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 tour (B, L)
At 08:30am, you will be a picked up from your hotel.
In the morning we visit:
- The Reunification Palace: This is one of the most important buildings in the city.
- War Remnants Museum: Formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes
- Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office: Built between 1877 and 1883 this is one of the best examples of classical French colonial architecture.
After lunch at local restaurant we continue to visit:
- Giac Lam Pagoda: This is HCMC's oldest pagoda, dating back to 1744 and one of the finest in Vietnam.
- Cholon, including the Thien Hau Pagoda: Cholon actually means Big Market – a claim that is well justified as Vietnam 's largest market, the Binh Tay, is located here.
- Ben Thanh Market: This bustling and well-organized market is very popular with tourists, primarily due to its central location. It has a wide selection of goods ranging from fake Nike shoes to beautiful silk Ao Dais.
Back to hotel. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh city - Cu Chi Tunnels - Cao Dai temples (B, L)
08:00 am. Our 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 pm.
Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border, is home to the unique Cao Dai sect, whose patron saints include Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill to name a few. The religion is a hybrid of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. The Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh has been described as a Walt Disney fantasia of the East. The temple's exterior is decorated with multi-colored dragons of all shapes and sizes competing for space with a number of Buddhist symbols. Above the main entrance is the all-seeing holy eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect. The interior is just as engaging as statues of Jesus Christ, Buddha and the Hindu god, Brahma, stand side by side. The trip to Tay Ninh is combined with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km. from Saigon to the Cambodian border and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S.-Vietnam American must have been like. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh city - Can Tho (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. Proceed to Can Tho. Free time to visit bustling Can Tho market. Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 5: Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh city (B, L)
Take a leisurely boat trip to explore the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong river ( Bassac River), then proceed to Cai Rang floating markets, which are the liveliest in the whole religion.
Have you ever tasted Vietnamese vermicelli soup? Well, now go and see how it is made. Then wander around the village and meet the friendly local people and experience how to cross a "Monkey bridge" which is built by only one stem of bamboo. Visit Binh Thuy temples. Back to Ho Chi Minh city. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh city - Da Nang - Hoian (B) - by flight
After breakfast at the hotel .Then transfer to the airport for a flight to Da Nang. Pick up and drive to hotel. Check in and Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 7: Hoian city tour (B, L)
In the morning, our guide and car will come to pick you up at your hotel then transfer to Hoi An ancient town. Start our morning by strolling around the Hoi An ancient town to visit: Chua Cau or Japanese Covered Bridge-considered the symbol of Hoi An the finest example of Japanese architecture. Step back in time to discover the Chinese street with stunning Phuc Kien Hall and Phung Hung old house typical of Hoian original architecture. We then visit Hoi An vibrant market and ancient port to explore the rythm of local daily life and savor the true color, flavor and taste of the oriental. Finally, we visit Phuc Thanh Pagoda – the oldest pagoda in Hoi An built in 1454 with Chinese bonze. Have lunch in the local restaurant with specialties of Hoian: the Cao Lau noodle and White Rose dumpling. 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 8: Hoian (B)
Free at leisure at the hotel and then discover Hoi An city by yourself or relax on Cua Dai or An Bang beach. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoian - Da Nang - Hue (B, L)
After breakfast at hotel, our guide will pick you up to visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture. Continue to visit Marble Moutains, the mountains stand for 5 element on earth like: Metal, Plant, Water, Fire, Earth. You can climb up the mountain to visit a pagoda in Huyen Khong Cave. Down the the mountain is the stone carving village, you can watch the art work on site with marble stone.
Then transfer to Hue, the Old Royal City in Vietnam in 17th century. 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. Relax and Overnight in Hue.
Day 10: 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 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. Back to hotel and relax. Overnight in Hue.
