Vivid Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Hanoi, and Halong Bay
Overview

overview

First-time travelers to Vietnam will find this to be the perfect trip. Starting in Saigon with its bustling streets to Hoi An, a favorite of every traveler, then on to Halong Bay and finally ending in Hanoi, you’ll find the land beautiful and the people charming. Each day will bring a new and different experience that will leave you wanting to return to this vibrant land again and again.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Saigon
    Arrive in vibrant Saigon, Vietnam's largest city

    Arrive in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), where you will be met and transferred to your centrally-located hotel for check in. The balance of the day is free to relax after a long flight.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Grand Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Cu Chi Tunnels & Historical Sites
    Explore the extensive tunnel network of Cu Chi

    Head out of town today to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi is actually the name of the district that covers an extensive underground network (approx. 200 km/125 mi) of tunnels dug initially by the Viet Minh, and later expanded by the Viet Cong. The tunnels contained hospitals, accommodations, and schools. They were used extensively for refuge and storage, and also as a military base for the Viet Cong close to Saigon. The 1968 Tet Offensive was launched from Cu Chi with surprising effect. A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow tourists to get a feel for what life underground must have been like. Your afternoon city tour takes you to Saigon’s historic landmarks, including the Reunification Palace and its striking modern architecture, the War Remnants Museum, and Notre Dame Cathedral. This visit allows you to admire many French colonial buildings such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall). Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Grand Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Mekong Delta Cultures
    Observe village life on a Mekong river boat cruise

    Leave for My Tho early in the morning for a two hour drive past paddy fields and river tributaries. Arrive in My Tho and board a private motorized boat for a river cruise on the upper part of the Mekong River for a taste of agricultural life on the might Mekong River, visiting a fish-raising village, then entering Vam Xep canal with its beautiful scenery of water palm. Disembark and stroll around Quoi An fruit orchard, visiting fruit-drying kilns and a coconut craft-wares home. Enhance your trip with a short horse-drawn cart ride along the village road. Upon arrival at Ben Truc - Phong Phu Gardens, sample Mekong Delta fruit while enjoying local traditional music and the opportunity to interact with the local people who live on the river. Complete your trip with a rowboat trip to explore the water palm canals. Return to the main boat and transfer back to My Tho. After docking, you will have lunch at a local restaurant that incorporates some great Mekong specialties. A further two hour drive takes you to Can Tho for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Victoria Can Tho or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Exploring the Mekong
    Visit a floating market on the Mekong

    After breakfast, check out of the hotel and board the boat for a two-hour cruise to visit Cai Rang market, a unique style of market in the area. Check out hundreds of boats laden with fruit, vegetables, and fish, all jostling for trading space and advertising their wares by crying out across the waters. Arrive at the Ninh Kieu pier and hop on a bicycle for a two hour ride along the small roads of local villages. Your discovery takes you to a primary school, rice fields, and a fruit orchard. You then take a small ferry to the banks of the Ba Lang River and stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Return to Saigon where you immediately transfer to the airport for your flight to Da Nang. On arrival in Da Nang, you will be met and driven to your hotel in Hoi An.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Boutique Hoi An Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Charming Hoi An
    Wander the atmospheric streets of Hoi An

    Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has since been influenced throughout the centuries by myriad traders from various cultures. It has is a distinctly Chinese appearance, with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. The tranquility and charm of this town, with its low tile-roofed houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam and an enduring favorite of our travelers and staff. Spend the morning strolling the ancient town center and taking in the former merchants’ houses, the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge, and the colorful market stalls brimming with tropical specialties. There is an optional afternoon visit to the Thanh Ha pottery-making village to interact with the local villagers and see how they have preserved their traditional craft over generations.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Boutique Hoi An Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Scenic Drive and Panoramas
    View of Hoi An from above

    A two and a half hour drive to Hue will take you over the scenic Hai Van Pass where you witness one of the most beautiful panoramas in Vietnam as you look out over the central coastline. You also pass through the quiet, white sandy beach of Lang Coo. Upon arrival in Hue, you will visit the Citadel and the Dong Ba Market.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Imperial Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: River Cruise & Flight to Hanoi
    Admire Phuoc Duyen tower at Thien Mu pagoda

    After breakfast, embark on a dragon boat cruise upstream on the romantic Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s well-preserved religious monument standing on the riverbank with its seven-floor tower. You then drive to the elaborate Tu Duc Royal Tomb, designed to blend with the natural setting of the landscape, and Khai Dinh Royal Tomb with its different architecture and atmosphere of eastern art mixed with western designs. Have lunch at a local restaurant before boarding a flight to Hanoi, where you are met and transferred to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Church Boutique Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: Mausoleums, Pagodas, & Temples
    While in Hanoi, attend a traditional water puppet show

