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Highlights of Vietnam

12 Days 1 Country 6 Cities

Visit the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and the monolithic islands of Halong Bay on this Country Explorer trip.

"Everything from start to finish with Trafalgar was WONDERFUL"

Pamela

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About this trip

Visit Vietnam in one fascinating trip: the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and the monolithic islands of Halong Bay.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like... rolling up your sleeves and joining local farmers in the vegetable fields surrounding Tra Que village, and meeting the family at Ngoc Son Garden House, as they share its royal history over local delicacies.


Trip type: Country Explorer i

Trip code: CTVA

11 Nights

accommodation

22 Meals
  • 11 buffet breakfasts.

  • 6 lunches (including Be My Guest).

  • 5 dinners.

On-trip Transport

All transport shown.

Highlights of Vietnam

Your Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive Hanoi (2 Nights)

Day 2

Hanoi Sightseeing

Day 3

Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise

Day 4

Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue (2 Nights)

Day 5

Hue Sightseeing

Day 6

Hue – Danang – Hoi An (3 Nights)

Day 7

Hoi An Sightseeing

Day 8

Hoi An Free Time

Day 9

Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City (3 Nights)

Day 10

Mekong Delta

Day 11

Ho Chi Minh City Free time

Day 12

Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Day 1

Arrive Hanoi (2 Nights)

Welcome to Vietnam. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception with drinks and local appetisers.

Hotel

Melia Hanoi

Meals

  • Welcome Reception

Day 1

Day 2

Hanoi Sightseeing

Start the day with a visit to the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument where the preserved body of 'Uncle Ho' resides. A short walk from here is Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, a Cultural Insight, where he lived intermittently between 1958 and 1969. Continue to the Temple of Literature, the first university for the sons of Mandarins, for an overview of Hanoian culture. After lunch enjoy a walking tour through the Old Quarter to embrace the bustling local life. In the evening, see a traditional water puppet performance, a Cultural Insight. This northern Vietnamese art form beautifully illustrates scenes of rural life and natural history.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 2

Day 3

Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise

This morning, drive through green rice paddy fields to Halong Bay to board your Authentic Accommodation, a traditional Vietnamese Junk sailing boat. Cruise among the hundreds of islets of Halong Bay, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Mid afternoon visit Vung Vieng fishing village by rowing boat to get a closer look into the lives of the local fishermen. Drop anchor later in the evening for a Regional Meal and a peaceful overnight stay.

Hotel

Bhaya Cruise Authentic Accommodation

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Regional Meal

Day 3

Day 4

Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue (2 Nights)

Begin your day as the locals do during a morning T'ai Chi class with a Local Specialist, on the deck of the traditional Junk boat. Then explore Sung Sot grotto where stalactites hanging from the high ceiling take on numerous shapes and forms. Return to the boat to indulge in a delectable brunch as you continue cruising amongst the islands. Disembark and drive back to Hanoi, stopping at the Dong Trieu Ceramic factory, a Cultural Insight. Later enjoy early dinner; a delicious Regional Meal at Thanh Chuong Palace, an architectural gem. Continue to Hanoi Airport for your evening flight to Hue, and transfer to your hotel upon arrival.

Hotel

Imperial

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Regional Meal

Day 4

Day 5

Hue Sightseeing

Start the day with a visit to Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's best-preserved religious monument. Standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower, it is an amazing sight. Then take a local dragon boat trip along the Perfume River to the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage designated site. Enjoy a cyclo ride from here to the Hope Centre which runs vocational training and assists in finding work opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled people, a Cultural Insight. Continue by cyclo to the house of the former Princess Ngoc Son for a Be My Guest lunch. It is one of the great remaining garden houses of Hue and although no longer owned by royalty the current owners have maintained it largely in its original form. Chat with a family member to get a glimpse of their life in this historic house and enjoy lunch prepared by the family. This afternoon enjoy some free time or take part in an Optional Experience.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Be My Guest Dining

Optional Experiences

Royal Dinner At Ancient Hue

Royal cuisine served at the Nguyen Emperors’ banquets were legendary. Tonight, dress up in traditional Royal costume like King, Queen & Mandarins. Savour an unforgettable dinner with typical Royal dishes at an Ancient Hue restaurant. The restaurant, with its distinctive ancient houses, offers a glimpse of the city’s splendid past. There is nothing better than enjoying a delicious meal while listening to melodious music and having the feeling of being treated like Royal dignitaries. NB. The price below is in US dollars.

