15 DAYS ●
Tour price from $8,810 per person Twin Share
Be inspired by your host as he introduces you to the intrigue that lies in Vietnam
Infiltrate the complex network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong
Explore famous royal tombs and the illustrious examples of grand dynasties past, the garden houses.
Take a scenic flight over the emerald waters of Vietnams most famous bay before taking to its waters.
Our The Romance and Intrigue of Vietnam: a Luxury Travel Reader Tour itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy welcome drinks at the Liquid Sky Bar. Saigon may be driving Vietnam forward into the modern world, but is also a treasure trove of fascinating heritage. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Saigon was the Pearl of the Orient, and flourished under the American occupation.
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: Over drinks, Jimmy will explain why Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American still holds such a strong attraction and he’ll introduce you to the story of the Cu Chi tunnels which you will visit tomorrow and which he wrote about in his book Tunnel Rats.
Today's tour will take you to two historic and very different sites: Cu Chi Tunnels and a unique Cao Dai Temple that represents the world’s youngest and perhaps most mysterious religion.
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: Along the way, Jimmy will explain the significance of this journey in relation to The Quiet American - it was along this road, on their way back from Tay Ninh that Fowler and Pyle were ambushed by Viet Minh forces and Pyle saved Fowler's life. Tay Ninh was also the base of the mysterious
Start your day with a visit to Tan Dinh church. Tan Dinh is a complete contrast to traditional Notre Dame Cathedral, but equally impressive with its high steeple and distinctive pink design. Next, we drive to the the city’s Central Post Office, and then to the Opera House. From a bomb shelter to housing the parliamentary Lower House, the Opera House has had an interesting history.
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: Jimmy will explain how the presidential office and the war rooms and tunnels below the Palace all feature in his brand new crime fiction novel Tunnel Vision.
Today we take a scenic speedboat day trip to discover the tangled maze of rivers and vast paddies found in the Mekong Delta on our culture-centric tours. You’ll experience the old-world river life of the Mekong Delta, and enjoy a lesser- seen glimpse into rural Vietnam as it trundles along a slow tempo, as it has done for centuries.
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: It was crossing the Mekong where the teenage Margaret Duras met her Lover, celebrated in her novel and the movie of that name. The real-life lover and his Chinese wife are buried in the town of Sa Dec in the Mekong Delta.
Fly Saigon - Danang. Hoi An is a Unesco protected former trading port that welcomed Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants between the 16th to 18th centuries. Today the town is famous for its restored architecture, homemade silk, expert tailors and delicious noodles and seafood.
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: After dinner, there’s an informal stroll down to the ancient docks which, in Philip Noyce’s 2001 remake of The Quiet American, doubled for the Saigon wharves where Pyle met his fate.
This morning we’ll visit the local Hoi An produce market before transferring to the Red Bridge Cooking School. Here you will tour the school’s herb gardens and enjoy an informal cooking lesson. The afternoon walking tour includes stops at several famous landmarks. The first is Chua Ong Pagoda, dating back to 1653 and built in honour of the Chinese general Quan Cong, who is worshipped by many as a symbol of loyalty and justice. From there it’s a short walk to Tan Ky House, a 200-year-old ancestral house and finally, we stroll across the often photographed 17th century covered bridge built by Japanese craftsmen. The beautifully built bridge doubles as a temple and is a major landmark of Hoi An.
On arrival in Hue, our half-day tour starts with a trip to the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. The Citadel was closely modelled along the lines of the Forbidden City in Beijing. After that take in the endless surrounding greenery while floating down the peaceful perfume river
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: The Imperial Palace was used for scenes in Indochine. Apart from the spectacular shots of Ha Long Bay, this is the most significant location used for that movie in Vietnam.
Begin your day with a trip to the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh. Admire the unusual combination of architecture that blends a traditional Chinese past with a modern Western future. Continue to Minh Mang Tomb to explore the opulent and exotic resting place laid out in formal Chinese style. In the afternoon, make your way to Thanh Tien Village, well-known for over 300 years of crafting paper flowers. Meet one of the local villagers and learn how to make your own ornate paper flower. Your visit is backing a good cause as it is supported by Backstreet Academy, a
social enterprise providing struggling artists, craftsmen and home- based workers with additional income and recognition. Then visit Tha Om Garden House and its owner, Mr Vinh. Explore the traditional 19th century Hue residence and listen to Mr Vinh’s stories of his royal heritage before returning to your hotel.
