Vietnam North & South (7 Days/6 Nights)

6 Nights

Hanoi

Experience the best of Vietnam on this 7 Days/6 Nights tour covering the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, the Ngoc Son Temple, Cu Chi Tunnels, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office and the Mekong Delta.

From £742pp
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Highlights

  • Day at leisure upon arrival into Hanoi
  • Full day sightseeing in Hanoi with a one-hour cyclo tour of Hanoi's Old Quarter
  • Drive through rice paddy fields to Ha Long Bay and board a junk for an overnight cruise
  • Explore Ho Chi Minh City and visit the Cu Chi Tunnels and other photo stop opportunities
  • Enjoy a boat cruise along the river and experience a sampan ride down the Mekong Delta
  • Day 1 - Hanoi – Arrival
  • Day 2 - Hanoi – Sightseeing
  • Day 3 - Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
  • Day 4 - Ha Long Bay – Boat Cruise – Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City
  • Day 5 - Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels – Sightseeing
  • Day 6 - Ho Chi Minh City – Ben Tre – Boat Cruise
  • Day 7 - Ho Chi Minh City – Departure
  • Additional Information

Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi

Meals Included: Room only

Golden Silk Boutique Hotel

Rising over the heart of Hanoi's central old quarter and famous Silk Road, with a 3-minute walk to HoanKiem Lake, Water Puppet Theatre, St Josephs Cathedral, Night Market, Hanoi Post Office, Trang Tien Plaza shopping center etc.. The luxury and impressive designed Golden Silk Boutique Hotel features stunning views and gracious style – a remarkable luxury experience, even by Western standards with graceful Asian style. Especially, the front view rooms of the hotel with balconies, captivating vistas of Hanoi’s old quarter.

Take a full day tour to explore Hanoi’s illustrious history. In the morning, visit the imposing marble edifice housing the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (CLOSED ON MONDAYS & FRIDAYS) before moving onto his wooden stilt house and the One Pillar Pagoda. You will then explore the first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature, which is imbued with the profound philosophies of Confucianism. In the afternoon, visit the Hoan Kiem Lake, the Ngoc Son Temple and an ancient Vietnamese "long house". A one-hour cyclo tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter allows you to catch a glimpse of ancient Hanoi and learn about traditional Vietnamese architecture.
Overnight in Hanoi [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Golden Silk Boutique Hotel

Rising over the heart of Hanoi's central old quarter and famous Silk Road, with a 3-minute walk to HoanKiem Lake, Water Puppet Theatre, St Josephs Cathedral, Night Market, Hanoi Post Office, Trang Tien Plaza shopping center etc.. The luxury and impressive designed Golden Silk Boutique Hotel features stunning views and gracious style – a remarkable luxury experience, even by Western standards with graceful Asian style. Especially, the front view rooms of the hotel with balconies, captivating vistas of Hanoi’s old quarter.

HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM IN HANOI

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square is one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam, known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His body is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes).

For visitors, a trip to Uncle Ho’s final resting place can be an extraordinary experience as it is not just an average attraction; it’s a part of a unique history.

HOAN KIEM LAKE & NGOC SON TEMPLE IN HANOI

Hanoi tourists and locals alike head to Hoan Kiem Lake when seeking a place to get away from the noise of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island.

The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty.

Homage is also paid to scholar Van Xuong and Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu. The island on which the temple is built is known as Jade Island and is accessible by the iconic Huc Bridge or Rising Sun Bridge which is a charming scarlet-painted wooden bridge of classical Vietnamese design. The pagoda is also guarded by two towering posts decorated with Chinese writing. The lake and temple are probably the most famous places in Hanoi city in which to rest and enjoy the view and are a great place to sit back and watch the locals.

HANOI OLD QUARTER

Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital lies in the North of the country and is one of the country’s top tourist hot spots. It offers French-colonial architecture, a rich food culture and a long history (the city celebrated its millennium in 2010.) The most well known and important districts in Hanoi are Ba Dinh District (aka the French Quarter) where the government offices are located and Hoan Kiem District (aka the Old Quarter) which is considered the city’s business hub and main tourist destination.

