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Flavours of Vietnam (in Dec 2019 - Mar 2020)

Price: R 43,990.00

11 nights, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

Dive in to picturesque Vietnam on this laidback tour of buzzing cities, beautiful bays and lush green countryside. Along the way you'll witness spectacular sunsets, come face to face with breathtaking architecture and enjoy delectable local cuisine - all while staying in charming boutique accommodation.

The Back-Roads Difference

  • Visit a traditional papier mâché mask making family in Hanoi's Old Quarter.
  • Foodie inclusion: Taste the world's best street food on an evening walk through the winding streets of Hanoi.
  • Enjoy an overnight cruise in the picturesque Halong Bay.
  • Vietnamese cooking class and demonstration.

Booking Details for this Small Group Tour

Selected set departures in period: Prices per person sharing from:
19 December 2019 - 26 March 2020 R 43,990.00 pps

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Hanoi, Vietnam

After transferring from the airport to our hotel, we’ll meet the group and get to know each other in lively Hanoi today – a city brimming with busy street food stalls, picturesque pagodas and well-preserved colonial buildings. Tonight, we’ll sample our first taste of Vietnamese cuisine at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that gives disadvantaged young people the chance to learn new skills.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2 - Hanoi

This morning you’ll have the chance to join a walking tour of Hanoi’s most iconic sights. At the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, we’ll discover more about the man who led the movement for Vietnamese independence – and at the Temple of Literature, we’ll soak up some of Vietnam’s unique ancient history. This afternoon, your guide will lead you on a cyclo tour through the streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where you’ll learn about the area’s French colonial architecture. After a busy day of sightseeing, our final stop of the day will be the home of the city’s last remaining mask-making family, where we’ll gain an insight into how traditional papier-mâché masks are made. Tonight, prepare for another gastronomic treat – we’re off to sample some street food on the way to dinner.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3 - Hanoi - Tam Coc - Ninh Binh

This morning we’ll say farewell to Hanoi and move on to the beautiful Ninh Binh Province – and on the way there, we’ll take a short boat trip at Tam Coc (the ‘three caves’). Surrounded by breathtaking limestone karsts and peaceful rice paddies, this picturesque area forms part of the famous Trang An UNESCO World Heritage Site. After stopping off at the serene 14th-century Thai Vi temple (also known as ‘the temple of the king’), we’ll move on to a local family home, where we’ll tuck into a traditional lunch. Appetites satisfied, we’ll make tracks to our hotel for some leisure time.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 4 - Ninh Binh - Halong Bay

After breakfast, our transfer will take us to a World Heritage Site that’s widely regarded as the jewel in Vietnam’s crown: the beautiful Halong Bay. Here we’ll take to the emerald waters in a traditional junk boat and set off to explore the area’s famous limestone islets and fascinating grottoes.* This evening will be yours to spend reclining on a comfy chair, sipping wine or watching the twinkling stars from the sun deck. *Please note: Our exact cruise itinerary is subject to change depending on season and weather conditions.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5 - Halong Bay - Hanoi - Da Nang - Hoi An

We’ll tuck into tea, coffee and pastries early on board the boat this morning – and if the mood takes you, you can even try a spot of tai chi on the sun deck. Morning ritual complete, we’ll make our way to our first stop of the day: the picturesque Ti Top Island. Here, you can relax on the beach, take a dip in the water or climb to the top of the hill for fantastic views over Halong Bay. A hearty breakfast will be served aboard the boat as we cruise back to Halong City. Upon arrival, we’ll disembark and transfer to the airport, where we’ll begin our journey to historic Hoi An (with a stop at Da Nang on the way).

Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Hoi An

This morning we’ll get acquainted with Hoi An’s atmospheric Old Town on a guided tour of historic houses, museums and assembly halls – not to mention the famous Japanese Covered Bridge. Tonight, we’ll hit the streets to sample some of the local fare before settling down to an alfresco Vietnamese dining experience at the spectacular Dao Tien River Restaurant, which will be beautifully lit with paper lanterns after dark.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7 - Hoi An - Hue

After this morning’s breakfast, we’ll have the opportunity to channel our inner creatives with a silk lantern making workshop. This traditional craft not only adds a wonderful touch of colour to the streets of Hoi An, but it’s also a practice said to bring luck, happiness and wealth to the family home. After a stop at the Cham Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of ancient Cham sculptures, we’ll move on to our next stop: the imperial city of Hue.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - Hue

After a free morning, we’ll start the day in nautical style: with a boat trip on the Perfume River. So named for its unique fragrance in autumn (caused by blossom falling into the water), the river is the perfect vantage point from which to take in the temples, mausoleums and pagodas that line its banks. After visiting the magnificent tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, a staunch Confucian, we’ll get ourselves ready for dinner at the 19th-century Tha Om Garden House, a charming restaurant that’s owned by a local historian.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 9 - Hue - Ho Chi Minh City

You’ll have some well-deserved time to relax this morning before we head to the airport for our flight to the incomparable Ho Chi Minh City. After dropping off our bags at our hotel, we’ll end the day with a culinary feast at Hoa Tuc, a wonderful restaurant that specialises in contemporary Vietnamese cuisine.

Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10 - Ho Chi Minh City

Today’s itinerary will begin with a tour of Chinatown, where we’ll tick off the likes of the impressive, caramel-coloured Cha Tam Church and the vibrant Chua Ong Pagoda. After visiting a family that sells traditional herbal medicines (and a chance to stock up on herbal teas) we’ll move on to the Reunification Palace – a monument that seems as if it has been frozen in time since the end of the Vietnam War. When the morning’s sightseeing is behind us, we’re in for a culinary treat: a cooking demonstration at Mandarine Restaurant (with a delicious lunch to follow). And then? The afternoon will be yours to spend as you please.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi - Ho Chi Minh City

Today we’ll set off on a day trip to the labyrinthine Cu Chi Tunnels: a strategic operation base during the Vietnam War that housed kilometre upon kilometre of secret trap doors, weapon factories, living areas and hospitals. After venturing back out into the daylight, we’ll gather to taste authentic pho (Vietnam’s most famous dish) at a local restaurant. Our gastronomic adventure will then continue with a street eats tour, during which you’ll be free to sample delicacies like rice paper pizza and crispy Vietnamese pancakes. This evening we’ll meet at a true local gem, Magnolia restaurant, for our final dinner together.

Meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 12 - Ho Chi Minh City

After one last breakfast with the group, our tour will come to a close.

Meals: Breakfast

Validity Selected set departures between December 2019 - March 2020
Currency NB. Our prices are quoted in ZAR, and subject to exchange rate fluctuations.
Tour Identifiers BAHFVHO-9
Inclusions • 10 nights in boutique accommodation, 1 night on an overnight cruise.
• Meals: 11 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 7 dinners.
• Transport: Air-conditioned transportation & internal flights.
• Experienced Driver and Tour Leader.
• Entrance included to all attractions in the itinerary, including: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Temple of Literature, Cu Chi Tunnels.
Exclusions • Flights and taxes.
• Visas (if required)
• Travel insurance.
• Transfers.
• Anything of a personal nature.
• Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
• Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights.
• Entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions.
• Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions.
• Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation.
• Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour.
• Pre and post tour accommodation other than mentioned above.
T's & C's • Prices per person and subject to change due to availability and exchange rates.
• Deposits: R3000 deposit to secure booking.
• Final Payment: 65 days prior to departure.
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