• Days: 7 Days
  • Package: Classic Vietnam - Southbound
  • Attractions: Hanoi - Hue - Danang - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi.

You will be met by representative and transferred to your chosen hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure.

Day 2: Hanoi sightseeing

This morning, start with a half day to visit Ho Chi Minh complex. Visit Ba Dinh Square, where silent sentries guard the marble and granite mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state. (Subject to opening times the interior of the mausoleum can be visited). See the simple cottage where Uncle Ho lived and worked, Nearby, visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum, an extraordinary tribute in abstract form to the life of the 'father of the country' and the evolution of Vietnamese independence.

French architecture is a feature of Hanoi, and the nearby former Governor's Residence is a fine example. The last stop before lunch will be the One Pillar Pagoda. Following lunch, enjoy an orientation of the tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture, including the recently restored Opera House. Pass by Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Lake of the Restored Sword from the legend that surrounds it en-route to one of the city's fascinating museums.

Continue to the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 and then dedicated to Confucius, it is a serene retreat from the busy streets outside, and later became Vietnam's first university. Then take to the streets on foot for a walking tour of the Ancient Quarter or 36 Streets District. This densely populated corner of the city was once a centre of commerce where goods were sold under the street name of a particular guild. Still a thriving community of sellers today, you will see street names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper Street. Ancient homes and temples are interspersed with stores in this souvenir hunter's paradise!

Day 3: Hanoi to Hue.

Today fly to Hue, the former capital of Vietnam. After check-in to your hotel, enjoy a boat ride on the Perfume River to visit the Seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda.

Day 4: Hue to Danang/Hoi An.

This morning, take a short, flight to Danang. On arrival, you will drive overland via the cloudy pass with a visit to the idyllic fishing village of Land Co and the Cham Museum. Situated in a quiet area of Da Nang City, the Cham Museum was built in 1915. The kingdom of Champa controlled what is now south and central Vietnam from approximately 192 through 1697. At present, the museum houses 297 stone and terracotta sculptural works made between the 7th and the 15th centuries. These are impressive works typical of the Cham culture. From here, continue on to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries with period architecture and relaxed lifestyle.

Day 5: Hoi An/Danang - Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon).

This morning enjoy a leisurely walking tour of Hoi An’s ancient town, visiting the former merchant houses, the 400 year old Japanese Covered Bridge and colourful markets. Later transfer over land from Hoi An into Danang and fly to Ho Chi Minh city.

Upon arrival into Ho Chi Minh, you will be met by representative and transferred to your chosen hotel. Balance of the day at leisure. Ho Chi Minh City is the main commercial centre of the southern part of Vietnam. French colonial influences are still present with cafes and shops which add to the ever changing city. Ho Chi Minh City is famous for colourful Chinese Temples and sculptures depicting local deities. Trading from clothing to food can all be seen and experienced at the Ben Thanh Market.

Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City

A full day tour includes a visit to the former Presidential Palace which is now preserved as a museum, including the underground communications bunker headquarters for the Saigon Government during the American War. Continue to the History Museum, which houses an excellent display tracing the origins of the indigenous Vietnamese. Visit Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral in the centre of city. Remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Later explore the Cu Chi Tunnels and experience the vast underground network of tunnels built first as a defence against the French, and later expanded during the American war. It was from here that the North Vietnamese waged their guerrilla warfare. You will marvel at their ingenuity and resilience. See secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms. The more adventurous may explore the deeper second, and even third level tunnels. For those preferring to remain above ground, there is ample opportunity to view excavated areas from above. Your guide will advise you of the length and level of difficulty of each tunnel before entering - some are easily accessed by stairs.  Remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 7: Ho Chi Minh to your next stop

The day is free until your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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