Day 1: Hanoi Arrival.
You’ll be arriving in Hanoi, Vietnam’s bustling, thriving capital. Your English speaking driver and guide will meet you and warmly welcome you right from the baggage claim of Noi Bai Airport.
For your afternoon, you’ll be experiencing an orientation walk through the beautiful attractions of downtown Hanoi, including the Opera House, Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son Temple. And round off your day by enjoying a welcome dinner of authentic Vietnamese cuisine to tickle the taste buds at one of Hanoi’s top restaurants! An induction into Vietnam in style!
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour – Night train to Lao Cai.
After being re-energised in your comfortable hotel, you will have a full day to explore the city of Hanoi. Witness the Viet-Franco blend of colonial architecture, tranquil lakes and see some of the city’s oldest and most monumental pagodas. You will be given a full city tour which will take you to Hanoi’s biggest tourist attractions. The Ho Chi Minh Complex and nearby One Pillar Pagoda will be your first ports of call, two truly fascinating sights to kick start your day.
This will follow with a visit to the Presidential Palace; the Temple of Literature; the Quan Thanh Temple, the Tran Quoc Pagoda & West Lake; and one of the city's museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum).
And what better way to finish the day without some traditional, cultural entertainment? You’ll be enjoying a traditional Water Puppet Performance by evening before your transfer to the second leg of your journey…
Day 3: Laocai – Sapa.
You’ll take a night train to Laocai railway station which will arrive early morning. Here you will take a drive to Sapa where you can enjoy breakfast at your comfortable hotel (and catch some precious sleep!) before beginning your tour.
You’ll be adventuring in the beautiful mountainscape upon late morning. You’ll even have the chance to meet many of the minority hill tribe people on a two hour trek adorned with panoramic views and beautiful landscapes through the terraced rice fields to visit Cat Cat and Sin Chai to meet the villagers. And for the afternoon and evening, you are free at leisure or explore the town and see the sites alone.
Day 4: Sapa – Visit hill tribe villages.
After a great breakfast, you will head out on a full day of travelling to explore Sapa’s many cultures, and rich, yet dark and fascinating natural history and beauty. Take a leisurely hike through the valleys of rice fields and on the way, you’ll pass through many of the remote villages, home to natural hill tribes. And don’t worry if hiking is not your forte, we’ve provided a range of walk lengths so you won’t make yourself too tired! Take advantage of the chance to have lunch with one of the hill tribe villages in preparation for the drive back to Laocai to catch your return night train to Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay– Overnight on cruise.
Your train will arrive back in Hanoi by early morning where your guide and driver will meet you, just in time to take you to a local restaurant for a hearty breakfast.
And don’t worry, you’ll get a chance to rest during the 3-4 hour drive to your next attraction; Halong Bay.
Spend 24 hours atop the waters onboard a traditional Junk Cruise. Adorned with thousands of rock formations and exceptional natural beauty, Halong Bay is an enigma you’ll have the privilege to spend the night on! A plate of seafood on the outbound journey provides a lovely lunch. Not only will you be stopping at several of the large islands, but you’ll get to visit some of the huge cave formations in the bay as well! If the weather holds true, you’ll even get to take an invigorating swim in the Emerald waters, all in time for a sleep in your cabin to the gentle waves.
Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Hue.
For those who enjoy martial arts, you can enjoy Tai Chi on the top deck by morning, or simply kick back to the beautiful sunrise over the bay, complete with tea or coffee. The top deck is your front row seat to see the amazing BaiTu Long Bay on the journey back to Halong City. Have brunch on board the boat to prepare you for your transfer. Your driver will meet you at the dock, ready to take you to NoiBai Airport for your transfer to your next destination.
Day 7: Hue City Tour.
With a stay in the beautiful Hue City, you’ll begin the next day with a visit to the Imperial Citadel, home to the Imperial City and Forbidden Purple City, established in the 19th Century, and deriving inspiration from the Beijing Forbidden City. For an afternoon, you will continue on your tour stopping at the Imperial Museum, TuHieu Pagoda and vibrant Dong Ba riverside market. Here you will find the perfect opportunity to shop for souvenirs to take home for friends and family alike!
