Day 1: Ha Noi
ARRIVAL INTO HANOI NOI BAI AIRPORT.
Meet you outside of the arrivals hall and private transfer to Hanoi city, which takes around 45 minutes.
Cathay Pacific CX5295 from Hong Kong to Hanoi due in at 18:50
After your hotel check-in, you may wish to take an evening stroll of 2.5km around Hoan Kiem Lake. The lakeis considered the center of Hanoi, not only physically but also symbolically. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a smallisland.
Hoan Kiem means “Lake of the Returned Sword”. The legend was that a famous and victorious king who drove out the Ming army lost his sword when a turtle came up and took it when he was on a boat in the lake. The legends also say that he originally received his magical sword from the turtle god of the area.
From early morning exercise, to courting couples at night, Hoam Kiem Lake is a pleasure to visit at any time.
Day 2: Ha Noi
Today is free and easy for you at your leisure.
Day 3: Ha Noi
HANOI CITY DISCOVERY
This day will take in the highlight sites and sights including: Streets of the Old Quarter, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, One-pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and museums of interest.
Originally the streets of the Old Quarter teemed with many artisans manufacturing and selling their wares. The street names nowadays still reﬂect these specializations. We will explore this dynamic viewof everyday street life on foot in the morning light – it is a photographer’s paradise… all kinds of portraiture, architecture and people at work – along with many street sellers and theirwares.
The Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh is located in the centre of Ba Dinh Square, which is the place where Ho read the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh’s body is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honour guard. (inside mausoleum open Tue – Thur only).
We continue to stroll through the beautiful gardens surrounding the mausoleum which have nearly 250 different species of plants and ﬂowers, all from diﬀerent regions of Vietnam. Also visit the simple ‘stilt house’ which Ho livedin and the unique ‘One-PillarPagoda’.
The Temple of Literature was ﬁrst constructed in 1070 and is dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. Also here is The Imperial Academy – constructed in 1076, which was the ﬁrst national university of Vietnam, it has preserved its ancient architectural style of many dynasties.
Depending on time available, some museums may also be visited – notable are: Hoa Lo (Hanoi Hilton), Museum of Ethnology and the Vietnamese Women’s Museum.
Also of interest to some visitors is the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. This UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises two sections: the archaeological site at Hoang Dieu Street and the central axis of the Nguyen Dynasty’s Citadel of Hanoi, which together create an integrated heritage complex.
This is a ﬂexible full day of touring and you can discuss speciﬁc sites / sights and locations with your guide, depending onyour own personal interests andpace.
Hanoi’s French quarter, the grid of streets south of Hoan Kiem Lake, is unique amongst Asian capital cities. It is packed with buildings from diﬀerent eras in the city’s history. It features ancient pagodas; classical European architecture; international modernist architecture (avant-garde Art Deco residences) as well as a fusion between Asian and French style architecture.
During this 1.5 hours walking tour, we’ll discover how each of these styles is a tangible sign of the ideological shifts,
which have inﬂuenced Vietnamese culture over the centuries. Much more than just bricks andmortar, they are monuments to the vision of French, Vietnamese and Soviet thinkers andarchitects.
Day 4: Ha Noi – Hai Phong – Ha Long Bay – Lan Ha Bay
Begin departure from Hanoi. The cruise company representative will meet you at your hotel at arround 09:00-09:30(tbc) and you join the cruise company shared shuttle transport for your transfer to HalongBay.
The drive through the Red River Delta will take approximately 3.5 hours with a refreshment stop along the way.
12:00: We arrive at the office in the pier where you will be welcomed by our crew.
12:30: Embark Calypso Cruiser. You will be served welcome drink and provided with a cold towel.
Following by a cruise brieﬁng where you will also be given safety instructions before checking in to your cabin. We will set sailand you will have lunch while enjoying the beauty of the canals on our way to HalongBay.
15:00: We arrive at Light and Dark Cave, where you can enjoy kayaking or try a bamboo boat – rowed by local people.
17:30: Return to Calypso Cruiser where you can admire the magniﬁcent sunset over the Gulfof Tonkin and enjoy happy hour. Then take part in cooking demonstration to learn about our Vietnamesecuisine.
You can also enjoy the massage service which is available onboard.(Please book directly with the Cruise Manager on the boat)
19:00: A great dining experience awaits you.
20:30-0:00: After ﬁnishing dinner, you can enjoy the landscape of the bay at night up on the top deck, relax with romantic ballad music, enjoy drinks from the bar try your luck at squid fishing, watch a movie or relax in your room.
Overnight on board.
Day 5: Cat Ba Island – Ha Noi
06:30: Wake up early to start your perfect day with Tai Chi class or watch the sunset on the top deck. Enjoying a cup of coffee and tea is idealchoice.
7:00 – 9:00: Breakfast is served in the restaurant.
9:30: Check out from your cabin and visit Cat Ba island. Drive around 20 minutes to visit Hospital Cave in Cat Ba, an interesting place to save the history of signiﬁcance of Vietnam during the war. You will be immersed in thenatural scenery of the wild, fresh of Cat BaIsland.
10:30: Return the boat, then have lunch in the restaurant while the cruise sails back to pier. The bill is settled at the end of trip.
After you disembark ,the cruise company have arranged private transportation to take you direct to Hanoi Noi Bai Airport for your onward flight. Please note that this service is for car and driver only – NO GUIDE toaccompany.