Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam

12 days from $9,168 per person*
  • Spend time with fascinating individuals including a Kung Fu Grandmaster and a renowned Historian.
  • Discover UNESCO-listed Halong Bay on a luxurious Junk-style cruise
  • Tour through the back-streets of Ho Chi Minh City to visit trendy speakeasies
  • Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, arriving by private speed boat.
  • Stay in a hand-picked selection of luxury hotels
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Incredible scenery, heart-warming people, outstanding architecture and delicious cuisine - all highlighted by world-class hotels and resorts - what more could one desire? On this immersive tour, discover the very best of Vietnam as you tour the country while enjoying personal time with provocative and fascinating individuals.

The adventure begins in Hanoi where you'll meet a local photojournalist to discover what it's like to report from war-zones, all while learning a few skills that will come in handy as you continue your trip. Later, you'll tour key sites from the Vietnam War before engaging with a former VC pilot who - after being shot down by a US fighter - became best of friends with his former adversary.

After Hanoi, set off to picturesque Halong Bay to enjoy a luxurious overnight cruise aboard a traditional Junk-style vessel. The scene then shifts to Hoi An, where you'll tour the city's ancient sites before settling in for a beach-side sunset barbecue dinner. The next day, rise early for tea with local legend, Kung Fu Grandmaster Tran Xuan Man.

Last stop: Ho Chi Minh City. Here you'll discover trendy and easy-to-miss speakeasies. Later, witness the wonder of the Jade Emperor Pagoda, visit the Reunification Palace, tour the labyrinthine Cu Chi Tunnels - arriving by private speed boat, no less - and cap off your experience by sitting down with renowned Vietnam Historian Tim Doling to put your entire experience into perspective. ... Show More »

Embracing the history, culture and cuisine of this remarkable country, this luxury tour enjoys a relaxed-pace, all while providing you with the opportunity to deeply understand and appreciate the incredible resiliency and warmth of beautiful Vietnam.

Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Hanoi
    Hanoi
    • Vietnam - Welcome
    • Activity - VIP Immigration Fast Track Meet & Greet with Visa - Multiple Entry-Executive
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 2 Hanoi
    Hanoi
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Photojournalism in Modern Vietnam (1-2 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum, One-Pillar Pagoda & Temple of Literature (4 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 3 Hanoi
    Hanoi
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Hoa Lo Prison, National Museum of History & Old Quarter (4 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Reuniting Opposing Forces with Nguyen Hong My (1-2 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Activity - Dinner at Grandma's Restaurant (with Dinner, 2 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 4 Hanoi
    Hanoi
    • Morning at Leisure
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Evening Street Food Tour (3-4 hrs) - Guide
  • Day 5 Hanoi to Halong Bay
    Hanoi to Halong Bay
    • Private Transfer - Hanoi - Halong Bay [3 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Embarkation
    • Lunch on Board (Included)
    • Vung Vieng Fishing Village
    • Kayaking or Afternoon Tea
    • Cooking Demonstration
    • Dinner on Board (Included)
    • Evening Activities
    All Inclusive
  • Day 6 Halong Bay to Hanoi to Danang to Hoi An
    Halong Bay to Hanoi to Danang to Hoi An
    • Morning Activities
    • Breakfast on Board
    • Hon Co Island & Co Cave
    • Brunch on Board
    • Disembarkation
    • Private Transfer - Halong Bay - Hanoi [Airport, 2-4 hrs] - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Air - Hanoi - Danang [1.5 hrs] - Business Class
    • Private Transfer - Danang - Hoi An [1 hr] - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 7 Hoi An
    Hoi An
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Hoi An Ancient Town (3 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Activity - BBQ Sunset Dinner (2 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 8 Hoi An
    Hoi An
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Tea with a Kung Fu Grandmaster (1-2 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Private Tour - Private Cooking Class at The Market (with Lunch, 6 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide/Boat
  • Day 9 Hoi An to Danang to Ho Chi Minh City
    Hoi An to Danang to Ho Chi Minh City
    • Private Transfer - Hoi An - Danang [1 hr] - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Air - Danang - Ho Chi Minh City [1.5 hrs] - Business Class
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Speakeasy Experience (with Snack & Drinks, 3 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 10 Ho Chi Minh City
    Ho Chi Minh City
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Saigon City Tour (3-4 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Drinks with THE View (with Dinner & Drinks, 3 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 11 Ho Chi Minh City
    Ho Chi Minh City
    • Private Tour - Cu Chi by Private Speed Boat (with Lunch, 4-5 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide/Boat
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Conversation with a Cultural Expert and Renowned Historian (3-4 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 12 Ho Chi Minh City
    Ho Chi Minh City
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Vietnam! Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country. 

