Tet festivities

Embracing Tet: A Tour Through Vietnamese New Year

Country: Vietnam

13 Days

Planning a trip to Southeast Asia in February can be a smart move – you will avoid the biggest crowds of foreign tourists who visit in December and January, while still finding great weather throughout the region. However, with the Vietnamese Tet holiday/Chinese New Year festivities typically falling during February, you need to have a plan to either avoid or embrace the craziness that is Tet.

If you choose to embrace it, there is no better way to get immersed in the festivities than this 13-day Tet holiday tour. (Note: Dates for 2018 Tet holiday listed below, but this itinerary can be modified to any year.)


Feb. 12, 2018 – Saigon: Arrival

Arrive in Saigon where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Meals included: None

Overnight at: Fusion Saigon – 1 Double Deluxe Room

Feb. 13 – Saigon: City Tour

Our guides are the experts so we leave you in their good hands to discuss and decide what you want to see and do with your half day. There are some great markets if you are in the mood to shop or you can visit some of the museums like the History Museum, or some pagodas, like Thien Hau Lady Goddess Pagoda and Jade Emperor Pagoda. If you are interested in the history of the Vietnam War, then we recommend that you take the time to visit the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace, and the War Remnants Museum. The Vietnamese Traditional Medicine Museum gives another insight into Vietnamese culture. Chat with your guide and decide what suits you!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at: Fusion Saigon – 1 Double Deluxe Room

Feb. 14 – Mekong Delta: Cai Be, Vinh Long and Can Tho

Your guide will meet you at your hotel reception at 07:30am. This morning you will be driven to Cai Be Village in the Mekong Delta (approximately 2 ½ hours from Saigon). At Cai Be, you’ll board a private boat to explore the area and meet local families along the way to experience the joy of the Lunar New Year. In 2017, this marks the beginning of the year of the “Rooster”. Your lunch will be hosted in a beautiful traditional garden house with one of our favorite and fun families where you will be presented with local dishes such as Elephant Ear Fish rolled and wrapped with rice paper, as well as different Vietnamese vegetables and fruits served with tamarind dipping sauce. Carry on with your boat trip to Vinh Long, passing small and beautiful canals with peaceful tranquil villages.  Sit back and relax for your private transfer to your hotel where you will have some free time to enjoy your surroundings.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Victoria Can Tho Resort – 1 Double Superior Room

Feb. 15 – Mekong Delta: Can Tho and Tho Lai – Tet New Year’s Celebrations

Your guide will meet you at your hotel reception area at 06:30am. Early morning is the best time to experience river life. On this motor sampan boat trip you will explore the unique natural canal and small river system around Can Tho together. Hop on and off for some short walks through the small villages along the riverbanks.

After your boat trip, you will continue straight to Thoi Lai by road (30km) where Mr. Hien, your guide lives with his family in the midst of the myriad of small canals that are fed by the larger mighty Mekong. Here you will spend time with his family, joining in the festivities, chatting over lunch, and meeting his neighbors as you wander through his neighborhood. We’ll also have shopper bicycles available for you and Mr. Hien to explore the lush rice paddies and countryside further. The family will be so proud and happy to welcome you and may well show you their garden and offer you tropical fruit straight from the tree.

After all the excitement of the day, your guide and driver will return you to your hotel to rest.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Victoria Can Tho Resort – 1 Double Superior Room

Feb. 16 – Mekong Delta: Can Tho to Saigon

Enjoy your morning at leisure and relax at your hotel before setting off on your return journey to Saigon early afternoon. It is a long drive (around 3 – 4 hours) between Can Tho and Saigon, so we recommend stopping at the Mekong Rest Stop for a quick local lunch and comfort break.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at: Fusion Saigon – 1 Double Deluxe Room

Feb. 17 – Saigon: A Morning at the Cu Chi Tunnels, and Lunch with a Vietnamese Veteran / Hoi An: Arrival

This morning take an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels (about a 90 minute drive). When you arrive, first you will also have a unique opportunity to meet and chat with a war veteran. Then 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. Relax in the company of your guide for your return journey to Saigon.

You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport for your onward flight – Vietnam Airlines VN140 departing Saigon at 19:50 & arriving in Danang at 21:10. Your guide will meet you at Danang Airport for your private transfer (around 45 minutes) to your hotel in Hoi An for check in.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Boutique Hoi An Resort – 1 Double Deluxe Room

Feb. 18 – Hoi An: Wander the Ancient Town

​Your guide will meet you at your hotel and together you will head out on a walking tour of Hoi An for a few hours. Visit the Ancient Town, which is home to the beautiful Chua Cau, (roofed bridge), as well as Hoi Quan, the ancient meeting places, some ancestral family homes and some of the lovely hidden pagodas. Time permitting, you have the option to head outside the Ancient Town and learn more about modern Hoi An. In the spirit of tradition, you’ll also have the chance to enjoy the famous cuisine of Central Vietnam in a local restaurant in the old part of town. You have up to 4 hours to explore with your guide today.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner (Discuss today’s schedule with your guide)

Overnight at Boutique Hoi An Resort – 1 Double Deluxe Room

Feb. 19 – Hoi An to Hue: Transfer via Hai Van Pass

Your driver will accompany you on your 3.5 hour, private road transfer on to your next destination. The route will take you along the spectacular central coastline and the edges of the Annamite Mountain Range to where it finally meets the sea. During the drive, your driver will also run through the next phase of your itinerary.

