Spirit of Vietnam - Summer 2021
From 10/10/2021 to 14/04/2022
Inclusive Luxury Gold Services.
You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Luxury Gold is proud to offer various modes of transportation, from luxury coach to included flight to overnight cruise and more, so that you always travel in comfort and experience your journey and destination in the best possible and most appropriate way.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency.
We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available, does not apply to Halong Bay Cruise).
Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates, when flights are included within the itinerary and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.
Guests will be transferred with fellow Luxury Gold Travellers that arrive on the same flight.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Dynamic Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you will be greeted and escorted to your hotel. At 19:00, join your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers to enjoy a Welcome Dinner in one of the busy rooftop restaurants of Saigon and watch the lights of the city from a perfect vantage point.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 2 - Marvels of Saigon. See the best of Saigon as you travel from the city's glittering skyscrapers to the green paddy fields scattered along the Saigon River by speedboat. Your destination is the Cu Chi tunnels, which were dug in 1948 for guerrillas to hide from combatant forces during the Vietnam War. These extraordinary tunnels form part of a network of tunnels that cover most of the country. During your visit to these underground villages, meet a Viet Cong veteran who used to live here and find out how challenging the living conditions really were like. Back in the city, embark on a leisurely walking exploration that reveals highlights including Notre Dame Cathedral and Gustave Eiffel's Central Post Office. Over a cup of Vietnamese coffee, gain an appreciation for local street-side cafe culture.(Breakfast / Lunch)
Day 3 - Cruise the Mekong Delta. Travel to the Mekong Delta and board a private charter. At your first stop see coconut production and processing, then enjoy a taste of the freshest juice possible. Further along, stop to see where locals still use centuries-old methods to make bricks at a small brick kiln. Next you'll enjoy a ride on a tri-motorcycle along narrow village roads, arriving at a rice noodle factory to see the most popular breakfast in the region being produced. Continue your cruise to Mango Home for a tasty lunch of Mekong Delta specialties. Then walk along the shady village roads to the home of Mr. Sau Tuong, a former soldier who fought the deadly Khmer Rouge, known for orchestrating the Cambodian genocide. Learn how life in Vietnam has evolved for him and his wife since the 1960s and how they earn a living from making rice paper.(Breakfast / Lunch)
Day 4 - Royal Refinement in Hue. Marvel at vistas of lush countryside, as you fly to Hue for the next chapter of your journey. Enjoy a cyclo's ride to Phu Mong village, take in a traditional garden house and craft houses, enjoy a serene life here. You will be impressed by green sceneries on the journey. This evening, take a visit to a special venue where is not only a dining place but also a culture exchange experience - Ben Xuan Garden House Theatre. It is set in a magnificent structure built in Hue royal architectural style -- located by the Perfume River between Thien Mu pagoda and the Temple of Literature Van Thanh.You are invited to meet with the owner Ms. Camille Huyen - a celebrated painter, singer and all-around renaissance woman with royal ancestry and her husband, a former Swiss banker. Combined, the two put on an intimate and welcoming hosted meal which includes a stroll of their own designed traditional house and a small concert that features Huyen on vocals, accompanied by local musicians playing traditional instruments, a scrumptious meal. Chat with the family about their career and life in the Western world and how the nostalgia brings them back to their hometown to nourish their dream and passion.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 5 - Highlights of Hue. Rise early for a private VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel, before it opens to the public. Enjoy an escorted journey on a state-of-the-art electric cart, as a renowned local historian guides you through the towering main gates and shows you the majestic architecture and splendid gardens of the former royal court. Return to your hotel for breakfast, then visit the royal tomb of Minh Mang, the second Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant on the perfume river with views of the Thien Mu Pagoda. After lunch you will meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy at an ancient temple. Learn about the intricate training activities of the practitioners and attend a performance showcasing the different martial arts techniques. The evening is at your leisure, perhaps ask your Travelling Concierge to make restaurant reservations for you.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day 6 - Romantic Hoi An. Enjoy a scenic drive over the spectacular Hai Van Mountain pass to reach Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be enchanted by the historic wonders and sleepy charm of UNESCO-heritage Hoi An. Spend a half day with a local guide, exploring the ancient town. Explore former merchants' homes, colourful communal halls, narrow lanes lined with traditional houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. Leave the crowded venue behind and discover some untouched stories in the beautiful old town.Meander down the small alley to discover an ancient house where the art of healing through martial art is passed down through generations. This healing method is the master's invention, combined between Qigong and traditional Vietnamese martial art. Have a chance to learn some basic steps under the guidance of the master. For a Your Choice Evening, take your pick of one of three hand-selected, local restaurants, each specialising in different cuisine from traditional to modern Vietnamese, or an east-meets-west fusion.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 7 - The locals in Hoi An. Visit the beautiful Cam Thanh Village with its dense coconut jungles that were once a shelter for local people and soldiers during the Vietnam War. Today the village is an important supplier of seafood, vegetables and rice to the region. Step into a traditional bamboo-basket boat and glide across the water to the Thanh Dong village where you'll learn from the villagers how they cultivate and harvest vegetables according to local customs. Continue your voyage through a peaceful water coconut forest to a riverside restaurant overlooking the rice fields. Enjoy traditional Vietnamese folk games and participate in a hands-on cooking class alongside a local chef. Savour your creations for your Highlight Lunch.