ESSENTIAL VIETNAM

(14 DAYS)

duration
14 days
destination
Vietnam
travel in style
suitable

This tour covers the most interesting tourist destinations in Vietnam. A walk among star streets of the old quarter while admiring the modern buildings of the millenary capital of Hanoi; be impressed by the wonderful scenery of Halong Bay; take the best remote hiking tours along rice fields to experience the ethnic communities, relax with a quiet stay and breathtaking mountain views in Sapa ;get to know the charming and ancient port city of Hoian, return to the past of the feudal kings, witnessing the majestic constructions of the citadel, royal tombs … in Hue; experience local people doing business on the boat cruise in Mekong delta or observe modern life in the bustling city of Saigon.

Tour Highlights

  • Feel the charm of Hanoi capital
  • Cruise through the unique Karst bay in Ha Long
  • Explore the magical ancient capital Hoa Lu
  • Discover the colorful hill tribes villages of Sa Pa
  • Explore the magical ancient town of Hoi An
  • Explore the historical Imperial Citadel in Hue
  • Explore the maze of small canals and floating market in the Mekong Delta

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ESSENTIAL VIETNAM Itinerary

Arrive in Hanoi, the modern capital of Vietnam. You will be free to get refreshed, explore the city on your own and check into your hotel to prepare for your journey.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Notes: the official check-in time at hotel is from 14h00.

     

In the morning you will visit Ho Chi Minh’s famous Mausoleum modeled after Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow, the One Pillar Pagoda and the legendary Temple of Literature with its massive stone turtles. That afternoon you will take a trip to Ha Long Bay, the bay of 1,000 islets.

Overnight in Halong.

Note: President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum opens in the morning only and closes on Mondays & Fridays and the whole months of September & October (subject to change) for annual maintenance. Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilts is closed on Monday & Friday afternoon. Most of Hanoi’s museums also close on Mondays, except Museum of Vietnam Women & Museum of Vietnam Fine Arts.

You will enjoy further cruising through the magnificent Ha Long Bay peppered with its thousands of limestone islets spectacularly rising from the calm, crystal-clear waters. Hidden amongst the islets is famous Grotto with its marvelous stalactites and stalagmites where you will take a stroll through the splendid dark. You will also get the chance to eat fresh seafood from the Bay. After this natural expedition we will take you back to Hanoi for further own experiences of the city.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Note: Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, tide levels and operating conditions. Unused services are not subject to a refund.

You will visit Hoa Lu to marvel at the Temples of King Dinh and King Le (10th Century), magnificent quiet structures in the countryside. The area is also full of caves and grottoes which you will get the chance to explore. The beautiful landscape here will make it’s title “Ha Long Bay on Land” obvious. In the afternoon we will drive you back to Hanoi. After dinner, take the overnight train to Lao Cai, a rolling ride through Vietnam’s lush countryside.

Overnight on train (Shared soft sleeper berth A/C Cabin).

The train arrives at Lao Cai Station approx 5:30 am where our guide and driver are waiting. Leave for foggy town of Sapa for breakfast and relax.

Explore Sa Pa by hiking though villages of ethnic minorities. This is a good opportunity to chat with your guide to learn and discover the lifestyle and customs of different ethnic groups. Start your hiking at Hau Thao village of Black H’Mong minority from which you enjoy superb panoramic views over the valley. Follow your trail through rice terraces, and villages you arrive to Giang Ta Chai village. You then be transferred back to Sa Pa by vehicle.

Afternoon is your free time to explore this mountainous town. Free to wander around the town or busy & colorful lifestyle here and learn more ethnic minority’s culture. For those who want to have beautiful panoramic view of Sa Pa town then Ham Rong Mountain is an optional. Overnight in hotel in Sa Pa

Note:

Hiking distance: 6km

Hiking duration: 2-2.5hrs upon on clients’ health condition

Road condition: mostly downhill, dirt trail and paved road. The road could be slippery on rainy days

After breakfast at hotel, you transfer by vehicle to Suoi Ho village. From here, you follow the trek through rice fields and villages. Enjoy spectacular view along the way to Ma Tra Village. Stop by some local houses to meet the people and explore their culture, customs and traditions.

