This guided holiday gives you the chance to see the best of Vietnam in an easy going small group, exploring authentic Vietnam whilst staying in centrally located 3 star hotels. See all the main sights at a leisurely pace with time to explore places of interest to you all whilst making new friends along the way. Enjoy an overnight cruise in Halong Bay, travel the picturesque Hai Van Pass and explore the bustling Mekong Delta. Our friendly English speaking Vietnamese guide looks after you throughout and will reveal to you the fabric of Vietnamese life, history and culture.
Our groups are kept to a maximum 14 like minded travelers, so they are small, allowing you to connect with the others on tour and spend time with your guide. We have hand picked, well located hotels with breakfast daily and included additional meals to allow you to try the local delicacies, while still leaving many meal times free for you to choose your own experience. You will be inspired by our experienced, knowledgeable local English speaking guide who will travel with you throughout your journey. There are no hidden extras, all entrance fees and costs are included!
Today arrive into Hanoi where you will be met at the airport for a transfer to your hotel.
Late afternoon your tour begins as you venture into Hanoi’s Old Quarter on a cyclo ride to see the narrow old streets, bustling activity of this exciting 1,000-year-old city. Then, this evening, enjoy your first taste of the wonderful Vietnamese cuisine with dinner at a local restaurant for you to discover the cuisine and meet the rest of your tour group.
2 nights’ in a 3 star hotel right in the heart of the Old Quarter.
Join your guide for an early start this morning to take part in seeing how local Hanoians start their day. Say ‘Good Morning Hanoi’. This walking tour visits the historic and spiritual centre of Hano; Hoan Kiem Lake – where you will see residents enjoying Tai Chi, exercise and meditation. You’ll also get to sample a popular local taste treat.
We then return to the hotel for breakfast with time to freshen up. Then it’s on to visit the cities main historical sites beginning with a photo stop outside Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s house which are splendid reminders of the great man who once led this country. A visit to the Women’s Museum is an insight into the cultural beliefs of Vietnam and a great understanding of the role women play in Vietnam’s culture, a peek into the historic past and a look at the traditional costumes of different ethnic communities.
Continue on to have lunch at KOTO – an opportunity for you to support a fantastic organisation. KOTO is a not-for-profit restaurant and vocational training program that is changing the lives of disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.
Late afternoon and evening is spent at leisure – you may wish to visit Vietnam’s historic Temple of Literature (opposite KOTO) or explore Hanoi’s narrow streets and the fascinating Old Quarter. For a touch of tradition, a visit to the Water Puppet Theatre (not included) is a colourful form of traditional entertainment. Your guide can assist you, should you wish to book tickets.
Today offers a wonderful part of your tour filled with stunning countryside and traditional communities as we head to Mai Chau. From Hanoi drive past countryside and rice fields before heading into the mountains around Mai Chau. We’ll make stops along the way to take advantage of the fantastic photo opportunities that this area affords as well as some short treks to visit some of the local villages of the Muong people.
On arrival lunch is at the Lac village. Having lived here for over 700 years, residents of Ban Lac are mostly black Thais’ living from generation to generation with the main income flowing in from rice on the flooded terraced fields and from weaving. The stilt houses of Ban Lac maintain the ancient architectural style. Walking around the lush valley we’ll see how the local people plant rice and herd buffalo; trek to the nearby Thai villages of Pom Coong and Lac where you can shop for local handicrafts; or take a short buffalo cart ride. If you wish, sample the local rice wine!
Tonight, enjoy a traditional music and dance show with local cuisine.
Overnight is in a lodge, rustic-but-comfortable with an outdoor pool.
This morning, pass beautiful valleys as we take a short drive to Xa Linh which is home to the Red and Blue Hmong minority people. The Red Hmong women are well known for their ‘big hair’. Walk through the village and surrounding rice fields to get up close to this traditional lifestyle.
Enjoy lunch in Mai Chau before returning to Hanoi with stops along the way to take photographs of the picturesque panoramas.
Overnight in Hanoi in a 3 star hotel right in the heart of the Old Quarter.
