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Dates: 9th -22nd October
Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Saigon & Mekong Delta
Monday 9th& Tuesday 10th October:
We meet at Malta International Airport at 12.30 pm for our Emirates flight to Hanoi. The flight leaves at 3.35 pm and arrives in Dubai at 1.05 am 1.05 10th October). Our next flight departs at 3.30 am 3.30 arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam at 1.15pm. On our arrival we are, transferred to our hotel – May De Ville Premier Hotel & Spa (or similar) in Hanoi. We check in and have some free time after the long flight. Welcome dinner in a local restaurant included.
Wednesday 11th October
Today after breakfast we start with a visit to the complex dedicated to Ho Chi Minh- the nation’s founder, containing Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (viewed from outside), and house on stilts. This complex also comprises the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. Then we visit Tran Quoc Pagoda- Hanoi’s oldest pagoda on the bank of West Lake. In the afternoon, we visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum, which is both a research cencenterd a public museum exhibiting ethnic groups of Vietnam. Then we visit Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature & Vietnam’s first university). Constructed in 11th century, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Take a cycle ride around the Old Quarter streets which were named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. We stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about legend of the lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple, followed by the Water Puppet show- a uniquely Northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. Overnight in Hanoi.
Thursday 12th October
Breakfast and we leave our hotel in Hanoi for 2-hour drive to Ninh Binh Province. Our first visit is at Hoa Lu-Vietnam’s former capital before it was moved to Thang Long- Hanoi in 1,010 and the remains of Dinh & Le Kings’ Temples. In the afternoon, we get on small rowing boats to travel along the canals amongst local villages, green fields. Enjoy the beauty of Tam Coc (3 caves) which is also called “Ha Long Bay on land”. Go through the caves and then row back. Upon disembarking, visit Thai Vi Temple, and then take ox-an cart ride through the countryside, rice fields and green mountain scenery to Tam Coc. Overnight in Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel in Ninh Binh (or similar).
Friday 13th October
Breakfast and we depart from our hotel to Halong Bay, one of the World’s Natural Heritages recognized by UNESCO with over 3,000 spectacular limestone islands rising from the clear, emerald sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. Upon arrival, we board the ship and check into our cabins. While we pass by many rocky islets, caves, floating villages, and beaches, our fresh seafood lunch will be served on board. During the cruise there will be opportunities to disembark, often using smaller boats or possibly kayaks to venture into hidden grottos and caves. Dinner will be served on board & overnight.
Saturday 14th October
Breakfast is served while we continue exploring Halong Bay. Transfer to our day trip with a private crew and cruise to the bay’s most untouched areas. Enjoy swimming on quiet beaches, fishing villages, or kayaking. Then have lunch and return to the mother boat for the night.
Sunday 15th October
In the early morning, many of the islands are alive with the sound of various sea birds nesting in the thick green vegetation that engulfs the limestone karsts. Early risers may wish to start the day with a Tai Chi class. Enjoy breakfast (or brunch) on board whilst the ship turns back to the motherland, stopping at points of interest en route. Arrive back at the port in the late morning. Then disembark and are transferred back to Hanoi. We make our way to the airport for our flight to Danang. Upon arrival, we are transferred to our hotel – Vinh hung Riverside Resort (or similar) in Hoi An. Today’s dinner is included
Monday 16th October
Breakfast and today we go for a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. We visit the Japanese covered bridge, the Chinese assembly hall, a typical Vietnamese merchant’s house, one of the interesting museums, and the local market. There are numerous art galleries, souvenirs, and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-measure clothes if you like. We then visit a craftsman home in the old streets where we have a brief introduction to the history of the lanterns and will go through the stages of making them. We will make a lantern of our own, decorate it and keep it as a souvenir of our time in Hoi An. The rest of the afternoon is free for leisure.
