Vietnam is a great glory destination with something for everyone. A well balanced program visiting the highlights of Vietnam and some lesser visited spots in-between. This Vietnam Experience tour traverses the country from North to South starting in Hanoi. Discover the charms of Hanoi, kayak or cruise around Halong Bay, explore history, architecture in Hue, enjoy picturesque Hoi An and end your journey in Ho Chi Minh City with a visit to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels and an interesting side trip to the lush Mekong Delta, where scenes of local lifestyles can be observed with plenty of opportunity for interaction with the people.
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN HANOI
Arrive in Hanoi (Noi Bai airport), you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel in downtown Hanoi for check-in (hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in).
The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the tree-lined boulevards, French Indochinese architecture and tranquil lakes of this unique city.
Stay overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 2: HANOI CITY TOUR (B, L)
Our guide & driver will pick you up at your hotel around 08h00 for a full day tour of Hanoi. Your first visit will be the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and the former president’s house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary. (Viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov).
Close by is the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi.
Continue to visit the Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda on picturesque West lake (One of the oldest in Vietnam).
Bat Trang pottery village will be visited on Mon, Wed & Fri (without Ethnology Museum). Ethnology Museum will be visited on Sun, Tue, Thu & Sat (without Bat Trang pottery village).
Have lunch at local restaurant. After lunch proceed to visit the Temple of Literature. In 1076, Vietnam’s first university Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Then visit Bat Trang Pottery Village – the most ancient and famous pottery village of Vietnam.
After that, we will take you past Hoan Kiem Lake to see the peaceful waters and visit Ngoc Son Temple. For the last part of the tour journey through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where you’ll have a chance for shopping and exploration.
Return to your hotel at around 16h00.
Stay overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 3: HANOI – HALONG BAY – V’SPIRIT CLASSIC CRUISE (B, L, D)
08h00 – 08h30: Pick-up at your hotel and start the scenic, 3.5 hour drive to Halong Bay. Enjoy the landscape of the Red River Delta country side and have a short break on the way.
12h00 – 12h30: Embark on V’Spirit Classic Cruise followed by a short cruise briefing.
13h00 – 15h30: Savor a delectable lunch as V’Spirit Classic Cruises among the limestone islands…
15h30 – 16h30: Kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Luon Cave area.
16h30: Back to the V’Spirit Classic Cruise.
16h30 – 17h30: Cruise to Soi Sim Island. Go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Soi Sim or climp up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay.
17h30: Return to the main boat for a shower. Relax or snap photos as the sun starts to set.
19h00: Dinner is served. Socialize with other guests, fish for squid, or just laze around.
Stay overnight on board, V’Spirit Classic Cruise.
DAY 4: HALONG BAY – HANOI – FLIGHT TO HUE (B, L)
06h30 – 07h00: Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt.
07h30 – 08h30: Have breakfast at sunrise.
08h30 – 09h30: Explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave – the nicest cave in Halong Bay.
09h30: Return to the boat. Freshen up and check out of your cabin.
09h30 – 10h30: Continue your cruise exploring the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet and more…
10h30 – 11h30: While heading back to the harbor, watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch.
12h00: Disembark V’Spirit Classic Cruise.
12h30: Transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi city center with 30 minute break en route to stretch the legs.
16h30 – 17h00: Arrive at your hotel.
Your leisure time until pick up from your hotel for 45 minute transfer to Noi Bai airport for boarding short flight to Hue (1hr10min duration – recommended flights leaving after 19:00 hrs), the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Its mesmerizing tombs and mausoleums of the last emperors of Vietnam reveal fascinating insights into the lives of the imperial families and their subjects. Arrival and transfer to your hotel for check-in.
Stay overnight in Hue.
