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Vietnam - Land of the Ascending Dragon

14 days from £2980 per person

Continuing to dominate the region, much as it has done over the centuries, Vietnam is south-east Asia’s most diverse country and a land with much to offer. From the rugged mountains of the north and the natural beauty of Ha Long Bay to Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta in the south, Vietnam is a country of staggering beauty. Hanoi’s French architecture, the old imperial city of Hue and the cobbled streets of Hoi An are delightful highlights whilst the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, heart and soul of Vietnam, is a myriad of street markets, shops and pavement cafes.

Journey Highlights

Hanoi, capital city Vietnam, has many architectural highlights but the beauty of the city is enjoying the street life, tasting delicious food and braving the manic traffic.

Ha Long Bay is an incredible vision of thousands of limestone pillars rising from the sea. A cruise in a junk boat is the best way to experience this magical, natural wonder.

Parts of the ancient town of Hoi An dates from the 15th century when this picturesque village developed into a major port trading with and influenced by many nationalities.

Itinerary: Vietnam - Land of the Ascending Dragon

Today depart the UK on the Singapore Airlines flight to Singapore. (N)
Arrive into Singapore and connect onto a Singapore Airlines flight to Hanoi where you will stay for two nights. A handsome city of tree-lined boulevards, temples, lakes, parks and a frenetic, vibrant old colonial centre, Hanoi’s charm lies in the preservation of a distinct North Vietnamese culture and way of life distinct to that of the south of the country. (N)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
Today explore Hanoi with your guide starting at Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum before continuing to his house, in the compound of the former Presidential Palace, and nearby One Pillar Pagoda which was originally built during the 11th century AD. From here continue on foot to the wonderful Temple of Literature – the largest temple complex in the city. Nearly 1,000 years old, the temple was dedicated to Confucius and the cult of literacy and education. End the day exploring the narrow lanes and historic buildings of the atmospheric old quarter. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel
Upgrade option: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel
This morning leave Hanoi and travel through the countryside by road to Ha Long Bay where you will board your boat for an overnight cruise. There are a number of different junk boats that operate on Ha Long Bay and we can also organise a private charter cruise. At Ha Long Bay over 3,000 limestone-karst islands protrude from the sea to create a labyrinth of channels, secluded beaches and yawning caves. The scenery here is unlike anywhere else in the country and spend the remainder of the day cruising the bay. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Ha Long Bay: Dragon Pearl Junk Boat
Upgrade option: Jasmine Junk
Leaving the boat, return to Hanoi and fly to Hue for a two night stay. With one foot planted firmly in the past, Hue represents the best of Vietnam and is a city of infinite charm and personality. Home to the powerful Nguyen dynasty, Hue sat at the centre of a vast Vietnamese empire and underwent a building programme designed to reflect its power. Despite the damage caused by the 1968 Tet Offensive, much of this magnificence remains and later travel by boat down the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda – one of the oldest religious structures in the city. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Pilgrimage Village Hue
Upgrade option: La Residence Hotel and Spa
Hue is dominated by its spectacular Imperial City and in the morning explore this complex with your guide. Similar to Beijing’s Forbidden City, the ancient walls of this UNESCO World Heritage Site enclose a vast complex of palaces, pavilions, gardens and temples. In the afternoon visit the Dong Ba Market then travel to the countryside outside of the city to explore some of the astonishing tombs of the ancient emperors of Vietnam. In Hue a visit to a local Garden House can also be arranged as can scenic cycle rides through the outlying rural villages to the beautiful Thanh Toan covered bridge. (B)
Accommodation in Hanoi: Pilgrimage Village Hue
Upgrade option: La Residence Hotel and Spa
Leaving Hue drive south following Highway 1 as it winds its way up the Hai Van Pass – the historic border between the kingdoms of Vietnam and Champa. With fabulous views along the coast, descend to Danang and the Cham Museum which houses the largest collection of Cham art in the world. Continue to China Beach, close to Hoi An, and where you will stay for three nights. (B)
