Day 1: Arrival - Hanoi
Guide and driver welcome at the airport, transfer to hotel for check-in. Free time for leisure and relaxing.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
After breakfast at your hotel, be ready for a city tour escorted by an English speaking guide. We will visit Tran Quoc pagoda, the oldest one in Hanoi, located on a island in West lake. Then heading to Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex, visit his stilt house and museum telling you about his life and revolutionary cause. The next stop is One Pillar pagoda, located right within the mausoleum complex area, one of the most iconic pagoda in Vietnam. The morning tour ends with a visit to the Literature Temple, the first university of Vietnam, built in 1070 at the time of King Ly Thanh Tong. This ancient site offers a lake of literature, the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, courtyards and passageways that were once used by royalty.
After lunch at local restaurant, we continue to visit Vietnam museum of ethnology where introduce lifestyles and cultures of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. Beside the indoor exhibition, the museum also has out-door area displaying number of houses modeling after the traditional architecture of ethnic minorities which makes the museum stand out from others. Optionally, we visit Hoa Lo prison, built by French colonist to keep Vietnamese political prisoners and later for American pilots. After this visit, have some time hanging around until the Water Puppet show being started.
Dinner at your own expense and overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi - Hoa Lu - Tam Coc - Hanoi (B, L)
Departing from Hanoi at 8.00 am from your hotel, after 2.5 hours driving, we arrive in Ninh Binh Province. Our first visit is Hoa Lu, the site of a 10th-century capital of an ancient Vietnamese Kingdom called Dai Co Viet. This small Kingdom covered an area of only 300 hectares, and reigned from the 10th century, during the Dinh and Le dynasties, to the 11th century, during the Ly Dynasty. The Kingdom was enclosed by a citadel. The citadel and the Yen Ngua limestone hills provided good defense for this kingdom against the invaders. Not much of this ancient kingdom is left standing. There are two 17th century temples, modelled after their 11th-century originals that are on most itineraries to Hoa Lu. They are the Dinh Tien Hoang Temple (King Dinh temple) and Le Hoan Temple (King Le Temple).
Proceed to Tam Coc for lunch. Tam Coc known as "Halong Bay on Land" boasting breathtaking scenery, “Tam Coc” means three caves. After lunch we get on small rowing boats, the boat trip to all three caves takes about two hours.
Finally, enjoy a short biking trip to Bich Dong Grotto (emerald-liked grotto), around 2km from Tam Coc, climb a little bit till you get to the top of the Upper pagoda and your eyes catch the overall panorama of the paddy fields between Truong Yen Mountain. Get back to Hanoi late in the afternoon. Dinner at your own expense.
Day 4: Hanoi - Halong (B, L, D)
Pick-up at your hotel by shuttle bus at about 8am to start our 3.5 scenic drive to Halong harbor. You will have chance to enjoy the landscape of the Red River Delta’s countryside and have a short break on the way at a handicraft workshop.
Upon arrival at Halong harbor, embark on our junk boat followed by a short safety briefing. Then savor a multiple course lunch while the boat smoothly gliding through numerous limestone islands that emerging unevenly from emerald green water. This afternoon, we will visit Amazing Cave (Hang Sung Sot), one of the most beautiful caves in the Bay which will surprise your eyes as indicated in its name. And before entering it, be patient to listen to your tour guide to introduce the interesting legend of Halong Bay, why it has the name “Ha Long – Descending Dragon”. After the cave’s explosion, return to the main boat, enjoy sunset party with fresh fruits, juices and sweets then attend a short cooking demonstration with our chef.
Dinner is served at around 19.00. After that, we will play some board game together, join squid fishing, socialize with others, making friends or just laze around. Stay overnight on boat.
Day 5: Halong - Hanoi - Night Train to Hue (B, L, D)
Let’s get up early to catch the sunrise, a wonderful moment for nice photo shooting. Warm up your body with our Tai Chi exercises on sundeck to be ready for more activities later. Have breakfast at the dining room while the boat starts cruising to the Natural Preservation Zone. Finally, it’s time for you to enjoy wonderful kayaking on the Bay, you can choose to explore yourself the surrounding areas or visit floating house to learn about the daily life of the fisherman who live there. After that, return to the main boat to cruise back to the harbor. Have farewell lunch and last chance to enjoy the scenic beauty of Halong Bay.
Get on shuttle bus to return to Hanoi. Guide escort for a quick dinner before boarding night train to Hue. Overnight on train (in a shared 4 soft-berth cabin)
Day 6: Arrival in Hue - City Tour (B, L)
Pick up at train station, transfer for breakfast. Embark a dragon boat to cruise along Perfume river.
During the cruise, you will have stops at Thien Mu pagoda, a seven-story historic pagoda built in 1601, unofficially considered as a symbol of Hue; and Tomb of Minh Mang, renowned for its architecture and sublime forest setting. The tomb was planned during Minh Mang’s reign (1820–40) but built by his successor, Thieu Tri. The Tomb is located in An Bang village, on the west bank of the Perfume River, 12km from Hue.
