Magnificent Vietnam & Cambodia

Updated: May 8, 2021

Vietnam in 2020 was the most popular country people wanted to "Discover in Style."

Enjoy this holiday which I designed for a couple with a Pre-Stay prior to embarking Scenic Spirit Luxury Mekong River Cruise and including a Post-Stay.

Welcome to Vietnam

Vietnam is long recognized as one of Asia’s most dynamic countries, Vietnam is a kaleidoscope of colour and culture, blending French influence with traditional Asian philosophy. From bustling Ho Chi Minh City and the capital Hanoi, to quaint riverside villages in the Mekong Delta and the towering rice paddies of Sapa, Vietnam’s compelling history is on display everywhere, from the ancient pagodas of imperial dynasties to more recent relics of Vietnam’s complex past.

Departure on the 18 April, 2022 home getaway you will arrive at the Noi Bai Airport (Hanoi) on 19 April, 2022. Destination Asia tour guide will meet you as you exit the airport, and transfer you by private vehicle to the Sofitel Metropole Legend Hotel for check- in and have a restful evening in your hotel.

April 19 to April 22, 2022

(3 night stay, Hanoi)

Ha Noi, a city of lakes, parks and colonial mansions, retains much of its historical charm and, with an eclectic mix of Asian tempo and French refinement, Vietnam’s capital is a city to be savoured. The labyrinthine streets of Ha Noi’s Old Quarter are the ideal place in which to wander and observe daily life. Here street traders jostle for space on the sidewalks and crumbling houses are crammed into narrow alleyways that are still named after the goods that were traded there - Silk Street, Gold Street and even Fried Fish Street! A stroll around West Lake reveals a different side of the city and nearby you will find the sombre Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which is usually crowded with Vietnamese of all ages wishing to show their respects.

The elegant French Quarter is home to some fine colonial architecture including the famous Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel and the Opera House, whilst an early morning wake-up call and a visit to Hoan Kiem Lake will be rewarded by a display of local residents practicing their t’ai chi. Ha Noi is steeped in history from the 'Hanoi Hilton’, the infamous Hoa Lo Prison where so many prisoners of war were incarcerated, to the religious pride that constructed the 11th century Temple of Literature, the heart of the Confucian education system. Ha Noi is a delightful city of contrasts and the ideal city in which soak up the ebb and flow of life in Vietnam.

Breakfast at your hotel

April 20, 2022

The Insider’s Ha Noi by antique vespa (private)

Duration: 4 hours (8:00 am – 12:00 pm)

We start off with a welcome drink and enjoy the most spectacular view of the famous Long Bien Bridge spanning the Red River. We submerge ourselves in the truly unique lifestyle of the floating village of Banana Island. It’s back on our Vespas as we explore the railway tracks cutting through the heart of the city and meet families living and working mere centimetres away in tall narrow houses. We then go to a bustling & vibrant open market to shop with the local people from Hanoi. After zooming through narrow alleyways, we reach the crash site of an American B-52 bomber in a city lake and learn of the city’s more recent history before visiting a peaceful Buddhist temple set in the most beautiful gardens. Our last stop is a tranquil green oasis at a miniature Kumquat farm (seasonal) or we learn about the ancient tradition of making tea at the home of a Vietnamese Tea Master.

In the afternoon, enjoy a drink at the Iconic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel.

- Guest ride pillion behind vespa’s driver (one driver per guest)

April 21, 2022

Hidden Alleys of the Old Quarter(Private)

Duration: 4 hours (9:00 am – 1:00 pm)

Hanoi's Old Quarter is a densely populated area of the city known as ’36 Streets’ and is the oldest continuously developed section of Vietnam. This was once an important centre of commerce where goods were sold on the street name of a particular guild. The labyrinthine alleyways are perfect for exploring with names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper Street. Today ancient homes and temples are interspersed with narrow stores and there is no better way to see this fascinating part of the city than on foot accompanied by a local Hanoian.

As you navigate the alleyways, people continue with their daily lives almost oblivious to your presence. Fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and fish are sold by a constant stream of street vendors selling their wares from baskets on bamboo sticks. Observe locals enjoying their breakfast or quick lunch on the sides of the narrow streets and mothers cooking their family’s meals in front of their houses.

Walking through Hang Da market, continue to Yên Thái communal house where you will learn about a famous Queen in Vietnamese history before winding along Hang Bong street, busy with street vendors, to Hoan Kiem Lake. Enjoy a cup of coffee in Café Giang which was founded by Mr. Nguyen Giang in 1946 when he was working as a bartender at the famous Metropole Hanoi hotel.

Our walking tour continues to Hang Be and Luong Ngoc Quyen Streets and Phat Loc alley where a variety of activities can be seen and foods tasted. There is the option of a quick stop at the unique Shot Café before continuing on foot to Ta Hien Street, a part of the town long-established by candy and jam makers. Your final stop before returning to your hotel is which offers great opportunities for colourful photographs of local fruit and vegetables and other traditional Vietnamese ingredients.

We will drop you off at the hotel, enjoy a nice drink at Bamboo Bar and we will see you tonight.

Hanoi - Street Food Tour with your guide (private tour)

Duration: 2.5 hours (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm)

Hanoi and its environs are the birthplace of many quintessential Vietnamese dishes such as pho and bun cha and the city is considered one of the world's great food capitals. Hanoi is a street food lover's paradise and many well-informed travellers will tell you that the best food in Hanoi is found on the sidewalks where fragrant dishes featuring lemongrass, chilli, cilantro and other fresh herbs abound.

The tour begins with an introduction to the local food scene over a hearty bowl of pho(noodle soup) - the quintessential Hanoi street food. Then it is off to a bustling local market where your guide will demystify the local produce and encourage you to taste some of their exotic ingredients. Visiting several venues, travelling either by cyclo or on foot, your guide will share their favourite spots and the tour ends with a typical Vietnamese ca phe or che (coffee or tea) and the opportunity to taste local sweets.

Meal included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Ha Noi street food

April 22, 2022

Breakfast at your hotel.

Seaplane option:

8:45 am, drive to Noi Bai airport for seaplane flight to Ha Long Bay, HAI601/ 10:00 am – 11:00 am included 15 minutes scenic on the bay (flight schedule is current and subject to change). Arrival transfer to the Ginger cruise’s check-in lounge

Option 2: Land Transfer

9:00 am: meet your guide and driver at your hotel’s lobby for a private transfer by car to Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay (drive takes approx. 2 ½ hours)