Route: HANOI – SAPA – HALONG – HUE – HOIAN – SAIGON – MEKONG
Tour code: VNO10
Duration: 15 days 14 nights
Day 1: Arrival – Hanoi
Welcome to Hanoi, we will meet and take you to your hotel, check-in and today is free at your leisure to rest or explore, have your first impressions of Vietnam. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour – night train to Lao Cai
Depart at 8:00 am from your hotel by van. We will begin our day by visiting Uncle Ho, learning about his great life at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, and his residential place. Next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature. The site of Vietnam’s first University, built in twelfth century, to teach Confucius’s theory to royals. Here we will also have a chance to see a traditional music performance. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant for a taste of authentic Hanoi Pho (noodle soup). In the afternoon, choose one from the numerous museums or temples around Hanoi (Museum of Ethnology, Women’s Museum, History Museum or Quan Thanh Temple). In the late afternoon we take a cyclo through Hoan Kiem lake and Hanoi’s fascinating Old Quarter for some great fun, shopping, and street side traditional food. This is your chance to be part of typical Hanoian style and its traditional Vietnamese culture. We finish our relaxing but informative day by attending a Water Puppet Show, a favorite experience for all visitors to Vietnam. We can help you to get back to your hotel if you wish, but often our guests would rather just spend the evening enjoying a drink with a view of the city. Dinner on your own.
8:30 pm: Transfer from a prearranged meeting spot to the station for your night train to Sapa boarding at around 9: 50 pm. You will be in shared AC soft sleeper cabins to travel North to Lao Cai town. (Our tour guide will show you a mini hotel which you will have a shower and basic breakfast before going on Halong bay).
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, lunch, puppet show ticket,Vietnam cyclo (pedicab), train ticket (overnight on train)
Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa, trek to Ta Phin
Today’s morning: The train arrives at about 6:30 am; you are picked up when you exit the train station. Then take a morning drive through the clouds by car / van to Sapa (~ 1.5 hours). When you arrive in Sapa you will be taken to a local restaurant for a morning shower & breakfast. We will then take short ride from Sapa to our trekking base where we start our trek up and down hills (~ 5- 6 hrs) through terraced rice fields, bamboo ranges and many minority villages. Lunch break before we keep hitting the road to Ta Phin village. Our Dao host family will welcome you to their traditional home where we will share in an ethnic style dinner and stay the night.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, train ticket, entrance fee, all meals, permit, home stay.
Day 4: More in Ta Phin and back to Sapa
At the first gleam of daylight, you will see and hear the sounds of morning village life. You can join your host family in some of their activities like feeding the animals, cleaning the houses, gardening or preparing breakfast. After breakfast, we could take a short morning wander around the village or resulting in more time spent with the host family. You will be then supported by our car / van back to Sapa (30 minutes). When we arrive back in Sapa, check in to the hotel, shower, and pause for lunch on your own. At 2:30 pm we will take an easy walk (~ 5km) to Cat Cat village, homeland of Black H’mong hill tribe and to take part in a traditional ethnic music performance put on by the ethnic minority people. Your own dinner and evening, sleep in the hotel in Sapa.
Note: The music show in Cat Cat is closed on Wed afternoon, an alternative will be arranged.
Inclusion: Breakfast, transfer, guide, entrance fee, music show ticket, hotel.,
Day 5: Bac Ha market night train to Hanoi
Sunday is the common trading day of many tribes in the Northwest of Vietnam, Bac Ha is one of them. The market is filled with colors of different ethnic minorities coming from different villages and their trading activities are so vibrant, lasting from early morning till midday, from the hand-made fabrics to the dogs and buffalos.
We will leave Sapa early by 7:00 am so that we can be there on time, please pay respect to the locals here and ask permission before you taking photo of anyone. Lunch in Bac Ha on your own account then we will do a boat trip along the Chay river, this boat ride is about 1,5 hour. We will then be picked up for our ride to Lao Cai. Dinner on your own well before the train leaves for Hanoi.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, breakfast, lunch, entrance fee, local boat, train ticket (overnight on train)
Day 6: Hanoi – Ha Long
Arrival in Hanoi in the early morning at round 5:00 am. Please find your way by foot back to a mini hotel near the Tran Quy Cap station gate to have shower and basic set menu breakfast.
