Highlights of Vietnam Tour 23 days 22 nights

Tour Highlights

Hanoi – Mai Chau – Pu Luong – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay – Nghia Lo – Sapa – Dong Hoi – Hue – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta

Tour code: VBT-VT100
Highlights of Vietnam Tour is one of favorite routes for people who like to deeply in nature and relaxing on beach, combined with history, geography and diversity in attractions. This tour is not only physical activities but also combine well-planned itineraries and relaxation that will surely expose you to an unforgettable Vietnam active travel.
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Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival

Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer to hotel for check in and relax. Overnight in Hanoi.
Time for driving: around 3 hours

Day 2: Hanoi (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 organised lunch.
Morning:
• Ho Chi Minh Complex including 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:
• 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
Back to hotel. Check in and relax.
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.

Day 3 : Hanoi – Mai Chau (B, L, D)

08:00 Our guide will pick your up up from your hotel. On the morning drive to Mai Chau, we'll leave the city behind and pass through craggy, mountainous landscape. We drive up a massive pass and end in the mountainous circus of Mai Chau around noon time. Lunch will be served in a local Thai house.
In the afternoon, we’ll have a small walk around Mai Chau valley before getting a quick transfer to a small remote village of Mai Hich. Weather permits there’s a chance for a small cycling around the green village. Afterwards, we return for dinner and overnight in the stilt house with our friendly Thai hosts.
With ‘Homestay’ experience, your overnight accommodation is provided by a local family in their traditional house-on-silts. There’s no private room and you’ll sleep on the floor in a large communal area. The sleeping corner is set up with a single mattress (thin, but adequate), blankets (ditto), pillow and mosquito net. The restroom is at international standard and a few steps from the main house
Time for driving: around 3 hours

Day 4: Mai Chau – Pu Luong (B, L, D)

We leave our hosts after breakfast and drive East for about 15 km before entering the Pu Luong nature reserve. You’ll then get down the car for 2-hours trekking on single trail through Thai villages and rice terrace, with opportunity to take a break at local houses en-route.
Meet your car again for a quick transfer to our lunch stop at a small lodge. In the afternoon, we step into the wild with an awesome hike on trails across the second half of the reserve to reach its Western edge. The hike is not too hard and lasts 3 to 4 hours. It makes it an intermediate level trek. Plan to bring along good shoes and batteries for your camera.
After a demanding afternoon, we get to the ecolodge, check-in the private bungalows and go for a refreshing swim in the cascades and natural pools that surround the lodge. Homemade dinner before a well deserved time for rest. Overnight in Pu Luong.
Time for driving: around 2 hours

Day 5: Pu Luong – Cuc Phuong National Park – Ninh Binh (B, L)

Easy morning, depending on the season and your preference, you can stay at the lodge and relax.
Then we drive to Ninh Binh. On the way we visit Cuc Phuong National park. Upon arrival, visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre where you can capture snapshots of some of the rarest primate species in the world. Then set off on a 7km hike on trails with narrow rocky slopes to the “Big Tree” and a 200 million year old dinosaur fossil.
Continue drive to Ninh Binh. Check in hotel and relax. Ovenright in Ninh Binh.
Time for driving: around 4 hours

Day 6: Ninh Binh – Hoa Lu – Tam Coc (B, L)

08:00 We start to 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 visit Bich Dong Pagoda comprising three pagodas located at different levels on a green mountain and the setting of the French film ‘Indochina’
Back to harbor, check in and relax. Overnight in Ninh Binh.

Day 7 : Ninh Binh – Halong bay (B, L, D)

08:00 Pick up at hotel for three and a half hours road trip with short refreshment on half way to Halong Bay.
12:00 Arrive at Hon Gai Harbour, enter our waiting lounge for short break before getting on boat
12:30 Enjoy a welcome drink on board
13:00 Cruising through Bai Tu Long Bay and having lunch with Set Menu
15:00 Exploring Vung Vieng Village: Guest choose to discover the daily life of the fisher communities with bamboo boat (one hour) or kayaking around Vung Vieng area (one hour)
16:30 Swimming, Sunbathing and Relaxing at Ban Chan Beach.
17:30 Relax and enjoy the sunset cocktail while the boat is cruising to Cong Dong - Cong Do area. Docking for overnight.
19:30 Having BBQ dinner
21:00 Free evening or taking part in some activities of board games or squid fishing, karaoke (on request) Taste the variety of drink at our luxury sundeck bar (chargable) with wines, cocktails, brandy, juices...
23:00 End of program for Day One.
Notes: Itineraries may changed due to the weather condition and operation of authority management
Time for driving: around 3,5 hours

