Come along on this all inclussive classic tour of Vietnam. The perfect way to see the key highlights of Vietnam in a concise 10 Day tour. From the beauty of the Halong Bay to the fertile Mekong Delta you will get a fascinating snapshot of this captivating country
Cardwells will take you down to Melbourne Airport where you will fly to Hanoi. Where you will be met at the airport in the arrival hall by your Local Guide or National Escort. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time, you will transfer 45 minutes to your hotel and check into your room or store any luggage if your room is not ready yet. There is no sightseeing today.
Today you will travel From Hanoi to Halong, where you will take an overnight cruise to the far most corners of the by boat. Enjoy lunch on board as you cruise out into the bay, stopping to anchor for an afternoon of activities. Activities are subject to change due to cruise selection and weather conditions. Sightseeing usually includes visiting underground caves on the islands. Halong Bay: Compared to the landscapes of the limestone islets of Guilin in China and Krabi in southern Thailand, Halong Bay shares a common border with China in the north and harbours some of the most stunning scenery in Vietnam. Unique rock sculptures just out dramatically from the clear emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and numerous grottoes have created n enchanting, timeless world,looking out onto the horizon with the sails of the junks and sampans completing the picture.
Spend the morning sailing through Halong Bay. After an early lunch disembark your cruise and return to Hanoi.
Discover the sights of Hanoi today. Walk through Hanois Old Quarter and have the opportunity to taste some traditional Vietnamese coffee. Then visit the Ho Chi Minh Quarter and visit Ho Chi Minhs Manusoeum, followed by the Humble House on Stilts and the One Pillar Pagoda. Next drive to the serene Temple of Literature, Hanois first university. This evening, fly 1 hour and 15 minutes to Danang and transfer to the charming town of Hoi An.
Ho Chi Minh Quarter - Dedicated to the father of modern Vietnam and where Ho Chi Minhs Mausoleum stands in Ba Dinh Square. Ho Chi Minh first declared independence from French rule in 1945. One Pillar Pagoda - Rebuilt in 1955 after damage during the French evacuation, the pagoda is made of wood and sits on a single pillar. Designed to reflect the shape of a lotus flower emerging from the water, it has become a popular spot for locals to enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Humble House on Stilts - In the grounds of the Presidential Palace sits the 2 storey wooden home of Ho Chi Minh who ruled Vietnam from here until his death in 1969. Temple of Literature - Hanoi's first university dating back to 1070 and a historical centre of learning, now dedicated to Confucian worship. Hanoi Old Quarter - A maze of streets weaving through Hanoi and dating back to the 13th century. Each street specialises in merchants and artisans selling their wares of silk, silver, wood and more. Hoi An - Perhaps more than any other place in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of centuries past. Once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an influential port along the Silk Road. For over 500 years merchants from China, Japan, France and Portugal settled in the prosperous town resulting in a distinctive blend of culture, cuisine, religion and architecture.
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of the narrow and ancient streets of this charming town. Visit one of Hoi Ans oldest homes, built over 200 years ago and still occupied by the descendants of the merchant family that originally built it. You will also visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, the traditional Hoi An Market, the Quan Cong Chinese Temple and the Reaching Out arts and crafts workshop. Later today you will be given a cooking demonstration, learning how to make some of the regions specialties; have a go at cooking yourself before enjoying the dishes you have prepared for dinner. evening.
Japanese Covered Bridge: First constructed in the 1590s to link the Japanese and Chinese quarters of the town. This iconic pink hued bridge has been restored to its former splendour. Reaching Out, provides opportunities for people with disabilities to learn skills and gain meaningful employment. The arts and crafts workshop provides a platform for local people to showcase their talents.
This morning have at leisure before flying to Saigon in the evening. Saigon, the exuberant city of Saigon is driving Vietnam forward into the modern world, but is also a treasure trove of fascinating heritage. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Saigon was the Pearl of the Orient, which flourished under the American occupation. In more recent times, it was the seat of the South Vietnam government until the events that led to the country reunification. Today, the old mixes seamlessly with the new and you can wander through timeless alleys to incense infused temples before catching up with the present in designer malls beneath sleek skyscrapers.
Travel down to the picutresque province of Ben Tre situated along the mighty Mekong. This area is known as the Rice Basket of Vietnam, because its rich and fertile lands produce huge amounts of rice, coconuts, vegtables and tropical fruit. Spend the day cruising and exploring , travelling by motorised, wooden boats between the island and changing to smaller, paddleboats in the canals. Sightseeing involves hopping on and off these boats, often on unsteady and slippery surfaces, sometimes with out handrails or assistance. Return to Saigon this afternoon.
Mekong Delta: Although primarily rural, the Mekong Delta is a densely populated area where life progresses around its fertile banks. The Mekong Delta is the 13th longest, and the 10th largest, by volume alone and people live, trade, travel and even go to school on the riverbanks. The rice which is cultivated in the many farming lands is said to be enough to supply the entire country with a little extra.
This morning, confront the reality of guerrilla warfare at the
Cu Chi Tunnels. The cramped tunnels were central to a few of
the wars strategic operations, including the famous 1968 Tet
Offensive, and they did not escape damage. American B52
bombers dropped hundreds of missiles leaving huge tell tale
craters behind. The Cu Chi experience can be emotional for
some visitors, but it offers a fascinating window into the
hardship and traumas of war. to explore the city. This
afternoon, explore modern day Saigon with its heady mix of
local culture and colonial influences. You will pass the Notre
Dame Cathedral before visiting the Central Post Office, the Reunification Palace and the chilling War Remnants
Museum. Visit the atmospheric Ben Thanh market before you finish the day with the cultural extravaganza that
is the A O Show, staged at the magnificent Saigon Opera House.
Cu Chi: The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Congs base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort.
Notre Dame Cathedral: Influenced by French design and built between 1863 and 1880, the red brick exterior and 60 metre bell towers overlook downtown Saigon.
Central Post Office: Located next to the Notre Dame Cathedral. The Central Post Office building was constructed in the late 19th century. It counts Gothic, Renaissance and French influences and was designed by Auguste Henri Vildieu and Alfred Foulhoux, but is often erroneously credited as being the work of Gustave Eiffel.
Reunification Palace: Built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was designed by architect Ngo Viet Thụ and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on 30th April 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.
War Remnants Museum: Comprised of numerous buildings displaying military equipment, photographs and artefacts relating to the Vietnam War from 1961 through to 1975. This museum illustrates a harrowing period in this nations history.
Spend your last day in this fascinating country at leisure before making your way home. On arrival back in Melbourne Cardwells will pick you up and take you back home.