Key Info

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Greig Smith Travels Ltd. Registered Company Number 7786310.

Travel Trust Association No: U9657

32 Drake Road, Chafford Hundred, Essex, RM16 6PS. UK

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Classic Vietnam- Tailor made tour

This classic tour allows you to explore the fascinating cities and towns of Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An and Saigon. In addition, you will also be able to stay in a homestay and learn about traditional Vietnamese ways of life, from rural life to living on the Mekong. This relaxed tour is a well balanced mix of culture, exploration and relaxation, traveling through one of Asia’s most fascinating countries.

Highlights

Stroll through the Old Quarter of Hanoi & stay in the city’s finest hotel


Stay in a comfortable homestay, explore small villages and learn about traditional rural Vietnamese life.


Cruise in style throughout the hauntingly beautiful  limestone karst islands of Halong Bay aboard a luxury Junk ship.


Take in the beautiful classical architecture of Hue


Wander through the lantern lit streets of the picturesque riverside town of Hoi An


Take a Sampan tour of the Mekong Delta


Explore the bustling city of Saigon & take time to visit the fascinating Cu Chi tunnels

Depart for Hanoi (Own tickets)



Day 1: Hanoi arrival (D) (the flight to be advised/ Own tickets)


Arrive at Noi Bai International Airport, pick up and transfer to your selected hotel.


Early evening, transfer for dinner at Ly Club that was built in late 19 century and this French architecture building is redesigned and set in a trendy and elegant concept with a Wine Cellar, Cocktail Bar, Fine-dining Restaurant and Theatre Hall.


Overnight in Hanoi


Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B)

8.30AM: The day starts with visit to the complex dedicated to Ho Chi Minh - the nation’s founder, containing Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (viewed from outside on Mondays, Fridays and afternoons as closed), and house on stilts. This complex also comprises the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. Visit Tran Quoc Pagoda- Hanoi’s oldest pagoda on the bank of West Lake.


In the afternoon, visit Van Mieu- Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature & Vietnam’s first university). Constructed in 11th century, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam's past.


Take a cyclo ride around the Old Quarter streets which were named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places.


Stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about legend of the lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple, followed by the Water Puppet show- a uniquely Northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.


Overnight in Hanoi




Day 3: Hanoi – Ky Son – Moon Garden (B/L/D)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Ky Son, around 55km from Hanoi and approx 1.5hrs drive away.


Here you will be able to explore the local village and learn all about local customs and traditions from your hosts.






Day 4: Moon Garden Duong Lam Ancient town - Hanoi (B/L)

  1. -7:00: Joining Yijinjing traditional exercises


  1. -7:30: Breakfast, then participate in burning votive money and gold for the deceased.


  1. -9:00: Leave Moon Garden and transfer to Duong Lam Ancient Village, a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River delta where  many old houses are still preserved.



Upon arrival, take an optional cycle tour along tiny ancient alleys to visit Mong Phu temple in Mong Phu hamlet - the only hamlet whose original village entrance gate remains intact, dedicated to national heroes. Continue riding around the village to discover the daily life and farming and practices of Vietnamese peasants


After lunch, visit Ngo Quyen temple and Phung Hung temple, dedicated to two national heroes. Again biking to Mia Pagoda, built in 15th century.


Drive back to Hanoi for overnight.


Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)

Breakfast at your hotel and then proceed to Ha Long City. Upon arrival, welcome on aboard. Enjoy welcome drink before check in. Then, sea food lunch served on board while the junk cruises pass by Thien Cung, Dau Go Caves and Fighting Cock Rock. Later on the cruise docks for short visit to Sung Sot Grotto. On the return, we will have some spare time on Titop Island: Relaxing, swimming, kayaking (with extra charge), sunset watching etc

overnight stay on Junk Ship



Legend has it that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a dragon as it descended into the sea. Declared a World Heritage site in 1994 by UNESCO it is perhaps the north’s premier tourist attraction and it is no surprise given their astonishing natural beauty. Hidden lagoons, caves and deserted beaches are strewn throughout the 3000 odd islands, Cruising through the emerald waters, one can hear all sorts of birdsong from the treed hilltops of the limestone islands, adding to the enchanting ambience of this haunting natural wonder of the world.



Day 6 Halong Bay - Hanoi (Brunch)

            Hanoi – Danang/ Hue


Breakfast served while the junk cruises around Ha Long Bay passes by many rocks, islets, named by their shape such as Dog, Man Head, and beaches etc. The junk continues cruising toward Halong Tourist port. Brunch buffet served from 09:30am and you should be ready for disembarking at 11:00am. You will then be transferred back to Hanoi in time for your flight to Hue.

Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to your selected hotel


Overnight in Hue




Day 7: Hue – Danang – Hoi An (B)

After breakfast, transfer to visit Thien Mu Pagoda on the bank of scenic Perfume River. Continue by road to visit the Imperial Citadel.

In the afternoon, visit Tomb of Tu Duc, the ‘poet Emperor’, set in an elegant garden with a magnificent lake and pavilion complex. 


Later in the day transfer by road to Hoi An

Overnight in Hoi An





Day 8 Hoi An city tour (B)

After breakfast, take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese assembly hall, a typical Vietnamese merchant’s house, one of the interesting museums and the local market. There are numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailoring shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like. The next visit is to home of a craftsman in the old streets. Here you’ll have a brief introduction to the history, shape and color of the lanterns as well as stages of making them. After that you can make a lantern by your own, decorate it and keep it as a souvenir of your time in Hoi An.

