Jewels of Vietnam


Embark on a deluxe adventure of Vietnam’s highlights. Uncover poignant history, natural beauty and a charming chaos as you work your way up from the lush plains of the Mekong Delta to the enchanting limestone pillar seascapes of Halong Bay.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Saigon (3N) - Hoi An (2N) - Hue (2N) - Hanoi (2N) - Halong Bay (1N) - Hanoi (1N) New Zealand

Day 1: Fly to Saigon
Fly to Saigon for a three-night stay.
Day 1: Fly to Saigon
Day 2: 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, a beautiful neoclassical edifice; the Reunification Palace, the site of the end of the Vietnam War; 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 2: Discover Saigon
Day 3: Mekong Delta Cruise
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 19th-century house, visit a home that produces coconut candy and puffed rice before enjoying a 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 3: Mekong Delta Cruise
Day 4: 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. Pay a visit to a cricket farm and return to Saigon. Fly to Danang and transfer to Hoi An. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 5: Explore 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 retaining a quirky, old world charm. This morning, tour the market to choose fresh ingredients from a colourful array of local produce for your Vietnamese cookery class, where you’ll learn to create a number of local dishes. This afternoon wander the old streets, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the 200-year-old Tan Ky House and the elaborate Japanese Bridge before taking tea at the 'Reaching Out' Tea House, a peaceful place, run by hearing and speech impaired locals, to savour the flavours of local produce. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B,L)
Day 5: Explore Hoi An
Day 6: Cruise the Perfume River
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Hoi An where you can further explore or take a trip to the beach. Depart for Hue, travelling over the Hai Van Pass. Later, cruise along the Perfume River to the picturesque Thien Mu Pagoda. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Cruise the Perfume River
Day 7: Discover Imperial Hue
Long considered a seat of culture and learning, Hue is dominated by its immense Imperial Citadel, home to emperors from 1802 to 1945. Enter through its grandiose entrance and you’ll be able to explore before heading out, along the river, into Hue’s lush surroundings to see Minh Mang’s tomb. Lunch will be vegetarian dishes prepared by the nuns of Lien Hoa Pagoda, before you try your hand at making paper flowers in a village that is known for the art. Visit the regal surroundings of Tha Om Garden House – the owner, Mr Vinh, is descended from royalty. (B,L)
Day 7: Discover Imperial Hue
Day 8: Fly to Hanoi
Transfer to the airport to fly to Hanoi. Visit the Thanh Chuong Viet Palace, where you'll gain a great insight into Vietnam's history and character before enjoying a rejuvenating spa treatment. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Fly to Hanoi
Day 9: Explore Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, evokes the days when Asia was at its most chic, a heady 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 and meet a water puppeteer who will introduce you to this traditional 11th century art and put on a private water puppet show. You will also be able to get involved in creating the puppets. (B,L)
Day 9: Explore Hanoi
Day 10: Halong Bay
Halong Bay’s thousands of limestone islands project from the tranquil depths of emerald waters creating a vision of beauty to which very little compares. Board your comfortable cruise ship and enjoy a seafood lunch before setting sail into the bay. Drift amongst the karst pinnacles, stopping to explore mysterious caves as you go. Spend the night anchored amongst glorious scenery. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Halong Bay
Day 11: Sunrise over Halong Bay
Rise early to see the sun rise over the karst-scapes of the bay and savour the serenity of the early morning. Continue cruising through the bay, heading back to the wharf where there’s time for a hearty late breakfast before disembarking and travelling to Hanoi. Later let us treat you to a divine Afternoon Tea experience whilst later in the evening there will be a sumptuous farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day 11: Sunrise over Halong Bay
Days 12-13: Fly Hanoi to New Zealand
Fly to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Days 12-13: Fly 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 $1,480
Land Only (Saigon to Hanoi) 12 days from $5,580 per person twin share
Additional charges: Customary tipping - US$96 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
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 10800 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?

This tour is suitable for those with a reasonable amount of time available to travel and who are looking to tour the most iconic and popular destinations and cities in Vietnam. This tour is a luxury tour and is suitable for the more discerning traveller.

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