Peregrine Tours are one of the leading operators of small group guided adventure tours with tours on every continent (yes, even Antartica).Experienced guides, a respect for the environment and local culture and the wide range of tours designed to take you off the beaten track make Peregrine a great choice for those seeking adventure.
Peregrine Holiday Packages
Here is a selection of Peregrine Tours deals from across their range. There are plenty more though so be sure to check them out for something that is what you're after.
HIGHLIGHTS: Phnom Penh - Siem Reao
- 6 day tour departing Phnom Penh.
- 5 nights accommodation in hotels.
- 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners.
- Visit to the Angkor complex: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan, Banteay Srei and a sunset moment near Angkor Wat.
- Sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh (including entrance fees where relevant): Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Choeung Ek (the Killing Fields), Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, 3 day Angkor pass (including 2 days with a local guide).
- Lunch at Sala Bai Hotel School prepared by underprivileged local youths learning skills to find employment in the hospitality industry.
- Internal flight between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
- Arrival transfer.
- The services of an expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour.
- Transport by Plane, Private vehicle.
Long considered 'lost', the ruins of Angkor were never really lost to the Khmers, who have used the monuments as religious sites throughout their history. The site includes the ancient city area of Angkor Thom, with its many carved-stone faces standing as silent witnesses to former days of glory, and Ta Prohm, a temple complex slowly being reclaimed by the jungle. We fly to vibrant Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, and visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, a sombre reminder of the reign of Pol Pot. The revitalised city is also home to Wat Phnom, as well as the Silver Pagoda, located in the Royal Palace. Its waterfront, located near the confluence of the Tonle Sap and the mighty Mekong River, is a picture of tranquillity and a great place to relax.
Day 1-2: Phnom Penh
Welcome to Cambodia. When you arrive in Phnom Pehn you will be transferred to a comfortable and centrally located hotel. A pre-trip briefing will be held in the evening, to meet the other members of your group and discuss the trip itinerary. Please check for a welcome notice on the Peregrine notice board located near the hotel lifts. This will provide you with your tour leader's name and the exact time and location of your Welcome Meeting. Keep in mind that you will need to bring your travel insurance details with you to the meeting. There is nothing planned until this meeting, so we recommend you take to the streets of Phnom Penh and explore the city. For those with extra time, a visit to the National Museum with its collection of classic Khmer craftsmanship is worth a visit. After a pre-trip briefing, you will adjourn for dinner in the restaurant run by the Friends organisation (closed on public and school holidays when you will dine at an alternative restaurant). During your free time after dinner, you might even choose to have a relaxing drink at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, a great way to spend your evening. Cambodia has a rich and diverse history, which is especially evident in its bustling capital. From the winding Mekong River, French-inspired colonial architecture, and proud Khmer pre-industrial empire, to the more recent devastation of the Khmer Rouge - Phnom Penh remains a living relic of the country's past struggles and successes. A full city tour will introduce you to the sights of Phnom Penh, a city that lies near the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap Rivers. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are home to King Sihamoni and are therefore closed to the public; however, you will be able to visit the Silver Pagoda that lies in the palace complex, which is the most sacred temple in the country and was previously spared from destruction by the Khmer Rouge. You can make an optional visit to Wat Phnom, the temple that gave rise to the foundation of the city in the 15th century. The bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge is a painful, but unavoidable, part of Cambodia's recent history and visits to the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek tell the story of this tragic legacy. (Note: These sites are a major part of sightseeing in Phnom Penh; however, if you do not wish to visit either of them, please inform your tour leader.) An ideal way to spend your second evening to relax in a cafe by the riverfront.
