Vietnam at a Glance
Relish Vietnam’s distinct and energetic character on this whistle stop journey from cosmopolitan Saigon to the spectacular panoramas of Halong Bay, experiencing local life in Hoi An on the way.
· Experience the bustling city of Saigon
· Meander up the Mekong Delta
· Wander the traditional town of Hoi An
· Marvel at the scenery on the Hai Van Pass
· Discover Hanoi by cyclo tour
· Relax with a cruise on Halong Bay
Return international economy flights, taxes and current fuel surcharges.
· All accommodation
· All meals
· All sightseeing and entrance fees
· All transportation and transfers
· Services of Thompson Travel Guide and local Escort/Guide
· Comprehensive travel guides
· Safe and secure with ABTA, ATOL and IATA
The only thing you may have to pay for are personal expenditure e.g. drinks, optional excursions or shows, insurance of any kind, tipping, early check in or late checkout and other items not specified on the itinerary.
‘Vietnam at a Glance’ is a comfortable tour. Although this is the easiest grading of tour but it still requires a reasonable level of fitness.
· There will be sightseeing on foot for both short and extended periods of time
· Throughout the tour you will be required to get on and off varying sizes of boats without assistance
Of course, our National Escort and local guides will always endeavour to provide the highest level of service and assistance; however, they cannot be expected to cater for customers who are unfit to complete the itinerary.
7 APRIL 2020
Depart Dublin to travel via Istanbul to Saigon. Arrive in Saigon 11 April at approximately 8pm.
8 APRIL 2020 - Saigon
On arrival into Saigon, you will be met at the airport in the arrival hall by your Local Guide and/or National Escort. Transfer 45 minutes to your hotel and check into your room or Overnight at hotel.
9 APRIL 2020 – Saigon
Confront the reality of guerrilla warfare at the Cu Chi Tunnels. The cramped tunnels were central to a few of the war’s 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. This afternoon explore modern day Saigon with its heady mix of local culture and colonial influences. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, the Reunification Palace and the chilling War Remnants Museum.
10 APRIL 2020 - Mekong Delta
Drive approximately 2 hours to the picturesque Mekong Delta to witness the daily life of people living in this area. You will travel around by motorised, wooden boats between the islands and then change to smaller, paddle boats in the canals. Sightseeing involves hopping on and off these boats, often on unsteady and slippery surfaces, sometimes without handrails or assistance. Have lunch at a local restaurant where we can sample the culinary specialties of the Mekong Delta. Return to Saigon, en route visit Vinh Trang Pagoda to experience the Cao Dai religion.
11 APRIL 2020 - Hoi An
Fly 1 hour and 15 minutes to Danang and transfer to the charming town of Hoi An. This afternoon enjoy a walking tour of the narrow and ancient streets of this charming town. We will visit one of Hoi An’s oldest homes, built over 200 years ago and still occupied by the descendants of the merchant family that originally built it. We will also visit the traditional Hoi An Market, the Reaching Out arts and crafts workshop, the Quan Cong Chinese Temple and the Japanese Covered Bridge.
12 APRIL 2020 - Hoi An
This morning visit a local community farming project just outside of Hoi An - Tra Que village where the community has come together to create a large vegetable farm. Learn the traditional methods the farmers use to plant, fertilise and harvest the crop, then try your hand at raking the ground and sowing seeds. The remainder of the afternoon is free at your leisure to explore the ancient town, or go to the beach.
13 APRIL 2020 - Hoi An - Hue
This drive approximately 4 hours to Hue, this journey will take you over the scenic Hai Van Pass. Hue is the epitome of Vietnam’s dynamic past, and considered a scholarly city. Upon arrival, visit the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City which is still being restored many years after the destruction caused by street fighting and bombing during the American War in Vietnam. Explore the Royal Tomb of Minh Mang; the complex comprises of almost 40 monuments and is surrounded by gardens and pools, making it one of the more beautiful tombs. Continue by road to Thien Mu Pagoda and take a cruise on the Perfume River.
14 APRIL 2020 - Hue - Hanoi
This morning fly 1 hour and 20 minutes to the Charming city of Hanoi where you will check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
15 APRIL 2020 - Hanoi
Discover the sights of Hanoi today. First stop will be the Ho Chi Minh Quarter and visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, followed by the Humble House on Stilts and the One Pillar Pagoda. Next drive to the serene Temple of Literature, Hanoi’s first university. Later experience an exhilarating cyclo ride through Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Each cyclo takes one passenger and is operated by a cycle driver behind the carriage. This afternoon you will also have the opportunity to taste some traditional egg coffee. This evening enjoy a traditional Water Puppet show.
Please note: Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum is closed for entry on Mondays and Fridays every week and from September to December each year. During these times we are unable to enter the Mausoleum; however, we can view it from the outside.
16 APRIL 2020 - Hanoi - Halong Bay
Drive 4 hours today from Hanoi to Halong, where you will take an overnight cruise to the far-most corners of the bay.
There is usually a crowd of boats at the docks; however, the cruise itself will be scenic and relaxing. Boarding your boat could involve navigating your way over and through other boats, moored between it and the dock, sometimes without handrails, ladders or assistance from staff.
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 which involves climbing up and down lots of steps. End the day on deck with a drink in hand to watch the sunset over the bay followed by a freshly prepared dinner, before retiring to your cabin for the night.
You will need to pack a smaller overnight bag for your trip to Halong Bay. Main luggage will be left in safe storage at the hotel in Hanoi and picked up your return.
Please note: Weather conditions such as mist, fog, wind, rain and storms may delay the departure time of your cruise, or in some cases your cruise may be cancelled. Notifications of any delays or cancellations may not be known until your group’s arrival in Halong Bay. If your cruise is cancelled after your arrival in Halong Bay, you will have lunch in Halong City and return to Hanoi. If notification of the cruise cancellation is given prior to your departure for Halong Bay an alternative day trip will be arranged to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc or ‘Halong Bay on Land’, an area located approximately 2 hours from Hanoi. Our guides will make every effort to inform the group at the earliest possible moment should there be any itinerary changes.
17 APRIL 2020 - Halong Bay - Hanoi
Spend the morning sailing through Halong Bay. After an early lunch (or brunch meal) disembark your cruise and return to Hanoi. The remainder of the evening is at your leisure.
18 APRIL 2020 - Depart Hanoi
Any time before your flight is free is at your leisure today. You will be transferred 1 hour from the hotel to the airport, according to the departure time of your international flight.
Please note: Only breakfast and lunch are provided on the groups day of departure; no refund will be given for meals missed.