Vietnam - Itinerary

Day 1-Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam
Welcome to Hanoi, the beautiful capital of Vietnam. You’ll be greeted at the aircraft and escorted directly to the VIP Lounge. Transfer to your luxury hotel in your Private Car with Private Driver.

Day 2-Hanoi
This morning, discover the beauty of Hanoi – city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Home and Mausoleum and the One Pillar Pagoda constructed by wood on a single stone pillar designed to resemble a lotus blossom. Stop at the Temple of Literature, an ancient building with a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, considered one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture; a renowned historian will personally escort you on a Private Tour. Later, explore the Old Quarter of the city by “cyclo” – the quickest way to get around. There is so much happening here that it’s difficult to know where to start. Take your time to soak up the atmosphere and get used to the noise, smells and chaos – it will be an experience you won’t forget! Afternoon visit to the History Museum or the Museum of Ethnology before returning to the hotel.

Day 3-Hanoi / Halong Bay / Hanoi
Arrive at the Gia Lam Heliport this morning for the short flight by helicopter (operates on Saturdays only) to scenic Halong Bay. Here, a Private Cruise on a traditional “Junk” has been arranged just for you. Cruise the emerald waters and craggy limestone cliffs of Halong Bay, stopping at different islands to explore some of the many caves in this area. Sail past floating villages, see fishermen casting their nets, and observe the rhythm of daily life on the Bay. Enjoy a great Seafood Lunch served on board. Return to Hanoi by helicopter in the late afternoon.

Day 4-Hanoi / Hue
Become a superb Vietnamese Chef today! Attend a specially arranged Cooking Class at the Sofitel Metropole Hotel, famous for its Vietnamese and French cuisine. First, the Chef will accompany you to the local market to choose the ingredients. Then, a cooking demonstration and lesson in the hotel’s kitchen, where you’ll prepare your own meal. After the class, lunch will be served in the restaurant featuring your gourmet meal. Afterwards, depart by flight to Hue, former Imperial capital of Vietnam for overnight.

Day 5-Hue
Start the day with a tranquil “dragon boat” ride on the Perfume River, sailing past traditional villages and houses. Continue to the imposing Thien Mu Pagoda and to the elaborate yet harmonious Tomb of Minh Mang. Stop for lunch at lovely “Y Thao”, owned by a local celebrity chef descending from a line of Imperial Chefs to the Emperor. Later, continue a tour of the Imperial City, modeled after the one in Beijing. Explore remains of palaces and temples, towers and museums and a wealth of lacquered halls and ornate buildings. Stroll its charming gardens and glimpse at the ruins of the Forbidden Purple City, once reserved to the emperor’s personal use. Continue to the Citadel and Museum of Royal Fine Arts.

Day 6-Hue / Hoi An
Depart Hue to Hoi An, driving along a winding mountainous stretch along the Hai Van Pass. Arrive at your magnificent resort in Hoi An, set on exquisitely landscaped grounds. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the powdery sand of China Beach, a wealth of water activities and sweeping views to the misty Cham Islands.

Day 7-Hoi An
Tour enchanting Hoi An, a historic riverside town known as Faifo to early Western traders, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Hoi An is a jewel that proudly preserves its heritage and architecture with its exquisite temples and buildings dedicated to beloved deities, lovingly restored shop houses and the famous Japanese Covered Bridge. A special visit has been arranged to the home of a prominent Hoi An family in the house they have inhabited for generations. Stroll the quaint town center browsing for local crafts and textiles. After a boat ride on the Thun Bon River, return to your resort.

Day 8-Hoi An / Danang / Ho Chi Minh City
Morning drive to Danang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)! Upon arrival, your Private Car/Driver will transfer you to your deluxe hotel – a blend of French Colonial and old Indochina, overlooking the Opera House. Remainder of the day at leisure. Rest, relax or explore Vietnam’s most existing city, bustling with street markets, busy cafes and sleek new restaurants.

Day 9-Ho Chi Minh City
Discover energetic Ho Chi Minh City. Visit to the lovely Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, Central Post Office, City Hall, Opera House and the War Remnants Museum. Stop at the colorful Binh Thanh Market and Cholon (Big Market) – see the stalls overflowing with fragrant flowers, exotic ingredients and kitchenwares. This afternoon, your car and guide will be at your disposal for flexible touring. We recommend Dong Khoi Street for chic shopping, traditional Vietnamese coffee and ice cream. Tonight, transfer by “cyclo” to the Rex Hotel. You can savor your favorite cocktail at the famous Rooftop Garden while enjoying its spectacular views of night life in Saigon. This is the place where the memories still remain, of the famous “Five O’clock Follies” where international correspondents were covering the Vietnam War.

Day 10- Ho Chi Minh City
Drive through the lush countryside to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels, a deep underground network of living quarters, hospitals, command centers and weapon factories. Dug by hand through decades, this extensive system at one point stretched from the South Vietnamese capital to the Cambodian border. Continue to Tay Ninh to visit the unique Cao Dai Temple. Caodism, one of Vietnam’s youngest religions, blends features of the main world religions and its Great Temple is one of Asia most unusual and striking structures. Return to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 11-Ho Chi Minh City / Siem Reap, Cambodia [Optional Extension]
Today, flight in Business Class from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, Cambodia. You'll be welcomed and escorted through the formalities and then depart to your hotel with your Private Car/Driver. Time permitting, afternoon boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake; explore the floating fishing villages at the edge of the lake, passing submerged forests and fishing farms.

Day 12-Siem Reap
Morning visit to Angkor Wat, diedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II. In 1992, UNESCO declared the monument and the whole city of Angkor a World Heritage Site. Also visit the Angkor Thom, South Gate, Terrace of Elephants, Baphuon and Bayon Temple. After lunch at the hoel, return to the complex for a tour in Angkor Wat to Ta Phrom. Watch the sun set from the top of a temple as you sip champagne and see the sun go down at the site of one of the most extraordinary temples in South East Asia.

Day 13-Siem Reap
An amazing experience! Board a helicopter for a scenic flight over the Angkor Wat complex. Later, experience the daily life of the local people and the countryside. Engage with a street vendor over fresh sugar cane juice, be welcomed to a Khmer home, discuss Buddhism with a group of monks, watch the thrashing of rice, etc...Discover daily life with your special guides – there is no formal itinerary, we follow your lead!

Day 14-Depart Siem Reap
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight home. (B) (Departure flight from Siem Reap is not included.)