- A visit to Ho Chi Minh’s home combined with dinner at Hanoi’s prestigious Press Club
- Watching Catherine Deneuve on an outdoor screen as you cruise Halong Bay
- A private lunch at the home of a renowned historian and art collector in Hue
- Your beachfront pool villa on China Beach
- A day on the Mekong Delta in your private deluxe junk
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your flight for the overnight flight to Vietnam and its capital, Hanoi
Day 2 En Route
During your flight you will cross the International Date Line technically "losing" a day but you will regain it on your return flight
Day 3 Welcome to Vietnam
Arriving in Hanoi you will be met by our representative. They will facilitate your expeditious move through customs and immigration and assist you with the retrieval of your luggage. Once in the arrivals hall you will be introduced to your personal guide and escorted out to your car where your driver is waiting. Arriving at your hotel, your guide will assist with check-in and coordinate the next day's agenda. You then are free to relax. This evening enjoy a quiet dinner in the hotel and a good night's rest.
Day 4 Cultural and Historic Highlights of Hanoi
After breakfast, you meet your guide at your hotel and depart on your private tour of Hanoi.Your first stop will be Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, as well as his private residence from 1954 until 1969. The wooden ethnic minority style house, which was built on stilts, is surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens. In the same complex you will see the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. Your tour continues to the National Fine Arts Museum, located in colonial France's former Ministry of Information, which has an eclectic mix of contemporary Vietnamese art and sculptures. Your next stop will be the Temple Of Literature, Vietnam's first university. Constructed in 1070, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam's past. Enjoy lunch at the Wild Lotus restaurant before continuing on to Hoa Lo Prison (formerly known as the "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam war). The last stop of the day before returning to your hotel will be the Museum of Ethnology where you will get the chance to see Vietnam's diverse culture through the Museum's unique presentation of artifacts and dress used in daily life. In the early evening you will attend a traditional water puppet show, a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form especially designed for depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. The show is followed by dinner at the prestigious Press Club
Day 5 Halong Bay and the Red River Delta
Depart Hanoi for Halong by road. The journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta allows you to enjoy the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong and check in at the Emeraude Cafe. Feel as if you are stepping back in time to French Indochina as you board a wonderful replica of one of the classic steamships of the era. a welcome drink will be served as the boat leaves the harbor. Have lunch as you cruise among hundreds of islets to discover unspoilt pockets of Halong Bay and visit " Sung Sot" one of the most imposing grottos of the Bay. As the boat cruises through the limestone karsts and clear waters in the afternoon, several options are available. On board kayaks are available for rental for those wishing to go out for a paddle or take a dive into the clear waters from the boat's own platform. For those seeking a more culinary experience, take part in a Vietnamese spring roll cooking demonstration on the sundeck. After the sun sets, enjoy a delicious international and Vietnamese buffet dinner. After dinner the award winning film " Indochine" starring Catherine Deneuve will be screened on the sundeck should you desire to watch a movie before retiring to your cabin for a good night's sleep.
Day 6 Cruising Halong Bay and Exploring Old Hanoi by Cyclo
On your return to Halong City enjoy a full breakfast as your boat weaves its way back to the dock. Upon disembarkation your guide will meet you for the transfer back to Hanoi. You arrive back in Hanoi in time for lunch . In the afternoon enjoy a tour by cyclo, a chauffeur-pedaled tricycle, through Hanoi's Old Quarter, also known as "36 streets". This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore, especially by cyclo, with plenty of photo opportunities all around you. Tonight you will have dinner at Madam Tuyet's restaurant. A true Hanoian, Tuyet learnt her culinary skills from her grandmother who used to cook for the French elite in the 1930's.
Day 7 Hue Through Insiders' Eyes
Your guide and private car will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Hue.Upon arrival in Hue, your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to your hotel.Lunch will be at the private home of the well-known historian Mr. Phan Thuan An. Born in Hue in 1940 to an aristocratic family Mr An is a respected historian who has devoted his life to researching the former imperial capital of Vietnam.Mr. An has also collected and conserved a large collection of valuable photographs as archives on Hue's culture and architecture through different periods of time. Following lunch, continue your tour to the elaborate mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh and the Imperial Citadel, from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Tonight, dine at the private home of one Hue's most famous architects. This traditional style house, which is set in a large and attractive formal garden has connections with the ancient Hue Royal Imperial Court. On arrival you'll be greeted in the foyer of this magnificent house with a traditional Vietnamese welcome. The lady of the house will personally prepare an extraordinary Vietnamese meal which is served privately in the traditional manner in the private gardens of her home.