Upon arrival to Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport you will be welcomed by a hostess holding a sign with your name on it. This hostess will guide you through fast-track security services and, after you obtain a stamp for your Visa and have collected your luggage, will lead the way to your awaiting guide and vehicle.

You will be privately transferred between your accommodations and Hanoi Airport by a professional driver and an English-speaking guide.

Accommodation: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Located steps from the Opera House in Hanoi’s iconic French Quarter, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi welcomes guests with an air of colonial grandeur and timeless elegance. Originally crafted by French aristocrats in the early 1900’s, the property combines old-world charm and history with modern convenience and luxury. Offering 364 rooms and suites across two wings, guests can choose from the historical grandeur of the Metropole Wing or the neo-classical elegance of the Opera Wing. All rooms are equipped with Sofitel’s MyBed, in-room Wi Fi, safety deposit box and minibar. Well-appointed dining options range from Le Beaulieu, serving fine French cuisine, to Spices Garden for local Hanoi specialties. Tucked away in a private oasis on the grounds, the hotel’s stately swimming pool offers carefree relaxation in sophisticated surroundings adjacent to a fitness center equipped with state of the art equipment.

Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Hanoi
Hanoi
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Sofitel Legend Metropole
Sofitel Legend Metropole

Day 2: Hanoi

Linh Pham is an up-and-coming Photojournalist based out of Hanoi. He has worked in many areas of the world, often finding himself dangerous war-torn areas. His knack for capturing unscripted, real-world and highly personal scenes are not only beautiful but serve the dual purpose of encouraging viewers to think about the how and why behind his images. Today, you will meet Linh over coffee and chat about what life as an artist in modern Vietnam is like, what drives him to create his collections and why he feels his work is important. His new gallery – opened with a fellow photographer and situated across from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – is a great place to take a break from the masses and learn more about arts culture in Vietnam. 

Discover a selection of Hanoi’s top highlights as you set out with a private guide to explore Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the museum named in his honor (please note, the museum is closed Monday and Friday, afternoons, and from September to November). The mausoleum was designed and built as a final resting spot for the remains of this local icon who was a pivotal leader in Vietnam’s revolutionary struggle against foreign powers. You’ll also visit his former residence, known as the house on stilts, where the essence of his humble lifestyle can still be felt. Near the mausoleum is One Pillar Pagoda. Commissioned by King Ly Thai To in 1049, this structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi and is certainly a must-see site while in the city. Finally, you will visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076. This - Vietnam’s first university – was established within this temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past. After a few hours spent discovering Hanoi’s key sights, you will be returned to your hotel.  

Accommodation: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Photojournalist Linh Pham
Photojournalist Linh Pham
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Entrance to the Temple of Literature
Entrance to the Temple of Literature

Day 3: Hanoi

Hoa Loa Prison (later known as Hanoi Hilton) was used to house Vietnamese political prisoners, as well as French and American prisoners of war, and offers a fascinating – if chilling – glimpse into prison life. Most of the original prison was demolished in 1996 to make way for the Hanoi Towers apartment and office complex, but the southernmost corner has been preserved and reopened to the public as a memorial to the revolutionaries who died here in atrocious conditions. Later, you will visit the Museum of History. Preserving more than 7,000 precious objects, some more than one thousand years old, the museum offers a rich range of relics to better acquaint you with the cultural diversity of the country. Historic objects exhibited here are not only Vietnamese in origin but also include other cultures including Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Champ. Continue walking around the Old Quarter of Hanoi, also known as the 36 streets. This bustling area of narrow streets is home to thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Hang Gai Street offers silk clothing ready-made and tailored, embroidery, and silver products. Hang Quat, the street that formerly sold silk and feather fans, now stuns guests with its brilliantly colored funeral and festival flags and religious objects and clothing. Hang Ma glimmers with shiny paper products, such as gift wrappings, wedding decorations and miniature paper objects to burn for the dead. Lan Ong Street is a sensual delight of textures and smells emanating from the sacks of herbal medicinal products: leaves, roots, barks, and powders. Enjoy some shopping time and exploring before being returned to your hotel.

