Vietnam Explorer Multi City Vacation

A tour that offers food for the soul and senses; let us take you where the flavors are a little more local, where daily rituals will amaze you and where you will see the charm and beauty of Vietnam through a slightly different lens.

14 day/13 night package featuring Ha Noi, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). This program features accommodation in Deluxe, Boutique First Class, Superior First Class, and one night accommodation aboard Paradise Luxury Cruise, food and drink tastings in Ha Noi, My Village, Ca Tru and The Stories of Rice cultural shows, and lantern-making and cooking class in Hoi An, and bottled water and a cool towel during transit.

Includes

  • Meals per itinerary; (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
  • Travel funds escrow protection program
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Select luxury accommodation
  • Emergency assistance
  • Custom private tours per itinerary

Excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Optional tours
  • Local city taxes
  • Drinks during meals
  • Flights

Daily Itinerary

Day

1

Ha Noi - Arrival

Upon arrival, you will be met by a local representative just past immigration for a private transfer to your selected hotel. Take some time to rest after your flight and, if time permits, grab a bite for lunch. This afternoon, your adventure in Vietnam begins with a city highlights tour of Ha Noi in a classic Jeep. You’ll first visit the Westlake area, a contrast of traditional residences and new, modern developments. Visit a traditional Ao Dai Fashion House and continue to the Museum of Ethnology. Finish the afternoon with a visit to Hoang Hoa Tham Street, full of local shops, and stop for a panoramic view in the Old Quarter before returning to your hotel for a small rest. This evening, enjoy rooftop drinks before heading on a walking food tour of the Old Quarter where you will sample a variety of local dishes and meet friendly locals. After your meal, reflect on your day while listening to Ca Tru, an ancient form of parlor music. (D)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: InterContinental Ha Noi Westlake or similar hotels

Day

2

Discover Hidden Ha Noi

Begin your day with a visit of the Old Quarter’s hidden alleyways! Your guide will meet you at your hotel to lead you on a voyage amongst the labyrinth of hidden alleyways, far from public view. Discover hidden Pagodas, water wells, ancient staircases and enjoy a drink at a “locals only” café. Stop for lunch at Restaurant 69, located in a historical tunnel house in the Old Quarter. Following lunch, enjoy a traditional water puppet show before taking a cycle back to your hotel. This evening, enjoy the musical treasure that is My Village, featuring a live band of artists who have performed the world over. Tonight, enjoy dinner at Ngon Villa, located in the Old Quarter and featuring locally sourced and carefully crafted Vietnamese cuisine. (B,L,D)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: InterContinental Ha Noi Westlake or similar hotels

Day

3

Ha Noi – Mai Chau

Meet your guide at your hotel, following breakfast, for a private transfer to Mai Chau. Stop along the way to visit the Muong tribe and to take in spectacular views of the Mai Chau Valley. Upon arrival, you will check in to your hotel and then join a local family of the White Thai Tribe to enjoy an authentic lunch and some free time to mingle with the villagers. In the afternoon, take an easy trek through terraced rice paddies and small villages, discovering the natural beauty of the valley and encountering the culture of the ethnic minority Thai people. Return to your hotel following your hike for the remainder of the evening at your leisure to enjoy dinner on your own. (B,L)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: Mai Chau Ecolodge or similar hotels

Day

4

Discover Mai Chau

Rise early with the village for the opportunity to take in the nearby colorful marketplace where Vietnamese barter over a variety of fresh, local produce. Enjoy a walk through the community, admiring the intricacy of the local embroidery and taking in the activities of rural life in the north. If you wish to experience more of the relaxed hill tribe life, you may take an optional drive through the surrounding countryside before setting of on a trek through rice paddies and down winding lanes to visit the Cum and Sam Khoe Villages. After your visit, return to your hotel for the remainder of the evening at your leisure and dinner on your own. (B,L)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: Mai Chau Ecolodge or similar hotels

