To get a true feel for life today in Vietnam, we recommend this be a two-centre destination – to experience the culture of yesterday and today.
Arriving in Ho Chi Minh (still lovingly referred to as Saigon) late afternoon will give you enough time to check in and freshen up before you are picked up for your first Vietnamese experience. The first thing you will notice in Ho Chi Minh is the vibrancy, the streetlife, the colour, the mesmerising chaos and the thousands of scooters – everyone’s mode of transport.
So, when in Saigon….. you will be picked up by Vespa on your first night and transferred to one of the many rooftop bars, some with a 360 degree view of this colourful, twinkling city.
Although a drive outside of Ho Chi Minh, it’s regarded a ‘must’ to visit the historic relics of the Cu Chi Tunnels – and if brave enough – clamber inside to experience the conditions and determination of the local people during the Vietnamese war. Lunch will be served ‘MASH’ army style after which you will be returned by speedboat to your hotel. Tonight, you will be carried by rickshaw to a local restaurant to sample the wonderful Vietnamese cuisine.
On day 3, a short internal flight will take you to Danang – your next destination. In Danang, you can choose to stay at a luxury beach resort & spa or take a drive in the other direction into the mountains to stay in a more remote location.
Whichever you choose, a visit to Hoi An is a must. Once a bustling trading port in the 15th century it is now a gem of a town. There is a surprising amount of traditional local life still seen on the streets and a walking tour will take you to the Japanese bridge, well preserved ancient houses and pagodas with lots of shopping in between. If staying at a more local beach resort, your transfer into Hoi An can be by American style army jeep and, if energy allows, a return to the hotel by bicycle is a great way to get an insight into local life.
Vietnam is famous for its expert tailors. On arrival to your hotel, why not arrange for each member of your group to be measured and fitted for their own traditional costume which they can wear to the gala dinner. There are many venue options and, if budget allows, perhaps you can conclude your Vietnamese experience by holding a Rice Field Gala Dinner.
Your guests will arrive over a bamboo walkway constructed over a rice field and lit by torches. Farmers will be working in the fields, singing folk songs, traditional live music will be playing, there will be craft demonstrations, fishermen in the lake and live cooking stations – providing a very special night to remember.
Your final morning will be at leisure before commencing your journey home.
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