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 free time
Day 11: Hoi An – Da Nang – 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)
Today, you will enjoy a sightseeing tour with city's most highlighted sites, including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closes on Monday and Friday), his traditional stilt house, One Pillar Pagoda and Temple Of Literature – the first University of Vietnam. Have lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, pay a visit to the Ethnology Museum (closes on Monday), which is widely considered as the finest modern museum in Vietnam and also a tourist attraction in Hanoi to learn about culture of 54 ethnic groups in the country.
In the late afternoon, watch a traditional water puppet show, then take a walking tour with your guide around The Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake. Back to your hotel. Meals on your own.
After that, 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).
Remark: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closes from October to November for maintenance. Outside visiting will be arranged.
DAY 03 : LAO CAI – SAPA (B, L)
The train arrives at Lao Cai train station at approximately 6.00 a.m. There will be a vehicle waiting to transfer us to Sapa. Although the drive to Sapa is only 33 km, it takes around 1.5 hours. Once at 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. Here, we have the opportunity to share cultural experiences with the families living in this area.
DAY 04 : SAPA TREKKING (B, L)
This day, we transfer to the valley where we pay a visit to 2 villages of the H'mong and the Dzay. Have picnic lunch on the way or in a local family. Then, we go on visiting the Red Dzao in Giang Ta Chai village, a waterfall and a suspension bridge. 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, take a 2 – hour drive to Bac Ha, the largest and most colorful 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. After lunch, you will walk to the Tay minority village of Trung Do, where you will get a traditional boat and cruise along the Chay River.
Transfer back to Lao Cai for the night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on train.
DAY 06 : HA NOI – HA LONG (B, L, D)
The train arrives at 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.
At about 08.00 a.m, 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, you can enjoy a swim or 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, continue to move around the bay to find more fascinating areas to either swim or kayak. At around midday, the boat will return to the main harbor 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 a.m. After breakfast at a local restaurant, you board the Dragon Boat for cruising on the romantic Perfume river heading out the countryside. Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded with ancient tombs of emperors. Paying 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 the symbol of Hue, and of Buddhism in Vietnam. Then, continue to visit Hue Citadel and Dong Ba market. Overnight at hotel in Hue.
DAY 9 : HUE – HOI AN (B)
Spend a day leisurely cycling though the scenic and peaceful countryside of Vietnam, which is far away from the noise of the city. After passing through town, you will find yourself cycling among villages of rice fields on quiet roads, ending up in Van Lang fisherman village and Bay Mau water coconut forest – 7 hectares of mangrove forest, canals, and houses covered in water coconut leaf.
This place played refuge to people and local soldiers during the Vietnam War, but nowadays it is famous for its abundance of seafood.
In the village, you will be warmly welcomed with a green tea by Mr. Han and his family, the third generation of his family living here. You are then free to stroll around the village before rowing a basket boat with the help of skillful locals, learning their traditional fishing techniques in the water coconut forest. After returning to Mr. Han’s family, you will enjoy a traditional therapeutic foot bath with medicinal herbs, before helping to prepare lunch with a local family. Lunch will feature many local dishes, such as Tam Huu spring rolls, Banh Xeo local pancakes, grilled fish in banana leaf, among many other Vietnamese delicacies.
Free time and the opportunity for a short rest will follow the lunch, before we return to your hotel.
DAY 10 : HOI AN FREE DAY (B, L)
Today is a totally free day on your own to relax in Hoi An. You could spend your time on the beach (if the weather is nice), go bicycle to the countryside, swim at your hotel/ resort's swimming pool, taste yummy dishes. So many things of Hoi An is waiting for your discovery. Overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 11 : HOI AN – DA NANG – FLY TO SAI GON (B, L)
Transfer to Danang's airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh. On arrival, take a drive to Cu Chi tunnels, reaching from the southern tip of the Ho Chi Minh trail near the Cambodian border to the Saigon River. The tunnels were a part of an underground network that was built by the Vietcong during the American War. You will have the opportunity to creep into a tunnel to experience how the Vietcong lived and fought during this time.
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.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
DAY 12 : MEKONG DELTA EXCURSION (B, L)
This morning, a 2 hour drive will take you from Ho Chi Minh City to Ben Tre Province.
Upon arrival, the boat will pick you up at Phong Nam Pier. Boating along An Hoa River, Visit charcoal workshop ,coconut processing workshop. Stop at brickwork, you will see how to make bricks in handy traditional style by printing and baking and visit rice paper cake workshop.
Turn on natural scissors creeks where they look smaller and smaller to go to village. Stop at candy workshop, have a look and try some. Have a walk to family workshop making sleep-mats. Take a tuk tuk on shady paths to pass by green rice fields and vegetable plains. Have lunch at restaurant riverside.
In the afternoon, take rowing-boat along water palm creek and back to Hung Vuong Pier. Boat trip ends. The car will take you back to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive and check in your hotel in the early evening. Free on your own. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 13: HO CHI MINH – DEPARTURE (B)
There is a free time for you to relax or further explore Ho Chi Minh. The trip ends after your transference to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure. End of our services.