Experiencing the cultures, flavours and highlights of a trip to Vietnam will be engrained in your family’s memory forever. Admire the masterfully crafted art of Vietnam, as you take a creative journey in the home turned art gallery of a local artist. Cruising the lush Mekong Delta, explore and appreciate the local communities that inhabit the riverbanks. Take a leisurely cycle through the surrounding villages of Hoi An and participate in the crafting of Hoi An’s iconic lanterns. This adventure will highlight the atmospherically vibrant life of Vietnam’s inner cities in the cultural hub of Hanoi, in addition to mystical natural landscapes highlighted as you cruise through Ha Long Bay. Your trip to Vietnam provides meaningful time to spend with your family as you bond alongside the experiences present at every corner of your journey.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight.
Experience the culture and creativity of Saigon in this wonderfully artistic half-day tour, beginning the day at the fascinating Ho Chi Minh Museum of Fine Arts. This French-inspired mansion features impressive architectural designs and is home to some of the finest artworks in Saigon. Enjoy a walk around the museum and take in the colours, curves and artistic endeavours of some of the regions most talented artists.
From here, resume your creative journey with a visit to a local artist’s house which has been turned into an art gallery. Converse with the artist to uncover her story and the passion she has for teaching youth to paint. Attempt the colourful and creative art form of glass bottle painting, take home your creation as a memento of your experiences in Saigon. After a morning of artistic excellence, delight in a homemade Vietnamese lunch before returning to the hotel where the remainder of the day is your free time.
- Fine Arts Museum is closed on Mondays. The alternative is Couleurs by Rehahn Fine Art Photography Gallery
- The booking will be confirmed upon the artist’s availability
- Please advise in advance if you have any special dietary requirements
- Explore Ho Chi Minh Fine Art Museum and admire the artistic masterpieces
- Meet a local artist who will guide you in painting glass bottles
- Enjoy a tasty homemade Vietnamese meal
Story of Saigon Group Tour
Start your exploration of Saigon with a visit to the War Remnants Museum. Here, your guide will tell the story of the city’s darkest and most tragic hours during the Vietnam War. The museum displays military artefacts from aircraft to weaponry, as well as documentation of this period – warning that some of these photographs are quite graphic in nature. Although most of Vietnam’s population are too young to remember the war, its legacy is felt strongly across Vietnamese society.
Next, visit the Reunification Palace, once a symbol of the South Vietnamese Government, now the palace maintains a reputation for being the place where the war ended when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates on the 30th of April 1975. Wander through the war room, the banquet hall and the presidential office, before visiting the Central Post Office, designed and constructed by the renowned architect Gustave Eiffel. Just behind the post office is the Notre Dame Cathedral, an iconic Saigon landmark built in neo-romanesque style by the French between 1863 and 1880. Today it’s beauty is utilised as a backdrop for many Vietnamese wedding photographs.
Stroll down Dong Khoi Street, which featured prominently in Graham Greene’s famous Vietnam novel, ‘The Quiet American’ , referred to as its former colonial title ‘Rue Catinat’. Your wander leads to the Saigon Opera House, a Vietnamese landmark with a rich history. Once utilised as a bomb shelter, the Opera House has additionally housed the parliamentary Lower House, reforming back to a theatre fifty years ago.
Conclude your exploration of Saigon with a speedboat trip along the city’s ancient canals where the local life carries on unchanged. Return to your hotel as the sun sets on this fascinating city.
- Estimated pick-up time: 01.30PM – Estimated duration: 4 hours
- Since the Notre Dame Cathedral is closed for renovation since July 1st 2017, we can only view the church from the outside at this time. Depending on the time of construction, different parts of the church will be visible. Thank you for your understanding
- Learn Vietnam’s history through the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace
- Aboard a speedboat on Saigon river and enjoy the sunset
- Explore a contrasted side of the bustling modern Saigon city
Departing from your hotel around 8:00am, you will be driven two hours hours from Saigon to the town of Cai Be, here you will board the sampan known as Cai Be Princess. Welcoming you aboard with cold towels and a refreshing drink, the crew of the Cai Be Princess will be attentive and hospitable as it sets off for its leisurely cruise on the busy waterways of the Mekong Delta.
On the river, all sorts of boats ply the water, from small fishing boats to cargo barges loaded with fruit and vegetables. Observe a glimpse at life on the river banks, noting the daily tasks of the communities inhabiting the stunning landscapes.
Explore the canal’s hidden mangroves onboard a small rowing boat at Tan Phong Islet, before returning to the sampan to visit a nearby house built in the 19th century. Stop along the way to witness the local cottage industries where a majority of the river communities make a living producing coconut candy and puffed rice – the local equivalent of popcorn.
Your cruise ends at Le Longanier Restaurant. Lunch is served in this exquisite colonial-style villa set in a lush tropical garden. Surrounded by fruit trees, the villa elicits a sense of life during the Indochina period. After lunch, take a short walk along a canal, towards the Ba Bon Bridge where your personal vehicle awaits to drive you to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at your hotel in the afternoon.