While attending engineering college as a young man, Hong My was asked to take a test; a test that would change the course of his life. Following the exam, he was sent to flight school in Russia, returning later as one of only 120 qualified fighter pilots, and then he took to the skies to defend his country. Today you will have the opportunity to hear his incredible story and spend time with him in his home, all while viewing old photographs, books and testimonials to courage and bravery. His war stories are fascinating but his story post-war is possibly even more amazing. Imagine being reunited not only with the US pilot that you shot down, but also with the US pilot who shot you down! 30 years after the war they are now the best of friends in a heartwarming story that showcases the power of the human spirit to build bonds across lines that all-too-often divide. Following your experience with Nguyen Hong My, you will be returned to your accommodations.

Inspired by the traditional way of cooking Northern Vietnamese cuisine, Grandma’s Restaurant is a recollection of Hanoi’s rustic past and its surrounding provinces, a homey yet elegant feeling that everyone can experience right in the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter. Relive the glorious past and discover the unique flavors of the Northern Vietnamese cuisine, prepared with passion and served with much love, only at Grandma’s Restaurant. Please note: Drinks are not included and must be paid for on-site.

Accommodation: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Nguyen Hong My
Nguyen Hong My

Day 4: Hanoi

This morning, enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.

Starting off this evening’s experience at Hoan Kiem Lake, and then begin walking through the maze of bustling streets that comprise Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Here you will enjoy your first sample of the night, Nộm Bò Khô, a dried beef salad. Savoring the spicy chili's, spicy-sweet dried beef, crispy julienned green papaya, pungent herbs and the nutty taste of roasted peanuts, you are bound to appreciate the incredible harmony of flavors. Carrying onward, walk to Cau Go Street where you are invited to taste Bun Thang, Hanoi vermicelli noodle soup with chicken, egg, and pork. This is one of the most treasured dishes in the region, showcasing the sophisticated and elegant style of Hanoi cuisine. Masterfully combining color, flavor, and nutrition, it is a staple in Hanoi. Later on, venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on Hoa Quả Dầm, fresh fruit, or Chè, a sweet dessert soup. After dessert, the tour will finish with evening drinks at a typical and well-known Bia Hoi where you will taste local draft beer!

Accommodation: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Bun Thang
Bun Thang

Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay

You will be privately transferred from Hanoi to Halong Bay by a professional driver and an English-speaking guide. Approximate travel time is three hours.

Welcome on board the Emperor Cruises!

Check-in at Vinashin Dock, meet your Experience Manager who will assist you with boarding at the cruise and get ready to set sail towards Bai Tu Long Bay! Check-in to your cabin as you set sail to cruise among the many beautiful islets. Bai Tu Long Bay has a wild beauty and the panoramas from the boat are unforgettable.

After lunch, visit Vung Vieng fishing village, the famous pearl-growing village, to view the fishing tanks of the local people. You will have time to observe the process of feeding pearl as well as learning a little about the life of the local people. Afterwards, proceed to Vung Vieng floating village to board bamboo boats so the locals can row you around their village and oyster pearl farming plots. Return to the boat by speedboat.

The cruise continues from the Vung Vieng fishing village to Cong Do (sleeping area), where you will enjoy the wonderful beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay at sunset, admire the striking islands and islets, relax, indulge yourself and savor the peaceful atmosphere which can only be found out here among the islands.

Later in the afternoon, choose from kayaking, just relaxing or taking afternoon tea and watching the sky color change as the sun sets.

Prior to dinner, attend the chef’s cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking (making spring rolls) in a truly stunning setting.

This evening enjoy Movie Night, Board Games or Massage and Spa services or even go squid fishing.