Day 3-6: Siem Reap - Angkor Wat
You will catch a flight north to Siem Reap today, home of the great temples of Angkor. You'll notice a change of pace here, and wandering the streets you will find an abundance of local eateries and colourful markets. On day 4 you will spend a full day visiting the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided tour. Angkor Thom, the 'Great Royal City', is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone. The impressive Bayon temple is the centrepiece. Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure. It is the only one of Angkor's temples with its entrance facing to the west (the others face east), the reason being that it was constructed as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and a westerly countenance was seen to represent a sunset. Ta Prohm temple is an incredible sight, with large trees embedding themselves in the stone foundations of the structure. This demonstrates the true feebleness of man's creations when confronted with the powerful force of nature. It is an early morning start as you travel out to Banteay Srei, famous for its detailed and intricate stone carvings. It is not a big temple, but has been sometimes referred to as 'the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art'. Back at the main temple complex, Preah Khan contains a maze of vaulted corridors and is another complex that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle. You have the opportunity to visit the Sala Bai Hotel School where underprivileged local youths learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry. You enjoy a lunch prepared by students at the school (please note that this is closed on public holidays and school holidays and an alternative restaurant will be used). You will end the day with a sunset view of the temples. Your ticket for the Angkor ruins enables you to spend more time exploring this memorable archaeological area. Indulge with a traditional Khmer massage. Visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), a place that rehabilitates animals that have fallen victim to wildlife trafficking and provides a breeding facility for highly endangered animal species. It is also a centre of education and information for the local population. Learn to prepare Khmer food in a local cooking class (optional). Enjoy a final Khmer dinner on your last night in Siem Reap.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Delhi - Jaipur - Agra - Orchha - Khajuraho - Varanasi
- 12 day tour departing Delhi.
- 11 nights accommodation in hotels.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Old Delhi walking tour and Sikh Temple,Agra including the Taj Mahal and Red Fort, Jaipur including Amber Fort and city walking tour, Orchha including a scrumptious cooking class and the stunning Orchha Palace, Varanasi sunrise boat ride and sunset flower ceremony.
- Morning boat ride on the Ganges.
- Free time to explore Delhi, Varanasi and Agra.
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
- Flight from Khajuraho to Varanasi and from Varanasi to Delhi.
- Arrival transfer.
In India, hair is commonly thought of as a symbol of vanity. When a Hindu pilgrim arrives at a holy place, such as the sacred Ganges, the ritual of mundana (head shaving) is carried out in order for a pilgrim to gain the full benefit of his journey. The act of shaving the head, which is observed by both men and women, symbolises humility and absolute surrender.
Day 1-2: Delhi
Upon arrival you will be collected at the airport by one of our transfer representatives. Your Indian adventure will begin with an important meeting at 6pm. You will find details of the meeting venue at the hotel reception. Keep in mind that you will need your next of kin and insurance details with you at this meeting. If you arrive early, you will have the opportunity to explore India's capital - a bustling, exciting and often chaotic hub, filled with fascinating historical sites, galleries, museums and incredible bazaars. There are a number of sites worth seeing in your free time. The 1570 Mughal masterpiece of Humayun's Tomb is a World Heritage-listed site. It was the first garden tomb in India. The tall brick minaret of Qutub Minar was crafted in the 1100s; it is a fascinating site to explore. You may also like to visit the mighty Red Fort of Delhi. This part-palace, part-fort has hosted a variety of guests ranging from British soldiers to royal families. Your group leader will take you on an organised sightseeing trip through Old Delhi via the city's modern metro, you will then have the chance to test India's iconic cycle rickshaw with an adventure through the chaotic streets, including Chandni Chowk. You may also see the oldest mosque in Delhi, Jama Masjid, an impressive structure, before visiting the Sikh Temple, Sheeshganj Gurudwara.
Day 3-4: Delhi - Jaipur
You will travel by express train back into Rajasthan and on to its capital, Jaipur today. Jaipur is the colourful capital of the state of Rajasthan, and a vibrant and exciting town. Here, traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches will make their way through crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks, and bicycles. You will also find bustling, brightly coloured bazaars filled with handcrafted textiles, folk art, and semi-precious stones, the local specialty. You will walk amidst the wonderful madness and discover the city for yourself. Jaipur is a favourite among travellers. You will then travel 11 kilometres out to the stunning medieval Amber Fort. This fort was built in 1592 by Maharajah Man Singh and is a superb example of Rajput architecture. You will also stop for photos of the Hawa, or Palace of The Winds, which is the most photographed structure in India after the Taj Mahal. You will also see one of five astronomical observatories built by the founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Jai Singh. Continue to indulge in the wonders of Indian culture by watching a Bollywood blockbuster - a vivid combination of action romance, drama and music, at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema.
