M-F: 9:00-5:30 EST

Toll free: 888-5-SAFARI

e-mail: tours@desnasafaris.com

       Tour Highlights

  • Take a guided stroll through the Ben Thanh area. Listed by the Food & Wines Magazine in its late January 2012 edition as one of the ten best places in the world for street food.

  • Visit the Vietnam Cooking Center and learn about traditional Vietnamese cuisine and some popular dishes.

  • Visit the former Presidential Palace and enjoy a traditional music concert performed by leading artists on unique Vietnamese musical instruments.

  • Experience the Royal Cuisine of Hue during a sumptuous Dinner.

  • Visit Tu Duc and Khai Din Royal Tombs, considered to be two of the three most beautiful mausoleums around Hue.i

  • Enjoy a hands on cooking class at the Hanoi Cooking Center designed by Chef Tracy Lister, co-author of KOTO - A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam.

  • Embark on a memorable cruise in Halong Bay and enjoy breathtaking scenery of this Unesco listed World Natural Heritage site of wonderful caves, tiny islets, beaches and floating villages.

STARTING FROM: $3,188.00 per person. Please contact us for detailed pricing.

INTERNAL AIRFARE: $258 per person
(Subject to change)

LENGTH: 9 Days/ 8 Nights

MEAL PLAN: AS NOTED: B- Breakfast; L- Lunch; D- Dinner

Supplements may apply for travel during holiday period

Please contact us for availability or design your dream journey.

Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy, please contact us for Sole Traveler pricing.





Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City- Arrival and Dinner Cruise

Meet on arrival at Ho Chi Minh City / Tan Son Nhat International Airport and transfer to the hotel. Formerly known as Saigon, today’s Ho Chi Minh City is the bustling and vibrating economic center of the South. Over the past few centuries, Saigon was called the “Pearl of the Far East” and was an important trading center for Chinese, Japanese and Western merchants who traveled along the Saigon River.

In the evening, enjoy a dinner cruise on the Saigon River. Cruise the waters of the Saigon River and savor a sumptuous dinner, accompanied by live entertainment, while floating past Ho Chi Minh’s enchanting night-time cityscape. Complimentary cocktails, canapés, and a friendly crew welcome you aboard the biggest dragon boat in Vietnam, the double-decker Bonsai. A band of musicians sets the mood with a musical fusion of the East and West as you cruise out into the Saigon River. Settle in as the executive chef and Vietnamese show cooks prepare, in concert, an impressive Eurasian buffet. The Bonsai also offers cocktail lounges and airy verandas for an after-dinner stroll. Relax with a complimentary head and neck massage and enjoy the live entertainment that continues throughout the evening, concluding with a fire-dance performance. Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

Renaissance Riverside Hotel - Deluxe City View Room; Meals: D

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City

06:00 AM Pick up at your hotel and transfer to the park opposite to the New World Hotel to see and join the locals, practicing Tai Chi. After your “exercise”, visit the north entrance of Ben Thanh Market to witness the busy morning hours with sellers setting up their stands and commencing business (fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, flowers, etc.).  Continue your tour by walking along Saigon’s streets and admire some of the city’s most important landmarks. Experience the morning glory of Saigon as the city awakes and enjoy a bowl of the famous “pho” noodle soup for breakfast as well a traditional Vietnamese coffee or tea.   
A visit to Vietnam is a memorable experience and with the help of the Vietnam Cookery Center you will be able to bring back home some of those memories. Prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes and re-experience authentic delightful Vietnamese cuisine together with your family and friends.  In the morning course, you will learn more about the most popular Vietnamese dishes. You will be taught the correct blending of the many ingredients and spices to create the famous "nuoc mam" (fish sauce). You will also learn more about the cooking of the multitude of different rice. Apart from the preparation and cooking under the Chef’s guidance, you will be introduced to the traditional Vietnamese kitchen with cooking utensils, which still resemble the Vietnamese way of life. You will learn about the oriental science of Yin-Yang (even applied in cooking) and the history of Vietnamese cuisine with its roots in the Imperial City of Hue and its various influences from both Western and other Eastern cultures. Finally you will understand the intricacies of the Vietnamese dining etiquette and the technique to master the chopsticks!

In the evening, have a guided stroll through the Ben Thanh area. Listed by the Food & Wines Magazine in its late January 2012 edition as one of the ten best places in the world for street food, here one can find all southern delicacies.

Renaissance Riverside Hotel - Deluxe City View Room; Meals: B L

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Hue With Royal Dinner

In the morning, have a half-day Saigon City Tour. You will visit the bustling Cho lon (Chinatown), Thien Hau pagoda, one of the oldest pagodas of the Chinese in the area and colourful Ben Than Market. Notre Dame Cathedral inaugurated in 1880 became the spiritual and cultural crucible of the French presence in the Orient as was the Post office designed by Gustav Eiffel and resembling a grand railway station. Visit the former Presidential Palace, renowned for its symbolic role in the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Transfer to the airport for your afternoon flight to Hue. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.  In the evening, experience the Royal Cuisine of Hue during a sumptuous dinner at local restaurant.

