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OVERVIEW

Ninh Binh / Hai Phong / Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City / Hue / Danang / Hoi An / Lan Ha Bay

With its unique serpentine shape and lengthy coastline, every city in Vietnam is surrounded by photogenic scenery. Travel Vietnam in style from Hanoi to Saigon and discover the spectacular cultural heritage and stunning natural wonders. Whether it’s a homestyle dinner, a royal encounter or meeting with historical experts, learn all about the ancient and French historical landmarks on exclusive tours.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
THE LUXE DIFFERENCE

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Tour Highlights for Vietnam in Style
Hanoi’s history through renowned scholar

Hanoi’s history through renowned scholar

Meet and go on a personal interaction with a local history and culture scholar for an overview about Vietnam history.

Exclusive Royal encounter in Hue

Exclusive Royal encounter in Hue

Exclusive visit to Emperor family’s worship house and chat with Royal descendants on board a vintage vespa.

Luxury Ginger cruise through La Ha Bay

Luxury Ginger cruise through La Ha Bay

Be pampered with champagne and dining experiences on a luxurious journey exploring Lan Ha Bay, a lesser-known part of Halong Bay.

Exo Travel

ITINERARY

Vietnam in Style - 12 Days / 11 Nights

DAY 1 - Arrival Hanoi

Exo TravelNoi Bai airport - Hanoi (38km): 40min

Upon arrival, be met by the private guide and car and be transferred to the hotel for check-in.

Note: Normal check in time at all hotels is 14:00, check out time is 12:00. Early check-in and late check out are subjected to availability or surcharge will be applied if requested.

Overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 2 - HanoiMealsMEALS [B|L]

The tour starts at 09:00. At the outset of the trip, enjoy a 45-min personal interaction with a local history and culture scholar for an overview about Vietnam history during four thousand year and the varied side of Vietnamese culture. This is also a great opportunity to get a glimpse of his introduction about the nation’s culture and his life experiences to the world.

Then stroll around the Temple of Literature. Explore the incredible compound which was constructed in 1076. Hear stories of the buildings’ history, getting a glimpse into the past when it served as a university and temple.  Welcome lunch at Home Moc restaurant with typical Vietnamese specialities.

This afternoon, drive 45 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to visit the 200-year-old Nom Village. The centre of this little town reveals a beautiful architectural complex consisting of a common house, an ancient well and a banyan tree. Meet with the head of the village. Then explore the narrow brick roads and visit another antique house. Engage in a conversation with the host over a cup of traditional tea to learn more about local life and the traditions that define this community. Conclude the trip with a visit to the holiest place in the village,  Nom Pagoda, embedded in a century-old pine forest which is famous for its ancient Buddhist statues.

Overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 3 - Hanoi – Ninh BinhMealsMEALS [B|L]

Exo TravelHanoi – Ninh Binh (100km): 2 hours

Depart the hotel this morning at 08:30 for a 2.5 hour drive through rural northern Vietnam to Ninh Binh province,  one of the most beautiful parts of Vietnam with its dramatic scenery and historical temples. The rice fields here are beautiful and the mountains have earned the area the nickname ‘dry Halong Bay’, a moniker borne out by the limestone karsts which dominate the landscape.

Upon arrival, begin a leisurely 5-15 km biking trip around Tho Ha village (length is dependent on the individual) passing by peaceful villages and enjoying the rustic countryside landscapes. Continue to Dong Tam Hamlet to join in some engaging agricultural activities such as catching crabs, fishing and transplanting and watering vegetables, etc. Enjoy lunch before boarding a sampan for a 1.5 hour boat trip to float over a small canal among the paddy fields for 1km, then strolling along the curling rocky path of the foot for 200m and going up 20 steps to reach the Galaxy cave gate. Get inside the cave and admire the spectacular stalactites above the cave ceiling. Continue discovering Thien Thanh and But Hien cave and be attracted by the many natural sparkling stalactites with shapes and figures inspiring curiosity before returning on the same route.

Overnight in Ninh Binh.

DAY 4 - Ninh Binh – Hai Phong – Lan Ha BayMealsMEALS [B|L|D]

Exo TravelNinh Binh – Lan Ha Bay (160km): 3 hours

After breakfast, leave Ninh Binh for Lan Ha Bay, a lesser-known part of the famous Ha Long Bay. Stretching almost all around the Eastern coast of Cat Ba Island, Lan Ha Bay offers an amazing landscape of limestone pillars, tiny tree-topped islets and serene emerald green waters. Upon arrival at the pier, be shuttled to the boat.

