Day 1: New Zealand –– Hanoi, Vietnam
Check in at the airport and board a flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Day 2: Hanoi
On arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel for check in.
Day 3: Hanoi City Tour (B,L)
Begin your incredible discovery of Vietnam with a guided half-day city tour of Hanoi. The first stop is Cho Hom, a vibrant district known for its markets and textile vendors. Other sites on this tour are the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Complex and Tran Quoc Pagoda. With the rest of the day as free time, you have opportunity to keep exploring (the old Quarter is a popular choice) or head back to the hotel to relax.
Optional Tour (at own expense): Hanoi Street food (Dinner included) – Enjoy a walk around the Old Quarter in the afternoon and appreciate the local lifestyles as you wind through Hanoi’s streets. Taste Northern Vietnamese delicacies such as: stuffed pancake, banh my, stuffed sticky rice balls, the unique egg coffee and many more.
Day 4: Hanoi (B)
You have an entire day of free time to keep exploring Hanoi.
Optional: Early Morning Tai Chi
Embrace an early wake-up call to experience a commonplace occurrence in Hanoi: watching thousands of locals doing Tai chi or exercising around Hoan Kiem Lake. Tuck into a bowl of pho bo for breakfast and make a stop at the Roman Catholic Cathedral to sip a refreshing glass of iced lemon tea or hot jasmine or lotus tea. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Half-Day Puppetry Village Tour
Head out of Hanoi to Dao Thuc, a small village on the outskirts of Hanoi. Take in the beautiful region, from rice fields and traditional houses and gardens; meet some of the locals and learn about the art of water puppetry. Additional cost applies.
Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D)
Travel by coach to Halong Bay. One of Vietnam’s most recognisable landscapes, Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts a sprinkling of islands, caves and grottoes. A popular way for seeing the bay is aboard a traditional Vietnamese junk boat and that is what is in store for you with this evening’s overnight cruise.
Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B)
There is an opportunity for early morning Tai chi before the group steps into smaller row boats to see some of the smaller islands up-close. Breakfast and lunch are both served back on the junk and you then return to the jetty and disembark. Your driver will meet you and take you back to Hanoi.
Optional: Halong Seaplane
See the beauty of Halong Bay from above with a scenic seaplane tour. Additional cost applies.
Day 7: Hanoi (B)
A free day in Hanoi
Optional: Hoa Lu and Tam Coc Day Trip
Head to an old imperial capital, Hoa Lu, to explore its ancient structures, lush surrounds and sacred temples. Continue to Tam Coc where you’ll enjoy lunch before embarking on a boat trip to see karst formations and caves. Arrive back in Hanoi in the late afternoon. Additional cost applies.
Day 8: Hanoi –– Hue (B)
A transfer takes you the airport where you will board a flight to Hue. There is an afternoon tour of the city once you have checked in to the hotel. Visit Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace and the Forbidden Purple City along the way. In the afternoon there is a boat journey along the Perfume River, a trip to Thien Mu pagoda and a stop at Dong Ba market.
Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B)
You have the morning as leisure time before the journey to Hoi An where you will have free time to explore or relax at the hotel.
Optional: Phuoc Tich Old Pottery Village
Visit an old village outside of Hue and get a glimpse into local life and traditions. The journey is undertaken on scooter, or a car can be arranged. Take a walk around the village to see the sites of rice flour-making and pottery workshops, and stroll along the pretty riverfront. Additional cost applies.
Day 10: Hoi An (B)
Hit the pavement and explore Hoi An by foot. Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed town that has been influenced by the French, Japanese and Chinese. Make sure to take a walk along the riverfront promenade and visit the covered Japanese bridge.
Day 11: Hoi An (B)
A free day.
Optional: Hoi An Eco and Photo Tour
Join this half-day tour to discover the countryside surrounding Hoi An. A coach ferries you to Thu Bon River for you to cast a line into the water and learn how to fish like local villagers. Then clamber into a bamboo basket boat, paddle along the narrow canals and try your hand at catching crab. This excursion finishes with a walk through Cam Thanh and lunch or dinner at a local restaurant. Additional cost applies.
Day 12: Hoi An – Danang – Nha Trang (B)
Board a train from Danang to travel to Nha Trang, one of Vietnam’s favourite coastal resort towns. You have free time to start discovering Nha Trang once the train arrives.
Day 13: Nha Trang (B)
A free day.
Optional: Island Tour
Slip into your swimmers and explore the islands off Nha Trang’s coast. The first stop is Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island and the group then travels to Mun Island. The latter isle provides excellent snorkelling opportunities. You can also try your hand at water sports on Mot Island or Tranh Beach Island. Lunch is included and there is a visit to a local fishing village on the return to Nha Trang. Additional cost applies.
Day 14: Nha Trang – Da Lat (B)
Travel to Da Lat this morning. The scenery along the way includes rice paddies, tea plantations, pine forests and undulating hills, and the group arrives in Da Lat around noon. There is an afternoon tour of Da Lat’s main attractions, including Chua Linh Phuoc, Trai Mat and the cog railway train station.
Optional: Home-Hosted Dinner
Meet a local family and share an evening meal with them. This incredible opportunity is an immersive experience to learn more about local culture and lifestyles, first-hand. Additional cost applies.
Day 15: Da Lat (B)
Enjoy a day of free time today.
Optional: Da La Village Life Tour
Head into the hills surrounding Da Lat and visit a greenhouse to learn about the city’s flower-growing history. Make a stop at a weasel coffee farm to hear about coffee’s production in the region and continue to Buon Choi to meet members of a hill tribe. Visit a market on the return to Da Lat. Additional cost applies.
Day 16: Da Lat –– Ho Chi Minh City (B)
You have some leisure time before a transfer picks you up and takes you to the airport ready for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 17: Ho Chi Minh City Tour – Cu Chi Tunnels (B,L)
Enjoy a half-day tour of Ho Chi Minh City after breakfast and take in landmarks including Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office, the War Remnants Museum and Ben Thanh Market. In the afternoon, the group travels out to Cu Chi Tunnels. This is Vietnam’s most frequented tourist site, renowned for its role in the Vietnam War conflict. Learn about the tunnel system and how the Viet Cong used the network during the War.
Day 18: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta (Can Tho) (B,L)
Leave Ho Chi Minh City behind today and travel into the Mekong River Delta. Before arriving in Cai Be you will stop off at a candy factory and orchard garden. Enjoy lunch at a riverside restaurant and then voyage along the Mekong by boat. A driver meets you at Vinh Long Jetty and takes you to Can Tho City for your overnight stay.
Day 19: Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating Market – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
It is an early morning start to visit the Cai Rang floating markets. Then continue travelling by boat along the Mekong Delta to take in the riverside landscape. Return to Can Tho for lunch and then make the drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 20: Ho Chi Minh City (B)
A free day to spend however you like.
Optional: Vespa Adventure Tour
Delve into Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. The night starts with a cocktail and appetiser before you sample local Vietnamese cuisine and stop off at a Vietnamese-style coffee shop. The tour finishes in a bar. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Saigon Unknown Parts
Uncover the areas of Ho Chi Minh City that are off the beaten track, such as the floating fruit market in District 3, colourful flower markets and some of the city’s narrow alleyways. Additional cost applies.
Optional: Saigon at Dawn
Watch locals practice early morning Tai chi in the park or see a bird café. Additional cost applies.
Day 21: Ho Chi Minh City –– New Zealand
Make the most of your remaining time in Ho Chi Minh City before a transfer takes you to the airport for your return flight to New Zealand.
Day 22: New Zealand
Arrive home this morning.