(Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City)
Luxurious & alluring, experience this privately-guided getaway through the vibrant & ancient cities of Vietnam: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang & Ho Chi Minh City. Delve into Vietnam’s graceful yet courageous past, its dedicated Buddhist spirituality & the vivaciousness of its people as you tour its imperial palaces, exquisite temples & charming villages. Relax on an indulgent boat trip through enchanting & ethereal Halong Bay where thousands of islands rise from the turquoise waters, creating a vista of unforgettable & inspiring splendor. Visit the French Quarter of Hanoi, Buddhist pagoda of Quan Su, Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh City, UNESCO World Heritage site of Hue Citadel, Perfume River & more. Featuring private guide, sumptuous dinner in a Royal Residence, Tai Chi lessons, Vietnamese cooking class, lavish hotels & private transfers.
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.
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.
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.
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 Peak in Halong City for a transfer by private vehicle and guide to your next destination.
Fly from Hanoi to Hue. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.
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 Hoi An with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 2.5 hours.
You will be picked up at your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken on a city tour to visit the ancient architecture of Hoi An. The city is a fascinating combination of Vietnamese traditional characters with Chinese and Japanese influence. There are 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, the Chua Ong Pagoda, and the vibrant market.
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.
Transfer from Hoi An to Danang with with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 40 minutes.
Fly from Danang to Nha Trang. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
You will be picked up by private car and English speaking driver today to see Nha Trangs' major sights. Start at Cham tower and its surrounding areas. Continue on to visit Por Nagar Tower, the Oceanographic Institute, and the Hon Chong Rock formation. Finish your day off with a visit to the local Dam market.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Fly from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.
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.
The exquisite Metropole in Hanoi, which was built by the French in the colonial style in the early 1900s, combines old-world charm with modern convenience. With its rich history and evocative public spaces, it is easy to imagine the days when Graham Greene propped up the bar and intrigue radiated from every room. Located in the heart of downtown, the hotel features 363 rooms and suites and a beautiful interior garden. Le Beaulieu serves fine French cuisine while Hanoi specialties are served at the Spices Garden. A swimming pool and fitness center are available and the beautiful city of Hanoi is just at the doorstep, ready for you to explore its sights and sounds.
Paradise Peak is Paradise Cruises’ latest masterpiece, a sumptuous floating hotel that has redefined the boundaries of Five Star cruising by providing a supreme level of luxury to its prestigious passengers. In all aspects, Paradise Peak seems to mirror the splendour and majesty of the surrounding scenery offered by Halong bay. Paradise Peak does not only offer a unique travelling experience, it allows you to dream with your eyes wide open. Paradise Peak offers 8 stately suites for an infinite comfort and care. All facilities have been designed with the utmost elegance and the crew composed to ensure a guest service worthy of the most remarkable grand hotels. Designed to offer you exceptional services, Paradise Peak features the most spacious spa facilities and the very first and only library and fitness room of Halong Bay.
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.
The Nam Hai sits along a seemingly infinite stretch of sand, amidst Vietnam’s richest cultural heritage, a strand of sophisticated, visually striking villas lines the dramatic beachfront. Inspired by 2,500 years of history, The Nam Hai’s architecture and interior design presents a dramatic play on wind and water inspired by ancient feng shui philosophy and the grandeur of the Tu Doc royal tombs of Hue. The Nam Hai features 60 One-Bedroom Villas and 40 Pool Villas, all offering views of the South China Sea and feature large bedrooms and living spaces, en-suite bathtubs, walk-in closets and luxurious bathrooms.
Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang is comprised of 17 villas containing 74 well appointed guest rooms, located only 1 kilometre from Nha Trang town centre, and 30 minutes by car from the airport. This unique resort is situated directly on a private beach and rests comfortably on 26,000 square metres of lush tropical gardens overlooking the sea. With a delicate blend of graceful atmosphere and captivating scenery, Evason Ana Mandara reflects the image of an old Vietnamese village, with its warm hospitality, rich culture and unique tastes, along with spectacular views of Nha Trang Bay.
The Park Hyatt is centrally located at Lam Son Square, near the elegant Opera House in downtown Saigon, The 252-room Park Hyatt Saigon hotel is within walking distance of business, shopping, entertainment and main tourist attractions. The colonial style rooms feature beautiful wooden floors, white marble baths with a luxurious walk-in rain shower and stunning pool view. Overlook Lam Son Square while dining at the casual yet contemporary Morocco Restaurant or at Square One, featuring simple and authentic Vietnamese and Western cuisine. Situated next to the beautifully landscaped pool, The Xuan Spa is an oasis of tranquility within the hustle of Ho Chi Minh City. Pamper yourself in this luxurious and peaceful setting and allow the treatments to inspire your senses and renew your spirit.
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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