Luxury tour of Vietnam

The Great Vietnam Voyage Luxury Tour of Vietnam

Country: Vietnam

16 Days | $12,500

Spend 16 days heading from North to South, exploring Vietnam’s legendary vibrancy through its art, heritage and ancestry. Start by discovering the cultural hub of Hanoi, known as the City of Ascending Dragon. See the highlights of the city and learn the history of the region’s ethnic minorities before heading into the countryside to meet the traditional tribes firsthand.

Afterwards, set sail into the mist through the picturesque waters of Halong Bay, spending a night amongst its limestone cliffs. Next, off to Hue to learn about the power of Feng Shui from a descendant of the Mandarin royal family, then visit a secret lake in the center of the country.

Finish your trip by letting our knowledgeable guides help you make sense of Saigon’s organized chaos and learn more about the countries recent history through a privately organized dinner with a Vietnam War veteran. Whatever your personal passion — food, photography or history — our trip through Vietnam’s past and present can be tailored to make the most of your personalized adventure.


Day 1  Hanoi: VIP Arrival

Arrive in Hanoi where you will be greeted at the entrance of the terminal building off the jet way by a representative with a welcome sign with your name on it. Hand over your photo, visa letter and passport to the representative, who will then ask you to sign the visa form already completed on your behalf before receiving the visa label in your passport. You will be escorted to the Fast Track Immigration counter where your entry into Vietnam will be expedited as the representative will handle all airport formalities with immigration officials. You will then need to collect your luggage on your own, and once you safely have your luggage you can walk through customs to your waiting guide. You will then be transferred by private vehicle to your hotel in Hanoi.

Meals Included: None

Overnight at Sofitel Metropole – Historical Wing, Grand Luxury Room

Day 2  Hanoi: Personally Designed Tour of the City

Hanoi

Today you will explore the city of Hanoi on a tour which will be designed exclusively based on your interests. Your Tour Consultant will discuss with you your travel preferences and will then design a tour which includes the sights best suited to you! Below outlined is an idea of the highlights of this incredible city to give you a sense of what could be included in this exclusive day of touring.

Hanoi, originally named Thang Long or “City of the Ascending Dragon,” was the first capital of Vietnam in A.D. 1010. Situated in North of Vietnam, the city is known as one of the most attractive and interesting places for visitors. In addition, after the fusion in 2008, Hanoi ranks in the top 20 biggest cities in the world.

Hanoi’s sightseeing highlights, which cannot be missed, include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum, where you can see Uncle Ho laid out to rest. Ho Chi Minh was the founder and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Also, the National Art Museum or Fine Art Museum; the Hoa Lo Prison; central Hoan Kiem Lake, where Hanoians enjoy their early mornings with Tai Chi and “Vietnamese style” aerobics in a very peaceful atmosphere; the Old Quarter, where streets are named after the individual trades practiced here since the 15th century; the Hanoi Hilton, where John McCain and other prisoners were held during the war now houses a museum; and the Temple of Literature as an example of Vietnamese architecture where it is always relaxing to take a stroll. Hanoi is Vietnam’s cultural center, and the galleries, puppetry, music, and dance performances are worth staying at least a few days to take in.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Sofitel Metropole – Historical Wing, Grand Luxury Room

Day 3 Hanoi: Cultural Tour of the City with Private Meeting with Local Researcher and Overnight Train to Sapa

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 8am to take you on a morning tour to visit the Ethnology Museum. The museum is located to the west of the city center, and offers informative and well-documented displays on the country’s 54 ethnic groups, including elaborate and colorful hill-tribe costumes, weaving designs, home designs, musical instruments, fishing implements, work tools and other functional objects. Your appreciation of the diversity of their daily way of life isn’t restricted to the inside of the museum though…

Bring your imagination to life as you continue out into the garden area outside where you can wander around fascinating life-size examples of the minority housing from the King’s, to the ones of the ethnic groups in the Central Highlands. Then it is time to move on to another part of the city to attend a water puppet show in a special private theatre of a local artistian.

Water puppets tell the stories of daily life of the older Vietnam when people traditionally worked the fields. After the rice harvest, farmers and the local community would celebrate and entertain each other with musical tales using puppets they held up as they stood up to their waists in the water of the harvested rice paddy field.

Have lunch at a local restaurant before meeting with a Hanoi cultural researcher at his house, where you learn in more detail about Vietnam culture and history.

