Highlights of Vietnam

  • 
                      Highlights of Vietnam
  • 
                      Highlights of Vietnam
  • 
                      Highlights of Vietnam

The Concept

Welcome to our most comprehensive tour through the stunning landscape of Vietnam, from rural villages to bustling cities. This program highlights both historical and contemporary Vietnam and is suitable for secondary school students, who will gain a better understanding and respect for other cultures.

Southern Vietnam is a place of fascinating contradictions; thriving metropolis and peaceful rural lands, colonial and Asian influence in food and architecture, and a creative and artistic people living with the scars of a devastating war. Students on this 9-day tour will experience these contradictions for themselves as they travel from Saigon to the Mekong Delta, and onto the lovely port town of Hoi An. Highlights of this tour include a visit to the incredible Cu Chi tunnels built and occupied by the Vietcong, the stunning 12th century ruins of My Son, and a Vietnamese cooking lesson.

Itinerary Day By Day

DAY 1 AUSTRALIA – HANOI (D)

Fly from Australia to Hanoi, via HCMC. Transfer to your hotel on arrival. Dinner will be provided this evening.
Accommodation for the following 2 nights is at our preferred 3 star hotel in Hanoi.

DAY 2 HANOI (B, D)

After breakfast this morning, your first stop will be Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and private residence, a wooden ethnic minority-style house built on stilts. Continue to the National Fine Arts Museum, housed in the colonial Ministry of Information building, to see an eclectic mix of contemporary Vietnamese art, religious pieces, lacquer-ware and sculptures.
Dinner tonight is at KOTO (Know One Teach One) – a highlight of your trip to Hanoi. Includes a local water puppet show this evening.

DAY 3 HANOI – HUE (B, D)

Check out of your hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. On arrival, transfer to your hotel before an afternoon boat trip on the romantically named Perfume River. Visit Thien Mu Pagoda and the Mausoleum of former Emperor Minh Mang. Dinner included.

DAY 4 HUE (B, D)

After breakfast, take a morning tour to the Imperial Citadel, the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. In the afternoon, continue to the elaborate Mausoleums of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Dinner is included this evening.

DAY 5 HUE – HOI AN (B, L, D)

Following breakfast, travel south to Danang through the inspiring 4900 ft high Hai Van Pass, Vietnam's geographical and psychological boundary between north and south. The peak of the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds. Stop at the stone-carving village at the foot of the Marble Mountains. Continue to the absolutely charming and relaxed town of Hoi An and transfer to hotel. Hoi An is believed to have been settled no less than 2,200 years ago and was a thriving seaport and base for seafaring nations seeking new sources of wealth throughout Southeast Asia. Rest of the day is at leisure. Lunch and dinner are provided today.

DAY 6 HOI AN – MY SON – HOI AN (B, D)

After breakfast, travel 40 kms southwest of Hoi An to visit the My Son ruins, dating from the 7th-13th centuries. My Son was the centre of the Champa kingdom and is set in a lush green valley with dozens of red brick towers and sanctuaries. This afternoon, visit a family-run lantern-making business, where you will get a chance to design your own lantern with the assistance of your Vietnamese hosts. Dinner is included this evening.

DAY 7 HOI AN (B, L)

After breakfast this morning, you will have a cooking lesson at the Red Bridge (Cau Do) restaurant by the river. Participate in buying ingredients at the local market, before a quick boat trip on the Hoi An River to the cooking school. You will be treated to demonstrations of local specialities such as squid and pineapple salad, grilled eggplant and banh xeo (pancakes), before being let loose in the kitchen! Enjoy the dishes you cooked for lunch.
The afternoon and evening are at leisure. A visit to the Lifestart Foundation is highly recommended.

DAY 8 HOI AN (B)

Following breakfast, you will have a free day in this beautiful city for shopping, exploration and relaxation. Dinner will be at your own expense.

DAY 9 HOI AN – HCMC (B, D)

Check out after breakfast and transfer to Da Nang airport for your short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. After checking into your hotel, you will visit the Cu Chi Tunnels on a guided tour throughout this amazing underground network. For those wishing to remain above ground, there is ample opportunity to view excavated areas from above.
This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of the city, strolling down the historic boulevards and visiting landmarks such as the old Post Office and Reunification Hall.
Dinner is included this evening, at our favourite local restaurant.

DAY 10 HCMC (B, D)

After breakfast, walk to Ben Thanh Market and participate in the discovery challenge tour. Wandering around this market is an incredible experience for students and a great place to buy your lunch. This afternoon, visit the War Museum, and be prepared for a confronting experience as you view the many photos and stories of life during wartime Dinner tonight is at another of our favourite local restaurants.

DAY 11 HCMC – MEKONG DELTA - HCMC (B, L, D)

Early breakfast before an 8.00am departure for the two hour drive to Cai Be, deep in the Mekong Delta. The tour takes you into the lives of the people who live and work on the Mekong Delta. Transport will be by boat or by foot as required. Lunch is served at the Mandarin house and is a highlight of the trip.
Return to HCMC late in the afternoon.
Dinner tonight is at another of our favourite local restaurants.

DAY 12 HCMC – AUSTRALIA (B)

Check out after breakfast and enjoy free time until you transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to Australia.

Optionals

at additional cost

CAMBODIA – SIEM REAP (price on request)

This rapidly developing town is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire. Highlights include the South Gate of Angkor Thom and the stunning Angkor Wat. You are likely to recognise Ta Prohm Temple, featured in the movie Tomb Raider, literally hidden for centuries in the jungle by the roots of enormous trees and gigantic creepers. On day two, step beyond the tourist precinct for a glimpse of Cambodia still emerging from the killing fields of the 1970’s, with a boat tour on the Tonle Sap Lake, where you will see floating villages, (best undertaken from August to March).
TOUR INCLUSIONS
• Transfers and tours in air-conditioned coaches
• 2 nights twin share hotel accommodation, 2 breakfasts and dinners
• English speaking local guide, entry and boat tours, as per itinerary

VUNG TAU (price on request)

This overnight journey to the southern beach resort town of Vietnam provides a unique insight into the role of Australian forces in Vietnam in the 1960’s, with visits to the village of Nui Dat and the area where the Battle of Long Tan cost the lives of 18 Australians. During the Vietnam War, Vung Tàu was home to the Australian Army. After the war, it was a common launching place for boat people, many of them destined for a new life in Australia.

TOUR INCLUSIONS
• Transfers and tours in air-conditioned coaches
• 1 night twin share accommodation
• 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
• English speaking local guide, entry and tours, as per itinerary

Halong Bay 2D/1N (price on request)

Transfer to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage area. Arrive at noon, and check in to your junk where lunch will be served as you cruise the bay. In the afternoon, enjoy some activities and/or visits, or just relax on board. Dinner is served on board as you anchor for the evening amongst the spectacular karst formations.
As the sun rises on Halong, you will enjoy breakfast as you cruise slowly through the formations and back to port. Disembark, and board the coach for the journey back to Hanoi via the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta.
Tour inclusions
• Transfers in your air conditioned coach
• 1 night on board your Halong Junk
• 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner

Inclusions
  • Return international economy airfares and 1 way domestic airfare including pre-paid taxes and charges
  • 11 nights, 3 star hotel accommodation, twin share
  • Breakfast daily
  • Lunches and dinners, as indicated in the itinerary
  • English speaking local guide
  • Entrance fees and boat tours, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Transfers by private coach (air-conditioned), as indicated in the itinerary
  • Domestic airfares, as indicated in the itinerary
Exclusions
  • Visa fees