- Explore the canal’s hidden mangroves and the busy waterways of the Mekong Delta
- Take a glimpse of local life and the production of coconut candy and puffed rice
- Enjoy a succulent meal in an exquisite colonial-style restaurant
Spend your last morning cherishing the atmosphere of Saigon with your family. Then transfer to the airport, boarding a flight to Hoi An where you will be transferred to a hotel to relax for the evening.
The next morning after breakfast, cycle fifteen minutes out of Hoi An city where you will board a small boat for a thirty-five minute cruise along the tranquil waterways of Quang Nam Province. Once the vessel stops, peddle your way through the rich green paddy fields, stopping at traditional handicraft villages along the way. Located in these villages are local craftsmen producing rice paper and sleeping mats, a craft deriving back to the 16th century. The handicraft villages elicit a period when Hoi An served as Vietnam’s major trading hub, attracting merchants from around the world. From here you and your family can visit the local boat making village of Kim Bong and discover the stories of traditional Vietnamese seamanship. Cycle back to Hoi An in the early afternoon where the rest of the day is at your own leisure.
- Cycle through verdant countryside with stunning landscapes housing nearby villages
- Experience local life and learn about their traditional works
- Interact with the communities you meet en route
Bold, bright and beautiful, the iconic silk lanterns of Hoi An can be found on just about every street corner and have the unique ability to present the onlooker an opportunity to experience a historical Vietnam. In this half-day experience, learn the tricks of the trade and witness the skill of expertly combining silk and bamboo to create these astounding artefacts. Delight in traditional tea while a local expert explores the historic and cultural significance of these lanterns. Your family will have the opportunity to produce their own lantern, in a process which entails signing bamboo stakes, attaching them with wire threads and shaping the lantern’s form before choosing a gloriously vibrant silk from a selection of patterns and colours. This wonderful workshop will be led by a local artist, producing a fantastic hands on experience with your family and a unique reminder of your time in Hoi An.
The remainder of the day is free for your leisure.
- Learn how to make the iconic lanterns of Hoi An
- Get in touch with your skilful side by making your own lantern
- Have fun time with your family through the workshop
After breakfast, you will be transferred from your hotel to the airport, taking a morning flight to Hanoi.
Begin the afternoon in Hanoi with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. From outside the landmark, hear the great tales about the man who led Vietnam’s campaign for independence from French colonial rule. After dedicating his life to the liberation of his country from foreign rule, Ho Chi Minh died in 1969 and his body was preserved for posterity. Wander the grounds, witnessing the one pillar pagoda and the presidential palace, before visiting the Temple of Literature, an 11th century relic built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius.
Take a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s narrow streets, named after the products that were originally sold there. Today, vendors on Tin and Bamboo Streets still sell the same wares as when the streets were names.
- Visit unmissable locations in Hanoi including Ho Chi Minh complex and Temple of Literature
- Take a cyclo ride while discovering the Old Quarter
The next day is presented as a free day to explore Hanoi at your own pace, however there are optional tours provided throughout the day.
Morning Cooking Class With Hanoian Family
Understand the intricacies of Vietnamese cuisine in a hands-on cooking class with a Hanoian family. Start this half-day culinary journey at a local market, browsing through the colourful and fresh produce vendors have to offer. Learn more about the process in which locals prepare their food and explore the variety of ingredients that make this cuisine so unique.
Take a short walk till you arrive at the home of a local family who lead this intimate cooking class. Become acquainted with your welcoming host over a cup of regional tea before putting on an apron and getting ready to chop, stir and cook. Under the guidance of your friendly hosts, learn how to make a tasty bowl of beef noodles, before delighting in your delicious creation.
- Socialise with the locals in the market and witness a more intimate perspective of the Hanoi atmosphere
- Meet a Hanoian family and learn the secret recipe to cook a true Vietnamese dishes
- Enjoy your tasty homemade meal
Zo paper workshop – two hours
Zó project is a social business, which preserves, supports and expands the production of Vietnamese traditional paper in a sustainable and creative way. In this workshop, the hosts will introduce the tools and supplies needed to start making traditional Zo paper, before you showcase your creativity as you create your own product with guidance and demonstrations.
- Learn the technique of creating traditional paper in a sustainable and creative way
- Hands on workshop
In the morning, transfer from your hotel in Hanoi to Ha Long City, approximately a three-hour transfer with a refreshment break en route. On arrival in Ha Long, board an overnight cruise to explore the far-most corners of the UNESCO heritage bay. Savour a delicious lunch onboard as you cruise out into the bay, stopping to anchor for an afternoon of activities (subject to change due to cruise selection and weather condition). End the day on deck, as your family witness the unmissable sight of the sun setting over the bay. Delight in a freshly prepared dinner, before retiring to your cabin for the night.
Note: Itinerary subject to change or cancellation due to weather conditions
- Sail through the UNESCO Heritage Ha Long Bay
- Witness the limestone karst and islets caves situated throughout the bay
- Spend the night viewing the stars above the deck of the overnight cruise
- Visit the mystical Sung Sot cave, also known as Surprise cave by tourists
Spend your last morning soaking up the magnificent scenery in Ha Long before heading back to Hanoi. After the long trip to Ha Long your family can spend the rest of their time in Hanoi at their own leisure.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning and transfer your family to the airport for your flight back home.