Welcome to bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You will have a scheduled group meeting in the evening around 6pm. Please check at the reception desk or look for a G Adventures notice board with details of the actual meeting time. At this meeting your CEO will ask to sight your travel insurance, double check your Vietnam visa and complete some other paper work. Please note that most nationalities requires a visa to enter Vietnam, please double check this with your travel agent or local Vietnamese Embassy. After your meeting, you may choose to head out for an optional dinner to further get to know your CEO and fellow group members. Until your meeting tonight, you are free to relax, explore the city & adjust to the frantic pace and humid heat of Hanoi. Why not take the chance to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) or Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum. The Mausoleum houses the remains of Ho Chi Minh, the founding father of unified Vietnam (closed October-November). Don't miss taking a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter – a maze of streets, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry, and the nearby Hoan Kiem Lake. Our hotel in Hanoi is located in the Old Quarter some 20 minutes walk to the Hoan Kiem Lake (the sacred and historic center of Hanoi). Make sure you grab a map and hotel card before you leave the hotel to ensure you can get back. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Computer and free wifi are available.
We arrive in the early morning to bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. After meeting our local guide we transfer to a private bus and make our way to the beautiful and famous Halong Bay. Thousands of islands rise dramatically from the waters of the Bay and, to further their beauty, intricate cave systems exist throughout these limestone karst formations. Aboard a sailing junk we'll enjoy a seafood lunch and a visit to one of the islands and caves before transferring to the mainland for our overnight stay. Our hotel is located on the Bay Chai beach front with great views of Halong Bay. Our hotel has internet in the lobby with one public computer being available for travelers. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning. Approx travel time: Ha Noi to Halong Bay: 4 hours
After breakfast, we'll transfer back to Hanoi where you will enjoy free time for further exploration of this beautiful city. Tonight we take an overnight train to Hue, the first of 3 sleeper trains you will take in Vietnam. The sleeper trains throughout Vietnam are quite comfortable. Each cabin sleeps 4 people in 2 bunk beds. You will be able to lock the door from the inside. All bedding is provided. The train is air conditioned and has squat and Western style toilets with a wash basin at the end of each compartment. Bags can be located in your cabin and accessed at anytime. Food and drinks are available for purchase on board. This is not to everyone’s taste so we recommend you bring your own. Approx travel time: Halong Bay to Ha Noi: 4 hours Transfer to train station: 20 min Overnight train Hanoi to Hue: 14-15 hours
When in Hue, options include visiting the former Royal Citadel, modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing,and once the home to the Nguyen Emperors. Don't miss a visit to the seven tiered Tien Mu Pagoda and try to fit in a visit to at least one of the tombs of the former rulers of Vietnam, located here in the quiet countryside, all of which are like self contained mini palaces. A true highlight of Hue is the surrounding countryside and cycling is a great way to get out and experience this while checking out the sights. Our hotel is centrally located in town and is very convenient to explore the city. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning. The hotel has internet, with a computer available for passengers at the lobby.
Today we drive to Hoi An. After crossing over the Hai Van Pass, with fantastic views in all directions we carry on through Danang into Hoi An. Once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections. You can take a walking tour of this living museum which includes the Museum of History and Culture, the Tan Ky house, the Japanese bridge, the Fujian Assembly Hall and lunch at a riverside restaurant to sample some of the local delicacies. Hoi An is also a shopping mecca for tourists in the region. Tailors can produce virtually anything overnight, with clothing, silk lanterns, lacquer ware and many other crafts abound. For sun worshipers, Cua Dai Beach is 4kms from town and is an easy bike ride away. We overnight two nights in a Hoi An. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free wifi and a public computer are available in the lobby. The hotel also has a swimming pool. On the afternoon of Day 8, we drive 45 minutes to Danang station, where we will board an overnight train to Nha Trang. Approx travel time: Private bus Hue to Hoi An: 4 hours. Hoi An to Danang station: 45 minutes Overnight train Nha Trang to Danang: 9-10 hrs.
We arrive in Nha Trang in the morning with plenty of time for you to explore the local shops and markets, relax on the beach soaking up the sun or visit nearby historical sites. Optional activities in Nha Trang include a boat trip to nearby islands for snorkeling, or perhaps a fun filled all day beach party. On the evening of Day 10 we take an overnight train to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Our hotel in Nha Trang is centrally located in town and everything is within walking distance. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Wifi is available. Approx Travel Time: Transfer to and from train station: 10 min Overnight train Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City: 9-10 hrs
Arriving early into Ho Chi Minh City, the sprawling metropolis that once was the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country’s commercial center. Today is free for you to explore. Perhaps visit the the immense Ben Thanh Market and grab a snack at one of its many food stands. Those with an interest in Vietnam's recent war history may like to visit the Reunification Palace, the residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1974, and the fascinating nearby War Remnants Museum. Also very interesting is Cholon, Saigon’s Chinese quarter. A cyclo can take you to any of these places for a very reasonable price and is a fun way to travel around Ho Chi Minh City. You may wish to head out of town to the infamous Cu Chi tunnels where thousands of Vietnamese lived underground during the war. This evening, why not head to one of the rooftop bars such as the Rex Hotel, one of the classic colonial Saigon institutions, where there is often live music. We overnight two nights in Ho Chi Minh City. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel is well located in near the Benh Than Market, backpackers area, war remnant museum and within walking distance to all the French colonial buildings. Free-Wifi and a computer are available at the lobby. Please note: As this is a combination trip, some of your tour members many depart in Ho Chi Minh City and you may be joined by some new traveling companions on Day 11.
You are free to depart at any time. Please note hotel check out is 12pm. We look forward to receiving your evaluation regarding this tour itinerary and your CEO's performance. We value your input into what we could improve to make this trip even better and of course love hearing about what we are already doing well! You will be sent a post tour email on your return with details on how to go on line and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance. Some of your group will most likely continue traveling through Cambodia and onto Bangkok with G Adventures. If you are interested in ongoing travel in Cambodia have a look at the following trip on our website: Roam Cambodia (HCMC to Bangkok) http://www.gadventures.com/trips/roam-cambodia-hcmc-to-bangkok/AVRC/2012/