Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City
On arrival you are met by our guide then she/he takes you to hotel for check in. It is much depending on your arrival time and if the time is permitted, you will take an orientation tour of Ho Chi Minh City (or so called Saigon) and also visit some highlight buildings such as: Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, City Hall and Opera House, or just relax at your hotel.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho (B)
Today we will enjoy the beautiful scenery in Mekong Delta, hundreds of canal and river system and the most productive farm in Vietnam. We just take 2 hour drive to My Tho City, which is located on the bank of Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in the world then take the boat cruise to Thai Son Island for visiting fruit farm, bee farm and local handicraft. We not only enjoy the fruits at the farm and honey tea but also entertain the traditional music show, “Don Ca Tai Tu” which has been recognized as the World Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Just enjoy a peaceful moment on our rowing sampan under a shady water coconut palm on both sides of canal, a fantastic view of the river, a cheerful smile and the hospitality of the local people, we are awarded to have them all. On the way back to Ho Chi Minh City, we will have lunch at Mekong Rest Stop restaurant and enjoy local specialty.
Seat back and relax on our way back to the hotel.
Rest of the day is free at leisure.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Hoi An, World Cultural Heritage site (B)
A new exciting day for us to discover the World Heritage site, Hoi An ancient city, we just take a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang then proceed to our destination. Hoi An, a lovely ancient seaport city located on the bank of Thu Bon River is not only famous for its architecture, temples, pagodas, ancient trading houses, tailor shops but also the hospitality and friendly people of this place. This pleasant city is a great experience that will last lifetime, we just spend our time to troll along the streets, talking to local people, visiting some local attraction sites; Thien Hau Temple, Japanese Bridge and Tan Ky House. Late afternoon we take an hour boat ride on Thu Buon River and this is a time for us just relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
Rest of the day is free at leisure. If we are lucky enough to be in Hoi An on the full noon night, there will be a lantern festival which is very interesting to take part in. We also have a chance to join “Bai Choi” game, it is a kind of traditional folk game accompanying with singers, drummer and game conductors on the streets. You may find it similar to the game of bingo in some stages.
Day 4: Hoi An – My Son, World Cultural Heritage Site (B)
Morning we take a half day trip to a World Cultural Heritage site My Son Sanctuary of Champa Kingdom, which was very powerful and prosperous Kingdom in Southeast Asia from 4th century to 11th century. We drive 2 hours through rural area, rivers, paddy fields, mountains to this site for visiting these fantastic monuments of the Cham people and also have a chance to entertain Champa Traditional Dance show. After visiting this site we drive to Da Nang City for our lunch and then visit to Cham Museum which all artifacts were collected in My Son area and it is absolutely amazing collection of art and culture. We will end our day by stopping at Marble Mountains for our sightseeing. Taking steps up to Huyen Khong Cave, which was used as the hospital during the American and Vietnam War. It is actually the pagoda which has a giant marble Buddha statue seating on the rock and facing the main entrance inside the cave. Continuing our walk up the steps to Thien Phuoc Pagoda on the side of this mountain facing the ocean. It is a fabulous sea view from this site. Finishing our day with a stop at the stone carving village where we may have some souvenir gifts for our trip. Then we get back our hotel and free at leisure
Day 5: Hoi An – Hue, World Cultural Heritage Site (B)
Today we will enjoy the most beautiful distance in Central part of Vietnam on our way to Hue, a world heritage site. It is only 140 km long but there are many things for us to see. First we again have a chance to view The Marble Mountains, Non Nuoc beach and Da Nang City. Second we will have the most scenic view of mountain and ocean as approaching to the top of Hai Van (Ocean and Cloud) Pass. Third a picturesque Lang Co fishing village in the bay as we are settling down the pass is a must for a photo stop. Next is Tam Giang lagoon and Hue city, a lovely and romantic city located on the bank of Huong (perfume) River. Hue is the ancient capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 and famous for the Citadel, Imperial City, Forbidden City and the royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal regime of Vietnam. Hue represents an outstanding demonstration of the power of the vanished Vietnamese feudal empire at its apogee in the early 19th century. The integrity of town lay out and building design make it an exceptional specimen of late feudal urban planning.
After check in our hotel we start our excursion by taking a boat trip on Huong River to Thien Mu pagoda which was built in 17th century on the top of the hill overlooking the river and Truong Son mountain range. Then we drive to the Imperial and Forbidden City of Hue, most of the contraction sites of a heyday royal dynasty were destroyed during the turmoil of the war for many years but there is still the sense of grace and majestic of the rulers. Enjoy Nha Nhac, Vietnamese court music show, a World Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Nha Nhac developed during the Le Dynasty (1427-1780) and became highly institutionalized and codified under The Nguyen monarch (1802-1945). The role of Nha Nhac is not limited to musical accompaniment for court rituals: It also provided a means of communicating with and playing tribute to the Gods and Kings as well as transmitting knowledge about the nature and the universe.
