Vietnam Escape

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Escape the ordinary and allow the captivating charms of Vietnam to beguile you. Traverse the country from toe to top enjoying the vibrant cities, verdant pastoral panoramas, gentle beach-fringed coastline, and historical treasures en route.

Places Visited

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

Days 1-2: Fly to Saigon
Fly overnight to Saigon, Vietnam’s most evocative and largest city. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. ^During daylight savings, flight leaves at 1am on day 2 for Auckland passengers.
Days 1-2: Fly to Saigon
Day 3: Cu Chi Tunnels
Discover the history of guerrilla warfare at the Cu Chi Tunnels, used by the Viet Cong during the war before returning to Saigon. Seamlessly blending past and present, Saigon is both a treasure trove of cultural sights and the city that is driving Vietnam towards a bright future. Experience Vietnam’s colonial past at the Central Post Office. Also visit the Reunification Palace, and the chilling War Remnants Museum. Finish up browsing for bargains at the lively Ben Thanh Market.
Day 3: Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 4: Mekong Delta
Journey to Ben Tre to take a cruise on the Mekong. This area is called the ‘Rice Basket of Vietnam’, the rich and fertile lands producing a plethora of rice, coconuts, vegetables and tropical fruit. Paddle through the maze of palm-lined canals and get a glimpse of daily life on the Mekong Delta. Lunch on typical Mekong dishes. Return to Saigon.
Day 4: Mekong Delta
Day 5: Fly to Dalat
Enjoy your morning at leisure before flying to the cooler climes of the South Central Highlands where you’ll find a distinctly French legacy. The charming town of Dalat sits in a region of lakes, waterfalls, forests and gardens, all ripe for exploration.
Day 5: Fly to Dalat
Day 6: Explore Dalat
Spend today sightseeing with visits to Domaine de Marie Church, the Flower Gardens, and an embroidery workshop. After lunch climb aboard an open-air steam train from the old railway station to journey out through the picturesque scenery to Trai Mat village. This afternoon browsing the stalls of Dalat’s busy market. End the day with a cup of locally grown coffee, taking in the picturesque views.
Day 6: Explore Dalat
Day 7: Seaside Nha Trang
Wind your way down from the highlands and along the coast to the laidback town of Nha Trang, Vietnam’s beach capital. Spend the rest of the day at leisure – the beach is a great place to start.
Day 7: Seaside Nha Trang
Day 8: Nha Trang Coastal Cruise
Take to the turquoise waters for a cruise around the many small islands off Nha Trang’s coast. There’ll be a stop at an island to enjoy the refreshing waters for yourself, and a visit to a fishing village.
Day 8: Nha Trang Coastal Cruise
Day 9: Discover Hoi An
Fly to Danang and transfer to the UNESCO-listed town of Hoi An. This afternoon take a walking tour of this charming town. A wonderfully laidback and wilfully traditional place, the streets are a delight to wander – visit the elaborate Japanese Bridge, the colourful market and a Chinese temple. Stop en route to visit Reaching Out, a social enterprise craft workshop, and watch the artisans at work.
Day 9: Discover Hoi An
Day 10: Hoi An Cooking Class
Purchase fresh ingredients at the market for a cookery class at a local restaurant, consuming your creations for lunch. Take the afternoon to explore the town further or relax in a riverside café.
Day 10: Hoi An Cooking Class
Day 11: Cruise the Perfume River
Leave Hoi An for Hue, taking a scenic route over the Hai Van Pass. The epitome of Vietnam’s dynastic past, Hue is a dignified and scholarly city. This afternoon visit Thien Mu Pagoda and cruise on the picturesque Perfume River.
Day 11: Cruise the Perfume River
Day 12: Hue's Imperial Citadel
This morning visit the UNESCO World Heritage Royal Tombs of Emperors Khai Dinh and Minh Mang, a complex of 40 monuments set amongst gardens and pools. Continue on to a beautiful old maison that has been transformed to Truc Chi workshop, where you’ll learn to create art with bamboo paper. End the day with a visit to the imposing Imperial Citadel and Forbidden Purple City.
Day 12: Hue's Imperial Citadel
Day 13: Hanoi and Water Puppets
Fly to Hanoi this morning. This afternoon take a thrilling cyclo ride through the Old Quarter and enjoy a flavourful Vietnamese coffee at a café overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake. Spend the evening watching a traditional water puppet show.
Day 13: Hanoi and Water Puppets
Day 14: Halong Bay
Drive to Halong Bay where you will cruise amongst the karst peaks on tranquil green waters. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a vision of awe-inspiring beauty, it isn’t hard to see why this is one of Vietnam’s most popular destinations.
Day 14: Halong Bay
Day 15: Sunrise Over Halong Bay
Enjoy a Halong Bay sunrise, before returning to Hanoi. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 15: Sunrise Over Halong Bay
Day 16: Hanoi
Hanoi combines all the charms of the past with a modern buzz in one fast-paced yet refined city. Explore the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, home of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Humble House on Stilts, One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature.
Day 16: Hanoi
Days 17-18: Hanoi to New Zealand
Spend the morning at leisure until you are transferred to the airport to board your flight home, arriving home the following day.
Days 17-18: 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 $670
Land Only (Saigon to Hanoi) 15 days from $3,580 per person twin share
Additional charges: Customary tipping - US$75 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 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.

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Why Book This Tour?

This tour is ideal for those with a reasonable period of time who are looking for a comprehensive visit to the most famous and iconic cities and sights of Vietnam and visit some more off the beaten track destinations. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights and cities of Vietnam.

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