Vietnam Travel Highlights 2021 – 2022
Discover the real Vietnam from legendary storytellers, as you travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay and then Hoi An. This experience is a mix of living history and waterside bliss, a perfect combo if you seek authenticity along with relaxation.
Days 1 & 2 - Hanoi
Hanoi With a Fighter Pilot Guide
Hanoi’s story is best told by its people, over a bowl of pho, in their homes or on vibrant cafe terraces. The city is a living museum and its people are the information boards, incredibly open to sharing their views on past and present. Join the locals for sunrise tai chi at Hoan Kiem Lake, meet local traders and learn their culinary secrets, wander colonial and Soviet lanes with an exuberant local guide, and discuss the war with Vietnam’s most decorated fighter pilot, Mr. Hong My.Complex and captivating, this fighter pilot guide provides a surreal insight into the legends of a city and a country. From fragrant spices to helicopters and tales of downing planes, this travel moment introduces you to a country that’s often misunderstood.
Days 3 & 4 - Halong Bay
Halong Bay Yacht Charter
Halong Bay never seems real. Even when you wake up on a private yacht, as limestone karst emerge from the mist. Even when you’re basking on a private beach, or wandering through limestone caves. You’re cruising on the finest boat in the bay, spending two days drifting through a landscape that can’t be understood through photos. One day of sailing is beautiful. Two days helps you reach the lesser seen reaches of a landscape that stretches for over 1,500 square kilometers. Fishermen bring fresh catch directly to your chef, villages float by and you escape places populated by tourist boats. Throughout both days there can be numerous excursions, with options for kayaking in the bay, lounging on unpopulated beaches, exploring spiritual caves and admiring the “Bay of the Descending Dragon.”
Days 5 & 6 - Hue
Dinner Date With a Royal Artist
The World Heritage City of Hue will welcome you with an air of grace. Gardens are spacious and abundant. Sublime citadel remains extend from a balcony. Art is everywhere. You have a unique dinner date with Miss Boi Tran, a legendary royal artist who invites you to dine in her enchanting villa. She tells a different Vietnamese history and is also a fabulous chef. You will find that Vietnam’s history is best told from the mouth of the country’s most interesting characters. And that the food at home is beyond any Vietnamese restaurant.
Hue History Tour
Hue has always showcased the unique. This old imperial capital a fusion of old-world design and regal tastes. It was destroyed during the Tet Offensive yet is now recovered. This travel moment connects the jigsaw pieces of Hue’s history. Like the tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh, elegance personified amidst the sprawling colors along the Perfume River. Then a discussion with young monks at the Thien Mu Pagoda, draped longingly above the river’s eastern bank. Plus relics from the Imperial Citadel, the last vestiges of the Forbidden Purple City, salvaged from the ashes with an air of defiance. What you will experience are fragments from time, memoirs to a city that loves to hold its visitors captive.
Days 7 & 8 - Hoi An
Drive Hai Van Pass From Hue to Hoi An
Oh how Vietnam likes to tantalize, its landscapes rolling onwards from the surreal to the sublime. Local women crouched down in flowing rice paddies. Exotic lagoons that spill their colors into the South China Sea. Vibrantly painted tombs juxtaposed with miles of virgin white sand. Delightful villages where cabbage is sold from bicycle stalls. And conical-hatted fishermen walk beneath enduring wooden architecture. The Hai Van Pass showcases it all. It is the country’s most beautiful drive. Hai Van Pass is closed to traffic but you’ll enjoy special access for a leisurely three-hour journey. Arrive in Hoi An and you discover a new landscape, the quintessence of local life along the heavenly Thu Bon Riverfront.
Hoi An Bicycle & Boat Tour
Usher in a Hoi An morning with a divine Vietnamese coffee. Stroll around lanes that have no name yet so much meaning. Hoi An’s tales extend to the fields and canals, which you will explore on a bicycle and boat tour. Follow your nostrils and peddle to the sweet herbs of Tra Que. Wind through coconut palms to shrimp farms, then drift down the canals in an unusual coracle boat. Learn the art of making basket boats and bamboo furniture. And continue cycling through the resplendent scenery, meeting farmers and villagers who add new chapters to your personalized book on Vietnamese history. Back in Hoi An you will have an opportunity to meet with artists and chefs, craftsmen and antique dealers, chess masters and barbecue perfectionists.
Hoi An History Tour & Cooking Class
Hoi An will invite you to take a leisurely stroll. The city encourages you to move slowly and inspect the details. It intrigues and it enchants, from cafe terraces of locals playing board games to boutiques and galleries for refined tastes. This is the kind of city you never want to leave, such is its preservation of a distinctive place and time. Exclusive experiences help you travel further than the unmissable waterfront and central market. You will have an interactive cooking class with renowned chef Tring Diem Vy, the pioneering figure behind Hoi An’s culinary decadence. With this chef you will discover a different side to Vietnam’s food. And talk about history all afternoon long.
Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels are an iconic feat from the Vietnam War. The Viet Cong created an underground tunnel network to conceal themselves from relentless bombing. People lived underground, in these tunnel systems, for many years.You will explore a section of tunnels that are approximately 40kms in length but form a part in an overall network of tunnels that reaches over 250kms.Your guide was born underground and never saw daylight until he was four years old. He helps explain why, how, and the proud survival of people who lived underground.
Days 9 to 11 - Beach Escape
Stay at Amanoi, Vinh Hy Bay
Amanoi feels a million miles away from the busy beaches of Vietnam. This decadent five-star retreat is backdropped by rugged hills and golden beaches. And it has a little of everything for visitors. There is the private beach, two spa houses with private hammams, various pools, and plenty of opportunity for downtime. So it’s a great place after a busy Vietnam tour. Yet you can also adventure in Nui Chua National Park, walking in the hills or snorkeling local waters.Amanoi feels like a Zen temple, surrounded by forest, on cliffs overlooking the Nui Chua coast. World-renowned architect Jean Michel Gathy is the designer and it’s a wonderful blend of Vietnamese tradition and minimalism.