Charming Vietnam

ITINERARY

Hanoi – Halong – Hue – Hoi An – Danang – Saigon

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by local guide and transferred to the city for hotel check in. Free time in the afternoon to freshen up after a long flight or explore the traditional streets of the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake vicinity on your own way. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.   

Day 2: Hanoi sightseeing (B)

Depart from your hotel in the early morning to take a walk through Hang Be market – one of the most famous markets in Hanoi thanks to its diverse array of goods and eye catching displays. Take this chance to observe the daily life of the locals and capture some memorable pictures. Then, start to explore the diversified architecture of Hanoi and its famous 36 streets of the Old Quarter by a walking tour.  The purpose of today’s walking tour is to discover Hanoi’s architecture, which reflects the atmosphere and soul of Hanoi. The rich diversity reaches from Vietnamese, Chinese and French colonial to Communist architecture. You will find Hanoi a real architectural treasure as you explore a traditional tube house. And you will see how attractive a small pagoda in the centre of Hanoi can be.

Just before your lunch, visit Hanoi’s first university - the Temple of Literature - dating back to 1070. This historical centre of learning is now dedicated to Confucian worship. In the afternoon, continue your visit to the Ethnology Museum to have a glimpse into the richness and diversity of Vietnam 54 ethnic groups. Free evening at leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.   

Day 3: Hanoi – Halong bay (B, L, D) - Local guide on board only

In the morning, leave Hanoi by private vehicle (without guide) for Halong Bay, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay and Gulf of Tonkin (180km – 3.5 - 4 hour driving). After arriving at noon, you will board a beautiful boat for an overnight cruise on Halong Bay with an excellent menu of fresh seafood. Lunch and dinner are served on boat. Overnight on board in the open air of Halong Bay.   

Day 4: Halong – Hanoi - Hue (B)

After breakfast on board, there is some time for relaxing and cruising on the bay. Eventually, back at the pier you will disembark at around noon. We’ll head back to Hanoi, passing a vast expanse of rice fields of the Red River Delta. You will see scenes of farmers working in the fields, children going to school, and even little pigs being brought into town on motorbikes.  Transfer to Hanoi Airport for your flight to Hue. If you wish, stop en-route to visit a pagoda or pottery village.  On arrival in Hue, you will be picked up by a local driver for check in. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.      

Day 5: Hue – Cooking class Thuy Bieu – Hue Citadel (B, L)

In the morning board a traditional sampan for a cruise toward Thuy Bieu Eco-village, an ancient village overlooking the most pristine part of Perfume River backed by Ngu Binh mountain. Arrive in the village; you take a bike ride through small dirt trails to admire the quiet and superb landscape of Hue: rice field, fruit tree and vegetable gardens, communal house, primary school and a valley of cemetery. Don’t be afraid to greet those you meet along the way. Get into a local house, where you be introduced and taught by a local resident about some Hue dishes. After that enjoy your creations in the beautiful garden shaded by many green trees.

Retreat yourself by a relaxing foot massage before getting back to Hue for a visit to the imperial citadel's attractions include the Noon Gate or Ngo Mon. The gate leads to the Imperial Palace and was the ceremonial location for the kings' annual announcement of the year's calendar and the names of new doctors of philosophy… before getting back to the hotel for free time at leisure. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.   

Day 6: Hue - Hoi An (B)

Departure by private car (without guide) for Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van Pass to view one of  the most beautiful  panoramas in Vietnam  as  you  look  out  over  the  central coastline. You will also pass by the quiet, white sandy beach of Lang Co. Arrive in Hoi An and check in your room. Meals are on your own. Overnight at the hotel.   

Day 7 - Day 9: Hoi An free days (B) - No guide nor vehicle

Free days at disposal to enjoy the beach or discover the place on your own way. Let yourself be seduced by the old charm and the serenity of Hoi An. For many centuries, Hoi An was an obligatory stop-over for all the merchant ships from Europe and Asia passing through the region, as were Macao and Malacca. Hoi An thus experienced multiple Chinese, Japanese and French architectural influences. But at the end of the 19th century, the Thu Bon river linking Hoi An to the sea silted up and it could no longer be sailed by those large merchant ships. Today, Hoi An boasts over 800 listed historical buildings. Its town centre is closed to traffic and has been listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to its historical interest and the charm of its small streets, the city is renowned for its culinary specialties, its large white sandy beach and the opportunity to shop in its numerous boutiques (tailoring, ancient ceramics, lanterns and other decorative artefacts). Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.      

Day 10: Hoi An - Danang - Saigon (B)

In the morning, you will be transferred (without guide) to the airport in Danang for a brief 1 hour afternoon flight to Ho Chi Minh City - known as Saigon by many locals.  Upon arrival, you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel for check-in.

The balance of the day is free at leisure to discover former capital of French Indochina. Historic landmarks include the Old Saigon post office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House, City Hall. Continue your trip to visit China Town, bustling area in Saigon where offer you the real felling about energetic Saigon. Your discovery of Cholon will invariably take you to one of the traditional pharmacopeia boutiques, to the Thien Hau pagoda, the most majestic in the city, as well as Binh Tay market. This market is located in a vast ochre-coloured building designed by a French architect and financed by a Chinese merchant. It is famous for being the most impressive in Vietnam, with its thousands of stalls and its great variety of goods. It truly is the temple of commerce in Saigon. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.    

Day 11: Saigon - Explore Cu Chi Tunnels on Les Rives speedboat (B, L) – Guide on board only

Today, you will be picked up a bit early from your hotel for a joining trip exploring Cu Chi Tunnels with totally new experiences: accessing into Cu Chi by boat instead of car, exploring local life outside Saigon. Embark on your speed boat from Ho Chi Minh City’s pier; yourEnglish-speaking guide will introduce you to life along the banks of the Saigon River as your boat gracefully slips through knots of floating water hyacinths on this scenic one-hour boat trip. After a short documentary, your guide will lead you through the historic Cu Chi Tunnels, dug by resourceful guerrilla fighters to provide communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters during numerous conflicts. A traditional Vietnamese lunch of local specialties like lemongrass chicken and caramelized clay pot pork will be served after your visit to the tunnels. Return to your hotel in the early afternoon then free (no guide no vehicle). Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Saigon free day (B) - No guide nor vehicle

Free day. Meals on your own.  Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Saigon – Kuala Lumpur (B)

Free time at leisure until time for transfer by local driver (without guide) to the airport for your flight back home or to the next destination. Meals on your own. End of services.

 

 

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