Vietnam: A Nation Revealed - A Luxury Small Group Journey (2020)

Discover the many faces of this dynamic nation as you explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter, cruise Ha Long Bay, pedal rural Mai Chau, uncover Hue’s imperial legacy, taste the local flavours of Hoi An and stroll the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

Journey Overview

Discover the many faces of this dynamic nation as you explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter, cruise Ha Long Bay, pedal rural Mai Chau, uncover Hue’s imperial legacy, taste the local flavours of Hoi An and stroll the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

Journey Highlights

  • Reveal the spirit of a nation as you explore Vietnam’s iconic cities, stunning rural scenery and enduring cultural traditions
  • Experience the contrast of Vietnam’s two largest cities: austere, traditional Hanoi and modern Ho Chi Minh City
  • Take in breathtaking seascapes as you cruise through stunning Ha Long Bay
  • Discover traditional ways of life in rural Vietnam as you explore Mai Chau by bicycle
  • Explore Hue’s Imperial Citadel, the former national capital

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam

Arrive in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and transfer to your colonial-style hotel. 
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi | Echoes of the Past

Hanoi is the country’s cultural heart, bearing traces of centuries of changing dynasties. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s house, a simple structure located among banyan and milkweed trees, which served as home to the revolutionary guerrilla leader who pursued independence for Vietnam. Continue to the lotus shaped One Pillar Pagoda, dating back to the first Vietnamese empire independent from China. Next, visit the Temple of Literature, Hanoi’s first university. After lunch at a local restaurant, reflect at Hỏa Lò Prison, the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” where American prisoners of war were once confined. Next, Ride Like a Local by cyclo through the Old Quarter. Later this evening, gather with your fellow guests for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner. 
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Ha Long Bay | Cruising Among the Karsts

This morning, you are transferred to the port city of Hai Phong, where you board ‘Orchid,’ the stylish vessel that is your home for the evening. Cruise into the picturesque seascape of Ha Long Bay, setting course for Da Chong islet, then watching as its century-old French colonial lighthouse drifts by. Settle into your deck chair as ‘Orchid’ snakes her way past the islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan, their karsts (limestone formations) rising dramatically from the bay. Disembark on Cat Ba Island and travel overland through a landscape cloaked in verdant forests on your way to Trung Trang Cave. Admire the cave’s intricate features, formed over millennia. Step back aboard ‘Orchid’ as she manoeuvres for the best vantage of a sunset framed against the Gulf of Tonkin shoreline. Join a cooking demonstration featuring traditional Vietnamese cuisine, followed by dinner on board. Retire to your cabin to enjoy a restful night’s sleep as the waves lap gently against the hull.
‘Orchid’ | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Ha Long Bay & Mai Chau | A Journey into the Hills

Greet the day with sunrise tai chi overlooking the bay from ‘Orchid’s’ deck. Set out for an early morning kayak excursion among the towering limestone pinnacles. Return for brunch on board as ‘Orchid’ makes her way back to port. Disembark and board a coach for a half-day journey to Mai Chau, pausing for breaks along the way. This evening upon arrival, settle into your accommodations, and then gather for dinner and a traditional dance performance. 
Mai Chau Ecolodge | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Mai Chau | Cycling the Countryside

After a leisurely breakfast, you may opt to set out on a cycling tour of the local valleys. Your 12-mile ride snakes its way through Chieng Chau, Van Mai, Cun and Mai Hich, passing villages, lush rice paddies and seldom-seen countryside. En route, pause to meet a local hill tribe community and learn about their enduring cultural traditions. Visit a local school and learn about how the AKP-supported Safe Water for Schools program is providing clean filtered drinking water to students. Then, enjoy lunch at a local home before returning to your lodge by late afternoon. Later, visit a nearby home filled with precious Vietnamese antiques. 
Mai Chau Ecolodge | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Hue | Perfume River Vistas

This morning, transfer to Hanoi. After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to the airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival, you are transferred to your boutique hotel fronting the banks of the Perfume River. Enjoy the remainder of your evening at leisure. 
Azerai La Residence, Hue | Meals: BL

