Day 1: Arrival - Hanoi
On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are welcomed by our guide and transferred to hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour - Lao Cai (B, L) - by night train
You are met at 08:30 am in the hotel lobby. There is a morning and afternoon schedule, as well as an organised lunch. Morning:
Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum
The Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070
A local Vietnamese lunch Afternoon:
Museum of Ethnology, widely acknowledged as the best in the country, containing an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples
Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake - the Ngoc Son Temple is set on a tiny island on Hoan Kiem Lake, its history dating back to the 13th century
A one-hour cyclo tour through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi!
A traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets Back to hotel for your free time. 20:00 Our guide will transfer you to the rail station to catch the night train soft sleeper with AC to Lao Cai station. Overnight on the train.
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van (B, L)
After meeting a guide at the Lao Cai railway station, drive to Sapa. Have breakfast and then start trekking. The first part is on the road but we soon turn to the right and walk on a small path down the valley to the Muong Hoa River and from here to the Black H’mong village Lao Chai. Black H’mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. They are proud of their culture and keep their traditions and way of living. They have their own language and wear traditional indigio blue clothing. After this you continue to Ta Van village (1.200 m) to visit Zay people. Zay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in the mountains in Northwest Vietnam. The development has meant that some of their old customs have been lost but many women still wear traditional shirts with a purple, blue or green color. The Zay houses are build of wood and bamboo with a clay floor. Overnight in Sapa.
Day 4: Sapa - Giang Ta Chai - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B, L) - by night train
After the breakfast we continue to visit Red Dzao people at Giang Ta Chai where we also see a waterfall. The Red Dao women have very colourful red embroideryand coins on their clothing. On their head they wear a red scarf. Some of the women have shaved off their eyebrows because of a nice Red Zao Legend. We continue along small paths in the rice fields, cross the Muong Hoa River and trek up to Su pan where you will meet the our jeep and transfer down to Lao Cai Station for the night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on the train.
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
08:00 Pick up from your hotel in Hanoi. Drive to Halong Bay. Enjoy the peaceful scenery as we travel through the countryside, farmlands and Red River delta.
10:30 Stopover on the way for short break
12:30 Arrive at Hon Gai wharf – Meet the captain, crews and join us for a welcome drink, cruise briefing, safety instructions and check-in cabins.
13:00 Lunch with fresh seafood is served while cruising towards Vong Vieng floating village, passing through extraordinary shaped-islands.
15:30 Drop anchor at Vong Vieng: visit local houses, fish farm, schools and have a chat with the friendly fish men. (You also swim here if you like) The other option is to travel by kayak (passenger row kayaks for themselves). The kayaking option is $10.00 per person unless pre-booked.
17:00 Back on board, enjoy the sunset and continue cruising to Luom Bo for anchoring.
19:00 Dinner is served.
21:00 Enjoy the comfort in your cabin or night fishing…
Overnight on junk.
Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue (BR) - by flight
06:30 Enjoy the bay’s morning landscape with a cup of tea or coffee.
07:30 Lightly breakfast is served.
08:30 Explore the mystery of Sung Sot cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Halong Bay.
09:30 Back on board, continue cruising, enjoy the stunning views of the Bay and relax.
10:30 Lunch is served on board while cruising back through Halong Bay to the pier.
12:00 Arrive Hon Gai wharf. Farewell.
12:30 Return from Halong to Hanoi.
14:30 Stop-over in Dong Trieu town to visit a ceramics workshop.
16:30 Arrive in Hanoi.
17:45 Then transfer to the airport for the flight (VN1519 - 20:00 - 21:15) to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, our driver will transfer you to hotel.
Overnight in Hue.
Day 7: Hue City Tour (B, L)
The beautiful riverside pagoda of Thien Mu which now becomes the symbol of Hue, and the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc are not to be missed. We include these in a guided cruise on the Perfume River which also gives us a taste of the scenic countryside as well as an enjoyable visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang, in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. After an impressive boat trip we return to the town. Sightseeing tour takes us in the massive citadel, containing the Imperial City and the Purple Forbidden City. This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins and enjoy a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass by many fantastic eating spots, ideal places for visitors to sample some local delicacies. Overnight in Hue.