Day

5

Mai Chau – Ninh Binh

Following breakfast, meet your driver at your hotel for a private transfer through beautiful rural villages and farmlands to Ninh Binh, with a stop at a local restaurant for lunch along the way. Upon arrival, dive right in to the day with a canoe trip down the Boi River, enjoying the scenery of the Tam Coc Caves and ancient temples, green rice fields and the life of farmers along the Red River Delta. Continue on your journey to Bich Dong, or Jade Cave, featuring 3 pagodas, located on the mountain. Later, visit the ruins of the once impressive citadel, Hoa Lu. Those with a bit of extra energy may want to climb the 200 steps for a rewarding view of the Delta and the exploration of Dinh Tien Hoang and Dai Hanh temples. This evening, you will return to your hotel for dinner at your leisure. (B,L)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh or similar hotels

Day

6

Ninh Binh – Ha Noi

Wake early this morning for a 5:30 boat trip along the Van Long River. The Van Long is a legendary region with an amazingly beautiful landscape and the largest mangrove nature reserve in the northern delta. Located within the Van Long forests are over 450 species of plants, 39 species of animals. Return to your hotel for breakfast then visit the floating village of Kenh Ga. Enjoy the boat trip along the small river to visit a floating fish farm and village, view stunning limestone landscapes and meet fascinating local people. This afternoon, return to Ha Noi and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. (B,L)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: InterContinental Ha Noi Westlake or similar hotels

Day

7

Ha Noi – Ha Long Bay

For a fascinating local experience, rise bright and early for a visit to the Flower Market at its best. Local traders sell to hotels, restaurants and other locals, and it all happens first thing in the morning when the flowers are at their freshest. Following a quick stop for refreshments, proceed to the Rail Tracks for a show and tell amongst the inhabitants of the houses that sit directly alongside the track. Take some time for a local breakfast at one of the Pho restaurants along the tracks, then say good-bye to Ha Noi and head to Ha Long Bay with your guide. Arrive in Ha Long Bay to embark on a luxurious cruise of one of the most picturesque regions of Vietnam. During your cruise, you will have plenty of opportunity to stop at some of the numerous grottoes and caves on the islands that spot the Bay. Take in the beauty of this breathtaking landscape, justifiably one of the world’s natural wonders. (B,L,D)

Day

8

Ha Long Bay – Ha Noi – Da Nang – Hoi An

Start your day with Tai Chi and breakfast on board as the Bay just begins to stir. You’ll disembark your cruise to return to shore for your journey back to Ha Noi Airport. From here, board your late afternoon flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival, you will be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel in Hoi An for check-in. Tonight, enjoy dinner at Streets Restaurant, located in a restored shop house setting with food inspired by chefs from around the world. (B,L,D)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: Anantara Hoi An Resort or similar hotels

Day

9

Discover Local Hoi An

Get a restful night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast before spending your morning enjoying a selection of river-based activities, from learning traditional fishing techniques, either round net or cast net fishing, to paddling the unusual bamboo basket boats. You will have the opportunity to meet the local fishermen, their families and other members of the community. This afternoon, take a walking tour of Hoi An, including a visit to a local lantern making workshop. Largely devoid of motorized transport, Hoi An’s Old Town is ideal for exploring on foot! Discover beautifully preserved old merchant houses, atmospheric temples and lively markets as you stroll through the back streets of this enchanting destination. Stop at the home of a local craftsman for a silk lantern-making workshop! You will learn the history, techniques and methods for shaping and coloring your lantern before making your own to take home. Tonight, enjoy dinner at Ancient Fiafo, combining art, culture and style with legendary Hoi An cuisine. (B,L,D)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: Anantara Hoi An Resort or similar hotels

