Vietnam Cultural Adventure
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is known for its rich culture, beautiful landscapes and centuries-old architecture. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, on Ba Dinh Square is probably Hanoi’s most popular sight. Nearby is The Presidential Palace, former abode of the Governor-General of Indochina and Ho Chi Minh's museum that celebrates his life. East of the city, Hanoi Opera House, built by the French in 1901-1911, is a beautiful architectural monument.
Sapa, northern Vietnam, attracts travellers due to its natural beauty. The “Love Market” in Sapa features the long-standing minority culture of Hmong Tribe where boys and girls meet for a date. The ancient town of Hoi An, retains a distinct Chinese atmosphere with colourful historic homes, charming cafes, and bustling fish markets. Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, is known for French colonial architecture and country’s bustling commercial centre.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 11-DAY CULTURAL ADVENTURE…
And, explore Vietnam’s best urban small towns.
This comprehensive tour focuses on the cultural and historical highlights of Vietnam. Beginning in the mountainous Northern Vietnam, is one of the best places in Asia to visit hill tribe villages and see dramatic mountains covered with terraced rice fields. Discover the historical cities of Hoi An and My Son before exploring Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City with your private guide and driver. Accommodation is in the country’s most luxurious resorts.
Begin in Hanoi, Vietnam’s artistic and intellectual capital. With your guide, ride cyclos around the lake to see the city's historic French colonial architecture. Visit ancient temples, the Museum of Ethnology and the fascinating Old Quarter with its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens and more.
While touring the narrow streets, learn about the history of the Old Quarter and its traditional architecture, and see how it has transformed into a fashionable district with cafes, art galleries and boutiques featuring the finest Vietnamese design and style. One day, take a Vietnamese cooking class and learn to prepare delicious dishes and attend an evening Water Puppet Theatre performance.
Transfer to Hanoi and board a luxury overnight train to Sapa, a remote hill station in the mountains of northern Vietnam. Sapa is home to a great diversity of ethnic minority people. With your private guide tour lively hill tribe markets, take a short hike through a bamboo forest to local villages, and explore spectacular mountains covered with terraced rice fields. Other options include a cruise along a scenic river or drive to explore the beautiful countryside and explore the Muong Hoa valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in northwest Viet Nam.
Continue to Hoi An, a World Heritage town that retains a distinct Chinese atmosphere with colourful historic homes, charming cafes, and bustling silk and fish markets. With your private guide tour the Cham sculpture museum, the Marble Mountains and surrounding villages to discover the daily life of the local people and enjoy the stunning countryside scenes that will simply mesmerise you. In the evening enjoy a sunset cruise on the river.
Conclude your tour in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, the country’s bustling commercial centre. With your own expert guide and driver, experience the city's most interesting neighbourhoods, historic attractions, museums, art galleries and shops, markets, and excellent restaurants. View the Notre Dame Cathedral and the old Post Office, both magnificent sights from the French colonial period. Also the former Presidential Palace, the China town and the local markets.
One day, visit the Mekong Delta, a vast network of islands and waterways where the Mekong River flows into the South China Sea. Cruise through small floating markets, stop for photo shoots and visit local villages enroute to learn their way of life. Or take private tour to Cu Chi (70 km), an amazing complex of underground tunnels built first as a defence against the French, and later expanded during the American (Vietnam) war.
Vietnam Cultural Adventure Combines rural idyll of North with Vietnam’s best urban and small town experiences.
(11 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Hanoi, Sapa, Hoi An, My Son, Saigon
Day 1 – Arrive
Hanoi Fast-track airport assistance. Private transfer to hotel for 1 night.
Day 2 – Train
Sapa Morning private city tour by cyclo. Afternoon at leisure.
Private transfer to overnight Victoria Express train to Lao Cai near Sapa.
Day 3 – Tour
Sapa Morning private touring, with options for light trekking or visiting villages and local markets.
Private transfer to Sapa hotel for 2 nights.
Day 4 – Explore
Sapa Full-day private light trekking or tour villages and local markets.
Day 5 – Train
Hanoi Half-day private light trekking or touring of villages and local markets.
Private transfer to train station and overnight Victoria Express train to Hanoi.
Day 6 – Transfer
Hanoi Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night. Afternoon cooking lesson.
Evening water puppet performance or opera performance.
Day 7 – Transfer
Hoi An Private transfer to airport and flight to Hoi An.
Private arrival transfer to resort for 2 nights.
Afternoon private tour of Hoi An and nearby villages.
Day 8 – Experience
Hoi An Morning private excursion to local villages.
Day 9 – Transfer
Saigon Private transfer to Danang airport for flight to Saigon.
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon private city tour.
Day 10 – Tour
Saigon Full-day private city tour or full-day private excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple.
Day 11 – Depart
Saigon Private airport transfer
Check In: 14:00h
Check Out: 12:00h
The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.
Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.
Make this your holiday
When to go The high season in Vietnam is from November to March. Prices peak over the Christmas and New Year period, and if you don’t fancy crowds then it is best to avoid this busy time. During this period it is warm and dry in the South but as you travel north of Nha Trang, it begins to get cooler.
From April or May to October, summer monsoon brings hot, humid weather except in the mountains up north. A slight break in monsoon during July and August makes it the second high season in the South but violent and unpredictable typhoons can hit central and northern Vietnam. May, June and September are usually the quietest months.
Getting There There are few direct flights from Europe to Vietnam’s three main international airports – Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang, but these are steadily increasing over the years. The majority of visitors take indirect flights routed through Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong. It can be cheaper if you fly to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore or regular international carriers and from there take one of the low cost carriers to Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar are the two main domestic carriers. Fares are very reasonable and the frequencies of flights to main hubs are good.
Getting Around: In the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there is a sophisticated local bus network. Taxis and bikes are the easiest way to get around the larger cities – just be sure to agree on a fare before you ride. Slow but scenic, the two-seater pedal powered cyclo, is a fun and cheap way to travel short distances. It is not uncommon to flag down a passing motorbike for a lift. Many people will be happy to give you a lift for a fee a little higher than the equivalent cyclo fare. You can also hire a car with driver at a reasonable cost.
Shopping Shopaholics will discover that of all the places in the world, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam offers the best-value shopping. This vibrant metropolis is bursting at the seams with bric-a-brac markets, local brands and international design houses. If you’re adventurous, jump on the back of a motorbike to save your dong for shopping. Explore Diamond Plaza on the Le Duan Street or explore local designer boutiques like Cindy’s Workshop that offers bright and funky printed dresses and unique belts for less than £30.
Hanoi is the artistic heart of Vietnam, so you’ll find the best range of art and handicrafts the country has to offer. It is the best place to shop for your home, with a bevvy of stores selling beautiful furniture, linen and home wares. There are galleries throughout Hanoi but if your time is limited, be sure to visit Art Vietnam on Nguyen Khac Nhu street, where you’ll find a wide range of contemporary Vietnamese art and photography.
Tipping Tipping is a personal expense and depends entirely on the quality of services provided to you and your appreciation of those services. Whilst tipping is not mandatory, it is expected at restaurants and by drivers, guides and tour escorts. The following estimated guideline may help you in determining the tip amount, should you wish to tip any service provider. Tipping in restaurants is about 5-10% of the bill, if not included.
Passport/Visa Visas are required to enter, exit or transit through Vietnam territories. The most common is a single entry 30-day visa. Multiple entry, 60-day and 90-day visas are also available. Passports must have a minimum of six months validity. Enquiries should be directed to the nearest Vietnam embassy or consulate.