Tuesday 17th October
This full-day excursion offers an unbeatable chance to discover the worldwide famous Golden Bridge with its unique design and breath-taking views and Ba Na Hills – the complex including touristic sites, European Architecture Villas, a huge indoor game world, French Wine Cellar, flower yards, and pagodas. After breakfast, we make our way to Danang and transfer to Ba Na Hills cable starting station where we take the cable car to the main cable station to enjoy the time on the Golden Bridge. It has a walkway of 150 meters long and compromises eight spans, each of which is lined with purple chrysanthemums, the bridge serves as a transit between a replica of a French village and Le Jardin d’Amour flower garden in Ba Na Hills. Free time on Ba Na Hills for a nice walk or a visit to the cellar. In the afternoon, we have the journey downhill by cable car and then transfer to Hue. Overnight in Hue at the Eldora Hotel (or similar).
Wednesday 18th October
After breakfast, pick up from our hotel, and together with our guide we make our way to the pier for a leisure boat trip along the Perfume River –a river that crosses the city of Hue. Here we visit the towering Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous landmarks of Hue. We then continue driving through scenic roads to the Tombs of King Minh Mang & King Tu Duc. The tomb of Tu Duc, the ‘poet Emperor’, is set in an elegant garden with a magnificent lake and pavilion complex. In the afternoon, we visit the Imperial Citadel where the Kings of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, including Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns, Forbidden Purple City, etc. Overnight in Hue
Thursday 19th October
Breakfast – Later we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, we make our way to the hotel: Central Palace Hotel (or similar). Lunch at a local restaurant and in the afternoon, we visit the moving War Remnants Museum which presents a partial, but riveting view of the American War as it’s known in Vietnam. We continue to the Reunification Palace, the former residence of the Indochina Governor General and later President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in April 1975. We will end our day with a stop at the bustling Ben Thanh Market for some shopping. Overnight in Saigon.
Friday 20th October
After breakfast, we have a sightseeing tour of Mekong River Delta and Cai Be. We start the tour with a visit to Cai Be Floating Market place. The market is most busy in the very early morning only, which is a very typical floating market in the Mekong Delta region. Our boat will stop for a visit to some local factories making Coconut candies, rice crispy cakes, and rice paper-making workshops and we will have the chance to visit Ancient houses typical of local landlords in the early 20th century, with a blend of Oriental and Western architectural styles. A delicious lunch will be served at a local house in the cool shade of An Binh Island’s orchards. In the afternoon, we take a traditional rowboat and venture deeper into the countryside, floating through narrow canals to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. We also stop at a nursery garden to discover how farmers along the delta produce their world-famous fruits and vegetables. The cruise ends at Cai Be pier, and we are transferred back to Saigon.
Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd October
Breakfast and we enjoy a 2-hour drive northwest of Saigon to visit the incredible network of the underground Cu Chi Tunnels constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence and reunification. This network of over 200 km of tunnels became legendary during the 1960s when they played a vital part in the American War, allowing the Viet Cong to control a large rural area close to Ho Chi Minh City. In their heyday, the tunnels were functioning underground cities. Then we head back for lunch at a local restaurant. The rest of the day is free at leisure for shopping. Later we are transferred to the airport for our flight back home. We depart at 11.55 pm and arrive in Dubai at 4.00 am (20th October), followed by the next flight that leaves at 8.00 am and arrives in Malta at 2.05 pm.
PRICE PER PERSON
Adult in Twin €2973
Adult in Single €3379
Visa Authorization Letter €10
The minimum group size is based on 20 passengers
A Maltese passport with a validity date of 6 months beyond the departure date. Visa: Please ask at the desk for requirements. Vaccines: Kindly check with the National Immunization Service at Floriana Health centre.
Emirates Airlines flights to Hanoi/from Saigon via Dubai
Internal flights from Hanoi to Danang & from Hue to Saigon
11 nights’ accommodation in 4* hotels + cruise
11 buffet breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 4 dinners
Meals (except for breakfasts) are taken in typical local restaurants based on local food
All transfers in a private air-conditioned vehicle
All excursions are guided by English speaking guide as indicated in the itinerary
Entrance fees and boat fees where applicable as shown on the itinerary
Fresh water and wet wipes during the day tour (two bottles per person per day)
Services of tour leader
All taxes Insolvency Fund