Day 1: Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your Hotel.
Day 2: Hanoi – Lao Cai (B)
This morning your guide will take you on a brief walking tour of the fascinating Old Quarter of Hanoi, and Hoan Kiem Lake, followed by a visit some of Hanoi’s historical sites, including Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh’s house, as well as One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature.
Afternoon at leisure
This evening you will be transferred to Hanoi railway station for your overnight train to Lao Cai
Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa (B)
Upon arrival at Lao Cai Train Station, you will be taken on a scenic one hour drive to your hotel located in the hill station of Sapa. Breakfast at your hotel and early check-in is subject to availability. Sapa’s terraced fields are recognised as one of the world’s seven most beautiful and magnificent sites of terraced farmland. Trekking through Muong Hoa valley to admire the beauty of the fields, created by talented and diligent ethnic farmers. This gives you the opportunity to see different traditions and costumes of the Zay minority at Ta Van village, and Red Dao people at Giang Ta Chai village.
Day 4: Sapa – Lao Cai – Hanoi (B)
Have breakfast before driving to visit a local market (Coc Ly on Tuesday/Lung Khau Nhin on Thursday / Can Cau on Saturday/Bac Ha on Sunday. Note: The market may be visited on your arrival day depending on the market day). Here you will see mostly Flower Hmong, however Phu La, Black Dao, Tay, Nung hill tribe groups also gather here. The market offers a variety of local products which could not be found in others areas such as pot-bellied pigs, cows and buffalo. Then continue to Lao Cai railway station. Freshen up and enjoy dinner at the local Thien Hai Hotel (day use) nearby before boarding our overnight sleeper train back to Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)
Drive through rice paddy fields to Ha Long Bay. Board a junk for a cruise among the hundreds of islets of Ha Long Bay. Enjoy a seafood lunch and a swim (weather permitting). Drop anchor in the late evening for an overnight stay among the dramatic limestone peaks rising out of the sea. Overnight on a junk.
Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue (B)
Take a delightful morning cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Ha Long Bay before returning to the dock. Drive back to Hanoi with a stop enroute at a ceramic factory. Transfer to Hanoi Airport for your flight to Hue.
Day 7: Hue (B)
Tour of Old Imperial City -Visit Imperial Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and Dong Ba Market. Excursion to Thien Mu Pagoda with Dragon boat ride.
Day 8: Hue – Hoi An (B)
This morning we drive through scenic Hai Van Pass to Hoi An enroute visiting Cham Museum and Marble Mountains.
Afternoon will be free
Day 9: Hoi An (B)
Enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An visiting the Japanese Bridge, ancient houses, Phuc Kien Pagoda and the market. Also visit a Chinese Communal House or Hokkien Temple, ancient merchants’ houses, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and the colourful local market. Travellers can also see local residents raise silkworms and produce silk for Hoi An’s burgeoning textile industry.
Afternoon at leisure to explore Hoi An – Hoi An is an excellent place to purchase tailor-made clothes, and has many handicraft shops for souvenirs.
Day 10: Hoi An – Danang – Saigon (B)
This morning, transfer to airport for flight to Saigon. On arrival proceed for an excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels.
One of the highlights of your Vietnamese holiday is bound to be your visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an amazing complex of underground bunkers about 40kms northwest of Ho Chi Minh City and near the Cambodian Border. The tunnel system was commenced in the 1940′s. During the US War, at one time the tunnels spread out for 350kms and were up to 7 metres deep. They served as shelter, storage facilities and a secret means of communication for the guerrilla army. An ingenious system of concealed entrances kept the occupants safe despite air attacks and many efforts to penetrate the tunnel complex.
Afternoon Saigon city tour. Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) is a fast paced city with a unique mix of French colonial architecture, Chinese influences, a modern entrepreneurial spirit and numerous temples. On this tour, you will take in the highlights of Ho Chi Minh starting with an exploration of Saigon’s turbulent past with visits to the Reunification Palace and the War Museum. The tour continues to Ho Chi Minh’s finest examples of French colonial architecture with a visit to the Notre Dame cathedral and Post Office. Your Ho Chi Minh tour continues with a visit to Giac Lam Pagoda, the Cholon Chinese district. Tour concludes at the Ben Thanh market where you can try your bargaining skills for clothes, shoes, bags, sunglasses and souvenirs.
Day 11: Saigon – Ben Tre – Can Tho (B/L)
Today we depart for an overnight Mekong Delta trip.
Depart for a 1.5 hour drive from Saigon to Ben Tre, one of the country’s southern provinces, situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. Take in the lush surroundings of rice paddies and fruit farms alongside the highway as you leave behind the busy city.
Arrive at the waterfront pier and embark on an enjoyable motor boat excursion, take a glimpse at the Delta scenery, houses built on stilts and local fish farms along the way. Upon arrival at Turtle island, visit a local house and be introduced to the owner, sample freshly picked fruit and coconut milk while relaxing in the natural surroundings of fruit orchards. Chat with your host and stroll through the garden to get an insight into daily farming life. Take some time to enjoy a leisurely walk through the village observing tropical gardens along the way. You will have the chance to see a family run-business where they make coconut candy directly in front of the pier.
Continue on your journey by sampan, be paddled by a personalized rower while you take the time to discover the maze of small canals. Bid farewell to your friendly boat rower, take a short stroll under through a shaded area of coconut gardens before reaching a rest-stop to enjoy a cup of honey tea and a traditional folk song performance. Lunch will be served at My Tho, taste some local delicacies before continuing on a two hour drive to Can Tho. Arrive in Can Tho at your hotel where you will be free at leisure this evening.
Day 12: Can Tho – Saigon (B/L)
This morning, rise early and get a unique taste of life in the Mekong. Board a local boat and explore the colourful Cai Rang floating market, where many boats laden with fruit, vegetables and fish jostle for trade. Sellers advertise their wares by crying out across the waters or tie their goods to a tall pole attached to their boat so that buyers can see from a distance what is being sold. This memorable experience makes for many excellent photo opportunities. Relax and enjoy the cruise back to the hotel where we will freshen up before we check-out and return to Saigon. Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant along the way. Transfer back to Saigon city.
Day 13: Saigon (B)
Transfer to Saigon Airport to connect your onward flight.
Inclusions: 12 Nights accommodation in Hotels including breakfast, other meals as specified in the itinerary, transportation services in a private vehicle, tours & excursions on private basis with local English speaking guide and monument entrance fees.
Exclusions: Domestic/International flights, Visa, Insurance, meals not included above, beverages during meals included in program, gratuities and any expense of personal nature.
Note: Price Quotation on request