(Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City)
(Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake)
Leave the ordinary behind with this private journey showcasing the two most hauntingly beautiful land’s in Asia, Vietnam & Myanmar. From delectable culinary lessons, learning the secrets to tai chi & the art to rolling the perfect cheroot, to touring age-old silk workshops, boat rides with leg rowing fishermen, harrowing reminders of civil unrest & war, blessings from monks in ancient temples, cruises through limestone karsts & even a wine tasting, this is a culturally decadent adventure. Discover the wonders of Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay & Inle Lake with the luxury of private guide from 4 & 5* hotels.
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.
The Silk Path is located in the heart of the charming old quarter of Hanoi, which has countless tourist attractions, government and diplomatic institutions, as well as proximity to the business district of the city. With the hotel's 106 well-appointed exclusively designed rooms and suites, it is no surprise that Silk Hotel is a preference choice of a traveler. The hotel has a 2 level restaurant with private dining rooms, a unique bar, and a fitness center and sauna. Silk Path Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay with all luxury amenities within reach.
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. After lunch, continue your city tour to one of Hanoi's many museums featuring Fine Art, History, Revolutionary, War, Ethnology of your choice, 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. For lunch, enjoy a lovely meal at a local restaurant.
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.
You will be picked up by mini-bus today along with other travellers for a trip to a local cooking school. Pick out your ingredients at the local market and take a boat 25-minutes up the river to the school. Watch the fishermen cast their nets on the water and watch the life along the river. We arrive at a small town and walk to the cooking school. The lesson is in an open-air pavilion next to the river. Chef Thanh of the Red Bridge Cooking School will teach you how to cook a traditional Vietnamese meals. After lunch, return to your hotel where you will be picked up by a private guide for a tour of Hoi An. Discover the historic town which used to be a prosperous seaport city during the 16th to 18th centuries. Visit Hoi An's colourful local market, Tan Ky old house, Fukien Assembly Hall, and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge.Travelers can also see local residents raise silkworms and produce silk for Hoi An's burgeoning textile industry.
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.
At 6:30pm you will start your cyclo tour with the private guide to experience the life of locals. The cyclo will transfer you to the restaurant that serves Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant is surrounded with trees. After dinner you will visit the Ben Thank Market for walking tour.
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.
In the morning, you will visit the Cu Chi Tunnels which is 70 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. Here you will find an amazing complex of underground tunnels used during the Vietnam war. 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 area. In the afternoon, return to the city for a tour of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office and the former Presidential Palace. Next, continue onto visit the War Museum. Afterwards, enjoy a lovely Vietnamese lunch at local restaurant before exploring the China Town area and visiting Thien Mu Pagoda. Towards the end of the day, you will be able to visit and experience Ben Thanh Market.
Fly one way from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Yangon, Myanmar.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you between Yangon and the airport.
At the end of the day many Yangonites leave their office and on the way back home they stop for some shopping, catch up with friends at a teashop, visit a pagoda or go to a beer station. This is exactly what you are going to do as well this evening. Highlight of the tour will be the evening visit to the illuminated Shwedagon pagoda – a magic and mystical moment at a time that it’s not very busy on the main platform. After the pagoda visit there will be local snacks to be tasted as well as a local draft beer or a fresh lime juice. The tour includes drinks at the highest tower in Yangon, a walk over the night market in downtown, tea and snacks as well as a simple local dinner shared with some locals.
Built in 1901, The Strand is a Yangon heritage hotel in a category all its own. This luxury resort offers large suites with lazily whirring ceiling fans, teak floors and luxurious bathrooms. All rooms are tastefully furnished with a touch of colonial style and are equipped with up to date amenities. Adding to the splendid old-world ambience is a valuable private collection of local art and antiques. From the famous Strand Bar, move on to The Café that peers onto the street or to the famous Strand Grill with its elegant Bagan prints, chandeliers and glass roof. Take pleasure in an afternoon tea or enjoy Burmese music in the Lobby Lounge.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver/guide, will transfer you between the Yangon Airport and your Hotel.
Fly one way from Yangon to Bagan.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you between Bagan and the airport.
An ideal excursion on your second or third day in Bagan when you feel like you have seen most of the temples (or at least enough) and also want to discover some other things. Cross the river by private boat to Pakkoku and visit a local slipper factory, the market and see where the famous Pakkoku blankets are made. Continue by boat to Kyauk Gu Ohnmin cave temple that rarely sees foreign visitors. After a picnic lunch near this fantastic temple your guide and driver will show you how palm juice is collected and you will visit later in the day a local lacquer-ware workshop in Myinkaba village.
The Tharabar Gate Hotel is located in the most unique Archeological Site of South East Asia, the Ancient capital of the Burmese Empire, Old Bagan. Surrounded by more than 4000 ancient temples and Pagodas, you will be enchanted by the breathtaking views. The Hotel offers 84 luxury rooms including 4 Suites. Every room is decorated with teak floors and typical Burmese furniture.
A full day tour by car, with an experienced guide through Bagan will show you the best known temples of the area. You will begin the day climbing Buledi Pagoda to get a first impressive view over the whole area. From here the guide plans his way to some of the other amazing temples that have been here for hundreds of years. Places like the Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu will certainly impress you. Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant and around 4:00PM, you will continue the tour by horse cart to Pyathagyi pagoda to catch the sunset with some refreshing drinks served. The best part of this tour; whenever you see a temple you like, just ask your guide to stop to have a look at it. Simply pick your own favourite temple.
