Vietnam Explorer


Explore the best bits of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An and Saigon, on a flexible itinerary that gives you the choice to discover each destination independently or choose between a series of cultural experiences. This tour is Vietnam, your way.

Places Visited

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

Days 1-2: Fly to Hanoi
Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam's colonially influenced, atmospheric capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening. (D)
Days 1-2: Fly to Hanoi
Day 3: Discover Hanoi
Start the day exploring the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Stilt House and the Temple of Literature. Next, take a thrilling cyclo ride through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, with a stop for local delicacy ‘ca phe trung’ (egg coffee) en route. This evening, enjoy a performance of a traditional water puppets show. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Discover Hanoi
Day 4: Cruise Halong Bay
Travel to Halong Bay. Board your vessel for a serene and unforgettable cruise on the glassy, limestone-studded waters. You’ll pass by quaint fishing towns, taste freshly caught seafood and admire the ever-changing vistas of the bay. There are many activities to take part in while you’re on-board - take a swim in the cool waters of the bay, explore stalagmite and stalactite-filled caves, and even squid fishing (in season). (B,L,D)
Day 4: Cruise Halong Bay
Day 5: Tai Chi
Rise early to catch the sunrise over the karst peaks of the bay and practice Tai Chi on the deck. After brunch onboard, return to the dock and travel back to Hanoi. On arrival, enjoy free time or choose from two optional activities (at your own expense). 1) A mini backstage tour at the Hanoi Opera House of the cultural show ‘Lang Toi’, followed by dinner and the evening performance of the show itself. 2) discover the varied and delicious flavours of Vietnamese street food on a tour of Hanoi’s very best street eats. (B)
Day 5: Tai Chi
Day 6: Imperial Hue
Fly to Hue, Vietnam’s old imperial capital and a city considered the country’s hub of culture. This afternoon, visit the imperial Tomb of Minh Mang, set on peaceful spot outside the city, before exploring the decaying grandeur of Hue’s imperial citadel. Admire the Thien Mu Pagoda before boarding a boat to cruise along the picturesque Perfume River. Later, choose between a free evening for your own explorations, or a unique royal dining experience, where you will dine on authentic food and be entertained, all in the imperial style (at your own expense). (B,L)
Day 6: Imperial Hue
Day 7: Hue experiences
Today is a day at leisure for your own explorations, or you can choose between the following experiences (at your own expense): 1) Take a half day cycling tour of Hue and its beautiful rural surroundings, stopping for lunch with the nuns of a nearby pagoda. 2) learn ‘truc chi’, creating art with bamboo paper, on a half day visit to a workshop. (B)
Day 7: Hue experiences
Day 8: Travel to Hoi An
Journey by road to the charming town of Hoi An, crossing over the scenic Hai Van Pass. This afternoon, wander the old cobbled streets and soak up the delights of Hoi An, with visits to a pagoda, an old Chinese meeting house and the Reaching Out arts and crafts workshop. (B,L)
Day 8: Travel to Hoi An
Day 9: Hoi An Experiences
Today is a day at leisure for your own explorations, or you can choose between the following experiences (at your own expense): 1) A cooking class, with a visit to the produce market to select fresh, local ingredients, where you’ll learn the tricks and techniques of Vietnamese cuisine or 2) A full day farmer and fisherman experience, where you can try your hand at traditional farming techniques in the rural village of Tra Que, before learning to paddle round bamboo boats and cast fishing nets. (B)
Day 9: Hoi An Experiences
Day 10: Fly to Saigon
Fly to Saigon and spend the afternoon at leisure. (B)
Day 10: Fly to Saigon
Day 11: Cu Chi Tunnels
This morning, discover the Cu Chi Tunnels, an amazing underground network used by the Viet Cong during the war. Return to Saigon and tour the city, visiting the grand Central Post Office as well as delving into Vietnam’s recent history at the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. This evening is free for your own explorations, or you can opt for dinner and a performance of the AO Show, a music, dance and acrobatic spectacular at the Saigon Opera House. (B,L)
Day 11: Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 12: Mekong Delta
Transfer to Ben Tre, in the heart of the Mekong Delta, where visiting local cottage industries and taste the delicious produce of the region, before lunching on typically Mekong fare. This afternoon, take a boat trip through the palmed-lined canals and waterways to visit small islands, a floating village and pagoda. Return to Saigon. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Mekong Delta
Days 13-14: Saigon to New Zealand
This morning is at leisure for your own explorations, or you can take an optional cyclo tour around Saigon's Chinatown (at your own expense).Transfer to the airport and board your flight to New Zealand, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Days 13-14: Saigon 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 $590
Land Only (Hanoi to Saigon) 12 days from $3,080 per person twin share
Additional charges: Customary tipping - US$72 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 not required for visitors to Vietnam if your stay is less than 16 days. If your stay is for longer than 16 days then a visa is required by all nationalities and 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. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
 
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 Wi-Fi 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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