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, the capital city of Vietnam, has many architectural highlights, but the beauty of the city is enjoying the street life, tasting delicious food from small cafes 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.

Day 1 Depart the UK

Today depart the UK on the Singapore Airlines flight to Singapore. (N)

Day 2 Arrive Singapore
Singapore to Hanoi – by air

Arrive into Singapore and connect onto a Singapore Airlines flight to Hanoi for a two night stay at the Silk Path Hotel. Alternatively upgrade to the luxurious and historic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel. 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)

Day 3 Hanoi

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)

Day 4 Hanoi to Ha Long Bay – 165kms

This morning leave Hanoi and travel through the countryside by road to Ha Long Bay to board the Jasmine Junk Boat for an overnight cruise. Alternatively upgrade to the Violet Junk or we can 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)

Day 5 Ha Long Bay to Hanoi – 165kms
Hanoi to Hue – by air

Leaving the boat, return to Hanoi and fly to Hue for a two night stay at La Residence Hotel and Spa. 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)

Day 6 Hue

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)

Day 7 Hue to Hoi An – 140kms

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 stay three nights at the Boutique Hoi An Resort. Alternatively, upgrade to either the Victoria Hoi An Resort and Spa or the luxurious Nam Hai Resort. (B)

Day 8 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)

Day 9 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)

Day 10 Hoi An to Danang – 30kms
Danang to Ho Chi Minh City – by air

After breakfast transfer to Danang Airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City for a three night stay at the Majestic Hotel. Alternatively, upgrade to the Caravelle Hotel or the luxurious Park Hyatt Saigon. 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)

Day 11 Ho Chi Minh City

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)

Day 12 Ho Chi Minh City – visit Mekong Delta

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)

Day 13 Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore
Depart Singapore

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)

Day 14 Arrive in the UK

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

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Experts in Private Guided Journeys

For over 27 years Pettitts 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. Please call us for more information or complete our enquiry form to request a quotation.

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