Day 8: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An (B, L)
Heading out of the town, we drive south to Hoi An which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. Along the way we can break the journey in Lang Co Beach for a leisurely swim and an enjoyable visit to a nearby fishing village. The winding road begins as we make our way up the spectacular Hai Van pass. A view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam’s most impressive panoramic scenes. The next stop of our trip is Da Nang which is famous for the Cham Museum. After seeing this sight we continue to the beach and the Marble Mountain, whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoi An (B, L)
The ancient architecture of Hoian is a fascinating combination of Vietnamese traditional characters with Chinese and Japanese influence. There are plenty to see in this delightful and tranquil town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tam Ky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda, the vibrant market. We visit these on our morning walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town’s multi-cultural past. The remainder of the day will be free for your own exploration of the town and catching up on some shopping areas. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 10: Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) (B, L) - by flight
An early morning transfer to the airport for a short flight (VN1307 - 08:30 - 09:40) to Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, is a center of commerce, finance, culture and tourism in Vietnam. This bustling metropolis, contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping area and sidewalk cafe. A 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 French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. After seeing the War Remnant, we continue to the bustling Ben Thanh Market for an appreciation of local life. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh city - Cao Dai Temples - Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)
08:00 Viet Bamboo Travel’s guide will pick you up at the hotel. This morning you take a drive to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh to observe the midday service. Following lunch we will drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels and then return to Ho Chi Minh City at approximately 18:00. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - Cai Be - Vinh Long (B, L)
08:00 Viet Bamboo Travel’s guide will pick you up at your hotel and depart for Cai Be, stop for photos at Tan An town over the flat rice fields. On arriving in Cai Be, start the motorized boat ro visit the Cai Be Floating Market, experience how people exchanging goods, fruit and many other commodities on their vessels. Visitors then roam into the small villages to visit the orchard, fruit plantation... Keep cruising to Vinh Long through small canals to enjoy the charm of the Upper Mekong Delta. Visit some hand - made family business products such as the coconut candy mill, the crispy rice popcorn. Arrive in Binh Hoa Phuoc village - the green pearl of Vinh Long town where you can indulge yourself into the nature. Have lunch with fresh river food served in the heart of the garden. Enjoy the southern Vietnamese traditional folk music. Take a nice walk through the bonsai garden. Meet the car/van in Vinh Long. Return to Ho Chi Minh city. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh city - Siem Reap - Angkor Temples (B, L) - by flight
An early morning transfer to airport for flight (VN 3819 - 08:35 - 09:55) to Siem Reap. Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, welcome by our guide to check in the hotel. The same day we are on tour to Small Circuit to witness the Prasat Kravan (Cardamon sanctuary), where we will experience the stunning image of the eight-armed Vishnu in the largest central tower. Then we get going to Banteay Kdei, a massive Buddhist temple with four concentric walls; to Srah Srang (Royal Bath); especially to Ta Prohm, which is best known for its originally charming look, with trees and roots intertwined with the carvings and chambers of the buildings. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 14: Siem Reap - Angkor Temples (B, L)
As early as morning, we start our tour to the most popular South Gate of Angkor Thom’s before going to Angkor Thom (the temple) which was built by Angkor’s greatest king, Jayavarman VII. The major attraction of Angkor Thom is the Bayon, whose exact function and symbolism is still unknown until now. Then we go to Bapoun, which is one of the most spectacular of Angkor’s temples in its heyday; to Terrace of Leper King, another mysterious site to find out; and to Terrace of Elephants that once served as the base for the king’s grand audience hall for the public ceremonies. Now it is time to visit the World Seven Wonder-better known as Angkor Wat- that stands as the most important archaeological site in Southeast Asia. In the evening, comes the moment for the relaxing view from the Phnom Bakheng Hill. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 15: Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake (B, L)
Today, after breakfast, we are on a boat trip to Great Lake Tonle Sap that is renowned for its basin of fresh water fish (10 tons/ 1Square Km in the 60’s). Visitors may also view the fresh water exhibition where we can see various kinds of fish in Tonle Sap Lake such as floating village and real style on the river. In the afternoon, we continue to visit Les Artisans d’Angkor - Chantiers Ecole where visitors can observe artisans making high quality wood and stone carvings from scratch to end-product, and then we visit Silk Farm, malpro tree field throughout produce processing of the production, where we can see the traditional silk making in Cambodia. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 16: Siem Reap - Departure (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Free and easy at the hotel then transfer to Siem Reap Airport for the your international flight. End of services.