Asia + The Middle East Vietnam cultural sightseeing, scuba diving, Luxurious spas, shopping, culinary arts, Extraordinary Landscapes Rich in culture and extraordinary landscapes, Vietnam spans the length of Indochina, with a never-ending coastline looking out to the South China Sea. Unique cities, a complex history, warm, open people and mouth-watering cuisine lure visitors curious to experience one of the most fascinating countries in Asia. From North to South, the culture, ideology and landscapes vary dramatically making Vietnam an exciting and extremely diverse destination. cazenove+loyd has combed the length of the country, picking out the best experiences in each place. Let our specialist guides take you through the nostalgic colonial streets of Hanoi and explore the socialist legacy of the north, or discover the royal ruins of the Forbidden Purple City in Hue. Hide away at one of Vietnam’s secluded beaches or cruise the waters of the Mekong Delta in style. Sample the delights of traditional home hosted cuisine or dine out in Saigon’s sumptuous modern restaurants. Vietnam is fast reinventing itself as one of Asia’s most fashionable destinations and with our help, you’ll experience the best of what the country has to offer. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. EXPLORING THE COUNTRYSIDE OF HOI AN Penny Buckley, our Asia+The Middle East Destination Expert recounts the highlights of her recent trip to Vietnam- "I would recommend all my clients factor in some time in this area visiting some of these fascinating rural communities to learn about daily life in Central Vietnam". Find out more AN OVERNIGHT PASSAGE TO SAPA Penny Buckley, our Asia+The Middle East Destination Expert recounts her memories of travelling from Hanoi to Sapa on the overnight Victoria Express Train- "It certainly felt like an adventure, and a very memorable one at that". Find out more EXPLORING THE MEKONG DELTA IN LUXURY Chris Wilmot-Sitwell recounts the highlights of his recent trip to the Mekong Delta- "There is no better way to explore and pass time in this gentle landscape, stopping from time to time to take in a temple or wander a market or have a quick game of volleyball with some local children." Find out more Under the Skin of Vietnam Andrew Plunkett shares his memories from his recent trip to Vietnam - "my visit to Vietnam was remarkable - excellent food, top notch accommodations and superior guiding. People were the most memorable part of the trip.. they were engaging and I was sad to leave them behind." Find out more Memories from Vietnam+Cambodia One of our clients, Caroline Hope, recounts her favourite memories from her trip - "every day of our recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia had a highlight... Such stunning landscapes". Find out more A RETURN VISIT TO SAIGON IN VIETNAM Chris Wilmot-Sitwell, Co-Owner of cazenove+loyd returned to Vietnam where he hopped on the back of a Vespa with his private guide who drove him through the little streets of modern Saigon stopping off to make a visit to the city's Fine Art Museum accompanied by art expert Sophie Hughes. Find out more A PRIVATE COOKING CLASS IN VIETNAM Louise Huntington, our Asia+The Middle East destination expert experienced a taste of Vietnam sampling local dishes. She spent the morning bustling through Hoi An's local market handpicking the ingredients which she later used to cook her favourite Vietnamese dishes. Find out more A Tailor-made Adventure Two of our clients, Bob and Christa McDermott visited Vietnam where they enjoyed dinner with a local family experiencing family life in a small Vietnamese city giving them a truly wonderful insiders insight into Vietnam and its people. Find out more The Mekong Delta by Boat Georgia Oetker has traveled with cazenove+loyd many times. Each time we make sure she has the best guide we personally know in the area. On this trip she was guided by Mr Lan, who managed to arrange private access to places rarely seen by tourists in Vietnam. Find out more Eye-opening cultures in Vietnam Sara Cator travelled with her daughter to Hanoi. It was her first visit to the country, and they had a very short amount of time here. By planning the days well, she managed to see many of the fascinating historic sites, as well as many activities Sara was specifically interested in. Find out more Show All Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Nam Hai The Nam Hai is a stylish and chic boutique hotel, located just outside the historic town of Hoi An. The stunning villas combined with the excellent food and service makes it a firm favourite of ours. It works brilliantly as a mid-way rest point or at the end of an action packed itinerary as guests can enjoy miles of white sand beaches and the