(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.
Book by June 15th and save $200 per person or $800 for a family of four. Travel by September 1, 2013
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.
Transfer between downtown Hanoi and the International Airport.
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 be driven to the Water Puppet Show. You will be dined at a lovely dining spot, Brother Café Restaurant, which is a local Vietnamese buffet and also features a Vietnam set menu.
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.
In the morning, you will be meet at your hotel by your English speaking guide and private car and then taken to visit 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 situated approximately 15km outside of Hanoi, surrounded by fertile farmland. Watch the artisans forming, painting and glazing their products, which are then baked for several days in huge kilns and then enjoy a 1 hour Cyclo tour through the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Lunch is will be provided for you at a local restaurant.
Your English speaking guide and bike are waiting for you at hotel. First stop is Quang Ba flower market, where there are so many different kinds of flowers to be seen. Under flickering light, flower seller girls appear with a radiant smile to attract customers. Admiring the flowers and mixing with the local people will make for some unforgettable memories. If time permits, you will visit HoChiMinh Mausoleum and have a chance to see the flag pulling ceremony with a parade and national song, which is hugely popular amongst the locals. For lunch enjoy famous Vietnamese Pho and coffee.
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 is 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 we 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. Enjoy the end of your tour with a nice cup of Vietnamese coffee. Entrance fee, coffee and mineral water is included in this tour. Lunch is not provided.
You will be picked up by private car with an English speaking guide and transferred from the train station to your hotel in Hanoi.
Travel in style on board the Victoria Express Train. The Victoria Express Train features one dining carriage and two sleeping carriages to make your travelling experience a most comfortable one. With its elegant carriages, the Victoria Express Train recalls a more romantic era. Passing through the exotic landscapes of North 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 our cozy sleeping carriage. If you prefer, you can indulge yourself in our 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.
Transfer between Lao Cai train station and Sapa in a private vehicle with guide and driver.
You will be picked up from your Sapa hotel by private car and English speaking driver for a short 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. Here your guide will explain the many species of trees that are grown in this special area of Sapa. Continue by car to Heaven's Gate where Fansipan Mountain, the highest peak in Indochina, can be viewed.
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 77 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.
Depart from Sapa and enjoy the magnificent view from your private car on the way to Lao Chai village. Along the road, stop at stalls that serve tea, fruits 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 (included). 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. The tour ends with a return by private car to Sapa
Leaving Sapa early in the morning, travel by private car to Bac Ha Market (2.5hours). Visit the large outdoor market where various Hilltribe peoples come to buy and sell handicraft goods. After exploring the market, enjoy a complimentary lunch at a local restaurant. Leave Bac Ha Market for 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 transport back to Sapa.
Transfer between Sapa and Lao Cai train station in a private vehicle with guide and driver.
Transfer this morning from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The drive is roughly 3 hours.
Your heavenly journey across Halong Bay starts around noon on Tuan Chau Island at the doorstep of Vietnam's most fascinating wonder. 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 for a pure pleasure and utmost comfort onboard the ship’s luxury facilities in stunning surroundings.
Discover some of the treasures disseminated across the Bay of the Descending Dragon during the afternoon like fascinating caves, pristine beaches, picturesque floating villages, fantastic rock formations rising up out of the emerald water.
While onboard, at your leisure you can take advantage of the Spa, Beauty and the 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.
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 lingering in the sunshine and discovering the splendid beauty of Halong bay with a 360° view while benefiting from the presence of a '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.
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 colourful buffet breakfast. Continue exploring Halong Bay sailing across its 2000 islets and visiting some of its major highlights.
The Paradise Luxury Cruise will come to an end on Tuan Chau Island between 10.30am and 11.00am. From here you will drive back to Hanoi.
Fly one way from Hanoi to Danang.
Airport transfer between Danang airport and Hoi An with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide. (40 mins)
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.
Begin your day with a guided bicycle ride through old streets to the workshop of a local artisan. Receive a brief introduction to the history, shape, and colour of traditional lanterns, and learn 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. After lunch you will return to the workshop to decorate and pack your lantern. The tour ends with a guided ride back to the hotel.
Transfer between Hoi An and Hue by private car and English speaking driver. (3 hrs)
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 of the place. You will sit on one of antique chests that is situated under the trees, drink a tea or coffee and enjoy watching blooming flowers and hearing the birdsongs. Later afternoon you will come back to Hue City and enjoy Fly kites contest. You will manage the Fly Kite and balance it on the sky.
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 99 guests rooms are furnished with modern amenities, centered around the guests' experience, ensuring comfort and relaxation.
The private transportation with English speaking guide will take you to a boat trip to the famouse caves at Phong Nha that are located in The Ke Bang National Park. The Park is the world's second largest limestone region. The karsts of Phong Nha can be traced back to Palaeozoic Era. The Park has about 20 grottoes and caves. You will explore the most impressive Phong Nha cave. The Cave is famous for its rock formations which locals call the "Lion", the "Fairy Caves", the "Royal Court", and the "Buddha". After visiting the caves you will have lunch in Dong Hoi (the lunch is included).
You will be picked up by an English speaking guide with a private car and transferred between Hue and Danang. (2 hrs)
Fly one way from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City.
You will be picked up by a private car with an English-speaking guide and transferred between Ho Chi Minh City airport and your hotel.
You will be picked up from your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken around for half day city tour. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, a neo-Romanesque cathedral constructed between 1877 and 1883 using bricks from Marseilles and stained-glass windows from Chartres. Also visit the Old Saigon Post Office and Cholon, the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City. During your tour we will also visit the Emperor Jade Pagoda (Phuoc Hai), one of the most interesting pagodas in Vietnam. It is 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 worshippers, 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.
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.
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.
Depart from Ho Chi Minh City International airport - end of itinerary.
VISA/PASSPORTA valid passport and Vietnamese visa are required prior to arrival for both US and Canadian citizens. A visa must be obtained from a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate prior to traveling to Vietnam; entry visas are NOT available upon arrival. Processing generelly takes 5 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $93. Vietnamese visas are usually valid for only one entry. Persons planning to leave Vietnam and re-enter from another country should be sure to obtain a visa allowing multiple entries prior to arrival.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Vietnam for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/vietnam.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Hanoi. Government: Socialist republic since 1980. Gained independence from France in 1954. Language: Vietnamese is the official language. English, French, Chinese and occasionally Russian and German are spoken. Religion: Buddhist majority. There are also Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Caodaist and Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic) minorities. Time: GMT + 7. Electricity: 220/110 volts AC, 50Hz; two-pin flat plugs are in use. Telephone: Country code +84. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Coverage is available throughout large parts of the country. Internet: Internet cafes are widely available throughout the country.
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