Day 1: Hello Vietnam – Hanoi arrival (D)
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam since the 11th century dazzles visitors its unique blend of oriental lifestyle, French colonial architecture, tree-lined boulevards and peaceful lakes. Still retaining a charming air from its colonial days, visitors are often impressed with the quietness and subtle beauty of Hanoi. Upon arrival, you are picked up and transferred to hotel check in and leisure. Dinner in restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B/L)
Start the tour by visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum. Enjoy the architectural and historical aspects of Uncle Ho’s final resting-palace. Just next door is Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts where he used to live in the past. Lying to one side of the Mausoleum is the One Pillar Pagoda, built by King Ly Thai To in 1049 the structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Continue to visit the Literature Temple and Quoc Tu Giam – Vietnam’s first University constructed in 1070. Its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
After lunch, The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a must for all visitors; it’s one of the most interesting museums in Hanoi with many different things relating the 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. Discover the Old Quarter of Hanoi by cycle. This fascinating are of narrow alleys and shop houses is also called “36 streets”. Then, enjoy Water puppet show- the unique Traditional Art in the North of Vietnam. Overnight in Hanoi.
|Day 3: Hanoi – Halong (170km, 3.5 hours drive) (B/L/D)
After breakfast, depart for Halong Bay and take in the lush scenery as you drive through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta. Hop aboard a traditional wooden junk and sail out into this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll marvel at all the weird and wonderful dramatic limestone karst formations rising form the crystal water.
According to legend, they were formed as a dragon descended to the sea. Take a swim and spend the night up on deck chatting away under the starlit sky. A little piece of paradise found and definitely one of Vietnam’s highlights. Overnight on board.
Day 4: Halong – Hanoi – flight to Danang – Hoi An ancient town (B/L)
Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi session on the sun deck and take the opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. Visit a beautiful Surprise Cave then head back to the boat for a final glimpse of Halong Bay and a buffet brunch while cruising back to the dock. Back to Hanoi for flight to Danang. Upon arrival Danang, our driver and guide will take you to Hoi An town (30 km from Danang). Check in hotel and free at leisure.
Day 5: Hoi An walking tour (B/L)
Morning free or enjoy the beauty of Cua Dai beach. After lunch, we will enjoy a walking tour of the old centre of Hoi An today. Visit an old merchant home, still lived in by descendents of the original merchant, the Japanese Bridge, Hoi An market and a local Chinese pagoda. This afternoon we have time to visit the tailors for which this town is known and soak up the charming atmosphere of Hoi An at one of the many riverside cafes along the Thu Bon River.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 6: Hoi An – like a local (B/L)
After breakfast at hotel, chose one join group tour exploring local life as below:
OPTION 1: TRA QUE VEGETABLE VILLAGE (Lunch)
Ride a bicycle to a local farm in Tra Que village. Introduction to the history of the village, the cultivation of the vegetables as well as discovering about the use of vegetables in traditional Vietnamese medicine.
You will take a trip around the vegetable garden and join the farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake. Continue doing activities such as: raking, sowing, watering greens, picking greens and many more gardening activities. Then spend the rest of the morning working the land in the time honored way, before breaking to prepare lunch with a local family.Your lunch will consist of many local delicacies including ‘tam huu’ spring roll, Banh xeo or the local pancake of the people from the middle region.
OPTION 2: FISHING VILLAGE BASKET BOAT (Lunch)
You will enjoy a wide range of experiences – from learning traditional fishing techniques to paddling the strange and unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats while exploring the now tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war. We provide an authentic social and cultural insight into the local Vietnamese way of life. As well you will take part in some hands-on activities that are fun, safe and interesting to people all of ages. Learn about daily life of Vietnamese fishermen, their families and their community. Enjoy THUNG CHAI BASKET BOAT DANCING with GANGNAM STYLE shown by our local crews on river and learn to paddle the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats and join in a basket boat race.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 7: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnel (60km, 40 minute drive) (B/L)
After breakfast, check out from Hoi An and depart for Ho Chi Minh city, still called Saigon by local people. After lunch, drive to Cu Chi. On arrival you will be guided through the famous tunnels used by the communist guerrillas during the Vietnam War. The tunnel network stretches over 250km and extends to three levels underground providing you with a remarkable insight into the hardships, courage, determination and terror of a guerrilla war. Return to your hotel. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh city (B/ L)
Start with a walk along Dong Khoi Street and visit the most prominent French colonial structures in the city centre including the Municipal Theatre, City Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office with its ochre and white walls, dark wood and painted maps showing telecommunications in late 19th century Indochina making it one of the best preserved colonial style buildings in Asia. You will then travel to the site of the impressive Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. Continue to Red Door Deco where you can find luxurious and second-to-none gifts for your friends and relatives or something as a decoration for your house or workplace. Dinner while cruising on Saigon River. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh city – Cai Be floating market – Vinh Long – Ho Chi Minh city (110km, 3 hours drive) (B/L)
Depart for Cai Be around 3 hours driving. On our dedicated bus you can see the green paddy fields stretching towards the horizontal. When you arrive Cai Be, you’ll board a motorized boat that takes you to the floating market and spend 1 hr there for an interaction that you’ll see no where else in the world.
Next, your row boat will zigzag through a maze of shadow canals to arrive at a great orchard where you can freely taste many famous tropical fruits of Vietnam and watch locals’ daily chores.
Then we’ll see how coconut candy, crispy rice cake and ceramic are made here (served free with premium hot tea.) After this, we will ride bicycles and roaming through a village to check out several rural shops or we can relax on a hammock for a short rest. We will land on a marketplace and walk around to see how and what the poor rural people selling. You are encouraged to interact with the vendors and see how friendly and respectful they are. You might also buy many interesting things for very little amount of money. Back to Saigon for leisure and overnight.
Day 10: Departure Saigon (B)
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.