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Spirit of Vietnam - Summer 2021

Operator
Luxury Gold
Days
12
From
USD $4,795
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Sunday,
Jan 16, 2022
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Jan 27, 2022
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Feb 20, 2022
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Mar 03, 2022
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From
Sunday,
Mar 13, 2022
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Mar 24, 2022
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Apr 03, 2022
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Apr 14, 2022
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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Embrace the very best of Vietnam on this 12-day guided tour. See Ho Chi Minh’s glittering skyscrapers and green paddy fields from a speedboat as you race to the Cu Chi tunnels, where guerrilla fighters once hid during the Vietnam War; here, meet a Viet Cong veteran who will share with you what it was like to live in the tunnels. See the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel in Hue during a private tour before the palaces open to other tourists. Experience the vibrant city of Hoi An your way: take a hands-on cooking class, or craft your very own essential oil. Walk through the food carts living Hanoi’s streets and taste its classic cuisine: crab spring rolls, beef noodle soup, and com cakes. Sail through the mesmerizing waters of Halong Bay on a traditional overnight junk cruise.

Countries Visited

Vietnam

Cities Visited

Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City , Hoi An

  1. Day 1
    Dynamic Ho Chi Minh City.
    On arrival at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, you will be greeted and escorted to your hotel. At 19:00, join your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers to enjoy a Welcome Dinner in one of the rooftop restaurants of Saigon while you watch the lights of the city from a perfect vantage point.Accommodation: InterContinental Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City.
  2. Day 2
    Marvels of Saigon.
    See the best of Saigon as you travel from the city’s glittering skyscrapers to the green paddy fields scattered along the Saigon River by speedboat. Your destination is the Cu Chi tunnels, which were dug in 1948 for guerrillas to hide from combatant forces during the Vietnam War. These extraordinary tunnels form part of a network of tunnels that cover most of the country. During your visit to these underground villages, meet a Viet Cong veteran who used to live here and find out how challenging the living conditions really were like. Back in the city, embark on a leisurely walking exploration that reveals highlights including Notre Dame Cathedral and Gustave Eiffel's Central Post Office. Over a cup of Vietnamese coffee, gain an appreciation for local street-side cafe culture.Accommodation: InterContinental Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City.
  3. Day 3
    Cruise the Mekong Delta.
    Travel to the Mekong Delta and board a private charter. At your first stop see coconut production and processing, then enjoy a taste of juice fresh from the fruit. Further along, stop to see where locals still use centuries-old methods to make bricks at a small brick kiln. Next you'll enjoy a ride on a tri-motorcycle along narrow village roads, arriving at a rice noodle factory to see the most popular breakfast in the region being produced. Continue your cruise to Mango Home for a tasty lunch of Mekong Delta specialties. Then walk along the shady village roads to the home of Mr. Sau Tuong, a former soldier who fought the deadly Khmer Rouge, known for orchestrating the Cambodian genocide. Learn how life in Vietnam has evolved for him and his wife since the 1960s and how they earn a living from making rice paper.Accommodation: InterContinental Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City.
  4. Day 4
    Royal Refinement in Hue. Relaxed Start
    Marvel at vistas of lush countryside, as you fly to Hue for the next chapter of your journey. Enjoy a cyclo's ride to Phu Mong village, take in a traditional garden house and craft houses, enjoy a serene life here. You will be impressed by green sceneries on the journey. This evening, take a visit to a special venue where it's not only a dining place but also a culture exchange experience - Ben Xuan Garden House Theatre. It is set in a magnificent structure built in Hue royal architectural style — located by the Perfume River between Thien Mu pagoda and the Temple of Literature Van Thanh.You are invited to meet with the owner Ms. Camille Huyen - a celebrated painter, singer and all-around renaissance woman with royal ancestry and her husband, a former Swiss banker. Combined, the two put on an intimate and welcoming hosted meal which includes a stroll of their own designed traditional house and a small concert that features Huyen on vocals, accompanied by local musicians playing traditional instruments, a scrumptious meal. Chat with the family about their career and life in the Western world and how the nostalgia brings them back to their hometown to nourish their dream and passion.Accommodation: Pilgrimage Village, Hue.
  5. Day 5
    Highlights of Hue.
