Itinerary in brief:
- 2 nights Ho Chi Minh
- 2 nights Hoi An
- 2 nights Hue
- 1 night Hanoi
- 1 night Halong Bay
- 2 nights Yangon
- 2 nights Inle Lake
- 2 nights Bagan
- 1 night Yangon
Day 1: Depart UK
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
Included: International flight
Day 2: Arrive Ho Chi Minh
On arrival into Ho Chi Minh, you will be greeted by your driver and guide, and driven to your 5-star hotel.
After relaxing and freshening up at your hotel, enjoy dinner in the restaurant.
Depending on your flight times, activities can be arranged for this day, speak to your consultant for further details.
Included: Arrival transfer with guide, evening dinner & hotel
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and a leisurely morning before going on a vespa tour of Ho Chi Minh, still called Saigon by the locals. The city is an assault on the senses with bustling food vendors, locals selling their wares and endless amounts of traffic, but that won’t be a problem as you zip around the city with your experienced driver.
Visit Nhi Phu Temple, stroll through the alley of tailors' supplies, learn about Chinese medicine in one of the local herb shops and take a walk around the local market. In the afternoon, head to one of Saigon’s best kept secrets, Antiques Street and try to spot the difference between the genuine antiques and the genuine fakes!
The evening is at leisure.
Included: Breakfast, lunch, vespa tour, services of a guide & car if necessary, hotel.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh – Cu Chi Tunnels – Danang – Hoi An
Today, you will have the services of a private driver and guide to help you explore.
After breakfast, you will be picked up and taken to the Cu-Chi tunnels for a half-day morning tour. Here, you'll learn about the history of the war and how the Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) built this underground tunnel network during the war, even getting a chance to move through these tiny tunnels for yourself!
After a delicious lunch, you will head to the airport for your flight to Danang. On arrival, you will be greeted and taken on a 30-minute drive to neighbouring Hoi An. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An and dinner at one of Hoi An’s top restaurants before soaking up the atmosphere in the town lit up by thousands of lanterns at night.
Included: Services of a private driver and guide, domestic flight, hotel, all meals
Day 5: Hoi An
This morning, you will embark on a street food tasting tour, a must-do in Vietnam and a chance to sample the local flavours in the best places! Start at a ‘wet market’, where you will get the chance to meet with local stallholders to learn more about the fresh choice of ingredients on offer. You will then head through the winding streets, discovering vendors as you go, before ending at a restaurant and sampling what you have found while learning more about the food and Vietnamese culture.
The afternoon is free for you to explore Hoi An.
Included: Half-day street food tasting tour, breakfast & hotel
Day 6: Hoi An – Hue
You have the morning to yourself today so enjoy a leisurely stroll around the town and some souvenir shopping before being collected for your journey to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam.
After a short stop at the Cham Museum in Danang, you will arrive in Hue late afternoon and have time to freshen up before dinner at one of Hue’s beautiful garden houses.
Included: Half day driver & guide, breakfast, dinner & hotel
Day 7: Hue
After breakfast, you will be collected by cyclo and taken to Dai Noi (old city) and Tinh Tam Lake, where the emperors used to relax. Here you can enjoy a coffee at one of the many coffee shops and look out over the lotus flowers (summer only). From here you will head to a local market rarely visited by tourists before visiting the beautiful pagoda, used as a gathering place for Buddhist monks and nuns who gather to read prayers and scripture.
After lunch, you will see the tomb of the emperor Minh Mang which is located in a tranquil setting of gardens and ponds.
The evening will be at leisure.
Included: Full day driver & guide, breakfast, lunch & hotel
Day 8: Hue to Hanoi
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to connect with your flight to Hanoi. On arrival, you will be greeted by a private guide and taken to your luxury hotel to check in.
After freshening up at your hotel, you will meet up with your specialist street food guide to commence a walking tour of Hanoi. Your expert guide has a large following in both Vietnam and the rest of the world, and is a leading authority on Vietnamese street food. You will stroll alongside your guide through the Old Quarter to Thanh Ha Market, learning about local delicacies and strange food habits as you go!
Visit the main market of Dong Xuan next and get to try some local dishes such as pho tiu and bun dau, before heading to Hang Than Street home to ceremonial cake stalls and a chance to learn more about the traditions of Vietnamese celebrations.
The rest of the day is at leisure.
Included: Half day guided street food tour, breakfast, lunch & hotel
Day 9: Hanoi to Halong Bay
After breakfast, you will be collected and taken on the 4-hour journey to Halong Bay for your overnight cruise. Halong Bay, one of the jewels in the crown of Vietnam, is home to mystical scenery, limestone islands rising from the emerald sea and colourful floating villages.
You will join your cruise this afternoon before enjoying lunch on board as you travel, in the afternoon there will be activities to take part in or you can spend it relaxing onboard the boat.