Continue by road to visit Royal Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh, the 12th King of Nguyen Dynasty. The architectural work owns a harmonious combination between the European modernity and the Vietnam classical characteristics.
Lunch in local restaurant then visit Imperial Citadel, from where the Nguyen’s Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945 including Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, and Forbidden Purple City.
Return to your hotel, free time at leisure in the evening. Dinner at your own expense.
Day 7: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An (B, L)
Breakfast at hotel. Get private transfer from Hue to Hoi An via Da Nang through Hai Van Pass, the highest and one of the most scenic hillside road in Vietnam. On nice days, you can enjoy the whole vista of Da Nang city, the Tien Sa sea port, Son Tra peninsula, Cham island and long sandy beaches from the pass. We will stop at Cham museum and Marble Mountain for short visits before reaching Hoi An.
Guide escort to take you for a walking tour around this enchanting port town. Follow the narrow lanes lined with centuries-old houses influenced by Chinese, Japanese, French and European architectures and visit its numerous places of interest: the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls, the local fish market. Around the town we can see a numerous art galleries and tailor shops, get some made-to-order clothes if you like.
Return to your hotel, free time for leisure and have dinner by your own account.
Day 8: Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City (B, L)
Breakfast at hotel. Private transfer to the airport for morning flight to HO Chi Minh City.Upon arrival, take a city tour to visit:
- Reunification Palace: residence of the President Ngo Dinh Diem of the former South Vietnam until 1975
- War Remnants Museum: where displays photographs, machinery, and weapons that depict the harsh realities of war
- Notre Dame Cathedral: Located in the heart of the city, this cathedral was built by the French in the late 1877s. A large statue of the Virgin Mary greets you as you walk into this neo-Romanesque cathedral, adorned by two tall spires flanking either side.
- Center Post Office: Designed by Gustav Eiffel, the Post Office is a testament to the French presence in the late 1800s. The look and feel of this grand building is like an elegant railway station.
- Have a look at City Hall (Hôtel de Ville de Saïgon): was built in 1902-1908 in a French colonial style for the then city of Saigon. It was renamed after 1975 as Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee.
Finally, we visit Ben Thanh market, one of the oldest landscape of Ho Chi Minh city, a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs.
Return to your hotel, free time for leisure in the evening, dinner at your own expense.
Day 9: Mekong Tour (B, L)
Pick up at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh city to depart for Cai Be. Upon arrival, set off for the Cai Be floating market by motor boats and watch the locals trading fruit and many other commodities on their vessels. Visit a small family business to see how coconut candy and crispy rice popcorn are made. Then wander in small villages, visit fruit plantations, accompanied by traditional southern Vietnamese folk music.
Afterwards, paddling through a series of small canals to experience the charm of the Upper Mekong Delta. Arrive in Tan Phong Island, the green pearl where you can enjoy yourself with the nature.
Lunch time is a good chance to get closer with the local and you will learn how to prepare special Vietnamese dishes. Food is cooked by yourself, and fresh river food is served in the heart of the garden.
Cycle in the village path through orchards. Meet the local islanders to learn more about the local daily life in the Mekong Delta.
Take a boat ride back to Cai Be and meet your bus for the trip back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Free for leisure in the evening and overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10: Cu Chi Tunnels - Departure (B, L)
Pick up at your hotel in the morning to depart to Cu Chi. The trip to Cu Chi will take approximately one and a half hour drive.
Upon arrival, before exploring the tunnels, you will have some short introduction followed by introductory video about how the tunnels were constructed and how the people survived in the harsh conditions of the war time. Then, spend your time to explore the remaining area and tunnel systems which included the special constructed living areas with kitchens, bedrooms side by side with other martial facilities like storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, and command centers helping whoever lives inside the tunnels meet their basic needs. Besides, there are also many hidden trap doors and dangerous traps within the maze-like tunnels for security purpose during the war. Afterward, special tea and cassava (guerilla’s food during the war) will be served.
Break time for relax or time for those who want to try the real shooting gun.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City center for lunch at local restaurant before continueing the trip to the airport for departure flight back to home country. End of our service.
- 7 nights at hotels with daily breakfast.
- 1 night on boat in Halong Bay (private twin/double cabins)
- 1 night on train in 4-soft berth cabin (shared)
- Land transfer by private vehicle as noted in the program
- Shared boat in Halong Bay
- Shuttle bus Hanoi – Halong - Hanoi
- Boat in Tam Coc, Hue and Mekong
- Tourist Train Hanoi – Hue
- Bike in Ninh Binh
- Air ticket Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City (DAD-SGN)
- Meals as mentioned. B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: dinner
- English speaking guides
- Admission fees as mentioned in the program.
- 1 bottle of mineral water on touring day.
- Service charge and Government taxes
- Vietnam visa approval letter (except some sensitive nationalities)
- International air tickets
- Vietnam Visa stamping fee
- Personal expenses.
- Travel insurance
- Tips and gratuities.
- Services not clearly mentioned above.