Vietnam’s Hidden Charms – Décor Delights & more 4 – 14 August, 2023

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Vietnam’s Hidden Charms – Décor Delights & more 4 – 14 August, 2023 2022-03-24T09:29:16+10:00

VIETNAM HIDDEN CHARMS

Décor Delights and more!

4 – 14 August 2023

 This peep into the exotic world of Vietnam will envelope us with the fabulous décor inspiration of our 5 Star Hotels, 

We’ll have ample time to shop in Hanoi, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh seeking out those fine silks so well known to Vietnam, 

and much insight into the Indochine cuisine. 

Oh bring it on!

 

Day 1: ARIVAL HANOI (D)

4 AUG 2023

Upon arrival at Noi Bai airport, you will be welcome and picked up by our guide and driver then transfer to hotel, Free at leisure. Enjoy dinner with Vietnamese Cuisine at Spices restaurant in Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel Hanoi.

Vietnamese culinary tradition redefined with French flair. Enjoy views of the lush garden courtyard and swimming pool. Embark on an adventure of the palette at Spices Garden with the exotic flavours from Hanoi’s bustling cuisine, with “pho” noodle soup, tender spicy barbequed pork, exquisite seafood and the freshest of garden vegetables, spices and herbs.

Overnight in Hanoi.  Hotel D La Opera  http://hoteldelopera.com/

Day 2: EXPLORE NOM ANCIENT VILLAGE & HALF DAY CITY BY VESPA (B/L)

5 AUG 2023

This morning your guide and driver will transfer you 40’ to Nom Village. This ancient and quaint rural village is a gem for cultural and historical experiential appreciation; a wonderful example of a village in Vietnam’s northern delta that follows traditional structural layout. Highlights cover a spectrum of interests. Here are a few examples for you to consider: spend time with the villagers and learn about their personal and village stories, choose from ten ancient houses and seven places of worship, understand and see the typical village layout (communal house, market, entrance gate, pond, wet market, and stone bridge). As a popular spot, if you are fortunate you may even catch a glimpse of a Vietnamese movie being filmed. Then drive back Hanoi to enjoy lunch at local restaurant before explore Hanoi City by Vespa.

Explore the charming city of Hanoi, often referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’, with its yellow ochre colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes from the back of a Vespa scooter. Visit the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument of marble and granite built to house the preserved body of beloved revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, affectionately known to the Vietnamese as “Uncle Ho”. Tour the One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple built in 1049 of wood in the shape of a lotus blossom and set on a single stone pillar, considered by many to be one of Vietnam’s most iconic pagodas. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s House nearby, a simple wooden house in a tranquil setting where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked. Continue on to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century. Enjoy the Vespa ride back to the city centre to visit the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake (literally, “Lake of the Returned Sword”) named after a magical sword once used by a legendary Vietnamese emperor to defeat the Chinese Ming Dynasty. On an island in the middle of the lake sits the Ngoc Son Temple accessible by the classical Huc Bridge. Conclude the tour with a visit to the famed Old Quarter known for its ’36 streets of 36 wares’ named after the original 36 artisan guilds that date as far back as the 13th century. Explore the fascinating maze of back streets, fronted by narrow houses known as “tunnel” or “tube houses”, built to avoid taxes based on the width of their frontage onto the street, a wonderfully eclectic glimpse into Hanoi street life. You can also shopping in Silk Street after the tour. Then return to hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.

Hotel D La Opera – http://hoteldelopera.com/

 

Day 3: HANOI – SAPA BY ROAD (B/L/D)

6 AUG 2023

Depart Hanoi on a 5.5hr drive to Sapa via the Noi Bai – Lao Cai expressway, opened at the end of 2014. Enjoy views of rice paddies, village homes, and misty mountains along the way. After checking in to your hotel, have lunch at Red Dzao, a local restaurant serving typical Sapa cuisine. In the afternoon, Enjoy a light trek to discover a quaint hill tribe village near Sapa, including the different traditions, cultures and costumes of two minority groups. From Sapa, begin trekking downhill to Ta Phin Village. If your visit is between May and October, it will coincide with the local planting and harvest time, a chance to see the local farmers in action. Explore Ta Phin Village, home to the ethnic groups of the Black H’mong and Red Dzao who have been living in harmony in this village for generations despite having different customs, cultures and dress. Transfer back to hotel.

Enjoy dinner with Set Menu at Chic restaurant in Hotel de la Coupole Sapa. Overnight in Sapa.

