Vietnam

Highlights of Vietnam-Trafalgar Tours

From R70,700

Per Person Sharing

Valid

31 August 2024 - 14 December 2024

Travel outside of these dates may be subject to supplements and increases

Land Only
11 Nights Breakfast Daily 2 Day Junk Boat Cruise included!

Ready To Book

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Shaped like an elongated ‘S’, Vietnam stretches along the east coast of the Indochinese Peninsula. A local metaphor likens it to a long bamboo pole hung with two baskets of rice, represented by the two fertile regions at either end of the country. The lush Red River Delta and the highlands in the north, known for their magnificent scenery and colourful hill tribes, complement the agricultural plains and floating markets of the Mekong Delta in the south perfectly. The impact of Japanese and Chinese trade, French occupation and American intervention has had an obvious influence on Vietnam. These influences are readily apparent in the vivid legacy from different cultures evident in the character of its towns, as well as in the architecture and food. The quaint town of Hoi An, once a major trading port, boasts the perfectly preserved architectural influences of the Asian merchants from the north, while the broad leafy boulevards of the capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are reminiscent of France.

Vietnam is known for its cuisine and offers an abundance of flavorful options for travellers to choose from. Hue is the old imperial capital of Vietnam with its royal palaces and palatial mausoleums, and nearby the battle sites of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) are reminders of the brutality of war. Despite rapid economic expansion over recent years, Vietnam’s cultural roots remain strong. Visitors will find ancient temples and colourful pagodas scattered throughout urban centres, interspersed with luxurious hotels and sleek skyscrapers. A country with a complex history, boundless natural beauty and facinating cultural influences, Vietnam provides a wealth of different activities and unique experiences.

Inclusions

  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys and or boat cruises)

  • 11 Breakfasts, 1 Be My Guest, 4 Lunches, 2 Dinners, 1 Farewell Dinner

  • 11 nights accomodation in a Hand-picked 4 and 5 star accommodation

  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

  • Optional Experiences and free time

  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

  • VIP entry to many sights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing


Exclusions

  • Return economy class flights from Johannesburg to Vietnam (Ask us and we can arrange this for you)

  • Airport taxes

  • Vietnam visa

  • Travel insurance (Highly recommended!)

  • Gratuities for the guide, driver, waiter/waitress, bell boys, etc.

  • Optional tours

  • Meals not specified

  • Beverages

  • Items of a personal nature

  • Anything not mentioned

Day 1

WELCOME TO HANOI

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 travellers for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant


AccommodationMeliá Hanoi
Included Meals

Dinner

Day 2

A DAY TO DISCOVER HANOI

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. This afternoon, we’ll embark on a cyclo tour, weaving through the lively Old Quarter past colourful shopfronts and street food vendors. Enjoy an evening at leisure or consider joining one of our recommended Optional Experiences to watch a show that uses the ancient art of water puppetry to story-tell the daily lives of Vietnamese people.


AccommodationMeliá Hanoi
Included Meals

Breakfast

Day 3

SET SAIL FOR HALONG BAY

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. Once welcomed aboard, enjoy lunch whilst cruising one of the New Seven Natural Wonders. Visit Trung Trang cave on Cat Ba Island, the cave is 300m long through the mountains, possessing a mysterious beauty due to the geological tectonics in million years along with many historical vestiges and stalactites. Followed, weather permitting, by a stop at the quiet Tra Bau beach in Lan Ha Bay with its smooth white sand. You may choose to relax or take a nice swim in the green, emerald waters. We return to our Junk boat for a cooking class with the chef and enjoy a mesmerising sunset on the top deck before dinner and a peaceful overnight stay in this UNESCO-listed natural wonder.


AccommodationOrchid Cruise
Included Meals

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

ONWARDS TO DANANG AND HOI AN

It is a perfect time to refresh and indulge yourself in the peaceful beauty of the bay with a Tai Chi session. After breakfast discover the hidden charm of the Ao Ech area by kayak. There will be time to relax on the sundeck and take in the last views of the bays landscape, whilst cruising back to the Wharf before your drive to Hanoi Airport to catch your flight to Danang. On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Hoi An where you have the evening at leisure.


AccommodationOrchid Cruise
Included Meals

Breakfast

Day 5

UNCOVER HISTORIC HOI AN

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, colourful 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.


AccommodationHotel Royal Hoi An
Included Meals

Breakfast

Day 6

LOCAL LIFE IN HOI AN

Enjoy some free time this morning to explore Hoi An further or simply relax at your hotel. Your choice of activities this afternoon could see you learn how to craft your own colourful 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.


AccommodationHotel Royal Hoi An
Included Meals

Breakfast

Day 7

HEAD TO HUE VIA RED BEACH

The healthy flavours of Vietnamese cuisine take centre 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 savour 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 Museum before arriving in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, for our overnight stay.


AccommodationImperial Hotel Hue
Included Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

SEE THE SIGHTS OF HUE

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.


AccommodationImperial Hotel Hue
Included Meals

Breakfast, Be My Guest

Day 9

JOURNEY TO HO CHI MINH CITY

A short flight this morning brings you to Ho Chi Minh City, where you’ll enjoy some time at leisure before lunch at Mai Sen restaurant. Your MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience visit supports those affected by poverty to provide opportunities and a vocational education in the hospitality sector.

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.


AccommodationSofitel Saigon Plaza Ho Chi Minh City
Included Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10

MEANDER ALONG THE MEKONG DELTA

The mighty Mekong beckons today, as we take a day trip to Cai Be town, in the heart of the Mekong Delta with the first stop today being at an ancient house dating back to the 19th century beautifully preserved and passed down through many generations of the family. We’ll transfer to a traditional sampan boat and navigate the maze of small canals to the unique Cai Be floating market where stall holders show their goods by hanging them on bamboo poles, stopping for a home hosted lunch of delicious Mekong Delta specialities. Before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for an evening at leisure.


AccommodationSofitel Saigon Plaza Ho Chi Minh City
Included Meals

Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11

VISIT THE CU CHI TUNNELS

We’ll delve into Vietnam’s turbulent history from the previous century with a visit to 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 by private speedboat, 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.


AccommodationSofitel Saigon Plaza Ho Chi Minh City
Included Meals

Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Day 12

FAREWELL TO HO CHI MINH CITY

Our discovery of the iconic and unexpected highlights of Vietnam at its end, take a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.


Included Meals

Breakfast

Terms and Conditions

  • Conditions and validities apply.

  • This offer is subject to availability

  • Prices may change due to seasonal and exchange rate fluctuations

  • Visas may be necessary and Insurance is essential

  • Accommodation is per person sharing, unless otherwise specified

  • Errors and omissions in this offer are excepted

  • Subject to IGO Travel's general Conditions of Business

  • Excludes high season/school holidays, block out dates may apply

  • This package is based on set departure dates

  • All prices are per person sharing a double/twin room. Single supplements will apply and will be quoted on request.

  • Advance purchase, peak season surcharges, block out periods and minimum stay conditions may apply.

  • Surcharges may apply for departures on certain days of the week.
  • Why we like it

    Float on the sparkling emerald waters of Halong Bay on a traditional Vietnamese Junk. Glide past hidden islets and giant limestone karsts, stopping only to practice T’ai Chi in exquisite surroundings.