    Rise early for a private VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel, before it opens to the public. Enjoy an escorted journey on a state-of-the-art electric cart, as a renowned local historian guides you through the towering main gates and shows you the majestic architecture and splendid gardens of the former royal court. Return to your hotel for breakfast, then visit the royal tomb of Minh Mang, the second Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant on the perfume river with views of the Thien Mu Pagoda. After lunch you will meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy at an ancient temple. Learn about the intricate training activities of the practitioners and attend a performance showcasing the different martial arts techniques. The evening is at your leisure, perhaps ask your Travelling Concierge to make restaurant reservations for you.Accommodation: Pilgrimage Village, Hue.
  6. Day 6
    Romantic Hoi An.
    Enjoy a scenic drive over the spectacular Hai Van Mountain pass to reach Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend a half day with a local guide, exploring the ancient town. Explore former merchants’ homes, colourful communal halls, narrow lanes lined with traditional houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge. Leave the crowded venue behind and discover some untouched stories in the beautiful old town.Meander down the small alley to discover an ancient house where the art of healing through martial art is passed down through generations. This healing method is the master’s invention, combined between Qigong and traditional Vietnamese martial art. Have a chance to learn some basic steps under the guidance of the master. This evening, choose to dine at restaurants focusing on traditional local cuisine, modern Vietnamese or East-meets-West fusion.Accommodation: Anantara Hoi An Resort, Hoi An.
  7. Day 7
    The locals in Hoi An. Relaxed Start
    Visit the beautiful Cam Thanh Village with its dense coconut jungles that were once a shelter for local people and soldiers during the Vietnam War. Today the village is an important supplier of seafood, vegetables and rice to the region. Step into a traditional bamboo-basket boat and glide across the water to the Thanh Dong village where you'll learn from the villagers how they cultivate and harvest vegetables according to local customs. Continue your voyage through a peaceful water coconut forest to a riverside restaurant overlooking the rice fields. Enjoy traditional Vietnamese folk games and participate in a hands-on cooking class alongside a local chef. Savour your creations for your Highlight Lunch.Accommodation: Anantara Hoi An Resort, Hoi An.
  8. Day 8
    Hanoi street-food tasting tour.
    Board a morning flight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s glistening capital city known for colonial-style architecture, ancient temples and vibrant culture. Enjoy a ride aboard an electric cart to see the historic Opera House, avenues lined with French mansions, Sword Lake and the 18th century Jade Mountain Temple. Join a local foodie in the Old Quarter for an exploration of Hanoi’s robust street-food culture, that will delight all the senses. Learn what locals love to eat and taste the city’s very best dishes, including rice paper rolls, crab spring rolls, beef noodle soup, com cake and other delights. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax at your five-star hotel or ask your Travelling Concierge to recommend city-centre attractions nearby.Accommodation: Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi.
  9. Day 9
    Cruise along Ha Long Bay.
    Travel to Ha Long Bay, known as the bay with a thousand islands and glistening emerald water. Step aboard a deluxe junk for a memorable overnight cruise. Visit the mysterious Tien Ong Cave, where human bones dating back to 10,000 B.C. were discovered by archaeologists, and explore the Cua Van area. In the evening you'll have the choice to learn more about local cuisine with an on-board cooking demonstration, or simply relax on the top deck as the sun gently dips beyond the horizon, before sitting down to dinner.Accommodation: Paradise Cruise, Ha Long Bay.
  10. Day 10
    Ha Long to Hanoi. Relaxed Start
    Start the day with Tai Chi on the upper deck while cruising through the limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy a brunch on-board as you cruise to Ha Long City to disembark. Journey back to Hanoi where the evening is at leisure.Accommodation: InterContinental Westlake, Hanoi.
  11. Day 11
    The Temple of Literature. Relaxed Start
    Visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076 as the first university for the sons of mandarins. Meet a scholar who will share their insights into this famous institution. Learn about Hanoian culture and Vietnamese architecture before exploring the temple grounds. In the evening, join your travel companions and toast to your travels during your Celebration Dinner.Accommodation: InterContinental Westlake, Hanoi.
  12. Day 12
    Farewell Vietnam
    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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Inclusions

Choice Highlights

Well-being

  • : Your Well-Being Director takes a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met. On tours fewer than 20 guests, your Traveling Concierge will act as your Well-Being Director.
  • : Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19. All Travelling Concierge's, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Exceptional Dining

