Classical Vietnam


Vietnam is a colourful kaleidoscope of local culture, rich heritage and diverse landscapes. Journey through harrowing history, imperial grandeur and natural majesty on a superior itinerary that brings classic sights together with those little added extras.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Saigon (4N) - Nha Trang (2N) - Hoi An (3N) - Hue (2N) - Hanoi (2N) - Halong Bay (2N) - Hanoi (2N) - New Zealand

Day 1-2: Fly to Saigon
Fly to Saigon for a four night stay.
Day 1-2: Fly to Saigon
Day 3: Discover Saigon
Saigon has evolved from war torn city to thriving metropolis, the powerhouse driving Vietnam towards its ever brighter future. This morning see the Central Post Office; the Reunification Palace; and the harrowing War Remnants Museum. Take a cyclo ride through the bustling streets of Chinatown before taking a walking tour of a traditional herbal medicine street, learning about herbs, spices and healing concoctions as you go. Later, ascend to the sky deck of the Bitexco Tower for a cocktail and sunset views. Finally drift gently down the Saigon River on the Bonsai Cruise, dining on delicious cuisine as you soak up the night time views. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Discover Saigon
Day 4: Mekong Delta
Set sail through the palm-lined canals of the Mekong Delta in a traditional sampan, passing sleepy towns and stopping to explore markets bursting with fresh produce and innovative home industries. Visit a 19thcentury house, a home that produces coconut candy and puffed rice before enjoying lunch served in a colonial-style villa set in a lush garden by the river. Return to Saigon for the cultural extravaganza that is the A O Show, staged at the magnificent Saigon Opera House. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Mekong Delta
Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels
Travel to the Cu Chi Tunnels, part of an elaborate network of excavations used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. For those feeling brave, you can attempt a section of the tunnels for yourself. Return to Saigon, visiting a cricket farm en route. (B,L)
Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 6: Travel to Nha Trang
Transfer to the airport to fly to Nha Trang. This is Vietnam’s top beach resort destination, a sweep of yellow sand lapped by cool waters and backed by a relaxed urban centre. This afternoon explore the Po Nagar Cham Towers, still used for worship today. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Travel to Nha Trang
Day 7: Nha Trang cruise
Spend the day cruising the clear waters and islands off the coast of Nha Trang Bay. Stops will be made at Mun Island and a local fishing village and there may be time for you to take a dip in the cool waters. (B,L)
Day 7: Nha Trang cruise
Day 8: Journey to Hoi An
Fly to Danang and transfer to the charming town of Hoi An. Once an influential port on the Silk Road, Hoi An is a rich fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European styles – its narrow streets retain a quirky, old world charm. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Journey to Hoi An
Day 9: Explore Hoi An
This morning wander the old streets, visiting Hoi An market, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the elaborate Japanese Covered Bridge before taking tea at the Reaching Out Teahouse, a peaceful place, run by hearing and speech impaired locals, to savour the flavours of local produce. This evening, sip cocktails and dine on freshly prepared cuisine as you discover Hoi An’s river culture with a sunset cruise along the Thu Bon River. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Explore Hoi An
Day 10: Free Day
Enjoy a day at leisure where you can further explore, relax or take a trip to the beach. (B)
Day 10: Free Day
Day 11: Hoi An to Hue
Taking the scenic Hai Van Pass, travel to the imperial city of Hue. Long considered a seat of culture and learning, Hue is dominated by its immense Imperial Citadel, home of emperors from 1802 to 1945. Cruise on the Perfume River down to the picturesque Thien Mu Pagoda and take part in a Truc Chi workshop, where you’ll learn to create art with bamboo paper. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Hoi An to Hue
Day 12: Explore Hue
Visit the extravagant Royal Tomb of Minh Mang, an emperor whose reign is remembered for his opposition to French rule. Lunch will be vegetarian dishes prepared by the nuns of Lien Hoa Pagoda. Head to Thanh Tien village to learn about, and create, your own paper flowers before visiting the regal surroundings of the Tha Om Garden House. (B,L)
Day 12: Explore Hue
Day 13: Fly to Hanoi
Enjoy some free time this morning before transferring to the airport to fly to Hanoi. This afternoon take a walking tour of the Old Quarter, catching a glimpse of everyday life in the bustling streets and alleyways as you go. Later, relax with a rejuvenating spa treatment. (B,L,D)
Day 13: Fly to Hanoi
Day 14: Explore Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital evokes the days when Asia was at its most chic, a mix of the exotic and European elegance. Explore the Ho Chi Minh Quarter and learn about the life of ‘Uncle Ho’. Visit the revered Temple of Literature, the Humble Stilt House and the One Pillar Pagoda. This afternoon, let us treat you to a divine Afternoon Tea experience. (B,L)
Day 14: Explore Hanoi
Days 15-16: Halong Bay
Halong Bay's thousands of limestone islets project from the tranquil depths of emerald waters creating a vision of beauty to which little compares. Spend two nights cruising amongst the karst pinnacles, stopping to explore mysterious caves, taking part in cooking demonstrations and rising early to catch spectacular sunrises and practice Tai Chi. (B,L,D)
Days 15-16: Halong Bay
Day 17: Water Puppets
Awake to the beauty of Halong Bay one final time. Continue cruising through the bay, heading back to the wharf where there'll be time for brunch before disembarking. Back in Hanoi, enjoy a performance of the famous water puppets, a centuries old art developed by farmers of the Red River Delta. Meet a puppeteer and learn about the art of making the detailed puppets. Sit down to a sumptuous farewell dinner this evening. (B,D)
Day 17: Water Puppets
Days 18-19: Hanoi to New Zealand
Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Days 18-19: Hanoi to New Zealand

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single Supplement from $2,650
Land Only (Saigon to Hanoi) 17 days from $7180 per person twin share
Additional Charges: Tipping of US$136 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2, or may require extra nights pre or post tour accommodation or stopovers at additional cost
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form.

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular and you will find high quality coverage, with active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Vietnam is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure.  In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
 
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.


Why Book This Tour?

The Relaxed pace of this tour gives you more time to enjoy Vietnam and truly soak up your surroundings. Staying in beautiful hotels, there is a range of exclusive experiences, like Saigon's AO Show, too!

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