Hanoi - Sapa - Sapa - Halong Bay - Hue - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh
Golden Vietnam starts and finishes in the big cities. In the capital Hanoi, daily life plays out on the street; cafes and market stalls spill on to the pavements while ladies balancing bamboo baskets weave around outdoor hair salons. Ho Chi Minh City has a very different feel as sleek skyscrapers tower above French colonial architecture such as the Notre Dame Cathedral.
In Vietnam you’re never far from the water and this itinerary includes two nights aboard very different boats. Among the thousands of craggy islands in Halong Bay you’ll cruise on a elegant junk boat past floating villages, while in the Mekong Delta you’ll board a converted rice barge to float from Cai Be to Can Tho. Take a break from the boat to cycle through paddy fields, sugar-cane groves and fruit orchards.
An overnight train from Hanoi takes you to Sapa’s spectacular mountains, cut into steep tiers of lush green rice paddies. Many minority groups live in and around Sapa, dressed in colourful woven skirts and elaborate head dresses. On market days H’mong people gather to buy and sell water buffalo, fruit and vegetables and to socialise.
Hue’s draw is its historical sights, including the 19th century Citadel containing the Imperial City which Vietnam’s Emperors once called home and the merchant shops, assembly halls and pagodas of the Phu Cat district. In nearby Hoi An every evening feels like a festival, as hundreds of coloured silk lanterns hung from trees sway in the breeze. The streets bustle with tourists and locals strolling from craftshop to art gallery to restaurant to indulge in Vietnam’s finest cuisine.
This is a packed itinerary but one that offers plenty of chances to relax, unwind and watch daily Vietnamese life unfold around you, whether you’re lounging on a boat in Halong Bay or the Mekong Delta, strolling through a Sapa market, sipping coffee in the big cities or indulging in fantastic food in Hue or Hoi An.
This self guided trip includes 11 nights hotel€commodation, 2 nights on sleeper train, a luxury cruise on Halong Bay and a night on the Mekong Delta. All transfers and transport between destinations and excursions above are included along with breakfast everyday, four lunches and one dinner. You will also have the exlcusive InsideVietnam Info Pack to help you experience the country and culture.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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