Trip Type : N/A
Classic Vietnam tour

Classic Vietnam

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
92%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
10 days
From: $ 2,456 $ 246 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Cruise past the colossal limestone rock formations in Halong Bay in a traditional wooden boat.
  • Stroll across the covered Japanese bridge in historic and charming Hoi An on Vietnam's central coast.
  • Get a glimpse of Vietnamese royalty in the city of Hue, home to the 19th-century walled Imperial Citadel.
  • Learn about the devastating effects of the Vietnam War and how the country rebuilt at Saigon's War Remnants Museum.
  • Slurp and savor a steaming bowl of bun cha in Vietnam's capital of Hanoi.

Short Description

Following a tumultuous past, Vietnam has blossomed into a veritable feast for all five senses. From fragrant, delicately spiced bowls of noodle soup in Hanoi to perfectly preserved imperial cities in Hue, Vietnam's wonders are waiting to be explored.

Please note: The Mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Friday and under annual renovation during Fridays and from 15 June to 15 August. In addition, the Museum of Ethnolgy is closed on Mondays and Vietnamese Holidays.

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions Roundtrip air to/from trip start & all internal transport
Start City Saigon
End City Hanoi

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Saigon!

Say hello to Vietnam! Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you will meet with a guide carrying an ICS Travel Group sign with your name. Your guide will present you with a welcome packet including all necessary documentation and vouchers and all contact information of your guide and local offices.

Transfer to your hotel in Saigon and spend the rest of the day at leisure. A vibrant metropolis, Saigon teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere you look, you will see the convergence of traditional and modern life.

Transfer to Saigon hotel

Day 2: Saigon

Today you will explore the must-see sites in Saigon on a full-day tour! Begin the day in Saigon's historic center as you pass relics of French rule, then head to Reunification Palace, home to the sobering War Remnants Museum. End the day in Chinatown (Cholon), a feast for your eyes and nose!

Full-day sightseeing tour of Saigon and Cholon (Chinatown)

Begin your Saigon city tour in the historic center on Dong Khoi Street, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks like the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville) and the old Opera House, then pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.

From the old town, dive into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s-eras building was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. Unmissable are the original tanks that remain on display near the entrance gates.

Continue to the powerful War Remnants Museum, which comprehensively documents the travails of the 18-year-long Vietnam War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions; outside is a collection of tanks, planes and weapons.Then visit the Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon's most interesting pagodas.

In the afternoon, head out to Cholon (Chinatown). Explore the highlights of this fascinating area, beginning with a walking tour from Tran Hung Dao Street through Nguyen Trai and Soai Kinh Lam market (cloth wholesale market), visit Cha Tam Church. Continue to Thien Hau Pagoda, built by the Cantonese congregation and dedicated to the heavenly goddess. End the tour at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts guaranteed to awaken your senses.

Day 3: Saigon - Hoi An

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Danang. Once you arrive, transfer to your hotel in Hoi An and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Transfer to Saigon Airport

Fly to Da Nang Airport (DAD)

Transfer to Hoi An hotel

Day 4: Hoi An

Today you will tour Hoi An, an exquisitely preserved merchant town that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Wander its charming cobblestone streets as you admire its colorful houses and temples. In the afternoon, enjoy a boat ride down the Thu Bon River.

Sightseeing Tour of Hoi An with Thu Bon River Boat Trip

Tour the merchant town of Hoi An with its colorful shop houses and temples dating back to the 16th and 17th century when it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. Today it is a thriving center of traditional crafts and is best explored on foot. Wander through the cobbled streets as you pass low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central market, and the small harbor where colorful boats are docked.

The walking tour includes a visit to a private house where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting. See one of the family chapels built by prominent merchants and official families as centers for ancestor worship. Continue to Sa Huynh Museum, located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, containing exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history. Visit a handicraft workshop where local products are being made by the industry itself.

Finally, continue to the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the river. In the afternoon, cruise down the Thu Bon River by boat, enjoying the unspoiled countryside and stopping to visit a pottery and woodcarving village before returning to Hoi An harbor.

Day 5: Hoi An - Hue

Today you will travel from Hoi An to Hue, stopping in the city of Danang along the way. As Vietnam's third largest city, Danang is quickly becoming a popular destination for its beaches, mountains, and resorts.

Transfer to Hue

Sightseeing tour in Danang

From Hoi An, drive north stopping just outside Danang to visit the Marble Mountains. The five stone mountains are said to represent each of the five elements of the universe: fire, metal, wood, earth, and water.

Continue to the city of Danang, briefly passing Non Nuoc Beach, a famous surf spot for American soldiers during the Vietnam War. Tour the Cham Museum, an elegant colonial building housing the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. Then travel north past Lang Co, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the East Vietnam Sea, before arriving in Danang.

Drive along steep mountainous roads with spectacular views of the coastline as you cross the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and South Vietnam.