Day 8: Hue – Danang – Hoi An.
You’ll be spending your morning enjoying the breeze and the rays, onboard a private boat cruise down the romantic Perfume River to visit the Lady Pagoda and the ornate, fabled Minh Mang's tomb. Lunch will be included at a beautiful riverside restaurant, so you’ll get another taste of that heavenly cuisine before your drive to Hoi An. Though it’s not without attraction in itself, as you pass over the 500m-high Hai Van pass and take a pit stop in Danang for a visit to the Cham Museum and handicraft villages at the foot of Marble Mountain. And with a nice, comfortable hotel waiting for you in Hoi An, it’s a sightseeing day to remember!
Day 9: Hoi An – My Son.
Today you will venture 40km outside of Hoi An to the amazing site of My Son. It’s surrounded by the Cat’s Tooth Mountains and plays host to the ancient Cham ruins and is often referred to as Vietnam’s Angkor Wat. All around you, you can touch, feel, and feel the rich heritage and culture, and it radiates an aura that just can’t quite be explained, a must see for any tourist! Return to Hoi An in time for lunch and a free afternoon, for shopping, exploring or beachside relaxation.
Day 10: Hoian – Danang – Fly to Saigon.
Once you’ve had your hearty breakfast, you’ll be driven to the airport to catch your flight to one of Vietnam’s most iconic modern metropolises: Saigon. You’ll arrive in the late morning and be immediately introduced to the city with an in depth tour of the bustling, lively streets en route to your hand picked hotel. Though not before indulging on a fantastic lunch at a downtown restaurant of your choosing! It’s all to see today, including taking a trip back in time at Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, the CityPost Office and Ben Thanh Market. Ho Chi Minh features many blends of French Architecture and culture and its history runs deep. History that you’ll get to see everywhere you look!
Day 11: Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels – Tay Ninh.
After breakfast at hotel, you travel outside of Saigon to visit a slice of Saigon’s darker times… The Cu Chi Tunnels; an underground labyrinth of passageways spanning more than 215 kilometers in their peak. Used by the notorious, brutal Viet Cong troops during the Vietnam War as protection and tactical advantage against American air raids and troops, you are even invited to crawl through selections of the tunnels to experience it for yourself! Later, you will pay a visit to the beautiful Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh and have the chance to partake in the Caodaist noontime prayer service. Caodaism, which combines elements of Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam in order to promote peace.
Day 12: Saigon – Mekong Delta – Cai Be – Vinh Long – Can Tho.
Today you will take to the waves and the water once again, with a tour along the Mekong River Delta. It will all kick off at Cai Be. Along the way, though, those with a sweet tooth will be delighted to stop at a candy factory and orchard garden, where you have an opportunity to listen to traditional music and see the businesses in action. With lunch to follow, you’ll then cross the river by motor boat to experience the beauty of some of the fluvial islands. You’ll be exploring the countryside by bicycle; an extremely commonly used transport method in this part of the country. Your driver will meet you at Vinh Long pier and take you to Can Tho City for the night.
Day 13: Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating market – Saigon.
Wake early and leave the hotel to visit the famous Cai Rang floating market by motorized boat. Continue the boat ride to visit the Mekong Delta’s famous fruit orchards and sample the fresh, exotic fruit. Then venture deeper into the country-side, passing traditional houses made of wood and palm leaves as you observe the activities of the local people. Return to Can Tho for lunch then drive back to Saigon, arriving in the late afternoon.
Day 14: Saigon Departure.
Unfortunately, though, all great things must come to an end, but you’ve been through some of the best sights that Vietnam has to offer, and spent a night even atop the waves in a beautiful part of the world. But today, you will be taken to the airport for your flight back home. We will miss you just as much as we know you’ll miss this place too. But be sure to book with us again soon, and return! It is a truly beautiful part of the globe, and we’re confident you will be counting down the days until you can come back!
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