Day 5: Agra
Today you will journey across the plains of Rajasthan by private vehicle to reach Agra (approximately 6 hours). Agra is home to one of the world's most recognisable monuments, the Taj Mahal. You will be taken on a cycle rickshaw tour of the city, a wonderful way to uncover the best of Agra. (Please note that in the case of an unreasonably hot, or cold, foggy day, the cycle rickshaw tour will be replaced with a battery-powered rickshaw tour.) Next you will visit the spectacular Taj Mahal - a masterpiece of glistening marble set amid picturesque, formal gardens. This amazing 17th century marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his second wife, who died giving birth. Started in 1631, the project was completed in 1648 and employed a workforce of over 20,000 people. Construction materials were brought from all over India with the marble from Rajasthan transported by over 1000 elephants. The Taj has been described as a 'teardrop on the face of eternity' (by writer Rabindranath Tagore). You will also visit the nearby Agra Fort - a huge complex built originally as a military structure of red sandstone by Akbar in 1565, and partially converted into a palace during the time of Shah Jahan.
Day 6-7: Orchha
From the majestic Taj, you will travel by express train to Madhya Pradesh (approximately 3.5 hours). Upon arrival in Jhansi, you will be collected by automatic rickshaws and carried through traditional rural Indian landscapes to reach the beautiful town of Orchha. Here you will have the opportunity to uncover a very different side of India (approximately 45 minutes). You will make a stop at Taragram on the way to Orchha, one of our Responsible Tourism Projects. Taragram is a paper making factory that enables local tribal women to work outside the realm usually afforded to them. The paper is crafted from wood pulp and recycled clothing. Orchha is lovely town on the banks of the Betwa River. Initially a hunting area, Orchha has changed very little over the centuries. As the capital of Bundela, it was bestowed with a myriad of beautiful temples and palaces that belie its insignificant size. You will visit the Orchha Palace that was built by Bir Sing Deo for his friend Jehangir, who was a great Mughal ruler. Lastly, you will have the opportunity to be immersed in the flavours of the district's culture with a cooking demonstration by the town's local people.
Day 8: Khajuraho
Today you will explore Khajuraho, a place famed for its incredible 1000-year-old temples, untouched by foreign invaders for centuries thanks to Khajuraho's remote location, far from any major historical or modern centres. The temples are especially reputed for their explicit carvings that illustrate the entire Kama Sutra. Built during the Chandela Dynasty 1,000 years ago, over a 100 to 150 year period, these temples have become a source of great perplexity for Indians and foreigners alike. The British only rediscovered the temples in the late 19th century. The reason behind their existence and more interestingly, the inspiration for the intricate, erotic carvings is open to wide interpretation. Some argue that the carvings, all located on the exterior of the temples, signified the act of leaving sexual desires behind upon entering the holy temples, while others think them descriptive learning tools for young boys in the area about life beyond religion. You will go on a tour of the western temple complex. You will also have the opportunity to see a performance at the famous classical dance festival that occurs here. Before leaving the town you will visit the home of a local Hindu family, where you will enjoy a home-cooked meal and be immersed in the life of middle-class Indians.
Day 9-10: Varanasi
From the wondrous temples of Khajuraho, you will take a short flight to the spiritual centre of Varanasi. At certain times of year this flight could be delayed due to heavy fog. Varanasi is awash with shrines and temples, it is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims; devotees travel from far and wide to experience this spiritual centre. Varanasi is not known for its cleanliness, but it is recognised as one of India's most inspiring cities. You will be overwhelmed with sensory wonder. From the labyrinth of narrow laneways packed with stalls and shops, and the dhobi wallahs and burning ghats, to the endless temples that echo with bells and chimes and the pungent aroma of incense. You will also bare witness to pilgrims performing ancient bathing rituals and ceremonies. The day will start early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, where you will pass a multitude of temples and ghats. In the evening you will witness the majestic atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony, while you cruise the Ganges at sunset. Traditional musicians will serenade you; this is a truly unforgettable experience.
Day 11-12: Delhi
You will have a free morning to explore Varanasi. You may like to wander through the ghats, or do some last minute shopping in the incredible bazaars. You will then fly to Delhi (approximately 1.5 hours), where your adventure will come to an end. There will be an (optional) group farewell dinner organised for those interested. Beyond this, there will be no further activities planned, so you can arrange to depart at your leisure. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Lampang - Sukhothai - Kanchanaburi
- 10 day tour departing Bangkok.
- 7 nights accommodation in hotels.
- 1 night accommodation in a lodge.
- 1 night accommodation on an overnight train.