Transfer back to Lao Cai and take a night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on train (Shared soft sleeper berth A/C Cabin)

* Note:

Hiking distance: 5 km

Hiking duration: 2-2.5hrs upon on clients’ health condition

Road condition: The road could be slippery on rainy days

Arrive in the early morning in Hanoi to catch the flight to Danang, the largest central city in Vietnam. Upon arrival in Danang you will be met and transferred to Hoi An. In the afternoon you will go on a guided walking tour of Hoi An, a former trading post of seafaring Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese merchants, a center for traditional architecture, tailored clothes and beautiful modern art.

Join a lantern making class to create your own Hoi An lantern. Discover your inner skill and keep your handiwork as a souvenir of this beautiful Hoi An.

Overnight in Hoi An.

You will start the day cycling along back roads witnessing Vietnamese rural life first hand, working the ground with a farmer in an organic vegetable village and riding a water buffalo in a rice paddy field. Later, you will board a boat to join local fishermen doing traditional net fishing. You will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat, rounding out your experience with the local farming and fishing communities.

Overnight in hotel in Hoi An.

After breakfast, you will leave Hoi An for Hue. You will visit the world famous Cham Museum, and then continue to Hue with a stop-over on the Hai Van Pass, overlooking the scenic Lang Co lagoon.

Hue was Vietnam’s last feudal capital, and this afternoon you will visit the Hue Imperial Citadel. What you will see is all that remains of a vast citadel and royal quarters that once existed on this site.

Take a boat ride up the romantic Perfume River, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the river.

Overnight in Hue.

After breakfast, you will visit Khai Dinh tomb, one of the last emperors of Vietnam and Thien Mu, a pagoda that houses one of the biggest bells in the country.

In the afternoon you will take a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (former Saigon), the largest city in Vietnam.

Overnight in Saigon.

From Ho Chi Minh City, you head south to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival, set out on a boat trip on narrow channels winding through coconut forest. Stop at brick and coconut processing workshops to see how locals make bricks by hand and learn how to make different products from coconuts as well. Then jump on your bike, cycle on village roads through local hamlets, rice fields and coconut groves. You’ll then arrive at Mr. Sau Khanh’s house, whose collection varies from ancient & valuable ceramics, pottery pieces like bowls, dishes and vases, to ceiling lights, sculptures and Buddha statues. Return to the pier and continue driving to Can Tho.

Overnight in Can Tho.

We will take you on a cruise and see Cai Rang floating market, the largest in the Mekong Delta. Hundreds of boats flood the river with produce, crafts, and food to navigate through. After this tour, you will make your way back to Saigon.

Overnight in Saigon.

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Cu Chi, stop en route to visit a rice paper making village, and you will reach Cu Chi Tunnels. After an introductory video, viewing various mantraps, the remains of an American tank and numerous bomb craters, you will spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels to see how the Viet Cong survived in this underground network.

Afternoon, you will get on the city tour. The War Remnants Museum contains countless arte-facts and photographs documenting said crimes – the killing of civilians, spreading of chemicals, torturing of prisoners, and the effects of the war on the north. At the Reunification Palace, you can visit the “War Room” from where the South Vietnamese forces were controlled, and the room where the North Vietnamese army finally took control in the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. Built between 1877 and 1883, most materials for the Notre Dame Cathedral were imported from France. Neo-Romanesque in form, it is a major centre of Catholicism in modern Vietnam, the Saigon Central Post Office, a classic French colonial structure, is still a functioning post office today.

Overnight in Saigon.

After your final breakfast in Vietnam, you are free to do some last minute shopping and exploring before transferring to the airport for your return flight.

ENDS OF SERVICES

*** INCLUSIONS
  • Accommodation: 11 nights in proposed hotels or similar
  • Transportation: in private vehicle with air conditioning as scheduled.
  • Meals: as indicated in the program (excluding beverages).
  • Professional local guides in the North/ Central and the South of country.
  • Entrance fees
  • 1 FOC for the tour leader in Single room for a group of 16 or more people.
*** EXCLUSIONS
  • International flights with airport taxes.
  • Domestic flights: economy class, with airport tax included: Hanoi – Danang; Hue – Ho Chi Minh
  • Visa to Vietnam if requires
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the program.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses and tips.
  • All expenses not clearly mentioned in the program.

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