Day 1: Hanoi arrival
Take a walk through the sun-soaked, bustling city of Hanoi; a myriad of history and rich heritage spanning back hundreds of years. It’s been through wars, conflicts, and stood the test of time against politics. With a beautifully rich culture of preserving history for the curious and wonderful tourists who pass through the nation, it’s a fountain of knowledge to satisfy everyone! On your first day, you will warmly welcomed to the nation and driven to your hotel for check in and a stay in your comfortable hotel.
Day 2: Hanoi full day city tour - Lao Cai (B, L)
You’ll be inducted in pure style through the fascinating and charming city as soon as you arrive, and you’ll get the chance to visit all of the rich museums and get a chance to see the home of the founder of Vietnam, the legendary Ho Chi Minh. His house, perfectly preserved, is all on display, as well as the presidential palace. It’s a must visit for every tourist! Add in a tour of the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature to capture your historic flare and you’ve got a head-first dive into the mystique that is Vietnamese culture!
And with lunch quickly following, you’ll be given an insight into Vietnam’s fascinating, turbulent and enigmatic history with a trip to the Museum of Ethnology. Awaken your spirit right in the very heart of the great city; the Hoan Kiem Lake. In the beautiful sunshine, if you haven’t already built up that sun-kissed tan that holidays are famous for, this is the perfect chance! Soak it in and calm yourself on the tranquil shores of the lake…
Take a cyclo ride through the bustling Old Quarter. Enjoy a fantastic water puppet show which is unique in Vietnam. Then transfer to the railway station for the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train.
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa - Bac Ha Sunday Market (B, L)
You arrive at Lao Cai Railway Station at about 6:00am. Have breakfast & then transfer to Bac Ha Town to join Sunday Market with local people. Bac Ha is considered one of the most wonderful and colorful markets in extreme north Vietnam where thousands of local people in their traditional attire buy and sell the local products. Dogs, cats, pigs, horses… are all on sales. This is a golden opportunity to take your best photos! In the afternoon, we will take a pleasant walk to Ban Pho village, home to the flower H’mong people. This is a great opportunity to interact with the friendly locals and have pleasant walk amongst tribal villages. Leave Bac Ha Town for Sapa at 3:00pm. Arrive in Sapa at 5:30pm. Check in hotel & overnight in Sapa.
Day 4: Sapa - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B, L)
Only after a hearty breakfast and a bright and early start with a trek down to the village of Lao Chai, you’ll be visiting the Black H’mong. Down the lovely, sweet picturesque valley, you’ll find the village of Ta Van, and get the chance to meet and converse with their broad wisdom. This particular tribe is the friendliest on the entire mountain area. And to round of the tour of the local tribes, you’ll visit one village on the very edge of the beautiful waterfalls to visit the village of Giang Ta Chai, home of the Red Dzao tribe! It’s not an opportunity that’ll ever come back twice…
In the afternoon, you come back Sapa, be ready for the night train back to Hanoi which departs about 7.30pm. Overnight on train.
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
Arrive in Hanoi around 5:00am. Have breakfast & take a short rest at a small hotel before departing for one of the most magnificent scenic environments in the world, Halong Bay.
Live, swim and sleep upon a relaxing emerald wave aboard an exquisite Vietnamese boat atop the calm waters of Halong Bay, dining in style with the comfort of the evening breeze gently brushing through your hair. Be served a lavish, lovingly cooked meal consisting of the very finest of Vietnamese and oriental cuisine by some of the Nation’s experts. Expand your palette and acquire the taste for something different! And for those who love the water, you can feel it around your body as you take an invigorating swim under a glowing afternoon sun in the quiet, peaceful bay, the tranquil, crashing waves and picturesque view accenting your indulgence perfectly…
You’ll spend the night in your own private cabin, complete with air conditioning and a very comfortable bed to get your head down after your busy schedule!
Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue (Brunch)
While you will wake with your head just atop the lapping waters, you’ll be enjoying a full breakfast atop the top deck of your ship before exploring the legendary Sung Sot cave and the natural beauty around it. You’ll head back to the glorious city of Hanoi once more to connect with your trip to Hue City…
Day 7: Hue full day city tour (B, L)
Head back in time when you get there! Your tour will take you through the very heart of the old Imperial Citadel, and will induct you into the times of old. It’s a pure breath of knowledge for the soul as you’re walked through the ages of Vietnam, and exposed to the beautiful, yet pleasantly turbulent history of the great nation. See the mausoleums of the powerful former Emperors, perfectly preserved, their history carved into humanity forever, and listen to the stories of all that they achieved. Find out what shaped the beauty of the country you see before you today. And even venture to the oldest, first site of the fabled Hue City, the Thien Mu Pagoda, and find out where it all began… Heading back in time really is possible with these amazing visits!
Day 8: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An (B, L)
Feel the sand between your toes and the sun on your back as you immerse yourself in the town of Da Nang. My Khe Beach awaits. Now’s the time to build up that beautiful sun kissed look beneath the sun with the beautiful, clear blue waves washing over your ankles. With several miles of golden beaches and fantastic shoreline for your feet to wander, there’s no shortage of places to kick back, collect the breeze and smile. Mingle with your friends, family, and your fellow tourists as you enjoy the sites and sun…
You’ll also get the chance to witness the most amazing collection of Cham sculptures available anywhere in the world! And full of riches and ancient buildings, including the 200 year old Tan Ky house, Assembly hall and even the former merchants’ houses, and it’s all yours to see!
Day 9: Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City (B)
You’ll find this day entire at your leisure to travel wherever you want to go… If there’s something that’s piqued your interest, you have the perfect opportunity to go back and indulge once more before your connecting flight to Ho Chi Minh City…
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)
It’s now your chance to see a beautiful blend of Franco-Vietnamese culture with influences stretching back many, many years! You’ll get to see first-hand the mix of fancy French architecture in the heart of the largest city in Vietnam. As a brimming Metropolis with over 300 years of amazing, timeless cultural traditions and a great blend of fascinating cultures, there’s no shortage of sights to see and senses to mingle with. Those with an eye for history will not find themselves wanting for anything, with huge collections of weapons and photographs that’ll blow the minds of anyone with a flare for the Indochina wars and the infamous war between the USA and Vietnam in the 60s. It’s your chance to look around the Cu Chi Tunnels and learn about the tactics employed by the Vietnamese during the conflict. It’s a unique opportunity to see all the genuine articles up close, hands on. An unforgettable experience all around!
You’ll find the perfect moment of your journey across these marvelous nations, and give you something concrete to treasure, whether you want something traditional, contemporary or modern. It’s a pure jewel of culture, and it’s yours to seize with open hands! It’s all available from the pleasant street markets, cultural sidewalk cafes and the beautiful bars for engaging in some of Vietnam’s atmospheric nightlife. It’s a wealth of timeless traditions, classics and a mix of many cultures. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral which is of neo- Romanesque architecture with two high square tower and iron spires. Next, stop at the City Hall, known as “Hotel de Ville”.
Visit the Central Post Office and see the amazing fusion of French and Vietnamese architecture, and see the turbulent history within the War Remnants Museum, and get the chance to be up close and personal with photographs and weapons that hail from the period. And when you’re through seeing a unique slice of Vietnamese history, you’ll get the chance to bring something back from your monumental trip as you venture back into Saigon. Visit the biggest wholesaler market in the region at Ben Thanh Market!
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Cai Be Floating Market (B, L)
7:30 am: Depart for Cai Be, stopping to take photos in Tan An town overlooking the picturesque flat rice fields. On arrival in Cai Be, take a motor boat to visit the Cai Be floating market and watch the locals trading fruit and many other commodities on board their vessels. Then wander into the small villages to visit the orchard and fruit plantation. Keep cruising to Vinh Long through a series of small canals to experience the charms of the Upper Mekong Delta. Visit a small family business to see how coconut candy and crispy rice popcorn are made. Arrive in Binh Hoa Phuoc village, the green pearl of Vinh Long town, where you can immerse yourself in nature. Enjoy a lunch of fresh river food served in the heart of the garden accompanied by traditional southern Vietnamese folk music. Take a delightful walk through the bonsai garden. Meet the driver again in Vinh Long. Return to Ho Chi Minh City. Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - Yangon (B, L)
Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for the flight to Yangon. On arrival Yangon international airport, welcome by our tour guide. Transfer to the hotel for check in. After a shot rest at the hotel till late evening and then visit Chauk Htatt Kyi (the six storied in meaning but actually the huge reclining Buddha Image, and Shwedagon Pagoda, famous worldwide – its golden stupa is the ‘Heart’ of Buddhism Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa in surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. Overnight at hotel in Yangon.
