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Experience the dynamic energy of two of Asia's most fascinating countries - China, a former imperial power growing from strength to strength, and Vietnam, a medley of high-octane cities and idyllic country settings recovering from a war-torn past. Enjoy bustling Hanoi and Saigon, cruise the turquoise waters of Halong Bay, soak in China's immense Forbidden City and Great Wall of China and sail the mighty Mekong as you travel between the natural and manmade attractions of these countries.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Hanoi.
On arrival in Hanoi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure before tonight's entertaining water puppet performance gives you the chance to witness this traditional Vietnamese art form.
Experience the energy of Hanoi, a city that weaves the remnants of its French colonial past into the tapestry of age-old Vietnamese traditions. Today's city tour moves from the regal Presidential Palace to Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts and the Buddhist temple of One Pillar Pagoda. Travelling away from central Hanoi, browse through the cultural artefacts of Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups at the Museum of Ethnology before exploring the lively Old Quarter of Hanoi by tuk-tuk. This bustling centre has been a commercial hub since the 11th century and many of the streets still carry the names of the items originally produced and sold there.
After breakfast, depart for Halong Bay. Stop at Bo Nau Cave and Surprise Cave before visiting Titov Island where you can swim or relax on the beach. Later, cruise amongst Ha Long Bay and enjoy a cooking demonstration, before returning to the ship.
Rise early and witness the pink-streaked sky as the sun rises over the bay or take part in a calming Tai Chi session on board the vessel. Followed by a visit to the beautiful Luon Cave by traditional woven bamboo boat. This afternoon you will disembark and travel back to Hanoi.
After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy some time at leisure before your airport transfer and flight out of Vietnam and into Beijing, China. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, with time to relax and unwind before your first dinner in China's spectacular capital city.
China's dynamic capital is built on an impressive scale, with its imposing monuments serving as reminders of its imperial past. Today's comprehensive full-day tour takes you around the highlights of the city, including visits to the Temple of Heaven and its surrounding grounds dotted with over 4,000 ancient cypress trees, and the 9,999 rooms of the world's largest ancient palace - the Forbidden City. Enjoy one of China's top delicacies as you savour a crisp, fragrant Peking duck dinner later tonight.
Following a stroll around the impressive Summer Palace, China's largest and best-preserved royal park and lake, today's tour will continue to the iconic Great Wall. Winding across deserts, grasslands and mountains and stretching over 5,500 miles, it was constructed over 2,000 years ago to guard the Chinese empire against the Mongol invaders from the North. We've included a cable car trip to a viewing point to avoid the arduous steps. In the evening, take in the agility of the performers at an entertaining Chinese acrobatics show.
Depart Beijing this morning and board one of China's high-speed bullet trains as you travel to Xi'an, taking in the rural scenery that passes you by. On arrival in Xi'an, you will be met and transferred to your hotel before setting out for the Muslim Quarter, home to historic mosques and a labyrinth of market stalls selling everything from souvenirs to edible delicacies. Later this evening, travel back in time as you watch a colourful Tang Dynasty dancing show.
Taking nearly four decades to complete and over 700,000 workers, Xi'an's Terracotta Warriors were built to protect China's first emperor in his afterlife. Explore this impressive underground mausoleum, and the 8,000 extraordinarily sculpted warriors, bronze chariots and preserved weapons on display. Later, enjoy a second train ride as you journey through the picturesque Chinese countryside on an overnight sleeper train bound for Shanghai.
Arguably China's most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai offers a fascinating blend of Chinese culture and Western influences. After arrival and check-in, take a leisurely stroll along the Bund, the city's famed riverfront boardwalk that winds along the Huangpu River and once lay at the heart of the city's politics, economy and culture. Wander past monuments and statues, enjoying fantastic views of the towering skyscrapers on the opposite bank, including the second tallest building in the world - the Shanghai Tower. Next, walk along Nanjing Road, Shanghai's premier shopping destination, lined with stores selling designer goods, locally crafted wares and the country's renowned silk and jade souvenirs. Return to your hotel in time for dinner after this exploration of the city's best-loved walkways.
Enjoy the colonial-era and traditional Chinese elements of Shanghai on today's tour. Explore the tranquil pavilions, rockeries and ponds of Yu Garden and the tree-lined avenues and chic eateries of the French Concession. Cruise down the Huangpu River that runs through the centre of Shanghai, giving an excellent vantage point of the city, then wander the alleyways of Tianzifang, an enclave of trendy art studios, design boutiques, galleries and eateries.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Vietnam, touching down in the city of Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh) for the last leg of your tour.
Take in the fusion of old-world, post-war and colonial-era Vietnam on today's tour of this exciting and eclectic city. Visit the district of Cu Chi, famous for its extensive 75-mile tunnel system which served as the base of operations for the Viet Cong and once housed supply routes, hospitals, weapon factories and living quarters. In the afternoon, visit the historic Reunification Palace and elegant Notre Dame Cathedral. Admire the classic French colonial structure of the nearby Saigon Post Office then browse through the multitude of stalls at the lively Ben Thanh Market.
