Vietnam

Classic Vietnam

10 nights/11 days

From £4,960 per person

To book please complete the form below or call us on 01604 961931

From culture to cuisine, from the deeply spiritual to the wild glory of nature, Vietnam will take your breath away. Take a seaplane to Lan Ha Bay and cruise the majestic Mekong River to find peace in a land shaped by war. The sights, tastes and smells of Vietnam will be with you forever.

Itinerary

Classic Vietnam

14 nights/15 days from £4,960 per person (excluding international flights)

Day 1 – Arrival Hanoi
On arrival at Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport you will be met by your Avventura representative and taken by private transfer to your hotel, a journey time of approximately 50 minutes.

Accommodation: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in a Premium Room.

Day 2 – Hanoi
After breakfast, you will begin your full day discovery of the capital with the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – a tribute to the architecture of Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow, his traditional stilt house and the 11th century One-Pillar Pagoda. You will then visit the Ethnology Museum. Created in November 1997 at the Francophonie Summit, it is both a research centre and a public museum featuring the 54 ethnic groups found across Vietnam.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu in Vietnamese), situated in the place once known as the first university of Vietnam. Built in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, the university was first opened exclusively for princes and mandarins. With its ancient courtyards, altars and roofs, Van Mieu is a very fine example of Vietnamese architecture. Then, continue to the Old Quarter and the surroundings of the Sword Lake.

Accommodation: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in a Premium Room.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 3 – Hanoi to Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay
After breakfast, you will be taken by private transfer to Hanoi Airport for your 45-minute seaplane flight to Halong Bay. Upon arrival at Tuan Chau Marina, you will travel by speedboat to embark on a cruise of Lan Ha Bay. There, you will be welcomed by the crew with refreshments. After a quick briefing, it will be time to get acquainted with the facilities on board while starting to cruise toward Lan Ha Bay. Lunch will be served aboard.

You will reach the landing spot, Viet Hai Village, on Cat Ba Island, where you will hop on bikes (electric car alternative is available) for an active tour along small paved roads towards a village nestling in a valley. You will then return to your cruise for a cooking demonstration and to enjoy cocktails at sunset, with the magical landscape of Lan Ha Bay as backdrop.

Accommodation: Ginger in a Junior Suite.

Meal Plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 4 – Lan Ha Bay to Hue
You may choose to begin the day with an early morning Tai Chi class before enjoying a healthy breakfast. You will then explore the Ao Ech area by kayaking or swimming. After the morning’s exercise, you will be ready to enjoy a delicious brunch while cruising back to the pier.

You will disembark at the end of the morning and head back to Hanoi Airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver for a private transfer to your hotel.

The rest of your day is at leisure. Options include the Boulder Spa which will offer a rejuvenating range of treatments based on traditional Khmer herbs and healing rituals to reduce stress and reset your inner balance.

Accommodation: Azerai La Résidence in a Superior River View.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Brunch.

Day 5 – Hue
After breakfast, you will visit the impressive Imperial Citadel then continue to explore a garden house typical of Hue, built according to precise rules of geomancy, a spiritual science that seeks positive omens from natural settings. The peacefulness of this home will offer you a chance to experience the true serenity of this mystical and beautiful city.

In the afternoon, you will be taken to Tu Duc mausoleum, a model of traditional Vietnamese art and one of the most magnificent sights in the city. You will also explore the nearby Tu Hieu pagoda, set in a vast pine forest and home to a community of monks who remain very active in their day-to-day existence.

Accommodation: Azerai La Résidence in a Superior River View.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 6 – Hue via Danang to Can Tho
After a leisurely breakfast, you will travel to Ms. Nhu Huy’s house to experience one of the most amazing dishes of Vietnam – rice with salt.

Your host, a famous local cook, will prepare dishes traditional to Vietnam and particularly Hue, with the star being rice with salt. This is more than just a dish, but rather a pillar of the culinary history of Hue. Requiring as much as three days preparation, this unique and delicious dish combines very high-quality sticky rice and different handmade flavoured salts such as muoi sa (lemongrass), muoi tom (shrimp) and muoi thit heo (pork). You will enjoy these delightful dishes with drinks including local liquor as Ms Nhu Huy explains the specifics and significance of this imperial cuisine.

After lunch, you will have a private transfer to Danang Airport along the spectacular “Hai Van Pass” route. This road, which overlooks the bay, will offer you an unsurpassed panorama of the spectacular scenery. You will make several stops on your three-hour journey, including break at the paradise beach of Lang Co. You will arrive at Danang Airport for your 90-minute flight to Can Tho. On arrival, you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel.

Accommodation: Azerai Can Tho in a Garden Room.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 7 – Can Tho
A day at leisure to enjoy this luxurious retreat next to the Hau River, a tributary of the mighty Mekong.