Accommodation: Emperor Cruise

Indulge yourself with a once in a lifetime experience in Vietnam by embarking on Emperor Cruises and cruising around Bai Tu Long Bay, an alternative to the more touristy and crowded parts of Ha Long Bay. Venture off the beaten track, and visit floating fish farms and villages to experience the daily life of the locals. There is plenty of time for nature lovers to discover many secluded beaches, lagoons, coves and caves. Cruising, it is all about you and the experience. The staff will ensure that your cruising experience is comfortable and special, with excellent food, friendly staff, an interesting cruise itinerary with many activities on board, on the water and under water, service excellence, attention to detail, elegance, sophistication and, of course, safety guaranteed. Emperor Cruises’ fleet of vessels will combine classic elegance with modern comfort. The beautifully built, custom-designed, traditional imperial cruise ship features three decks that house a smart restaurant, bars, a small library, a massage room plus luxurious en-suite cabins with private balconies.

Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Emperor Cruises
Emperor Cruises
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Kayaking
Kayaking

Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An

Wake up to the gentle lapping of the water against the boat and as the first rays of the sun announce a new day. Before enjoying breakfast have cookies and tea and then try the tai chi session on the sundeck as the sun rises over Bai Tu Long Bay.

After breakfast, explore the area of Hon Co Island and Co Cave (Grass Cave, also known as Thien Canh Son). You can revel in the breathtaking view of Bai Tu Long bay from up high, as well as the glorious long white-sand beach of Hon Co Island. Afterwards relax on the beach, go swimming in the crystal clear water and explore the cave. Afterwards, you will return to the cruise by speedboat.

Later in the morning return to your boat where brunch will be served on board while the vessel cruises back to the harbour.

Upon arrival to the Emperor Cruises dock in Halong Bay, you'll disembark from your ship.

You will be privately transferred from Halong Bay to Hanoi Airport by a professional driver and an English-speaking guide. Approximate travel time varies depending on your location in the Halong Bay region, ranging from two to four hours.

Board a flight from Hanoi with direct service to Danang. Approximate flight time is one hour and 20 minutes.

Enjoy a scenic transfer from Danang to Hoi An with a private vehicle and an English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 40 minutes.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai

The Nam Hai sits along a seemingly infinite stretch of sand, amidst Vietnam’s richest cultural heritage, a strand of sophisticated, visually striking villas which line the dramatic beachfront. Honoring 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.

Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Emperor Cruises
Emperor Cruises
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town

Day 7: Hoi An

The historic and quaint nature of UNESCO World Heritage Site Hoi An is perfect for exploring. As a former fishing village set on the banks of the Thu Bon River and strategic trading port for Southeast Asia, centuries of Chinese and Japanese influence have left their unique mark on this town. Your private driver and English-speaking guide will greet you at your hotel and bring you to the edge of the old town for a half day of exploration. As the streets of the old town are very narrow, cars are not permitted in the historical center. Start with the 200-year-old Tamky House, a beautifully decorated home that has been lovingly preserved over seven generations. Continue on foot to the Museum of Trade Ceramics, with fascinating pottery artifacts from all over Asia and the Middle East. Take a short walk through the historic town to the 17th century Chinese Chua Ong Pagoda – the neighborhood around it has distinctly Chinese inspired buildings and is lovely to explore at a relaxed pace. End with a visit to the Hoi An Market, reputed to be one of Vietnam’s best. Fresh produce and fish are on offer, and this is also an opportune location to pick up some fine silk.

After a day in beautiful Hoi An and the surrounding region, it’s time to relax on sandy shores. Surrounded by tiki torches and with a private chef and waiter at your service, enjoy a delicious beach-side BBQ with the freshest of ingredients as the sun sets behind you.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Japanese Covered Bridge
Japanese Covered Bridge
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  BBQ Dinner
BBQ Dinner

Day 8: Hoi An

Are you interested in martial arts? Do you want to learn about a particular style of Kung Fu from a very specific area of Vietnam? Well, Mr. Man is the person you need to meet! Join him today to learn about the history of Kung Fu in the region, the school that his master set up and passed on to him, and his work within the community, all while enjoying a traditional cup of tea following a demonstration of his skills. A charming Grandmaster, Mr. Man and his family will welcome you into their home and make you feel entirely welcome. Hidden away down the backstreets of Hoi An, this is a unique opportunity to spend an hour of your day with a local icon.

