Go on insider tours of the two main cities: cultural Hanoi and bustling Ho Chi Minh. Visit ancient capitals and explore the Mekong delta, with a wealth of real local experiences included to immerse you in the culture and give you a deeper, more personal tour of Vietnam. Visit Vietnam’s first university, which operated for an amazing 700 years. Pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s, mausoleum and his modest house. Amble around the Old Quarter’s ’36 streets’, taking in the atmosphere. See a performance of the Vietnamese art of water-puppetry. Awake early for a drive to the first capital, Hoa Lu. Board a private sampan and cruise past huge limestone karsts jutting out of green rice fields. Take an overnight boat trip to Halong Bay, watching villagers work in their rice fields. Board a traditional wooden junk (or a classic replica steamship- The Emeraud) for an overnight journey into the bay.
Weigh anchor and enjoy a relaxed dinner on board. Transfer to a 17th century trading port which has changed little over the years. See the former Champa Kingdom and visit the Lion Citadel. Travel to Hue, the former Imperial capital where ancient tombs and mausoleums commemorate the former glory of the city. See the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world and head down to the Pass of Ocean Clouds. Explore the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled 1200 years ago.
Cyclo to an historic relaxation spot of emperors, Walk around the bustling Chinatown district of Ho Chi Minh City. Visit Vietnam’s first museum of traditional medicine and see an incredible display of fresh produce at Ben Thanh market. Take a stroll to the city’s main colonial sites including Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) and The Continental Hotel. Go to Cai Be, a delta town with lush waterways and vast green rice fields. Cruise a floating market and see the traders hang their produce on poles in front of their boats.