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 center 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. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Note: Ethnology Museum is closed on Monday. It will be replaced by another museum in case of being closed.
Day 3 : Hanoi - Mai Chau (B, D)
Free morning at your disposal. After lunch (your expense), departure from Hanoi for Mai Chau on a picturesque road through the valley. Arrive in Mai Chau and check in at a traditional stilt house of the Thai ethnic minority. Take a bike ride to discover the surroundings. In the evening, enjoy your dinner and overnight in a Thai traditional house on stilts.
Day 4 : Mai Chau exploration (B, L, D)
You will spend this whole day on a trekking tour in Cun Pheo and Xam Khoe village. In the morning, be transferred to Cun Pheo Village where you will start light trekking. Cun Pheo village is home of Muong People and about 7km away from the home-stay place. Then we leave Cun Pheo and trek to Xam Khoe Village (8-10km). Along the way we pass many villages and lush rice fields. Picnic lunch on the way. In the afternoon we trek around the area to see the nearby gardens and terraced rice fields. Dinner and overnight at homestay.
Day 5 : Mai Chau - Ninh Binh (B)
In the morning, take a walk around to say good bye to this charming little village. At around noon, drive out of town to Nho Quan – Van Long. Enjoy the beautiful landscape and take the opportunity to take some photos of the seemingly endless rice fields bordered by the mountain ranges. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6 : Ninh Binh - Van Long (B)
Spend this whole day exploring the beauty of Ninh Binh. Once you’ve arrived in Van Long you will board a traditional Sampan rowing boat which will transport you through marvellous scenes of limestone mountains which create a surreal picture. Following this experience, you’ll journey by bicycle along the dike to a typical local house for a special lunch prepared by the family living there. A great possibility to join in the real life and together with the people of Vietnam. In the afternoon we’ll head to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam from 938 to 1010 to learn more about the history of the country. Transfer back to Hanoi. Dinner on your own. End of tour.
Day 7 : Ninh Binh - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
In the morning, leave Hanoi by private vehicle for Halong Bay, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay and Gulf of Tonkin. 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 8 : Halong bay - Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An (B)
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy the aquamarine water of the bay at its best. After tea break, the boat continues to cruise quietly through the spectacular limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy the more isolated spectacular and unique islands of the bay. Eventually, back at the pier you will disembark at around 11.00 am. Transfer back to Hanoi, directly to the airport where you will take a brief flight to Danang. Be welcomed by your local driver on arrival and transfer to your hotel in Hoi An Town (30 km – 45 minute driving) for check in. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9 : Hoi An - My Son - Ancient town (B)
We travel about 50km from Hoi An to My Son sanctuary. It comprises many Champa temples, in a valley roughly two kilometres wide, surrounded by two mountain ranges. It was the site of religious ceremony of kings of the Champa dynasty, and was also a burial place of Champa royals and national heroes. The My Son temple complex is one of the foremost temple complexes of Hinduism in South East Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. Though the complex has been destroyed over time, we still see many majestic ancient ruins of temples in the area. In the afternoon, take a stroll to visit Hoi An town, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of its unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes. Set out to explore the quaint cobblestone streets of the town with more than 2-century-old Chinese houses. Sites include the Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Phung Hung Chinese-trading house. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 : Hoi An free day (B) - No guide nor vehicle
Free day to enjoy the beach or for further exploration. Let yourself be seduced by the old charm and the serenity of Hoi An. Besides its historical interests and the charm of its small streets, the city is also 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 11 : Hoi An - Saigon (B, D)
Free time at leisure until good time for transfer by local driver to the airport in Danang to fly to Saigon. Flight: TBA. Upon arrival, you will be picked up by local driver and transferred to the hotel in city center. Balance of the day is free for your own discovery of the capital of the South.
Despite its rush to modernity, Saigon, as it is still known, is a friendly and welcoming place with many reminders of its turbulent past and a palpable momentum towards the future. In the evening, you can visit Ben Thanh Night Market to see how lively this city by night is. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12 : Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnels on boat joining trip (B, L)
Today, you will enjoy joining a trip exploring Cu Chi Tunnels with totally new experiences: accessing Cu Chi by boat instead of car, exploring local life outside Saigon. Embark on your speed boat from Ho Chi Minh City’s pier; your English-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 back Saigon and free for the balance of the day. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13 : Saigon - Mekong Delta (B, L, D) - Homestay in Ben Tre
Today you will be transferred from Saigon to Ba Lai (2 hours driving), where you will start your excursion deep into the Mekong Delta area. Walk in the milpa and explore the daily life of the locals here then bike into the village. Take a rest at a local’s home to see how they make sugar cane juice or even try making it yourself. Continue your way through a coconut handicrafts workshop, gardens and orchards of the locals before having lunch at the garden house of Mr. 10 Ưa. In the afternoon, take a short walk to the boat station and embark along the legendary Ba Lai River through the coconut stretches. Stop to visit the coconut coir manufacturing facility before sightseeing along the river. You will finish the day by watching how people make bricks by the local methods. After that, travel to home stay Le jardin du Mekong in Cho Lach, Ben Tre by car - about 1 hour. Arrive at Le Jardin du Mekong, welcomed by the friendly hostess, relax 30 minutes, than do a walking tour to discover village. In late afternoon help the hostess in preparing dinner. Overnight in private room.
Day 14 : Ben Tre - Saigon - Departure (B)
After breakfast take a bicycle to experience the Cho Lach‘s countryside. Along the path, you can see many farmer houses with flower planting. Learn about their working conditions, visit a local market which features fresh, locally grown & produced food from this region. Back to the home stay for check out and return back to Saigon for your departure flight back home. Meals on your own. End of services.