The Best Luxury Small Group Tour of Vietnam

Annual Thanksgiving Sale - 11.21 - 12.5


Private Tours

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam. Your arrival and departure transfers can be reserved with your guest relations manager, who is assigned to you after you book your tour. We strongly recommend that our guests consider arriving a day earlier, as this allows you to recuperate from jetlag, and serves as insurance against international flight delays and cancellations.

Sunset in Hanoi

Sunset in Hanoi

An additional night’s lodging at your gorgeous historic hotel can be added as part of the process as you reserve your tour.

If you are arriving a day earlier, your airport to hotel transfer will be provided a day earlier. Our services begin with your greeting as you exit the customs area at Hanoi airport. You are then driven to your boutique luxury hotel and assisted with your check-in if it is after 3pm. If it is much before 3pm, an earlier check-in can be arranged at an additional charge. The Sofitel Legend Metropole is one of a few internationally revered historic hotels which first opened its doors in 1901. Scores of heads of state, business tycoons, and celebrities have stayed here, including celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin and Joan Baez.

Your lodging has an enviable location in the iconic Old Quarter of Hanoi, and major attractions such as the Hanoi Opera, great restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as the vibrant street scene, are just a few steps away, but not in any way intrusive. Hanoi is one of the world’s most fascinating cities to explore on foot, with an exceptional street food scene, and its Old Quarter is always abuzz with activity and has an amazing energy that is near impossible to resist. Located on the banks of the Red River, Vietnam's capital is a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old-world charm and has some of Asia’s most striking colonial architecture.
(Overnight – Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi)

Day 2: Hanoi. (Breakfast and Welcome Orientation Dinner) Start your exploration of Vietnam’s capital with a visit to the Temple of Literature. Built in 1070 as a Confucian temple and school, this complex became Vietnam’s first university six years later. Multiple courtyards, water tanks, temples, and unique architecture are what you will notice first. A unique sight here is 82 large stone slabs (with large tortoise shaped bases of stone) that have the names and other details of doctoral laureates of the university from 1442 to 1779. It is common to see local students at the temple in school groups throughout the year, and large groups of them are here dressed in their finest during graduation periods. Walk around the complex and its gardens and explore several temples housing beautiful statues of the university’s founders and greatest scholars.

Next up is the impressive Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex. This site is highly revered by the North Vietnamese, and consists of several structures, including Uncle Ho’s (Ho Chi Minh) modest house on stilts, and of course the iconic mausoleum itself. This granite structure stands prominently above the parade area and grandstand at a height of 70 feet and is surrounded by meticulously maintained lawns and gardens. Please note that we do not include a viewing of the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh, housed inside, as this requires a 45 minute (minimum) wait in line, and no photos are allowed.

Presidential Palace Hanoi

Presidential Palace Hanoi

Next to the mausoleum is the beautiful Presidential Palace, built between 1900 and 1906 as the French Governor General of Indochina’s residence.

The Palace is not open to the public, but you can stop here for a photo opportunity of the front left profile of the structure, as well as its beautiful gardens. Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the palace and had a simple home on stilts built in the gardens, which you will walk through to experience its simplicity and austerity.

Return to your beautiful hotel in the old quarter and you are at leisure for a short while during which you can enjoy lunch. In the early afternoon you will experience a guided walk through the fascinating old quarter. When Hanoi was much smaller, this area was the residential, commercial, and manufacturing hub. Each street was dedicated to locals practicing a particular trade, and this practice has continued until today, except the fact that there are far more street food outlets and cafes, adding even more color to an already fascinating sight. Your Country Connoisseur Guide will walk you through streets such as Hand Dong street (copper wares street) Hang Tre street (bamboo wares street), and so on. Some streets have names referring to trades no longer practiced, such as Hang Buom street (sails street), and are now focused solely on Vietnamese candy and cakes. There are streets full of flower decorators and sellers, and many of the streets still have temples, pagodas, and communal structures from old times.

Your walk will end at the Dong Xuan market and next you will enjoy a roughly 40-minute cyclo (pedicab) ride around the Old Quarter. These ancient narrow streets are bustling with people and shops. Your ride ends at Hoan Kiem Lake in the city center. The small urban lake is also known as The Lake of the Restored Sword, and the area surrounding it is Hanoi’s cultural center.

