Day 1: Arrival – Ho Chi Minh city
Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)
Our guide will pick you up at hotel. Transfer to the Cu Chi Tunnels (75 km from downtown). Visit Cu Chi tunnels with watching documentary film, witness hand-made weapon gallery (gun, land mine, bamboo traps,…), crawl into the real tunnels,… Back to Saigon. Have lunch.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Former Presidential Palace, the War Crime Museum, the central complex of architecture: the Notre Dame Cathedral, the City Hall, the Municipal Theater, Ben Thanh market. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Optional: Foody tour (extra charge 60 USD/01 person): We start Saigon Foodie Tour by motorbike and blend into the “Chaos in order” of Saigon’s traffic. We’ll ride you through criss cross streets of district 1, 2, 3, 4 for tasting the popular street foods and experiencing the evening life of Saigonese. We first stop at a local food store that famous for “Bánh Xèo” - Vietnamese Pancake serve with pork, shrimp, bean sprout and many other kinds of vegetable. Then, ride to another corner of the city to have a taste of “Ốc Bươu Nhồi”, Stuffed Snail with Chopped Pork. Next we ride you to local parks for joining evening exercise with locals and seeing the city panorama view after dark. Afterwards, your food journey continues with "Bánh canh ghẹ”, Crab Noodle Soup. Before heading back to hotel, we'll roll through the "Foodie Heaven", into a bustling street food corner to try out "Gỏi Cuốn" or Fresh Spring Roll - one of world's 50 best food and also two other versions of it. Ending with a glass of mix sugar cane and strawberry juice and a Flan for dessert. Seat back and enjoy your ride!!!
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh city – Mekong delta – Da Nang – Hoi An (B, L) – by flight
Our guide will pick you up and depart to Cai Be. On the way you can see green rice paddy fields stretching towards the horizon. After arrival in Cai Be, a boat takes you to the floating market with sellers and buyers bargaining and exchanging their goods from their boats. This market nowadays is not as busy as before because after the two huge bridges named My Thuan & Can Tho finished, so almost of things are transferred by road. Then, an optional stop can be made at local workshops where you can see how rice paste, coconut candy and pop-rice, popcorn is made. It is so interesting to visit the handicraft village, where you can see how they make some special products as: Making rice-net for spring rolls, fish sauce & Soya sauce, sewing coconut-leaves for cottage proof... Visit Cao Dai temple in Cai Be and see ceremony at noon if possible.
A delicious lunch will be served at an ancient house over 170 years old or under the shade of local orchards on the An Binh Island. After lunch, the rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside to enjoy the peaceful time on smaller canals. It is so interesting to see traditional houses made of wood and palm tree leaves and see some activities of the local farmers with an opportunity to make contacts with them and see how they catch fish or pick up fruits by ancestral ways in Mekong Delta.
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Da Nang . Upon arrival, pick up and drive to hotel. Check in and overnight in Hoi An.
Day 4: Hoi An – Biking tour (B, L)
Our guide will pick you up and transfer to Tra Que Farming Village. Cycling to visit the vegetable village and see the daily activities of the local famers there. Then join gardening activities in preparing the land, fertilizing with seaweed, raking the growing, sowing, watering, picking vegetables… Enjoy foot soak before getting to preparing lunch with a local family. Join cooking with “Tam Huu” spring roll, “Banh Xeo”. After that, you learn how to harvest and wrap the vegetables. Back to hotel and relax. In the after noon, free and easy for your activities. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An (B)
Free at leisure at the hotel and then discover Hoi An city by yourself or relax on beach. Overnight in Hoi An. Hoi An is one of the best places for relaxing in Vietnam. You will have many options as relax on beach, walk around ancient town, ride a bike to villages, take a boat trip on river, visit handicraft, visit Cham island, My Son, Ba Na Hill, do a cooking class....