stunning infinity swimming pool is hard to beat. Find out more Six Senses Con Dao We love Six Senses Con Dao for its barefoot luxury and beautiful beach. As with all Six Senses hotels it is rustic in style and is a wonderful place to relax. The food is delicious and there is an ice cream parlour where the ice-cream is free – a kid’s dream come true. Whilst on the island guests enjoy the inviting ocean, golden beaches, lush mangrove forests and stunning coral reefs. Find out more Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi Located in the heart of Hanoi, this French Colonial hotel is rich in history and in our opinion the only place to stay in Vietnam's capital. Guests step back in history as they enter the grand lobby and are surrounded in heritage as they stroll through the stately Metropole Wing. The famous Opera House and Old French Quarter are both a stone’s throw away making it a fantastic base to explore the city from. Enjoy amazing food, seamless service and exceptional facilities. Find out more Aqua Mekong, River Cruise The Aqua Mekong launched in Autumn 2014. Sailing on this stylish boat is a truly unique way to see Vietnam. It is the most luxurious and stylish boat to cruise along the Mekong allowing guests to see rural life in Vietnam from a very unique perspective. Whilst on board, gaze out at the fascinating scenery and watch the world go by from the roof top dip pool or from the comfort of your suite, which has large panoramic windows and a comfy day bed. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. SAPA The mountains of northern Vietnam are among the most spectacularly beautiful, scenic areas in Asia. Sapa lies in the very north west of Vietnam near the Chinese border and is the gateway to the Vietnamese Highlands. In the monsoon season from July until September, you can see the luminous green paddy fields in abundance. Find out more HALONG BAY, LIMESTONE KARST ISLANDS Halong Bay is justifiably seen as one of the jewels of Asia. Countless limestone Karst Islands, set in deep green waters and interspersed with stunning caves, make for truly dramatic scenery. To get the best from a visit, we recommend using the more traditional smaller vessels with 2-5 bedrooms on board. Find out more Hoi An, a unesco world heritage site Completely spared during the war, Hoi An is one of the last remaining examples of a C19th trading port left in Vietnam and today it is a Unesco World Heritage site. Hoi An's wonderfully preserved historic streets are a delight to walk through and your guide will be able to give you plenty of information on the history of this fascinating and busy town. Find out more the enchanting city of Hanoi Hanoi is an enchanting city, characterised by its bustling streets and tree-lined avenues. In this vibrant capital socialist ideologies and colonial influences are evident everywhere. It is a great place to get a feel for Northern Vietnam as its people, cuisine and customs are all very different to the rest of the country. Find out more Lunch with a monk In the Ni Vien Van Hanh pagoda in Saigon, we can arrange for you to have a persona lunch with a local monk. Spend sometime learning about the Buddhist culture and how the local monks live and how their traditions are passed down through the generations. Find out more A DAY WITH A PRIVATE GUIDE IN SAIGON Saigon, is the hub of Vietnam's economy and modern culture and has a fun and lively atmosphere. Spend a day with one of our private guides to see many of the main sights, send a postcard from the famous Saigon Post Office and explore the city's role in the war at the Palace of Reunification. Find out more Hue (Hway) We highly recommend spending time in this vibrant city to see some of the fascinating sites and experiences that arent available to everyone that visits, such as engaging in a traditional Vietnamese lunch hosted by descendants of the royal family, aswell as having tea with the locals. Find out more Show All Location We know Vietnam better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit Vietnam Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go Most visit South East Asia between November and March when the rest of South East Asia is at its best and particularly the beach. The best time to visit Northern Vietnam is November to April. Central Vietnam has hot and dry weather from mid-January to late August. The South is best visited December to April. Few just visit Vietnam and it combines well with regional flights plentiful between Cambodia, Laos and now increasingly Burma. Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are also strong hubs for long haul flights. Meet the Team Asia + The Middle East Venetia Chris Penny Florence Auriole We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.