This is the comprehensive alternative to our previous trip and shows you Vietnam in close-up, from top to bottom. It's not just a change of direction - this trip packs another adventurous week into the itinerary. We'll explore Hanoi, Ha Long bay and visit the colourful hill tribes of Sapa before slowly making our way south Ha Long stunning coastline to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 1: Arrival Hanoi ( Meals: None )
Day 2: Hanoi city tour – Lao cai - by train ( B/L/D )
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa ( B/L/D )
Day 4: Lao Cai - Bac Ha (Minority Sunday market) - Lao Cai - Hanoi by train ( B/L/D )
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong ( B/L/D )
Day 6: Halong Bay - Catba Island by boat ( B/L/D )
Day 7: Catba Island - Hai Phong - Hanoi (by express boat) ( B/L/D )
Day 8: Hanoi - Danang - Hoian ( B/L/D )
Day 9: Hoian - Hue ( B/L/D )
Day 10: Hue ( B/L/D 0
Day 11: Hue – Ho Chi Minh city ( B/L/D )
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh - Tayninh - Cu Chi tunnels - Ho Chi Minh ( B/L/D )
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh - My Tho (Mekong delta) - Ho Chi Minh ( B/L/D )
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh - Departure ( B )
On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Hanoi, Vietnam's capital is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia ‘s most striking colonial architecture.
The are many lakes and parks for a relaxing atmosphere. If time permit we enjoy a short cyclo excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale!
Over night in Hanoi.
Today we enjoy a full day city tour starting with the Ho Chi Minh Complex, containing the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts.
This complex also comprises the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city.
We follow this with a trip to the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam, the impressive Ethnologic Museum, dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups and the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem.
We also to see a performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets before catch an overnight train to Lao Cai. O/N on train.
An early morning arrive Lao Cai railway station.
Our vehicle will meet you and drive up to Sapa.
At an elevation of 1,500 meters, Sapa was once a hill resort of French administrators when the summer heat became unbearable.
The range of Phan Si Pan boasts Vietnam’s highest mountain and lends an alpine feel to the area surrounding this hill station.
Today we have enough time to visit the bustling Sa Pa Market where the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay and Xa Pho ethnic minorities converge from the nearby mountainsides and valleys to trade their goods and buy provisions.
We then get well off the beaten track to Lao Chai and Ta Van villages where are home of H’Mong and Dzay enthnic people. O/N in Sa Pa.
Upon leaving Sapa we set off on our scenic drive through the border town of Lao Cai to the colourful Sunday Market at Bac Ha.
This market also attracts a wide variety of ethnic minority groups including the variegated H’Mong, Dao, Phu La, La Chi and Tay.
They still retain their old age cultural traditions and are recognisably distinct from each other by their dress.
After the market we enjoy a walk around the area, visiting the H’Mong King’s former residence and Ban Pho village where the villagers make the potent local maize alcohol before return to Lao Cai for overnight train back to Hanoi. O/N on train.
We arrive in Hanoi Station at early morning. Upon arrival in Hanoi you will meet and transfer to visit local flower night market or visit local people do Tai Chi at Hoan Kiem lake.
Then we will have breakfast at local restaurant before transfer to Halong Bay, the truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. The rest time of the day will be free for your leisure in Halong. O/N in Ha Long.
Heading out of town we embark on a boat for seven hour cruise to explore the legendary Ha Long bay.
Views of sailing junks navigating past over 1,696 limestone islands and out crops jutting out of the clear and emerald water of the bay are nothing short of spectacular.
These limestone karts formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves.
Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs.
After a huge seafood lunch on board we weave our way towards Cat Ba Island. O/N in Cat Ba.
The impressive way to catch your first glimpse of Cat Ba is a walk along the seaside at dawn.
Today you have a half free day to explore Cat Ba Island on your own pace.
There are various options to choose from some of which are rowing a tiny boat, kayaking or visiting the national park.
These optional activities are not included, however our guide is on hand to advise you with invaluable information.