Best Western Premier Indochine Palace - Deluxe Room; Meals: B L D

Day 4: Hue City Tour

Have a full day city tour today. Your first stop will be the Hue Citadel situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River. Built by Emperor Gia Long it was designed for the exclusive use of the Emperor and his household. The Citadel is a square 2 km wall  encompassing 3 walled enclosures; the Citadel, Kinh Thanh Hue, the Yellow  Imperial city, Hoang Thanh and in the centre the Forbidden Purple city Tu Cam Thanh where the Emperor lived. The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.  Continue your tour with a visit to the garden house of Mr. Phan Thuan An, the famous Hue study researcher, who will give a brief lecture on Hue’s history and culture.

In the afternoon, visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Royal Tombs, considered to be two of the three most beautiful mausoleums around Hue. Construction of the tombs was meticulous carried out starting whilst the king was still alive in order to ensure his comfort in the next life. Most of the tombs have courtyards, a temple for worship, statues of elephants and figures and a pond, but the layout of each is different reflecting differing each king’s personality and style.

Best Western Premier Indochine Palace - Deluxe Room; Meals: B L

Day 5: Hue - Hanoi

In the morning, visit the Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts. Located in the former imperial capital of Hue, it is dedicated to Vietnam’s imperial past and arts of that era. Visit Dong Ba Market where you can choose the local specialties and souvenirs. Hue conical hats have been inspiration for generations of poets and are travelers’ favorable souvenir.

Have lunch at Tha Om garden house. After lunch, transfer to Hue / Phu Bai Airport for your flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, pick-up and transfer to the hotel.

Moevenpick Hotel - Superior Deluxe Room; Meals: B L

Day 6: Hanoi - Cooking Class and City Tour

This morning, have hands on cooking class at the Hanoi Cooking Centre designed by chef Tracey Lister, co-author of the books KOTO-A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam and Vietnamese Street Food.  The course begins with a brief introduction to Vietnamese cuisine, highlighting the ingredients of traditional Vietnamese dishes. Share the experience of Vietnamese cuisine through the eyes of the international chef. Afterwards, walk to the Chau Long Market and enjoy a market tour. The chefs will highlight some of the daily produce sold, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, silk worms, etc.  Return to the Hanoi Cooking Centre and get started. The chefs will explain how to prepare the various dishes on the menu. Printed recipes as well as samples of some local fruits, green bean cake, quail eggs, etc. can be taken home after the class.  Enjoy the meal you prepared and visit the Hanoi Cooking Centre shop where you may find useful cooking utensils, recipe books, spices, etc.

In the afternoon, take a half-day Hanoi City Tour. You will visit the historic Ba Dinh Square, see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum from the OUTSIDE, then visit One-Pillar Pagoda (the One-pillar Pagoda is closed until late February 2015 for renovation, Tran Quoc Pagoda will be visited as alternative) and then visit the Temple of Literature, known as the first university of Vietnam and built more than 1,000 years ago. Afterwards, continue to Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the Ngoc Son Temple.

Moevenpick Hotel - Superior Deluxe Room; Meals: B L

Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay, Overnight Cruise (Joint Boat)

08:00 AM Pick-up at your hotel in Hanoi and transfer to Halong City. Upon arrival, embark on an overnight cruise and set sail on a cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Halong Bay, taking in the spectacular scenery of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Lunch is served as you cruise by impressive rock formations with unusual names and shapes.

In the afternoon you will start to discover Halong Bay, listed as a World Heritage of outstanding natural beauty, known in Vietnamese as “Dragon descending to the sea“. Depending on each cruise’s itinerary of the day, you may visit a beautiful cave, have some swimming at Titov or Soi Sim beach. Kayaking is available at a surcharge

When the sun sets, your boat will drop anchor for the night. You may attend a cooking demonstration before having dinner.

After dinner, you may choose to enjoy fresh air on the sundeck or playing board games or retiring to your cabin for a comfortable night in the bay

Accommodation on-board an overnight cruise in Halong Bay

Paradise Luxury Cruise - Deluxe ROH room; Meals: B L D

Day 8: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Early riser may join a Tai Chi session on the sundeck (depending on each cruise’s program) and enjoy watching the sunrise in the Bay. Afterward your boat will weave its way back to Halong pier. Upon disembarkation, pick up and transfer to Hanoi

Arrive in Hanoi, check in the hotel and have free time for your own discovery of Vietnam’s wide array of street foods which has won the hearts of international chefs and make Vietnam their second home.

Moevenpick Hotel - Superior Deluxe Room; Meals: B

Day 9: Hanoi - Departure

At leisure until transfer to Hanoi / Noi Bai International Airport for your departure flight. If your flight departs in the afternoon or later, you can fill your time by picking one of our wide ranges of day excursions in and around Hanoi at a surcharge.

Meals: B