At the end of the afternoon you will be transferred back to your hotel. Take a break for dinner on your own and rest and relax before your overnight train journey to Sapa.

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you will be taken to the train station for your train connection.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Victoria Express Train – Private Deluxe Cabin

Day 4  Sapa: Arrival and Villages

On arrival in Lao Cai you will be met by your Sapa guide and transferred directly to the Victoria Sapa Resort and Spa for early check-in. Have breakfast and relax this morning. Your guide will then meet you again and take you for lunch at a local restaurant where you can try some local dishes.

After lunch, you will be driven to the Black Hmong village of Ma Tra, located approximately

25km north of Sapa. There is limited access for vehicles and so you will stop and finish the last bit of the journey on foot (3km).

Enjoy looking around this authentic village which is less visited by tourists and where you can see local weavers at work in their own homes. Make your way back to your vehicle and continue on to the Red Dzao village of Ta Phin. Here you will visit a local family, learn more about their local customs and daily lives, before joining them for a traditional home-based Vietnamese dinner. After dinner you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Victoria Hotel – Victoria Suite

Day 5 Sapa: Weekend Markets and Overnight Train to Hanoi

Sapa

On a Saturday, you will join your guide and driver for your journey to Can Cau Market to begin the day. Until midday this is the liveliest and least visited market in the area. About 20 km (30 minutes) North of Bac Ha you will witness the many different colorful ethnic groups in Vietnam as they come together. It is a wonderful place to learn more about the ethnic minorities from your guide: Flower Hmong, Dzao, Giay (Nhang), Han (Hoa), Xa Fang, Lachi, Nung, Phula, Thai and Thu Lao.

This is a market for trading goods. It is also the perfect time and location to socialize and find the chance to meet old and new friends and partners. See everybody wearing their ‘Saturday best’. Enjoy the events as they unfold around you for about two hours until your guide suggests it is time to move on.

At the end of the afternoon, you will be transferred on to town where you will have a simple hotel room available to freshen up in before your train back to Hanoi (departing at approximately 9pm).

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Victoria Express Train – Private Deluxe Cabin

Day 6 Hanoi: Arrival and Private Halong Bay Cruise

On arrival in Hanoi your guide will transfer you directly to the hotel for early check in where you can have a couple of hours to freshen up and have breakfast. Around 8am you will then be met again and transferred to Halong Bay. If you wish to leave immediately, then you can enjoy your breakfast and a little leisure time on arrival in Halong Bay. Your private transfer will take around 3 ½ hours through the historical countryside of the Red River Delta peppered with hundred year old villages.

Arrive at Ha Long City by midday where you will transfer to the boat station ready for boarding your junk.  Enjoy a welcome drink before relaxing with a fresh seafood lunch while cruising in the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay (the still unchartered northern part of Ha Long Bay). Take in the breathtaking serenity of your surroundings passing you by. Mid-afternoon you can jump in for a quick swim in the crystal clear waters before your visit to Thien Can Son Cave. Back on board and a short cruise further on you will reach Hon Co Island where you can spend the late afternoon swimming, kayaking or simply relaxing on the white sandy beach. You will finish the day back on board with dinner around 7 pm followed by time to relax and reflect on your day.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Princess Junk – One Cabin Charter Cruise

Day 7 Halong Bay Cruise: Day 2 – Vung Vieng Fishing Village – Halong City

Halong Bay

It is an early start today with breakfast around 7:30 am and a wonderful chance to admire the bay waking up around you. An hour later you will be taken in a rustic rowing-boat to meet the local people who call Vung Vieng fishing village their home. Learn all about their daily life and the floating school and fish farms. Mid-morning is an ideal time for a break to do some more swimming in the middle of the bay. Then it is back on board to enjoy your lunch as you cruise back towards Hon Gai Harbour to disembark around midday back at the pier.

Your guide will meet you as you disembark and you will have a private transfer back to Hanoi. Along the way you will have the opportunity to take a comfort break and stretch your legs.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Sofitel Metropole – Historical Wing, Grand Luxury Room

Day 8  Hue: Arrival and Private Dinner at Ancient House

Your guide will go with you for the 1 hour journey to Noi Bai airport for your flight connection to Hue. Your guide will meet you at the airport in Hue for your 45 minute private transfer to your hotel for check in.

