We’ve hand-picked the best of Vietnam in creating this luxury 12-day itinerary. This captivating journey can be done North to South or vice versa, taking guests from Vietnam’s vibrant urban centers to its historic countryside, with can’t-miss stops like the unforgettable Halong Bay, and the ever-charming Hoi An.
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Soak up the charm of Hanoi’s past as part of a walking tour through the city’s Old Quarter. Next up, you’ll see what life would have been like for prisoners of war at the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton” museum. In the afternoon, get your heart pumping with a sepak takraw lesson, which is a version of volleyball played in Vietnam and surrounding countries, with a rattan ball and feet instead of arms. Finally, you’ll pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the burial spot of the adored Vietnamese leader.
You’ll start off your day today with some exercise, with a leisurely bicycle tour around the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. Next up, you’ll take in the ancient Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s oldest temples. A visit to the Museum of Ethnology will help you wind down your day, where you can learn about the history, culture, and daily life of Vietnam’s many ethnic groups.
Today you’ll gain some further insight into Vietnam’s local communities with a day trip to the rural Duong Lam, an ancient village around an hour's drive from Hanoi that was the first ever to be recognized as a national relic in Vietnam. The village, over 1,200 years old, is full of ancient pagodas and curiosities. Guests can enjoy a traditional lunch with the local residents.
Get your cameras ready - today, you’re setting off to see one of the world’s greatest sights, the panoramas of which adorn the pages of coffee table books and National Geographic magazines: Halong Bay, also a UNESCO World Heritage site around 3 hours' drive from Hanoi. Not only are you going to see it, but see it in style, from your own private cruising junk. Get up close and personal with the limestone karsts by exploring the area by kayak. After a visit to a traditional fishing village, you’ll cap your night off with a gourmet beach dinner or dinner on board your boat, before sleeping in your own cabin.
Transfer back to Hanoi and then fly down to Hue, where you’ll start your day off with a Perfume River cruise, so-named because of sweet aroma given off by the plethora of flowers that tumble onto the river’s surface. Pay tribute to the Kings of Vietnam’s past at the Nguyen dynasty mausoleum, and marvel at the Imperial Citadel, with its 10-meter thick walls and surrounding moat, enclosing a once-forbidden city. A blessing from a Buddhist monk at a traditional Hue monastery is the perfect end to your day.
Hoi An is a charming historical city that’s become extremely well-known for its plethora of skilled tailors who make everything from dresses to suits and even shoes. Today, after a picturesque 3-hour drive from Hue, you’ll get up close and personal with Hoi An with a bicycle tour of the ancient town, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Finally, you’ll be off to one of the town’s top tailors for a bespoke fitting.
Today is all about relaxing and enjoying Hoi An’s serene vibe. You’ll start your day with a tranquil morning at your resort, The Nam Hai, languidly lounging on the expansive China Beach, before embarking on a private boat tour of the Cham Islands. The crystal waters in this area are teeming with vibrant sea life, ideally viewed through the lenses of snorkeling goggles.
Feeling refreshed from your relaxed beach day, today you’ll start off with My Son temple, the setting of ancient ruins from the Cham empire dating back to the 4th century. Hone your skills in the kitchen by learning the secrets behind Vietnam’s fresh, flavorful cuisine with a cooking class, and then enjoy the fruits of your own, or someone else’s, labour over dinner.
For your first day in bustling and exciting Saigon, you’ll be escorted around the city to marvel at the intricate colonial architecture. The Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum are must-sees on your sightseeing tour, as is a stop at the local markets for a bit of shopping.
You’ll start your day off bright and early today, with a visit to the famous Cu Chi tunnels (around 2 hours from Saigon), part of a network of underground tunnels once used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat. In the afternoon, you’ll absorb some of the city’s diversity, starting with a Chinatown tour, followed by visits to major Catholic, Buddhist, and Muslim religious sites.
Enjoy a languid cruise along Southeast Asia’s most vital artery, the Mekong River, stopping at local villages and markets who live their life according to the river’s movements. To wind up the final day of your Vietnam experience, you’ll be dining with a Vietnam War journalist, who will regale you with tales of wartime intrigue.
This richly historic 364-room French colonial masterpiece built in 1901 is one of Vietnam's finest hotels, with luxuriously appointed rooms, attentive staff and gracious service. It is ideally located in central Hanoi and houses a beautiful interior garden. Excellent French cuisine is served at Le Beaulieu, and Hanoi specialties are offered at Spices Garden. The hotel has a well-equipped fitness center with cardio machines and weights, as well as a swimming pool and spa offering massage treatments. All of the guest rooms have broadband Internet access and are decorated in an opulent, neo-classical style.
On the banks of the Perfume River, the boutique La Residence Hotel and Spa occupies the former residence of Hue's governor. The hotel is surrounded by lush lawns and looks towards the Imperial Citadel, a picturesque sight in hues of green, red and yellow. The 122 rooms and suites have the spacious feel of a colonial villa, with richly colored art-deco furniture and a river-view terrace. The lavish spa is equipped with Italian products from Comfort Zone. La Residence is only 10 miles from the airport (HUI) and is outfitted with a sauna, pool, fitness center, tennis court, and business center. Wi-fi is available everywhere in the hotel.
Stretching along the white sands of China Beach are Four Seasons Resort the Nam Hai's villas and hotel, with unspoiled views of the South China Sea and the Cham Islands. There are 60 one-bedroom villas, and 40 pool villas with courtyard entrances and private pools. High ceilings and hardwood floors are complemented with lavish hues of brown and gray and softly draping canopies over four-poster beds. The Nam Hai Spa is set around a lagoon just off the beach, where you can have a customized spa treatment. Each of the eight private spa villas has an individual steam room. The gym is equipped with state-of-the-art treadmills and ellipticals. There are three pools on plateaus that lower away from the pool house and flow towards the beach, and the lowest disappears into the horizon that leads in to the South China Sea. The business center has up-to-the-minute audio/visual equipment, and there is wi-fi in each of the rooms. The property is located 30 minutes from Da Nang International Airport (DAD).
Inspired by the colonial traditions of the French, this stylishly chic 259-room hotel built in 2005 is the premier address in Saigon, centrally located near the Opera House. High standards of service, elegant decor and fine amenities are the trademarks of this hotel. The large and well-equipped fitness center covers 397 square feet and features modern Life Fitness cardio equipment with personal LCD television screens and headphones. A 66-foot outdoor swimming pool with a special water feature is located next to a beautifully landscaped tropical garden. Fitness classes are also available. All public areas have wi-fi, and there are wired Internet connections in the guest rooms.