This morning, you will take flight to Hanoi. Tonight we are going to the Quintessence of Tonkin show where we have a chance to explore Vietnam history and culture from a contemporary perspective, with over 200 performers including farmers and dancers, an interactive stage, and state-of-the-art technology.
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: You are in the same hotel where Graham Greene stayed when he was writing the Quiet American. There’s even a Graham Greene room here. It’s also where folk singer Joan Baez recorded a song in basement shelter while on a visit during the war – you can hear the bombs dropping in the background – and you can visit the recently rediscovered room where the recording was made.
Begin the morning with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and hear about the man who led Vietnam’s campaign for independence from French colonial rule. Then wander the grounds to see the one pillar pagoda and the presidential palace. Next, visit the 11th century relic, the Temple of Literature, which was built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. In the afternoon start with the Museum of Ethnology that is widely acknowledged as the best in the country, with an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority people. Then we take a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s 36 streets, named for the products that were sold from their shops. Today, vendors on Tin and Bamboo Streets still sell the same wares. Next, is the Ngoc Son temple set on a tiny island on the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake and how it got its name from a legend of an emperor, a magic sword and a giant turtle!
Leave the noise of the city behind as you board a seaplane and take in the impressive aerial views over Hanoi, flying 45 minutes to Halong Bay, before taking a 15-minute scenic flight over Halong. Called “Bay of Descending Dragons” in Vietnamese, the archipelago of Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site composed of almost 2,000 islands and jungle-clad limestone pillars. See the islands of Cong Do, Ba Ham with their pretty lagoons and fly out to Dau Be on the edge of the Gulf of Tonkin. After the scenic flight, board your traditional junk boat and set sail through UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay.
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: The movie Indochine is widely credited with having kick-started the Vietnamese tourist industry. As you fly over and land in the Ha Long Bay, you will immediately understand why. You will also have A magical opportunity to watch the movie Indochine in the spectacular setting where it was filmed.
Wake early to start your day with Tai Chi on the sundeck, as the sun rises over the bay. Enjoy breakfast while you sail through the endless jungle-clad islands and limestone pillars. Head out into the water in a kayak to visit the Ba Trai Dao area and admire the landscape from the water. Return to the boat to relax on board before a Vietnamese set unch. Enjoy a tour of the captain's bridge and engine room after lunch. In the afternoon step onto Cat Ba Island for a cycling tour of Halong Bay's biggest island. Visit Bright and Dark Cave by rowing boat or in a kayak. Head back to the boat for sunset and another night on the boat.
ROMANCE & INTRIGUE: There’s a Viet Minh headquarters that was built inside a cave on the island during the ‘French War’, featuring a hospital, cinema and an intriguing emergency escape route.
Enjoy a Vietnamese tea ceremony while sailing back to the harbour, where you will continue on to Hanoi. This evening, enjoy a nice farewell dinner at KOTO restaurant. KOTO is an acronym for Know One, Teach One and this restaurant trains disadvantaged kids in the fundamentals of the hospitality trade, rescuing them from poverty and giving them an opportunity for a productive life.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport. Late check out
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to Vietnam. Travellers should arrange visas well in advance of departure. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your visa in the price of your tour. We handle the entire application process – all you need to do is complete the paperwork and send your passport to us eight weeks prior to departure. We are always on hand to help you with any queries you may have while completing the application form.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +61 2 9224 8888. Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288. You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave Australia. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
Tipping is not commonplace in Australia. In Asia however, it is anticipated that a tip be given to reward good service. With that in mind, we have a tipping system for our group tours. Each passenger ‘tips’ a set amount to the National Escort at the start of the tour or on arrival in each country. They then distribute this as appropriate. Tipping is appreciated for Private and Tailor-Made travel. In your final documents, we include guidelines for tipping when travelling independently.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or too unusual. Breakfast at your hotel includes local and western dishes. In remote areas, we suggest embracing local specialities. Lunch and dinner consists of shared dishes. Meals generally finish with fruit to clean the palate. Drinks such as beer, soft drinks or bottled water are at your own expense locally.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and Australia's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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