Day 7: Hue | Revealing an Imperial Legacy

Today, explore the legacy of the Nguyen dynasty, a powerful family that ruled Vietnam from 1802 to 1945. Their reign witnessed the construction of Hue’s Imperial Citadel, which served as the nation’s political capital and religious hub. Venture inside it to discover the Imperial City, a walled palace that mirrors the grandeur of China’s Forbidden City. Next, explore the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, the dynasty’s longest reigning ruler. Stroll among the citadel’s other monuments, noting the scars of war remaining from the conflicts of the last century. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to your hotel for time at leisure. Later, hop on a Vespa for a ride to a nearby home, where you are welcomed in by a local family. Step into the family’s temple to learn more about their traditions and beliefs. Next, head to their kitchen for a Chef’s Table demonstration. Finally, gather round the table for dinner with your newfound friends, on this exclusive experience. Return to your hotel with a deeper understanding of local life. 
Azerai La Residence, Hue | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Hoi An | Authentic Flavours of the Market

After breakfast, transfer to Hoi An via the stunningly scenic Hai Van Pass. Also known as the “Cloudy Pass,” this winding mountain road overlooks lush countryside, sandy beaches and the blue waters of the South China Sea. Pause in Danang to view the Museum of Cham Sculpture’s collection of artefacts dating back to the seventh century. Continue to Hoi An for a guided culinary exploration of local street food. Sample traditional dishes from a collection of ten market stalls hand-chosen for their diverse offerings and Westerner-friendly preparations. Afterward, transfer to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Four Seasons Resort, The Nam Hai | Meals: BL 

Day 9: Hoi An | Architectural Melting Pot

Set out on a walking tour of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site retaining a diverse mix of architecture influenced by the many nations that traded in this historic port of call. Explore the Old House of Tan Ky, the Fujian Assembly Hall and the 400-year-old covered bridge. Return to your resort for an afternoon at leisure. Later, gather for a Scenic Sundowner on the beach, watching as the warm glow of twilight paints the sky over the palms. 
Four Seasons Resort, The Nam Hai | Meals: BD

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City | Vibrant, Evocative Saigon

Fly this morning to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Recently experiencing a resurgence of art and culture, this lively, evocative city is a hub of activity — a sharp contrast to the traditional ambience of Hanoi. Later, view examples of the city’s colonial legacy, including Reunification Palace and Saint Joseph’s Seminary as well as photo stops at the Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. 
The Reverie Saigon | Meals: BL

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City | Design Your Day

Today, explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, learning how the Vietcong used this vast subterranean network to conceal and support a stealthy underground fighting force. This afternoon enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities. 

  • Visit the War Remnants Museum to view photographs from Bunyo Ishikawa, a Vietnam War photojournalist.
  • Explore the City’s Bustling Culinary Scene, sampling traditional dishes prepared by local street food vendors.
  • Stroll Ben Thanh Market & Craft Boutiques to discover the latest in trendy shops and local market life.

This evening, gather at a culinary hotspot for a cocktail reception and farewell dinner. 
The Reverie Saigon | Meals: BD

Day 12: Depart Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight. 
Meals: B

Journey Details

This journey contains some active elements.
Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: welcome briefing at 9:30 a.m. on Day 2.
Last group event: farewell dinner at 7:00 p.m. on Day 11.
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Show Full Itinerary


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Vietnam: A Nation Revealed - A Luxury Small Group Journey (2020)

The beautiful French-colonial style Sofitel Metropole is located in the heart of Hanoi just a short walk from the vibrant Old Quarter. So ... Read more

Mai Chau Ecolodge

Vietnam: A Nation Revealed - A Luxury Small Group Journey (2020)

Perched on a verdant hill outside Na Phon Village, Mai Chau Ecolodge puts you in the heart of the Mai Chau Valley dotted with rice paddie ... Read more

Azerai La Residence Hotel & Spa, Hue

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Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An

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Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Nov 1, 2020 - Nov 12, 2020
Price AU$10,365pp Single Supplement AU$4,195 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Nov 8, 2020 - Nov 19, 2020
Price AU$10,365pp Single Supplement AU$4,195 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.