Vietnam offers visitors awe-inspiring beauty of the country's natural setting: the Red River Delta in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south and almost the entire coastal strip are a patchwork of green rice paddies tended by women in conical hats. There are divine beaches, soaring mountains, some of which are cloaked by dense, misty forests. Vietnam also offers an opportunity to see a country of traditional charm and rare beauty rapidly opening up to the outside world.
Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi City tour – Night train to Lao Cai (B, L)
Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa (B, L)
Day 4: Sapa trekking (B, L)
Day 5: Bac Ha Sunday market – Night train back to Hanoi (B, L)
Day 6: Hanoi – Ha Long (B, L, D)
Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Ha Noi – Night train to Hue (B, L)
Day 8: Hue City excursion (B ,L)
Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B)
Day 10: Hoi An – My Son excursion (B, L)
Day 11: Hoi An – Fly to Saigon (B, L)
Day 12: Mekong Delta excursion (B, L)
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh – Departure (B)
*** Tour schedule:
DAY 01 : HANOI ARRIVAL
You are welcome at Noi Bai airport and then transfer to the hotel for check-in. Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 02 : HANOI CITY TOUR – NIGHT TRAIN TO LAO CAI (B, L)
The colonial capital city, Hanoi is a unique Asian city with tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architectures, will take peaceful lakes and oriental pagodas and temples. This full day tour takes you around the most interesting sights of Hanoi such as: Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and his Stilts House, Presidential Palace and One Pillar Pagoda nearby, the Lake of the Restored Sword and Ngoc Son Temple, the Temple of Literature, peaceful West Lake with lovers street Thanh Nien, the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda.
Take a 1 – hour cyclo tour around the Old Quarter to enjoy the soul and sound of Hanoi.
After that, we transfer to the Railway Station for the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train with A/C, soft sleeper cabin (4 people/cabin) (Private train cabin for 2 people is upon request).
DAY 03 : LAO CAI – SAPA (B, L)
The train arrives at Lao Cai train station at about 06:00. There will be a vehicle waiting to transfer us to Sapa. Althought the drive to Sapa is only 33 km, it takes around 1.5 hours. Once in Sapa, enjoy a free morning to explore around the town.
In the afternoon, there will be a walking tour to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, a home of the Black H'mong minority peoples. As we walk to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, we will meet some of the local minority people on their way to and from Sapa. We will have the opportunity to share cultural experiences with the families that live in the area.
DAY 04 : SAPA TREKKING (B, L)
Get the show on the road in the morning from the hotel by car to head for the valley where we will visit 2 villages of the H'mong and the Dzay. We have picnic lunch on the way or in a local family and the we go on visiting the Red Dzao in Giang Ta Chai village, visiting a waterfall and a suspension bridge. Afterwards, we walk up to the road for the car back to Sapa. Overnight in hotel.
Trekking: 4 hours, 7km
DAY 05 : BAC HA SUNDAY MARKET – NIGHT TRAIN BACK TO HA NOI (B, L)
In the early morning, we take a 2- hour departure to Bac Ha, which is the largest and most colourful market in the area. Every Sunday morning, many different ethnic groups such as Flower Hmong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung minorities gather to buy and sell local products. After lunch, we will walk to the Tay minority village of Trung Do, where we will get a traditional boat and cruise along the Chay River.
Transfer back to Lao Cai for the night train to come back to Hanoi. Overnight on train.
DAY 06 : HA NOI – HA LONG (B, L, D)
The train arrives in Hanoi in the early morning (about 05.00 AM). You are picked up here and transferred to a 3* hotel for breakfast and a short rest before a journey to Ha Long.
Around 08.00 AM, we take a 4- hour drive to Ha Long Bay for the overnight cruise on a deluxe junk. Begin with a seafood lunch and then explore some limestone caves. In the afternoon enjoy a swim, relax in the sun on the top deck or try your hand at some kayaking.
DAY 07 : HA LONG BAY – HA NOI – NIGHT TRAIN TO HUE (B, L)
This morning we continue to move around the bay to find more secluded areas to either swim or kayak. At around the midday, the boat will return to the main harbour before transferring to an awaiting vehicle for the journey back to Hanoi to catch the night train to Hue. Overnight on train with A/C, soft sleeper cabin (4 people/cabin).
DAY 08 : HUE CITY EXCURSION (B, L)
The train arrives in Hue at 08.00 AM. After breakfast at a local restaurant, you board the Dragon Boat for cruising on the romantic Perfume river to head out for the countryside. Use to be the ancient capital, of Vietnam, Hue is surrounded with ancient tombs of emperors past, and a visit to the most beautiful tombs will be the itinerary for today.
The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop of the day. You will enjoy a great view on the Perfume River and the surrounding area. Thien Mu Pagoda is considered as the symbol of Hue, and of Buddhism in Vietnam. Then, we continue to visit Hue Citadel and Dong Ba market.
Overnight at hotel in Hue.
DAY 9 : HUE – HOI AN (B)
We have free time in the morning.
In the afternoon, take a drive to Hoi An via Danang. Stop over at the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co before a scenic route climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds (Hai Van Pass).
On arrival in Hoi An in the late afternoon, we transfer to hotel.
DAY 10 : HOI AN – MY SON EXCURSION (B, L)
In the morning, drive to My Son, a World Heritage, 40 kms from the southwest of Hoi An. My Son was a capital and religious center of the Cham people, now remains with red brick towers and sanctuaries. My Son, is regarrded as some of Southeast Asia's greatest archaeological sites, including Angkor in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar, Ayutthaya in Thailand and Borobudur in Indonesia. These towers and sanctuaries were built from the 7 to 13 centuries.
We come back to Hoi An for lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we visit the tranquility and charm of Hoi An Town with its low tiled houses of Chinese appearance, Japanese covered bridge, brightly painted temples and pagodas make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. Ovenight in Hoi An.
DAY 11 : HOI AN – FLY TO SAI GON (B, L)
Today, we transfer to Danang's airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh.
On arrival, we take a drive to Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnels were a part of an underground network built by the Vietcong during the American War. It reached from the southern tip of the Ho Chi Minh trail near the Cambodian border to the Saigon River. You will have the opportunity to creep into a tunnel to experience how the Vietcong lived and fought during this time.
We come back to the city center to visit the Reunification Palace, the former palace of President Thieu and his predecessors. Nearby are the Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral.
DAY 12 : MEKONG DELTA EXCURSION (B, L)
We leave Ho Chi Minh to lush My Tho where, we cruise on a private boat through the green vegetation of the canals to an orchard. In which we are treated to a delicious lunch with tropical fruits in a local restaurant in the heart of the Mekong. We also visit the snake farm Dong Tam that breeds snakes for, among other things, snake wine before heading back to Ho Chi Minh. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
DAY 13: HO CHI MINH – DEPARTURE (B)
You have free time at your own leisure until being transferred to the airport for your flight departure. End of our services.