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Good Morning Vietnam! - Family Holiday

Trip type: 
Family - Cultural
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
16
Avg user rating: 
5
Asia, Vietnam | 15 days
Trip code: 
TVFA
Family Holidays | Min age 5yrs
What's included: 

Transport - Boats, in country flight, sleeper train, cyclo (cycle rickshaw), minibus

Accommodation - Hotels (10nts), sleeper train (1nt), boat (1nt)

Meals - 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 1 dinner

Trip Highlights: 
Cruise in Halong Bay
Discover the Mekong Delta
Take a cyclo ride
See the water puppet show
see full itinerary >>
Trip Highlights: 
Cruise in Halong Bay
Discover the Mekong Delta
Take a cyclo ride
See the water puppet show
see full itinerary >>
What's included: 

Transport - Boats, in country flight, sleeper train, cyclo (cycle rickshaw), minibus

Accommodation - Hotels (10nts), sleeper train (1nt), boat (1nt)

Meals - 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 1 dinner

Trip Overview: 

This two week family adventure takes you to experience the sheer excitement of Vietnam. You visit busy cities, scenic bays and river deltas for a fantastic mix of things to see and do which will keep the whole family entertained. Mixing with the friendly Vietnamese, you discover a fascinating country and of course some great food. Highlights include exploring by cyclo (rickshaw), a water puppet show in Hanoi, boat trips to fantastic islands with great beaches, ancient pagodas and temples, wonderful markets, a trip on an overnight train and much more! 

Itinerary: 
Day
1/2
Hanoi

Hanoi

Take an overnight flight to Hanoi. On arrival you’ll transfer to your first night’s accommodation. Hanoi is sometimes called the Paris of the Orient, with shaded boulevards, verdant parks and ochre buildings that retain an old-world charm.

A welcome meeting is at 6pm this evening when you will meet your group leader and the rest of your family group. Please ask at the hotel reception for details.

For trips until 29 Sep 2013  Santa Barbara Hotel (AAA) 2 nights (B) 

For trips departing from 29sep 2013 Thien Thai Hotel (AAA) - 2 nights (B)

Day
3
Hanoi

Hanoi

Today begins with breakfast at the KOTO restuarant which is part of a program where street children can learn hospitality skills that will enable them to find employment. You can rest assured you are helping to improve lives as you eat your breakfast today!

Later take a cyclo tour through the ancient "39 Streets" to discover amazing selection of shops in the Old Quarter; silk, silver, enamel bracelets and embroidery are among the best buys and the street names bear testimony to the business conducted there; Silk Street, Rice Street, Vermicelli Street, and even Boiled Fish Street! Some of the galleries boast the works of painters from all over Vietnam.

This evening you’ll make a visit to one of the water-puppet theatres to enjoy a performance of this fantastic art form - unique to Vietnam and best seen in Hanoi. The kids will be mesmerised! (B)

Day
4
Halong Bay

Halong Bay

From Hanoi you’ll travel for four hours by charter minibus to the coast and beautiful Halong Bay, whose name means ‘descending dragon’. The name derives from a Vietnamese legend that the gods sent a dragon to protect the people there. Arriving around lunchtime you’ll jump straight on a boat in this secluded bay, marvelling at the 2000 limestone peaks that emerge from the sea. You’ll have the opportunity to visit spectacular caves crammed with stalactites and stalagmites and, weather permitting, to swim from your boat, before spending the night on-board.

Cruise Boat - Berth in twin-cabin - 1 night (BLD)

Day
5
Overnight train

Overnight train

Today you return to Hanoi  (approx 3.5 hours). In the evening you board an overnight train to Da Nang. Conditions on the train are basic - but it's a great travel experience where you can mix with local people. The trains typically have four or six-berth soft sleeper compartments, a sheet, pillow and blanket are provided (you may prefer to bring your own sheet sleeping bag. You may be required to share with passengers from outside the group, or of the opposite sex. Most trains have dining facilities but you may prefer to bring your own supplies with you. 

Berth on overnight sleeper train - 1 night (B)

Day
6/7
Hue

Hue

Hue was once the capital of the Nguyen emperors, packed with influential people: bureaucrats, royalty, traders, astrologers and courtiers, who left behind many beautiful reminders of their times. For a fascinating look at life in Hue today, you make your way down to the Perfume River to embark on a journey by dragon boat. Explore the Thien Mu Pagoda (the Temple of the Heavenly Lady), possibly the most famous of all Vietnam’s pagodas. Legend tells of ‘fairy maids’ who predicted that a king would build a pagoda and bring great wealth to the countryside. Situated on the banks of the peaceful Perfume River, it is one of Vietnam’s best-loved buildings.