One of Hanoi’s most common sights is that of streets packed with scooters, bicycles and cars swarming around pedestrians like a school of fish. Then there are the many sidewalk vendors and people simply out for a stroll and the popular Old Quarter is no exception so walking around this district is distinct from a leisurely stroll in the park. Visitors have no choice but to face the traffic in the local style but the experience of exploring the historical area is a must-do and truly well worth it.

TEMPLE OF LITERATURE IN HANOI

The Temple of Literature is often cited as one of Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions. Originally built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars and sages, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture.

This ancient site offers a lake of literature, the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, courtyards and passageways that were once used by royalty. Visiting the Temple of Literature you will discover historic buildings from the Ly and Tran dynasties in a revered place that has seen thousands of doctors’ graduate in what has now become a memorial to education and literature.

Originally the university only accepted aristocrats, the elite and royal family members as students before eventually opening its doors to brighter ‘commoners’. Successful graduates had their names engraved on a stone stele which can be found on top of the stone turtles.

Drive through rice paddy fields to Ha Long Bay. Board a junk for a cruise among the hundreds of islets of Ha Long Bay whilst enjoying lunch. Drop anchor in the late evening for an overnight stay among the dramatic limestone peaks rising out of the sea.
Overnight on a junk [Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Meals Included: Full board

Bai Tho Junk

Discover the wonders of Halong Bay aboard a traditional wooden junk boat

Spend the morning cruising through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Ha Long Bay before returning to the wharf. Transfer to Noi Bai Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Asian Ruby Luxury Hotel

Located in central Saigon, Asian Ruby Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free internet access, free private parking and 24-hour room service. It also has a spa. Rooms have cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom. Free bottled water and hairdryer are provided. Guests can dine at Asian Ruby's restaurant and bar, which serves Vietnamese and European dishes. Asian Ruby Hotel provides a fitness room, laundry service and bike rental. Massage services are available.

In the morning you will visit the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels where Vietnamese guerrillas built a labyrinth of narrow tunnels as hideouts during the war. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a half-day city tour. Highlights include photo stops at the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Visit a local market in Chinatown and either the Thien Hau Temple or the Quan Am Pagoda.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City [Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

Asian Ruby Luxury Hotel

Located in central Saigon, Asian Ruby Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free internet access, free private parking and 24-hour room service. It also has a spa. Rooms have cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom. Free bottled water and hairdryer are provided. Guests can dine at Asian Ruby's restaurant and bar, which serves Vietnamese and European dishes. Asian Ruby Hotel provides a fitness room, laundry service and bike rental. Massage services are available.

CU CHI TUNNELS IN HO CHI MINH

The Cu Chi Tunnels are basically a huge war museum offering visitors a sneak peak at the underground life of Viet Cong-era soldiers. Comprising more than 120km of tunnels, they were first started around 1948 when the Viet Cong were fighting the French.

Nowadays, the restored tunnels are one of Vietnam’s top attractions and are especially popular with non-Vietnamese tourists. People follow the routes of the underground army and before entering the tunnels visitors will have the chance to watch a short movie and get to understand beforehand how this unusual tunnel system actually works.

CENTRAL POST OFFICE IN HO CHI MINH CITY

The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh is a beautifully preserved remnant of French colonial times and perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia. Located next door to Notre Dame Cathedral, the two cultural sites can be visited together and offers visitors a chance to imagine life in Vietnam during the times of the Indochinese Empire. The building was designed by Gustave Eiffel – the renowned engineer who also designed the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower – and features arched windows and wooden shutters, just as it would have in its heyday in the late 19th Century.

The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh was constructed between 1886 and 1891 and once inside, the looping arches, intricately designed marble floors and antiquated telephone boxes all serve as a reminder of the importance the post office played in days before email and mobile phones. Although the architecture is distinctly French, the large portrait of Ho Chi Minh hanging high above everyone at the far end of the building reminds everyone we are definitely in Vietnam. Painted onto walls overhead are two maps of the region; one of them showing the telegraph lines that crisscross Vietnam and Cambodia and the other displaying a map of the Saigon region in 1892.