Day 13: Yangon - Bagan (B, L)
After having breakfast, flight to Bagan on the East bank of the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. And transfer to hotel for check in. Sightseeing start to colorful Nyaung Oo Market, and Shwezigon Pagoda, Ananda Temple, King Kyansittha’s masterpiece and the crowning achievement of the early style temple of architecture, then Thatbyinnyu Temple, the highest building on the Bagan plain, after that visit to Htilominlo Temple , noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. In the afternoon observe the process of traditional lacquer ware, one of Myanmar’s best known handicrafts and a specialty of Bagan. Then visit Manuha Temple, Myingabar Gubyautgyi Temple , an early period Pyu-style temple of Hindu influence with some of the oldest mutual paintings in Bagan and Dhamanyangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork. Lastly enjoy the sunset over the Ayeyarwaddy River from Buphaya or Shwesandaw Pagoda. Overnight at hotel in Bagan.
Day 14: Bagan - Salay - Mt. Popa - Bagan (B, L)
Today, you’ll be driven to Salay, known most famously for the ancient monastery to times of old and new. The home of Myanmar spirits awaits, and you might just find the hidden excitement of engaging with them, for those of with a supernatural belief!
Then drive to Mt. Popa where a house for Myanmar spirits. On the way you can observe toddy farm and ways of making Toddy Candy. Return to Bagan. Afternoon visit Bagan for the rests of the famous pagoda. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Bagan - Mandalay - Amarapura - Sagaing - Mandalay (B, L)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to the airport for flight to Mandalay. The very centre of cultural tourism and pure commerce, it boasts of nothing more than to provide tourists just like yourself with the most exciting experiences you’ll ever have.
Arrive at Tada Oo International airport and direct sightseeing to the ancient city of Amarapura.
Dive head first into the religious history of Myanmar, and converse with the extremely wise monks of the Mahagundayone Monastery and observe the beautiful scriptures they study and base themselves upon. With so much in the way of religious history, it’s a fantastic way to bathe yourself in the pure wisdom these long following, devoted followers can enlighten you with. It’s an enriching perspective that’ll tantalise and inspire both mind and soul!
Visit U Bein Wooden Bridge (1.2km long) across Taung Tha Man Lake. And then drive to Sagaing and visit Kaung Mu Daw Pagoda which is the copy of Mahaceti Pagoda in Siri Lanka and Sagaing Hill the center of Meditation. Then drive to Mandalay and check in at the hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16: Mandalay - Mingun - Mandalay (B, L)
You’ll be taking to the calm, glorious waters once more, taking a boat to the town of Mingun, home to one of the world’s largest hanging bronze bells and the Myatheindan Pagoda. You’ll be sailing back to Mandalay after an enlightening voyage around the cultural plethora that is Mingun. Stop by and subject yourself to a soul-enriching observation of tapestry making, candy production and the construction of bamboo fans. It’s informative, and the native’s nimble fingers and physical prowess at their trade will leave you speechless. Explore the stone slabs which all tell their stories from the days of old atop the breathtaking views of the city from the very top of Mandalay Hill…
Day 17: Mandalay - Yangon (B, L)
Your penultimate day will be spent exploring Bogyoke market, giving you a final opportunity to pick up the present of a lifetime among the hundreds of local run shops full of local products such as precious stones, gems, and authentic hand crafted jewellery, not to mention a range of traditional clothing! Learn the ways of living of the seasoned locals and spend the night in another comfortable hotel in Yangon before your final day…
Day 18: Yangon departure (B)
Unfortunately, all good things much come to an end, and today is to be spent entirely at your leisure leading up to your final departure…