Accommodation: Azerai Can Tho in a Garden Room.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 8 – Can Tho
From Can Tho Market Hall, you will step aboard the Mystic Sampan in the early morning for a cruise on the majestic Mekong. After a light breakfast with homemade bread, fruits, tea and coffee, your first stop will be at a local market where you can find all kinds of produce typical of South Vietnam. Continuing your cruise on the green river, you will visit a Khmer sanctuary guarded by surrounding walls, a golden pagoda and the statue of a tall lying Buddha. Your morning will conclude with a cycle ride through the peaceful countryside to a small farm. Here you will be warmly welcomed by a local family for a traditional lunch which you will be able to help prepare.

After lunch, you can stroll around the orchard and share your last moments with the family before traveling back to Can Tho, arriving around mid-afternoon.

The remainder of your day is at leisure.

Accommodation: Azerai Can Tho in a Garden Room.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 9 – Can Tho to Phu Quoc
Following a leisurely breakfast, you will be met at reception for a private transfer to Can Tho Airport for your one-hour flight to Phu Quoc. On arrival, you will be met by your driver for a private transfer to your hotel for the next three nights.

It’s time to stop, relax and be pampered at the Fusion Resort where you can enjoy a daily complimentary spa treatment.

Your afternoon and evening are at leisure.

Accommodation: Fusion Resort Phu Quoc in a Pool Villa.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 10 & 11 – Phu Quoc
Two full days to relax and enjoy the pools, secluded gardens and wellness facilities.

Accommodation: Fusion Resort Phu Quoc in a Pool Villa.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 12 – Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City, a flight of one hour and five minutes. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to your hotel.

Your afternoon is at leisure.

This evening, you will begin your guided Jeep tour of this vibrant city in District 1 to enjoy a drink at a rooftop bar while admiring the splendid city views. Your Jeep tour will take you further into the heart of the city to try the famous Vietnamese pancake banh xeo and some spring rolls. In District 4, renowned for its street food and abundance of restaurants, you will have the chance to taste some delicious fresh seafood cooked in the traditional Vietnamese style.

Accommodation: Park Hyatt Ho Chi Minh City in a Park Room.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 13 – Ho Chi Minh City
As you embark on your city tour, you will notice that the architecture in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City is still representative of the colonial era and Chinese influence. Your journey through the South Vietnamese capital would not be complete without a visit to its main historical sites; the central post office, whose metal structure was designed by Gustave Eiffel; Notre-Dame Cathedral, constructed from red bricks and resembling its Paris namesake and the Reunification Palace and Dong Khoi Street.

In District 5 you can stroll down a small alley to discover the hustle and bustle of local life. Zig-zagging between small streets and local businesses, you will arrive at a traditional medicine shop, where you can rest with a cup of hot tea.

In the evening, you will discover traditional Vietnamese music in a warm and friendly home belonging to a couple of passionate artists: Dinh Linh and Tuyet Mai. These two professionals will provide a traditional Vietnamese music concert and be delighted to help you try out the many traditional music instruments they own. These include a stone xylophone, a bamboo flute and a Vietnamese zither with an elongated sound box – a delightfully traditional way to end your day.

Accommodation: Park Hyatt Ho Chi Minh City in a Park Room.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 14 – Ho Chi Minh City
You will leave in the early morning by private transfer for the Cu Chi Tunnels*, located one hour from Ho Chi Minh City. Originally dug by hand by the Viet Minh (Resistance force) during the French Indochina War, this network of underground tunnels was expanded during the Vietnam War. At its peak, there were 200 kilometres of three-quarter metre high tunnels fully serviced with meeting rooms, medical rooms and sanitary posts. Today it is one of the largest and most important sites of the Vietnam War. You will begin the visit by watching a documentary on the tunnels and the war in the 60s-70s You will pass through various narrow underground ducts to discover offices, kitchens, meeting rooms, weapons stores and even hospitals. At the end of the tour you will have the chance to taste the specialty of Cu Chi, the khoai my luoc (boiled cassava), a Vietnamese dish eaten daily during the war. After your visit, you will return to Ho Chi Minh City.

* Cu Chi is not recommended for people who suffer from claustrophobia.

Your afternoon is at leisure.

In the late afternoon, you will attend the “A O” Show. The name ‘A O’ derives from “Lang Pho”, which means “village and city”. The show depicts the charming beauty and cultural richness of Vietnamese rural life, in contrast to the nation’s racing urbanisation. The show is a unique mix of bamboo circus, acrobatic acts, dance, and theatrical visual art. The live music echoes Vietnamese Southern work songs. Over sixty magical minutes, you will experience a host of emotions during this stunning performance.

Accommodation: Park Hyatt Ho Chi Minh City in a Park Room.

Meal Plan – Breakfast.

Day 15 – Ho Chi Minh City
Following a leisurely breakfast, the day is yours to enjoy until it is time for your private transfer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your international flight home.

Location

Accommodation options

HANOI

SOFITEL LEGEND METROPOLE HANOI

Perfectly positioned in the old French Quarter of the city, walking through the doors of the Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi is like stepping back into history. Opened at the turn of the last century it has been a regular resting place for ambassadors and heads of state. Behind its white facade, there are sixty-four opulent rooms and suites furnished with style and elegance. Alongside the past there is cutting edge modernity with a well-equipped spa and gym of the highest quality. The restaurant cuisine combines the classical Vietnamese with the western fine dining.