DAY 5: HUE CITY TOUR (B, L)
Pick up at your hotel around 07h30 – 08h00 in the morning and then take a full day to discover Hue: Visit Emperor Minh Mang’s Mausoleum, Emperor Khai Dinh’s Mausoleum, Performing Programs Of VO KINH VAN AN – Vietnam Traditional cungfu and Emperor Tu Duc ’s Mausoleums. Stop on the way to see how conical hats and incense sticks are made. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit Imperial capital during Nguyen Dynasty, the seven – storey Thien Mu Pagoda on the riverbank. Return by boat on the gentle Perfume River. Tour ends at your hotel around 5h00 pm. Dinner on guest account.
Stay overnight in Hue.
DAY 6: HUE – DAY TRAIN TO DANANG – HOI AN (B)
Breakfast at Hotel and leisure time until pick up at 09h30 from your hotel for short transfer to Hue station for boarding a day train to Danang (on SE3 10:35-13:15) via scenic Hai Van pass (viewing the pass of Sea and Cloud).
Arrival and transfer to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Check in your hotel. Rest of the day is free to relax by the pool or on the sandy beach (Cua Dai beach is 3km far from Hoi An town) or wander the streets and discover Hoi An.
Stay overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 7: HOI AN FREE DAY (B)
The day is left free to relax in this beautiful area. You could take a taxi or make the easy five-kilometre bicycle ride through the rice paddies and shrimp ponds to Cua Dai beach. Alternatively Hoi An is one of the best places to shop for souvenirs, especially if you’re looking for t-shirts, paintings or ceramics. For those interested in getting clothes tailored, this is definitely the place to shop. Another good idea is to take a boat trip out to a village specialising in ceramics and boat-building or visit the local farm in Tra Que Village and have a local home cooked meal including a “banh xeo” a specialty savoury (optional – please contact us directly for tour options).
Stay overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 8: HOI AN – DANANG – FLIGHT TO HO CHI MINH CITY (B)
Transfer to Danang airport (30km from Hoi An) after breakfast for the short flight to dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals (1.10 hour flight). Upon arrival in Tan Son Nhat airport we transfer to your hotel downtown Saigon. The busy city of Saigon, used to be the capital of South Vietnam, is the biggest commercial and cultural centre of Vietnam.
In the afternoon embark on a half day tour of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City. Your program includes the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace it was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese tanks seized on the morning of April 30 1975, as Saigon fell. This fascinating building is filled with history still fresh in the minds of many. From there stroll (your vehicle will be available at all times) to the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. After this historical visit continue to the War Remnants Museum where exhibition halls display imagery of both the French and ‘American’ wars.
Finish the day with visit to Ben Thanh Market where an incredible display of fresh produce is offered. Simply stroll through the market seeing and enjoying the variety of goods for sale.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 9: HALF DAY TOUR TO CU CHI TUNNELS – HO CHI MINH CITY (B)
Pick up from your hotel at 07h30 in the morning and depart Ho Chi Minh City for the drive to Cu Chi district. Leaving the city behind, the scenery changes to views of rice paddies, villagers drying noodles by the side of the road and other scenes typical to southern Vietnam.
Arrive and start the visit of the famous Cu Chi Tunnels which consist of an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars. Start the visit with the Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc sections of the tunnel. Here you can imagine what it was like to be a guerrilla complete with Russian Carbine rifles and AK 47’s on display. Afterwards, enjoy tea, cassava (guerrilla’s food during the war). Return to Ho Chi Minh City around 14h00.
Afternoon is free at leisure.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 10: HO CHI MINH CITY – MEKONG DELTA, MY THO – BEN TRE – CAN THO (B, L)
This morning, depart at 08h00 from the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City to the area referred locally as “the rice bowl of Vietnam”.
On arrival in My Tho, visit Vinh Trang pagoda before taking a leisurely boat ride along the river, view stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank. Proceed to Tortoise islet, and have lunch in the orchard garden.
After lunch take 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, then enjoy seasonal fruit & honey tea to the sound of “Southern Vietnamese folk music”, performed by the locals.