This morning, travel to the city of My Tho where you'll board a motorboat for a ride down the mighty Mekong River. Catch a glimpse of floating houses as you make your way to Thoi Son islet where you'll enjoy a traditional music performance and tropical fruit tasting. Visit a workshop to learn how coconut candy is produced and sample these sugary snacks. Travel by horse-drawn cart to a local bee-keeping farm and enjoy a hot cup of honey tea before boarding a small rowing boat and slowly cruising down a scenic creek. Disembark and travel back to Saigon for dinner and your last night in Vietnam.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK or continue on to your chosen extension.
Vietnam: A visa is not required for stays up to 15 days. For stays longer than 15 days, a visa is required for entry into Vietnam. You can apply for an e-visa online at https://evisa. xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn. Alternatively, we work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of entry. We therefore recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time. You can also visit the Embassy of Vietnam in London: 12-14 Victoria Road, London, W8 5RD. This visa information is a guide line only and is subject to change; up-to-date information regarding the process and fees will be advised at the time of calling the Travel Visa Company.
China: A visa is required for entry into China. All applicants who wish to apply for a China Tourist Visa must do so in person at the Chinese Visa Application Centre in London, Manchester, Belfast or Edinburgh where fingerprint information will be collected. Fingerprints are not required for children under the age of 14 and adults over the age of 70. If there are two or more of you then you may be eligible to apply for a group visa which does not require you to submit your fingerprints or need to travel to a Chinese Visa Application Centre. The group visa is exclusively arranged for Mercury clients by the Travel Visa Company and they can be contacted on 01270 250 590 for further information. Clients who do not qualify for the group visa can still contact the Travel Visa Company to apply for the standard visa. We recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24 hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of €300pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your outbound flight is to Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) with Vietnam Airlines, departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Your return flight is from Saigon International Airport with Vietnam Airlines.
IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. A printed E-ticket is no longer required at check-in, all you need to do is present your passport to the staff at the desk and your boarding pass will be given to you.
Baggage allowance (per person): Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage. Hand luggage: One piece of hand baggage and one accessory not exceeding 12kg total weight for both. The total dimension of one hand baggage item must not exceed 115cm (56cm x 36cm x 23cm). The total dimension of one accessory must not exceed 40cm x 30cm x 15cm. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing of steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
Vietnam: The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong, known as VND. You can exchange your currency in Vietnam. However, US Dollars are widely accepted in Vietnam should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
China: The currency in China is the Renminbi, known as RMB or CNY. It is often referred to as the yuan. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. US Dollars are widely accepted in China should you want to use an alternative currency.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £500-£600 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour.
Tipping in Vietnam: It is customary to tip both your driver and guide. We recommend approximately £3.00 ($4.50) per person per day in total. This will be collected at the end of each destination visited, for your convenience. Tips for the porters at your hotels and the crew during the Ha Long Bay cruise will be at your discretion. Tips are accepted in the local currency, US dollars and British pounds.
Tipping in China: It is customary to tip your national guide, local guide and driver. We recommend approximately £4.50 (CNY40.00) per person per day. For your convenience, this will be collected by your national guide on the first day of your tour in Beijing; we recommend approximately £40 per person (CNY 320) for the total duration of the tour. Tips are collected in Chinese Yuan.
It is normal practice to be asked for your credit card details on check-in at the hotel in order to cover any extras incurred during your stay. If you do not have a credit card you may be asked for a cash deposit. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in hotels.used throughout the itinerary
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|21 Sep 2023||07 Oct 2023||€3135.00|
|05 Oct 2023||21 Oct 2023||€3079.00|
|02 Nov 2023||18 Nov 2023||€2855.00|
|30 Nov 2023||16 Dec 2023||€2687.00|
|11 Apr 2024||27 Apr 2024||€3135.00|
|02 May 2024||18 May 2024||€3045.00|
|23 May 2024||08 Jun 2024||€2911.00|
|20 Jun 2024||06 Jul 2024||€3247.00|
|19 Sep 2024||05 Oct 2024||€3247.00|
|03 Oct 2024||19 Oct 2024||€3247.00|
|31 Oct 2024||16 Nov 2024||€2799.00|
|28 Nov 2024||14 Dec 2024||€2687.00|
Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times.
Pease note the hotels given are a guidelines only and may change. If the hotels detailed are not available, alternatives will be used of a similar standard. Please refer to your final documentation for confirmation of your hotels. You will recieve this between 7-10 days before departure.
-2 °C / 7 °C
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
Very impressed with all the hotels used.eating in and out of the hotel was good with great food.
All the hotels were comfortable and had good facilities and good breakfast choices.
4 nights from €716ppView
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Extend your Highlights of China and Vietnam Tour with our extension to Siem Reap in Cambodia from 639pp. This extension includes visits to some of the most iconic and atmospheric sites in Cambodia, including the iconic Angkor Wat temple complex, the largest religious monument in the world.