Your choice of 4 Select & Mix experiences (no extra cost, 4 experiences already included in the price of your holiday):
Hanoi: Attend a water puppetry show in a local theatre (day 2 evening)
The farmers of the Red River Delta originally invented water puppets over a thousand years ago. It began as a hobby and was later elevated to the status of royal entertainment under the Ly and Tran dynasties. At that time, the shows took place in the flooded rice fields and on lakes or rivers. They are now staged in venues or local theatres. This typical and enchanted performance consists of a succession of scenes evoking images of daily life and legends, accompanied by traditional music. One can only but be charmed - or at least amused - by these small wooden puppets moving by themselves on the surface of the water. They are indeed activated by an invisible under-water mechanism, the existence of which you will totally forget after a few minutes… it is fascinating!
Hanoi: Learn the ancient art of calligraphy with a reputable Hanoian scholar (day 2 afternoon)
As in many other Asian countries, the art of calligraphy has been practised for hundreds of years in Vietnam. When it begins to express more than words, writing becomes an art, and we are offering you the chance to meet one of these artists. He will tell you the history of calligraphy and will then demonstrate his talent. We invite you to interact with him; he will be delighted to answer all of your questions.
Hanoi: Join the locals and take part in a Tai Chi session in a local park (day 3 morning)
This traditional art from China resembles dance as much as martial arts, where the decelerated movements are derived from Kung Fu. Practised on a daily basis by Vietnamese people of all ages, it is well known to bring actual, beneficial, health effects.
Don’t be worried about getting up early, to the contrary, your Tai Chi class will be all the more enjoyable: you will like the soft light and pleasant temperature at the start of the day. Moreover, it is at this time of the day that most of the Vietnamese practise their sport (Tai Chi, but also badminton, aerobics or ballroom dancing) in the streets, it is a picturesque and motivating sight not to be missed!
Hoi An: Take a short cycling tour to a rural village followed by a cooking class (day 6 morning)
From Hoi An, embark on a bike ride or cyclo is also an option to the market to learn about local produce and witness daily local life. After buying some necessary ingredients for your today cooking class, cycle to Tra Que village which is famous for its vegetable production. It offers unique herb, spice and vegetable gardens. The chef will teach you to cook some traditional dishes and some combinations of tastes that you can use on your return home. With the balance between fresh herbs and meats and a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, the cooking class will teach you not only how to make delicious dishes but also how to create the harmony. Lunch will be the opportunity to taste the dishes prepared by you in a peaceful place overlooking to the vegetable garden. After lunch, you will be transferred back to Hoi An or your hotel.
Hoi An: Cycle to the villages of Cam Kim & Duy Vinh and share lunch with a local family (day 6 morning)
This morning transfer by boat boat to Kim Bong village where you'll have the opportunity to talk about the local traditions and techniques with the village's most famous carpenter. After this special time, you will take a bicycle ride to visit the Duy Vinh village, famous for the weaving of sedge mats and certainly the most beautiful village in the vicinity of Hoi An. While cycling to the village you will find yourself in the middle of luxuriant greenery: rice, corn and sedge fields, areca nut trees, bamboo etc. Once in the village, you will have the chance to meet a local family that will show you the techniques used to weave the sedge mats. You will then continue your exploration by visiting a part of the village where people mostly live on the money earned from fishing. After this visit, you'll take a boat trip lasting around 1 hour on Thu Bon river back to Hoi An Town and transferred by private vehicle from the boat pier to your hotel.
Hoi An: Street food tour of Hoi An (day 6 afternoon)
Today explore the best street-food spots of Hoi An: Com Ga Ba Buoi (Ba Buoi’s Chicken Rice), Banh Mi Phuong (Phuong’s Baguette) - American Chef Anthony Bourdain sang his praises about this dish on his TV Serie “No Reservations”, Cao Lau… Then have a cup of tea or coffee at Reaching Out Tea House - a very special and unique ancient house.
Hoi An: Explore My Son Sanctuary by Jeep (day 6 afternoon)
This adventure, off the beaten track, will take you along a narrow but beautiful lane that normal tour buses cannot access. On the way, you will have a chance to witness the fascinating lives of the local people: farmers who work in the rice fields, fishermen returning home from their boat trip and merchants bringing their products to sell at vibrant and colourful markets. You can also chat with some locals when taking a break at a local coffee shop and see just how charming and friendly they are. The beautiful scenery of the region is another highlight of this activity, with luxuriant green forests, lush fields of rice and corn and slow flowing canals to see along the road. Eventually you will arrive at My Son, the holy land of Champa culture in Vietnam. The complex was the religious and cultural centre of this ancient Kingdom for many centuries, with the oldest temples constructed in the 4th century. Partially ruined, My Son still has numerous exquisitely decorated and detailed temples and shrines and has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Hue: Sunset aperitif on Vong Canh Hill (day 8 evening)
In the late afternoon, transfer by private vehicle to Vong Canh Hill to admire the change of colours of the Perfume River as the sun sets. Fill up your impression of Hue’s landscape by sunset mocktail at the hill. Later today, transfer back to your hotel.
Remark: this activity is not recommended during rainy season from Sep to Nov and during winter time from Dec to Feb. Subject to weather conditions.
Ho Chi Minh City: attend the beautiful A O Show at Saigon Opera House (day 9 or 10 evening)
“À Ố” is the name given to the show which is a new kind of art performance commonly acknowledged globally as “new circus”.
The main visuals of the show are bamboo basket boats and their use in the daily life of many Vietnamese. During 60 minutes of the show, you are gently introduced to many different tones of emotion. After the show, our guide will take you back to hotel.
Ho Chi Minh City: Explore Saigon at night by scooter – part night excursion, part street food adventure (day 9 or 10 evening)
Take an evening drive through this hectic but beautiful city to discover how Saigon nightlife unfolds. From the chaotic traffic of the city centre to totally hidden corners; from famous tourist stops to the trendiest hang-out places for Saigonese people; you will travel through 4 central districts of Ho Chi Minh City. You’re your driver, scooter your way through the very small and typical alleys of District 4 until stopping at a popular local seafood streetside restaurant to taste trendy Vietnamese favourites such as fried pincers or steamed clams with lemongrass. Continue to a riverside park for a short walk to admire the views of this now modern city by night. The tour continues in a place frequented by locals and where you’ll have the chance to try the traditional Vietnamese pancakes called Banh Xeo. After the meal, the driver will take you to a local coffee shop with live music and a cosy atmosphere. To finish the evening, travel to a popular meeting point located on the rooftop of a building for views of vibrant Saigon by night and music.