Please note: If you transfer through the Hai Van area after 5pm, your driver will take the Hai Van Tunnel rather than the scenic Hai Van Pass for safety, as we do not recommend driving over the steep and twisting pass at night.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa – 1 Double Deluxe Room

Feb. 20 – Hue: Countryside Motorbike Tour, Lunch with Nuns and Citadel Tour

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 8:00am. Hue is a historical location with strong cultural ties to its heritage and former dynastic rulers. Relax as you sit behind your trusted driver on a motorbike for a journey where you will gain insight into both past and present cultural traditions. Chat with the locals you encounter on your journey – families making conical hats, sellers in the local markets, fishermen on the rivers, rice farmers and villagers tending their local gardens and family temples. Take a moment at the Thanh Toan wooden bridge, built in 1786. Continue by motorbike to Thuy Xuan to enjoy a vegetarian lunch around 1pm or 1:30pm cooked by the resident Buddhist nuns. You will be able to hear the same Buddhist nuns chanting at 2pm. On the return journey you have the option to either travel by a combination of boat and motorbike, or travel by motorbike for the full distance to take in the rural countryside. If you wish, you can stop to see the nearby Crying Elephant Temple where elephants were worshipped, and the Ho Quyen Arena where tigers and elephants once fought, gladiator style, to the death for the entertainment of royals, one or two tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda, the Citadel. Our guides are experts, and they will discuss the plan for today in advance with you so that you get the very best experience. Expect to be back to your hotel late afternoon or early evening, depending on how your exploration goes today. Helmets will be provided.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa – 1 Double Deluxe Room

Feb. 21 – Hue to Hanoi: Afternoon City Tour

Your guide will meet you at your hotel for your 45 minute private transfer to the airport for your onward flight – Vietnam Airlines VN1542 departing Hue at 10:40 & arriving in Hanoi at 11:55. Arrive at Noi Bai airport where you will be met by your guide and driven the 1 hour journey to Hanoi.

Begin your half day by discussing with your guide what you would like to do and see. There are so many options that we like to leave it up to you and your guide to decide what suits you best. Some interesting highlights that you may want to consider are the Temple of Literature, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and his House on stilts, One Pillar Pagoda, Quan Thanh Temple, and Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Ethnology Museum, and the Art museum.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa – 1 Double Deluxe Room

Feb. 22 – Hanoi to Halong Bay: Dragon’s Legend Junk Cruise – Day 1

Today your guide will meet you at your hotel at 8am. You will leave bustling Hanoi behind as you are driven to Halong City and wonderful Ha Long Bay. Your journey will take around 3 ½ hours through the historical countryside of the Red River Delta which is peppered with hundred-year-old villages.

Arrive at Halong city by midday where you will transfer to the pier to board your junk. Enjoy a welcome drink before relaxing with a fresh seafood lunch, while cruising through the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay (the peaceful northern part of Halong Bay, commonly overlooked by most visitors). Your first stop is in the Vung Dang – Cong Dam area where you can take a boat to the beach and enjoy swimming in these amazing waters or grab a kayak ad explore a little further afield. Refresh yourself in the outdoor or indoor mineral seawater pool, the fitness room or with the boat’s spa and massage services, before enjoying a delicious a la carte dinner in the open air.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Dragon’s Legend Junk Cruise – 1 Double Cabin (Joined Trip)

Feb. 23 – Halong Bay to Hanoi: Dragon’s Legend Junk Cruise – Day 2

Begin the day with morning Tai Chi exercises and an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. At 7am morning coffee and breakfast will be served. Cruise the turquoise waters to Con Do where you will explore the well-hidden Thien Can Son Cave. Just after 10am you will head back to the junk to enjoy a buffet brunch while the crew navigates the boat back to harbor.

Your guide will meet you as you disembark and will transfer you 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 Hanoi Lasiesta Hotel & Spa – 1 Double & 1 Single Deluxe Room

Feb. 24 – Hanoi: Departure

Your guide will go with you for the 1 hour journey to Noi Bai airport for your flight connection –

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Tour includes:

  • Air tickets: As specified above
  • Boat tickets as specified above
  • Accommodation as specified above
  • Air-conditioned car/van with driver
  • Licensed English speaking guides
  • Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including water

Tour excludes:

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Airport tax
  • Drinks (except water) and meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Tips

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