Experience Vietnam’s highlights in 9 days with a night train to the Central (Hue Imperial City) and morning flight to the South (Ho Chi Minh City), enabling you to discover culture, history, nature and life-style of Vietnamese as well as make the most of your time in that destination.
This Vietnam Discovery tour can be reversed starting from Ho Chi Minh City and ending in Hanoi depending on your flight schedule.
VIETNAM DISCOVERY ITINERARY
DAY 1: HANOI ARRIVAL
Arriving in Hanoi (Noi Bai airport), you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel 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)
08h30 You will be picked up from your hotel lobby and depart for the city tour with visit to the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure is one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov) and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969, his former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary.
Continue your visit to the Taoist Temple (Quan Thanh Temple) which is dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism or visitTran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda, was built in the sixth century (means “Stabilizing the Nation”). Lunch will be had in one of the city’s finest restaurants.
After lunch visit the Temple of Literature – Vietnam’s first university, also referred to as Van Mieu, 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.
Next we go to visit Hanoi Old Quarter also known as the ’36 streets’. Take a walking tour around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It’s a great place to explore life-style of Hanoians, culture or architecture with plenty of photo opportunities all around you. Return to your hotel where the full day trip ends.
Stay overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 3: HANOI – HALONG BAY, THE WORLD HERITAGE – OVERNIGHT ON BOARD (B, L, D)
Following breakfast leave Hanoi for a 3hr30mins drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way. Arrive at your jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself.
In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.
Stay overnight on board.
DAY 4: HA LONG BAY – HANOI – NIGHT TRAIN TO HUE (B, L) by SE1 19:30-08:48
Rising to the sound of lapping bay waters, we have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the emerald water of the bay.
On your return to Halong City enjoy a wholesome brunch as your boat wends through strange-shaped limestone rock formations. Upon disembarkation your driver will meet you for the transfer back to Hanoi.
16h30 Arrive in Hanoi. Trip ends at your hotel around 17h00.
18h00 You will be transferred to Hanoi station for a night train to Hue on SE1 leaving at 19:30 (13 hr 18 min duration).
Stay overnight in air-conditioned cabin (soft sleeper – 4 berth compartment).
DAY 5: HUE ARIVAL – HUE CITY TOUR (B, L)
08h48 Upon your arrival at Hue station you will be picked up for breakfast and embark on a full day to discover Hue city: visit Emperor Minh Mang’s Mausoleum, Emperor Khai Dinh’s Mausoleum, and Emperor Tu Duc’s Mausoleums. Stop on the way to see how conical hatsand incense sticks are made in traditional vilage. Have lunch at a local restaurant (hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in).
In the afternoon, visit Imperial Citadel during Nguyen Dynasty and the seven – storey Thien Mu Pagoda on the riverbank. Return by boat on the gentle Perfume River and do not miss the sunset on the river. The trip ends at your hotel around 17h00.
Stay overnight in Hue.
DAY 6: HUE – TRANSFER TO HOI AN – HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN TOUR (B, L)
08h00 Pick up from your hotel for 3 hour road 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. Drive through Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and dropping down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co. Arrive in Hoi An and check in your hotel. Lunch to be arranged in a local restaurant.
After lunch we take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit former merchants’ houses, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese communal hall and the colorful market. Hoi An is a destination with two faces – the charming, old-world trading port of narrow streets and traditional houses, and the beach with its new resorts and long stretch of clean white sand. In keeping with Hoi An’s heritage as a trading port, the town’s tiny shop houses now host a range of craft shops and artisans including some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors. Despite the passing of 200 years and the ravages of weather and war, the centre of Hoi An remains much the same as it was in its heyday.
Around the town we can see a numerous art galleries and tailor shops, get some made-to-order clothes if you like. You spend two more hour boat trip on the Thu Bon River to enjoy the natural view and discover the normal life of local fishing people. Return to your hotel where the full day trip ends.