The cruise sets sail around noontime. Enjoy a welcome drink upon boarding while being acquainted with the facilities on board during the welcome briefing. Start the unique journey exploring one of the new wonders of nature – Lan Ha Bay. Enjoy lunch in Ginger’s light-flooded dining room offering panoramic views of the passing scenery.

Along the cruise, see an ancient lighthouse, built by the French over 100 years ago. Head deeper and further south into the maze of Lan Ha Bay. Relax on the sun deck and soak in the aura of the fascinating scenery that emanates from the surreal seascape. During this cruising time there is enough time to enjoy our onboard activities. Take a plunge in the pool or try a selection of fine treatments and massages available on board.

Arrive at the landing spot of Viet Hai Village on Cat Ba Island. Hop on bikes (electric car available) for an active tour along small paved roads towards a village nestled in a valley. Meet and greet local inhabitants doing their daily work on vegetable gardens. Then go back on board where the chef is ready and prepared for an interactive cooking demonstration in the open kitchen at the restaurant. Learn about local ingredients, preparation and cooking of particular dishes that can be imitated easily at home. Arrive at a tranquil anchor spot for the night. A hidden place to reminisce on the day’s adventures and enjoy cocktails under the stars before dinner.

This evening, hang out at the  bar after with a digestif or pay a visit to the evening cinema which is set up in the dining area. Kick back with a drink in hand for a unique floating cinema experience or simply have some fun with the crew and join them for squid fishing before retiring to the room.

Overnight on board in Lan Ha Bay.

DAY 5 - Hai Phong – Hanoi - Danang - Hoi AnMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelHai Phong - Hanoi (140km): 2 hours 30 minutes Danang airport – Hoi An (40Km) : 50 minutes

This morning, wake up early and join a Tai Chi session on the sun deck to ease mind and muscles while the first rays of the sun touch the water. Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries await in the dining room after, to start the new day. Then hop on the cruise, Ginger as it anchors up and cruise to Frog Lake, a secluded spot which is perfect for this morning’s excursion.

Whether kayaking or swimming, enjoy a close encounter and discovery of the bay. Paddling through the dreamlike landscape with tree-topped islands. Get a sense of freedom and harmony with nature. Then, hop back on board the cruise for a hearty breakfast while cruising back to the pier. Arrive at the pier at 11:00. Savour the last cruise moments of this unique journey relaxing on comfy sun beds on the terrace deck while cruising past the hidden world of Lan Ha Bay.

Upon disembarkation, be met by the driver for a transfer to Hanoi Airport for the flight to Danang. On arrival be met by the guide and take a 40-minute drive to Hoi An.

Overnight in Hoi An

DAY 6 - Hoi AnMealsMEALS [B]

This morning’s tour starts at 08:30. Embark on a guided walking trip around Hoi An’s charming narrow streets to admire the various must-see attractions including the historical Japanese Covered Bridge and Quang Dong Communal Hall. Then at 09:30, meet the Conservation Center representatives to explore this trading port dating back to the 15th century from another perspective. Learn all about their restoration work knowledge and behind the scene challenges to retain this ancient treasure and its unique cultural vibes for the next generations. Meander through the old streets packed with houses reflecting the architectural styles of the major historical trading partners -  China and Japan as well as France.  Discover Kazik square where Hoi An people pay tribute to the Polish archaeologist and architect who gave valuable contribution to the restoration of this ancient town. Explore an over 150-year-old merchant house highlighting the before and after the restoration scene. Get a rare insight into life of the local residents and how they cope with the annual flooding, urbanisation and support they receive from the local government. Then visit a museum situated in the largest ancient house with different architectural styles for a glimpse of the preservation works at the 300-year-old merchant mansion.

Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore the hidden corners of the ancient town or the local market independently.

At 16:30, embark on a small  traditional local barge to see the stunning Hoi An river culture and the beauty of the setting sun on the waterways. Watch the sunset over the sleepy river while enjoying a glass of champagne . Then be accompanied by the soundscape of romantic music while feasting on a flavourful dinner.

Overnight in Hoi An

DAY 7 - Hoian - HueMealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelHoi An – Hue (150km) : 3 hours

After breakfast, leave Hoi An for Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Stop by Danang and visit the Cham Museum, before climbing over the ‘Pass of Ocean Clouds’. Arrive in Hue and be transferred to the hotel. Enjoy free time at leisure.