- 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Kanchanaburi - Bridge over the River Kwai, Hellfire Pass and a section of the Burma Death Railway, Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple.
- Cycle tour around the archaeological site of Sukhothai.
- Visit the elephant hospital in Lampang.
- The services of an expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
- Arrival transfer.
Native to the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, the H'mong people boast a wealth of culture and art. Their clothes, which they weave and embroider by hand, are cobbled together using indigo plants, cotton and hemp. In H'mong cultures, everyone from children to the elderly is always dressed in their finest garments.�
Day 1-2: Bangkok
Welcome to Thailand. Upon arrival you will be collected at the airport by one of our transfer representatives and taken to your hotel. Your Thai adventure will begin with an important meeting at 6pm. You will find details of the meeting venue at the hotel reception. Keep in mind that you will need your next of kin and insurance details with you at this meeting. Bangkok is the colourful and frenetic capital of Thailand. Characterised by its iconic tuk tuks, fragrant street vendors and the traditional khlong boats that wind down the Chao Phraya River, it a wonderful city to explore. You will enjoy a city tour of Bangkok. You will visit the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), a must for first-time travellers to Bangkok. Visit Wat Pho, home of the famous Reclining Buddha. (When visiting temples and palaces in Thailand, please dress conservatively in order to respect the local culture). A long-tail boat trip along the canals is another lovely way to enjoy the natural scenery and buzz of daily life in Bangkok. In your free time you can visit the chaotic tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or prepare for the journey ahead with a relaxing Thai massage. You will depart Bangkok on an overnight train journey in the evening of Day 2, which will carry you north to Chang Mai. You will be accommodated in a shared, air-conditioned sleeping berth with a bunk bed arrangement. heets and pillows will be provided and there will be a food and beverage service onboard. (Train travel: approximately 13 hours).
Day 3-4: Chiang Mai
Chang Mai is a vibrant city situated in northern Thailand. It is awash with famous temples and quaint cafes, and is known as one of the friendliest cities in the country. You will have the opportunity to take part in a local cooking class today where you will uncover the secrets of aromatic Thai cuisine. You will learn everything from the most important ingredients and what to use in their place if you can't access them at home, to preparing dishes from a comprehensive book of recipes (that you will be able to take with you). Sitting down to feast on the fruits of your labour at lunch is the perfect way to finish the class. After lunch you will go on a scenic, winding drive up a mountain to the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep (approximately 45 mins). On arrival you will be met with an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway to reach the temples. The climb is well worth the effort, this is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand. The sweeping views of the city and the hypnotic chanting by the resident Buddhist monks combine to make this a memorable experience. You will awake to a free day for independent exploration on day 4. Your leader can help you to arrange optional activities - you might like to hire a bike and ride to a nearby temple, or indulge in a Thai massage or spa treatment, or simply relax by the pool. As evening falls, you will enjoy a traditional Khantohk Dinner while being entertained by Akha, Yao, Lahu, H'mong, Lisu and Karen tribal dances.
Day 5: H'mong Hilltribe
You will drive through the picturesque, undulating countryside today, to reach the H'Mong Hilltribe Lodge. The H'mong are an ethnic minority in Thailand. They originated in the south of China and today make up the second largest hilltribe group. In the evening you will enjoy a barbecue dinner along with a cultural show by the H'mong people.
Day 6: Lampang - Sukhothai
You will depart the hilltribe village this morning and head on to Lampang (approximately two hours). Lampang is considered to be one of the last remaining paradises in Thailand, and is referred to by locals as mueang rot ma - Horse Carriage City. In Lampang you will visit the Friends of Asian Elephant Hospital, the first elephant hospital in the world to be established, before driving on to Sukhothai, where you will spend the night (approximately 3.5 hours).
Day 7-8: Sukhothai - Kanchanaburi
Sukhothai was established in the 13th century and was the first ancient capital of Siam. It is famed for its World Heritage listed park that captures the Golden Age of Thai civilisation; its name literally translates to Dawn of Happiness. You will hire bicycles upon arrival at the park, before embarking upon a cycle tour that overviews the history of this fascinating wonderland. A home-cooked picnic lunch will be enjoyed at some stage throughout the tour. You then drive on to Kanchanaburi (approximately 6 hours), where the Khwae Yai and Khwae Noi rivers meet. This is also where the infamous Bridge Over the River Kwai is housed. On your first night here, you enjoy an included dinner at the Felix River Kwai Resort. On your day trip around Kanchanaburi you will visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial. It commemorates the allied prisoners of war and Asian conscripts that died while building the most dangerous and challenging sections of the Thai-Burma Death railway. To complete this experience, you will take a ride along the historic tracks of the railway. Boarding at Nam Tok, the main terminal, you will wind along the scenic riverside tracks before crossing the original, POW-built wooden viaduct over the River Kwai.