Hoan Kiem Lake Bridge to Ngoc Sun Temple

Hoan Kiem Lake Bridge to Ngoc Sun Temple

Visit Ngoc Son Temple, situated on a small island in the photogenic lake, and observe the fascinating rituals that take place here - the devout visit it for blessings throughout the day.

Welcome Dinner with Vietnam Orientation and Cocktails Event: This evening you will enjoy a short walk through a different part of the fascinating Old Quarter to one of Hanoi’s top-ranked boutique hotels. The elevators will take you to the rooftop bar area from where there is a charming view of Hani and Hoan Kiem Lake. While you enjoy a cocktail, your expert Vietnam Connoisseur Guide will give you an orientation of Vietnam and its culture, and things that you will experience during your exploration. Next you will be escorted to the excellent restaurant on the floor below you (also with a great view) and here you will enjoy a delicious dinner. As with most of your meals while you are in Southeast Asia with us, delicious options between local specialties and western cuisine will be available during this dinner.
(Overnight – Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi)

Day 3: Hanoi. (Breakfast and Lunch) Start your day with a visit to a residential Hanoi district seldom experienced by foreigners. You will feel like you have traveled back in time into the 1960’s when Hanoi was a quaint capital populated mostly by modest workers. Wander around these narrow alleys covered in colorful market stalls, observe the locals as they go about their daily lives – you will experience Hanoi as only the locals do.

After this you will visit the home of a renowned artist and craftsman who makes his own water puppets and performs shows – he has won many awards and traveled to many international venues, including the U.S., to stage performances. You will observe the many intricate processes he goes through to create the puppets, and you will see and learn how puppeteers orchestrate the performances (from behind the scenes) that are so popular in Northern Vietnam.

Return to the Old Quarter and break for lunch at the famous Sadhu restaurant, a charming upscale establishment serving innovative fusion vegetarian cuisine. You are at leisure at your hotel for a short while and in the late afternoon comes a fascinating performance of Water Puppetry, where Easy Tours guests will enjoy preferred seating. Knowing the details behind this elaborate and stylized performance will further enhance your viewing pleasure. The Thang Long Puppet Theatre is Hanoi’s most famous because of the quality of the performers, and it is located on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake, across from Ngoc Son Temple. This art form, which is unique to North Vietnam, originated in the 11th century. The combination of indigenous music, small fireworks, and the colorful wooden performers, as well as the accomplished musicians visible in the gallery, makes this spectacle a great introduction to North Vietnamese cultural entertainment.

After the performance, you will enjoy a short walk to your hotel by the charming lake, walking past the locals as they dine on street food, an activity that is omnipresent at night all over the Old Quarter. By now you will start realizing that the Vietnamese take street food to a whole new level, even by Southeast Asia standards – people eating are everywhere, occupying sections of the pedestrian walkways, parks, sometimes taking over parts of the roads after sunset, enjoying the wares from scores of small street stalls.
(Overnight – Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi)

Day 4: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) ) Check-out from your hotel in the morning, and then you are driven to an island off the coast of Ha Long. A new highway has now cut the driving time from about 3:45 minutes each way to about 2 hours 15 minutes. Upon your arrival you will join your fellow cruise travelers in a reception area where refreshments will be served. After a while you will be assisted in boarding your top-ranked luxury vessel. This is one of the newest cruisers on the bay and you will be in a beautiful balcony cabin on the upper deck which offers wonderful views.

Halong Bay Arial View

Halong Bay Arial View

The entire bay on this coast of Vietnam is one of the world’s most spectacular seascapes, resulting in it being listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The water is very calm on the bay, and the scenic beauty is characterized by a vast area that is full of lush limestone (karst) hills jutting out of the ocean. Your cruise will cover parts of Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay and you will visit some of the main attractions, but you will also spend quite a bit of time where most other cruises don’t go, in stunning locations that are a little off the beaten track. You will have various excursions available during your cruise, including options to kayak, swim, visit floating villages, and a lot more, and there will also be a full schedule of activities on the ship that you can participate in. Excellent Vietnamese and western cuisine options will be served throughout your cruise.
Lunch is served shortly after the cruise begins.
(Paradise Grand Cruise)

Day 5: Ha Long Bay – Hue. (Breakfast and Lunch) Wake up a little early to stunning views and then enjoy breakfast, after which you have the option to experience this morning’s scheduled excursion. Return after the scheduled morning excursion, and a full brunch will be waiting for you. The boat now begins its leisurely cruise to the dock, giving you plenty of time for more relaxation and photography. Check out of your cabin and you are met by your Country Connoisseur Guide and chauffeur at the dock. You are then driven to Hanoi airport to board your flight to Hue, The City of Mist.

