(Hanoi, Sapa, Lao Cai, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City)
Enjoy an evening in the elegant restaurant car of your four-star overnight train and toast the beauty of Vietnam as the landscapes of the exotic north glide past.
That’s just the beginning of the adventure that this family-friendly trip has in store. A cyclo tour through the Old Quarter of Hanoi will reveal the city’s sophisticated French architecture and you’ll find true peace at the Temple of Literature which was built in 1070 as a loving monument to Confucius. Elsewhere, take in the lush mountain views from Sapa’s majestic Silver Waterfall; meet the Zay hill tribes of Ta Van village; take a luxury overnight cruise on serene Halong Bay; cycle among the quaint villages that line the Perfume River; explore the Palaeozoice-era caves at Phong Nha; visit the opulent Emperor Jade Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City; and cruise the Mekong to Thoi Son Island.
This award-winning trip has been carefully designed to keep the kids entertained while engaging the adults with a bounty of authentic cultural experiences. From taking in a traditional water puppet show and boarding a water buffalo cart through traditional villages, to practicing Tai Chi at dawn on Halong Bay, flying kites in Hue City and learning the art of lantern making, there’s a new activity to embrace or skill to learn at every turn.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Welcome to Vietnam! Please be sure that your visa has been pre-arranged, or that your visa-on-arrival letter is in your carry-on luggage. These documents will be presented to customs at your first point of entry into the country.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Enjoy a great night out in Hanoi showcasing many different sights of the area. Take pleasure in watching a traditional theatrical performance followed by traditional Vietnamese cuisine at a famous restaurant. You will be picked up from your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and driven to the Water Puppet Show.
In the morning, your guide will meet you at the hotel to start the tour with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex. Visit Ba Dinh Square, where silent sentries guard the marble and granite mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state. See the simple cottage where Uncle Ho lived and worked and visit the nearby Ho Chi Minh Museum, an extraordinary tribute to the life of the “father of the country”. Next you will go to the Governor’s Residence, a fine example of Hanoi’s French architecture, followed by a stop at the One Pillar Pagoda to hear the legend of its construction. Continue to the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, for a quick escape from the busy streets. After lunch, carry on to Bat Trang Pottery Village which is a famous village surrounded by fertile farmland. Watch the artisans forming, painting, and glazing their products, which are then baked for several days in huge kilns. Later, enjoy a 1 hour cyclo ride through the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant.
Your English speaking guide and bike will be waiting for you at the hotel. The first stop will be the Quang Ba flower market, where there are so many different kinds of flowers to be seen. Admiring the flowers and mixing with the local people will make for some unforgettable memories. If time permits, you will visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and have a chance to see the flag pulling ceremony with a parade and the national song, which is hugely popular amongst the locals. You will be biking about 10 kilometers.
Today, you will take a walking tour that explores the French Quarter through the ideas of its architects and the shape of its stones with your own English speaking guide. It's set in the time from the unraveling of all the threads of civilization, which have left their mark on the area, beginning with recent reminders of Soviet style. Just around the corner, discover a different world altogether as you visit the Buddhist pagoda of Quan Su, the center of Vietnamese Buddhism and Tran Hung Dao streets. You will learn about the French approach to justice and punishment and hear tales of daring Vietnamese resistance to the repressive regime. End the tour with a nice cup of Vietnamese coffee.
Meet your driver for a train station transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Transfer from the train station in Lao Cai to Sapa with a private vehicle and driver. The transfer is approximately 1 hour.
You will be picked up from your Sapa hotel by private car for a drive to the Silver Waterfall (best in the rainy season from May to November). Take a short walk to the waterfall where a great view is offered of the surrounding mountains and the lush forests of Hoang Lien National Park. Along the way, your guide will explain about this special part of Sapa, where many tree species are grown such as plum and peach trees. Continue by car up to Heaven's Gate where you can see Fansipan Mountain, ‘the roof of Indochina’ at the height of 3143 meters above sea level.
Depart from Sapa and enjoy the magnificent view from your private car on the way to Lao Chai village. Along the way, stop at stalls that serve tea, fruit, and sweets. Arrive at the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai, where you will experience the daily life of the community. Afterwards, walk from Lao Chai to Ta Van village, where the Zay hill tribes live. Here you will rest and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by your local guide. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon of trekking through bamboo forests, followed by relaxation beside a waterfall. Continue and explore the Red Dao village of Giang Ta Chai.
In the early morning, leave Sapa by private car and drive to the Bac Ha Market. Arriving at Bac Ha, you'll visit the large outdoor market where various hill tribe people come to buy and sell handicraft products. After exploring the market, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Leaving Bac Ha, proceed to Trung Do Village, and enjoy a scenic water buffalo cart ride traveling through countryside of the Tay people. From the village, travel by boat down the Chay River and experience the picturesque scenery and magnificent sights along the way. After the boat trip, enjoy a refreshing cup of tea before returning to Sapa.
