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Highlights of Vietnam

12 Days from $2,620 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Comfortable

Float on the sparkling emerald waters of Halong Bay on a traditional Vietnamese Junk. Glide past hidden islets, giant limestone karsts and colorful fishing villages, stopping only to gain insight into the lives of the local fishermen at Cua Van and to practice T'ai Chi in exquisite surroundings.

Travel to Asia often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

Float on the sparkling emerald waters of Halong Bay on a traditional Vietnamese Junk. Glide past hidden islets, giant limestone karsts and colorful fishing villages, stopping only to gain insight into the lives of the local fishermen at Cua Van and to practice T'ai Chi in exquisite surroundings.

Travel to Asia often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. Relish the warm embrace of Vietnam and her welcoming people, who will touch you with their humility and entrepreneurial spirit throughout your journey across this intoxicating land. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception with drinks and local appetizers.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Melia Hanoi
  2. This morning is dedicated to the revolutionary leader who fanned the flames of Vietnam's independence. We begin our day with a visit to the final resting place of "Uncle Ho", the imposing Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. A short walk from here, we'll find Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, where we'll dive into culture exploring the grounds surrounding the humble abode of Vietnam's most famous son. We'll continue to the Temple of Literature, the first university for the sons of Mandarins, to gain insights into Hanoian culture. After lunch, we'll embark on a cyclo tour, weaving through the lively Old Quarter past colorful shopfronts and street food vendors. Enjoy an evening at leisure or consider joining one of our recommended Optional Experiences.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  3. We leave the busy streets of Hanoi behind, bound for the serenity of Halong Bay where we'll board a traditional-style Vietnamese Junk boat. The limestone karsts and tropical islets rising up from the emerald waters provide an ethereal backdrop for our leisurely cruise. After lunch on board, we'll take a small boat transfer to the Tien Ong Cave and Cua Van Fishing Village, whose residents still live in traditional floating houses. We return to our Junk boat for a cooking demonstration with the chef or enjoy a mesmerizing sunset on the top deck before dinner and a peaceful overnight stay in this UNESCO-listed natural wonder.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Jasmine Cruise
  4. The graceful practice of T'ai Chi eases you into your day as is the local custom. Join a Local Specialist on the deck of the Junk boat for a morning class in exquisite natural surrounds. You'll have time for an early morning swim at one of Halong Bay's quiet beaches and, if you're feeling energetic, a brisk walk to catch one last view of scenic Halong Bay before your drive to Hanoi Airport to catch your flight to Danang. On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Hoi An.

    meal(s):Buffet Breafast
    hotel:Royal Hoi An
  5. Dive into culture this morning, embarking on a walking tour around the ancient town of Hoi An. Embrace its charm of yesteryear—the narrow lanes, colorful marketplaces and ancient temples providing insights into the Vietnam of old. See the old merchant houses and 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, before visiting Thanh Dong Organic Village where you'll spend some time helping local farmers and learning about their daily working routines. Kick back and enjoy a relaxing foot massage that will set the pace for the rest of the day and evening at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  6. Spend the morning exploring Hoi An on your terms or simply relax at your hotel. Your choice of activities this afternoon could see you learn how to craft your own colorful lantern or gain insights into life as a local fisherman (subject to weather conditions). Create a work of art to bring your home luck and happiness, or cast your net wide for the catch of the day—the choice is yours.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  7. The healthy flavors of Vietnamese cuisine take center stage as we travel by boat to the Red Bridge Cooking School to learn about the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. We'll have an opportunity to savor the dishes we've prepared for lunch before returning to Hoi An. This afternoon, our journey takes us over Hai Van Pass en route to Red Beach, where the American Marines first landed in Vietnam during the decades-long war. We continue to Danang for a visit to the Cham Sculpture before arriving in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, for our overnight stay.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel:Imperial
  8. We'll navigate the busy streets of Hue on the back of a cyclo en route to the UNESCO-listed Imperial Citadel, once home to Nguyen emperors. From here, we drive to Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's best-preserved religious monument. Boarding a local dragon boat next, we cruise along the Perfume River to the house of the former Princess Ngoc Son where we'll connect with locals and meet a family member for a Be My Guest lunch to gain a glimpse of their life in this historic house. The afternoon is ours to enjoy at leisure or consider joining one of our Optional Experiences.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  9. A short flight this morning brings you to Ho Chi Minh City, where you'll enjoy some time at leisure before lunch at KOTO restaurant. Your visit will make a difference to this non-profit social enterprise that provides training to disadvantaged young people in the hospitality industry. The iconic sights of Ho Chi Minh are revealed on a walking tour of Dong Khoi Street next. See the Opera House and the former Hotel de Ville. Then, wander up to Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, designed by the renowned Gustave Eiffel. Continue to the War Remnants Museum where you'll have a vivid glimpse of the war through the eyes of the locals. Your final stop today is Ben Thanh market, one of the earliest surviving structures in old Saigon, before arriving at your hotel.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel:Sofitel Saigon Plaza
  10. The mighty Mekong beckons today, as we take a day trip to My Tho, a nearby Delta market town. We'll transfer to a small sampan boat and navigate the maze of small canals before stopping for a Regional Meal of delicious Mekong Delta specialties. After a short walk along village roads, we'll visit the house of a former soldier, a Local Specialist who survived fighting the Khmer Rouge. Indulge in the family's colorful stories and learn how they make a living crafting rice paper, before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for an evening at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
  11. We'll delve into Vietnam's turbulent history from the previous century, boarding a private speedboat to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels built to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. We'll explore the underground compounds with a VC veteran and gain an understanding of the history of the tunnel, which once served as living quarters and housed hospitals, food and weapons caches. Returning to Ho Chi Minh City, we'll enjoy some free time this afternoon. Later, we'll dive into culture during a visit to the home of the former American Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s, Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, followed by a Farewell Dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  12. Our discovery of the iconic and unexpected highlights of Vietnam at its end, we'll take a transfer to the airport for our onward flight.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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  • Definite Departure
Start Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
19 Jan 19 30 Jan 19 checkmark $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
16 Feb 19 27 Feb 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2 Mar 19 13 Mar 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
23 Mar 19 3 Apr 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
6 Apr 19 17 Apr 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
20 Apr 19 1 May 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
4 May 19 15 May 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
18 May 19 29 May 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
15 Jun 19 26 Jun 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
13 Jul 19 24 Jul 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
10 Aug 19 21 Aug 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
7 Sep 19 18 Sep 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
14 Sep 19 25 Sep 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
28 Sep 19 9 Oct 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
12 Oct 19 23 Oct 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
16 Nov 19 27 Nov 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
7 Dec 19 18 Dec 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
14 Dec 19 25 Dec 19 $2,875$2,620pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closed from September to mid-November.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $900 p.p.

