as well as handicrafts made from coconut shells.

There are 2 options:

-          Continue to Tan Thach and perhaps ride a bicycle through the coconut groves and remote villages, along the way observing the simplicity of life on the Mekong.

-          Continue to Tan Thach by minibus

Stop for a traditional style Vietnamese lunch by a tiny tributary of the Tien River. After your meal, take a leisurely boat trip passing by an eclectic mix of Mekong style boats laden with sand, fruit, fish, coconuts – this is as close as it comes to life on the river. Delve back in time stopping at the small family run cottage industries that trade in coconuts, as well as traditional salt making workshop, a grass mat weaving hamlet and a brick kiln factory. After this truly unique insight of rural Vietnamese life tour, you continue to Can Tho by land. Dinner included at your hotel.

 

Day 4:            Ho Chi Minh City: (Saigon)             (B/L)

This morning is a boat trip on the Can Tho River to Cai Rang. Stop en route to visit traditional floating houses which families raise fish underneath as a source of income. In Cai Rang, visit the local market which sells a variety of goods including farming and fishing tools, Chinese medicinal herbs and fruits and vegetables. Later this afternoon return to Saigon.

 

Day 5:           Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Hoi An:    (B/L/D)

Later this morning, transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Hoi An. This afternoon enjoy a private tour of the old quarter of Hoi An. Explore the fascinating Japanese covered bridge, Chinese Assembly Halls, the Chinese Pagoda and typical 18th century Vietnamese houses. Known as Faifo to early Western traders, it was one of South East Asia’s major international ports and today it still retains that special old-world feel.

 

Day 6:        Hoi An:           (B)

Hoi An has now achieved UN World Heritage status and its profusion of old houses, quiet streets and covered bridge are being preserved and restored. These days Hoi An is renowned for its diverse architectural heritage, masterful tailors, abundant silks and superb cuisine. Hoi An is also the ultimate place to have affordable clothes made to order. While in Hoi An you will have free time to relax at the beach, shop for or dine at your choice of the town’s riverside cafés.

Optional Tours

-     Cooking Class at Red Bridge Cooking School - Half day              $75.00 PP

-     Fishing Tour – 0830 – 1530 Hrs                                                    $50.00 pp

-     Cooking and gardening Tour – Half Day (morning or afternoon)   $50.00 pp

-     My Son Sanctuary Tour – Half Day                                                 $75.00 pp

 

 Day 7:            Hoi An:          (B)

Today is at your leisure. You may wish to participate in an optional cooking course in Vietnamese cuisine or a Lantern Making class. This afternoon an optional tour to My Son is available

 

Day 8:                Hoi An - Hue:     (B/L/D)

Morning departure from Hoi An for Hue. On the way, pass China Beach, and perhaps stop for a short walk up the ’Marble Mountain’ to see caves and temples embedded in the rock.

Hue was the capital of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty of emperors from 1802 till 1945. The scenic route passes through Danang before climbing over the Mountain Clouds Hai Van Pass where a spectacular panorama of the central coastline can be viewed at the summit, dropping down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co located on a sand dune line. Tonight enjoy the fine cuisine of Hue.

 

Day 9:                Hue - Hanoi:       (B/L)

This morning, take a private city tour and visit the Imperial Citadel (Forbidden City). After lunch, travel by Dragon Boat on the romantically named Perfume River to Thien Mu pagoda standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower. Later this afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. This evening is at your leisure.

 

Day 10:            Hanoi:     (B)

Free day for optional tours or day of leisure.

-          Good Morning Hanoi Tour – 0600 Hrs– 0930hrs                                           $60.00 pp

-          Hanoi Food Tour – 0900hrs – 12md                                                              $70.00 pp

-          Sofitel Metropole Hotel market tour & cooking class            Starting from  $120.00 pp

 

Day 11:                  Hanoi:           (B/L)

The city tour starts with a visit to Van Mieu (first national university), the Temple of Literature, the Post Office and Hoan Kiem Lake (the Lake of the Restored Sword) Continue onto the History Museum, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the One Pillar Pagoda. Later this evening attend a one-hour water puppetry show.

 

Day 12:            HANOI –HALONG – Overnight on board:     (B/L/D)

Following an early breakfast, transfer by private car to the picturesque city of Ha Long. Arrive at Pier and board the shuttle boat for short transfer to our deluxe Vietnamese ’junk’. From here explore spectacular Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO designated World Heritage site of outstanding natural beauty. Welcome drinks are served. Enjoy lunch on board while cruising to Bai Tu Long Bay. Halong Bay has more than 3,000 limestone islets rising from the clear emerald water, many of them containing beautiful grottoes. Sail around rocks, islets, caves and grottoes, visit the Thien Cung and Dau Go Caves - the most beautiful among thousands of caves. After lunch, take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with sails boats, go swimming on a quite beach at Soi Sim Island or sunbathing on the sundeck. Later in the afternoon, visit an interesting fishing village. This evening enjoy cocktails while watching sunset and later unwind at the restaurant.

 

Day 13:           Ha Long Bay - Hanoi:          (Brunch /SD)

Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise and an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. Coffee or tea is served. Visit beautiful limestone Sung Sot grotto. Buffet brunch is served. Then its time to say good bye to Ha Long Bay and return to Hanoi.  Spend this afternoon at leisure, perhaps enjoy a cyclo ride or wander its tree-lined avenues, with local galleries and Vietnamese handicrafts and home-wares. This evening we shall enjoy our special farewell dinner.

 

Day 14:           Depart Hanoi:                     (B)

Your private tour concludes after breakfast.  At your leisure before transferring to the airport for your onward or homebound journey.

Depending on your departure itinerary, you may have time for some last-minute sightseeing and shopping. We are able to organise our private guide to accompany you (with surcharge). Our Tour Director can assist as required (with surcharge). Some guests may wish to stay longer in this amazing country; please don’t hesitate to contact Boutique Tours & Travel for further travel arrangements.

 

   Cambodia 4 Day Extension Tour Available.

 

Tour Hotels

CITY LUXURY DELUXE BOUTIQUE
Ho Chi Ming City: Intercontinental Asiana Majestic Saigon Royal Lotus Hotel
Mekong Delta: Victoria Can Tho Hotel & Resort    
Hoi An: Victorian Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa Life Resort Sunrise Resort
Hue: La Residence Hotel & Spa  The Imperial Hotel  
Hanoi: Sofitel Metropole Hanoi Hilton Hotel Sunway Hotel
Ha Long Bay: Jasmine Cruise Jasmine Cruise Jasmine Cruise

 

You may choose to mix your hotels; if so please contact us for a new quote.

 

Salary Packaging:

If you have Salary Packaging at your workplace, you may be entitled to claim for accommodation and or meals.

Contact us to discuss this further.

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