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day 8 - Hanoi street-food tasting tour. Board a morning flight to Hanoi, Vietnam's glistening capital city known for colonial-style architecture, ancient temples and vibrant culture. Enjoy a ride aboard an electric cart to see the historic Opera House, avenues lined with French mansions, Sword Lake and the 18th century Jade Mountain Temple. Join a local foodie in the Old Quarter for an exploration of Hanoi's robust street-food culture, that will delight all the senses. Learn what locals love to eat and taste the city's very best dishes, including rice paper rolls, crab spring rolls, beef noodle soup, com cake and other delights. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax at your five-star hotel or ask your Travelling Concierge to recommend city-centre attractions nearby.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 9 - Cruise along Ha Long Bay. Travel to Ha Long Bay, known as the bay with a thousand islands and glistening emerald water. Step aboard a deluxe junk for a memorable overnight cruise. Visit the mysterious Tien Ong Cave, where human bones dating back to 10,000 B.C. were discovered by archaeologists, and explore the Cua Van area. In the evening you'll have the choice to participate in a hands-on cooking class with the on-board chef, or simply relax on the top deck as the sun gently dips beyond the horizon, before sitting down to dinner.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine / Dinner with Wine)
Day 10 - Ha Long to Hanoi. Start the day with a session of Tai Chi on the upper deck, or enjoy an early morning swim, or perhaps venture to a white sandy beach and climb the hilltop for views over Halong Bay? Return to the boat for breakfast as you cruise to Ha Long City to disembark. Journey back to Hanoi where the evening is at leisure.(Breakfast)
Day 11 - The Temple of Literature. Visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076 as the first university for the sons of mandarins. Meet a scholar who will share their insights into this famous institution. Learn about Hanoian culture and Vietnamese architecture before exploring the temple grounds. In the evening, join your travel companions and toast to your travels during your Celebration Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 12 - Farewell Vietnam. Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.(Breakfast) Exceptional Dining Ho Chi Minh: Learn about local street-side cafe culture and gain an appreciation as you enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee. Mekong Delta: Enjoy freshly-made Mekong delta specialties for lunch. Hue: Join your fellow travellers and sit down to a delicious meal, accompanied with wine, at a local restaurant. Hoi An: For a Your Choice Evening, choose from one of three hand-selected restaurants, each specialising in different cuisine from traditional to modern Vietnamese, or an east-meets-west fusion. Hoi An: Meet a local chef who will lead a hands-on cooking class and teach you how to create some of the local specialities that you will enjoy for your Highlight Lunch. Hanoi: Join a passionate foodie on a walking tour to some of the city's most interesting areas and experience the vibrancy of Hanoi's street-food culture. Taste local treats, such as rice paper rolls, pho bo which is beef noodle soup and com cake. Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (B), 4 Lunches (L), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW), 1 Dinner (D) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW). Journey Highlights Ho Chi Minh City: Experience the vibrancy of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, as you visit its most iconic attractions including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Gustave Eiffel's Central Post Office. Ho Chi Minh City: Join a Viet Cong veteran to visit the underground C? Chi tunnels and learn about their experience. Mekong Delta: Enjoy a private Mekong River Cruise and learn about coconut processing. Mekong Delta: Enjoy a ride on a tri-motorcycle through tropical surroundings and learn about how rice noodles are produced. Hue: Cycle through rice fields to Phu Mong village and see traditional garden houses. Hue: Visit the Imperial tomb of Emperor Minh Mang. Hoi An: Explore the traditional old town see the Japanese covered bridge, fruit and vegetable market and look out for the coloured lanterns. Hoi An: Ride a traditional bamboo basket boat to Thanh Dong village and learn about the village's traditional way of life. Hanoi: Ride an electric cart and see the main sights of Hanoi including the Opera House. Halong Bay: Enjoy an overnight cruise in the famous Halong Bay with amazing views from your boutique luxury junk boat. Halong Bay: Visit the spectacular Tien Ong cave and explore the Cua Van area. Luxury Hotels Ho Chi Minh: One of Vietnam's leading hotels, the five-star InterContinental Saigon is situated in the very heart of the city and is a short walk from famous landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Post Office. Hue: Find balance and harmony at the peaceful Pilgrimage Village, situated among leafy trees and quiet countryside. Participate in meditation, yoga or tai chi classes or unwind in the steam bath. Hoi An: Positioned on the banks of the Thu Bon River, the luxurious Anantara Hoi An Resort is situated moments away from the charming historic part of Hoi An. Take in the tranquil atmosphere from a sunbed overlooking the river, treat yourself to a massage at the spa or cool down in the swimming pool. Hanoi: Voted the best boutique hotel in Asia, Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi embodies the glamour of a night at the opera. It is situated in the centre of Hanoi, within walking distance of the Hanoi Opera House and Hoan Kiem Lake, and offers sumptuous guest bedrooms, a spa and a selection of fine restaurants. VIP Experiences Mekong Delta: Meet Mr. Sau Tuong, a former soldier who survived four years fighting the deadly Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, at his home and see how he and his wife earn a living making rice paper. Hue: Enjoy a private, VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel, before it opens to other travellers. Learn about its traditional architecture and history from a renowned historian. Hue: Meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy and learn what it takes to become a practitioner of this standard. See a performance showcasing different martial arts techniques. Hanoi: Meet a renowned scholar at the Temple of Literature and learn about Hanoian culture and Vietnamese architecture, before touring the temple grounds.
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