Next, visit a local family business which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle of this special place, taste delicious coconut candy and observe the pastoral life as you roam through the fruit plantations and villages. Then enjoy a rowboat ride along the creeks before returning to My Tho by motorboat. Here you will proceed to lovely Can Tho, where you will spend the night in a hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to visit bustling Can Tho market.
Stay overnight in Can Tho. (Family home-stay with dinner can be arranged on request – additional charges applied)
DAY 11: CAI RANG FLOATING MARKET – CAN THO – HO CHI MINH CITY (B)
Following breakfast take a leisurely boat trip to explore the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong River (Bassac River), and then cruise to the colorful Cai Rang floating market which bustles with wholesalers on big boats. Here, during the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The main items sold here are fruit and vegetables and every boat has a long upright pole at its bow from which samples of the goods for sale are hung. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even floating pho vendors.
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 pass a “Monkey bridge” which is built by only one stem of bamboo. Visit the orchard garden and stop for lunch (self payment). Afterwards, drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at your hotel around 17h00.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 12: HO CHI MINH CITY – DEPARTURE (B)
The day is at your leisure for last minute sight-seeing or shopping until your transfer to Ho Chi Minh City airport for your onward flight.
If hotel and other travel arrangements are required, please contact us.
Deal package price: US$ 589 per person (twin share – minimum 2 persons travelling together)
– 11 night accommodation at 3* hotel;
– Full transportation by air conditioned vehicle included train tickets Hue – Danang as tour program indicated;
– Airport transfers in Hanoi, Hue, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City by private car;
– Sightseeings and tours as per itinerary;
– English speaking tour guides & entrance fees as per itinerary;
– Halong Bay 2 day 1 night trip with V’Spirit Classic Cruise (incl welcome drinks on board, Deluxe cabins with air conditioner and en-suite bathrooms, one hour kayaking, cooking demonstration, visits to Soi Sim Island and the amazing Sung Sot cave, on-board insurance);
– Meals as mentioned (11 Breakfasts, 05 Lunches, 01 Dinner);
– Air tickets to and from Vietnam not mentioned in the program and above quotation;
– Flight ticket from Hanoi to Hue and Danang to Ho Chi Minh City (economy class) included 20kg baggage, tax and airport tax;
– Vietnam Visa;
– Other meals not mentioned in program;
– Tips and emergency transfers;
– Optional tours;
– Surcharges for other language guides;
– Personal travel insurance;
– Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, and camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc…;
– Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the program;
– Single supplement of US$ 345 applies to solo travellers;
– Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply;
– Extra nights may be required at passenger expense due to flight schedules.
NOTES ON OUR PRICES:
– Prices shown are based on group tour and two people travelling together and sharing a room. Single supplement applies to solo travellers who occupy a single room.
Private tour can be arranged for you, your family or your friends exclusively. Prices may vary according to number of guests. Please contact us to get the best possible price.
– Prices may vary according to your travel time and are higher in the high season, e.g. Christmas period (Dec 24-26), New Year period (Dec 31-Jan 02) and Public holidays of Vietnam.
– For additional hotel night cost to the packages, please contact us for the rates.
– Listed hotels/cruise subject to change to others of similar standard if fully booked.
– Upgrades available to stay at a 4-star or 5-star hotel, please contact us for more details. Additional costs will be applied.
– This tour package can be fully customizable to fit your travel plan. You can also disregard full package tours and choose whatever travel items you need we can quote the tours you really want. Usually travel insurance is not covered in our quotations.
– Itinerary Change to the confirmed itinerary may happen because of traffic, weather, or any other conditions not under our control such as war, strike, fire, acts of government, riot, etc. We will do our best to make sure that all the travel will be similar. Go Viet Travel can substitute the itinerary upon your agreement.
– Transportation and Restaurants: The cars, vans or coaches for the land transportation should be in good shape with air conditioner. All restaurants should be tidy and clean.