Newsletter – August 2015: Vietnam, an Affordable and Luxurious Travel Experience

A personal note from Ales!

Luxury Travel can mean different things to different people and it is still very possible to travel to amazing destinations, stay in great hotels and experience the trip of a lifetime without breaking your bank.

Tra Su Indigo Forest, Vietnam Ecotourism

Having clients from all different walks of life gives me the opportunity to create wonderful journeys to some of my favorite destinations at price points that fit everyone’s budget and there are certain destinations which offer more value for the money you spend than others.

One area in the world that is a great example for this, is South East Asia, especially when choosing a country that still isn’t on many people’s radar like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and even to some extend parts of Thailand and Indonesia.

To give you a perfect example of an itinerary like this, I’d like to share a journey I recently created for one of my clients, traveling by himself to the beautiful country of Vietnam.

The cost for the 14 day itinerary below came out to $ 1,745.00. This doesn’t include the International flights to & from Vietnam but does include all domestic airfares.

Please remember that this itinerary is customized and any of the accommodations can be replaced with 4 or 5 star properties. We have also some of the best tourguides in the country and can arrange for unique and private tours throughout your travels there.

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Day 1 Depart for Vietnam

Today you will depart for your journey to Vietnam.

traditional gamelan instrument

Day 2 Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, you will be met and taken by private car to your hotel.

You will be staying for 5 nights at the Elios Hotel which is located in the heart of Saigon, within walking distance of fabulous shopping as well as the city’s business and entertainment districts. Ben Thanh market is within 7 minutes’ walking distance and it is 25 minutes by car to Tan Son Nhat Airport.

Accommodation: Elios Hotel – Premium Room

Day 3 Ho Chi Minh City

Full day Ho Chi Minh City Discovery

This mesmerizing trip gives you a fun and fascinating insight into the history, culture and the daily life of the locals in Ho Chi Minh City. We start our tour by heading to Chinatown with a walking tour through the fascinating back streets near Cho Lon. This area is one of the busiest commercial districts of Ho Chi Minh City and its atmospheric streets are home to some of the city’s most interesting sites.

Bac Ha Market

Our expert local guide takes you for a visit to Thien Hau temple, which was built in the early 19th Century and dedicated to the goddess of seafarers. We delve deeper into Chinatown visiting the amazing Cholon and Binh Tay Markets which are full of energy and dazzling array of goods. You can stop at a local café for a coffee (not included) to watch the hectic pace of life pass by in Ho Chi Minh City.

Following our market visit, we will have a traditional local Vietnamese lunch, ”Pho” or noodle soup. After our delicious lunch, we visit the War Remnants Museum; take a walking tour to Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post office, Opera House and downtown Saigon. The War Remnants Museum was originally opened in September 1975, it displays old military equipment and other related items from the Vietnam War.

In the courtyard we will find some larger exhibits including a F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter. The Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Presidential Palace was the sight of South Vietnam’s surrender in April 1975. Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office and the Opera House are beautiful examples of architecture from the French colonial period. At the end of the trip you are free to continue exploring the area or your guide will assist you in getting a taxi back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Elios Hotel – Premium Room
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 4 Ho Chi Minh City

Full Day Mekong Discovery

We depart Ho Chi Minh City for the city of My Tho (approximately 2 ½ hours). A former naval base, My Tho is now a bustling port city in the Mekong Delta. The area is the final destination of the mighty Mekong River which winds it’s way from Tibet, through China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and finally Vietnam. An incredibly fertile region it’s prime industry is food production, producing approximately half of Vietnam’s total agricultural output.

Life for villages in the area revolves around the rivers and canals that make up the delta, people are more likely to transport by river than road. Upon arrival into My Tho we board our private boat for a cruise on the Mekong River. Our first stop is at a fish farm to gain an insight into one of the cottage industries in the region.

On our boat ride our local guide will take us to visit an island with lush tropical gardens where we have a chance to sample tropical fruit. Continuing to another island in the Mekong Delta we learn more about another cottage industry, coconut candy. Our local guide will take us to a factory and explain the process of making the sweet.

Vietnam - Boatwomen from Nanh

We have a chance to visit local villages in the area and learn more about the traditional lifestyles, culture and customs of people who call the Delta their home. We continue our visit by Xe Loi (motorized cart), visiting a bee farm where we transfer to smaller rowing boat allowing us to get deeper into the smaller canals of the Delta. Our lunch destination is Diem Phuong restaurant where our local guide will provide us with some advice on the finer points of local cuisine and assist us with ordering some of these delicacies. After lunch we return to My Tho for the journey back to Ho Chi Minh City where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Accommodation: Elios Hotel – Premium Room
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 5 Ho Chi Minh City

Today will be at your own leisure to enjoy this exciting city.

Accommodation: Elios Hotel – Premium Room
Meals: breakfast

Day 6 Ho Chi Minh City

Today will be at your own leisure.

Accommodation: Elios Hotel – Premium Room
Meals: breakfast

Day 7 Ho Chi Minh City – Da Nang – Hoi An

After breakfast you will check out from your hotel and take a taxi or car arranged by the hotel to the airport where you will board your domestic flight to Da Nang.

Hoi An old town in Vietnam after sunset

Upon arrival in Da Nang you will be met and taken by private car to your hotel, the Green Heaven Hoi An Resort & Spa.

This property is in the heart of the town a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hoi An was a trading port and its decline in the 19th century has allowed it to retain its ancient character with its monuments, canals, bridges and wooden architecture.

