Best of Vietnam
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a local guide and transferred to the hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is free at leisure.
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 boat only
In the morning, you will be picked up at the hotel and leave Hanoi by shuttle bus 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 hours 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 Bay (B, L, D)
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy aquamarine water of the bay at its best. After breakfast, be transferred to the day boat with cruise staff and continue to cruise quietly through spectacular limestone formations of Halong Bay. There is plenty of time to enjoy this isolated bay’s spectacular and unique islands as well as relax on the beach. In the middle of afternoon, cruise back for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue (B)
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy aquamarine water of the bay at its best. After tea break, the boat continues to cruise quietly through spectacular limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy this isolated bay’s spectacular and unique islands. Eventually, back at the pier you will disembark at around 11.00 am. Transfer 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. Reaching Hanoi, you will be transferred by private vehicle to the airport for a short flight to Hue. On arrival, a local driver will pick you up and take you to the hotel. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Hue sightseeing (B)
This morning, we will visit the famous Imperial Citadel, built by Emperor Gia Long in 1804 - the 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. Then, continue with a leisure boat trip to Thien Mu Pagoda which is located right on the bank of the Perfume River, which offers a very nice photo shot of river and the city. Continue your journey to Tu Duc Mausoleum, one of the most beautiful tombs of Hue. It is a model of Vietnamese traditional art. It is also an opportunity to learn about the history of Nguyen Dynasty and the French colonial period. Transfer back to your hotel in the afternoon. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Hue - Danang - Hoi An (B)
Today you will be transferred to the hotel in Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van Pass, where we will enjoy the spectacular panorama of the central coastline from the summit. Arrive in Hoi An and free for the rest of the day. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Hoi An Ancient town (B)
The small streets of Hoi An are ideal to wander through the shops on foot or on a bike. Cars and motorbikes are forbidden in the entire area, which allows you to peacefully enjoy some of most important sightseeing of Hoi An such as Chinese temples, traditional houses, the Japanese bridge and daily active life of local people. An early morning guided tour will allow you to further appreciate the true value of this legacy of over 800 historical monuments. The city itself has been listed UNESCO World Heritage. Try some local food along the way. The tour ends with a cup of coffee or tea at Reaching Out – a special teashop where all the waiters and waitresses are deaf staff who are given a chance to have a self – reliant life and integrate into the community by being trained to be able to work here professionally. A peaceful time for you to enjoy the silence and taste of coffee. Back to the hotel and the balance of day is free at your leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9 - Day 10: Hoi An free days (B) - No guide nor vehicle
Days are free at leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Hoi An - Danang - Saigon (B)
Free time at leisure until time for transfer by a local driver to Danang airport to fly to Saigon. On arrival, you will be picked up by a local driver and transferred to the hotel for check-in. Balance of the day is free for your own discovery of the capital of the South; don't forget to visit the city’s main historical sites: the large central post office, whose metal structure was designed by Gustave Eiffel, Notre-Dame Cathedral, constructed from red bricks and resembling Notre-Dame in Paris, the exterior of the Palace of Reunification and Dong Khoi Street. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Saigon - Cu Chi tunnels by boat joining trip (B, L) - Local guide on boat
After your breakfast, you will enjoy 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; 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 to your hotel in the early afternoon then the rest of the day is free (no guide no vehicle). Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Saigon - Mekong Delta - Saigon (B, L)
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 of the locals’ life along the river. You will finish the day by watching how people make bricks by the local methods. Bus will pick you up to return to Ho Chi Minh City. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14: Saigon – Departure (B)
Free time at leisure until time for transfer by local driver to the airport for your flight back home. Room is at your disposal till noon time only. Meals on your own. End of services.