GLIMSE OF VIETNAM

Mountain vistas, Halong Bay to Saigon

Glimse of Vietnam

Surrounded by spectacular vistas and rhododendron forests, which give way to bamboo groves, you will encounter the marvelous culture of the people, with a mix of Aryan and Mongoloid people, on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The Annapurna Himal lies between the Kali Gandaki and Marsyangdi river valley, forming a solid, mountain bastion. It spans a total of 40 miles and incorporates twelve peaks that are higher than 7000m.


GLIMSE OF VIETNAM

Day-1: Arrival in Hanoi

Day-2: Hanoi City Tour

Day-3: Hanoi- Halong

Day-4: Ha Long Bay - Hanoi - Hue

Day-5: Hue

Day-6: Hue - Hoi An - My Son

Day-7: Hoi An

Day-8: Hoi An free day

Day-9: Hoi An - Saigon

Day-10: Ho Chi Minh city - Cu Chi tunnels

Day-11: Ho Chi Minh city - Mekong delta

Day-12: Can Tho - Saigon

Day-13: Saigon Departure

 

GLIMSE OF VIETNAM ITINERARY

Day-1 (D) Arrival in Hanoi

Arrival in Hanoi and transfer to your hotel. This evening, attend a water-puppet theatre performance. The art of water puppetry began a thousand years ago, possibly in the flooded rice fields of Vietnam. Puppeteers stand in waist-high water and manipulate their charges in such a way that you can't help but be swept up in the legend being told. Welcome dinner tonight is at a restaurant.


Day-2 (B, L) Hanoi City Tour

We start today earlier at 08h00 and drive towards the west part of the city to visit the Ethnology museum. This museum will give you an insight about 54 ethnic minority in Vietnam.

We then drive to Lang pagoda. This hidden pagoda is one of the oldest in town.

On the return to the city center, we will stop to enjoy a traditional Vietnamese buffet in the charming setting of an old temple.

We will then visit Ho Chi Minh complex but won't go inside the mausoleum as it is only open in the morning. We will continue to the nearby one thousand year Temple of Literature.

We then head to the bustling Hanoi Old quarter for a short walking tour of the vibrant streets and markets and then enjoy some Vietnamese coffee.


Day-3 (B, L, D) Hanoi- Halong Bay

We leave Hanoi for a 3.5 hours drive to Ha Long city with a short break en route. Indochina Sails boarding time is at 12:15 pm. Upon boarding guests are greeted with a welcome drink and gather in the dining room for a comprehensive safety and boat orientation briefing. After the briefing and check in we have a bit of free time till lunch is served at 1:00pm. Lunch is a multi-course Vietnamese and Western set menu. Any and all dietary needs will be catered to.

During lunch we cruise through the Bai Tu Long Bay, cruising through the most beautiful and quiet area in Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay to visit Cua Van Floating Fishing Village (the largest fishing village on the Bay). At the village, which has a population of about 600 residents living in about 150 floating houses, guests can choose between kayaking through the village or visiting on small bamboo boats (sampans) rowed by the villagers. Back on board after visiting the village there will be free time of about one and a half hours before a Cooking Class held by our Chef.

Dinner is a sumptuous buffet featuring an array of salads, seafood, meat dishes, seasonal fresh fruits and deserts.


Day-4 (B, L) Ha Long Bay - Hanoi - Hue

The next morning coffee, tea and breakfast pastries are on offer from 6:45. Tai Chi lessons are led by our tai chi master at 7:00 before we leave the boat at 7:45 for a walking tour of Titov Beach Island. About one hour is spent on the island allowing time for a climb up the steps to the peak for a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Bay (there is also an expansive viewing deck half way up.

After the climb there is time left to relax on the beach and have a swim. Back on board it is time for final packing and freshening up before enjoying a full breakfast buffet, including traditional Vietnamese Noodles (Pho). After breakfast guests may relax in the dining room and lounge or on the deck enjoying the last Bay views before disembarkation at 11:00am. You will then travel back to Hanoi Noi Bai airport to board a flight to Hue. Upon arrival, you'll be met and driven to a hotel in the city centre for your overnight accommodation.


Day-5 (B, L) Hue

This morning, board a boat for a trip on the Perfume River to return to Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous of all Vietnamese landmarks.

Nestled in the lush valley of the river stand seven tombs built for seven Nguyen emperors. Each is an expression of the unique personality of each emperor. We will visit two tombs of Tu Duc and Minh Mang before having lunch at a local restaurant of Biet Phu Thao Nhi.

This afternoon, we visit Kinh Thanh citadel. We also visit the Forbidden Purple City, originally built in the early 1800s for the personal use of the emperor and staffed by eunuchs who posed no threat to the royal concubines.


Day-6 (B, L) Hue - Hoi An - My Son

In the morning, your car will drive you to Danang. On the way, you'll cross the Hai Van mountain pass. Upon arriving in Danang and a brief look at the remarkable Hindu statuary in the Cham Museum. We will then drive to Hoi An.

After lunch, you'll be driven to the World Heritage 'My Son Sanctuary.' Your guide will show you the remains of the remarkable towers constructed by the Cham builders, many centuries ago - their origins and purpose have yet to be fully explained. Back to Hoi An for overnight accommodation.


Day-7 (B, L) Hoi An

In the morning, you'll be picked up at your hotel to travel to the local market to purchase ingredients. You'll then be greeted by a local restaurateur who will teach you how to cook some of Hoi An's traditional cuisine. We spend the afternoon for a walking tour around this enchanting port town.