Day

10

Discover Cultural Hoi An

Begin your day with a drink at a local café before experience the cacophony of sights and sounds at Hoi An’s vibrant marketplace. Here you will have the chance to interact with the local vendors and purchase the necessary ingredients to be used in your private cooking lesson later in the morning. Walking the short distance to the jetty, board a small private boat and enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Thu Bon River to the cooking school. Your class will begin with an introduction to some of the region’s best-known dishes, culminating with a spectacular lunch you helped to prepare! This afternoon, visit the once magnificent My Son, once a center for both intellectual and religious activities. Return to your hotel for a short rest before heading out, this evening, on a private tour though the city on the back of a vintage Vespa. Your experienced driver will maneuver through the streets, taking you to lantern lit An Hoi Islet and Cam Nam Island. You’ll have the chance to sample some distinctive street food before finishing with a delicious dessert of Banh Flan, a light version of crème caramel. (B,L,D)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: Anantara Hoi An Resort or similar hotels

Day

11

Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

After breakfast, bid farewell to the lovely Hoi An and take your private transfer back to Da Nang Airport. Here you will catch your short domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City where you will be met upon arrival by a new guide and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel for check-in. This afternoon, enjoy lunch at Quan An Ngon, one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Following lunch, begin your private city highlights tour, visiting the Reunification Palace and the French colonial Post Office, among others. Your final stops of the day will be the Museum of Vietnamese History and the unforgettable Jade Emperor Pagoda. Before dinner this evening, head out with your guide to explore the bustling Ben Thanh night market. (B,L,D)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: InterContinental Asiana Saigon or similar hotels

Day

12

Discover Hidden Saigon

This morning’s exploration presents a chance to see a different aspect of Saigon – District 4. Once a seedier part of town, the triangular district has cleaned up its act and is now a superb place to witness local residents going about their daily business. This is area is rarely visited by tourists, so be prepared for curious stares and friendly banter with the locals! Spend the remainder of the morning exploring more of “secret” Saigon, including a small family home in the city center that was once used as a printing press to produce propaganda against the occupying French. Stop for lunch at Cuc Gach Quan, serving authentic Vietnamese dishes in a uniquely designed colonial-era villa and then return to your hotel for a short rest. In the afternoon, you will be met at your hotel for a private transfer to the HCMC Fine Arts museum, an impressive example of Sino-French architecture. An art specialist will greet you and guide you on a comprehensive introduction of Vietnamese art history. From here, continue your art historical venture with a visit to the Craig Thomas Gallery, featuring works of contemporary Vietnamese art, followed by a visit to the Factory Contemporary Art Center in District 2. Enjoy a light coffee at a local café before returning to your hotel to freshen for dinner at Xu Restaurant, featuring a shared plate menu of both modern and traditional Vietnamese flavors. (B,L,D)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: InterContinental Asiana Saigon or similar hotels

Day

13

Discover Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is a rich, fertile region of farmland interlaced with countless waterways, crisscrossed by low-lying rice paddies. You will spend the day exploring one of the country’s most enchanting landscapes. Your first stop of the day will be the town of Cai Thai where you will explore the vibrant local market before taking a walk through the village. Visit several landmarks before continuing by boat to a local home whose occupants produce rice paper by traditional methods. Later you will transfer to a smaller boat to navigate the narrow canals, heading deeper into the countryside. Stop for a short break and light refreshments at a local home then travel toward Cai Be, enjoying a delicious lunch as you sail. Visit the colorful floating market and small workshops to see how crispy rice popcorn, coconut candy and rice paper are made. There is also the option to take a one-hour bicycle ride to explore the village of Hoa Loc, with traditional houses and ample farming. Return by boat to Cai Be where your private transfer will be waiting to return you to Saigon. Tonight, witness a spectacular show with a simple touch of design and color to create a cultural masterpiece at the Saigon Opera House. Dinner, either before or after the show, will be served at Hoa Tuc Restaurant in a very picturesque and lively courtyard right in the heart of Saigon. (B,L,D)

Deluxe, First Class and Luxury ...: InterContinental Asiana Saigon or similar hotels

Day

14

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)-Return

Take this morning for some last minute shopping or sightseeing in Saigon before your private transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your return flight home. (B)