Day 9-10: Bangkok
A relaxing river cruise with dinner along the grand Chao Phraya River as evening falls makes for a memorable end to the trip. You will have the final day free so you can choose to depart at your leisure. Your trip ends after breakfast on day 10.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Nha Trang - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi - Halong Bay
- 15 day tour departing Colombo.
- 11 nights accommodation in hotels.
- 1 night accommodation on an overnight train.
- 1 night accommodation on a boat.
- 1 night accommodation homestay.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Cu Chi Tunnels; Hoi An historical sites; China Beach; Hai Van Pass, Hue's Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and Emperor Tu Duc's Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's House and Temple of Literature.
- Enjoy a Dragon Boat cruise down Perfume River.
- Overnight cruise on a traditional boat on Halong Bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available) and resting in twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning.
- Enjoy a buffet breakfast at KOTO cafe in Hanoi - a project providing vocational hospitality training and experience to underprivileged young people.
- The services of expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
- Internal flights between Nha Trang and Danang (for Hoi An) as well as between Hue and Hanoi.
- Arrival transfer.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Your trip starts today with your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. No activities are planned until your evening group meeting, so you may arrive at any time. Please check the welcome board or reception desk, located on the ground floor of the hotel, for information on your upcoming tour. This will advise you of your tour leader's name, telephone number and the time and location of your group's Welcome Meeting. Normally, the meeting is at 6pm. Until your meeting we encourage you to get out and discover the delights that Vietnam has to offer. Make sure that you take a hotel business card so that you will be able to find your way back to the hotel. Please note that your tour leader will collect your travel insurance details at the meeting, so please bring them with you. The meeting is followed by a Welcome Dinner at one of Ho Chi Minh City's many fantastic eating spots.
Day 2: Mekong Delta
You will have the opportunity to enjoy a buffet breakfast at KOTO restaurant today. This restaurant is designed to give street children an education in hospitality. After breakfast you will drive south to Cai Be for a boat cruise along the intricate and beautiful waterways of the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is renowned for its fertile land - rich in tropical fruits, flowers and rice. For this reason, it is often referred to as the rice bowl of Vietnam. You will visit an orchard in your cruise, where you will have the chance to taste some tropical fruits, before moving on to visit some local cottage industries. As the sun starts to drop you will continue to your homestay, where you will be sleeping for the night. Here you will enjoy a beautiful home cooked meal of local specialties. You will be sleeping in a dorm style room, with single camp beds. The beds will be fitted with bedding and mosquito nets. Keep in mind that the bathrooms and toilets are very simple, and will only have cold water available to them. This is very in keeping with the spirit of adventurous travel that you have undertaken to partake in
Day 3-4: Ho Chi Minh City - overnight train
You will awake early with the locals today, and after breakfast you will be taken to visit the bustling Cai Be floating market - a place awash with colour and activity. You will then return to Ho Chi Minh City via Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi is actually the name of the district that covers an extensive underground network (approximately 200 kilometres) of tunnels dug initially by the Viet Minh and later expanded by the Viet Cong. The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used extensively for refuge and storage and also utilised as a military base for the Viet Cong close to Saigon. The 1968 Tet Offensive was launched from Cu Chi with surprising effect. A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow tourists to get a feel for what the life underground must have been like (please note that this will be hot and sweaty and also a bit claustrophobic). Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and the nation's economic capital, after visiting the tunnels you will partake in a short city tour that will take you to the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral, and will allow you to admire the many beautiful French colonial buildings, such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall). You will then board an overnight train to Nha Trang. Overnight trains are not renowned for their cleanliness or opulence, but this is a true local experience, and it is also the best way to cover a long distance in Vietnam. The trains are usually made up of four berth compartments, and sheets and blankets are provided, Some travellers prefer to bring their own sheets, but this completely up to you. There is a chance that you will be sharing your berth with people of different sexes and on occasion with people outside of your travel group. There is a simple dining cart on the train, but it can be wise to stock up on bread, fruit and other delicacies prior to departure.
