Day 1. Depart Ireland via London and Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 Hanoi Arrival
You will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to the city and to your hotel. The room is at your disposal from 2.00pm. The rest of day is at your leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
3. Hanoi city tour (B)
Full day tour of Vietnam’s capital city, including Vietnam’s first university, the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature and the Ethnology Museum where you can discover the diversity of Vietnam’s many ethnic groups. Later on, pay a visit to Hoa Lo prison – also known as the “the Hanoi Hilton”. Then it is your time to freely explore ancient Hanoi as you wish by maybe a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4. Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D) - Only guide on board
Leave Hanoi for Halong Bay - a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay and Gulf of Tonkin. After arriving at noon, you will board a beautiful boat for an overnight cruise on Halong Bay with an excellent menu of fresh seafood. Lunch and dinner are served on boat. Overnight on board.
Day 5. Halong – Hanoi – Danang – Hoi An (B)
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy the aquamarine water of the bay at its best. After tea break, the boat continues to cruise silently through the spectacular limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy this more isolated bay’s spectacular and unique islands. Return to Halong harbour around noontime and transfer to Cat Bi airport in Haiphong where you take a brief flight to Danang.
Be welcomed by your local driver on arrival and transfer no guide to your hotel in Hoi An Town (30 km – 45 minute driving) for check in. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6. Paddle a bamboo basket boat – Hoi An ancient town (B)
From the early morning, you will ride your bikes for 1 hour towards the Cam Thanh countryside to the Thuan Tinh pier. A bamboo basket boat will take you into the mangrove forest. The basket boat will carry you along for 30 minutes and, from there, you will be able to watch and take part in scenes of crab fishing. You may try to manoeuvre your boat yourself, but it is not an easy task with circular paddle movements while trying to make sure you keep your balance! However, it's certainly a lot of fun.
In the afternoon, you will take a stroll through small streets of the town to explore two-century-old Chinese houses. Sites include the Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Tan Ky trading house. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7- 8. Hoi An free day – No car, no guide (B)
Free day at leisure to relax at the hotel or enjoy the beach of Hoi An. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9. Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh city (B)
Breakfast and transfer no guide to Danang airport for your flight to Saigon. Saigon is Vietnam’s biggest city with 7 million inhabitants and 2.5 million motorbikes. As soon as you get out of the airport, you will be struck by the bursting energy of youth and the flow of motorbikes ready to start at each traffic light. Then, we set off on a city tour of the former capital of French Indochina, once known as Saigon but now officially named Ho Chi Minh City. Historic landmarks include the Old Saigon post office, Notre Dame Cathedral and Opera House. Meals are on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10. Ho Chi Minh – Cu Chi tunnel (B)
This morning we will leave the city by private vehicle to visit the amazing tunnel network of Cu Chi. This incredible system, covering almost 250km in length was shelter to over 16,000 Vietcong guerrillas during the wars. Initially started in 1948 to provide shelter against the French air and ground sweeps, the network went on to serve as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living quarters for Vietnamese fighters throughout the American war. If you are interested (and game) you can even descend into the tunnels to learn more about the harsh conditions faced by Vietcong guerrillas who lived there. Return to the city centre and the remainder of the day is free at leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11. Ho Chi Minh City - Departure (B) Without guide
Free morning at your leisure until transfer no guide to airport where you will take an onward flight to your next destination. The room is at your disposal until noon only. Meals on your own.
Day 12 arrive Ireland
(B) = breakfast
(L) = Lunch
(D) = Dinner