LAN HA BAY

CRUISE SHIP “GINGER”

The gracious Ginger built in 2018 cruises the Lan Ha Bay, a tranquil part of the famous Halong Bay. Ginger hosts only 12 large suites, all naturally light-flooded and with a good-sized balcony. Ginger has warm timber floors, marble bathrooms and distinguished design themes that interlace traditions of Northern Vietnam paired with contemporary touches. Ginger has a restaurant, spa and a pool on the terrace deck. Surrounded by comfortable shaded sunbeds, the views from the pool are spectacular.

HUE

AZERAI LA RÉSIDENCE

Set on a two and a half-hectare site with 200 metres of frontage on the fabled Perfume River, Azerai La Résidence, Hue has 122 rooms and suites. The colonial mansion at the heart of the hotel was built in 1930 as part of the residence of the French Resident Superieure. The elegantly appointed rooms look out onto either the Perfume River or the expansive tropical gardens. The hotel also comprises a luxurious spa, a gymnasium, a 40-ft swimming pool, two bars and an excellent restaurant.

CAN THO

AZERAI CAN THO

Located on Au Islet and set in the Hau River, Azerai Can Tho covers an area of nearly 20 acres. The design is inspired by traditional architecture but has a contemporary twist. Rooms are light and airy, well-appointed and surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Facilities and services include a wide range of fitness activities including a comprehensive spa, restaurants, lounge and bar.

PHU QUOC

FUSION RESORT PHU QUOC

Fusion Resort Phu Quoc is an excellent retreat where you can truly unwind. With private pools and secluded gardens outside each one of the spacious thatched villas, mouth-watering dining options, and a unique “all-spa inclusive” service, it’s the ideal place to disconnect, switch off, and put the rest of the world on hold.

HO CHI MINH CITY

PARK HYATT HO CHI MINH CITY

Perfectly positioned in District 1 in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City and overlooking the Opera House on Lam Son Square, Park Hyatt is a short walk from the city’s most popular attractions. French colonial in style, the Park Hyatt hotel is a heady blend of urban luxury with sophisticated design, handcrafted detail and modern-day comfort. There is a choice of delightful restaurants; Square One specialises in Vietnamese cuisine while Opera is a cosy, warm Italian trattoria. Guests can enjoy a swimming pool and fitness centre while the spa offers pampering using the most up-to-date equipment and a tempting range of indulgent treatments.

Activities options

HANOI – PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

With an early start, this photography tour is a great opportunity to explore Hanoi at sunrise, heading to the bustling markets, quiet railway stations and small cafés as the city wakes up. Guided by an experienced photographer, this tour gives you a chance to learn more about some of Hanoi’s most photogenic places during the golden hours. Depending on your experience level, the photographer will adapt the tour, focusing on the understanding of shutter speed, aperture and ISO for beginners or on how to create a picture story for the most experienced. Breakfast is included.

HANOI – FOOD BLOGGER TOUR

A food tour is the perfect way to learn about the cuisine and culture of Northern Vietnam. You will be accompanied by an experienced food blogger, who has been living in Hanoi for many years. You will visit truly off-the-beaten-path places with unexpected local food. This is a real chance to taste some incredible and unexpected dishes while understanding more about local gastronomy, visiting and dining in places travellers rarely visit.

TAY HO – CULTURAL ART THEATRE

Located in Tay Ho, the small Phu Sa Lab theatre offers the Bamboo Talk performance and houses the Kim Duc Ca Tru School. The Bamboo Talk is a show on the history of bamboo, combining music, light effects, and dances choreographed and composed by famous Vietnamese artists. The Kim Duc Ca Tru School is a musical performance of Ca Tru, an ancient form of chamber music listed on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage items. One of the school’s artists is Kim Duc, who is among the most respected Ca Tru players in Vietnam.

HANOI – MEET WITH A WATER-PUPPET CRAFTSMAN

This experience is an opportunity for you to learn about the Vietnamese water-puppet tradition by meeting a local craftsman at his house and workshop, where the water-puppets are made. On the top floor of the house, you will attend a performance at the craftsman’s own water-puppet stage and can take an active role in the performance. This is an opportunity to experience the Hanoian water-puppet culture first-hand.

HANOI – CHOCOLATE TASTING

Take a chocolate break at Marou Bean and Bar and taste the very best chocolate and pastries available in Hanoi. Vietnamese chocolate is unlike any other as it is made mostly from a bean called “Trinitario”. The Marou chocolate brand has a complexity and variability, which are presented through its unusual aromas — liquorice and tobacco to name but a few.

HANOI – VIETNAMESE BEER EXPERIENCE

Your first stop will be at an expat-friendly bar offering craft Vietnamese beers on tap. You will then walk through the Truc Bach neighbourhood and visit a famous Czech Republic brewery. These breweries are famous throughout Vietnam and they are a great place to join the locals for a traditional beer.

You will then move on to the old quarter to visit a famous beer-lover bar where you will have the opportunity to taste several craft beers. You will finish your evening in the famous Bia Hoi of Hanoi for a final tasting. Your tour will include delicious matching food.

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