Vietnam: A Nation Revealed - A Luxury Small Group Journey (2023)

Discover the many faces of a dynamic nation as you explore Vietnam’s iconic cities and rural villages, take in its lush yet rugged scenery, sample its delightful cuisine and immerse yourself in its enduring cultural traditions.

Journey Overview

Discover the many faces of a dynamic nation as you explore Vietnam’s iconic cities and rural villages, take in its lush yet rugged scenery, sample its delightful cuisine and immerse yourself in its enduring cultural traditions.

Journey Highlights

  • Experience the contrast of Vietnam’s two largest cities: traditional Hanoi and modern Ho Chi Minh City
  • Sail through breathtaking seascapes on an overnight cruise through stunning, karst-dotted Ha Long Bay
  • Discover traditional ways of life in rural Vietnam as you explore villages and rice fields in Mai Chau by bicycle
  • Gather for dinner at a local family’s home in Hue, where you learn traditional recipes and the art of incense-stick making, on an experience exclusively for A&K guests
  • Savour local cuisine during a guided culinary exploration of street food in Hoi An
  • Connect with the history of the Vietnam War during visits to the ‘Hanoi Hilton,’ China Beach and the Cu Chi Tunnels
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam

Arrive in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and transfer to your French 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, and hear from a war veteran about his firsthand experiences. 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

Travel to Ha Long Bay, where you board ‘Orchid,’ the traditional junk-style vessel that is your home for the evening. Cruise into the picturesque seascape of Ha Long Bay and lesser-visited Lan Ha 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 | 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 set out on a half-day journey to Mai Chau, pausing for breaks along the way. This evening, 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 or electric-cart tour of the local valleys. Your 19-kilometre 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 how the A&K-Philanthropy-supported Safe Water for Schools program is providing clean filtered drinking water to students. Then, enjoy lunch and a cooking demonstration at a local home before returning to your lodge by late afternoon. Later, visit a 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, continue 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, discover 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 still 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 that introduces you to the craft of making incense sticks. Continue to another nearby family’s home, stepping into their family kitchen for a Chef ’s Table demonstration, and then gathering round the table for dinner with your newfound friends. Next, they invite you into their temple to learn more about their traditions and beliefs, on this A&K-exclusive experience. Return to your hotel with a deeper understanding of local life.

Azerai La Residence, Hue | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Hoi An | Leisurely River Cruise

Enjoy a leisurely boat trip along Hue’s Perfume River, and stop at local Thien Mu Pagoda. 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 sea. Pause in Danang for a photo stop of My Khe Beach, nicknamed “China Beach” by American troops serving here during the Vietnam War and made famous by the television series of the same name. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to your hotel, where you enjoy an evening at leisure.

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai | Meals: BL

Day 9: Hoi An | Authentic Flavours Of The Market

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. Begin at a local market, and then explore the Old House of Tan Ky, the Fujian Assembly Hall and the 400-year-old covered bridge. Enjoy lunch and a fun, guided culinary exploration of local street food. Return to your resort for an afternoon at leisure. Later, gather for a Scenic Sundowner on the beach, as the warm glow of twilight paints the sky over the palms.

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai | Meals: BLD

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

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Resurgent in art and culture, this evocative city is a hub of activity — a sharp contrast to the traditional ambience of Hanoi. View examples of the city’s colonial legacy, including the Reunification Palace and a Cao Dai Temple.

The Reverie Saigon | Meals: BL

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh | Design your Day

Today, explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, learning how the Vietcong used this vast subterranean wartime network. This afternoon, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.

Explore the City’s Bustling Culinary Scene, sampling traditional dishes prepared by local street food vendors.

Visit the War Remnants Museum to view photographs from Bunyo Ishikawa, a Vietnam War photojournalist, followed by a walking tour of a historic neighbourhood.

Cycle the Countryside around the Cu Chi Tunnels, passing through local villages to observe daily 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

Internal air included: Hanoi/Hue; Danang/Ho Chi Minh City
This journey contains some active elements.
Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: welcome briefing at 8:30 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.

Please note: Proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is required for this program.

Included with every Luxury Small Group Journey

  • English-Speaking Resident Tour Director and Local Guides
  • Hand-Selected Luxury Accommodations
  • Airport Meet and Greet with Private Transfers
  • Travelling Bell Boy Luggage Handling
  • Breakfast in Bed on Select Days
  • Full Breakfast Daily; Select Lunches and Dinners
  • Your Choice of Activity on Design Your Day
  • Traveller’s Valet Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Entrance Fees, Taxes and All Gratuities Except Resident Tour Director
  • 24/7 A&K On-Call Support
  • Guaranteed Departures with Just Two Guests

Customise this Journey

Talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about booking this tour as a private journey for your own small group with family or friends. Or, if you would prefer to travel privately, find out more about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey based on this itinerary.

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Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi, Halong Bay

Vietnam: A Nation Revealed - A Luxury Small Group Journey (2023)

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

Azerai La Residence Hotel & Spa, Hue

Vietnam: A Nation Revealed - A Luxury Small Group Journey (2023)

Situated among the palaces and pagodas of Vietnamese history, this beautiful hotel encompasses the rich culture of its surroundings. Azer... Read more

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An

Vietnam: A Nation Revealed - A Luxury Small Group Journey (2023)

Boasting a spectacular location, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is a unique and contemporary resort. Set amid lush gardens on the tranqu... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Feb 8, 2023 - Feb 19, 2023
Price AU$11,550pp Single Supplement AU$5,065 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Mar 15, 2023 - Mar 26, 2023
Price AU$11,550pp Single Supplement AU$5,065 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Oct 8, 2023 - Oct 19, 2023
Price AU$11,550pp Single Supplement AU$5,065 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Nov 5, 2023 - Nov 16, 2023
Price AU$11,550pp Single Supplement AU$5,065 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Dec 10, 2023 - Dec 21, 2023
Price AU$11,550pp Single Supplement AU$5,065 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
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