Departing Hanoi this morning, travel past rice fields and small towns to Halong Bay, where we board a traditional style boat for a trip through the magical seascape of Halong Bay which includes stops at various islands and caves. For those who wish, time is spent anchored for a swim or optional kayaking is available (additional charge, payable direct).
Overnight is on board your cruise boat in air-conditioned cabins with dinner on board.
Awake to the sunrise over Halong Bay and enjoy brunch on the cruise back to Halong Bay late morning. Upon arrival back at port, head back to Hanoi with a stop to visit a local village popular for embroidery and textile products. Arrive late afternoon at Hanoi Airport for an early evening flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Hue Airport, transfer to your Hue hotel.
2 nights’ in a 3 star boutique centrally located hotel.
Your Historical Hue tour takes you to the impressive World Heritage listed Citadel. The main gate to the Imperial Citadel is where the last king of Vietnam, Bao Dai, abdicated in August 30th, 1945. Following your exploration of the Citadel enjoy lunch before a visit to the tomb of the Emperor Khai Dinh with its unique artwork and mosaics made from glass and ceramic fragments. During Khai Dinh’s reign many western influences began to seep into the country and this is evidenced by the mixture of Western and Asian architecture of his tomb.
On the way back to your hotel, stop at a roadside village to observe how locals make cinnamon incense as well as traditional conical hats which in Hue, is uniquely famous and different – ts distinctive high-quality bamboo leaves are often interlaid with pink paper pictures and Vietnamese poems.
You’ll be back at your hotel mid-afternoon for an opportunity to relax and enjoy the spa facilities if you wish. This evening is spent at leisure, you may like to visit to the local river-side market.
This morning a special opportunity awaits with a brief stop at Duc Son Pagoda which is run by Buddhist Nun Thich Nu Minh Tu. The temple not only gives shelter to disadvantaged children, including orphans and the homeless, with the nuns having also created favourable conditions for the children to attend classes to be able to go on to higher education. A brief visit allows you to see the wonderful work and the temple. Active Asia supports causes around Asia including this orphanage.
Continue on with your journey bound for Hoi An and travel over the spectacular Hai Van Pass, with views of Lang Co Beach and out to the sea as we take the winding mountain road. We stop for a photo stop at the top, and at the former location of China Beach, once home to the American forces for ‘R & R’ during the war.
During the 17th and 18th centuries Hoi An was a major Asian trading centre and is now one of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam with its charming cobblestone streets and old shop houses. A wonderful town for getting clothes tailor made or for buying art and souvenirs, Hoi An also boasts an excellent beach five kilometres from town, which can be reached by hiring a bicycle or a short taxi ride.
Tonight experience some of the local specialities with dinner at a local restaurant.
3 nights’ in a 3 star hotel (with pool) right in the Old Town.
Today, enjoy a tour to the ancient ruins of My Son – the home to the Cham people centuries ago. The Kingdom at My Son dates back to the 4th century and remained fully occupied through until the 13th century which makes it the longest occupied of all the major monuments of South East Asia. Today the ruins show testament to the Cham with its impressive sculptures and buildings.
Returning to Hoi An, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before a short walking tour introduces you to the history and this ancient trading town. The World Heritage listed town has more than 1,000 houses that are over 150 years old, seven ancient wells not to mention the art and antique galleries, lantern shops and tailors everywhere!
The evening is spent at leisure to enjoy the delight of Hoi An ancient town at night.
Today is a day of choice – you may choose to relax by your hotel’s pool or head to the nearby beach, get clothes tailor made or shop for gifts for home and enjoy the ancient buildings filled with art and homewares.
Alternatively, this is a great opportunity to gain some insights with these optional experiences bookable with your tour guide:
Country Life Cycle Tour (Half day) A bicycle tour through the flat country roads to traditional farms that grow produce for the surrounding area – a fascinating insight into traditional growing methods.
Cooking Class (Half day) Begin with a market visit then learn all about the delicious cuisine and how to make popular dishes.