Day 11: Hue - Hanoi (B, L) - by flight
Breakfast at the hotel. Then transfer to the airport of Hue for Hanoi. Our guide and driver will pick you up and check in at hotel. Have lunch at local restaurant. After lunch, we drive for another 20km. to the village of Dong Ho to visit the home of traditional folk paintings in Vietnam. These artisans have been producing fine woodblock prints for centuries. We conclude our trip with a visit to But Thap pagoda before returning to Hanoi by 17:00 pm. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 12: Hanoi city tour (B, L)
You are met at 08:30 am in the hotel lobby. There is a morning and afternoon schedule, as well as an organised lunch.
- 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
- 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 and relax. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 13: Hanoi - Sapa - Cat Cat (B, L) - by car
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 relax. Our local guide will welcome you with lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we 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, where you can take a rest while you are served lunch nearby the river. Relax and overnight in Sapa.
Day 14: 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!
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.
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.
Day 15: Sapa - Bac Ha market - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B, L) - by car
After the breakfast, 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 take a bus back to Hanoi.
You will arrive in Hanoi around 22:00pm. Check in hotel and relax. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 16: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
7.30 - 08.10 Depart from Hanoi to Halong bay by shuttle van.
11.30 Upon arrival at Vinashin Tourist Harbor, You are welcomed at our waiting room before enjoying the cruise.
12.15 - 12.30 Embark on Huong Hai Sealife. Enjoy welcome drink as Cruise Manager gives you a brief overview of the itinerary and important safety guideline. Check in your cabin.
13.00 Start cruisingamong famous Islets (Indochina studio, Am Islet…) of Bai Tu Long Bay, the wildest beauty with the panoramic natural views. Admire the grace of the bay while enjoying the delicious lunch in the restaurant at the first deck.
14.30 Explore the well-hidden Co Cave (known as Thien Canh Son Cave). Relax on white sandy beach or walk along the beach at Hon Co Island (no swimming).
15.45 Return to Huong Hai Sealife and enjoy Happy hour. You will have 30% discount off from the special drinks list; including of cocktail, mocktail and mixed drinks (from 16.30 pm to 19.00 pm.). Treasure the wonderful beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay at sunset, admire the striking islands and islets, savor the fresh and peaceful atmosphere which could hardly be found in landwhile cruising to Cong Do sleeping area.
16.30 Enjoy kayaking at Cong Do or relaxing on the cruise.
18.00 Onboard the vessel, surrounded by a stunning, setting in motion, attend our chef’s cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking (spring roll) on the sundeck.
19.15 Dinner is served in the restaurant at the first desk. You can enjoy the charm of Bai Tu Long Bay at night.
21.00 Evening activities: relax at leisure; enjoy our Movie Night, Board Games or our Massage & Spa services (massage and spa fee is not included in the price), squid fishing. Overnight on Bai Tu Long Bay.
Day 17: Halong bay - Hanoi (BR)
06.30 - 7.45 Before enjoying the breakfast with cookies and tea, café at the restaurant of the cruise, tourists can try the taichi session on the sundeck at the break of dawn on Bai Tu Long Bay
7.45 - 8.45 Explore the area of Hon Co Island and Co Cave (Grass Cave, also known as Thien Canh Son). You can revel in the breathtaking view of Bai Tu Long bay from above, as well as the glorious long white sand of Hon Co Island. Tourists can relax on the white sand beach of Co Island, enjoy swimming on the area of Co Island. With the long white sand beaches and the crystal-like green water, definitely, tourists would have the fantastic moments after exploring the cave. 8.45 Tourists come back to the cruise by tender.
9.15 Tourists arrange the luggage and check out.
9.30 - 10.30 Tourists can enjoy the light lunch (brunch) in Sealife Cruise while the cruise departs from Hon Co Island back to Vinashin dock.
11.15 Arrive back at Vinashin dock, Halong city for disembarkation where your driver waits to take you back to your Hanoi
16:30 Arrive in Hanoi. Check in hotel and relax. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 18: Hanoi - Departure (B)
Breakfast at hotel. Then our driver will pick you up and drive to the airport for your flight. End of services.