Flights: Prices include internal airfares and taxes for flights from Hanoi to Danang and Hue to Ho Chi Minh City and are accurate as of 1 June 2018.

Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements. Visas cannot be issued upon entry to the country. 

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

11 buffet breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Enjoy lunch at one of the great remaining garden houses of Hue where you will gain insight into the lives of a local family and admire the family's fascinating collection of mementos from the days of the former Royal Empire.

Dive into Culture

  • Visit Ho Chi Minh's house in Hanoi, the colorful market of Hoi An, the Cham Museum in Danang and the home of the former American Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s.
  • Join a Lantern Making Workshop or a Fishing Life Tour to learn about the lives of the local fishermen and have a go at casting your own fishing net.

Stays with Stories

  • Stay on a traditional style Vietnamese Junk boat for an overnight cruise in Halong Bay.

Make a Difference

  • Have lunch at KOTO restaurant, a non-profit social enterprise training disadvantaged young people in the hospitality industry.

Local Specialist

  • In Halong Bay, the Mekong Delta

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tour of Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, the Imperial Citadel in Hue, the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi Tunnels
  • See Red Beach in Danang
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

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Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Hanoi

Afternoon Foodie Tour

Adult Price: $26

Eating on the street is a very typical activity for Hanoians and makes up an important part of the city’s unique culture. Take a leisurely walk with a local foodie to the Old Quarter. Taste the national Vietnamese dish - Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup) and then wander around a local market to enjoy the sights, sounds and aroma from the numerous kinds of food on offer. Sample some Banh Duc – cooked rice powder with Vietnamese spices followed by a visit to a little shop selling many different types of traditional Northern cakes such as Com cake (young rice) which is considered to be a part of every Hanoians’ childhood. Continue to a small alley to get an idea of the typical “tube houses” of Hanoi and afterwards stop at Banh My Lan On to try their famous bread with Pâté. Later enjoy some Vietnamese desserts and cap off your walk by tasting a cup of Vietnamese egg coffee.

Water Puppet Show

Adult Price: $12

Enjoy a traditional evening Water Puppet performance in a local theater. This northern Vietnamese art form beautifully illustrates scenes of rural life and natural history and began approximately a thousand years ago, possibly in the flooded rice fields of Vietnam. Puppeteers stand in waist-high water and manipulate their charges in such a way that you can’t help but be swept up in the legend being told. Each short sketch in the performance relates to the daily life of the people.

Hue

Royal Dinner At Ancient Hue

Adult Price: $87

Royal cuisine served at the Nguyen Emperors’ banquets were legendary. Tonight, dress up in traditional Royal costume like King, Queen & Mandarins. Savour an unforgettable dinner with typical Royal dishes at an Ancient Hue restaurant. The restaurant, with its distinctive ancient houses, offers a glimpse of the city’s splendid past. There is nothing better than enjoying a delicious meal while listening to melodious music and having the feeling of being treated like Royal dignitaries.

Enamel Art Experience

Adult Price: $30

Enamel (Phap Lam) plays a large role in Vietnamese history, particularly in Hue where enamelware was used for imperial structures and by royal families during the Nguyen Dynasty. After becoming lost in existence after nearly 200 years, Hue people are starting to relive this traditional fine art. The enamel is painted onto an ornamental object usually made of copper, gold or silver. Meet with the artisan Mr. Triet Do, a famous expert at Enamel Hue and learn about his endeavor to restore this way of art by working in collaboration with goldsmiths, silversmiths and specialists in metal carving and pottery. Take the opportunity to see the complete process of making a stunning Phap Lam product and have a go at creating one of your own. NB. The above price is in US dollars.

Hoi An

My Son Temples

Adult Price: $20

My Son is one of the foremost Hindu temple sites in South East Asia. For the Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the 2nd to the 13th century, My Son was an important religious site and place of worship. A 1.5-hour drive from Hoi An will bring you to My Son where there are 20 monuments still standing today. The temples are set in a verdant valley surrounded by hills and overlooked by the impressive Cat Tooth Mountain. Stroll around this UNESCO listed temple complex and learn about the Cham culture, architecture and civilization before returning to Hoi An.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Vietnam must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting Vietnam will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.

  • The currency in Vietnam is the Dong. We recommend bringing a few cards on your trip as well as some cash.  You can obtain cash in the local currency at ATMs.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local food, and Southeast Asia is known for its delicious cuisines. On your trip you’ll discover lightly prepared dishes including noodles, rice, vegetables, and seafood flavored with a variety of herbs and spices.

  • We suggest bringing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered for your trip. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf might also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping in Vietnam is not required or expected, but always appreciated.  It is appropriate to leave some coins or round up your bill at bars and restaurants.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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