Vietnam has a rich culinary tradition, and many of the iconic dishes are surprisingly simple to make, relying on centuries-old techniques and fresh ingredients. After a hotel pick-up, you will be transferred to The Market Restaurant where you meet your English-speaking guide. Visit Hoi An's colorful and bustling central market by boat in small groups to learn about how the varying fresh noodles, fish, spices, and herbs are used, as well as their medicinal purposes. Taste a few exotic fruits along the way before returning to The Market Restaurant by boat where you participate in an interactive dining experience. Here you will see, smell, hear, taste, touch and interact with many different foods and enjoy samples from more than 10 food counters that feature a range of Vietnamese specialties including banh mi, dumplings, pickles and sweet treats. Watch as rice paper is made from scratch, laid out to dry on bamboo and later roasted into rice crackers to be enjoyed with Hoi An chilli sauce and salads. Dine on the famous local noodle dish Cao Lau, see the noodles rolled out by hand and cut in the traditional style with a long knife and then steamed over an open fire. After the lesson, sit down and dine on your creations, and later return to your hotel with a copy of newly discovered recipes in hand.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Grandmaster Tran Xuan Man
Grandmaster Tran Xuan Man
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Vietnamese Cuisine
Vietnamese Cuisine

Day 9: Hoi An - Danang - Ho Chi Minh City

You will be privately transferred from Hoi An to Danang by a professional driver and an English-speaking guide. Approximate travel time is 40 minutes.

Board a flight from Danang with direct service to Ho Chi Minh City. Approximate flight time is one hour and 15 minutes.

You will be privately transferred between your accommodations and Ho Chi Minh Airport by a professional driver and an English-speaking guide.

Getting “off-the-beaten-path” in the center of Saigon is easy to accomplish. With endless alleyways that crisscross the city, it is easy to get lost, but not so easy to find the best hole-in-the-wall hideaways that host eccentric, vibrant speakeasies. To make sure an experience seamless, set out with an experienced guide this evening and weave your way down a few select pathways to enjoy specialty drinks at a number of excellent little watering-holes that take you back to times past. Listen to some live music and soak up the brilliant atmosphere as the night sets in. After a few hours on the town, you will be returned to your hotel.

Accommodation: Park Hyatt Saigon

The Park Hyatt is centrally located at Lam Son Square, near the elegant Opera House in downtown Saigon, The Park Hyatt Saigon 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.

Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Cocktails
Cocktails
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

The history of Ho Chi Minh City has many layers, weaving a tale of decades of external Chinese, French and American influence. After meeting your guide, you’ll set out for the Jade Emperor Pagoda, also known as Phuoc Hai and regarded as one of the most interesting pagodas in the country. Built by the Cantonese community around the turn of the 20th century, it is still visited by worshipers. Filled with smoky incense, the pagoda features elaborately carved figurines and decorated panels of carved gilt woodwork, all dedicated to Buddhist and Taoist deities. If you only visit one pagoda in the city, this should be the one. Continue to the Reunification Palace, also known as Independence Palace, which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until the end of April 1975 and the Fall of Saigon. It was here that the Vietnam War ended when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates, marking formal reunification between the two sides. Continue by car to Ben Thanh Market, a great place to shop for souvenirs, and bustling with activity, where you'll have time to barter for trinkets before returned to your hotel.

While there are countless rooftop bars in the city, many with servers outside beckoning bar-goers to head in for a drink, one Saigon staple stands out among the rest. With a sweeping 270-degree view of beautiful Ho Chi Minh City, you will be driven to a swank rooftop bar to unwind with a refreshing libation in hand. The establishment serves an array of creative cocktails and delicious bar snacks, many of which you’ll have the chance to enjoy. Paring a gorgeous view with excellent service, atmosphere and menus, it is the ideal way to cap off the day in spectacular Ho Chi Minh City.