Stay overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 7: HOI AN – DANANG – FLIGHT TO HO CHI MINH CITY & CITY TOUR (B, L)
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).
A full day city tour takes in Cholon, the Chinatown district, to discover the area’s markets, shops and the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda – dedicated to the goddess of the Sea. Visit Vietnam’s first traditional medicine museum, the FITO Museum, with an amazing collection of 3,000 items relevant to the development of traditional Vietnamese medicine. Implements used to prepare indigenous herbs and objects commonly found in traditional pharmacies can be seen in the galleries as well as ancient books and documents on traditional Vietnamese medicine. Head back to the city centre to visit Ben Thanh Market where an incredible display of fresh produce is offered. Simply stroll through the market exploring the variety of goods for sale.
This afternoon visit the War Remnants where exhibition halls display imagery of both the French and ‘American’ wars or History Museum(choose which one you would most like to see) and the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the former 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.
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. At the end of the afternoon head back to your hotel.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 8: HO CHI MINH CITY – MEKONG DELTA, CAI BE FLOATING MARKET (B, L)
This morning, leave bustling Ho Chi Minh for the 2 hour drive to the delta town of Cai Be. The local traditional wooden boats, vast emerald rice fields and lush back waterways; these are the things that make Cai Be such a desired destination.
On arrival board your boat for a cruise of Cai Be floating market. Traders work the river and some have been living on these waters for generations. Produce at the market are hung on a pole in front of boats to attract customers and make it easier for people to see from afar what is on offer. Immerse yourself in a world of lush vegetation from the Mekong Delta as you pick through the fascinating and lively market, watching buyers bargaining for produce.
After visiting the market continue to a cottage factory where ‘pop-rice’, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Return to the boat for the cruise to Tan Phong Island. Next, take a rowing boat along the maze of shady canals. Head for a local orchard to enjoy the local tropical fruits, and visit artisan workshops to see the handicraft producers of the village at work.
Break for lunch at an orchard garden. Lunch will be local Mekong style serving specialties of the area. Afterwards, you will ride bicycles to villages, sightseeing and soaking up the rural ambiance or enjoy cooking class. If you prefer to relax, you can laze in a hammock. Following your cruise drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at your hotel around 17h30.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 9: HO CHI MINH DEPARTURE (B)
The day is at your leisure for last minute sight-seeing or shopping until your transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your onward flight.
Your Vietnam Discovery tour ends.
If hotel and other travel arrangements are required, please contact us.
TOUR PRICES: Available upon Request
Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.
Our services include:
– Full transportation by private air conditioned vehicle as tour program indicated (shared bus of 2 day Halong tour).
– All entrance fees as mentioned in the program.
– Boat trips as stated in above sights (shared boat of 2 day Halong tour).
– All excursion trips and activities as tour program indicated.
– Local English-speaking guides (for other languages supplements apply).
– Meals as stated in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner).
– Accommodation in shared twin or double bedded room with air-condition and private bathroom.
– Train ticket Hanoi – Hue in air conditioned soft sleeper cabin (4 berth compartment).
– Mineral water and chilled tissue served on trip.
– The written approval letter for a visa on arrival (single entry).
Our services exclude:
– Visa stamping fee on arrival (45 US$ per person).
– All air tickets not mentioned in the program and above quotation.
– Optional tours.
– Surcharges for other language guides.
– Personal travel insurance.
– Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc…
– Meals and services other than mentioned in the program.
– Drinks with meals.
– Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the program.
– 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).
– For additional hotel night cost to the packages, please contact us for the rates.
– Domestic flight of Danang-Saigon can be arranged upon request (subject to availability at the time of final confirmation).
– 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 or a mix of private and group tours to minimize the cost. We can quote the tours you really want. Usually travel insurance is not covered in our quotations.
– Child definition: from age of 3 to 9 Years (usually enjoying 10%-20% discount. Contact us for the actual discount for your case). 10 Years old and above will be charged as Adult Price.
– All tours & transfers are all based in English Speaking local guides. For other languages, please contact us for new 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.