Temple of Literature, Hanoi, Viet Nam. Image courtesy of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.
This 19 day/18 night grand tour of Southeast Asia begins in Singapore and skips through Malaysia's urban highlights before covering Viet Nam and its top destinations in detail.
With three countries to cover, you'll need 19 days to see the absolute best that Singapore, Malaysia and Viet Nam have to offer. Take this trip on and voyage through the following destinations:
Singapore: one of Southeast Asia's most forward-looking cities offers a number of surprises – from Southeast Asia's first zoo for nocturnal animals, the Singapore Night Safari; to the ultra-modern Gardens by the Bay housing thousands of plants from ecosystems around the world (the scenic SuperTrees are a must-see); to its city streets combining colonial British architecture with the most cutting-edge building designs in the world.
Penang: the British transformed this Malaysian island into one of their finest trading ports in Southeast Asia – you'll rediscover this history through a tour of buildings around George Town, the hills and temples in the hinterlands, and amazing street food that draws eaters from all around Asia.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's capital offers a whirlwind view of history and culture with tours through its historic city center (combining century-old architecture and iconic new buildings like the Petronas Twin Towers), best seen on a night tour that concludes with a buffet dinner and cultural show; and visits to the countryside.
Hanoi: The Vietnamese capital is a stepping stone to a number of historical and natural wonders, from Hoa Lu Ancient Capital to the scenic Bich Dong Pagoda to the romantic Trang An Grottoes.
Ha Long Bay: rain and tides have carved the local karst landscape into something approaching a fevered fantasy – gently curving islands jut out of the sea, marked by caves, coves and towering spires – you'll enjoy the view while cruising through these waters.
Hue: the former Imperial capital of Viet Nam retains many grand buildings left over from the Nguyen emperors, including a Citadel by the Perfume River and several grand tombs in the hills around the city.
Hoi An: this former trading port was fortunately passed over by the last century's many conflicts, thankfully preserving its old district and 18th-century mansions and clan houses within.
Da Nang: sitting in the shadow of the Marble Mountains, this major metropolis is now famous for its bridges, its beaches and its temples.
Ho Chi Minh City: formerly the capital of half of a divided nation, its attractions still hearken back to its colonial days – buildings in the city center like the Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post office, and City Hall; the Cu Chi Tunnel network outside the city; and the Mekong River delta, where Vietnamese traditional life goes on around the canals and nearby Thai Son Island.
Khai Dinh Royal Tomb in Hue, Vietnam. Image courtesy of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism.
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