Transfer from Sapa to the train staion in Lao Cai with a private vehicle and driver. The transfer is approximately 1 hour.
In the morning, transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The transfer is approximately 3 hours. You may stop on the way to admire the local scenery.
Your journey across Halong Bay starts around noon. As the vessel sets sails, you will be greeted by Paradise Crew and Cruise Manager who will aim throughout your stay at providing you with the highest standards of service and utmost comfort onboard the ship’s luxury facilities in stunning surroundings.
Begin sailing and pass through a magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth. After lunch, take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with golden sails, go swimming on a quiet beach or sunbath on the sundeck. Later in the afternoon, you will visit an interesting fishing village with an opportunity to interact with local people who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. An optional kayaking trip is available weather permitting. Back onboard enjoy a lavish dinner.
While onboard, you can take advantage of the spa, beauty, and massage services provided. You will also have the opportunity to attend the chef's cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking. Defined to be one of the highlights of your Paradise stay, a highly refined, innovative and varied cuisine will be presented for lunch and dinner in the elegant dining room, accompanied by a wide selection of wines and beverages from around the world.
In the morning, early risers can attend a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck at the break of dawn. Start the day enjoying some Paradise delights with a colorful buffet breakfast. Continue exploring Halong Bay sailing across its 2000 islets and visiting some of its major highlights.
Disembark the Paradise Luxury in Halong City for a transfer by private vehicle and guide to your next destination.
Fly from Hanoi to Danang. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Transfer from Hoi An to Danang with with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 40 minutes.
Begin your day with a guided bicycle ride through old streets to the home of a craftsmen. Receive a brief introduction to the history, shape, and color of traditional lanterns as well as the process of making them. You will have an opportunity to create your own lantern and keep it as a souvenir. Next continue to a Hoi An cooking school, where you will learn to cook traditional Vietnamese food, have lunch and relax. For lunch, you will learn to cook traditional Hoi An food. After lunch, you will be shown how to decorate and pack your lantern. The tour ends with a guided ride back to the hotel.
Transfer from Hoi An to Hue with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 2.5 hours.
The biking tour along the Perfume River starts in the morning. You will have chance to see how the local people live. In the Vy Da village, visitors can enjoy the Hue coffee and learn more about ancient architecture. Later in the afternoon, you will come back to Hue City and take part in a kite flying contest. The person who can fly their kite the highest, wins.
Get an early start to the day for the 200 kilometer drive from Hue to the Son River in Quang Binh province. When you arrive, you’ll take a boat ride to the famed caves at Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. The park is one of the world's two largest limestone regions. In comparison with 41 other world heritage sites which have karsts, Phong Nha has dissimilar geomorphic, geologic, and biotic conditions. The karsts of Phong Nha can be traced back to Palaeozoic 400 million years ago. This makes Phong Nha the oldest major karst in Asia. Vietnamese and British scientists have surveyed a total of 20 caves with a total length of 70 kilometers so far. Of these surveyed caves, 17 were in the Phong Nha area and three in the Ke Bang area. Following the narrow underground river, you’ll explore the most impressive Phong Nha cave. Afterwards, return to Dong Hoi for lunch before driving back to Hue.
Fly from Hue to Ho Chi Minh City. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
You will be picked up from your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken around the city for half day tour. Start the tour with a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a neo-Romanesque cathedral constructed between 1877 and 1883 using bricks from Marseilles and stained-glass windows from Chartres. Continue on to the Old Saigon Post Office and Cholon, the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City; and the Emperor Jade Pagoda (Phuoc Hai), one of the most interesting pagodas in Vietnam. It’s filled with smoky incense and fantastic carved figurines. It was built by the Cantonese community around the turn of the 20th century and is still buzzing with worshipers, many lounging in the front gardens.
Take an enjoyable evening cruise. “Bonsai I” is the biggest existing dragon boat in Vietnam and a replica of a Royal Vietnamese style dragon boat dating back from the 19th century. The three decks offer 3 stylish bars, large buffet and dining deck, live cooking stations, show stage, wheel house, bathrooms, cabins and a fully operated kitchen. The cruise goes along Saigon’s modern skyline to the outskirts of the city.
Today, you will be picked up by private car with an English speaking guide escorted to My Tho. You will be traveling past miles of flat rice fields, along a bustling High Way. On arrival at My Tho, you will board a private Mekong cruise boat to Thoi Son Island where you will be entertained with traditional music. Next, you will change to a paddle boat to cruise through the narrow canals and visit home grown industries like coconut candy and rice-wine making. Travel by motorized boat to another Mekong island to visit a bee farm and try tea with fresh honey from the beehives and enjoy fresh seasonal fruits. On your return to My Tho there will be a visit to the Vinh Trang Pagoda. Enjoy a lovely lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant. At the end of the tour, you will return back to Ho Chi Minh.