You are greeted at Hue airport and you are driven to your art deco historic riverfront resort for check-in. By far Hue’s best lodging option, it was the residence of the French Resident Superieure (Governor) in times past. Time Magazine listed this hotel in its best hotels in the world in 2019, and the resort has received countless other awards. We use the larger Deluxe Rooms as the standard Superior Rooms are a little small.

Hue is known for its magnificent monuments built under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 - 1945), and also famous for its amazing food, as well as its unique conical hats. Unlike Hanoi and Saigon, the city has a relaxed vibe, and evening walks by the Perfume River, and the delightful cafes that are found here, are highly recommended. The monuments that you will visit here make up one of Vietnam’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This honor was bestowed on the city in 1993 since it is such a fine example of an eastern feudal capital.
(Overnight – Azerai La Residence)

Day 6: Hue. (Breakfast, Lunch and Cocktail Cruise) Your day will start in the morning with a visit to the impressive mausoleum of King Tu Duc (ruled 1848 - 1883). Close by is the next attraction, the unique mausoleum of King Khai Dinh (ruled 1916 - 1925).

Mausoleum of King Tu Duc's

A Courtyard at King Tu Duc's Mausoleum

These ornate and colorful monuments, designed by the kings themselves, were also used as holiday retreats during their lifetimes.

Next you will enjoy a guided walk-through older part of Hue, including a busy market located next to the river.

A short drive will bring you very near your next experience, and you will break for lunch at wonderful Fine Dining French Vietnamese restaurant, Les Jardins de la Carambole. After lunch you will continue your exploration with a visit to the Royal Citadel. The sprawling complex of palaces, fortifications and pagodas was, in its day, virtually impenetrable. The tour of this Imperial City features monuments such as the Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace (Palace of Supreme Harmony), and the Forbidden Purple City. Return to your beautiful colonial resort and take a short break to freshen up.

Private Sunset Cocktail Cruise: Board your boutique lodge’s upscale boat for a private one-and-a-half-hour sunset cocktail cruise on the Perfume River. The river gets its name from that fact that, during fall, orchids growing upriver of Hue fall into the waters creating a wonderful smell on the waters. The cruise lets you experience the enchanting ancient city of Hue from a different perspective as you watch the sun set on the river and the city. Delicious cocktails and canapes are served during the cruise.
(Overnight – Azerai La Residence)

Day 7: Hue – Hoi An. (Breakfast and Lunch) You will be assisted with your check-out in the morning. Embark on a scenic 3.5-hour (approximately) drive to Hoi An. Some of this drive is through coastal fishing villages, and some of it is on one of Southeast Asia’s most spectacular roads, where you straddle the Pacific Ocean with amazing views on one side, and lush green hills on the other. At the highest point of the journey, you will have a breathtaking view of the Pacific, and on the other side a view of the modern city of Da Nang and its bay. You will drive through the outskirts of Da Nang as you head towards Hoi An, and a brief photo opportunity stop will be at the beach zone that was a favorite for American soldiers during the Vietnam war, immortalized in the television series China Beach.

Arrive near historic and charming Hoi An in the early afternoon, in time for a slightly late lunch at a very nice beachfront restaurant. After lunch, you will be driven inland for about 15 minutes and assisted with your check-in at your top-ranked boutique resort. Although the Heritage town of Hoi An is an ancient seaport, it is now about 3 miles from the coastline as the crow flies. Easy Tours uses the highest rated and top-ranked lodging in Hoi An, and the boutique lodge is located within Hoi An and is a very short walk or drive from the UNESCO Site.

You will be staying in a beautiful Verandah Suite in the more exclusive and relatively new Club Section of the lodge, and the services and cuisine are among the best you will experience anywhere in Southeast Asia. A leisurely 10-to-15-minute walk, 3-minute taxi ride, or a 5-minute bike ride (complimentary at your resort) can bring you to the ancient town in case you want to return there at any time during your stay. Although the food at your lodge is excellent, we also recommend the extremely charming French inspired riverfront restaurants and cafes in the ancient town for dinner this evening.

Hoi An

Hoi An

Hoi An is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the best-preserved ancient seaport in Southeast Asia.

