Highlights of Vietnam

Vietnam is a country on the South China Sea with Hanoi as its capital. On this tour, discover the cultural sights of the major cities as well as the natural beauty of Halong Bay and mingle with the locals on the Mekong Delta. Learn about Vietnam’s turbulent past while visiting the amazing Cu Chi tunnels.

Highlights

  • Soak up the charms of Vietnam's capital Hanoi
  • Explore Vietnam’s largest city Ho Chi Minh (formerly known as Saigon)
  • Visit the Mekong Delta and get real insights of Vietnam’s rural culture
  • Discover Halong Bay’s stunning scenery
  • Visit the amazing Cu Chi tunnels

What is Included

  • Flights from Dublin via Dubai to Ho Chi Minh and return from Hanoi via Dubai to Dublin
  • 10 day fully escorted tour
  • 8 nights in 4* hotel accommodation & 1 night cruise accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Entrance fees
  • Airport transfers
  • Vietnam visa for Irish passport holders
  • Breakfast each day together with some lunches & dinners
  • Local English-speaking guides

What is Not Included

  • Single room supplement €460.00 for the duration of stay
  • Travel Insurance €60.00 (+ 66 years double premium)
  • Tipping paid locally

Itinerary Details

Day 1 – Friday 15 March

Depart Dublin at 21.40 hrs. to arrive in Dubai at 08.15 hrs. on Saturday morning.

Day 2 – Saturday 16 March

Depart Dubai at 09.40 hrs. to arrive in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) at 19.35 hrs.On arrival transfer to hotel for check in, welcome drink and short briefing meeting. Dinner in local restaurant.

Day 3 – Sunday 17 March: Cu Chi Tunnels & City Tour

Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon as many locals still call it, is Vietnam’s largest city and the country’s commercial capital. Nowhere is Vietnam’s rush to modernize more visible than in Saigon, yet despite this, the city is a friendly and welcoming place whilst still containing many reminders of its recent turbulent past. This morning drive through the southern Vietnamese countryside to visit remarkable Cu Chi Tunnels. Established as a means of waging guerrilla war against superior French (and later American) fire power; the tunnel network stretched over 250 kilometers (155 miles) and extended to three levels below ground and provides an insight into the method and determination of Communist forces during the war years. Afterwards return to Saigon for lunch break.In the afternoon visit some of central Saigon’s main landmarks and attractions including the moving War Remnants Museum, the French-built Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office and Municipal Theatre. The rest of the evening is free for you to explore. Board basis: Breakfast

Day 4 – Monday 18 March: Mekong Delta

This morning travel south of Saigon to the Mekong Delta, known as the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam. The delta is the most fertile region in the country and is the main producer of rice and tropical fruits for Vietnam. On arrival transfer to the boat to begin your exploration of the area, cruising along palm-fringed tributaries of the mighty Mekong River. Explore some of the region narrow canals, and get a glimpse into the lives of the local people. On your return from the Delta, make a brief stop at a Cao Dai pagoda, a uniquely Vietnamese sect that is a dizzying combination all the world’s great religion’s including Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Late afternoon return to Saigon where the evening is free for you to explore and discover the city’s countless dining options at your own pace. Board basis: Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 5 – Tuesday 19 March: Saigon to Hue

This morning, transfer to the airport for your short flight to Hue (1hr. 25 mins). Located on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue was the imperial capital during the Nguyen Dynasty and is the country’s centre of Mahayana Buddhism. Hue was the setting for some of the Vietnam War’s most brutal fighting, and the city provides a unique window into Vietnam’s culture and its complex past. Visit the Hue citadel which encompasses numerous temples, pavilions and courtyards of the former Imperial city including the Purple Forbidden city. Continue to Thien Mu Pagoda - Hue’s oldest and most beautiful religious monument situated near the banks of the Perfume River. End the day with a visit to a unique organization called Spiral Foundation where you’ll meet workers who have a disability.

Day 6 – Wednesday 20 March: Hue to Hoi An

This morning, drive south to the beautiful town of Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass (meaning ocean and clouds in Chinese). The World Heritage listed old part of Hoi An town was Vietnam’s most active trading centre over many centuries and has been largely preserved. The architecture of the city reflects the influence of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, French and British traders. Enjoy a walking tour in the afternoon - visit an old merchant house, a Chinese assembly hall and the famous Japanese Covered Bridge. Check-in to your centrally-located hotel – evening at leisure.

Day 7 – Thursday 21 March: Hoi An

Hoi An is famous for its clothing tailors and distinct local cuisine. You have an entire day free to explore the town’s many clothing shops, colourful fish market and river life. Alternatively spend the day enjoying the nearby beach or simply relax by the pool at your resort. Have a good night’s sleep for an early start tomorrow morning. Breakfast included.