Day 6: Hoi An – Da Nang – Hanoi (B) – by flight
Free at leisure at the hotel and then discover Hoi An city by yourself or relax on beach. Then transfer to the airport for the flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, our drive will pick you up and transfer to hotel. Relax and overnight in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi city tour (B, L, D)
You are met at 08:30 am in the hotel lobby. There is a morning and afternoon schedule, as well as an organized 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 by yourself Afternoon: • Hanoi Hilton museum (Hoa Lo prison) • 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 18:30 We start Hanoi street food tour. We will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. We eat as we go, trying seasonal fruits and sampling a tasty French-inspired snack from a street cart. Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we tempt our tastebuds with the famed Hanoi dishes such as Bun Cha Ta, Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how this tasty dish is put together. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, we wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago. Our next two snack stops are at outdoor barbeque stalls. We sit down with the Hanoi locals and sample various meat, vegetable and bread specialties that are flame grilled over hot coals for extra flavour. It’s then time for dessert as we venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced and condensed milk – this speciality is one not to be missed! Our guide will take you to one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets, a hidden street food restaurant to taste top ten street foods in Hanoi is Banh My Hanoi, Vietnamese Rice Wine and famous Egg Coffee. This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the narrow street inside the old quarter of Hanoi. Or, if coffee is not your style, a cold beer awaits! Overnight in Hanoi. Please note: the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed all day on Monday and Fridays, as well as from 1st October to 30th November (approx.) for annual conservation.
Day 8: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (B, L)
Our guide will pick you up at hotel and leave Hanoi Capital for Ninh Binh, enjoy the beautiful sceneries of the rural areas on the way. About 10:00 arrive Hoa Lu, visit the the two temples of King Dinh and King Le in the 10th century, finding out the heroic histories of this two Kings in Chinese Wars. After that, we go to Tam Coc (10 km far from Hoa Lu). King Dinh Tien Hoang chose this mountain location as the water systems fed from the mountains were perfect for both agriculture and defense. Enjoy the sight of palaces, pagodas, tombs and pavilions built by different dynasties and visit the Dinh and Le Temples, the two remaining architectures of Hoa Lu. Have lunch at local restaurant. After lunch you will get on bamboo boat – rowed by the local people – in Hoang Long river to visit Tam Coc (three caves) on the way, you also have chance to see the paddy field if you visit Tam Coc in April or September. Then cycling to Bich Dong Pagoda comprising three pagodas located at different levels on a green mountain and the setting of the French film ‘Indochina’ Optional: visit Mua cave. The place attracts visitors with its many interesting stories. Climb 500 stone steps, here you can see all the way to Tam Coc, enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the countryside and Ngo Dong river. Back to the Harbour for the transfer to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 9: Lao Cai – Sapa – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho (B, L) – by private van
Breakfast at hotel. 07:15 Our driver will pick you up at hotel and depart to Sapa, following Noi Bai - Lao Cai high-way. Along the way, you will have chance to contemplate the beauty of northwest mountains that terraced fields are sparkling in sunlight or dim in thick fog. 12.15: Arrive in Sapa. Check in hotel and have lunch. In the afternoon, our guide in Sapa will pick up and start the trip in Sapa. You first sneak through the Sapa market and leave the busy town behind. After a couple of minutes, you follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village. You will stop by a waterfall and a hydroelectric station for a while before continuing the trek on a dirt trail through rice paddy terraces. You also will enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. You eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority. Relax and overnight in Sapa. Approx: 2 – 3 hours walking.
Day 10: Sapa – Fansipan – Lao Chai – Ta Van (B, L)
After breakfast, we drive to Silver Waterfall. The Silver Waterfall is located about a half hour from Sapa town which offers stunning views over surrounding mountains and lush forests belonging to Hoang Lien National Park. You are advised to stop by a farm for a cup of tea and talk with people to understand their local life. Then we continue our drive uphill to the Heavens Gate, the highest stretch of road in Vietnam as well as the provincial border of Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces. Enjoy fantastic view over the valley! Optional: Then take a cable car to Fansipan mountain. Currently the highest point of Fansipan is at 3,143m high. As you know the cable car in Sapa is the world’s longest and highest cable car, running up from sleepy Sapa Town in Lao Cai Province to the peak of Fansipan Mountain, known as Indochina’s rooftop. Enjoy the view from the highest point of this incredible mountain. The lush green and subtropical vegetation makes this mountain really very beautiful. Take some pictures for unforgettable experience from the top. After taking scenery then get cable car back to Sapa. The ticket is 34 USD/01 person. Then we 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. Approx: 3-5 hours walking.
