Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Hanoi, Vietnam. Welcome to Vietnam’s capital city, an attractive, laidback city with charming French-Colonial-style buildings.
Hanoi. Today’s included sightseeing tour takes you to many of the city’s highlights, including the TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and gateways, and ONE PILLAR PAGODA, designed to resemble a lotus blossom. You will also see Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, Hoan Kiem Lake, and the fascinating network of alleyways and shop houses that make up the Old Quarter. (B,L,D)
Hanoi. Today’s full-day excursion begins with a drive through the tranquil countryside to CHUA THAY PAGODA, home to an ancient stage where it is believed the first water puppet show was performed. Later, admire the carved wooden roof and unique architectural shape of TAY PHUONG, one of Vietnam’s first pagodas. (B,L)
Hanoi–Ha Long Bay Cruise. Drive to Ha Long Bay, one of Vietnam’s favorite destinations, and board your CRUISE. After lunch, set sail through the dramatic limestone islands. Explore the Sung Sot (Surprising Cave) grotto before visiting Luon Cave by rowing boat. Anchor in a secluded lagoon overnight. (B,L,D) NOTE: An overnight bag is recommended for your Halong Bay cruise.
Ha Long Bay–Hanoi–Danang–Hoi An. Continue cruising this morning. Visit Titov, one of the most beautiful beaches in the bay, where you can climb 400 steps to be rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view. Disembark late this morning, and journey back to Hanoi to board your flight to Danang, Vietnam’s fourth-largest city. Upon arrival, drive to the charming town of Hoi An. (B,L,D)
Hoi An. Start today with a leisurely WALKING TOUR, taking in sites such as the JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE and the SA HUYNH MUSEUM with its early Hoi An history. This afternoon, CRUISE on the Thu Bon River, passing unspoiled countryside. (B,L,D)
Hoi An. Today is free to further explore the quaint streets of Hoi An. Perhaps take a cooking class, visit a spa, or simply stroll the shops and galleries of this unique little town. (B)
Hoi An–Danang–Hue. Journey back to Danang and visit the CHAM MUSEUM. Continue through spectacular Hai Van Pass (weather permitting) to the imperial walled city of Hue. Here, visit the FORBIDDEN PURPLE CITY, modeled after Beijing’s famed Forbidden CIty. During your visit, you will see Thai Hoa Palace, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the Nine Dynastic Urns. (B,L,D)
Hue–Ho Chi–Minh City. Begin today with a BOAT TRIP on the Perfume River to the pretty THIEN MU PAGODA, made up of seven tiers, each dedicated to a step assumed by Buddha to reach enlightenment. Continue up the river to the IMPERIAL TOMB OF MINH MANG, a majestic complex of courtyards, pavilions, and temples in a beautiful setting. Later, fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest and most vibrant city, packed with timeless traditions. (B,L)
Ho Chi Minh City. Today’s sightseeing tour takes in Dong Khoi Street, the main shopping thoroughfare, NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, and the CENTRAL POST OFFICE. Afterward, visit the REUNIFICATION PALACE, the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, JADE EMPEROR PAGODA, as well as the Cholon Chinese district. (B,L)
Ho Chi Minh City. Cu Chi Tunnels Excursion. Today, visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinaty network of tunnels more than 120 miles long that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. See secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas, and meeting rooms. If you are feeling adventurous, you may enter and explore the deep, narrow tunnels. (B)
Ho Chi Minh–Can Tho. Journey south to Cai Be, known for its large floating markets, and board a SAMPAN for an introduction to life on the Mekong River. Continue across the upper reaches of the river to a maze of tributaries and fruit plantations before ending at Vinh Long. Later, travel to the Mekong Delta’s economic hub city of Can Tho. (B,L,D)
Can Tho–Ho Chi Minh. This morning, enjoy a CRUISE to Cai Rang and sail through the colorful floating market where the locals jostle for space to sell their wares. Return to Can Tho for lunch on your own before returning to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon. (B)
Ho Chi Minh–Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Today, fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city. (B)
Phnom Penh. Today’s sightseeing tour takes in the ROYAL PALACE with its spectacular Silver Pagoda, as well as the haunting TUOL SLENG GENOCIDE MUSEUM, a former torture and interrogation center under the Khmer Rouge. You will also visit one of the KILLING FIELDS. (B,L,D)
Phnom Penh–Siem Reap. Today, fly to Siem Reap and visit nearby ANGKOR, the ancient Khmer capital. Visit the splendid temple complex that includes ANGKOR WAT, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and ANGKOR THOM, the former fortified royal city built by King Jayavarman VII, which includes Bayon and Baphuon Temples, the Terrace of Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King. (B,L,D)
Siem Reap. Today, visit the exquisite 10th-century BANTEAY SREI TEMPLE and TA KEO, the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone. Also visit TA PROHM, SRAS SRANG, and PRASAT KRAVAN. (B,L,D)
Siem Reap–Luang Prabang, Laos. Fly to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rest of your day is free to explore. (B)
Luang Prabang. Your day begins early when you witness the Tak Bat (almsgiving ceremony). Each morning before dawn, monks don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and move silently through the streets to collect alms. Later, visit WAT XIENG THONG. After lunch, travel to the river to begin a relaxing CRUISE on the mighty Mekong River to visit the famous PAK OU CAVES. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B,L,D)
Luang Prabang. Your tour ends this morning with a visit to KUANG SI WATERFALLS. Do not schedule homebound flights prior to 4 pm. (B,L)