The rest of the day is free at leisure

Overnight in Hoi An




Day 9: Hoi An/ Danang - Saigon (B)


After breakfast, free time until transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to your selected hotel.

Overnight in Saigon





Day 10: Saigon – Cu Chi tunnels – Saigon city tour (B)


Depart at 8.00AM from your hotel to visit the incredible underground Cu Chi Tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence and reunification.

In the afternoon, visit the Reunification Palace, former residence of the Indochina Governor General and later President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in April 30, 1975. The day ends with visit to Notre Dame Cathedral and the bustling Ben Thanh Market for shopping.

Overnight in Saigon


Day 11: Saigon – Mekong Delta/ Cai Lay – My Tho (B/L)

After breakfast, pick up from your hotel and  drive (two hours) to Cai Lay, a small but fertile town in the Mekong Delta through the new national free way. Upon arrival, drop off at the town’s local pier and board a small motorized boat for a 30 min boat trip on one of the small branches of the Mekong River. 


Witness the daily life on the water of the locals. Disembark at Cam Son bridge where you start a leisure cycling trip (alternative transportation is our “xe loi”, a fun local transportation) into a deep Mekong Delta exploration.


The ride is about 7km on shady narrow village roads curving over tiny canals and past fruit gardens and sleepy villages. Many kids will greet you with a big smile and “xin chao” or Hello. During the village road, you will have a chance to stop and visit local village factories, fish farm & rice paddies to learn about life in the Mekong.


Arrive at a lush orchard with diverse tropical fruits. Have a friendly chat with the owner – Mr Hai Cu, a former veteran with interesting topics about his motherland as well as his daily life both past and present. He will be very happy to walk you around his garden. Enjoy the opportunity to taste fresh fruits picked right from the trees. Then relax with a 10 min sampan ride to Ba Da Bridge and continue with a 7 min bicycle ride to the main road for the transfer back to Saigon.



transfer back Saigon

Overnight in Saigon


Day 12: Saigon departure (B)( Own tickets)


After breakfast, free time until transfer to the airport for your departure flight


End of our Services


Standard, Deluxe & Luxury accommodation options available - for a quote please get in touch


Tour Includes

All transfers as per itinerary in a private air conditioned vehicle


Domestic flights (These are included in the quoted price, however a local payment is required to our ground agent for the flights. The amount you pay for the internal flights will be taken off the price quoted above and will be broken down clearly in your invoice)



All sightseeing as per itinerary with an English speaking guide.


Excursions as per itinerary


All accommodation on a B&B basis, unless otherwise specified


Meals as per itinerary (B = Breakfast, L=

Lunch & D= Dinner - excludes drinks)


Public liability insurance


All applicable taxes


Tour Excludes:

All International flights & Visa fees



Additional Meals, unless mentioned

Differently


Optional tours & activities mentioned in the itinerary.


Beverages and personal expenses


Other excursions and entrance fees


Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident of illness)

When to Travel

Travel is possible all year round due to its tropical climate, however packing for a trip to Vietnam can be difficult, as the climate can vary so much depending on when and where you go. When the weather isn’t ideal in one area, it’s great in another. While Hanoi can be cold enough to warrant a coat from December to February, this is an excellent time to visit Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta.  From April to October, most of the country is affected by south-western monsoons. The rains, which tend to be concentrated in the late afternoons, provide welcome relief to the heat. Travel to very remote areas may be affected by the rains, but overall they should not interfere with your trip. The summer months are the perfect time to visit Ha Long Bay, as the water is warm enough for swimming.


In terms of weather, northern Vietnam is at its loveliest from September to December, when there’s a good chance of clear skies and low humidity. The hottest months in Ho Chi Minh City are April and May, although there is generally a decent breeze. The central highland town of Dalat is temperate year-round, earning it the epithet “City of Eternal Spring”.

Entry requirements

All UK passport holders and most other nationalities require  visas for Vietnam

It is possible to get visas on arrival in Vietnam, however this is only possible with a pre authorization letter which must be obtained before hand and taken with you (please enquire as to how to get these). Alternatively you can get it  in advance from your nearest embassy. Typically 6 month multiple entry visas are usually sufficient. No vaccinations are mandatory for entry, however it is advisable to a be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A and to take malaria prophylactics. Above all, it is essential to consult your GP about your individual requirements as soon as possible before travelling. In addition, the following website “National Travel Health Network and Centre” is useful in preparing for your trip: http://www.nathnac.org/ds/map_world.aspx


Flights

There are now a number of direct flights to Vietnam each week with Vietnam Air, however there are only a few departures each week. Alternatively it is possible to fly via hubs such as Bangkok. Bangkok is an excellent hub and the frequency and number of flights means any stopover is usually just a few hours.  Unless you would like an extension in Bangkok, in which case please enquire for details.

Preferred airlines include BA, Thai Airways, Eva Air, Emirates and Quatar for the main international sectors and airlines such as Air Asia & Vietnam Airlines are used for flights between countries in Indochina. We can help organise all your flights for you, through our preferred ATOL registered partners and also through our ground agents.