Depart, 8:00 – 8: 30 am on a shared van from your hotel to Halong city. After 3.5 hours driving and viewing simple, country side, rice paddy life, we arrive at the at port. At 12.00, the junk crews welcome guests on board at Hon Gai wharf. Check- in, enjoy welcome drink & cruise briefing. Lunch with fresh local seafood while cruising to Bai Tu Long bay via Indochina film studio, Teapot islet, Blockhouse islet, Goat Head islet. Stop for swimming, visit mysterious Thien Canh cave. Relax at a wild beach, swim & kayak (~ 45 mins) to explore the bay. Back to junk to enjoy relaxing or the sunset. Dinner and overnight on board nearby Vong Vieng village or Trinh Nu cave.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrances fees, kayak, boat/junk, breakfast, lunch, dinner, permit, fishing gears, overnight on boat
Day 7: Explore Bai Tu Long bay – Hanoi – Night train to Hue
Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of Bay’s landscape. From 7.30 to 8:00 am have breakfast in the fresh air then visit Vong Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat. Meet the locals, visit floating school & fish farms. More time to swim in the middle of the bay. From 10: 15, we serve on a La-Carte-Menu, you can order any dishes in the menu whenever you want for breakfast and lunch. Continue cruising through the bay, along the way seeing more of the fascinating formations. 11: 45 check out cabin while cruising back. By noon at 12:00, we will be ashore then hit the road back to Hanoi at around 4: 00 pm.
6:00 pm, we pick up from our office or your hotel for night train to Hue. Boarding at 7: 00 pm. You will be in shared AC soft sleeper cabin (s).
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, boat/junk, breakfast, lunch, train ticket (overnight on train)
Day 8: Arrival Hue
Arrival Hue at around 10:00 am. Station pick up then transfer to hotel to take a short rest, have late breakfast. In the afternoon, we will visit the former Imperial Citadel. After that we walk/transfer to the boat dock for our cruising on the Perfume River, viewing the city and the tranquil villages on the riverbank. We will walk up to visit the Thien Mu pagoda, a nicely located pagoda, overlooking the Perfume River and the beautiful scenery beyond, where you get to learn more about the Buddhism in Vietnam. Visit Dong Ba market if time permits. Transfer back to your hotel. Check in hotel. Free time to relax, shower and stay overnight at your hotel.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, local boat, hotel.
Day 9: Hue, easy cycling – transfer to Aluoi, hill tribe homestay
Breakfast at your hotel then we pick you up for cycling to visit Vong Canh hill. Stop to visit Giao Heaven to learn more of Hue culture in worship. Arrive Vong Canh hill – here is the best view for you to have pictures of Perfume River and Pine Trees. Cycling back and continue visiting incense–making village and hat–making village. Going on to visit Electricity With Roots ( Dien Voi Re) where was to make the elephant more victories in battle during the undaunted build industrial base of Nguyen Dynasty as well as nice lake before the temple and more visiting Tiger Right (Ho Quyen). Under the Nguyen Dynasty, this is the arena of e-war between elephants and tigers to the festival sacrifices and service of recreational needs for the Kings, officials and residents. Here is the chance for you both explore hidden charm of Hue countryside as well as learn more of Nguyen Dynasty history sites.On the road back hotel you can see more the hidden sites of Hue city. Lunch on your own account. In the afternoon, leave Hue city to A Luoi far (~ 60km from Hue city on 49 National Highway). Along the way you can see the life and daily activities of hill tribes such as Katu, Ta Oi. On arrival A luoi Town, you will visit Ashau village – one of the villages in A Luoi where took place the violent battlefield during Vietnam – America war in 19th century. It is also the place received the dioxin poison which is the biggest one of Vietnam in the war from America Army which its result affect local people until now. Next driver transfers you to A Roang village along Ho Chi Minh trail for more enjoyment of beauties of forest. On arrival A Roang you will spend time for relaxing and enjoying at A Roang Hot Spring. Check in at Aka Chi village to home stay. You can meet minority people to know more of weaving textile… of Ta oi people. Have dinner at stilt-house and enjoy traditional music show is performed by Ta Oi minority people to learn of cultural and daily activities of this ethnic people. Overnight in stilt-house.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, Mt. bike, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, traditional music show, permit, homestay
Day 10: A luoi to Hoi An
Wake up early morning to enjoy the fresh air in the mountainous. Breakfast will be served at our homestay, check out then we take an easy walk inside Aroang jungle (~ 3 hrs) and learn more about the rich fauna & flora system here. After that we transfer to Hien for lunch at a local restaurant then onto Hoi An, overnight here. This is also a very good chance for you to get get nice tailor-made clothes at a reasonable price.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, hotel.