Day 5-6: Nha Trang
You will arrive in Nha Trang today, and spend the day exploring this idyllic seaside town. With palm trees, white sandy beaches and a hip cosmopolitan atmosphere, Nha Trang is often referred to as the Cannes of the Orient. You will venture out on a boat to explore the nearby islands, as well as a fishing village. You will also have the chance to snorkel in the pristine water, feast on a fresh seafood buffet and enjoy soaking up some sunshine on the deck of the boat.
Day 7-9: Hoi An
You will take a short flight to Danang today, from where you will embark on a short minibus ride to Hoi An. Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. Hoi An was once a bustling port in centuries gone by, before the river silted up. Today it is a delightful backwater town with an air of liveliness about it. The tranquillity and charm of Hoi An, coupled with its low tiled houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. It is a consistent favourite among travellers and staff alike. A tour will take you to a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. You get the chance to learn how to prepare Vietnamese cuisine in a cooking class. Better still, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. You will enjoy a free afternoon to make the most of delightful Hoi An and its surrounding areas. The market is a good place to buy silk that can be made up into fine garments, all within a day. Close to town there is a nice beach, which can be reached easily by bicycle.
Day 10-11: Hue
You will leave beautiful Hoi An today for Hue, stopping at China Beach (known locally as My Khe Beach) and passing through the beautiful Hai Van Pass - a scenic, mountainous stretch of highway with views across Lang Co beach. You will also stop at this beach for lunch. Hue is the hub of Vietnam's historic past. The former imperial capital, Hue is an eclectic mix of busy streets and peaceful beauty. You will visit the Imperial Citadel here, including the Forbidden Purple City. The latter of these was almost completely destroyed during the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War - but its humble, foliage-covered ruins remain a testament to its proud history, and offer a little insight into the horrific damage endured during the war. You will take a boat cruise on the Perfume River next, before visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda - the unofficial symbol of Hue. The Pagoda is an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. You will also have the opportunity to visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc with its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees, and if time permits you will also see what is believed to be the most magnificent of all the royal tombs, Minh Mang. While you are in Hue, you will also enjoy lunch at a local nunnery or monastery - this not only allows you to sample some of Hue's famed vegetarian food, but also offers an insight into Vietnamese Buddhism. This is also presents an opportunity for you to help keep these institutions alive through donations.
Day 12: Hanoi
You will fly from Hue to Hanoi today. Hanoi is one of Asia's most enchanting cities. The northern capital is a quiet contradiction to its southern counterpart. Its relaxed ambience is a joy, and exploration by foot or bicycle is recommended. The shopping is fun and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes from the city. You will take a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and paying a homage to Vietnam's most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. In the evening you get to enjoy a performance of the unique Water Puppets.
Day 13: Halong Bay
You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. It is a three-hour drive to famous Ha Long Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders. The views of sailing junks navigating past over 3000 limestone islands with rocky outcrops are nothing short of spectacular. You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where you will board a boat for an exploration of the bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available), as well as spending a night on board. We visit one cave in the area and, in the warmer months, you can enjoy a swim. Conditions may be somewhat more communal compared to the usual hotel setting, but spending a night on the bay is such a wonderful experience. If the weather is obliging, the views at sunset are especially incredible. There are only limited numbers of cabins on each boat, so the Single Supplement does not apply on the Halong Bay cruise, as all accommodation here is on a twin-share basis. All boats used by Peregrine have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning. You may also have the chance to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) while on Halong Bay.
Day 14-15: Hanoi
In the morning you will sail back to the port, where you will disembark and drive back to Hanoi. Arriving back in the capital, you will have free time to wander around and enjoy some of the city's other attractions. Perhaps some shopping on Hang Gai Street, or afternoon tea at the Metropole Hotel? You enjoy a final dinner in a Hanoi restaurant - a chance to farewell your fellow travel companions and new-found friends. Your trip will come to an end after breakfast on day 15.
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what are people saying about tours?
Having not travelled too much I wasn't sure if a tour would be be my cup of tea. Oh how I was wrong, we had an extremely packed 1 week on the west coast of USA and saw some amazing things including The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, and the small group was filled with great people, very down to earth and loads of fun. Highly recommended!