Day 8 : Halong bay – Hanoi (BR)

06:30 Rise early for morning tai chi on the sundeck.
07:15 Enjoy a light breakfast while cruising to Hon Co area.
08:00 Exploring the Thien Canh Son Cave. Located at the centre of the World Heritage Area- Halong Bay, Thien Canh Son Cave treats tourists to the wild and mysterious beauty of nature
09:30 Return to the boat for check out and relaxing on sundeck or watching fruits carving demonstration
10:30 Enjoy the last of the Ha Long Bay scenery over lunch as the boat cruises back to shore
11:45 Transfer by tender to the pier, relax inside our waiting lounge and waiting for return transportation.
Drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Time for driving: around 3,5 hours

Day 9 []: Hanoi – Nghia Lo (B, L) – by private van

07:30 Departing Ha Noi northwest towards Nghia Lo town on 32 highway, this journey passes through stunning mountainous landscape, featuring with fertile hilly area covered with green tea plantations, the mountains get higher and higher.
Along the way you can see thick forests cover high mountains with stops at many scenic spots in Thu Cuc and Van Cha
• First stop to to visit nice Bonsai garden with huge bonsai on Phuc Tho district
• Stop to visit and tea farm and Thai village in Tan Son
• Stop to visit hilltribe village in Deo Khe( Khe Pass)
• Stop to take photo of many tea terraces in Ba Khe
• Stop at to see local farming in Muong Lo valley
Arriving in Nghia Lo, a pretty mountainous town, we spend the remaining hours of the day wandering the town including the market area, we will check in the hotel. Overnight in Nghia Lo.

Day 10 : Nghia Lo – Mu Cang Chai – Sapa (B, L)

After breakfast, we transfer from Nghia Lo to Tu Le. The road ride today takes only 2 hours so we have a lot of time exploring the area for real mountainous life of the local ethnic minority people. Fancy a four hour trekking along a trail which connect villages to villages, meeting different tribal people such as White Thai, Black Zao, Red H’mong…who seem very surprise, staring at you for the first moment and turn out very friendly and inviting you to their homes in which you will be hosted with tea or home made wine. Next to Mu Cang Chai, we enjoy another home staying in a large Thai village, which offers fantastic hours for your culture discovery. At the bottom of the valley you’ll arrive in the town of Than Uyen for lunch break.
From Than Uyen, the road follows the Hoang Lien Son mountains and winds through tea plantations and rice terraces as it hugs the Nam Ma river. This stunning valley is dotted with Tay, Dzao and H’mong hill tribe villages. Drive up the highest mountain pass in Viet Nam named Tram Ton pass at 2,047 meters, the views looks out over the main range for miles and miles, before we descend to the mountainous town of Sa Pa. Check in hotel and relax. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 11 : 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. (It costs you 34 USD/ per person for the ticket)
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.
Time for driving: around 2 hours

Day 12 : Sapa – Cat Cat – Ta Phin (B, L)

After the breakfast, 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. Continue to visit Ta Phin village. Here you can experience the unmixed cultural life of Black Hmong and Red Dao minorities, 2 largest ethnic groups in the area. They live happily together while maintaining their own tradition from generation to generation. You can recognise them by dressing while they are both very famous of handicraft. You will enjoy walking among local people. The trip also offers you the opportunity to visit the local houses. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 13: Sapa – Bac Ha market – Lao Cai – Hanoi (B, L) – by private van

Breakfast at hotel. We go to the Bac Ha market for two hours by a private car (AC). This is the largest market in the region, a place where many ethnic groups gather to buy and sell, eat and drink together. There are 10 minority groups in the Bac Ha region. You can buy homemade handicrafts and clothes. In the afternoon we will have a 2 hour trek to Ban Pho village (Flower H’Mong people).In the village we can have a look in their house and understand little more about their lifestyle and traditional customs. Especially, we can try homemade wine from corn. 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 will arrive in Hanoi. Check in and relax. Overnight in Hanoi.
Note: Bac Ha market only takes place on Sunday. This itinerary can be changed upon your departure date.