  • Ho Chi Minh City: Admire the marvellous views from a lively rooftop restaurant at your Welcome Dinner in Saigon. Get to know your Travelling Concierge and fellow guests as you dine on local delicacies in a sophisticated setting, with the lights twinkling across the city.
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Meander through the streets of Ho Chi Minh and hear more about the local street-side café culture, which sprung up when many French lived in the country. Discover the art of making the perfect cup of Vietnamese coffee before trying one.
  • Mekong River Delta: Pause for lunch at the enchanting Mango Home, a thatched restaurant located on the Mekong. Savour delicacies enjoyed in the delta, including noodle soup, grilled fish, and giant prawns fresh from the river, as you enjoy views of the lush countryside.
  • Hoi An: Dine out with Your Choice this evening. Choose from one of three hand-selected restaurants, known to our local foodies, each specialising in different cuisine from traditional to modern Vietnamese, or a fusion of east and west to tantalise your taste buds.
  • Hoi An: Join a local chef for an enjoyable hands-on cooking class where you will learn how to create some of the aromatic local specialities eaten regularly in Hoi An. Savour your creations in a Highlight Lunch set amid the rice fields.
  • Hanoi: Join a local foodie in the Old Quarter to explore the street food culture of Hanoi. Dine as the locals do, on delights such as steaming pho (a beef noodle soup), rice paper rolls and crab spring rolls.
  • Dining Summary: 11 Breakfast (B), 1 Dinner (D), 5 Dinner with Wine (DW), 2 Lunch (L), and 3 Lunch with Wine (LW)

Journey Highlights

  • Ho Chi Minh City: Join a Viet Cong veteran to visit the underground Củ Chi tunnels and learn more about this complex network originally built in 1948. See where many thousands of troops trained and lived under difficult conditions during the Vietnam War.
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Experience the vibrancy of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, as you visit its most iconic attractions, including the Central Post Office, designed by Alfred Foulhox. Delve into the exciting street food and coffee culture of the city.
  • Mekong River Delta: Board a private vessel for your Mekong River Cruise, taking you down the most important waterway in Southeast Asia. Gain a fascinating insight into coconut processing, one of the major industries for people who live along the river.
  • Mekong River Delta: Enjoy a ride on a tri-motorcycle through the tropical scenery of the Mekong delta, passing limestone mountains and rows of neat rice paddies. Arrive at a rustic rice noodle factory to see how the favoured breakfast meal of Vietnam is produced.
  • Hue: Cycle through rice fields to Thanh Toan village, admiring the green countryside as you pedal by. Visit the lively local market, bargain along with the locals and see traditional houses. Soak up the agricultural way of life, a suitable contrast to the city.
  • Hue: Meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy and hear about the rigours of training for each martial art. Afterwards, watch at a live performance by the martial artists, admirably demonstrating their skill and discipline.
  • Hoi An: Explore the Ancient Old Town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see well-preserved buildings that date back several centuries. See the 18th century Japanese covered bridge with its elaborate carvings and spot many coloured lanterns along the way.
  • Hoi An: Glide across the water in a traditional bamboo basket boat to Thanh Dong village. Here you’ll meet villagers happy to share their local customs around cultivating and harvesting vegetables. Soak up the serenity of the surrounding countryside and the simple life.
  • Hanoi: Take a spin on a nifty electric cart for a fun way to get around Hanoi. See the main sights of the city, including the beautiful French neoclassical Opera House, the centre for cultural and historical events in Vietnam.
  • Halong Bay: Board a luxury junk boat for a special cruise around the magnificent Ha Long Bay, famous for its emerald waters and thousands of limestone islands dotted with rainforests. Explore mysterious caves and marvel at a memorable sunset over this scene.
  • Halong Bay: Visit the spectacular Tien Ong cave with its immense stalactites and stalagmites, resembling various forms, including one called “the fairy godfather.” Sail to Cua Van floating village, amid the towering rocks, where fishermen have lived for hundreds of years.
  • Hanoi: Meet a renowned local scholar during a special visit to the famous Temple of Literature, built in 1070 to honour the great philosopher, Confucius. Learn more about the culture of Hanoi and Vietnamese architecture before touring the picturesque grounds and seeing the Well of Clarity.