Accommodation in Hoi An: Boutique Hoi An Resort
Upgrade option: Victoria Hoi An Resort and Spa
Alternative upgrade option: The Nam Hai, Hoi An
This morning visit Hoi An – a quaint, picturesque town of winding cobbled streets, pretty wooden merchant houses, pagodas and silk merchants. Around two-hundred years ago Hoi An was a bustling little port home to Chinese traders and a strong commercial link to Japan which, over time, influenced the town’s architecture and design. Spending time in the town, spend the rest of the day relaxing on China Beach. Visits can also be made to one or two of the local fishing villages outside of Hoi An. (B)
Accommodation in Hoi An: Boutique Hoi An Resort
Upgrade option: Victoria Hoi An Resort and Spa
Alternative upgrade option: The Nam Hai, Hoi An
At leisure to relax and enjoy the beach and hotel. The majority of resorts provide a free shuttle service into the old town of Hoi An should you wish to return. A day trip to the ancient Cham city of My Son can also be arranged as can a cookery class in the town. (B)
Accommodation in Hoi An: Boutique Hoi An Resort
Upgrade option: Victoria Hoi An Resort and Spa
Alternative upgrade option: The Nam Hai, Hoi An
After breakfast transfer to Danang Airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City where you will stay for the next three nights. Renamed at the conclusion of the Vietnam War, the city is still known to many as Saigon. Growing from a small 15th century Khmer trading port, today Ho Chi Minh City is the modern face of Vietnam – a bustling dynamic metropolis of crumbling colonial buildings, chaotic streets, colourful markets and informal pavement cafes. (B)
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Hotel
Upgrade option: Caravelle Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Park Hyatt Saigon
This morning explore Ho Chi Minh City with your guide. Places of interest include the former Presidential Palace, now Reunification Hall, famously occupied by the army of North Vietnam in 1975, the city’s colonial centre including Notre Dame Cathedral and General Post Office and colourful Chinatown with its historic pagodas. In the afternoon take a walking tour through the busy side-streets ending at a small shop, formerly the secret weapon storage of the Viet Cong that was used during the Tet Offensive of 1968. (B)
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Hotel
Upgrade option: Caravelle Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Park Hyatt Saigon
Leaving the city, today drive south to the Mekong Delta and Cai Be to board the Cai Be Princess, a traditional riverboat made of bamboo, wood and rattan, for a private cruise. Still used to reach many of the delta’s isolated river communities, the cruise starts with a visit to Cai Be’s famous floating market where vendors come from around the region to sell their fruits and vegetables. For the remainder of the day cruise the canals, stopping to visits villages and villas on the way, returning to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon. (B/L)
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Hotel
Upgrade option: Caravelle Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Park Hyatt Saigon
Today is a day at leisure in the city. Early risers may wish to take a special morning tour to experience the city as it rouses, watching the morning public exercises, relaxing over a cup of hot Vietnamese coffee at Ben Thanh market and an authentic breakfast of pho noodle soup. Alternatively a cookery class can be arranged or you may simply wish to further explore the city under your own steam. Later catch the onward flight to Singapore and connect onto the Singapore Airlines flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
In the morning arrive back into the UK. (N)
KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Cruise accommodation and sightseeing with other passengers

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request

What To Do Next?

We can design a unique journey to suit you as our tours are totally tailor made. By combining your own ideas with our knowledge and experience we can help you to create your own unique journey tailored exactly to your requirements Once you have formulated your ideas, or if you require some advice, please call us or simply request a quotation

Suggested Journeys

We are pleased to offer the following selection of suggested itineraries based on our personal experiences. By combing these itineraries with your thoughts and ideas we can tailor any journey to make it special, unique and designed around you.

Experts in Private Guided Journeys

For over 27 years Pettitts Travel has led the field in arranging unique tailor-made journeys. Our expert well-travelled team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

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