(Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City)
EXPERIENCE. LEARN. ENJOY.
As the sun rises over the vast temple network of Angkor Wat, find yourself in a secluded bend of this ancient maze and soak up all the serene magic of this spiritual land.
You’ll discover all the beauty and warmth of this peaceful place incarnate in the Cambodian people when you spend a joyful afternoon among the smiling children of a local orphanage. It’s also evident in neighboring Vietnam where you’ll tour Hanoi’s Ngoc Son Temple by cyclo and take a luxury overnight cruise of the stunning Halong Bay. Enjoy exploring the historic town of Hoi An and its lush green valleys dotted with red brick towers dating back to the 7th century. Cycle through the rural villages that line the Perfume River in Hue and marvel at the unique blended architecture of the unique Cao Tai Temple in Ho Chi Minh City. Experience the horror of the Vietnam War in the vast underground labyrinthine known as the Cu Chi Tunnels.
This luxurious trip brings you a premium collection of accommodation that will impress even the most discerning traveler. From opulent city hotels to world-class spa resorts, you’ll experience the best these twin countries have to offer. You’ll also enjoy a plethora of hands-on cultural experiences including cooking classes, Tai Chi at dawn, a lesson in the traditional production of fine silk, and plenty of time at vibrant local markets.
Times Journeys are premium escorted tours designed for discerning travelers featuring small groups of likeminded and curious globetrotters, and deeply-knowledgeable guides and featured experts. With a maximum of 16 travelers on each journey, these experiential departures provide privileged access not possible with larger groups and allow true immersion into new cultures and fascinating destinations.
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.
You will be picked up at your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken to visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and his former residence, One pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. For lunch, enjoy a lovely meal at a local restaurant. After lunch, continue your city tour to your choice of one of Hanoi's many museums, including Fine Art, History, Revolutionary, War, and Ethnology, then head to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple and experience a 1 hour cyclo tour. Finish your day off at the Thang Long Opera Theatre for a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show.
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.
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 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.
In the morning, meet your guide at your hotel for a transfer to My Son, Vietnam's most important Cham’s site. My son became a religious center in the late 4th century and lasted until the 13th century – the longest period of development of any monument in Southeast Asia. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, continue to visit the ancient town of Hoi An, one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. There is plenty to see in this delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, and the Chua Ong Pagoda.
In the morning, you will be met by your English speaking guide at your hotel who will take you on a half day cooking class. Take a walking tour through the market where you will be shown all the fresh ingredients that would be used in typical Vietnamese recipes. After the market tour, a 25 minute boat ride will take you across the Hoi An River. Take sight of the fishermen casting their nets up along the river while on your way to the cooking school. Upon arrival, walk towards the cooking school. The lesson will begin in an open-air pavilion next to the river where Chef Thanh will teach you how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes. Afterwards, relax and enjoy the lunch that you have prepared.
Enjoy your lunch included in the tour cost.
Transfer from Hoi An to Hue with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 2.5 hours.
Enjoy a bike ride along the Perfume River. You will have a 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. 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.
In the morning, your guide will meet you at the hotel to take you to visit the Hue Citadel, Vietnam’s former imperial capital and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With an area of 500 hectare and a system of three circles of ramparts, namely from outside to inside: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel), Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel), and Khai Dinh Tomb. In the afternoon, you’ll cruise along the Perfume River. Being the former royal capital, Hue's surrounding countryside contains several of the tombs of the former Nguyen Emperors where you will get to see the Minh Mang Tomb. Back on the Perfume River, visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. Before returning to your hotel, stop at the Dong Ba market for some shopping.
Transfer from Hue to Danang with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 2 hours.
Fly from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You will be met by your English speaking guide at your hotel and taken to the War Remnants Museum, which features a comprehensive collection of the machinery, weapons, photos, and documentation of Vietnam's wars with the both the French and Americans. The exhibit begins with a room listing war facts such as troop numbers, bomb tonnage, and statistics on international involvement in the conflict, including numbers of casualties on both sides. Your visit will also include exhibits dedicated to the journalists who were lost during the war as well as biological warfare, weaponry, and worldwide movements for peace. Continue the tour to the Reunification Palace, which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Afterwards, stop at Ben Thanh Market for a shopping experience.
