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Insight Vacations Spirit of Vietnam (Summer 2018) (A602)

12 Days from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi Print
Tour Style: Luxury Gold
Luxury Gold 2018
Visits: Vietnam

Delve into the fascinating culture and history of Vietnam, as you travel from iconic cities to island-dotted bays in perfect luxury. Participate in Vietnamese cooking classes, learn about local hidden gems from passionate experts and marvel at dazzling landscapes along the way. See how you travel like a VIP with Luxury Gold

Exceptional Dining

  • Hanoi: Join a passionate foodie on a walking tour to some of the city’s most interesting areas and experience the vibrancy of Hanoi's street-food culture. Taste local treats, such as rice paper rolls, pho bo which is beef noodle soup and com cake.
  • Ho Chi Minh: Witness traditional dance performances at the Art Salon Saigon, followed by a Welcome Dinner set in a sophisticated atmosphere and get to know your fellow travellers.
  • Mekong Delta: Enjoy freshly-made Mekong delta specialties for lunch.
  • Hue: Inspired by the grandeur of the Nguyen Dynasty, the Ancient Hue restaurant is where you’ll enjoy a private dinner fit for royalty. Dress in traditional royal costume and savour dishes typically served to royalty.
  • Hue: Visit the 18th century Dong Thuyen pagoda and dine on an organic vegetarian lunch prepared by Buddhist nuns. Chat to them and learn about their beliefs, practices and food philosophies.
  • Hoi An: Choose one of three hand-selected restaurants, each specializing in different cuisine from traditional to modern Vietnamese, or an east-meets-west fusion.
  • Hoi An: Meet a local chef who will lead a hands-on cooking class and learn how to create some of the local specialities that you will enjoy for your Highlight Lunch.

Journey Highlights

  • Hanoi: Join a passionate foodie on a walking tour to some of the city’s most interesting areas and experience the vibrancy of Hanoi's street-food culture. Taste local treats, such as rice paper rolls, pho bo which is beef noodle soup and com cake.
  • Luang Prabang: Participate in an age-old Buddhist tradition, by offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks.
  • Luang Prabang: Uncover the highlights and secret gems of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the fusion of traditional architecture with the colonial styles of the 19th and 20th centuries, as you wander through the alleyways to witness local life.
  • Luang Prabang: Join a sunset cruise on the Mekong, observing rural life along the tree-lined banks of the river. Enjoy a chilled drink and take brilliant photos of the sunset over the river.
  • Siem Reap: More than just a circus, the Phare Circus is transforming the lives of disadvantaged young Cambodian performers through theatre, music, dance and modern circus acts. See them in action, as they tell unique stories of Cambodia on a dazzling stage. After the show, meet one of the performers to hear how their lives have changed since joining the circus.
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Experience the vibrancy of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, as you visit its most iconic attractions and learn about street food-and-coffee culture.

VIP Experiences

  • Dao Thuc: Accompanied by a live orchestra, enjoy a water-puppet performance, set in a lotus pond. Meet the artisan who makes the puppets in his workshop and see how the Vietnamese have been bringing performances of this nature to life since the 10th century.
  • Hanoi: Meet a renowned scholar at the Temple of Literature and learn about Hanoian culture and Vietnamese architecture, before touring the temple grounds.
  • Mekong Delta: Meet Mr. Sau Tuong, a former soldier who survived 4 years fighting the deadly Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, at his home and see how he and his wife earn a living making rice paper.
  • Hue: Enjoy a private VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel, before it opens to other travellers. Learn about its traditional architecture and history from a renowned historian.
  • Hue: Meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy and learn what it takes to become a practitioner of this standard. See a performance showcasing different martial arts techniques.

Inclusive Luxury Gold Services

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Relax in comfort on Luxury Gold’s air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom, onboard restroom and and complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy while travelling.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Included complimentary, private transfers are available on start and end dates, and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.