Adult Price: US$85.00

Enamel Art Experience

Enamel (Phap Lam) plays a large role in Vietnamese history, particularly in Hue where enamelware was used for imperial structures and by royal families during the Nguyen Dynasty. After becoming lost in existence after nearly 200 years, Hue people are starting to relive this traditional fine art. The enamel is painted onto an ornamental object usually made of copper, gold or silver. Meet with the artisan Mr. Triet Do, a famous expert at Enamel Hue and learn about his endeavor to restore this way of art by working in collaboration with goldsmiths, silversmiths and specialists in metal carving and pottery. Take the opportunity to see the complete process of making a stunning Phap Lam product and have a go at creating one of your own. NB. The below price is in US dollars.

Adult Price: US$28.00

Day 5

Day 6

Hue – Danang – Hoi An (3 Nights)

This morning depart Hue and drive over the scenic Hai Van Pass stopping en-route at Red Beach were American Marines first landed in Vietnam during the war before continuing to Danang. On arrival visit the Cham museum, a Cultural Insight, to learn about the ancient Champa civilisation. Continue to the ancient town of Hoi An and your resort hotel. This afternoon join a Vietnamese cooking class including a boat trip to the schools location on the banks of the An Hoa River and learn about the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. After the class take the opportunity to savour the dishes you have prepared for your own Regional Meal. The rest of the evening is yours to wander the peaceful lantern lit streets of this picturesque town.

Hotel

Royal Hoi An

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Regional Meal

Day 6

Day 7

Hoi An Sightseeing

This morning enjoy a walking tour around the ancient town of Hoi An. Today this ancient UNESCO World Heritage designated town boasts well-preserved buildings, pedestrianised streets, narrow lanes and a colourful market, a Cultural Insight. See the old merchants houses and the 400 year old Japanese Covered Bridge. Later visit Tra Que Organic Village for a Cultural Insight. Spend some time helping local farmers and learning about their daily working routines, before indulging in a relaxing foot massage. After lunch return to Hoi An Village for the rest of the day and evening at leisure.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Regional Meal

Optional Experiences

My Son Temples

My Son is one of the foremost Hindu temple sites in South East Asia. For the Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the 2nd to the 13th century, My Son was an important religious site and place of worship. A 1.5-hour drive from Hoi An will bring you to My Son where there are 20 monuments still standing today. The temples are set in a verdant valley surrounded by hills and overlooked by the impressive Cat Tooth Mountain. Stroll around this UNESCO listed temple complex and learn about the Cham culture, architecture and civilization before returning to Hoi An. NB. The price below is in US dollars.

Adult Price: US$18.00

Day 7

Day 8

Hoi An Free Time

This morning enjoy some free time to relax at the hotel or explore Hoi An further. In the afternoon your choice of activities gives you two Cultural Insight opportunities: to join a Traditional Arts Workshop which will include a lantern making class or a Fishing Life Tour (subject to weather conditions) to learn about the lives of the local fishermen and have a go at casting your own fishing net.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Day 8

Day 9

Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City (3 Nights)

This morning, fly to Vietnam's largest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Upon arrival enjoy some free time to stroll around the city before lunch at KOTO restaurant; a non profit social enterprise that provides training to disadvantaged young people in the hospitality industry. Meet a senior staff member who will explain more about the work of KOTO and enjoy a meal served by some of the senior trainees who are on their internship within the training programme. Next transfer to Dong Khoi Street for the start of a walking tour. See the Opera House and the former Hotel de Ville. Wander up to the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Central Post Office, designed by the French architect, Gustave Eiffel. Continue to visit the War Remnants Museum for a vivid glimpse of the war through the eyes of the locals. Conclude the day at Ben Thanh market before arriving at your centrally located riverside hotel this evening.