In the morning, you will be picked up by private car with an English speaking guide and taken to Tay Ninh. Just, 60 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City is the Great Temple or Holy See, the center of the intriguing Cao Dai sect. Cao Dai is a syncretistic Vietnamese religious movement that incorporates aspect of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and even Catholicism. The Cao Dai Temple (as it is more commonly known) was built in a unique architectural style that reflects its blended traditions. In the afternoon, you will travel just north of the city to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Vietnamese are proud of their resolve in their prolonged history of struggle against invading armies.The residents of Cu Chi took their war underground, literally, developing a network of tunnels that, at its height, stretched as far as Cambodia and included meeting rooms, kitchens, and triage areas. Enjoy a nice lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant.
Fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.
Tonight you will enjoy a traditional Khmer dance show and dinner.
Meet at the hotel or airport and transfer for Roulous Group sightseeing. Visit the Lolei, Bakong and Preah Ko Temples. Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue with a visit to the Angkor Wat temple complex and enjoy watching the sunset on Phnom Bakheng before returning to your hotel.
Today, you will get up at 4 AM to head to the temples and enjoy sunrise at Angkor Wat, then return back to your hotel for breakfast. After breakfast you will transfer about half an hour outside the city to visit one of the more remote temples, Banteay Srei. After touring around this temple with your guide, you will head back towards Siem Reap, and en route you will stop for a quick visit to the Landmine Museum. This museum was opened in 1997 by Aki Ra, a former child soldier, and proceeds go toward clearing landmines across Cambodia. It's a safe and educational place to learn about the impact that these devices have had on Cambodia, and what is being done to rid the country of their threat. Transfer back to the city for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, head to one of Siem Reap's lively local markets where you can buy small gifts to bring along to one of the schools for local orphaned children near Wat Bo. Play with the children, tour the facilities, sit in on a lesson, and interact with the local community along with your guide. Later in the afternoon, transfer back to your hotel in Siem Reap. ***A portion of the tour cost will be donated to both the Landmine Museum and Orphanage, of course, further donations are welcome!
You will be picked up from your hotel and taken on a sightseeing tour. Enjoy a half day tour visiting the South Gate of Angkor Thom and Bayon temple complex by Tuk Tuk. After the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Fly from Siem Reap to Hanoi, Vietnam. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
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.
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.
La Résidence Hotel & Spa is truly a boutique hotel and great care has been taken to preserve the charm, comfort and atmosphere of this classic colonial villa. With 122 rooms and suites, boasting modern convenience, La Résidence is situated in an incredible area, overlooking the Citadel and Perfume River; giving this resort its uniqueness, while offering guests serene tranquility. La Résidence Hotel and Spa's Art Deco inspired rooms are stylishly decorated with lovely details of the great 1920's and 1950's era, giving guests the feeling of stepping back in time.
Opened in 1925 as the city’s finest abode, the Majestic has gone through several reincarnations over the years, changes that reflect the tumultuous history of Vietnam. During World War II, the Japanese Imperial Army used this French colonial structure as a military barracks. During the Vietnam War, it was frequented by foreign correspondents and espionage agents. A Hotel of Tradition - Hospitality - Elegance.
The Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa provides a sense of serenity with the nostalgic comfort and elegant refinement of the French Art de Vivre in the heart of Siem Reap. The building's graceful colonial architecture of the 1930's provides a sense of peaceful tranquility. The hotel is located within close proximity to World Heritage listed Angkor Temples, the quaint old market town of Siem Reap, and the international airport. Featuring a Victorian touch, air conditioned rooms and suites come with dark furnishings, all with private balcony facing the pool, tropical garden or the Royal Park. International, Asian, and local Khmer dishes are served at L'Escale restaurant, while Le Bistrot de Siem Reap presents modern French gastronomy, complemented by the finest wines. L'Explorateur Bar and Le Pool Deck feature light meals, exquisite cocktails, and refreshing beverages. Surrounded by tropical garden, the hotel houses a magnificent outdoor saltwater pool with a spa tub. Relaxing massages, facial and body treatments are available at the Victoria Spa.
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."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
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