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14-night tour allows you to don your explorers cap and immerse yourself in true Vietnam before kicking back and relaxing for a week on the beach. Start in the capital as you discover the narrow streets of the Old Quarter,then prepare to be amazed as you uncover Pagodas, Citadels and Temples in the spectacular Ninh Binh to floating through pinnacles of fascinating limestones in the UNESCO Halong Bay. Continue to the picturesque port of Hoi An and learn about the outstanding history behind the temples of My Son before diving in to the paradise of Phu Quoc and losing yourself on the beauty of Sao beach. Take a look and use this as a starting point for your own personalised holiday to Vietnam. Or we can start from scratch … call today!
Day 1: UK to Hanoi
Fly overnight from the UK to Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi
Welcome to Vietnam! You will be met and transferred by private vehicle 45 minutes into the city where you will be staying at the stunning Hanoi La Siesta Trendy. Nestled in the heart of the Old Quarter and only a 15-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake, the hotel is renowned for its impeccable customer service. With the evening free to do with as you wish why not enjoy dinner before heading to the weekend night market of Dong Xuan, only a ten minute walk from the hotel.
Day 3: Ninh Binh
After breakfast, leave the capital behind as you transfer down to the sensational Ninh Binh, often referred to as the “inland Halong Bay”. Exploring as you go on a private tour, you will stop at architecturally stunning temples dedicated to former emperors as well as the ancient Hoa Lu Citadel. If you’re feeling fit, climb the limestone hills to be rewarded with spectacular views over the endless countryside. Stop for lunch, before boarding a traditional Vietnamese flat bottomed wooden boat exploring through caves before continuing to the remarkable Bich Dong Pagoda. For the final part of the day, if you fancy it, jump on a bike and ride through small quaint villages before arriving at the serenity of Tam Coc Garden where you will stay for 3 nights.
Day 4: Ninh Binh
Today you will head to the Van Long Nature Reserve. Covering nearly 3000 ha, it’s the largest wetland in Northern Vietnam. Take a private boat trip along the river spotting magnificent birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians including some endangered species. You will then continue to Cuc Phuong National Park where if you are extremely lucky you may spot a panther or bear. You will definitely spot langur monkeys – from the golden-headed to the black crested gibbon. Visit the conservation centres that protect primates and turtles before enjoying your included lunch and spending the afternoon strolling around this magnificent rainforest.
Day 5: Ninh Binh
With so much beauty around you, grab your camera and one of the hotel’s free bikes and have a full day to explore this spectacular region at your own pace. Why not take a short ride along to the Thung Nham Ecotourism Park, often referred to as a paradise. You will be able to discover a bird sanctuary, caves, lakes and fascinating walking trails leading you to spectacular views.
Day 6: Halong Bay
This morning you will be transferred to the port where you will stay for two nights aboard a traditional Vietnamese junk, Valentine Junk in a Deluxe Cabin with all meals included. You will sail on one of the smallest luxury junks on Halong Bay, through the stunning Bai Tu Long Bay before enjoying a freshly prepared lunch and arriving at the Cua Floating Fishing Village, one of the largest fishing villages on the bay. Grab a kayak and explore before heading back on board to enjoy a cooking lesson with the head chef followed by happy hour and dinner.
Day 7: Halong Bay
If you wake early, try your hand at Tai Chi this morning before enjoying breakfast on board as the sunrises. The boat will travel further into Halong Bay to the parts where few tourists venture and you will start to discover caves, pearl farms, untouched beaches and much more on this exciting exclusive day. Enjoy another exquisite meal and a few more happy hour drinks on the sundeck overlooking the bay as you watch the sunset behind the countless limestone islets – a perfect sundowner moment.
Day 8: Hoi An
This morning you will rise early with the sun and enjoy the tranquil peace of the bay before visiting the remote Titov Island where you will climb to the top of the peak for a breathtaking 360° view of Halong Bay. Cool down with a swim after and relax on the paradise beach that surrounds it before boarding the main ship and gently cruise back towards the port. You will then be transferred to Hanoi International for your flight down to Da Nang. You will be met and transferred to the picturesque town of Hoi An where you will spend the next 3 nights at the stunning La Siesta Hoi An Resort. In a great location to explore the beautiful and charming Ancient Town, this hotel provides excellent service and a warm welcome to one of the most popular destination in Vietnam.
Day 9: Hoi An
A day at leisure to really enjoy Vietnam’s most atmospheric and delightful old town. Once a major port it is one of the few places where traffic is almost entirely absent and you are instantly transported to a peaceful town of the past where you can explore to your heart’s content. Try some of the fresh food at the local markets, or visit one of the many tailors in town and get a handmade piece of clothing designed by yourself created in less than 24 hours.
Day 10: Hoi An
This morning you will be met after breakfast and transferred for a private morning tour with one of our friendly local guides at the UNESCO World Heritage Temple Complex of My Son. Older than Angkor Wat, these tower temples were the seat of the Champa Kingdom and are looked upon as a cultural highlight in central Vietnam.
Day 11: Phu Quoc Island
This morning you will be transferred to Da Nang Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh where you will connect with your flight to the idyllic paradise island of Phu Quoc. The island is renowned for its white-sand beaches, National Park, dense tropical jungle, hiking trails and wildlife. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to the beautiful Cassia Cottage where you will spend the next 5 nights. Cassia Cottage is a small, stylish and unpretentious centrally located hotel at the heart of Ba Keo beach. With a laid-back atmosphere, fantastic client feedback and amazing service this is the perfect choice for those looking for a more authentic flavour of Phu Quoc.
Day 12, 13, 14, 15: Phu Quoc Island
Four full days in paradise with some well-deserved beach time, or if you’re ready to explore then why not dive and snorkel the numerous reefs that surround the island, take a kayak out in the one of the many bays or go on a boat trip to Hon Roi and Hon Thom Island just off the south coast of Phu Quoc. If you still want to fill your days up then why not be kids for the day at the nearby waterpark, visit the outstanding Phu Quoc National Park, wander around the Cao Dai temple, take a trip to the honey bee farm or a pepper farm, book a jeep tour and explore this beautiful island further or simply sit back with a cocktail in your hand and enjoy the break taking sunsets.
Day 16: Phu Quoc Island / UK
Enjoy your last morning with breakfast overlooking the ocean as you take a final dip in your pool. You will then take a short flight back into Ho Chi Minh International to connect with your flight home.
This Inland to Island Vietnam Holiday idea costs from £2,981pp and includes – international flights (price based on London), all internal flights, all accommodation on a sharing basis, 14 nights B&B, all meals included on Halong Bay Boat, land transportation by private vehicle with driver, English speaking local guide, all entrance fees (as outlined above)
Nicola Bamsey Vietnam
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