You will be served dinner on board the boat this evening anchored amongst the karst formations.
Included: Transfer to Halong Bay, all meals and activities, overnight on board the ship.
Day 10: Halong Bay to Yangon
Enjoy breakfast on board as you sail back to Halong City. After disembarking you will be met and taken to Hanoi airport to meet your flight onto Yangon.
On arrival at Yangon airport, you will be met by a guide who will assist you through the immigration procedures before taking you to your 5-star hotel.
A welcome dinner at The Strand is included this evening.
Included: Breakfast & dinner, departure & arrival transfer, domestic flight, hotel
Day 11: Yangon
You have a full day of sight-seeing included today with a private car and driver. After a morning exploring the city sights, it’s time for lunch at a Burmese restaurant, where you will get a chance to taste some local delicacies!
This afternoon, you'll visit key highlights such as Kyaukhtagyi Pagoda, home to a 70m long reclining Buddha, Kandawagyi Park, one of Yangon’s greenest spots, as well as the place to see the glittering Karaweik barge, a replica of the royal barge, and the vast lake with views of Shwedagon in the background.
From here, continue to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Local legend states that the original structure was built 2500 years ago, then renovated several times until taking its current shape in the 15th century. The 8-sided central stupa is 99 metres tall and gilded in gold leaf, and is surrounded by 64 smaller stupas. You guide will show you around the massive complex and explain the importance of this historical temple.
Dinner is included this evening at the House of Memories Restaurant, a colonial-style mansion set in beautiful gardens.
Included: Breakfast, full day services of a private carb & guide, dinner, hotel
Day 12: Yangon – Heho – Inle Lake
Transfer to Yangon Airport this morning for your flight to Heho where you will enjoy a one-hour scenic drive to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Inle Lake. On arrival, a private motorboat will take you on a journey through stilted villages, Intha fishermen and floating gardens to your boutique hotel where you will check-in for 2 nights.
This afternoon visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, a private sanctuary on the lake, before returning to the resort in time for sunset.
Included: Breakfast, private transfers, pagoda trip & hotel
Day 13: Inle Lake – Indein – Inle Lake
After breakfast, take a relaxing boat trip along a small canal to the Pa-oh village of Indein, explore the area on foot, visiting a local school and strolling around the village taking in the picturesque ancient stupas and magnificent views of the lake below.
Early afternoon is spent learning about local culture, taste traditional cuisine as you lunch at an Intha House and learn about their daily life, before spending time in the lake’s villages. Here, you will learn about the cottage industries and head to a cheroot factory, where Burmese cigarettes are made by hand.
The rest of the afternoon is free for you to relax at your hotel.
Included: Breakfast, village visit, lunch & hotel
Day 14: Inle Lake – Nyaung Shwe – Heho – Bagan
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning, before checking out and transferring by boat to the town of Nyaung Shwe.
Here you will visit the local monasteries and nunneries, as well as the colourful morning market, where you can stroll through the stalls inspecting the local produce for sale, from flowers and food through to handmade goods – a perfect spot to pick up a souvenir from your trip.
After lunch at the Viewpoint Restaurant, transfer to Heho Airport for your flight to Bagan. On arrival, you will be greeted and taken to your boutique lodge where you will check in for a 2-night stay.
Included: Breakfast, activities, lunch, private transfers, domestic flight & hotel
Day 15: Bagan
Today begins with a visit to the Nyaung Oo Market and a wander around the stalls selling fresh local produce, a great opportunity to observe the daily life of the locals as they do their shopping. After this, continue to the glittering Shwezigon Pagoda, a prototype of later Myanmar stupas, and Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite mural paintings.
In the afternoon, you will visit the new area of Bagan and one of its lacquer-ware workshops where you can observe the traditional techniques of making these handmade products, well renowned in the area.
A sunset cruise is included this evening, enjoy a cocktail and a fabulous view of Bagan as you cruise along the Irrawaddy River.
Included: Breakfast, full day services of a car & guide, sunset cruise & hotel
Day 16: Bagan to Yangon
Continue your Bagan sightseeing this morning with a visit to Ananda temple, travel by horse and carriage amongst the temples and monuments, and appreciate Bagan from a different, slower perspective.
You will be driven to the airport after lunch for your flight to Yangon, and on arrival, you will be taken to your hotel. This evening, enjoy a special farewell dinner at the elegant Le Planteur Restaurant, which serves a variety of French and Asian cuisines, freshly prepared by top chefs.
Included: Breakfast, services of a private driver/guide, domestic flight, private arrival transfer, dinner & hotel
Day 17: Depart Yangon
After breakfast, it’s time to head to the airport for your journey home. First though, you will get to visit Bogyoke Market and browse the handmade goods, the perfect time to pick up those gifts and souvenirs as a reminder of your trip.
Included: Breakfast, private transfers & international flight
Day 18: Arrive UK