A gastronomic menu of classic French dishes crafted from the finest local ingredients, alongside a carefully curated wine list, Chic is grand yet intimate, the perfect atmosphere for a romantic date or exclusive business dinner. As night falls, Chic glows with ambient light from the many lanterns lining the stunning raised catwalk in the middle of the restaurant where on weekends a dinner buffet with local entertainment brings guests an authentic Sapa experience.

Hotel De La Coupole Sapa – https://www.hoteldelacoupole.com/

DAY 4: SAPA – BAN KHOANG – HANOI BY ROAD (B/L/D)

7 AUG 2023

Depart Sapa on an 8km (5mi) drive to the start of the O Quy Ho Mountain Pass along the Hoang Lien Son mountain range with several stops for photos of stunning Mount Fansipan and Sin Chai Valley. Turn and follow a narrow tarmac road, passing forests and waterfalls before arriving at the Ban Khoang Commune, home to the Black H’mong and Red Dzao ethnic groups. Walk to explore this remote village for an overview of local life. Then you will drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.

Hotel D La Opera – http://hoteldelopera.com/

DAY 5: HANOI – HAI PHONG – LAN HAN BAY WITH HERITAGE CRUISE (B/L/D)

8 AUG 2023

Upon arrival Hanoi station, you will rest and get breakfast before depart for taking the new highway to Tuan Chau International Marina, Halong City (arrive about 11:30).

12:15 Board the Heritage Cruises boat and enjoy a welcome drink as you receive a cruise briefing, safety instructions and check in to your suite. Lunch is served at L’Indochine Restaurant.

12:40 Cruise to Da Chong islet, where you can see a heritage lighthouse built by the French more than 100 years ago. After lunch, cruise to Gia Luan Lagoon where limestone karst formations rise out of the sea. This quiet bay is untouched and remote, as not many cruise ships visit.

15:00 The cruise vessel approaches the Ba Trai Dao or Three Peach beaches in Lan Ha Bay, a natural frontier between the provinces of Halong and Haiphong. This secret hideaway has beaches, caves and coves, plus the spectacular natural beauty of about 400 islands. Guests can try kayaking or simply swim in the clear waters of the bay.

17:30 Back on Heritage Cruises, enjoy life aboard the vessel or in your suite, and with cocktail in hand watch the sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. Activities include afternoon tea and wine tasting, and the chef will lead a Vietnamese cookery class.

19:30 A memorable dining experience will be offered at the restaurant, with local food in an intimate and romantic setting.

21:30 Enjoy evening views of the bay at the bar on the top deck. Try your hand squid fishing, or watch a movie in the restaurant. The bars are open until late.

Heritage Cruise – https://heritagecruises.com/

DAY 6: HAI PHONG – HANOI – FLY TO DANANG – HOI AN (B/BR)

9 AUG 2023

6:00 Start the day with a session of Vovinam on the sundeck, followed by a light breakfast. Then take the bamboo boats to explore the Dark and Bright Cave.

9:30 Return to the ship for checkout.

10:00 Enjoy brunch while cruising back to harbour.

11:35 Return to Got Harbour and Departure to Hanoi airport for flight to Danang.

Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to Hoi An. Free at leisure and overnight in Hoi An.

Notes: Schedules subject to change without prior notice

ANANTARA HOI AN – https://www.anantara.com/en/hoi-an

DAY 7: HOI AN HALF DAY CITY (B/D)

10 AUG 2023

AM: Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An known then as ‘Faifo’, was a prosperous trading port, attracting Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships amongst others. Today, this World Heritage ancient town is recognised for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets and distinctive local cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. Hoi An’s narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour of its many atmospheric sights including: the old merchant houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, first built in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its intricate woodcarvings; and the colourful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two.

You will transfer to Four Season The Nam Hai resort and enjoy 90 minutes massage at the Nam Hai resort: Choose one of four massage services included as below:

  1. EARTH ENERGIES

Rooted recovery: for dry skin and deep fatigue Five essential oils stabilise the five sensory organs and nourish the skin, while grounding bodywork techniques release tension and restore a harmonious flow of energy and vitality.

90 MINUTES

  1. HOT STONES

Soothing surfaces: for stress release and deep relaxation Reassuringly connect to the Earth through this warm stone massage. Techniques favoured by Vietnamese healers for centuries help dissolve muscular tension and support steadfast stability.

90 MINUTES

  1. NAM HAI VIETNAMESE

Effortless ease: for relaxation and rejuvenation Medium pressure, maximum chi: a great all rounder that uses ancient healing techniques to harmonize body and being. The 90-minute version includes antioxidant back paste with local ginger and mint.