Day 14 : Hanoi – Dong Hoi (B) – by flight

Breakfast at hotel. Then transfer to the airport for flight in the morning. Upon arrival, pick up and we start the trip to visit Phong Nha Cave First is considered "First wonders" Take a boat approx 5km along the Son River to tour the Phong Nha Cave (river cave). Yacht upstream Son river dreaming, enjoy charming natural scenery either side, you will see pictures of the girls, the children have fun on the waterfront and have the opportunity to experience the daily life of the neighborhood riverside village bearing the Vietnamese country soul. Conquering the Phong Nha Cave: The longest cave in Southeast Asia, enjoy the scenery spectacular limestone, underground river system and unique stalactite in the world. Caving Fairy & Imperial admire the beautiful stalactites blocks are created by nature over thousands of millennia.
11:30 Return to the Xuan Son marina.
12:00 Lunch at a restaurant with local specialties from the people here processing.
13:30 Continue the journey to visit the Paradise Cave
14:00 Paradise Cave is first discovered in 2005 by the British Cave Research Association, It’s a largest and most beautiful cave in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang area by British spelunkers. It is said that the cave's beauty is reminiscent of an imperial palace and very well resented with easy access, great walkways, and excellent feature lighting which made it extra special. You take the electrical car from the parking to the foothills of the cave (2km). Admire countless stalactites with different shapes: Thach Thien Cung, waterfall Thien Ha, Quan Tien converging, Thap Lien flower... Before your eyes the image of typical terraced rice civilization, Champa tower, Buddha Guanyin, Phuc Loc Tho, Rong House of Highlands Vietnam...
17:00 Back to hotel and relax. Overnight in Dong Hoi.

Day 15 : Dong Hoi – Hue (B, L)

Brekfast at hotel. Then drive to Hue. On the way stop to visit Vinh Moc underground tunnel, one of the most famous battle–field in Vietnam War, Ben Hai River, Hien Luong Bridge, lying in the Demilitarized Zone of the Vietnam war and Dong Ha Town. Check in on arrival and relax. Overnight in Hue.

Day 16: Hue (B, L)

The beautiful riverside pagoda of Thien Mu which now becomes the symbol of Hue, and the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh 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. Then transfer to Hoi An. Check in and relax. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 17: Hoi An (B)

Free day for your activities or relax on beach.
Optional: My Son Tour + Boat trip (L)
08:00 Begin the day with an excursion to My Son, Vietnam’s most evocative Cham site recently named by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The Cham people considered this area, in the shadow of Cat’s Tooth Peak, the domain of the Gods, and it served as the religious and intellectual center of the culture. Lunch at local restaurant in Hoi An. In the afternoon, take a boat trip on Thu Bon River - the poetic river that shaped the verdant nature and rich cultural heritage of Hoian. Stop en route to visit two handicraft villages nestled on the river banks: Thanh Ha pottery village and Kim Bong carpentry village well known for their nice handicraft products. Transfer back to the hotel afterward. Relax and overnight in Hoi An.

Day 18: Hoi An (B)

Free day for your activities or relax on beach.
Optional: Cooking class (L)
We start cooking class at 13:00
Visit Hoi An’s colourful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.
We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy.
On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – each dish is first demonstrated by the Red Bridge chef’s, before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration).
After the lesson, we sit down and eat exactly what we have cooked.
Recipes (our food contains no MSG):
Making fresh Rice paper
Fresh Rice Paper Rolls of Shrimp
Crispy Hoi An Pancakes with Shrimp, Herbs & a Peanut Sauce
Seafood Salad with mixed Vietnamese Herbs served in Half a Pineapple
Vietnamese Eggplant in Clay Pot
Food Decoration – Tomato Rose & Vietnamese Cucumber Hand Fan
* A vegetarian meal can be provided on request.
Finish at approximately 6.00pm – transfer back to central Hoi An.Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 19: Hoi An (B)