Day 11: Hoi An – walking tour
The center of Vietnam is home to many of World Heritage Sites and Hoian is one of them. Here in this ancient town of Hoi An, 30 km south of Danang, lies on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Free time in the morning to relax then in the afternoon, we pick you up at your hotel for walking tour around the town to visit the old charming Hoi An. We will visit the old Tan Ky House, the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, and the stylish Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. After that you will make a bicycle trip to countryside of Hoi An for more enjoyment at Tra Que vegetables village – a famous one in Hoi An. Walk around for visiting and knowing more of the way local people plant variety of vegetables. Back to hotel before dark. Free time to relax, take shower after full day tour. Overnight at your hotel.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, hotel, breakfast, lunch
Day 12: Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh city
Breakfast at the hotel then transfer to the airport in Danang for early morning flight to Saigon. Airport pick up upon arrival them transfer down to visit Cu Chi outdoor museum to learn about the infamous tunnel systems of the Viet Cong. Take this opportunity to get a unique understanding of the guerillas underground fight strategies during the war and crawl through 50 – 100 meters of the 200 km tunnel system. On the way back to Saigon, local rice paper workshops, and views of Vietnam countryside and paddy fields are pleasant sights. Arrival in Saigon, continue our trip to visit the War Remnants Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the historic Central Post Office, we will drop you off at your hotel around 5:30 pm. Dinner on your own and stay overnight at your hotel.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, domestic flight ticket, hotel.
Day 13: Saigon – Cai Be – Vinh Long – Can Tho
8.00 am departure for Cai Be (2.5 hrs), on arrival, we board on boat for visiting the floating market and cruise over the mighty mekong river (~ 1.5km wide) to Dong Phu island. We start cycling one hour under the green canopy; explore the orchards and daily life of farmers. Lunch break on island & more cruise to Vinh Long. In the afternoon we have 2 hours riding on immense rice fields, cycling through numerous rural riverside villages before reaching to our homestay. The host family welcomes us, take rest or just relax under the shade of tree garden, experience the life of local farmer here. Dinner will be served with local special dishes. Stay overnight here.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, Mt. bike or Hybrid bike, entrance fee, local boat, seasonal fruits, breakfast, lunch, dinner, homestay,
Day 14: Can Tho – Saigon
The sounds of morning village life might be waked you up in the early morning. You can join your host family in some of their activities like cleaning the houses, gardening or preparing breakfast. After breakfast. We take morning boat trip to the most chaos Cai Rang Floating Market and up a quiet canal for more cruise on winding arroyos. Then bike backcountry roads 2 hrs to enjoy the beautiful Delta scenery and meet the locals (many on bicycle too). After lunch in a local restaurant in Can Tho town, we head back to Saigon.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, Mt. bike or Hybrid bike, entrance fee, local boat, breakfast and lunch, hotel
Day 15: Departure Saigon, Goodbye Vietnam
Breakfast at hotel. Depending on your flight you may have sometime for some more shopping. Then we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Goodbye and hope to see you again soon!
Inclusion: transfer, guide, breakfast