Day 8 Hue and the Hai Van Pass
Depart your hotel this morning for a private tour of Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. A boat trip along the romantically named Perfume River carries you through a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes where Hue's best-known religious sites, the Thien Mu Pagoda and the mausoleum of former Emperor Minh Mang are located. Have lunch at the hotel before driving south to Danang through the inspiring 4900 ft high Hai Van Pass, Vietnam's geographical and psychological boundary between north and south. The peak of the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds. Continue to the absolutely charming and relaxed town of Hoi An. Believed to have been settled no less than 2,200 years ago, Hoi An was a thriving seaport and a base for seafaring nations seeking new sources of wealth throughout Southeast Asia. Even ancient Arab trading documents mention Hoi An as a stop along their trade routes. Near to Hoi an is China Beach, the location of your hotel where your private villa awaits.
Day 9 The Many Delights of Hoi An
After breakfast, your guide will be waiting to take you into town. Hoi An's architecture and relaxed lifestyle have changed little over the years. Take a leisurely walking tour of the ancient town center and visit the sites of former merchants' homes, a 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and a Chinese Communal Hall. Before lunch, enjoy browsing and shopping in the one of the most colourful local marketplaces in all of Southeast Asia. Lunch is at Brother's cafe. In the afternoon embark upon a private boat to take a three-hour cruise on the Thu Bon River with stops at Thanh Ha Pottery Village, Kim Bong Carpenters' Village, and Hoi An's large shipbuilding yard.
Day 10 Danang, Saigon and the Binh Tay Market
After you have had the chance for a final morning dip either in the ocean or your pool, your guide will be at the ready to escort you to Danang where you board your flight for Ho Chi Minh City still called Saigon by most people.Upon arrival your are met by your guide and taken to lunch followed by a walking tour of Binh Tay Market, the central market for the city and one of the liveliest and most colorful parts of the city. Enjoy dinner at your superb hotel this evening.
Day 11 The Diverse Cultures of Saigon
Today's morning tour takes you to visit the world famous Cu Chi Tunnels. The incredible underground tunnel network was constructed by theViet Cong. You return to Saigon and have lunch at Hoa Tuc restaurant. In the afternoon, your private city tour of vibrant Saigon includes the landmark Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace. It was towards this modern building that Viet Cong tanks rolled on the morning of April 30, 1975 as Saigon fell. This fascinating building is filled with history still fresh in the minds of many. Your tour also includes the red-brick Catholic cathedral of Notre-Dame, the nearby 19th century Empire-style Post Office, and the next door ‘Hotel de Ville' or City Hall all look indomitably European,in contrast, you visit the Thien Hau Temple, a Chinese temple in Cholon, the packed and bustling Chinatown of the city, This evening enjoy dinner at the Mandarin restaurant
Day 12 A Day in the Mekong Delta
An early morning departure from your hotel takes you to Cai Be, deep in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Embark on your private deluxe junk boat, the Cai Be Princess, and cruise to the colorful Cai Be floating market. Your tour continues with a visit to local home factory which produces rice paste, rice pop corn and coconut candies. Continue cruising to the evergreen islands, located in the Mekong River, through large networks of meandering rivers which are crisscrossed with countless canals. Enjoy a relaxing lunch in a local restaurant before boarding the Cai Be Princess again. Return to Saigon early in the evening. Tonight your farewell dinner is at Xu restaurant, one of Saigon's best..
Day 13 Return to USA
In the morning your guide will be waiting to take you to the airport for your flight back to the US. You " gain" the day you previously lost and arrive back the same afternon.
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Luxury Private Journeys - Classical Vietnam ULVT01 Location and other villas and tours nearby
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Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An (China Beach), Saigon
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