Day 11: Sapa – Ma Tra – Ta Phin – Lao Cai – Hanoi (B, L) – by private van
After the breakfast, the trekking expedition starts. You will go off the main road, onto hilly mountainous trails. Your surrounding is filled with lush vegetation, pine forest and fresh air. You will experience the untouched beauty of the area. Matra is the newly added location in a series of villages in Sapa that visitors can go to. The village is about 5km from the town of Sapa. This has around 50 households, resided by only H’Mong people. Ma Tra village has restored the traditional flax weaving loom, forging tools and carved silver production as part of tourism. After 3h walks from Matra, you will then reach Taphin village where the red Dao and H’mong reside. With this mix of ethnicity, the culture is this village is rather exciting and colorful. Lunch will be served on the way in a local family. You will also have a chance to visit the unique caves in the Taphin area. This cave system is small and meandering, leading to all different direction but will eventually lead you to one point. The village also has an old monastery built during the French colonial period. There is also an arts and crafts house displaying and selling authentic jewelries made by the locals. Then drive back to Hanoi following Noi Bai - Lao Cai high-way. Along the way, you will have chance to contemplate the beauty of northwest mountains that terraced fields are sparkling in sunlight or dim in thick fog. Around 21:00 You wil arrive in Hanoi. Check in and relax. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 12: Hanoi – Halong bay (B, L, D)
08:15 Our driver will pick you up at hotel and drive to Halong bay 11:30 Ready at Athena check-in lounge 12:00 Boarding time. 13:00 Check-in your cabin. 13:15 The Cruise Manager will give a welcome speech with all the cruise information and Safety instructions. 13:30 Enjoy the Buffet Lunch with the best products of the Bay. 14:45 Visit the Vung Vieng Floating fishing village by kayak or bamboo boat 15:30-16:30 If you want to relax on the boat instead of participating in other activities feel free to use our sauna for no extra cost. 16:30 Relaxing time: the right moment for a massage or to take some pictures of the spectacular sunset in the bay. 17:00-18.30 Happy Hour: buy 01 get 01 drink 17:30 The Cooking Demonstration is waiting for you to discover the secrets of Vietnamese Cuisine 19:00 Dinner is ready in the restaurant. Fill your senses with a selection of Western fusion food and Vietnamese traditional dishes. 21:00 Enjoy the Squid Fishing activity. Free time on the boat. The bar is open late to serve you. * The itinerary of cruise can be changed due to the check-in time and the weather
Day 13: Halong bay – Hanoi – Departure (BR)
06:30 Practice one of the oldest traditions of East Asia: Tai Chi – A beautiful and relaxing experience on the open deck. Tea and coffee are served. 07:00 Light breakfast is served. 07:30 Explore Thien Canh Son cave in Ha Long Bay. Witness its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Note: there are about 200 steps to get up to the cave. 09:00 Check out time. Please put your luggage outside the cabin and the key at the reception desk. Our staff will transfer your luggage to our lounge for you. Bill settlement at the reception desk. 09:30 Brunch is served at the restaurant on the 2nd deck. 10:45 The boat arrives at the pier. Say goodbye to the crew. 11:00 – 11:15 Arrive the pier. Our driver will pick you up and transfer back to Hanoi. 14:30 – 15:00 Arrive in Hanoi. Check in 2 star hotel for 3-4 hours check in.Free time and relax. 18:30 Our driver will pick you up and drive to the airport for your flight. End of services.