Enjoy the most essential of the beautiful country of Vietnam on a 13 day trip that allows you to experience the many delights that the nation has to offer, from the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh to the laid back atmosphere around the Mekong Delta, the former capital of Hue and the ancient trading port of Hoi An.
Day 1: Arrival into Hanoi
You’ll be warmly greeted at Hanoi airport and transferred to the hotel. If time permits, take an orientation tour and a chance to acclimatize ourselves.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B)
Start with a visit to the complex of memorials to Ho Chi Minh, the founder of modern Vietnam, taking in the mausoleum, the former Presidential Palace and Ho’s idyllic wooden home built on stilts. Continue to the Buddhist Single Pillar Pagoda and the Confucian Temple of Literature which ever served as an education institute. Visit the fascinating Museum of Ethnology, which includes full size replicas of amazing ethnic minority tribal buildings found across Vietnam. Explore downtown Hanoi including Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter from a rickshaw. Enjoy a performance of Water Puppet, the art form unique to Vietnam.
Day 3: Hanoi to Halong (B, L, D)
Leave Hanoi and travel east to Halong Bay, one of Vietnam’s most picturesque and iconic destinations. Board a beautiful junk and spend a full day and night cruising the bay's 3000 magnificent limestone islets. Enjoy wonderful seafood and opportunities of swimming, kayaking, and fishing.
Day 4: Halong Bay to Hue (B, L)
Wake up to fresh coffee whilst cruising on to other spectacles of the bay that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to mystical dragons! After lunch we disembark and return to Hanoi for a flight to Hue, the former capital city. Upon arrival you’ll be met and escorted to the hotel.
Day 5: Hue City Tour (B, D)
Take a morning cruise on the serene Perfume River to Thien Mu and explore this sacred pagoda. Continue to the former Imperial Citadel and take full advantage of this World Heritage Site. Afternoon, visit a typical Hue garden house typical, the impressive tomb of former Emperor Tu Duc, and a village that crafts traditional conical hats. For a joyful day to be complete, sample Hue’s distinctive cuisine and folk music.
Day 6: Hue to Hoian (B, L)
Depart Hue and travel southwards to Hoian, stopping en route to unwind atop the breathtaking Pass of Ocean Clouds and visiting the fascinating Cham Museum. In Hoian we’ll be on foot to explore the charming and wonderfully preserved ancient quarter that retains Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European influences from its old glory being a major seaport in Southeast Asia. In addition to the historic architectures, the area offers excellent shopping opportunities.
Day 7: Hoian Countryside & Ancient Quarter (B, L)
Take a morning bike ride through the rural scenery of Hoian to a small vegetable planting village located on the banks of Tra Que lagoon. Tra Que village has been known for its special aromatic herbs. Join local people in their daily works of planting and watering vegetables. We then learn to cook some local specialties, for example "Tam Huu" - a set of shrimps, pork and greens. Enjoy what we have done for lunch. In the afternoon, visit Hoian town, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site because of its unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes. Sites include the Japanese Bridge, a Sino-Vietnamese-Japanese merchant house, the Chinese Fujian Temple, Hoian central market, and the Culture Museum. The town also affords excellent shopping opportunities.
Day 8: My Son Holy Land (B)
Drive 40km southwest of Hoian to visit the capital and religious centre of the former Champa Kingdom. There in a lush green valley stands dozens of red brick towers and sanctuaries dating from between the 7th and 13th centuries. Rest of the day will be at your own leisure.
Day 9: Hoian to Saigon (B)
Bid farewell to Hoian and drive to Danang to catch a morning flight to Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam. Welcome at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon, visit the most outstanding sights in the very centre of Saigon, taking in the Reunification Palace, the War Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, the City Hall, Ben Thanh Market, etc…
Day 10: Caodai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels (B)
Our tour today includes a visit to the fussy temple and the noon service of Caodai. Combining aspects of Christian, Buddhism, Muslim, Taoism and Confucius into a single religion, Caodai is a fascinating Vietnamese religion. Continue to the legendary network of underground combat tunnels of Cu Chi, where our guide will explain how the guerillas survived and fought during the Vietnam War. The adventuresome may feel like to explore underground, the second and even third level of the system. Return to Saigon for the night.
Day 11: Saigon to Mekong Delta - Can Tho (B, L)
Today we leave the hustle and bustle of Saigon behind and travel deep into the Mekong Delta, a world that lives and works on the waters. On arrival in My Tho, take a boat trip to see life on the Mekong River. Visit family workshops producing handicrafts and candy from coconut on and island. Enjoy a horse cart ride to a typical Mekong Delta house where folk music is performed by amateurs. Row a sampan through the small canals and side arms of the river to further experience river life. Taste freshly picked seasonal tropical fruits in an exuberant orchard and sample local specialties for lunch. Mid-afternoon, we travel on to Can Tho City for overnight. Time permitting; take a walk along the riverfront boulevard to the bustling Ninh Kieu Quay.
Day 12: Can Tho back to Saigon (B)
We take a morning boat tour of Cai Rang and delve in the sights and sounds of this extraordinary market. Hundreds of boats packed with local produces gather and make for an exciting maze. Boats come to us from all sides, offering fruits, vegetables, plants, foods, etc… Sellers advertise their wares by hanging samples high atop bamboo poles so that their customers can find from afar. It is a great view of how commerce actually happens in the Mekong. Do a brief city tour including Binh Thuy ancient house and the Khmer Munirangsyaram Pagoda before returning to Saigon.
Day 13: Departure from Saigon (B)
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight
- Accommodation of the class quoted
- Land transfer by AC vehicle
- Local English-speaking guide
- Admission fee to indicated sights
- Meals as mentioned in the program
- Government tax and service charge
- Supply of bottled water & tissues on car on touring days
- Visa arrangement
- Any flight does not mentioned and international tax
- Travel insurance
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Hotel/Room upgrade
- Festivity surcharge & festivity compulsory service by hotel(s) if any
- Tip, drinks, personal expenses and others