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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Hanoi.
Touch down in charming Hanoi, a maze of lanes and alleyways chock-a-block with temples, mansions and lakes, with the fresh aroma of steaming noodles in the air. Sample the sensational street food on a culinary tour of the Old Quarter. Start with a sip of the refreshing locally-brewed beer, Bia Hoi, then head to a pop up streetside café, pull up a stool and sit with the locals among the sizzling bowls of noodles. Try a delicious Vietnamese barbecue, and be sure to sample a fresh spring roll or two. Save room for dessert as you end the evening with a refreshing ice cream from one of Hanoi’s finest ice cream parlours.
Board a seaplane and see the streets of Hanoi from and the dramatic karst scenery of Halong Bay from above, before touching down and setting sail on the L’Azalee wooden junkboat to Dao Tung Lam Bay. Have lunch among the beautiful scenery, consisting of around 2,000 islands, and take a look around Paradise Cave, filled with stalactites and stalagmites. In the evening, relax on the boat’s sundeck, or chill out with a cocktail and a swim before spending the night on board.
Return to Hanoi by road. Walk the city’s leafy boulevards, alive with the energy and buzz of the people. Find a peaceful spot and perhaps take in the pretty Hoan Kiem Lake, a serene spot in the heart of the city with a delightful temple at its centre, connected by a red wooden bridge. Here you may spot the locals practising tai chi. For something traditional, head to Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre for an entertaining show of this art that originated in the country’s rice paddies.
Fly to delightful Hoi An, a quaint fishing village with distinct Chinese and Japanese influences in its architecture. Hoi An is overflowing with tailors, and is a great place to pick up a bargain bespoke outfit or two as a souvenir. With some excellent restaurants here as well, be sure to indulge in a tasty dinner or a long leisurely lunch by the water’s edge. Browse the market stalls and indulge in the fresh, aromatic flavours of Vietnamese cuisine, before learning the art of cooking its delicious dishes.
Ho Chi Minh City
Continue to Ho Chi Minh City and learn the fascinating history of the Cu Chi Tunnels and their role in the Vietnam War. If you’re feeling brave you can crawl through the narrow chambers and see the conditions for yourself. Later, jump onboard your boat for a cruise on the peaceful palm-lined waters of the Mekong Delta, the Rice Bowl of Vietnam. Visit a coconut farm and see how the oils, flesh and husk are all used, then take a relaxing walk around a local village and observe daily life by the river.
Depart Ho Chi Minh City and return to the UK.
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