60 – 90 MINUTES

  1. AROMATHERAPY EMBRACE

Fragrant therapeutic intensity: for releasing deep tension Choose from one of six superior-quality oils, combined with lymphatic drainage and neuromuscular techniques to dissolve stresses and strains. The 90-minute version includes a longer facial massage.

60 – 90 MINUTES

Then enjoy dinner at Cargo Club restaurant before coming back to hotel. Overnight in Hoi An.

ANANTARA HOI AN –https://www.anantara.com/en/hoi-an

Day 8: HOI AN FREE AT LEISURE (B) 

11 AUG 2023

Free at leisure to explore Hoi An Ancient town and overnight in Hoi An

ANANTARA HOI AN – https://www.anantara.com/en/hoi-an

 

Day 9: DANANG – HOCHIMINH & HALF DAY CITY TOUR (B/L/D)

12 AUG 2023

After breakfast at hotel, you will then transfer to Danang airport for flight to Hochiminh City.

Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to city centre for lunch.

Following lunch at a nice restaurant, you will start with a visit to the iconic Saigon Central Post Office built between 1886 and 1891. Based on the design of French architect Foulhoux, it is the creation of a unique vaulted ceiling with wrought iron beams and columns reminiscent of industrial architeture, which is now considered a symbol of Saigon and one of its most famous landmarks. Stop for a chat with Mr. Duong (if he is available), who enjoys local notoriety for his professional love-letter skills.

Walk along Dong Khoi street, formerly la rue Catinat and pay a visit to Gialong Palace – Ho Chi Minh City Museum for its beautiful architecture and listen to its history through times. Continue to ‘Le Loi Street’ to meet a local artisan who specialises in traditional engravings.

Next, stroll through the old central market (your vehicle will be available) before arriving at the city’s oldest colonial-era apartment, built in 1886, and see what the young creative Vietnamese are up to from their funky boutiques and coffee shops. Sit down at one of the stylish coffee shops and interact with a local resident who moved here in 1975.

Optional activity – A O Show: Leave the compound and have a look at the building on the other side, which used to be ‘Banque de l’Indochine’ (Indochina Bank) during the 1920s. It’s a stunning example of the ‘Indochinois’ east/west fusion style of architecture that this area is known for. After this last stop, head to Saigon Opera House to see “A O Show” – a combination of arts highlighting the peaceful country life and poetic scenery of Vietnam. The show is special in the way it contains episodes of Vietnamese traditional folk games, dances and circus acts performed against the background of traditional and modern music combined with artistic lighting. Bamboo pipes and baskets are used throughout the performance as set decorations and traditional daily activities of villagers and festive celebrations are demonstrated by performers and musicians in farmers’ clothing.

Tonight, you will enjoy Vietnamese cuisine in a special restaurant. Transfer back to the hotel.

Hotel De Art Saigon – http://www.hoteldesartssaigon.com/

 

Day 10: HOCHIMINH FREE AT LEISURE (B)

13 AUG 2023

Free at leisure for your own shopping in the bustling city. Overnight in Hochiminh

Hotel De Art Saigon – http://www.hoteldesartssaigon.com/

 

Day 11: HOCHIMINH DEPARTURE (B)

14 AUG 2023

Free at leisure until transfer to Hochiminh airport for flight back Australia.

 Chào Tạm Biệt và Hẹn Gặp Lại 

TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Hotel accommodation, shared in Twin room with breakfast

(Single Room option available at additional supplement charges)
• All private transfer & transportation
• Flight tickets

  • Flight Hanoi – Danang by Vietnam Airlines, VN181@ 17.00 – 18.25
  • Flight Danang – Ho chi minh by Vietnam Airlines, VN113 @ 09.20 – 10.50
  • Halong Bay Cruise with Heritage Binh Chuan Cruises
    • English speaking guide
  • One massager services at Four Season The Nam Hai resort as indicated in program
  • All entrance fees
    • Meal as stated in program (virtually all meals)….
    • Vietnam visa approved letter

TOUR EXCLUDES:

  • Vietnam visa stamp fee
    • International flights & departure airport tax
  • A O Show ticket Ooh class
  • Personal expenses such as drinks at meals, camera fee to tour sites
    • Meals not mentioned
    •Travel insurance

TOUR COSTS

USD$3995 twin share/USD$1329 single supplement

contact jeanw@glamgirlsluxtravels.com for further information and to secure your booking.