Built entirely over the waters of historic West Lake and adjacent to the famous 800-year-old Golden Lotus Pagoda, the hotel features 359 guestrooms showcasing contemporary Vietnamese design at its best. Combining Vietnamese grace with "In the Know" service, InterContinental Hanoi Westlake turns a visit to the City of Peace into an unforgettable experience. The new InterContinental Westlake Hanoi overlooks the 800-year-old Golden Lotus Pagoda on Hanoi's largest lake. It is the only hotel in Vietnam to be featured on “Condé Nast Traveler’s” prestigious 2008 Hot List, garnering the honour for the “sublime” waterfront locale.
Travel in style on board the Victoria Express Train. The Victoria Express Train features one dining carriage and two sleeping carriages to make your traveling experience a comfortable one. With its elegant carriages, the Victoria Express Train recalls a more romantic era. Passing through the exotic landscapes of Northern Vietnam, between the charming cities of Hanoi and Lao Cai it offers every visitor a wonderful traveling experience. Watch the beautiful scenery in front of you from the luxury of your seat, or take a nap in the comfort of your cozy sleeping carriage. If you prefer, you can indulge yourself in the dining carriage, “Le Tonkin”, where you can savor the delights of traditional Vietnamese and Western cuisine. *Please note the dining car is not always available, it is only part of some departures.
The Victoria Sapa Resort is the only luxury hotel in North-Western Vietnam, and was built as a traditional mountain chalet with accented wooden décor and a welcoming stone hearth fireplace. The Victoria Sapa Resort overhangs the village, blending in perfectly with the natural surroundings. The resort features stylishly designed rooms, each with private terrace, wood flooring and a warm touch of local decoration. Enjoy fine dining at Ta Van Restaurant and enjoy a glass of red wine by the fireplace at Ta Fin Bar. After a day of sightseeing in the Sapa region, unwind at the spa center before turning in. The location and luxury services of the hotel have been carefully planned to allow guests to experience something different and unique, in close harmony with nature and with the local hill tribe people.
Paradise Luxury I, II, III & IV were built according to the traditional Vietnamese junk design and present a lavish outfit blending in subtle harmony with the natural environment. The 4 Paradise Luxury Cruises offer 68 luxurious cabins and suites as well as an exciting array of activities to be enjoyed while experiencing the spectacular scenery of the "Bay of Descending Dragons". Each vessel features a stylish restaurant and bar for an exclusive dining experience on the third deck. The top deck serves as a perfect place to enjoy the sunshine and discover the splendid beauty of Halong bay with a 360° view while benefiting from the presence of the Moonlight Bar. Celebrated for being the only cruisers in Halong Bay to provide complete spa facilities with dry sauna, Jacuzzi, massages, and beauty treatments, Paradise luxury boats dispose of spa facilities aiming at reviving the senses and nurturing well-being. The Paradise Luxury fleet is committed to granting guests a genuine yet prestigious experience in Halong Bay.
At Anantara Hoi An Resort experience an idyllic blend of riverside relaxation in Anantara luxury, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on your doorstep, and beautiful beach life just a short bicycle or boat ride away. Scenically positioned on the banks of the Thu Bon River, Anantara Hoi An Resort is a charming boutique retreat in the historic port town of Hoi An. Designed with French, Dutch, Chinese and Japanese influences that reveal Hoi An’s fascinating cultural diversity, split level rooms and suites open onto porches with comfortable daybeds, overlooking the river or a garden courtyard. Delve into Vietnamese culture with language, savour authentic local dishes and popular world flavours in elegant and casual settings beside the river. Meet up at the heritage inspired wine bar for an atmospheric view of Hoi An’s street life or laze by the pool and let the staff bring an exotic cocktail to your sun bed.
The Pilgrimage Village offers guests the harmony of soothing natural environment and local culture, along with delicious meals, peaceful life of a quiet countryside retreat. The Pilgrimage Village embodies the subtle connection of traditional stylish and modern art concept. Each of the guest rooms are furnished with modern amenities, centered around the guests' experience, ensuring comfort and relaxation.
The Renaissance Riverside is located in the heart of Saigon's business district, the Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon offers first-class hospitality, comfortable rooms and modern amenities. After a long day, relax at the poolside terrace or enjoy a leisurely dinner at Kabin, known as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the city. Take a dip in the rooftop pool and visit the Health Club for an invigorating workout with the latest gym equipment. Otherwise, simply enjoy the incredible views of the Saigon River and stroll to museums, galleries and other area attractions. You’ll find that the hotel’s central location, panoramic views and impeccable service makes this the ideal place to stay while visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
Maynard Fossum ,
December 12, 2014
"My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure. "
Craig Gelman ,
December 12, 2014
"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent. "
Ruth Reinhard ,
December 12, 2014
"The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience."
SixtoCastenada Jr. ,
December 12, 2014
"100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!"
December 12, 2014
"We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken."
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
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