Free day for your activities or relax on beach.
Optional: Ba Na hill with Golden Bridge (L)
08.00 Pick up at your hotel and transfer to Ba Na hills and take Cable Car which gains 5 world scores to Ba Na hills station. Stop at By Night station to visit Vong Nguyet hills, Linh Ung pagoda, The Old Villas of French. Continue moving up by cable car to the Nui Chua Mountain – the top of Ba Na range, visiting Nginh Phong top, Le Nim Villas, Orchid Garden… Experience hill climbing train (first and unique funicular in Vietnam) and visit an old French cellar (Debay Ancient Wine Cellar), flower garden Le Jardin D’amour, Linh Ung Pagoda and special: The golden bridge or vietnam hand bridge.
Have lunch at restaurant.
Free for joining games in Fantasy Park – the third biggest indoor games zone in Vietnam with series of interesting games: 4 – 5D film, skiver, The death race, dinosaur park…

Day 20: Hoi An (B)

Breakfast at hotel, free for your time to discover the city by yourself or relax on beach. End of services.

Day 21: Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City (B) – by flight

After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh City in the morning. Our guide will pick you up and 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.

Day 22: Ho Chi Minh city – Mekong Delta (B, L)

08:00 Leave Ho Chi Minh city, enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields. On arrived at My Tho, visit Vinh Trang pagoda, take a leisurely boat ride along the river, view stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank. Proceed to Tortoise islet, have lunch in the orchard garden. Then a boat ride to An Khanh – a less touristy attraction in Ben Tre, enjoy cruising on a hand-rowed sampan under the shade of the water coconut trees along natural canals. Have a short cycling tour then enjoy seasonal fruit & honey tea to the sound of "Southern Vietnamese folk music", performed by the locals. Visit a family business which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle, taste delicious coconut candy & observe the pastoral life as you roam through fruit plantations and villages. Then drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 23 : Ho Chi Minh city – Departure (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Then transfer to the airport for your flight. End of services.
Tour Prices
Tour cost in US$ per person
Hotel Class Number of persons in group
2 3 4 5
3 Star Please contact us for best prices!
4 Star
5 Star
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Tour Included

  • Private tour (except Halong tour, you will stay in private cabin)
  • Accommodation (01 Double/ twin room) at selected hotels with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner, BR – brunch)
  • All transfers and transportation as indicated in program
  • All guided sightseeing fees and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide at places as indicated in program
  • Boat trip as indicated in program

Tour Excluded

  • International flights and aiport tax
  • Personal expenses such as shopping, telephone, laundry and bar bills etc.
  • Other meals and drinks
  • Late check out or early check in at all places (Normaly check in at 14:00 PM and check out at 12:00 PM/ surcharge if request)
  • Surcharge on Festival (if any)
  • Insurance travel
  • Tips & gratuities
  • All other services are not made on the written form
Accommodation
Destination Hotel/Resort/Cruise Class
3 Star 4 Star 5 Star
Hanoi Dal Vostro hotel or Nostalgia or Angel Palace or similar REX or Boss Legend or The Light hotel or similar Apricot or Melia or Sheraton hotel or similar
Sapa Bamboo Sapa or Sapa Charm or Sapa Relax hotel or similar Amazing Sapa or Sapa Highlands or Chau Long hotel or similar Victoria Sapa Hotel or Paos or Hotel De La Coupole MGallery hotel or similar
Halong Bay Lavender or Majestic or V’Spirit cruise or similar Huong Hai Sealife or Syrena or similar Athena or ERA or Sealife Legend cruise or similar
Hoi An Thanh Binh Riverside or Hoi An Green river boutique or Royal Riverside Hoian hotel similar Little Beach or La Residencia or Belle Maison Hadana hotel or similar Allegro or Sunrise or Victoria Hoi An or Palm Garden hotel or similar
Saigon Sunrise Central or Avanti or Kiko hotel or similar Grand Silverland or Central Palace or Silverland Sakyo or Silverland Charner hotel or similar Nikko hotel or REX Saigon hotel or similar
Can Tho Hau Giang or Saigon Can Tho hotel or similar Iris or TTC Hotel or similar Victoria Can Tho resort or Vinpearl hotel or similar
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Highlights of Vietnam Tour 23 days 22 nights
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