Upon arrival in Hanoi, your guide and private car will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight at your choice of hotel in Hanoi.
Vietnam’s quaint capital is a city of wide tree lined boulevards with tranquil lakes and colonial villa’s and a more sedate pace than other Asian cities. Hanoi offers something for everyone and will leave you wishing that you had longer to explore this enthralling capital.
Depart for a full day tour of Hanoi. Your first visit will be Temple of Literature. In 1076, Vietnam's first university Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
Visit The One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049, next. This structure is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary. (Viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and in Nov)
Continue to picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism.
Following take a walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as the ‘36 streets’. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you. At the end of the day transfer back to your hotel.
Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.
Overnight at your choice of hotel in Hanoi.
HANOI - HALONG (B, L, D)
The perfect way to see the UNESCO World Heritage area of Halong Bay is to spend a night aboard a charming boat. The mystical scenery of Halong Bay where thousands of limestone islands jut out of the emerald sea, sculpted into bizarre shapes and surrounded by colourful floating villages is a truly a breathtaking destination.
Following breakfast depart for the 3.5-hour drive to Halong Bay. Journey there through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta, observe everyday life of Vietnamese villagers as they work the rice fields, take pigs to the market on motorbikes and plough the fields with their water buffaloes.
Arrive from Hanoi late morning for a check in and welcome at the pier of your chosen boat. After check-in procedures, transfer to your boat for the overnight journey into the Bay. Lunch is served on board en-route. Cruise by rock formations with such names as Sail, Dog and Dinh Huong (incense pot). Towards the end of the day set anchor for the night as the sun sets followed by dinner.
Overnight on board the cruise on Halong Bay.
HALONG DEPARTURE (B)
On your return to Halong City enjoy breakfast (brunch on some boats) as your boat wends its way through spectacular scenery back to the dock.
Transfer to the airport (Hanoi or Haiphong) for your onward departure.
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