Enjoy a relaxing morning breakfast before a transfer to Danang Airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Upon arrival at Saigon Airport, transfer to your hotel and spend the day at leisure.
This evening for dinner we head out for a street food tour of Saigon’s famous dishes, a great way to sample true Vietnamese homemade cuisine.
3 nights’ in a 3 star hotel with pool, in the heart of Saigon.
Today we head out of Saigon to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels one of the few intact monuments to the Vietnam War. Beneath the ground lie 200km of underground tunnels, dug by hand and inhabited by the Viet Minh during the US war. A video of the tunnels in use is shown, before walking around the area to view some of the tunnels, field kitchens and hospital. Crawl inside and experience life in the tunnels if you wish!
On the return to Saigon visit a lacquer ware workshop to view how this intricate art work is made, and stop for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, discover this vibrant city’s landmarks with a visit to the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral and the Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, two major French colonial landmarks. Visit the War Museum – a stark reminder of the US-Vietnam War. You will then visit a traditional medicine museum where you’ll discover the use of natural herbs and traditional medicines.
Late afternoon and evening is at leisure for you to enjoy the many cafes and markets.
A visit to the Mekong Delta offers a fascinating insight into a world so apart from ours where some of the largest agricultural areas combine produce, fishing and unique lifestyles. From Saigon drive through the area known as the fruit bowl of Vietnam before we board a small boat to see river life as we explore the myriad of estuaries and islands. Visits are made to witness the amazing local industries popular in this area making food and crafts from the surrounding produce. A vast array of unusual tropical fruits, specialty goods made fresh and a very laid-back way of life is all on show. You’ll see river life and small homes, children heading to and from school and the opportunity to taste a few things as you go.
Returning to Saigon there’s time to relax and freshen up before a farewell dinner to celebrate our new friends and experiences – a special local barbecue!
Sadly today is the end of your tour. We include a transfer to Saigon Airport for your onward travel arrangements.
FROM NZ $ 3,665 per person twin share
Single Supplement available – please enquire
Departure Dates: Guaranteed Departures
2018 – Sunday 11 Mar, Sunday 25 Mar, Sunday 08 Apr, Sunday 22 Apr, Sunday 06 May, Sunday 13 May, Tuesday 22 May, Sunday 03 Jun, Sunday 17 Jun, Sunday 01 Jul, Sunday 15 Jul, Sunday 29 Jul, Sunday 12 Aug, Sunday 26 Aug, Sunday 09 Sep, Sunday 16 Sep, Tuesday 25 Sep, Sunday 07 Oct, Sunday 21 Oct, Sunday 04 Nov & Sunday 02 Dec
2019 – Sunday 13 Jan, Sunday 27 Jan, Sunday 10 Feb, Sunday 24 Feb & Sunday 10 Mar
All tours guaranteed to depart (once 2 people booked)
Includes: All accommodation in quality 3 star hotels, breakfast daily plus additional meals as indicated (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), all transfers and sightseeing tours detailed including all entrance fees, English speaking local guide throughout, all domestic flights within Vietnam, full pre-departure information and an emergency contact phone number in Vietnam
Excludes: International flights, Vietnam visa, departure taxes (if applicable), travel insurance, additional meals, beverages during lunches and dinners, gratuities and any other personal expenses
Terms & Conditions: Valid for new bookings only. Valid for travel on set tour departure dates between Mar 18 to Mar 19. Prices are per person in New Zealand dollars. International airfares are additional. A non-refundable NZD250 per person deposit is required at the time of reservation with full payment required no later than 42 days prior to departure. Prices are correct as at 07 Nov 17 but may vary due to currency fluctuations and are subject to change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances until paid in full. Guaranteed departure applies as soon as two people are booked on a tour date. Maximum group size: 14 people. Children under 15 years are not permitted on these tours, if you are travelling with young children please ask us to customise a special family holiday for you. Close-outs and surcharges may apply. Cancellation and amendment fees apply. Airfares, Vietnam visas, travel insurance, departure taxes, gratuities and any other personal expenses are at passenger’s own expense. For full terms and conditions please visit www.activeasia.co.nz.
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