Day-8 (B) Hoi An free day

Free day at leisure to enjoy the beach town or explore the town of Hoi An.


Day-9 (B) Hoi An - Saigon

Early breakfast and check out to transfer to Danang airport to take a morning flight from Danang to Saigon. Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel in Saigon central.

This afternoon, we will explore Ho Chi Minh City once known as Saigon. This city is booming with new economic opportunities, new construction, new technology, and newly arrived Western influences.

Get your bearings as we view the colonial General Post Office (1886), City Hall (now the HQ of the People's Committee), and Notre Dame Cathedral (closed by the Communist regime after the 1975 takeover, but now flourishing again). We then visit the Reunification Palace, and then the War Remnants Museum


Day-10 (B, L) Ho Chi Minh city - Cu Chi tunnels

After breakfast drive to the town of Tay Ninh headquarters of the religion Caodism, an eclectic fusion of Eastern and Western religious philosophies. We see the noon mass at the temple (appox.1 hour).

In the afternoon, your guide will take you to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels, a maze of underground passages, chambers, rooms and booby traps used by both the Vietminh and the Viet Cong


Day-11 (B, L) Ho Chi Minh city - Mekong delta

In the morning, pick up at your hotel and drive south to Cai Be where we will enjoy a cruise. The tour will begin with the visit of Cai Be colorful floating market, cruising among local barges full of fruits and vegetables. Cruising further, your sampan will bring you to see some local home factories to discover traditional rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies, and longans drying process. A delicious lunch will await you at a superb Indochinese villa, Le Longanier, located in a luxuriant garden by the river.

After lunch, your sampan will proceed the cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep.

We will proceed to Vinh Long, passing beautiful landscapes along Dong Phu canal, Binh Hoa Phuoc and An Binh islands famous for their fruit orchards. Stops on the way can be made at An Binh ancient Church or at Tam Ho bonsais garden. After crossing the Co Chien River, the excursion will end at Vinh Long pier around 4pm, where your own private transportation vehicle will await you to drive to your Hotel


Day-12 (B,L): Can Tho - Saigon

Breakfast at the hotel is followed by an early boat trip to the bustling wholesale Cai Rang & Phong Dien floating markets where the farmers exchange their products. A walk on a peaceful country road provides magnificent sceneries of local houses, orchard gardens and fields. We will have lunch at a local restaurant before driving back to HCMC at 5.30pm.


Day-13 (B): Saigon Departure

End of services

 

Indochina Variations

 
Laos with Muang La 7 days Vietnam and Cambodia 12 days

Day-1: Arrival - Vientiane

Day-2: Vientiane - Oudomxay- Muang La

Day-3: Muang La - Exploration

Day-4: Muang La - Luang Prabang

Day-5: Luang Prabang

Day-6: Luang Prabang -Kuang Si Waterfall and Pak Ou Caves

Day-7: Luang Prabang - Departure

Day-1: Arrival in Hanoi

Day-2: Hanoi- Halong

Day-3: Ha Long Bay - Hanoi - Hue

Day-4: Hue

Day-5: Hue - Hoi An (B)

Day-6: Hoi An - Hochiminh City (B)

Day-7: Saigon- Cu Chi (B)

Day-8: Saigon- Cai Be- Can Tho (B, L)

Day-9: Can Tho - Hochiminh City - Siem Reap - Cambodia (B, L)

Day-10: Angkor highlights - Cambodia (B)

Day-11: Angkor Wat

Day-12: Departure (B) .

 

Your Questions Answered

The weather in Vietnam depends largely on the area, being north of south of Vietnam. Generally speaking, the country has two basic seasons: a cold, humid winter from November to April, and a warm, wet summer for the remainder of the year. Summer temperatures average around 22C or 70F rains.
South Vietnam is generally warm, the hottest months being March through May, when temperatures rise into the mid-90's (low-30's C). This is also the dry season in the south, followed by the April-October monsoon season. Overall, the best times are November to April, but as this is also high season, it means you will encounter a lot of tourists.
Vietnamese food is diverse from healthy herb and veg dishes to high carb french influences. It includes Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho), Summer Rolls / Fried Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon / Nem Ran) ... Baguettes (Banh Mi), Grilled Pork (Thit Nuong), Crepe Wrap (Banh Xeo), Beef on Rice Noodles (Bun Bo Nam Bo), Pork on Thick Noodles (Cao Lau), Chicken on Sticky Rice (Xoi Ga) etc
The Vietnamese dong (VND), Vietnamís official currency, come in polymerized and cotton notes with multiple zeroes: VND 10,000 is the smallest polymer bill you'll find on the street these days, however, there are still cotton 1000, 2000, and 5,000 bills in circulation. The highest banknote that you'll find is the VND 500,000 bill. Most payments are made with Vietnamese Dong, but US dollars can be directly used for some hotels, restaurants, tours, or other services. You may see the prices for food, drinks, and souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City's airport are all in US dollars. However, it is not recommended to pay with US dollars, because they will be converted at a lower exchange rate and you will end up paying more.
Yes you can and we can easily plan your trek on dates that suit you.
Generally, it should be okay to travel in Vietnam while solely relying on English. Travellers in the touristy areas or major cities are like to find more locals that speak English to an acceptable standard, but will find things more difficult in the remote, rural regions that aren't on the tourist trail.