8 days / 7 nights
Vietnam is fast emerging as one of Southeast Asia’s new beach destinations. Some beaches are already quite heavily developed, but this itinerary ventures off the trail to connect you with some more remote beach destinations. The journey begins in Saigon where we visit the War Remnants Museum and the haunting Requiem exhibition of war photography. Later we venture further afield to see the Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh, a unique religion that blends the world’s spiritual beliefs together. We also venture underground to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels. We fly to the remote Con Dao Islands. Once used as a political prison by the French authorities, they are emerging as Vietnam’s best kept secret. Try pristine snorkelling or just relax on the beach. We then continue south to Phu Quoc, destined to become the Phuket of Vietnam one day soon. Relax on the beaches or explore the nearby An Thoi Islands or inland forests. This is a beach holiday with a difference.
- Day 1: Arrive Saigon. War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace.
- Day 2: Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh and Cu Chi Tunnels.
- Day 3: Fly to Con Dao Islands.
- Day 4: Diving or Snorkelling around Con Dao.
- Day 5: Fly to Phu Quoc via Saigon.
- Day 6: Diving or Snorkelling off Phu Quoc.
- Day 7: Free Day to Enjoy the Beaches of Phu Quoc.
- Day 8: Fly to Saigon to connect with onward flight.
Day 1: Arrive Saigon. War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace.
We arrive in Saigon and transfer to our accommodation. In the afternoon, we begin exploring the sights of Saigon. We learn about the legacy of war at the dramatic War Remnants Museum. The Requiem photo exhibition showcases the work of the era's most famous combat photographers and is a must. We also visit Reunification Hall, formerly the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam. It was here that a North Vietnamese tank famously crashed through the gates bringing an end to the long Vietnam War and the building has been preserved exactly as it was in 1975. We then take a stroll around the impressive old French-built post office and Notre Dame Cathedral before continuing to the City Hall area, another grand old colonial-era relic. We then leave guests free to explore the famous Dong Khoi area, home to the legendary Continental Hotel, made famous by Graham Greene in the Quiet American, and lots of popular restaurants, bars and boutiques.
Overnight in Saigon.
Day 2: Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh and Cu Chi Tunnels.
We leave the bustling streets of Saigon and head northwest to the town of Tay Ninh, headquarters of the Cao Dai religion. The Cao Dai Great Temple is an incredible cotton candy building and we learn about this unique religious fusion of East meets West. We arrive in time to witness one of their noon prayer service.
After a local lunch, we continue to the Cu Chi Tunnels an incredible underground world used by the Vietnamese communists to elude the Americans. Whole villages went underground during the 1960s and the tunnels stretched for more than 250km, from the Cambodian border to the suburbs of Saigon. Using this incredible warren of tunnels, the Vietcong were able to stage ambushes and attacks on American patrols and even bases. We explore this astonishing complex, a testament to the tenacity of the Vietnamese people. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 3: Fly to Con Dao Islands.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport and fly to Con Dao Island. We will be greeted at the airport and taken to our hotel. After lunch, we’ll visit some of the main historical sites in town such as the Con Dao Museum and the notorious former prison tiger cages. In the afternoon we’ll pay a visit to the amazing Con Dao National Park before returning to our hotel in time for a relaxing drink and beautiful sunset. Overnight on Con Dao.
Day 4: Diving or Snorkelling around Con Dao.
Today you are free to enjoy beautiful Con Dao Island. Con Dao is actually a cluster of wild islets surrounded by tranquil emerald waters. These waters are home to many species of tropical fish and sea turtles. Sometimes you can find yourself face to face with a dugong. Therefore, it is recommended that you explore this tropical paradise. You may like to try snorkelling or scuba diving. Or you may simply wish to relax in your own little corner of paradise in one of many remote and secluded beaches. Overnight on Con Dao.
Day 5: Fly to Phu Quoc via Saigon.
We check out after breakfast and transfer to the airport. First we fly to Ho Chi Minh and then onto Phu Quoc. Having checked in and relaxed we spend the afternoon, visiting Cau temple (the symbol of fishermen) and the biggest pepper garden in Phu Quoc. You will also come across national park to see frontier Vietnam-Cambodia. Free for leisure in the beautiful island the rest of the day. Overnight on Phu Quoc Island.
Day 6: Diving or Snorkelling off Phu Quoc.
Today is your full day to enjoy snorkelling, relaxing or further exploration of Phu Quoc. Overnight on Phu Quoc Island.
Day 7: Free Day to Enjoy the Beaches of Phu Quoc.
Another free day to explore Phu Quoc at your leisure. There are numerous activities to keep you busy; you may like to learn about the daily activities of fishermen at An Thoi port & dry seafood market; you could visit the beautiful Sao beach for swimming and sunbathing. You can also visit the traditional fish sauce processing factory, Phu Quoc is widely believed to produce the finest quality Nouc Mam (Fish Sauce) in Vietnam. Overnight on Phu Quoc Island.
Day 8: Fly to Saigon to connect with onward flight.
The morning is free until its time to pack up our belongings, check out, and transfer to the airport. We return to Ho Chi Minh City and the tour ends at Tan Son Nhat airport.