Discover the elaborate tombs of the Nguyen emperors. The tombs are situated among the houses of local farmers who grow rice, fruit and vegetables here. It is this location that gives rise to the views of the Vietnam you know from television; local farmers in straw hats working in paddy fields beneath towering palms. You’ll visit one of the seven tombs, all of which follow a similar layout: statues of mandarins, elephants and horses, a pavilion where a stele (obelisk) tells of each emperor’s glorious reign and a temple where he was worshipped after death.  

N.B - for departures 5 April 2013 and 8 April 2013 - The Dragon boat will be replaced with a private bus tour due to the Hon Chen boat Festival. 

Thanh Lich Hotel (AAA) - 2 nights (B)

Day
8-10
Hoi An

Hoi An

Travelling south by bus you climb up and over the spectacular Hai Van Pass, the top of which is crowded by hawkers selling all kinds of souvenirs and people who have stopped to enjoy the magnificent view below. Approximately four hours after leaving Hue, you’ll arrive in Hoi An - a relaxed and laid-back place, where cars are prohibited from the narrow streets of the old town, preserving the atmosphere in the centre as it would have been in colonial times.

Settled over the years by a variety of nationalities, including the Spanish and Portuguese, the old town is a fascinating place to visit. The fading beauty of the beautiful shops, houses and cafés add to the charm; Hoi An is bound to be a highlight of the trip. Walking or cycling are the only ways to soak up the atmosphere of the old streets. Take a guided tour on foot and can walk down to the riverside market where fresh fish are unloaded and through the backstreets of this colourful town, past temples to the covered Japanese Bridge. Visit the Children's Hope in Action Centre and meet some local children at this community project.

The rest of your time is left free to relax in this beautiful area. You could take a taxi or make the easy five-kilometre bicycle ride through the rice paddies and shrimp ponds to Cua Dai beach. Alternatively Hoi An is one of the best places to shop for souvenirs, especially if you’re looking for t-shirts, paintings or ceramics. For those interested in getting clothes tailored, this is definitely the place to shop – see Top Tips. Another good idea is to take a boat trip out to a village specialising in ceramics and boat-building (optional).

Van Loi Hotel (AAA) - 3 nights - Swimming Pool (Bx3)

Day
11

Ho Chi Minh City

Today you make the short drive (one hour) to Danang and take a flight south to Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon, the cosmopolitan powerhouse of the south and a fascinating mixture of old and new.  

Victory Hotel (AAA) - 3 nights - Swimming Pool (B)

Day
12

Mekong Delta

This morning you leave the city behind and head for Vietnam’s rice-bowl – the Mekong Delta, a journey of approximately three hours. Enroute visit the village of My Tho and learn about rural life. In a garden restaurant in the heart of the Delta you can sample the "elephant ear fish".  Board sampans (local rowing boats) to reach the main boat. Cruise through the waterways of the Mekong, zigzagged with ramshackle ‘monkey bridges’ and busy with local traders. Disemark at Ben Tre town where you make a visit to a local candy factory, including some sampling of course! Then return to Ho Chi Minh. (BL)

Day
13
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

Today is a well earned chance to cool off and let off some steam at the local water park. Great fun for all the family here as you ride the waterslides. The rest of the day is free to explore the city as you wish or take on of the optional excursions available. (B)

Day
14/15

Fly home

The tour ends today. Clients travelling on our group flights transfer to airport for your overnight flight home. (B)

Water Adventures 

In Hanoi a traditional water puppet show will delight all ages. You'll travel to Halong Bay for an exciting overnight boat trip amongst towering limestone cliffs and hundreds of spectacular islands - a true fairytale stting. Take a swim off the boat in the South China see and watch fishermen landing their daily catch. In Hue you cruise on the Perfume River to discover ancient royal tombs and a temple.  At the Mekong Delta you ride in a sampan (rowing boat) to reach your boat and cruise along the waterways. There is much to see before ending the day in a local sweet factory. Your final watery adventure is a visit to the water slide park at Ho Chi Minh city for a well earned cool off!

Exploring cities

Vietnam's bustling vibrant cities offer much adventure and discovery. Take a ride on a cyclo in Hanoi to explore the city streets. Leaving Hanoi and overnight train journey takes you to Hue and its Imperial Citadel. The ancient town of Hoi An is car free which gives you an idea of how ancient life here was before the motor vehicle came. Finally you discover the busy markets and interesting museums of Ho Chi Minh city, the capital city of Vietnam.

Our Good Morning Vietnam! trip is just one of our many Asia Family tours. To find out more visit our Asia holidays page.