Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City - Arrival
Begin your Vietnam holiday in sultry, cosmopolitan Saigon where you are based for the first two nights of your holiday. Depending on your arrival time, go on a half-day tour of the city's highlights and visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels system from the Vietnam War in a restored Russian army jeep or air conditioned vehicle. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta (B, L)
08:00 VBT'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. Finish the trip around 18:00 at your hotel. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Da Nang - Hoi An (B) - by flight
Relax until transferred to the airport for the flight to Da Nang at 11:50 (VN 1316). Upon arriving in Da Nang, you will be picked up and transferred to Hoi An. Have lunch and then visit Cham Museum & Marble Mountain en route. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 4: Hoi An (B, L)
Breakfast at hotel then we leave your hotel at 08:30, you will walk with your tour guide to visit around Hoi An: the old Tan Ky House, Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall… and a visit to some of the handicrafts workshop. Shop for tailored made silk products or spend your time at the wonderful beach (4 km away). Back to hotel and relax. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An (B)
Free and easy in Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 6: Hoi An - Hue (B, L)
The next destination is Hue, the Old Royal City in Vietnam in 17th century. Upon leaving Hoi An, we drive north to Hue. The scenic road is hugging the coastline before crossing over the winding Hai Van pass. A view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam’s most impressive panoramic scenes. We stop en route to visit the Lang Co beach before reaching Hue city. As Vietnam’s last feudal capital, the small and quiet city of Hue is widely known for magnificent architectures, pagodas and royal tombs laid in many small villages and surrounding hills. Overnight in Hue.
Day 7: Hue City Tour (B, L)
08:30: VBT's guide and driver will pick you up at hotel
09:00: Visit the Imperial Citadel - the grand complex of palaces built by Nguyen Dynasty (the last Dynasty of Vietnam feudalism).
10:00: Transfer to visit Thien Mu Pagoda - the symbol of Hue tourism
11:00: Experience local market in Hue at Dong Ba Market.
11:40: Transfer to restaurant for lunch.
12:00: Have lunch with Hue specialities.
13:30: Tranfer to visit two of the most beautiful royal tombs of Nguyen Dynasty Kings: Khai Dinh and Tu Duc tombs.
Back to Hue. Overnight in Hue.
Day 8: Hue - Hanoi - Lao Cai (B, L) - by flight and train
After breakfast, we aboard a short flight to Hanoi at 08:10. Upon arrival at 09:20, you will be greeted and transferred to hotel.
AM: We will visit: The Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070; A local Vietnamese lunch
PM: We will visit: 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
19:00 VBT's guide will drop you off at rail station for the train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train.
Day 9: Lao Cai - Sapa - Cat Cat - Sin Chai (B, L)
Arrive Lao Cai, pick up at Lao Cai Station then transfer to Sapa. Check in and have breakfast in the hotel. After lunch trek to Cat Cat and Sin Chai villages of Black H'mong tribe. Enjoy the waterfall in Cat Cat and beautiful scenery along the way. Back to hotel and enjoy the night in Sapa town. Overnight in Sapa.
Day 10: Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B, L) - by train
After breakfast you check out and leave your luggage in the hotel, get ready for the trip. Trek down to Lao Chai village to visit the Tay and Dzay tribes then keep going along the bottom of the Sapa valley to get to Ta Van village, which is supposed to be the most beautiful one in the area. Have a picnic lunch on the way. You go back to Sapa by motorbike/jeep. Get yourself fresh with a shower in the hotel's day room before transfer down to Lao Cai Station for the night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on the train.
Day 11: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
07:30 - 07:45 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 boat.
Day 12: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B)
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. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 13: Hanoi - Luang Prabang (B) - by flight
Free and easy until transferred to the airport for the flight to Luang Prabang. Check in and overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 14: Luang Prabang (B, L)
Nestled in a stunning setting amid lush mountains, this sacred city of golden temples and saffron-robed monks provides endless opportunities for sightseeing. Spend the remaining two nights completely relaxed amid its quaint, French-colonial style architecture, fabulous night markets and wide choice of excellent restaurants. Enjoy a tour around the atmospheric town of Luang Prabang. Visit Wat Xieng Thong, the finest example of Luang Prabang architecture, as well as the gilded carved façade of Wat Mai. Also visit the National Museum, the former Royal Palace, where relics from Laos’ royalist past remain. It is said that those who do not climb the 328 steps up Phousi Mountain have not really made it to the city. Venture up the hill and be rewarded with remarkable views of the area. Journey back down the southern slope to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center, a private museum displaying interesting information on the tribal peoples of Northern Laos. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 15: Luang Prabang (B, L)
If you wish, get an early start (06:00 or so) and go watch or participate in the traditional Lao rite of Almsgiving to the monks. In the city, some 300+ monks file through silently collecting alms. This is an amazing sight and your guide will be on hand to demonstrate and explain this important ritual. Afterwards, visit the Morning Market and see an array of meats, vegetables and spices the locals use in their cooking. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Cruise up the Mekong River to the mouth of the Ou River. Visit the sacred Pak Ou Buddha Caves, long considered a holy spot for the Lao people. Locals make pilgrimages to this site to place Buddha images inside the caves to make merit. On the way, stop to visit Ban Xang Khong, where the weaving of Lao textiles still takes place on ancient wooden looms. Enjoy lunch before your return cruise back. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 16: Luang Prabang - Departure (B)
Relax on your own before catching your flight onward. End of service!