Nowadays it is still a trading port as well as a popular tourist destination. Reasons to visit Hoi An are: the old town with temples, museums and houses converted into antique stores, restaurants and bars, the beaches, such as Cua Dai and China Beach, which offers water sports, the world-class golf courses, riverside cafes, boat trips along the Thu Bon River, the affordable street food, markets, great shopping, bicycle and cyclo rides and fishing. The property provides a pool, gym, restaurant, bar, gifts shop and spa and beauty salon.

The rest of the day will be at your own leisure.

Accommodation:Green Heaven Hoi An Resort & Spa – Superior Room
Meals: breakfast

Day 8 Hoi An

Half day Ho An Bicycle Tour

Most visitors to Hoi An spend a lot of time walking through the ancient streets, buying clothes, shoes and paintings in the town’s famous shops. But how many visitors get to discover the simple life of the villagers, watch the children at play and experience the warmth of their welcome while enjoying the beautiful scenery, such as bamboo, churches and thatched cottages?

We will take you on a bicycle tour with an experienced local guide who will show you the more interesting hidden parts of this beautiful town. Everything is guaranteed to give you a sense of serenity.

You will cycle through the tiny village lanes to the river, where you can learn about the daily life of the local people and pass by fields of corn, sweet potato, nipa and a shrimp and crab farm. On the way, you will also visit houses for worshipping ancestors and traditional craft houses, such as blacksmiths and carpenters. Lunch will be served at Tra Que village, before returning back to hotel.

The rest of the day will be at your own leisure.

Accommodation: Green Heaven Hoi An Resort & Spa – Superior Room
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Crowd Vietnamese Farmer Tea Picker  On Plantation

Day 9 Hoi An

Today will be at your own leisure to discover this picturesque town.

Accommodation: Green Heaven Hoi An Resort & Spa – Superior Room
Meals: breakfast

Day 10 Hoi An – Hanoi

After you have checked out from your hotel, you will take a taxi or car arranged by your hotel to the airport in Da Nang where you will board your flight to Hanoi.

Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be met and taken by private car to your hotel, the Hanoi Boutique Hotel 1.

The hotel enjoys a unique location in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Town and a 5-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. The hotel is surrounded by many good restaurants and shopping streets. It is a boutique hotel with modern style.

There are a total of 56 rooms. Guests are welcomed in a lobby with 24-hour reception. Facilities include air conditioning, a hotel safe and lift access. Other facilities on offered are currency exchange, a hairdressing salon and conference room.

Internet access and both room and laundry services are available. Guests can wine and dine in the cafe, bar or restaurant. All rooms are equipped with tea and coffee maker, a minibar and satellite TV. All rooms have air conditioning and WLAN Internet access. Further in-room amenities include a fridge, ironing set and terrace. Guests can relax in the sauna or enjoy a spa treatment on site.

Accommodation: Hanoi Boutique Hotel 1 – Classic Room
Meals: breakfast

Rice fields on terraced in sunset at Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Viet

Day 11 Hanoi

Museums of Hanoi – private tour

The Ethnology Museum, a newly opened museum exhibiting history and culture of ethnic minorities living in Vietnam. Detailed explanations are given in Vietnamese, English, and French.

The Fine Art Museum is where you can see some very intricate sculptures, paintings, lacquer ware, ceramics and other traditional Vietnamese fine arts.

The History Museum, a rich collection of exhibits from Vietnam’s prehistory; Vietnamese civilizations; the Dong Son Civilization; the kingdom of Champa; the Khmer kingdoms; various Vietnamese dynasties and their resistance to Chinese attempts at domination; the struggle against the French; and the history of the Communist Party.

The rest of the day will be at your own leisure.

Accommodation: Hanoi Boutique Hotel 1 – Classic Room
Meals: breakfast

Day 12 Hanoi

Full Day Halong Bay

Early departure for Halong Bay, a World Heritage as designated by Unesco in 1994 with nearly 3,000 rocky islets. The drive may take you more than three to four hours utmost depending on the high or low seasons‟ traffic, and will pass the Red River Delta, one of the two granaries of Vietnam.

Upon arriving in Halong, we will sail our boat round its natural rocky gardens whilst a tasty seafood lunch is waiting on board. Most of the islets here are not for living due to the lack of fresh water, but are excellent for cruising to contemplate their miraculous draws on the horizon.

Early Morning At Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Many of them have great names from their inspirational shapes, including the Surprising cave, Pelican Grotto, Chopstick rock, Butterfly rock, Turtle rock, the island of Fishman‟s Head, the Fighting Cocks, the Sail, the Urn, or the Sea Dog! We can wander to visit grottos, so swimming, or just lazily relax on the sundeck with our drinks. The boat will be back to the Wharf late afternoon where we take our car or coach to return to Hanoi. Trip finished at your hotel in Hanoi.

Accommodation: Hanoi Boutique Hotel 1 – Classic Room
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 13 Hanoi

Today will be at your own leisure to enjoy Hanoi.

Accommodation: Hanoi Boutique Hotel 1 – Classic Room
Meals: breakfast

Day 14 Depart from Vietnam

After you have checked out from your hotel you will take a taxi or car arranged by the hotel to the Hanoi International Airport where you will board your homeward bound flight.

I hope you enjoyed reading this itinerary as much as I enjoyed creating it. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like more information on an exciting journey such as this one.

– Ales

About Ales

I’ve been passionate about travel ever since I can remember. Having had the opportunity to travel all around the world for many years it’s my greatest desire to enrich peoples lives in a profound way by creating unforgettable journeys, and give each of my clients the amazing experiences I’ve had throughout my travels.

By allowing me to design your journeys, you can be assured that you will be taken care of from the moment we start planning your vacation until the moment you return. Contact me and let me know where you would like to go or let me help you find the destination that will give you the experience you are looking for.

May all your travels stir your soul and change your life forever – Ales.


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