Your guide will take you to Tha Om Ancient House located in Kim Long Village near Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue. This is a beautiful home with gardens exemplifying the use of Feng Shui in ancient architecture. The owner of the home is from mandarin royal family descent and designs houses. He will give you a personal tour and you can then stay and enjoy a home cooked meal with the family served in the Ancient House.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at La Residence Hotel & Spa – Colonial Suite

Day 9  Hue: Tombs and Citadel

Your guide will meet you at 8am at your hotel and together you will explore the old capital city, now a well-known World Cultural Heritage Site. Southeast of the Citadel, on both banks of the Perfume River, are seven royal tombs. Visit one of our favorites – Minh Mang – which like the other tombs, celebrates the rulers of the Nguyen dynasty. Most of the tombs were designed by the emperors themselves, so you can learn how they differ from each other and what their design tells you about the ruler. Return to the city where you will then visit the historical Imperial Citadel. Often referred to as “ancient”, Hue”s Citadel is comparatively modern in European terms.

Built over thirty years in the early part of the 19th century, the Citadel encompasses three “courts” covering a total of 6 km. The Imperial City, built along the same lines as the Forbidden Palace in Beijing, was the country’s administrative center. Senior mandarins, court officers and civil servants would have entered by the “Ngo Mon” (noon gate). Directly behind were the Dai Trieu Nghi (great rites courtyard) and the Thai Hoa Palace (throne hall) where the Emperor would meet foreign rulers and emissaries, high-ranking ministers and other dignitaries.

At the heart of the Imperial City was the “Tu Cam Thanh” (Forbidden Purple City). Only members of the royal family, the Emperor”s concubines, and trusted senior mandarins and officers such as the royal doctor were allowed through the sole entry gate. Inside were various palaces and the Emperor”s private apartments. Despite more than fifty years of decay and attrition, the Citadel is still imposing, and recent renovation work has restored several of its buildings to their previous glory. After exploring the Imperial Citadel your guide will take you for lunch at a local restaurant. Finish your tour with a relaxing boat ride along the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu pagoda – the oldest and symbolic pagoda in Hue. You will then be transferred back to your hotel later in the afternoon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at La Residence Hotel & Spa – Colonial Suite

Day 10  The Secret Lake of Central Vietnam – a Beautiful Discovery along the Coast

Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel at 8:00 am. The first part of your journey will take you to the stunning spot of Truoi Lake, located about 40km away from Hue. Lying in a grassy valley nestled between the mountains. Truoi Lake is emerging as a tranquil retreat for Buddhists. The mountains, which are foothills on the northern side of Bach Ma (White Horse) Mountain Range, are covered by primary forest. Reaching 1444m above sea level, the mountains of Bach Ma now serve as a tourism site and a nature reserve, known as Bach Ma National Park, famous for its amazing white clouds that look like horses on the mountain peaks all year round.

Everyone knows the Bach Ma Mountains but Truoi Lake is a well-kept secret,resulting in a valley that has remained beautifully clear and free from the tourist hoards. A 10 minute boat ride will take you across the lake where you will find an island home to theThien Vien Truc Lam Bach Ma Pagoda. Built in 2006 by the Vietnamese School of Zen Buddhism, the pagoda is the nation’s fourth Zen monastery, and is comprised of a traditional pagoda, gates, bell towers and halls for Buddhist practice. Visitors must climb 173 stairs to reach its gates. In Buddhist theory, one of the ways to see Buddha or to be Zen is to clear the mind. Climbing up the stairs, while keeping count of the number of steps and breaths, clears your mind.

Being located in the middle of a lake also matches the Buddhist belief that the lake acts as a place to wash the guilt from the human body before seeing Buddha.After enjoying this peaceful place, continue on your journey to Hoi An. You will cross over the Hai Van Pass and stop to admire the beautiful views, as well as grabbing something to eat along the way.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Nam Hai Hotel – One Bedroom Beach Front Villa

Day 11  Hoi An: Wander the Ancient Town

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you on a walking tour of Hoi An. Visit the Ancient Town, which is home to the beautiful Chua Cau, or roofed bridge, as well as Hoi Quan, the ancient meeting places, some ancestral family homes and some of the lovely hidden pagodas. After touring the town, head back to your hotel and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Nam Hai Hotel – One Bedroom Beach Front Villa

Day 12 Hoi An: Day at Leisure

Hoi An

Enjoy this day at your leisure in Hoi An. You can choose to relax at the beach, or if you would like to arrange an activity for the day this can be done prior to your trip through your Tour Consultant or while on tour through the Journeys Within Luxury Concierge.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Nam Hai Hotel – One Bedroom Beach Front Villa

Day 13  Saigon: Arrival and a Private Music Performance at Truc Mai House

Your guide will meet you at your hotel for your private transfer to Danang where you will arrive at the airport in time for your onward flight to Saigon.