Insight Vacations Tour Itinerary

Day: 1 Dynamic Ho Chi Minh City.
Your Escorted Journey begins on Day1. Please make sure your flights arrive on or before this day. (Ask about our great deals). On arrival at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you will be greeted and escorted to your hotel. At 19:00, join your Travelling Concierge for a night to remember as you witness traditional dance performances at the Art Salon Saigon, followed by a Welcome Dinner set in a sophisticated atmosphere.(Dinner with Wine)
Day: 2 Marvels of Saigon.
See the best of Saigon aboard a high speed, private chartered speedboat that will take you from the city's glittering skyscrapers to the green paddy fields scattered along the Saigon River. Your destination is the Cu Chi tunnels, which were dug in 1948 for guerrillas to hide from combatant forces during the Vietnam War. These extraordinary tunnels form part of a network of tunnels that cover most of the country. During your visit to these underground villages, meet a Viet Cong veteran who used to live here and find out how challenging the living conditions really were. Back in the city, embark on a leisurely walking exploration that reveals highlights including Notre Dame Cathedral and Gustave Eiffel's Central Post Office. Over a cup of Vietnamese coffee, gain an appreciation for local street-side cafe culture.(Buffet Breakfast / Lunch / Afternoon Tea)
Day: 3 Cruise the Mekong Delta.
Cruise the Mekong Delta aboard a private charter. At your first stop see coconut production and processing, then enjoy a taste of the freshest juice possible. Further along, stop to see where locals still use centuries-old methods to make bricks at a small brick kiln. Next you'll enjoy a ride on a tri-motor cycle along narrow village roads, arriving at a rice noodle factory to see the most popular breakfast in the region being produced. Continue your cruise to Mango Home for a tasty lunch of Mekong Delta specialties. Then walk along the shady village roads to the home of Mr. Sau Tuong’s, a former soldier who fought the deadly Khmer Rouge, known for orchestrating the Cambodian genocide. Learn how life in Vietnam has evolved for him and his wife since the 1960s and how they earn a living from making rice paper.(Buffet Breakfast / Lunch)
Day: 4 Royal Refinement in Hue.
Marvel at vistas of lush countryside, as you fly to Hue for the next chapter of your journey. Enjoy a cycle ride through rice fields to Thanh Toan village and visit the Vietnamese Agriculture Museum for an insight into rice production. Then you will stroll along the canals, visit the vibrant local market and admire the ancient, arched, tile-roofed Thanh Toan Bridge, which was built in the 17th century. This evening, enjoy the royal treatment during a Highlight Dinner at the Ancient Hue Restaurant, which is blissfully surrounded by blossoming fruit trees. Dress in traditional costume and savour meals that are typically served to royalty.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 5 Highlights of Hue.
Rise early for a private VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel, before it opens to the public. Enjoy an escorted journey on a state-of-the-art electric cart, as a renowned local historian guides you through the towering main gates and shows you the majestic architecture and splendid gardens of the former royal court. Return to your hotel for breakfast, then visit to the royal tomb of Minh Mang, the second Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Your exploration continues to the 18th Century Dong Thuyen pagoda, where you can relax in the peaceful precinct and enjoy a delightful vegetarian lunch specially prepared by the Buddhist nuns. You'll have the opportunity to speak with the nuns and gain a better understanding of their beliefs and food philosophies. After lunch you will meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy at an ancient temple. Learn about the intricate training activities of the practitioners and attend a performance showcasing the different martial arts techniques. The evening is at your leisure, perhaps ask your Travelling Concierge to make restaurant reservations for you.(Buffet Breakfast / Lunch)
Day: 6 Romantic Hoi An.
Enjoy a scenic drive over the spectacular Hai Van Mountain pass to reach Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your walking exploration of this ancient town, see the old merchant's houses, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, Assembly Hall and the market where stalls are brimming with local specialities, including silk. Enjoy time at leisure to explore as you wish or ask your Travelling Concierge for local recommendations. Perhaps admire the spectacular sunset on a kayak trip along the poetic Thu Bon River, or board a local river boat to the Cua Dai Sea if you prefer a gentler pace? For dinner, take your pick of one of three hand-selected, local restaurants, each specializing in different cuisine from traditional to modern Vietnamese, or an east-meets-west fusion.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 7 Learn from the locals in Hoi An.
Visit the beautiful Cam Thanh Village with its dense coconut jungles that were once a shelter for local people and soldiers during the Vietnam War. Today the village is an important supplier of seafood, vegetables and rice to the region. Step into a traditional bamboo-basket boat and glide across the water to the Thanh Dong village where you'll learn from the villagers how they cultivate and harvest vegetables according to local customs. Continue your voyage through a peaceful water coconut forest to a riverside restaurant overlooking the rice fields. Enjoy traditional Vietnamese folk games and participate in a hands-on cooking class alongside a local chef. Savour your creations for your Highlight Lunch.(Buffet Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day: 8 Hanoi street-food tasting tour.
Board a morning flight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s glistening capital city known for colonial-style architecture, ancient temples and vibrant culture. Enjoy a ride aboard an electric cart to see the historic Opera House, avenues lined with French mansions, Sword Lake and the 18th century Jade Mountain Temple. Join a local foodie in the Old Quarter for an exploration of Hanoi’s robust street-food culture, that will delight all the senses. Learn what locals love to eat and taste the city’s very best dishes, including rice paper rolls, crab spring rolls, beef noodle soup, com cake and other delights. The rest of your day is at your leisure to relax at your five-star hotel or ask your Travel Concierge to recommend city-centre attractions nearby.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day: 9 Luxury Cruise along Ha Long Bay.
Travel to Ha Long Bay, known as the bay with a thousand islands and glistening emerald water. Step aboard a deluxe junk for a memorable overnight cruise. Visit the mysterious Tien Ong Cave, where human bones dating back to 10,000 B.C. were discovered by archaeologists, and explore the Cua Van area. In the evening you'll have the choice to participate in a cooking demonstration with the on-board chef, or simply relax on the top deck as the sun gently dips beyond the horizon, before sitting down to dinner.(Buffet Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Day: 10 Ha Long to Hanoi.
Greet the day with a session of Tai Chi on the upper deck, or enjoy an early morning swim, or perhaps venture to a white sandy beach and climb the hilltop for views over Halong Bay? Return to the boat for breakfast as you cruise to Ha Long City to disembark. On return to Hanoi, stop at Dao Thuc village to meet a traditional artisan puppet maker and enjoy a delightful water-puppet performance, hosted in a lotus pond and accompanied by a live orchestra. The evening is yours to spend at leisure in Hanoi.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day: 11 The Temple of Literature.
Visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076 as the first university for the sons of mandarins. Meet a scholar who will share their insights into this famous institution. Learn about Hanoian culture and Vietnamese architecture before exploring the temple grounds. In the evening, join your travel companions and toast your travels during your Celebration Dinner.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 12 Farewell Vietnam.
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.(Buffet Breakfast)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, Triple

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Insight Tour Dates


Guaranteed Departure  indicates Guaranteed Departure
*Air(USA) DepartsInsight RetailRequest Quote
01/13/2019 $4,025.00
01/20/2019 $4,025.00
02/17/2019 $4,025.00
03/17/2019 $4,025.00
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