Fly one way from Bagan to Mandalay.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you between Mandalay and the airport.
Mandalay and the other former royal capitals around it have all been capital cities for a while for one major reason: they are all situated on the Ayeyarwaddy River (Irrawaddy). Feel the breeze of the river and imagine how it must have been to arrive by boat in Mingun or at the court of Ava. From the jetty in Mandalay you will be taken upstream to Mingun and visit the Mingun Pagoda with the big crack caused by an earthquake and the giant bronze bell. Take a leisurely boat cruise for about 3 hours downstream to Ava. A simple lunch packed in rattan baskets will be served while cruising down. Arriving in Ava, horse carts are ready to take us around this magnificent site with various ancient temple ruins that used to be majestic buildings during the 400 years that Ava was the capital. Return to Mandalay by car. An ideal excursion if you don’t take the boat from Mandalay to Bagan since the most interesting part of the long boat ride is covered in this shorter cruise.
A fun tour to get to know the real Mandalay, starting with a visit to a viewpoint near the Ayeyarwaddy River for a cold Mandalay beer during sunset. Continue to the busy Yadanar night market to have some traditional snacks and a walk around before heading to one of the most famous beer stations and BBQ restaurants in Mandalay. Your guide will order the food and make sure you’re satisfied. Continue before 8:30 PM to the excellent Mandalay marionettes theatre for a show performed by a mix of traditional dancers, musician and puppeteers.
The Rupar Mandalar Resort is a romantic boutique hotel in an exotic atmosphere surrounded by nature. The hotel has 16 rooms with modern facilities, swimming pool, tennis court, and a health & beauty spa.
Fly one way from Mandalay to Inle Lake.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you between Inle Lake and the airport.
As described in many books, the Shan culture is very interesting and rich and especially in Nyaung Shwe you still get a bit of the feeling of the former Shan kingdom of Nyaung Shwe. Begin with a visit of the Buddha museum which is housed in the former “Haw” (palace) of the last Shan prince of Nyaung Shwe (Mr Sao Shwe Thaike, who later became the first prime minister of Myanmar after independence). Enjoy a nice Shan lunch at the Viewpoint restaurant and then continue the tour to the local market looking for some traditional Shan cotton and Shan traditional dresses. A visit to the ancient teak wooden Shwe Yan Pyay monastery with the oval windows is certainly giving the opportunity for some great pictures. You will be peddled around some small canals and pass floating gardens in a small wooden boat for about half an hour to see more of the local Shan life from the water. End the tour with a visit and some wine tasting of the excellent wines at the Red Mountain winery in Nyaung Shwe.
The Inle Lake View Resort is the only deluxe boutique hotel of international standard on the shores of Inle Lake, built on 24 acres of a lush landscape of trees and flowers. The resort is ideally located in a picturesque area overlooking the Inle lake and features 38 large and spacious rooms. Located on the western edge of the lake, the hotel offers luxury and elegance throughout. The spa center is beautifully designed and offers a variety of treatments. The Bourgainvillaea restaurant serves some of the finest wine and cuisine to be found in Myanmar, including organic vegetables and salads and the Lotus Bar offers the perfect spot for an aperatif or after dinner drink.
Inle Lake in southern Shan State is a vast natural lake surrounded by traditional Shan villages. On the lake itself the Intha people have been living for many centuries in village built entirely on stilts on the lake. Today, you will be taken by a private motorboat around the lake to discover its natural beauty, visit the floating gardens and hopefully see some of the famous leg rowers as well as enjoy tea time at a local family’s house. On and around the lake, traditional markets are held in different villages according to a 5-day rotating schedule and today you will visit a colourful market frequented by Shan and Pao people living nearby. Afterwards, visit a local cheroot factory (where the Burmese cigars are made), floating tomato gardens, Intha Heritage house where the Burmese cats are bred and if wanted you can visit a weaving factory. Return to your hotel around 4:00 PM, in time for sunset.
Fly one way from Inle Lake to Yangon.
A passport and visa are required for entry into Myanmar for both US and Canadian citizens. We will provide a letter of invitation which you can then use to acquire your visa. Visas must be obtained prior to arrival. Processing generally takes 8 working days along with a visa processing fee of approximately $30. Travelers are required to show their passports with valid visas at all airports, train stations, and hotels. Security checkpoints are common outside of tourist areas.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Myanmar 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/burma.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Yangon (Rangoon). Government: Socialist Republic since 1974. Power assumed by the army in 1988. Language: The official language is Myanmar (Burmese). There are over 100 dialects spoken in Myanmar. English is spoken in business circles. Religion: 89% Theravada Buddhist. The remainder are Hindu, Muslim, Christian and animist. Time: GMT + 6.5. Electricity: 220-230 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code +95. Only larger cities can be dialed direct from within Myanmar; smaller towns still use manual switchboards and callers need to ask the operator to connect them to a specific town operator. International calls are difficult to place outside hotels. Mobile Telephone: There is no international roaming in Myanmar. Note: Mobile phones may be collected by customs on arrival and released to you upon departure. Internet: There are a few Internet cafes, but access to many free international e-mail services is blocked. All Internet use is monitored by the government and is usually expensive.
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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