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Behind the Scenes

Hanoi, Mai Chau, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Hoi An & Saigon

Meet Katie

This example itinerary

from £7,200 $9,900 pp

15 days

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Highlights

  • Taste some of the best street food of your life
  • Enjoy private guiding throughout so as not to miss anything in Vietnam’s busy cities
  • Be chauffeured through rice paddies in a traditional buffalo cart
  • Enjoy two nights aboard a luxurious junk boat cruising around Halong Bay
  • Discover some of Asia’s rarest flora and fauna

This example itinerary

from £7,200 $9,900 pp

15 days

Speak to Katie

+44 (0)203 137 1247

+1 (0)800 635 8124

What’s Included

  • 14 nights Bed & Breakfast  
  • 2 nights aboard a luxury junk boat with butler service 
  • Daily private guiding & driver
  • Activities: 1 day of guided hiking, buffalo cart excursion, Tam Coc boat excursion 
  • International Economy class flights
  • All domestic flights and transfers

Example Itinerary

Day 1-3

HANOI, Vietnam

  • Wander around the historic Old Quarter, where every street is arranged by trade
  • Temple hop around pretty pagodas

A melting pot of Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences, Hanoi’s place as the country’s capital is well-deserved.

Begin by flying into Vietnam’s culture-rich capital, Hanoi, and stay two nights at Sofitel Legend Metropole, where modern Asia meets French Indochina. Situated centrally in the Old Quarter and close to Hoan Kiem Lake, this peaceful hotel is ideally tucked away yet only a 10-minute walk from the action. Spend a day wandering around quaint cobbled streets and enjoy local eateries, whilst also getting a feel for the country’s history with a guided tour around the emblematic landmarks of Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and the Temple of Literature.

Day 3-6

MAI CHAU, Vietnam

  • Live like the locals as you help the farmers in the rice paddies
  • Hiking around the lush rice paddies

A green retreat to unwind from the bustling start to your Vietnam adventure – Mai Chau is a rural paradise with stunning scenery.

Three hours west from Hanoi takes you off the beaten track to the Mai Chau Valley where you’ll spend three nights at Mai Chau Eco Lodge. Located in an exclusive rural setting where authentic decor melts into the scenery, your jaws will drop whilst overlooking panoramic views of the verdant valley of lush rice paddies and hazy mountains. Open your eyes to the local natural wonders and tribal culture on a guided hike or bike trail in these beautiful surroundings. Take part in a cooking class where you’ll begin by hand-picking fresh herbs before tasting local delicacies.

Day 6-8

HALONG BAY, Vietnam

  • Cruise between limestone islands to explore the fascinating geology
  • Explore the area’s caves, covered in stalactites and lit up with neon lights

The pretty turquoise waters and towering limestone islands of Halong Bay have gained international fame, and for good reason.

Travel to Tuan Chau Marina and climb aboard Paradise Peak for a two night stay, one of the most luxurious junk boats in Halong Bay. Expect an exclusive and intimate experience with impeccable private butler service, world-class dining and luxurious cabins with outstanding views. Activities range from exploring the romantic limestone grottos of Troung Cove, to experiencing local culture at Cua Van floating village and sipping sundowners whilst anchored on Coconut Tree Island.

Day 8-10

NINH BINH, Vietnam

  • Weave your way through the flooded paddies of Tam Coc on a boat trip along the Ngo Dong river.
  • Discover exquisite street food at Cho Bop Market and make sure to try the noodles!

Escape the crowds and travel to the relatively undiscovered Ninh Binh for an alternative waterside stay with boat trips and scenery galore.

Travel by road to Ninh Binh, an area monopolised by limestone karst scenery, and stay two nights at Emeralda Resort. Known as the inland alternative to Halong Bay, discover this compelling scenery of cave formations, rivers, paddy fields and historical remains. Take a boat trip around the flooded landscape of Tam Coc along the Ngo Dong River, taste street food at Cho Bop Market, and visit the deserted capital of Hoa Lua for the Dinh and Le Dynasties temples. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy spotting Asia’s rarest plant and animal species whilst trekking through Cuc Phuong National Park.

Day 10-13

HOI AN, Vietnam

  • Paddle down the Thu Bon River for a different view of the city
  • Source some tailored clothes in Vietnam’s textile capital

A city dotted with canals, Hoi An is a fusion of cultures, with clearly identifiable Chinese, French and Japanese influences.

Fly into the small coastal city of Hoi An and spend three nights at Boutique Hoi An. Positioned on the An Bang beach, this colonial-style hotel overlooks tropical gardens, golden sand and turquoise waters. As Vietnam’s textile capital, plan a trip to the tailor’s and visit the lantern-lined streets full of vibrant markets. Marvel at the rich heritage of Japanesse and Chinese architecture and the ornate Cham temples all on foot or by kayaking down the Thu Bon River. With a private guide on hand, go further afield to explore the local farmland by buffalo cart.

Day 13-15

SAIGON, Vietnam

  • Immerse yourself in the history of the Vietnam War at the War Remnants Museum
  • Visit the Old Saigon Post Office, designed by the same man who designed the Eiffel Tower

A foodie hotspot, Saigon is known for its incredible pho and pork rolls served in family run restaurants.

Finish your trip with a final dip into Vietnam’s culture with a two night stay in the country’s most cosmopolitan city at Hotel des Arts. With an elegant blend of colonial France and contemporary Vietnam, the rooftop boasts outstanding views and showcases a bar and saltwater swimming pool. With your private guide, get a taste for the country’s extraordinary history by visiting the War Remnants Museum and the Old Saigon Post Office. At your own pace, zig zag your way through the streets and stumble across delicious seafood stalls and hidden cafés.

The Gibsons

William & Sue

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