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Cheerful peasants in conical hats work in vast stretches of rice fields. Apple cheeked children in traditional threads ride placid buffaloes. Tombs, pagodas and archaeological sites dot this ancient landscape and steets are given endearingly explanatory names: Pickled Fish Street and Wooden Bowls Street to name just two.

That this charming country is most commonly remembered for its war with America is most unfair. The country is a gracious host to those who come as guests.

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Vietnam - 3N/4D

Day 1

Arrive in Hanoi, and check in at your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the area around your hotel on your own.

Day 2

After a substantial breakfast at your hotel, set off to explore the city. Visit the Temple of Literature, founded in 1070, and one of the best surviving examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Continue to the One Pillar Pagoda, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, and Hoan Kiem Lake. Continue towards the Old Quarter in a cyclo. In the afternoon, visit either the History Museum or the Museum Of Ethnology. End the day with an entertaining water puppet show.

Day 3

After breakfast, head to Halong Bay. You will reach the pier at about noon, and take a traditional wooden boat to explore the islands and their mysterious caves. Watch the panorama of life unfold all around you as you sail past fishing villages, with lunch being served on board. You will return to Halong pier early in the evening, from where you will be taken back to Hanoi.

Day 4

After breakfast, set off to the airport to catch your flight home.