We regroup at our hotel in the early afternoon and travel by ferry to Hai Phong the biggest port town of northern Vietnam.
On arrival in this town we board our awaiting vehicle for a two and half hours drive back to Hanoi.
Today we ends our trip after enjoin a performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets. O/N in Hanoi.
An early morning flight to Da Nang, on arrival we are greeted and drive to Hoian old town which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures.
There are plenty to see in this tranquil and delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tan ky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the bustling market.
We visit these sights on an exciting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past. O/N in Hoian.
Upon leaving Hoian we set off on a scenic drive north to Hue the last imperial capital of Vietnam.
Along the way we explore the sensational Marble Mountains and the My Khe Beach before continuing to the interesting Cham Museum in Danang City.
The winding road begins as we make our way up the spectacular Hai Van pass.
At the top of the pass we will stop to admire a fantastic view north to Lang Co beach and south to Da Nang.
Arriving in Hue we enjoy a boat trip on the Perfume River visiting beautiful Thien Mu Pagoda, stopover at the bustling Dong Ba Market. After our boat trip we will visit the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City.
This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. O/N in Hue.
After breakfast we embark on a boat for cruise up stream on the Perfume River, which will give us a taste of the scenic countryside as well as an enjoyable, visit beautiful pagoda of Thien Mu.
Upon leaving this symbol of Hue we continue navigating to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang, in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes.
The next stop of our trip is the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and the famous pagoda of Tu Hieu.
On return to the city, we then take a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market and pass many fantastic eating spots where visitors have a chance to sample some local delicacies. O/N in Hue.
The sightseeing tour of Hue would not be complete without a visit to the elaborate tomb of Emperor Tu Duc.
After seeing this sight we board a flight south Ho Chi Minh City. A city, which is still called Saigon by many locals people crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping area and sidewalk cafés.
An afternoon city tour takes us in the Reunification Palace, which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975.
Close to the palace are some beautiful French Colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. We also visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant before we continue to the bustling Ben Thanh Market where handy craft, laquer ware and more on sales! O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
The head quarter of Cao Dai sect is located in Tay Ninh, this religion was founded in 1923 and now numbers over 2 million members.
After breakfast we travel by roads to Tay Ninh to see the ornate temple of Cao Dai attend the fantastic mid-day service when the followers fill the hall wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.
Afterwards we continue to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, which were an incredible underground network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence.
The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used as a military base for the Viet Cong in the American war. O/N in Ho Chi Minh.
Heading out of the town, we travel by road to My Tho province.
Arriving My Tho we embark on a boat navigating around the small canals in the Mekong delta, which is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up.
We pass through the lush green vegetation to an orchard where opportunities to visit various fascinating local industries.
After feasting on a huge lunch followed with seasonal fruits, we return to Ho Chi Minh, stopping off along the way to see the beautiful Vinh Trang Pagoda, Cho Lon market, Saigon’s Chinatown which is crammed with fascinating temples and mysterious, narrow lanes. O/N in Ho Chi Minh.
There is a free time to relax or further explore Ho Chi Minh.
The trip ends after your transfer to Tan San Nhat Airport for departure.
PRICE: .... USD / PAX
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
- Meal as mentioned: B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = dinner
- Accommodation: twin sharing room at the below mentioned hotel or similar one
- English or French speaking guide
- Entrance fee to indicated sights
- Boat trip in Mekong delta, Hue and Halong Bay
- Train ticket (Soft sleeper cabin for 4 persons): Hanoi - Lao Cai & Lao Cai - Hanoi
- Ferry ticket from Catba island to Hai Phong
- One Hour Cyclo Trip in Hanoi
- Water Puppet show
- Other meals, tip, drinks
- International airport tax
- Single room supplement
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Visa to Vietnam
- Domestic flight ticket: Hanoi – Danang and Hue – Ho Chi Minh
- Domestic airport tax
- Flight in/ out Vietnam
- Any optional additional tours activities during free time...