Although the experience is a fascinating glimpse into history, the fact that this is still a functioning post office makes the experience even sweeter, and we encourage everyone to send a letter or postcard from here – it’s a piece of living history where even the old fashioned glue pots are still in use for sticking stamps to letters. There are two wings branching out from the main office, selling souvenirs, postcards and lacquerware but the prices are inflated and the same products can probably be found elsewhere for a better price.

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL IN HO CHI MINH

In a quiet corner of bustling downtown Ho Chi Minh City stands Notre Dame Cathedral, the one remaining stronghold of Catholicism in the largely Buddhist Vietnam. Built in the late 1880s by French colonists, it was formerly called Saigon Church. The name Notre Dame was given after the installation of the statue ‘Peaceful Notre Dame’ in 1959. In 1962, the Vatican conferred the Cathedral status as a basilica and gave it the official name of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

In a quiet corner of bustling downtown Ho Chi Minh City stands Notre Dame Cathedral, the one remaining stronghold of Catholicism in the largely Buddhist Vietnam.

Built in the late 1880s by French colonists, it was formerly called Saigon Church. The name Notre Dame was given after the installation of the statue ‘Peaceful Notre Dame’ in 1959. In 1962, the Vatican conferred the Cathedral status as a basilica and gave it the official name of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

REUNIFICATION PALACE IN HO CHI MINH

The iconic Reunification Palace made its name in global history when in 1975 a tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its main gate – thus signifying the end of the Vietnam War. This image is one of the most famous pictures depicting the Reunification Palace which has seen a rich and varied history and once served as the base of the US-backed Vietnamese General Ngo Dinh Diem during the Vietnam War, until his assassination in 1963.

The palace is like a time capsule frozen in 1975 with two of the original tanks used in the capture of the palace parked in the grounds. Originally the site of the Nordom Palace also known as the Governor’s Palace its first role was as a home and workplace for the then French Governor of Cochinchina. The Reunification Palace is a landmark not to be missed by any tourist visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the palace hides secret rooms, antique furniture and a command bunker within its eerie corridors. The Reunification Palace is still in use to host occasions including APEC summits and national events of significant importance.

Depart for the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival in My Tho, enjoy a boat cruise along the river. Experience a ride to visit a local house where you will enjoy tea and taste home grown fruits. Board a sampan and drift along the narrow, tree-lined canals for further exploration of the Mekong Delta. After lunch, visit a family-run business making coconut candy before returning to My Tho. On the return trip to Ho Chi Minh City, visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda if time permits. Return to Ho Chi Minh City by the late afternoon.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City [Breakfast, Lunch]

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch

Asian Ruby Luxury Hotel

Located in central Saigon, Asian Ruby Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with free internet access, free private parking and 24-hour room service. It also has a spa. Rooms have cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom. Free bottled water and hairdryer are provided. Guests can dine at Asian Ruby's restaurant and bar, which serves Vietnamese and European dishes. Asian Ruby Hotel provides a fitness room, laundry service and bike rental. Massage services are available.

Free until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your departure.
[Breakfast]

Meals Included: Breakfast

INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICES ARE:

  • Vietnam visa approval number processing fee    
  • Accommodation & daily breakfast   
  • Transportation on tour in air-conditioned vehicles   
  • Local English speaking guides   
  • Entrance fees for all sight-seeing tours  as specified in the itinerary   
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary   
  • Bottled water for sightseeing tours  
  • International air ticket reconfirmation


NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICES ARE:

  • Vietnam visa stamping fee        
  • International airfares  
  • Beverages during included meals   
  • All personal expenses    
  • Personal insurance    
  • Gratuities for guide, driver, waiter/waitress, bell boy, boat crew etc.   
  • All other services not mentioned in the itinerary