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. This evening, enjoy a performance of Hanoi’s famed WATER PUPPETS. (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 bamboo boat. Anchor in a secluded lagoon overnight. (B,L,D)
HA LONG BAY–HANOI–DANANG–HOI AN. Continue cruising this morning. Visit Titop Island, 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 CRUISE on the Thu Bon River, passing unspoiled countryside before visiting POTTERY & WOOD CARVING VILLAGES. Then, a leisurely WALKING TOUR through Hoi An Ancient Town brings you to the Japanese Covered Bridge and the SA HUYNH MUSEUM with its early Hoi An history. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B,L,D)
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 and the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, as well as the Chinese district. (B,L)
HO CHI MINH CITY. CU CHI TUNNELS EXCURSION. Today, visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary 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. Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)