VIP Experiences

  • Mekong River Delta: Meet Mr. Sau Tuong, a former soldier, at his home and see how he and his wife make a living making rice paper. This quiet existence is in stark contrast to the four years he spent fighting the Khmer Rouge, who terrorised Cambodia in the 1970s.
  • Hue: Arrive at the home of celebrated painter and singer, Camille Huyen, for a memorable meal and private concert. Stroll around the traditional home she shares with her husband and hear about their fascinating lives and the dream that brought them home.
  • Hue: Enjoy a VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel before it opens to other travellers. Hear more about Emperor Gia Long, the first ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty, who made this the centre of a unified Vietnam.

Additional Included Highlights

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available, does not apply to Halong Bay Cruise).
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates, when flights are included within the itinerary and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Guests will be transferred with fellow Luxury Gold Travellers that arrive on the same flight.

Health and Safety Protocols for Luxury Gold Tours

Luxury Gold has introduced these enhanced hygiene protocols – for you and team members.

You can travel with Luxury Gold and be assured that their team has put numerous new measures in place to elevate their hygiene standards and protocols. The well-being of guests and team has always been, and always will be, their primary concern.

In this new, fast changing Covid-19 era, Luxury Gold is doing all they can to adapt to new requirements and expectations. Here are some important new steps and procedures that they have implemented to enhance hygiene protocols, to comply with physical distancing requirements by relevant government authorities and to give you the peace of mind when you are traveling during these new times.

Expertly Trained Travel Directors

Travel Director training equips them with enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures. During your trip, they will operate with a duty of care and monitor the hygiene etiquette of the guests, reacting and advising as needed, to ensure high standards are maintained. Before you travel, Luxury Gold will also keep you well informed about new protocols required in these areas, and ask that you cooperate with and heed the advice and direction of Travel Directors while on your trip. The Travel Directors have preventative measures in place to try and ensure your well-being and in the event that any unexpected issues arise on trip, they will activate additional protocols.

Stringent On-the-Road Protocols

The customized luxury coaches are sanitised before the start of your trip and have always been kept to very high standards. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Luxury Gold have taken additional measures to elevate hygiene and sanitary practices in accordance with guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and as required, applicable government regulations. The Driver training provides them with the latest hygiene protocols. They will clean and disinfect all surfaces including handrails, door handles, tables, seats, air-conditioning filters and overhead lockers on a daily basis. All the guests are asked to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organisation including the thorough and regular washing of hands and sanitising when required. Hand sanitiser is freely available on board for your use throughout the day. Please bring your own washable face mask and gloves with you, and additional hand sanitiser to make you feel comfortable, as these will be required to be worn in public in some countries. Should an unexpected situation arise, additional face masks, rubber gloves, antiviral sprays and wipes will be available for guest distribution on all trips.

A Full Team of Support 24/7

It’s not just your Travel Director and Driver who will be taking care of you. Behind the scenes, the operations and guest support teams are in contact with them and on call 24/7, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Physical Distancing

Adapting to the right size groups, based on government distancing requirements, you can rest assured that you will travel with the comfort of your own personal space. Have peace of mind that all of the experiences, hotels and restaurants you’ll enjoy on your trip have been vetted to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Trusted Partners, Exceptional Standards

Luxury Gold is very selective in who they work with and choose to only use hotels, restaurants, ground handlers and venues that take the well-being of the guests as seriously as Luxury Gold does and agrees to meet expected guidelines and specifications. Luxury Gold only works with establishments that they are confident will consistently adhere to their high standards.

Always in the Know

As part of The Travel Corporation (TTC) , Luxury Gold is kept up to date with all government advisories and travel alerts on a daily basis and is continually in touch with all of the partners on the ground in each destination. Also, rest assured that during your trip, the teams work to ensure the supplier partners (hotels, restaurants, museums and other venues) are also applying the same standard to these new hygiene and distancing protocols, to the extent possible.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Luxury Gold Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.5
Accommodations
4.9
Itinerary
4.5
Professional Staff
4.5
Repeat with Operator
4.4
Value for Money
4.3

Ratings based off 17 reviews about Luxury Gold Tours - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

The guide was fabulous. The hotels wonderful.

Truly enjoyed all aspects of the Luxury Gold trip and will definitely look into more trips with them in the future.

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