Then we drive to the royal tombs, the place were used during both life and dead of the Nguyen Rulers. A lovely traditional architecture royal tomb of King Tu Duc built in three years from 1864 -1867 is located outskirt of Hue among the fine forest and lakes and ponds meanwhile King Khai Dinh’s tomb is located on the hill step of Chau E mountain, the tomb is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture style and built in 1920.
Return to our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 6: Hue – Ha Noi (B)
Morning we take a short flight to Ha Noi Capital, a cradle of Vietnamese culture and the heart of all Vietnamese. This thousand year old city is definitely a great place for us to stroll around 36 ancient commercial streets in which each street is named basing on the produce that is sold as Hang Bac (Silver Street), Hang Giay (Shoes street), Hang Dieu (Tobacco street), Hang Đao (Silk street).. and countless culture and historic sites for us to discover. On our arrival we will take an hour cyclo (pedicab) to the ancient quarter of Ha Noi. It is an incredible way to discover this city and there are hundreds of photo opportunity; every corner of the street, shop keepers, vendors, street foods, a bustle and hustle of Dong Xuan Market and so on for us to take. We finish our ride at Thang Long theater and walk around Hoan Kiem Lake then visit to Ngoc Son Temple. Check in hotel then free at leisure.
Evening we will entertain the Water Puppet Show, a unique northern Vietnamese art performance that we cannot be missed on our schedule for today. We will have a chance to learn more about the rural life of Vietnamese peasants and national heroes via a series of history story which were beautifully demonstrated by the artists who play with the water puppets.
Day 7: Ha Noi – Thang Long Imperial Citadel, World Cultural Heritage site (B)
Start our day with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, this is a very special place for all Vietnamese and also famous for foreigners around the world to see the whole complex, Uncle Ho’s house on stilt where he lived and worked from 1958-1969, his fishing pond and his garden. Then we head to One Pillar Buddhist Pagoda built in 1049 by King Ly Thai Tong who ruled from 1028 to 1054. Ly Thai Tong was childless and dreamt that he met the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshava, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower. Ly Thai Tong then married a peasant girl that he had met and she bore him a son. The emperor constructed the temple for the gratitude for this miracle. Further on our excursion, we visit to Van Mieu, Temple of Literature to dedicate to Confucius and his four best disciples. This was also the first national university of Vietnam built in 1076 within the temple to educate Vietnamese bureaucrats, nobles, royalty and other members of the elite. This university remained open from 1076 to 1779. The interest thing in this place is the collection of steles of doctorates whose names, birth place, year of the examination, and the rank were engraved onto the marble stone stele placing on the top of the turtle. There are 1307 graduated doctor names on 82 stele in this place. After visiting this wonderful place, we will have lunch at local restaurant and refresh.
Later in the day we visit to a World Cultural Heritage Site of Thang Lang Imperial Citadel which was built in 11th century be the Ly Dynasty, making the independence of Dai Viet. The Central Sector of Thang Long Imperial Citadel is the most important and the best-preserved of this heritage site. We will finish our day with a visiting the Army Museum nearby this ancient imperial City. This is very interesting site to visit as its exhibit collection focusing on 2 wars, the French-Vietnam War in 1930s-1940s and American-Vietnam War in 1960s-1970s. Especially the Dien Bien Phu battle field model is very lively, informative and useful section to see.
Return our hotel and then free at leisure.
Day 8: Ha Noi – Ha Long, World Natural Heritage Site (B,L,D)
A new exciting day waiting us to discover, we depart for Ha Long, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960-2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islands and islets in all sides reflecting on turquoise water. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments.
There are a lot of photo opportunities on our way to Ha Long as we drive through the rural area, street markets, paddy fields, vegetable farms, poultry farms and lotus farms. We take a rest stop after 2 hour drive for a coffee break then continue to Ha Long Bay. At midday we board the overnight junk for the cruise. A welcome drink is well prepared for us as we get on board then check in and enjoy a pleasant cruise on the bay. Seafood lunch is served on board while the junk is slowly going among the islands and islets. There are some activities for us to join in in this afternoon; visiting to the cave, swimming at Ti Top beach, climbing up the top of Ti Top Island for panoramic view of the bay, kayaking in late afternoon or joining squids finishing at night. The junk is anchored in a quiet bay for overnight. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 9: Ha Long – Ha Noi (B)
Morning just join the Tai Chi Class on sundeck for half an hour and then we will have breakfast. We keep on our excursion and visit to Sung Sot cave, fantastic stalactites and stalagmites in all different sides with beautiful natural color. Return to our junk and check out. Enjoy a pleasant cruise back to the pier for disembarkation.
Return Ha Noi then free at leisure
Day 10: Ha Noi – Departure (B)
There is no activity for today. Just pack up and relax until your departure flight. The guide and driver will pick you up then transfer you to Noi Bai Airport.
All accommodation basing on double/twin room with daily breakfast
Private transportation as specified in itinerary
English speaking guide for day tour
All entrance fee for sightseeing
All boat trips as specified in itinerary
Meals as specified in itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Drinking water on coach
International air ticket to/from Vietnam
Visa fee to Vietnam
Domestic air tickets
Things are not indicated in itinerary