Hotel

Renaissance Riverside

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 9

Day 10

Mekong Delta

Today take a day trip to My Tho situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. Transfer to a small sampan boat and discover the maze of small canals before stopping for a Regional Meal of delicious Mekong Delta specialities. Take a short walk along village roads to visit the house of a former soldier, a Local Specialist who survived fighting the Khmer Rouge. Now he and his wife live on making rice paper and have some fascinating stories to tell. Later return to Ho Chi Minh City for an evening at leisure.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Regional Meal

Day 10

Day 11

Ho Chi Minh City Free time

Today is a free day to enjoy Ho Chi Minh City at your own pace or to join an Optional Experience to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels with a Local Specialist. This evening join your fellow travellers in an exclusive Farewell Dinner at the home of the former American Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s, Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, a Cultural Insight.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Farewell Dinner

Optional Experiences

Cu Chi Tunnels

Enjoy a two hour drive northwest of Saigon, through urbanized areas and typical lush Southern Vietnamese countryside to the famous Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnel complex was initially constructed in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as communication routes, storage facilities for food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the Vietnam War. A visit to the underground villages provides a great understanding of the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. NB. The price below is in US dollars.

Adult Price: US$25.00

Day 11

Day 12

Depart Ho Chi Minh City

This morning transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Day 12

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • #JoinTrafalgar
    Hope Centre, Hue You'll see how the centre assists disadvantaged people through vocational training, watch the artisans and discover how your visit helps fund their work.

  • Be My Guest
    lunch at the historic home of a local family in Hue.

  • Local Specialists
    in Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta.

  • Cultural Insights
    Visit Ho Chi Minh's house, enjoy a water puppet performance, watch local pottery artisans at work, visit the Hope Centre in Hue, learn about the ancient Champa civilisation, see the colourful market stands of Hoi An, visit the home of the former American Ambassador to South Vietnam.

  • Authentic Accommodation
    Bhaya Luxury Junk boat. Stay and dine onboard Bhaya Cruises' traditionally built Authentic Accommodation, as you float among the magnificent limestone islands of Halong Bay. These junk boats were developed during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and were used as seagoing vessels as early as the 2nd century AD.

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What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour of Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City

    • Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, the Imperial Citadel in Hue and the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City

    • Cruise around Halong Bay and along the Perfume River in Hue

    • See Red Beach in Danang


What's Included

Dining

    • 11 buffet breakfasts.

    • 6 lunches
      (including Be My Guest).

    • 5 dinners.


What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 or 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing


    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page


Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience

Enjoy

Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.


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Love... Travel

"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet

Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Taste

Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Unwind

Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.


Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 3 Reviews

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : Everything was so well organized. The hotels the hidden treasures everything. What we saw and did was just amazing. The cultural insights were particularly good and the fact that institutions such as the hope centre get a donation is great.Product : Everything was so perfect. The

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : Excellent Tour Director, good experiences, excellent meal selections allowing us to taste local cuisine, good and very well located hotelsProduct : Would have liked if tour was stretched out 1 to days longer to allow more time to explore and see more

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : Great tour, fantastic group and guide, superman Mr Dinh! Tour director couldn't do enough to help and knew the local areas and history very well adding to what was a fantastic cultural experience. Hotels were excellent and well located, albeit a little expensive to eat. Two

Highlights of Vietnam

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12 Days, 1 Country, 6 Cities

Highlights of Vietnam

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Starts

Hanoi, Vietnam

Ends

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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i Please read our Trip Notes before booking

iNotes
    Flights: Prices include internal airfares and taxes for flights: Hanoi to Hue and Danang to Ho Chi Minh City.Visas are required for Vietnam.Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum will be closed in November.
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 

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