    Hanoi is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities. This northern capital is a quiet contradiction of its southern counterpart. Its relaxed ambience is a joy best explored on foot or by bicycle. Today you will spend the day on a guided tour beginning with Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, an imposing monument built from a lavish amount of marble and granite. This is where the preserved body of “Uncle Ho” lies in state for public viewing. On exiting the mausoleum, walk to the One Pillar Pagoda, fashioned in the form of a lotus flower on its stalk, emerging from the water and resting on a single stone pillar. Inside there is a statue of the Goddess of Mercy with its legendary “thousand arms and thousand eyes”. You then visit the Temple of Literature for an overview of Hanoi culture and history. In the afternoon, visit the beautiful Museum of Ethnology to enhance your understanding of Vietnam’s diverse culture through its unique presentation of objects and dress from a variety of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. Experience another cultural aspect of Vietnam, its art, at Art Vietnam gallery, owned by an American art consultant. This evening, attend a traditional water puppet show, a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form that depicts scenes of rural life and national history. Overnight in Hanoi at a centrally-located hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Church Boutique Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: Halong Bay Cruise
    Float among limestone islands in beautiful Halong Bay

    Leave your luggage behind at your Hanoi hotel, and pack an overnight bag for a 3.5-hour drive, sometimes on bumpy roads, to Halong Bay, one Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. Views of rocky outcrops in the bay and sailing junks navigating past 3,000 limestone islands are nothing short of spectacular. Arrive around noon at the quayside and board your private junk for a four-hour cruise through the bay, stopping along the way to explore limestone caves or just relaxing on the deck. While on board, indulge in a delicious seafood lunch and dinner. You'll have the option to participate in the activities offered on the boat including swimming (weather permitting), kayaking (own expense) and cave exploration. Overnight on the boat.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Indochina Sails Junk Boat or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Halong Bay & Departure
    Bid farewell to your boat, then head back home via Hanoi

    You will need to get up early in the morning in order to catch sunrise on the bay. After breakfast, explore and cruise around the bay for fabulous photo opportunities. You will have brunch on the boat before returning to port and driving back to Hanoi with a stop en route in the ceramic making village of Phu Lang to observe a century-old method of ceramic production or But Thap Pagoda, one of the finest and largest Buddhist temples in Northern Vietnam. Return to Hanoi and immediately transfer to the airport in time for your late afternoon or early evening flight.  Or, if your schedule permits, consider lingering longer in Hanoi, or ask us about a beach extension.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Dec 8-17, 2014
Jan 27-Feb 5, 2015
Nov 30-Dec 9, 2015
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$2,650
- $2,950
Group size 2-3 cost: $2,950 Group size 4+ cost: $2,650 Flights within Vietnam add $250 (estimated)
Single Supplement:
$725
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
10 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
Local junk & charming 4 * boutique hotels
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
1
Local junk & charming 4 * boutique hotels

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Bangkok Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

If you are passing through Bangkok and want more than a transit stop, ask for our three day/two night Bangkok Hospitality Extension. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to an attractive centrally located hotel. This extension also includes y... read more

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

Angkor Wat 3-Day Odyssey

Duration: 3 days

This excursion focuses on the amazing ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat, a spectacular architectural legacy of a period of bizarre regimes, is the most famous and confusing of the ruins in southeast Asia. This makes a perfect extension to any ... read more

Angkor Wat 5-Day Odyssey

Duration: 5 days

This excursion takes you to Siem Reap where you explore the magnificent Angkor sites followed by a ride on the Tonle Sap to see the local fishing villages. Then a short flight to Phnom Penh where you visit interesting museums, including Toul Sleng, a... read more

Bangkok Exploration

Duration: 1 days

Accompanied by your personal guide you will meet exotic, ancient, enigmatic Bangkok head-on. After completing this multi-transport, mobile cultural immersion seminar, you should be able to go anywhere in Bangkok by train, ferry, sky-train, taxi or tu... read more

River Kwai & Erawan National Park

Duration: 4 days

This extension gives you a mixed variety of history and nature. You begin by exploring along the River Kwai stopping at important historical sites. You then travel to Erawan National Park, a unique and rugged landscape of high elevation plateau and s... read more

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

Vietnam: Sapa

Duration: 4 days

Extend your visit to Vietnam with this delightful visit to Sapa, for a unique cultural interaction with the local tribes.

×