Accommodation: Park Hyatt Saigon
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Alter inside the Jade Emporer Pagoda
Alter inside the Jade Emporer Pagoda
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Rooftop Bar in Ho Chi Minh City
Rooftop Bar in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City

This morning, set out to discover the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels in luxury. After meeting your guide and driver at in your hotel lobby, make the short transfer to the pier, board a privately chartered speedboat and journey down the Saigon River en route to Cu Chi. Arriving hours before the crowds, you’ll enjoy near exclusive access to the site as your guide shares detailed stories covering the intriguing history of the region. After exploring the maze of labyrinthine tunnels, take a break to enjoy a riverside lunch before making the return boat trip to Saigon. Upon arrival to the pier, you will be returned to your hotel.

Tim Doling is a renowned cultural expert on Vietnam. Having lived in the country since the early 1990’s, Tim has been heavily involved in a number of projects focusing on preserving the cultural past of Vietnam and producing educational courses in this area. He has authored numerous books on Vietnam, and his particular area of interest is in carrying out detailed research on hitherto undocumented historic buildings with an aim to better understand and appreciate the heritage of the urban landscape. If you would like to dive deeper into the cultural past of Vietnam and hear about an interesting vision for the future, then time spent with Tim is a must during your stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

Accommodation: Park Hyatt Saigon
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Speed Boat on the Saigon River
Speed Boat on the Saigon River
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Historian Tim Doling
Historian Tim Doling

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City

You will be privately transferred between your accommodations and Ho Chi Minh Airport by a professional driver and an English-speaking guide.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) ( )

Depart from the International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi : Hanoi

Located steps from the Opera House in Hanoi’s iconic French Quarter, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi welcomes guests with an air of colonial grandeur and timeless elegance. Originally crafted by French aristocrats in the early 1900’s, the property combines old-world charm and history with modern convenience and luxury. Offering 364 rooms and suites across two wings, guests can choose from the historical grandeur of the Metropole Wing or the neo-classical elegance of the Opera Wing. All rooms are equipped with Sofitel’s MyBed, in-room Wi Fi, safety deposit box and minibar. Well-appointed dining options range from Le Beaulieu, serving fine French cuisine, to Spices Garden for local Hanoi specialties. Tucked away in a private oasis on the grounds, the hotel’s stately swimming pool offers carefree relaxation in sophisticated surroundings adjacent to a fitness center equipped with state of the art equipment.

Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Sofitel Legend Metropole
Sofitel Legend Metropole
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  La Terrasse Du Metropole
La Terrasse Du Metropole

Emperor Cruise : Halong Bay

Indulge yourself with a once in a lifetime experience in Vietnam by embarking on Emperor Cruises and cruising around Bai Tu Long Bay, an alternative to the more touristy and crowded parts of Ha Long Bay. Venture off the beaten track, and visit floating fish farms and villages to experience the daily life of the locals. There is plenty of time for nature lovers to discover many secluded beaches, lagoons, coves and caves. Cruising, it is all about you and the experience. The staff will ensure that your cruising experience is comfortable and special, with excellent food, friendly staff, an interesting cruise itinerary with many activities on board, on the water and under water, service excellence, attention to detail, elegance, sophistication and, of course, safety guaranteed. Emperor Cruises’ fleet of vessels will combine classic elegance with modern comfort. The beautifully built, custom-designed, traditional imperial cruise ship features three decks that house a smart restaurant, bars, a small library, a massage room plus luxurious en-suite cabins with private balconies.

Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Emperor Cruises
Emperor Cruises
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Emperor Cruise at Sunset
Emperor Cruise at Sunset

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai : Hoi An

The Nam Hai sits along a seemingly infinite stretch of sand, amidst Vietnam’s richest cultural heritage, a strand of sophisticated, visually striking villas which line the dramatic beachfront. Honoring 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.

Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Nam Hai Hotel
Nam Hai Hotel

Park Hyatt Saigon : Ho Chi Minh City

The Park Hyatt is centrally located at Lam Son Square, near the elegant Opera House in downtown Saigon, The Park Hyatt Saigon 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.

Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Park Hyatt Saigon
Park Hyatt Saigon
Cultures and Cuisine of Vietnam Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Park Hyatt - Dining
Park Hyatt - Dining

Depart (Int`l Airport) ( ): Global Location

Depart from the International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Jackie M — March 30, 2019 — Asia

    I loved it all. Thanks especially to our guide Abit, in Kathmandu, Norenda, in Pokhara, and Min, in the Annapurna region, for being fabulous people. Thanks again for also referring us to Bahari Lodge in Chitwan National park. By far, that was the best place I've ever stayed in all of my international travels: they always had a surprise in store for us, that was awesome. They let us spend as much time as we wanted with the elephants, no rush, and sent elephants to come and play with us when we merely mentioned that we loved them. A great thank you to our naturalis Krishna at Bahari Lodge in Chitwan. All fantastic people who were great with tourists like us. We also enjoyed Temple Tree Resort very much.

  • Reginald B — April 14, 2019 — Asia

    This was a GREAT tour to Thailand! It exceeded my expectations in many ways (ie. itinerary, flexibility, and customer service). I would recommend this tour and Kensington Tours to family and friends. I will definitely use Kensington Tours for my future travel plans. My destination expert was Ms. Forkan. She expertly tailored my experience to my needs and wants. She filled in all the "unknowns" and ensured a safe, smooth trip/tour. Her professionalism and support was a 10/10. Thank you Ms. Forkan for designing this trip of a lifetime!

  • Ann L — June 05, 2019 — Asia

    Our guides made our whole trip - we will remember them as much as China itself. Jerry immediately put us at ease and made us feel like his best friends - he was sincere and authentic and open. Katy (in Chengdu) had great energy and showed us how people really live. Even though she must see the pandas every other day of her life, she still seemed to genuinely LOVE seeing them. (And, later, when we discovered we'd left valuables in the safe at our hotel, she went WAY above and beyond to take care of things - even after we were already in Shanghai!). Nancy (in Shanghai) was amazing - we truly enjoyed our time with her and she took us to markets and encouraged us to take our time at the places that interested us most. When we'd seen enough temples, our guides communicated with each other to rearrange our tours in coming destinations. We felt like we were on the food tour of China - the meals were wonderful, and it was - really - TOO MUCH FOOD! No part of our day was wasted, but if we wanted to start later or call it a night sooner, plans were easily rearranged. We would absolutely go with Kensington again!

  • Sandra S — February 09, 2019 — Asia

    We had a really interesting trip and your team made it all so easy. Our guides were not only informative, but they took very good care of us. They kept us on schedule with all the city transfers, made the Visa process so quick and introduced us to some of the things they loved about their cities as well as the scheduled sites. There were so many highlights on this trip, but I was especially wowed by the cruise on Ha Long Bay. Our guide in Hanoi went above and beyond on my birthday and arrived to pick us up with some beautiful orchids and a lovely gift. We were very happy with all our accommodations as well.

  • Daryl H. — January 26, 2019 — Asia

    I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the superb attention to detail in fulfilling my requests and my dreams

  • Laura E. — January 08, 2019 — Asia

    One of the benefits was that the guides were very flexible and suggested and accommodated changes to plans based on the weather and other circumstances. They all said they could do this when working with Kensington because Kensington supported it and empowered them with this flexibility. A big advantage in making the trip perfect!

  • Ajitkumar P. — January 04, 2019 — Asia

    The whole trip was well organized and we have recommended using Kensington to our friends.

  • Donna F. — February 03, 2018 — Asia

    Mark was able to put together the perfect tour! Our guide was very knowledge and we really appreciated her being so flexible with the holiday as we were there for Chinese New Year! She was able to take us to all the sights and part of the highlight was eating traditional Chinese food for New Year's.

  • Marjorie H. — October 01, 2018 — Asia

    This tour was so well organized - everything went off perfectly. As two women traveling together in a country where the language barrier was a challenge, it gave us great peace of mind to know that we would be escorted wherever needed. We appreciated not being part of a group - our private tour guides were delightful and the entire trip was very special for my daughter and me.

  • Sandra S. — October 13, 2018 — Asia

    The trip was very enjoyable. We gained new insights into China and the Chinese people. I wish we could have stayed longer. There is so much to see. My favorite sites were the Great Wall, Terra Cotta Soldiers, White Jade Buddah and the Shanghai night skyline. Cindy was most helpful in planning our trip. She's truly an asset to your company. Kensington Tours met all of our vacation needs.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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