You will be greeted at the exit of the airplane (staircase/bridge) as you disembark by a representative with a welcome sign with your name on it. Depending on your flight you may also have a short private car transfer from the airplane staircase to the terminal. You will be escorted to the VIP departure lounge where your entry into Saigon will be expedited. Relax with the representative and enjoy some refreshments while your luggage is collected from the carousel, processed and is brought to you in the VIP departure lounge for you to counter-check. Your host/hostess will handle all airport formalities with immigration and customs officials on your behalf. Your host/hostess and porter will escort you to your waiting transport for your onward private transfer to your hotel.Check into the hotel and take the time to settle into this city before heading out for your cultural evening.

In the evening your guide will meet you and you will be transferred to the home of Mr and Mrs Mai. The stories of Vietnamese history and culture can be heard and understood through its traditional music. Mr Truc and Mrs Ngo (husband and wife) are experts at playing the melodious traditional Vietnamese musical instruments (monochord zither, bamboo xylophone, stone lithophone…) and have been granted special permission to share their knowledge with guests in Vietnam. For an hour you will be taken on a journey back in time. Hear the instruments played and learn about the stories they tell, then you will have a chance to have a go at playing some of the instruments yourself. At the end of your time with these wonderful people you will have had a unique personal insight in to Vietnam. You will then be taken to a restaurant for your dinner and later returned to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Park Hyatt Hotel – Park Deluxe Room

Day 14  Saigon: Culture and Culinary Experience by Motorbike

Saigon is a vibrant and bustling city. Relax as you sit behind your trusted driver on a motorbike for a journey where you can combine some of the classic historical highlights the city has to offer (Reunification Palace, museums, pagodas, Cho Lon…), getting a real insight into local life behind the main streets. Meet and chat to local people, try special local cuisine at the different locations you stop by and learn about daily life. Get to know Saigon with a refreshing twist to suit your culinary and cultural tastes. Our guides are the experts, and they will discuss the plan for the time with you in advance so that you get the very best experience designed just for you. Please note helmets will be provided.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Park Hyatt Hotel – Park Deluxe Room

Day 15  Saigon: Exclusive Cao Dai, Cu Chi and Dinner with Veteran

Saigon

Today is an 8am start. Leaving Saigon behind and heading northwest to Tay Ninh province you will find the Cao Dai Great Temple. Along the way if you wish you can stop for a short break to stretch your legs and get coffee at the tea shop of Kim Phuc’s family (The Girl in the Picture). Later at the temple you will see where Cao Daism is practiced and witness the midday mass. Cao Daism is a unique religion worshiping Jesus, Confucius and Buddha!

Have lunch at a local restaurant in Tay Ninh. After lunch you will be driven back in a southeasterly direction to arrive at the Cu Chi Tunnels. Here you will learn about, and be given the opportunity to descend into the tunnels themselves where the guerilla fighters constructed an amazing underground base and village network during the French Resistance, and the Vietnam War.

Finally, to end your trip, you will be taken to the private home of a war veteran of the Vietnamese American war. Here you will have the opportunity to meet and chat with him and his family whilst enjoying a delicious home cooked dinner before heading back to Saigon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Park Hyatt Hotel – Park Deluxe Room

Day 16  Saigon: VIP Departure

You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport for your onward international departing flight. On arrival at the airport (1 hour before departure) the representative and porter will collect your passports, tickets and luggage to handle your check-in on your behalf. The representative will escort you to the VIP departure lounge for refreshments and to relax. Your passport and boarding pass will be brought to the VIP departure lounge for you when processed.

About 30 minutes before flight departure the representative will escort you to the boarding bridge or by private car transfer to your flight and say goodbye as you are greeted by the cabin staff and board your flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Tour Rate starting from: $12,500 per person based on two people traveling.

Price includes:

  • Business Class air tickets Hanoi – Hue / Danang – Saigon
  • Boat tickets as specified above
  • Accommodation as specified above
  • Luxury air-conditioned car/van with driver
  • Licensed English speaking guides
  • Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including non-alcoholic drinks
  • Journeys Within Luxury Tours Concierge service

Price excludes:

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Tips
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