Day 6: Hue

Begin the day with a boat cruise on the Perfume River to Thuy Bieu Village, where you will enjoy a walking or bike tour in the village. Later in the day, take another boat to Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's most recognizable monument.

Excursion to Thuy Bieu Village

Embark on a boat at Toa Kham wharf and cruise along on Perfume River. Make a stop at the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, then continue on to Thuy Bieu Village where you will walk or bike around the village. Visit a garden house, an ancient ancestral temple, and chat with local people. Visit families making incense or joss paper and learn more about the traditions of the village folk. Bathe your feet in medicinal herb water, a traditional therapeutic given by blind people.

Excursion by boat from the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang to Thien Mu Pagoda with lunch

Enjoy a leisurely boat ride down the Perfume River from the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower which has become Hue's most recognizable monument. After sightseeing around the pagoda, return to your hotel in Hue.

Day 7: Hue - Hanoi - Halong

Before departing Hue, visit the Imperial Citadel, providing a fascinating look into court life during the Nguyen dynasty. Transfer to Hue airport for your flight to Hanoi where you will then transfer by vehicle to Halong.

Transfer to Hue Airport

Fly to Hanoi (HAN)

Transfer to Halong hotel

Sightseeing Tour of the Old Imperial City in Hue

Located in the heart of Hue is the Imperial City, a vast walled complex built in the early 19th-century and modeled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched over a mile and were surrounded by a wide moat. While most of the buildings were destroyed during the Vietnam War, the remaining monuments provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking Flag Tower, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure.

Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit Dien Tho Residence (Dien Tho palace) where the Queen mother lived. Visit Thai Hoa Palace, the Halls of the Mandarins, the original Nine Dynastic Urns, the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum, and more.

Day 8: Halong - Hanoi

Board a wooden boat (also called a junk) for a private, half-day tour along the stunning Halong Bay. Gaze upwards at the massive limestone rock formations jutting out of the sea!

Later you will transfer to Hanoi, stopping en route to But Thrap Pagoda.

Transfer to Hanoi

Half-Day Boat Tour Through Halong Bay With Lunch

Board a traditional wooden junk and begin cruising through the beautiful Halong Bay. Enjoy lunch while passing interesting rock formations including Stone Dog, Incense Burner (Dinh Huong) and Fighting Cock (Ga Choi). Visit one of the caves in the centre of the islands such as Thien Cung (Heavenly Residence Grotto). Cruise back to Halong Pier and disembark.

Sightseeing at But Thap Pagoda

From Halong to Hanoi, stop en route at But Thap Pagoda (Ninh Phuc Pagoda), one of the most famous pagodas in Vietnam. Famous for its four-story stone stupa dedicated to the monk Chuyet Chuyet, the pagoda was rebuilt in the 17th-and 18th-centuries and remains a classic symbol of Buddhist architecture.

Day 9: Hanoi

Spend a day sightseeing in Hanoi, Vietnam's modern-day capital. Tour the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Stilt House, the Museum of Ethnology, and the city's old quarter. End the day with a water puppet show.

Hanoi Sightseeing Tour (full-day)

Explore the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, a picturesque city nicknamed the "Paris of the East." Tree-lined boulevards and colonial architecture give the city an air of elegance while narrow lanes and traditional shop houses make it distinctly Vietnam.

Begin by visiting The Temple of Literature, founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius. Also the site of Vietnam's first university, the grounds have a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways that are perfect examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. In one courtyard, giant stone tortoises bear stele on their backs, listing the accomplishments of graduating scholars.

Then stroll through the park to the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 to his death 1969. The bare bones two-room home has been preserved in the same condition as during his life, and can be viewed through the windows. Continue to the miniature 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda, rebuilt after being destroyed by the French army in 1954.

Next, go on a sightseeing tour of Hanoi city center by electric car followed by a walk through the old quarter. Enjoy a 35-minute ride through the city, a blend of long established traditions and modern imprints of Western colonization. See Quan Su Pagoda, Silk Road, Hanoi Railway Station, Hoa Lo Prison, and Hanoi Opera House as you zip through tree-lined boulevards and narrow lanes brimming with daily life. Get off the electric car and take a 25-minute walk in Hanoi's Old Quarter also known as Hoan Kiem District.

End your Hanoi tour with a traditional water puppet show, an incredible art form originating in Northern Vietnam and dating back as far as the 11th-century.

Day 10: Depart Vietnam

It's departure day! Transfer to Hanoi airport for your flight home.

Transfer to Hanoi airport (HAN)

Fly home!

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,456
Price Per Day: $ 246 per day

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Classic Vietnam

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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

Roundtrip air to/from trip start & all internal transport

Group Size

Intimate Group - 12 max

Accomodations

  • Le Duy Grand Hotel
  • Lotus Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa
  • Midtown Hotel Hue
  • Saigon Halong Hotel
  • May De Ville City Center Hotel

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-CV-SGN

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