In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel. Recognised by UNESCO in 1993, the citadel houses the Forbidden Purple City, home to the Imperial Court from 1802 to 1945. The Citadel reflects the pomp and ceremonious time of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern. Although badly damaged in the latter stages of war, it retains a sense of grace and majesty even today.

Visit the tomb of the Emperor Minh Mang, the second Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty who was well known for his opposition to any French involvement in Vietnam. This tomb is famous for its imposing architecture and gorgeous forest setting. Back to hotel.

Overnight in Hue.

DAY 8 - HueMealsMEALS [B|D]

At 08:30, be transferred from the hotel for a morning discovery of the descendants of the Nguyen Dynasty and how their ancestor’s traditions are kept alive in modern times.

Start the trip at An Dinh Palace, the private residence of Khai Dinh, Vietnam’s second last and the last emperor until 1955. It was built in 1917 with French architectural styles. After the war, the building was seriously damaged and it was recently restored as part of a German Government aid project. Get an overview of the life of a Royal family through the bedroom, entertaining rooms and book room.

Then head to a private temple which is not open to public. Learn how the younger generations worship their emperor ancestors and observe the preservation of the original wooden panels of poems. There is a chance to learn the family’s interesting secret recipes to whiten skin and make blush powder for the Queens and the concubines. Then, hop on a 15-min cyclo ride to Tran Dinh Son museum, the first private museum in Hue, right at a “nha ruong” - traditional Royal house, once belonged to the Mandarin of King Minh Mang to contemplate his grandson’s valued collection of daily used items.

All flower drums, vases, pipes, lime-pots, bowls, dishes, wine vessels, and teapots, etc, were used by the Kings and then now well preserved by his descendants. Then transfer back to the hotel to freshen up.

This evening, leave the hotel in Hue at 16:00 to explore the charm of Hue scenery and enjoy local hospitality on a Vespa. Hop on a Vespa scooter and zip through lesser-known roads to picturesque stops before heading to Vong Canh Hill. The hill top offers a panoramic view point over the Perfume River and the royal valley where various  royal family members of the Nguyen Dynasty rest in peace. Enjoy an aperitif while contemplating the river landscape and sunset on sunny days.

Continue on the Vespa to visit a local family where dinner is hosted and family stories are shared. This is a typical traditional family with three generations living together under one roof. The family takes pride in preserving their customs that have been passed down from generation to generation. After the introduction, the host presents and explains typical local culture features such as the practice of ancestral worship, daily family routine  and the value of family ties in a Vietnamese' perception. Then, join the host in preparing foods before sitting down for a cozy  meal. Hue is famous for its cuisine and the host has a select menu of local specialties. More family stories to come during the meal time.

Say goodbye to the family and be transferred back to the hotel at about 20:30.

Overnight in Hue.

DAY 9 - Hue - Saigon (flight)MealsMEALS [B]

Exo TravelHue – Hue’s Airport (20km): 40 minutes Saigon’s airport – City (12Km) : 30 minutes

This morning after breakfast,  take a morning drive to Hue airport for a flight to Saigon. Meet with the driver upon arrival and transfer to the hotel.

Once known as the ‘Pearl of Indochina’, Saigon boasts an enormous architectural wealth, mirroring its colourful history. From the pagodas, museums and European architecture of the city’s recent past to the growing number of skyscrapers, Saigon is like a trip through time. On the way to the hotel, make a quick stop at the city historic landmark of Saigon Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral (outside visit)

This afternoon, meet with a respected cultural and history expert and enjoy a guided tour through the Pearl of Indochina. Start with the French colonial area with a visit to the Archbishop's Palace and its more than 200-year-old house of prayer.

Continue through the ages and encounter a local who specialises in the stretch of time that cover the Vietnam war right until today. Visit Gia Long Palace, built in 1885 combining classical Baroque architecture elements with European and Oriental influences.

Walk over to the city’s oldest colonial-era apartment, built in 1886, and see what the young creative Vietnamese are up to from their funky boutiques and coffee shops. Sit down at one of the stylish coffee shops and interact with a local resident who moved here in 1975. During the ride back, there is an optional visit to a restored opium factory. Considering the importance of the opium trade in the first half of the last century, this is another interesting view on Saigon’s history and the city’s power struggles.

Overnight in Saigon.