Easy Tours prefers not to take our guests to the ancient town during the late morning and early afternoon as, during those hours, it gets really crowded and noisy due to a large influx of tourist bus groups from the large Da Nang casino resorts. We begin your discovery of the ancient seaport in the late afternoon with a guided walk through the Japanese and Chinese Quarters of the tiny ancient town. One of the highlights is the beautifully crafted and much-photographed Japanese Bridge. You will also visit a number of temples, pagodas, communal houses, traditional shops, and other places of interest in the small town.
(Overnight – La Siesta Resort & Spa)

Day 8: Hoi An. Fisherman and Farmer for a Half Day. (Breakfast and Special Dinner) Rural Farming & Fishing Life Experience. Join your Tour Director Guide for a drive into the rural region away from modern civilization, along the Thu Bon River and its gorgeous Nipa Mangroves, passing lush farms and jungles. Soon you will arrive at the home and workshop of a local bamboo craftsman.

Bamboo Weaving

Bamboo Weaving

Bamboo is widely used for a myriad of purposes in central coastal Vietnam, and there are a few expert craftsmen who sculpt and create with this amazing natural resource.

Your host this morning is one of the very best of these craftsmen. You will be shown the steps of the creative process, and you are encouraged to make a souvenir for yourself.

You will now proceed to visit a local fisherman’s family. We recommend that you use bicycles for this part of the excursion, although for those group members who would rather not, your vehicle will be headed to the same destination. The approximately 5-mile ride is on flat country roads with no traffic, and the scenery is extremely charming. At the end of the ride, you will meet the friendly family and learn about their simple lifestyles, followed by a lesson in Vietnamese net fishing!

A very short drive after this will end at an organic farm, where again you will learn from the farmers on how they cultivate their crops. Enjoy some of their herbal tea and snacks, and then, if you so desire, participate in their daily activities for a little while. From here you are driven back to your gorgeous lodging and you are at leisure for a couple of hours for relaxation at your lodge, until your bamboo platform dining experience.

Bamboo Platform Dining Experience: At 4:30 PM your Country Connoisseur Guide will escort you to the banks of the river. You will be assisted in boarding one of the Hoi An regions iconic basket boats for a short cruise. After a few minutes you will arrive at your destination – large floating bamboo rafts, situated on a beautiful secluded part of the river, surrounded by tropical nature. Butlers and other staff will feed you unique local cuisine and fresh vegetables. At the end of the evening, at about 8 PM, you will be driven back to your resort.
(Overnight – La Siesta Resort & Spa)

Day 9: Hoi An – Da Nang – Saigon. (Breakfast and Lunch) Check-out of your resort in the morning and you are driven to Da Nang airport, crossing the charming Dragon Bridge on the way, where you will board the noon flight to Saigon. From the airport area you will be driven to District 1 in Saigon. There will be a break for lunch at a top-rated contemporary fusion restaurant, the Quan Bui.

After lunch you are assisted with check-in at Vietnam’s most luxurious city hotel, the Reverie, also ranked as Saigon’s top hotel. The opulence of the hotel and your room cannot be described in words – it has to be experienced! You are in the heart of Saigon’s downtown (District 1), and restaurants, cafes, bars, and shopping are right at your doorstep, as are historical structures such as the Opera House. You are a couple of minutes’ away from the scenic Saigon River. Dinner and/or a drink is recommended at the Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar at the nearby (5-minute walk) upscale Caravelle Hotel – this is the spot where American correspondents such as Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings received their daily war briefing and it was their favorite watering hole during that time. Both the food and the drinks are very good.

Located near the mouth of the Mekong, this city was once nothing more than swampland inhabited by a few Khmer people. Today it is Vietnam’s largest and most metropolitan city, now known as Ho Chi Minh City.

Nursery on Canal

Nursery on Canal

The city of over 9 million people is a prototypical large Asian city with an impressive modern skyline overlooking busy streets overflowing with, for western visitors, chaotic scooter, motorcycle and other traffic.

You will start your exploration of Saigon in the midafternoon with a visit to the Reunification Palace. This was the headquarters of the United States supported South Vietnamese government and has been left largely as it appeared on the day the Viet Cong’s tanks crashed through the gate and claimed victory for the North. The original furniture, equipment rooms, and war rooms remain untouched, all the way down to the rotary phones on the desks and strategic maps on the walls. In the middle of the crowded city, this large structure and its vast grounds are a fascinating time warp taking you back to the early 1970’s. Next, enjoy a visit to the beautiful colonial building housing the Central Post Office, with its amazing collection of century old western telegraphs and other machines. This is an active place of business, and the gorgeous antique interior includes wooden phone booths and counters that the locals will be standing at while buying services.
(Overnight – The Reverie Saigon)

Day 10: Saigon. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) A short walk from your gorgeous hotel this morning will bring you to a pier on the Saigon River where you will be assisted in boarding an upscale speedboat. You will proceed on a very scenic ride to the Cu Chi Tunnels, located in the countryside north of Saigon. This speedboat ride gives you an opportunity to experience the lush farming and rural areas on the banks of the river and cuts the travel time to almost half when compared to driving.

