Day 1 Depart USA
- Savoring the sounds and smells of Ben Thanh Market, started by the French and still a place to buy virtually anything
- Driving north to Hue over the Hai Van Pass
- Visiting the market to buy ingredients for a special cooking class in Hue
- The views from your private villa on China Beach
You board your flight for the overnight flight to Vietnam and its commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh city, usually referred to as Saigon.
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 Saigon
Arriving in Saigon 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. This is a city of contradictions. The pace of life is frenetic and yet the wide boulevards retain an air of calm. French neo-classical architecture vies for competition with modern apartments and office buildings. The wide boulevards, eclectic architecture and leafy ambience remain today but with a very Asian feel. Sidewalks designed for evening strolls are now lined with food stalls and cafes that spill into the street. The villas have been converted into the city's best restaurants and the wide tree-lined streets are abuzz with motorcycles. Arriving at your hotel, your guide will assist with check-in.You then are free to relax. This evening enjoy a quiet dinner in the hotel and a good night's rest.
Day 4 The Hidden Streets of Saigon
After breakfast you are met by your guide who will take you on a stroll through the oldest quarter of the city. While your car is at your disposal should you want it, walking is the best way to absorb the essence of Saigon. You start with Saigon's best-kept secret, Antiques Street ( Le Cong Kieu), where genuine antiques are mixed in with genuine fakes: Aladdin oil lamps, carved wooden chests, Marelli copper fans, opium pipes, abacuses etc. You can also find military cast offs from the Vietnam War and, if you look hard enough, relics from the French Indochina era.. You follow any of many typical streets and end up at the Beaux-Arts Museum, a superb neo-colonial building home to various modern arts. Explore the art galleries surrounding the museum, where local artists gladly display their works. No visit to Saigon would be complete without a taste of its best ice cream at Fanny's, a quaint little French atmospheric parlor, before continuing on to the trendy boutiques and shops of Thon That Thiep Street. In the afternoon you head out to the suburbs to meet a family of local musicians to hear a performance and learn about traditional Vietnamese music. In the evening you will be taken to a private home in the suburbs where you have a chance to spend the evening getting to know a modern Saigon family while enjoying flavorful, enticing and intriguing Vietnamese dishes. In this cozy and informal atmosphere you will exchange views on life in Vietnam and back home and come away with a better understanding of contemporary Vietnam.
Day 5 Hue, the Intellectual Capital of Vietnam
After breakfast, your guide and your driver will meet you and escort you to the airport and assist you with check-in for your flight to Hue, the former capital of Vietnam and the main city in Central Vietnam. Upon arrival you are met by your guide and taken to your hotel which was the former residence of the French Colonial Governor. You have a chance to freshen up and then enjoy lunch overlooking the Perfume River. After lunch your guide meets you and takes you to the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Khai Dinh and the Imperial Citadel, from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. This evening a charming dinner at Ancient Hue Restaurant
Day 6 The Imperial Cuisine of Hue
In addition to being the cultural centre of Vietnam, Hue is also renowned for its unique cuisine and this morning your guide will take you to the Tha Om complex. The complex is a working replica of a traditional 19th Century Hue garden house complete with lotus ponds and Hue's Royal Cuisine. Here you will meet the chef and the lady of the house who will be your mentors in the preparation and cooking of Hue cuisine. You will visit the markets for the freshest ingredients, prepare and cook the ingredients and enjoy the meal as your lunch. In the afternoon continue your tour of Hue. A boat trip on the romantically named Perfume River takes you by tranquil settings of gardens and lakes to Hue's best known religious sites, the Tien Mu Pagoda and the mausoleum of former Emperor Minh Mang. Tonight you dine at the private home of the well known historian, Mr. Phan Thuan An, a descendant of the former Royal court of Hue. The home is the private residence of a princess of the Royal court. Phan Thuan Anh is a renowned scholar on the Royal court and you will see numerous artifacts on display in the home.
Day 7 Hai Van Pass and Charming Hoi An
This morning you will depart Hue for Hoi An and nearby China Beach. Your guide and your driver will take you over the beautiful Hai Van Pass, Vietnam's geographical and psychological boundary between north and south. The peak of the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds. You stop on the way at the beautiful Non Nuoc Beach and the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. Believed to have been settled no less than 2,200 years ago, Hoi An was known as Faifo to early Western traders. Hoi An was one of the major ports of Southeast Asia from the 17th to 19th Centuries. Chinese, Japanese, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and other traders had small communities here, and the old wooden houses, bridges and temples that remain are reminiscent of Vietnam of centuries past. This unique old trading town became isolated due to its river silting up leaving it untouched by war and frozen in time. Nowadays this absolutely charming and relaxed town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival in Hoi An you proceed to China Beach where your beachfront villa awaits.
Day 8 A Little History, a Little Shopping and a Little Beach Time
This morning your guide takes you through Hoi An with a leisurely walking tour of the ancient town center and a visit to the former merchants' homes, a 400 year old Japanese covered bridge, and a Chinese Communal Hall. Before you return to the hotel you have lunch at Brothers Cafe and have the opportunity to browse one of the most colorful local marketplaces in all of Asa. This afternoon relax at your villa on the beach. Although it was made famous by a TV series, this China Beach is a little different with fusion cuisine, temperature controlled pools and a world class spa. Swim, relax, and be pampered. You're on vacation
Day 9 Return to Saigon and a Nght on the Town
After breakfast and a leisurely swim, you say goodbye to the Villa and head for the airport in Danang for the flight to Saigon. Upon arrival your driver collects you and returns you to the Park Hyatt where you have a chance to relax before heading out for your last night in Saigon. You start out with cocktails at the Rex Hotel roof bar where Dan Rather, Sam Donaldson and Morley Safer would hang out during their coverage of the war. Then you head to Xu, for dinner at one of the new trendy restaurants followed by a nightcap at the top of the Caravelle hotel.
Day 10 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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Personalised Luxury Tours - Vietnam Sophisticate ULVT05 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Saigon, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon
Additional Pricing Information
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest informationregarding passports and visa requirements)
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