Sunday 8th of March 2020 until Sunday 27th of December 2020
Discover Vietnam Small Group Tour - 10 Days / 9 Nights - from $1899* per person (with Innovative Travel).
Experience the best of Vietnam with a small group of like-minded travellers on this perfectly balanced 10 day small group tour. Discover the charms of Hoi An, explore the alleyways of Ho Chi Minh City, and experience Hanoi while your guide is on hand to help you make the most of the amazing culture delicious food and stunning landscapes.
Day 1: Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival into Noi Bai International Airport you will be greeted by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel to freshen up. This evening you will meet the rest of your travelling companions at a welcome dinner where your guide will help you learn some useful titbits – some local phrases and, if needed, how to operate chopsticks.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi (BL)
Get ready to see Hanoi as very few others do. Today’s tour is the perfect blend of iconic cultural sites of Hanoi and offbeat districts to sample some genuine local life. The guide meets you in the hotel lobby and off we go. After a short car transfer to the South of Hanoi through a busy urban area we veer off the main road and enter a very special district. It suddenly feels like stepping back into the 1960s when Hanoi was a quaint capital populated mostly by modest workers. Wander around the narrow alleys covered in colourful market stalls, feel the incredible vibe, and let the guide tell you the story of the unusual big yellow buildings.
After a coffee break we transfer to the Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university, built in 1070. For lunch we suggest to walk to a nearby street food shop. There are several options, our favourite would be the Bun Cha flame-grilled pork meat served with sticky rice noodles.
In the afternoon we continue to the garden of the Presidential Palace, where you can also see the one-pillar pagoda and the house on stilts where Ho Chi Minh lived. Afterwards we have a quick fresh beer in a local Bia Hoi, the Vietnamese version of a pub. We return to the hotel in the afternoon. The rest of the day is at your own leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay (BLD)
We gather in the lobby at 8.00am for our departure to the majestic Halong Bay. We drive across the Red River delta and reach the coast a little before noon. We then embark on a beautifully crafted junk for an overnight cruise in the legendary seascape of Halong Bay. Once on board we are served a delicious seafood-based lunch while the surrounding limestone outcrops make for a truly magical setting.
In the afternoon we reach a less travelled area where we will devote ourselves to pure relaxation. The program is not fixed and depends on the time of the year and weather, but there will be an opportunity to visit a cave, as well as explore a floating village or do a little bit of kayaking over the course of these 2 days. We end the day on the sundeck as the sun sets on this magical seascape.
This evening you can enjoy an aperitif or attend a cooking demonstration before dinner.
Overnight on board in a comfortable private cabin with an en-suite bathroom.
Note: Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, tide levels, and operating conditions. Swimming or kayaking excursions may be cancelled due to poor weather.
Note: The tour leader will not be accompanying guests on the shuttle bus or boat. There will be an on-board cruise manager who will be available for guests should they have any questions or concerns.
Day 4: Halong Bay – Hoi An (BL)
For the early birds, start the day with a tai chi class on deck or enjoy a cup of tea or coffee as the sun rises over the surrounding seascape. We then continue our exploration of the bay. Upon returning to the boat, check-out of your cabin and enjoy an early lunch while cruising back to the pier. We disembark and transfer to Hanoi airport for your flight to Danang. On arrival in Danang you are greeted and driven to your hotel in Hoi An. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An (BL)
This morning after breakfast we start our walk across the enchanting ancient town of Hoi An. Follow your guide as you meander your way through the beautiful streets and narrow alleys which are bordered by ancient yellow-walled houses. We reach a market where you can spend some time exploring the colourful stalls and the variety of foods and souvenirs on offer. Try some local delicacies before we venture further into the town. The guide will show you various places of interest and will also arrange some spontaneous food tastings as we walk.
Afternoon is at your own leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 6: Hoi An (BL)
At 8am this morning our guide will pick you up from your hotel and, equipped with bicycles, you will set off directly towards Duy Vinh Commune. The picturesque cycling route is highlighted with rice fields local gardens and markets. Stop as often as you wish to take photographs or engage in some laid-back chats with locals (using our guide as a translator). There is also time to pay a visit to a local family who are still practising the craft of weaving sedge mattresses using traditional techniques.
After about 1.5 hours of cycling it is time to hop into a kayak and explore the river. As you paddle towards Cam Thanh coco palm forest you will notice that the area is a large mangrove ecosystem. This is unique to Hoi An and the scenery is just spectacular. To end an active morning, your lunch will be served at a local farm with tasty Vietnamese food. Take as much time to relax as you wish before transferring back to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your own leisure to enjoy the town or some time relaxing on the beach.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 7: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City (BD)
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City (BL)
Your guide meets you in the hotel lobby at 8.00am and off we go to spend the morning exploring the less travelled trails of this fascinating city. Prepare to travel back in time as we first head to District 3, where we visit the oldest café in town - opened in 1938. Enjoy a refreshment before we immerse ourselves into the genuine Saigon popular culture. Walk through a massive street-market as you gently elbow your way between conical hats and mobile street food sellers to exit at Chung Cu. Here you will find yourself in the heart of Saigon’s working-class, which remains mostly unchanged since the 1960’s. Marvel at the size of these old residential buildings as we walk through and into the Ho Thi Ky quarter, a place known for its spectacular flower market and its maze of quiet narrow streets. Also a place famous for its Khmer delicacies, you will be able to sample some of these traditional snacks. We continue deeper into District 10, a fantastic destination where every street corner holds a surprise and a chance to amaze you. Our urban adventure ends at one of the most famous street-food streets in the city time for lunch!
In the afternoon we take a digestive walk around the colonial buildings of the District 1. We start at the Independence Palace, continue to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Saigon Central Post office before we get to the beautiful Nguyen Hue street where the City Hall stands. To complete the day we take you to taste a few brews in one of the most famous craft beer taprooms of the country located in Pasteur Street. We transfer back to your hotel afterwards and end the day at your own leisure.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City – Meking – Ho Chi Minh City (BL)
Departing from your hotel at 8am we drive out of the metropolis and after about 2 and a half hours we reach a less travelled region of the delta, about 30-kilometres away from the mouth of the mighty Mekong River. We hop onto our private boat and start our exploration. We will meet some friendly locals learn more about their daily lives and navigate the Mekong. After visiting a local factory and an ancient communal house we reach a small island for lunch at a local guesthouse.
In the afternoon we visit a honey-bee farm before hoping onto bikes and cycling narrow pathways across the island. We stop at another local farm to unveil the secret of Sâm jelly and sample it. We continue across some orchards and transfer onto a small sampan to explore a thick mangrove. We return to the mainland where our vehicle awaits to return us to Ho Chi Minh City. We arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)
The day is free at your own leisure until your transfer to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your departure flight
Departure dates 2020:
8, 22 Mar; 12, 26 Apr; 10 May; 14 Jun; 12 Jul; 9 Aug; 13 Sep; 11, 25 Oct; 8, 22 Nov; 13, 27 Dec.
Conditions: * It is our policy to present the cost of our flights & holidays inclusive of all airport and government charges. Please accept however that these charges are not within our control, therefore we reserve the right to pass on any increase. Travel agent professional service fees where charged, will be additional to the advertised prices.