The Cu Chi area is famed for its elaborate network of over 125 miles (200 kilometers) of three-story underground tunnels hand-dug during the Vietnam War. As you tour this extremely popular attraction, you have the option to experience climbing down into a tunnel and crawling around to get a taste of how the North Vietnamese soldiers (Vietcong) lived during the latter part of the war. There are displays of weaponry that was used, as well as life-sized clay likenesses of the North Vietnamese soldiers depicting the lives they lived.

You will enjoy lunch at a riverfront restaurant and then you will be assisted in boarding the speedboat back to Saigon. Enjoy another picturesque and exciting journey on the way back to District 1 in Saigon. Return to your gorgeous hotel and there is a short break for you to freshen up. After this you will enjoy a walk-through Saigon, including the famous shopping street of Dong Khoi.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

The walk starts at Notre Dame Cathedral and leads you to the Municipal Theater, after which you are driven to your spectacular hotel to enjoy the amazing facilities for a little while.

Saigon River Cruise Dinner: In the evening you will join your Country Connoisseur Guide for a short drive to another pier on the Saigon River where you will be assisted in boarding your river cruising vessel. Enjoy Saigon city lights and the multiple entertainment acts as you dine on a large and fresh selection of Vietnamese and some western cuisine. There are local dancers, musicians, a magician, and you are encouraged to join the performances.
(Overnight – The Reverie Saigon)

Day 11: Saigon – International Flight. (Breakfast and Lunch) This morning you have the option to experience an exploration of the War Remnants Museum. We do not recommend this museum to guests who don’t want to experience gruesome war photos, written descriptions, and exhibits. Also, please bear in mind that the atrocities exhibited are those attributed to American and French soldiers, during what Vietnamese call the American War and the earlier Anti-French Resistance War. For those who want to forego the museum, you can enjoy your spectacular hotel until the late morning or explore surrounding District 1 on your own. Those who visit the museum will return to your hotel to freshen up.

You are assisted with your check-out at noon and your bags are loaded into your vehicle. Enjoy a 3 to 4-minute walk through the affluent shopping area of District 1 and you will reach your destination for lunch, which will be at a wonderful upscale Vietnamese restaurant, Vietnam House. After lunch you are driven to the airport where your Vietnamese Country Connoisseur Guide will bid you farewell after assisting you with your check-in for your international flight.



 

Lodging

Hanoi Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi – Premium Room
HaLong Bay Paradise Grand Cruise – Executive Grand Balcony Cabin
Hue Azerai La Residence – Superior River View
Hoi An La Siesta Resort & Spa HoiAn – Verandah Suite Club Wing
Saigon The Reverie Saigon – Deluxe Room

Inclusions

Accompanying Country Connoisseur Guide for Airport Assistance on all in-country flights
Breakfast and Lunch Daily
All meals on HaLong Bay
Ground transportation via upscale private vehicles
Representative for assistance on departure / arrival transfers per the itinerary
Services of the best English-speaking Accompanying Country Connoisseur Guides
Applicable monument entrance fees as per the itinerary
Bottled water during sightseeing
Hotel accommodation as listed above
All Boat Fees/Fares per the itinerary

Not Included

International travel except countries on your Easy Tours Journey
Any expenses of a personal nature, such as tips, laundry, phone calls, drinks etc.
Meals other than those specified on itinerary
Travel insurance, visas, etc.

Dates & Prices

Annual Thanksgiving Sale - 11.21 - 12.5

Tour ID: ET-1329
Arrival Date Double or Single
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Dec 02, 2022
$5700 $5100
$296 DBL - $5396
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Jan 06, 2023
$5700 $5100
$296 DBL - $5396
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Feb 03, 2023
$5700 $5100
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Feb 17, 2023
$5700 $5100
$296 DBL - $5396
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Mar 17, 2023
$5700 $5100
$296 DBL - $5396
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