Full Moon Festival Express - 8 Days
From 2022-09-04 to 2023-09-23
Departure dates & prices
Dates Availability Price
Breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 1 dinner .
5 nights 4 star and special class hotels and 1 night aboard deluxe junk boat (private en suite cabin).
1 overnight sleeper train Hanoi to Hue in basic 4 berth cabin (or opt to fly - see Add-ons for details).
Lantern making in the home of the Ha Linh family in Hoi An and releasing our lanterns onto the river.
Guided sightseeing - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An.
Halong Bay Junk boat cruise - opt to swim, kayak and explore caves.
Bicycle ride to Tra Que village and cooking demonstration.
Airport arrival transfer day 1 and departure transfer day 8.
Escorted by an English speaking Vietnamese tour guide.
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles.
Day 1 - Hanoi Hello Hanoi! Arrival transfer from Hanoi airport to our hotel. This morning is free for you to relax or explore Vietnam's enchanting capital. At 2pm meet your guide and set of on foot to explore Hanoi’s captivating Old Quarter which is known as the ‘36 streets of the old Hanoi’. There is Silver Street, Silk Street, Comb Street, Paper Street and importantly Hang Ma street where we’ll learn about the history and traditions of Vietnam’s Full Moon Festival and perhaps sample some tasty traditional Mooncakes.
Day 2 - Halong Bay Hanoi - Halong Bay. This morning we travel to heavenly Halong Bay - the jewel in Vietnam's crown. Here we board a comfortable junk boat to explore the emerald waters of the bay which is dotted with limestone peaks. Enjoy lunch with a view on board.
This afternoon we visit the spectacular Tien Ong Cave, which was opened to the public in 2010. Marvel at the stunning stalagmites and stalactites before we return to our junk boat for the evening. Watch a Vietnamese cooking demonstration on the sundeck before settling down for a sumptuous seafood dinner.
Day 3 - Floating villages and cyclo rides Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Early birds can start the day with a relaxing Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage - the perfect way to start the day. Before heading back to port we'll explore by kayak the Floating Village of Cua Van, which is home to generations of fishing families. Here we’ll see the traditional and colourful floating wooden houses and the locals going about their daily lives.
On arrival back into Hanoi mid-afternoon we’ll explore the maze of streets in the French Quarter on our very only cyclo (rickshaws), taking in highlights such as the Opera house and Ly Thai To Park. We then swap our wheels for a leisurely walk through the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’, named after the numerous guilds that once set up shop on a particular street from silk tailors to traditional medicine shops.
Later this evening there's a chance to freshen up before we board the overnight train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) to Hue. An option to fly from Hanoi to Hue is also available.
Day 4 - Hue This morning we arrive into the imperial city of Hue and enjoy a guided tour of the 19th-century capital. Highlights of the tour include the city's oldest monastery, the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda with its 21-metre-tall tower and the walled fortress of the Imperial Purple Palace.
This afternoon we head out of the city to the incredible ornate Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings, which lie in a valley surrounded by pine forest. Here we'll see the mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc. This evening there is the option to enjoy a leisurely sunset cruise on the Perfume River.
Day 5 - Hoi An Hue - Hoi An. We drive via the spectacular Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds) along the coast to Hoi An this morning. Stopping en route for a walk along My Khe beach, nicknamed 'China Beach' by the Americans during the war, the beach featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s film ‘Apocalypse Now’.
This afternoon we arrive into the historic riverside town of Hoi An. Hoi An is best explored on foot and a short walking tour introduces us to this enchanting town with highlights including the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
During your stay in Hoi An, we offer a unique Hoi An Street Eats add-on, which explores the city’s most popular local haunts. Cruise the city the way the locals do, by vintage Vespa and enjoy lots of tasty Vietnamese Cuisine. Book early with your reservation consultant, as numbers are limited.
Day 6 - Full Moon Festival Today marks the height of the Full Moon Festival and we will be celebrating with the locals. This morning we take rickshaws to a local home on the outskirts of Hoi An where we learn about the family’s long tradition of lantern-making and handcraft our own lanterns for tonight’s festivities. Heading back into town we explore the local market stalls and authentic lantern shops. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and explore the town and its wonderful array of shops. Consider getting some clothes made at one of the many great tailor shops, take a row boat down the river or spend the afternoon relaxing by the hotel swimming pool.
Tonight we make our way to the water's edge with hundreds of locals to release our lanterns and enjoy the spellbinding spectacle of hundreds of sparkling lights sailing down the river and lighting up the night sky.
Day 7 - Tra Que farming experience This morning we take a scenic bike ride through the countryside to Tra Que village where we learn all about the age old farming techniques and assist with tending the fields. It's a hands on experience and after we've tested our farming skills we enjoy a fun and interactive cooking demonstration. Make sure you follow the chef's instructions carefully because you'll be eating the food that you prepare for lunch!
Day 8 - Hoi An 11 September 2022. Today marks the end of your time in Vietnam. A departure transfer will be provided to take you to Danang airport in time for your onward flight.
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