DAY 10 - Saigon – Mekong Delta - SaigonMealsMEALS [B|L]

Today’s tour will begin at 08:00. Leave the buzz of Ho Chi Minh City behind and drive through the countryside for this tour to Ben Tre. Situated at the edge of the Mekong Delta, Ben Tre is the perfect starting point for this insightful excursion.

The adventure begins with a ride on the back of a xe loi, a local motorised cart. Bounce along back paths through coconut groves, lush rice paddies and fruit farms a picturesque canal. Step aboard the ‘Mango Cruise’ and cast of for a glimpse of Delta scenery. Sip a freshly picked coconut as the boat winds through the maze of canals.

Stop at a small brick workshop where locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand. Observe this labour-intensive process, then return to the boat and cross the An Hoa River. Hop onto a bike for a short ride through Phong Nam, a typical delta village. Visit a local house to see coconut processing by hand and learn how every part of the coconut is used. Continue cycling through gardens and stop to visit a ruou dua factory, observe the process of making the coconut spirits.

Then get a closer look at delta life with a visit to a family home. Enjoy the tropical fruits and honey tea in the garden and hear how the family relies on fishing and farming to make a living. After this unique immersive visit, climb into a sampan boat and row through a hidden maze of small, sun-dappled canals gaining an insider's perspective on daily river life.

Having worked up an appetite during the morning’s touring, take a break at Mango Homestay restaurant to enjoy a delicious Vietnamese lunch.  Afterwards, take a leisurely walk past green gardens to the house of Mr Sau Tuong. Have a chat with him and watch as his wife makes crispy rice paper, the most famous specialty of this village.

Armed with a camera-full of amazing images and unforgettable memories, return to Ho Chi Minh City by car.

Overnight in Saigon.

DAY 11 - Saigon - Cu Chi by SpeedboatMealsMEALS [B]

Speed boat to Cu Chi tunnels

This tour begins at either 07:30. The morning begins with a short drive to the banks of the Saigon River. Board a private speed boat for this scenic Cu Chi tunnels cruise. Gaze upon the modern skyline of the city as the boat cruises across the water. Watch as the scenery changes, passing through urban neighbourhoods and then rural countryside.

After 90 minutes arrive at Cu Chi and explore the incredible network of 200 km underground tunnels. Crawl underground and get a better sense for what life was like living and fighting in the labyrinth of caves and tunnels. Hear remarkable stories of the residents’ resilience and see relics of the wartime weapons.
Following the visit, return to the boat and relax while cruising back to the heart of Ho Chi Minh City.

Overnight in Saigon.

DAY 12 - Saigon - DepartureMealsMEALS [B]

Spend the morning at leisure before checking out. Hop on the resort shuttle bus and be transferred to the airport for the onward flight.

Exo Travel

HOTELS & Details

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned
  • English or French speaking local guide (for other languages and a national guide supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Boat trips as mentioned in the itinerary

OUR SERVICES DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • Drinks and other meals not mentioned
  •  Domestic & international flights if not mentioned in inclusions
  • Price extra for Camera / Video
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  •  Visa & Visa stamping fee to Vietnam
  •  Gratuities to guides, drivers, boats staff, servants…
  •  Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, ...)
  •   Any services not mentioned in the itinerary

VISA INFORMATION:

  •  Vietnam Visa must be obtained in advance. We can apply visa-on-arrival letter for clients without any fee, if you need our visa assistance for visa on arrival please inform us as soon as booking confirmed no later than 30 days to arrival date.

Remarks: Visa approval letter is complimentary by EXO, but clients should have to pay Visa stamping by themselves and directly to Immigration at arrival airport (25USD per person for single entry/50USD per person for Multiple entries + prepare 2 passport photos per person)

  • Please double-check visa requirements for each country and indicate the nationality of each traveler

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • All prices are net and include government tax and any service charges.
  • Please check our FIT booking conditions in EXO Travel website's travel trade section at
    http://traveltrade.exotravel.com/booking-conditions

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (covering emergency medical evacuation) for trips to Vietnam.
  • Prices are valid 30 days from date of offer. Past this date price and conditions may be readjusted.
  • The cost of air tickets is subject to change without prior notice by the airlines.
  • Reservations during peak times (Christmas, New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year, National Holidays) may be subject to supplementary charges.
  • Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
  • Please note that all the above services & tours have yet to be booked, they are proposed for your information only and we will not make any reservations before we receive your confirmation to do so.
  • If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the moment of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar service(s) in order to avoid changes to the program.
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