Day 8 - Friday 22 March: Hoi An to Halong Bay

An early airport transfer and flight takes you north to either Haiphong or Hanoi (arrival airport is subject to flight schedules). On arrival, venture north-east to Halong City, the gateway to Halong Bay. Halong Bay boasts over 3,000 islands that rise out of the sea to provide a spectacular natural landscape. On arrival at the port, board your deluxe Indochina Sails junk boat, your home for the night, and begin your exploration of the bay. On board, feast on a fresh seafood lunch, soaking in the beautiful surrounds. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 9 – Saturday 23 March: Halong Bay to Hanoi

Today, rise early to make the most of Halong Bay’s stunning scenery. After a light breakfast, continue your exploration and discover what makes this area so unique. On the cruise back to Halong City, enjoy a tasty brunch. This afternoon travel to Hanoi. Take a walking tour of the Hanoi backstreets to visit some local markets and specialty food stores.

Day 10 – Sunday 24 March: Hanoi

Today’s exploration begins with a walking tour through the bustling Old Quarter - 36 ancient streets where you can observe the daily bustle of life around the markets where peddlers continue to trade as they have done for centuries. Then visit the infamous Hoa Lo Prison Musuem, aka ‘Hanoi Hilton’ - Hanoi’s former central prison. Drive across the city to Hanoi’s first university - the Temple of Literature - dating back to 1070. Later visit the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, starting at Ba Dinh Square, site of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and where Ho Chi Minh first declared the goal of attaining independence from French rule in 1945. Ho Chi Minh is arguably one of the great figures of 20th century history and the ‘father of modern Vietnam’. Visit the nearby Presidential Palace, and One Pillar Pagoda. This evening we’ve included a s group dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants, to celebrate the end of our holiday in Vietnam. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 11 – Monday 25 March: Depart Hanoi

Depart Hanoi just after midnight (00:40 hrs.) to arrive in Dubai at 05.20 hrs. and then onwards at 07.05 hrs. to arrive in Dublin at 11.20 hrs.

Accommodation

Northern Hotel or similar, Saigon (3 nights)

Located 5-minute walk to Nguyen Hue Walking Street and a 15-minute walk to Ben Thanh Market. The hotel offers a rooftop swimming pool, gym room and free WiFi. Air-conditioned rooms feature cable flat-screen TV, safe, fridge and free tea/coffee making amenities.

Saigon Morin Hotel or similar, Hue (1 night)

Centrally located in Hue this hotel overlooks the Perfume River and Truong Tien Bridge. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, all rooms are furnished with air conditioning, a desk and personal safe. A satellite TV, tea/coffee maker and minibar are also provided.

Hoi An Historic Hotel or similar, Hoi An (2 nights)

Located in the heart of Hoi An. All rooms offer a personal safe, desk, cable flat-screen TV, minibar and an electric kettle. The hotel offers 3 on-site dining options, a bar and outdoor swimming pool.

Indochina Sails Overnight Boat, Halong Bay (1 night)

Indochina Sails is a leisurely cruises down Halong Bay which offers Vietnamese-style wooden cabins. Featuring an on-site restaurant and outdoor dining, the cruise offers free WiFi access in all areas. All rooms comes with massage showers, air-conditioning, mini bar and safe.

The Ann Hotel or similar, Hanoi (2 nights)

Located in Hanoi, this hotel is offers an outdoor pool, a restaurant, bar and Free WiFi access. Hanoi Old Quarter is only 700 m away from the hotel. A flat-screen TV and air conditioning are featured in each room, also a minibar, electric kettle and city view.

Proposed Flights

Carrier

From / To

Departure

Arrival

Emirates

Dublin/Dubai

20.50 hrs.

08.15 hrs. *

Emirates

Dubai/Saigon

09.40 hrs.

19.35 hrs.

Emirates

Hanoi/Dubai

00.40 hrs.

05.20 hrs.

Emirates

Dubai/Dublin

07.00 hrs.

11.20 hrs.

*Next day arrival

Flight times and details may be subject to change

Dates & Prices

Start Date

End Date

Price PPS

Friday 15 March

Tuesday 26 March

€2,539.00

Important Information

  • Passport: your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your return date
  • Visa: a tourist entry visa is required and is arranged by us and included in the price
  • Vaccinations: please check with your local GP or Tropical Medicine Centre for up to date information
  • Climate: The best time to visit Vietnam is between October and March, although temperatures and rainfall vary widely throughout the country. The rainy season for most areas is between May and September. North Vietnam and Hanoi has mostly dry Winters with average 17-22°C while the South of Vietnam is usually a few degrees warmer.

How to reserve a place(s): a completed booking form with deposit of €250.00 (+ cost for insurance if required) per person - payment by cash/cheque/debit or credit card - should be sent directly to MAP Travel.The balance will be due 10 weeks prior to departure - payment by cash/cheque or debit card only.

In conjunction with Discover Travel