Vietnam from North to South
Vietnam, Discovery, 14 days - from £1,145 (land only) - from €1,545 (land only) - from $1,915 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in the historic and atmospheric "Old Quarter" of Hanoi. A single group transfer is provided timed to the arrival of the preferred group flights. For those with enough energy after the long flight, there may be enough time for a short walking tour of the area before dinner. KE Land Only package services start with the dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Today we will enjoy a tour of the city of Hanoi, exploring the atmospheric "Old Quarter" and mingling with the street food vendors who fill its maze like smoky streets. We will also visit the Temple of Literature, Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Art Museum. Before dinner we'll see the famous Water Puppet Theatre show. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: After a morning visit to Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum we begin our 3-4hr drive to Quan Hoa, near the Laos border, travelling via karst outcrop scenery and lush vegetation. On arrival we enjoy good lunch before we walk to Ban Hang Village where we spend the night in homestay accommodation. Approximately 3 hours trekking.
Day 4: A full day of trekking as we explore the area on foot, trekking through rice paddies and lush jungle vegetation. Time has stood still here and the rice fields are still worked in the traditional way; harvested by the villagers wearing their traditional conical hats and ploughed by water buffalo. Overnight homestay accommodation in Kho Muong Village. 6 to 7 hours walking.
Day 5: We continue our trek through the local villages and rice fields to the village at Huou. We take our time en route to meet the friendly locals as they go about their daily lives; this is one of the highlights of our stay. Tonight is our last homestay and we celebrate the end of our trek with another fantastic spread of fragrant Vietnamese dishes. Overnight homestay. 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 6: An easy walk from Huou Village to Pho Doan by a well-marked trail. After lunch at a local restaurant, we transfer by vehicle to Ninh Binh, where we've time to enjoy a foot massage before continuing to Tam Coc (or "Halong Bay on land") where we will overnight. Approximately 2 to 3 hours walking and 4 hours driving. Overnight hotel.
Day 7: A day to explore Tam Coc, the so-called 'Halong Bay on Land'. We take a boat tour of the rocky outcrops, rowed the traditional way with the oars being operated by feet. After lunch we take a sampan cruise to further explore the complex system of canals and caves. In the afternoon we enjoy a short cycling tour, before arriving in back Tam Coc for dinner. Overnight hotel.
Day 8: We take the 4hr drive to Halong Bay through the heart of the Red River Delta. We board our private boat and check into our comfortable cabins with private bathrooms, we set sail to explore UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay with it's 3000 islands. We have a delicious seafood dinner and spend the night on board.
Day 9: In the morning there is time to relax on board and enjoy the superb views. Arriving in port we take the 3hr drive to Hanoi in time for dinner before boarding the "Reunification Express" for the exciting overnight sleeper journey to Hue. We overnight onboard in 4 bed berths. Those awake early enough will be treated to some spectacular views of the countryside.
Day 10: We arrive in Hue, one of Vietnam's most beautiful cities, in the early morning and head to the Perfume River to begin our overnight cruise, we stop en route at bustling Dong Ba market. We begin our journey up stream; a most relaxing experience. Arriving at Thuy Bieu, we moor the boat and go ashore to explore by bicycle. Later, we help prepare dinner in a cookery class! We overnight onboard.
Day 11: After an early breakfast on deck, we'll visit the impressive "Forbidden City" a remnant of the glory days of Vietnam's Emperors. Leaving Hue, we take the 3hr drive on the scenic Mandarin Road to Hoi An; famous for its tailors, bridges and lantern lined river. We will have time to visit the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Tan Ky ancient house before dinner. Overnight hotel.
Day 12: We will be up early to enjoy the riverside in the morning light, before driving the short distance to the airport in time for our short flight to Saigon. On arrival we take the 3.5hr drive to the Mekong Delta and board a sampan to take us to our charming river side bungalows. In the afternoon, there's time for a walk or cycle tour of the surrounding area. Overnight at the Mekong Lodge.
Day 13: On board a sampan we explore the river and its islands. We visit a workshop, where we watch the production of rice wine and stop at a local home to sample the many exotic fruits grown in the area. We've time for lunch before transferring by vehicle to Saigon. This evening is free to explore this vibrant city and we may want to hit the shopping district in a hunt for souvenirs. Overnight hotel.
Day 14: In the morning we enjoy a city tour, visiting the temple of the Jade Emperor, Reunification Palace and the lively Binh Tay Market. The rest of the day is free until the group transfer to Ho Chi Minh Airport where KE Land Only package services end.