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 – Cu Chi (B)
Today we drive out to Cu Chi tunnel which is the most complicated underground system in Vietnam built in early 1948 and completed its 250km long around 1960. This is an amazing place where we are absolutely admired the way of the guerrillas’ living and fighting for their mission. Before examining this historic site such as a private entrance of the tunnel, Commander Bunker, Fighting Bunker, Meeting Bunker and Health Care Bunker, we will watch a short documentary film about this special place to have an idea why it was named as an “Iron Land”. After that we walk to see the site. The smokeless Hoang Cam kitchen where we will have a chance to taste the guerrilla’s food, the steamed cassava associated with peanut, salt and sugar is an incredible bunker to visit. Mr. Hoang Cam designed this special kitchen during the French–Vietnam War in Dien Bien Phu battle field and it became very popular as its smokeless chimney system in a later War. After finishing our visit to this site, we drive back Saigon for an afternoon city tour. The War Remnant Museum is a must for us to see and to learn more about the sorrow of this war that left unpleasant after- effect to the people and environment for years.
We finish our day with a visit to Thien Hau temple in China town and Binh Tay Market.
Return our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Cai Be – Vinh Long – Can Tho (B,L)
Today we will enjoy the beautiful scenery in Mekong Delta area with hundreds of canal and river system and the most productive farm in Vietnam. On arrival Cai Be town, we take a boat cruise to visit to Cai Be floating market which is very interesting and popular in Mekong region. There are hundreds of trading boats anchoring on both sides of the river and these boats as the floating shops selling all different agriculture produce being hanged on the bamboo pole placing at the front of each boat as the sale signal. This floating market is usually very busy early morning before sun rise and its function is as the whole market on the river. After visiting this market, we continue our boat trip to local village nearby to view how local people making coconut candy, rice-paper, pop-corn, and local souvenirs. Return to our boat then relax while we are cruising across the Mekong River to the island where we take a short walk through the fruit garden and visit the farm. Then we enjoy our lunch at the farm, talk to the host, walk around fruit garden and bonsai garden and just take a little nap on the hammock before boarding the boat again heading to Vinh Long town. We disembark at Vinh Long then drive to Can Tho, the fourth largest citiy in Vietnam and the biggest city in Mekong Delta area. This charm city, the friendly people and their hospitality make it a unique character. A wonderful place to visit!
Day 4: Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Early morning we will take a boat trip to Cai Rang floating market which is more activities of buying and selling, more boats and livelier than the Cai Be. Just enjoy a beautiful buffet breakfast on board while we are cruising to market. We are not only the travelers to visit to this market but also the buyers to purchase extra fresh and tasty fruits for our breakfast in this morning. Return to our hotel then relax or just take walk along the river bank or stop at the coffee shop for a drink.
Midday we check out hotel then drive to Ho Chi Minh City. Rest of the day is free for your own activity.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City – Hoi An (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 stroll 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 Bon 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 6: Hoi An – My Son (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 7: Hoi An – Hue (B)
Today we will enjoy the most beautiful distance in Central part of Vietnam on our way to Hue, a World Cultural Heritage site. It is only 140 km long but there are so many things for us to see. First we again have a chance to view The Marble Mountains, Non Nuoc beach and Da Nang City on our way to Hue. Secondly we will have the most scenic view of mountain and ocean as approaching to the top of Hai Van (Ocean and Cloud) Pass. Thirdly a picturesque Lang Co fishing village in the bay as we are getting down the pass is a must for a photo stop. Next is Tam Giang lagoon and our destination, 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. 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. 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. Entertain Vietnamese royal court music show, a World Intangible Heritage of Humanity (showtime is subject to availability) and then we drive to the royal tombs, the place were used during both the 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, 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.
Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 8: 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 9: Ha Noi – City Tour (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. 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. After visiting this wonderful place, we will have lunch at local restaurant and refresh. Later in the day we visit to Ethnology Museum which is very rich culture collection of 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam. The simple agriculture stools, fish traps, hand weaving cloths, crafts, festivals, folk arts, traditional houses, and lively activities of each tribe are all here for us to discover. Finish our day at History Museum, we not only see the exhibits from stone age, bronze ages and rehistoric era to prove that there were the ancient Vietnamese living in Ha Noi but also the modern artifacts to show how the Vietnamese has been strugling for independence, freedom, peace and love. Return our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 10: Ha Noi – Ha Long (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 11: Ha Long – Ha Noi – Sapa (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 then drive back Ha Noi. On arrival Ha Noi, we have free time then take an overnight train Sapa.
Day 12: Sapa (B)
Early morning we get to Lao Cai railway station then transfer to Sapa town. Sapa is a hill station resort built during the French in 1880s and a lovely town located at 1600m above the sea level. Sapa is very famous for hill tribe markets, mountainous and fabulous Hoang Lien Son mountain range in which Fan Si Pan, at a height of 3314 meters above the sea level is considered as the highest peak of Indochina peninsula. We enjoy our breakfast at hotel where we can leave our luggage and refresh before trekking to Ta Van and Lao Chay village. Late afternoon we drive back hotel then check in. Rest of the day is free at leisure.
Day 13: Sapa – Ha Noi (B)
Morning we trek to Cat Cat village for 2 hours then free at leisure. Late afternoon we drive to Lao Cai railway station for an overnight train to Ha Noi, en route, we visit to Ta Phin the home of the Red Dao people. We also have a chance to visit the border gate between Vietnam and China in Lao Cai City before getting on the train. Dinner is at local restaurant.
Day 14: Ha Noi (B)
Early check in hotel in Ha Noi and a day is free at leisure.
Day 15: Ha Noi – Depart (B)
There is 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