DAY 1: ARRIVAL HANOI (D)
Welcome to Hanoi, transfer of 45 min to your hotel in town, (if it is still early then we can venture out for some culture shocks on a short walking tour in the Old Quarter of Hanoi - this is the way to get familiar with the people and the culture). Late afternoon, join the water puppet show at Thang Long theatre -– a special cultural value of our traditional rice civilization and enjoy dinner at local restaurant before bedtime. Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 2: HANOI CITY TOUR - LAOCAI (B/L/D)
A day to explore our Hanoi which including: the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature – known as the country’s first national university, the macabre Hoa Lo Prison. The French built this prison near the turn of the century, with construction completed in 1901. The name Hoa Lo, means "portable earthen stove," and originates from the families who used to live on the land before the French built on it. Join the historical orientation cycling hours through the Old Quarter, delving into the nooks and crannies of the city and bringing us to a restored original Old Quarter homes. Dining and taking an overnight train to LaoCai.
Train journey: assumed to leave 21:00 from Hanoi & arrive LaoCai at 06:00
DAY 3: LAO CAI – MINORITY MARKET - SAPA TOWN (B/L)
Upon arrival in Lao Cai train station, get picked up and transferred for breakfast at a local restaurant and then visit one of the most colorful minority market near Sapa town. Then head to Sapa town for hotel check in.
Tuesday : Coc Ly market
Thursday : Lung Khau Nhin market
Saturday : Can Cau market
Sunday : Bac Ha market or Muong Khuong market.
Late afternoon, start trekking downhill from Sapa town to Cat Cat village. The trekking route offers a breathtaking view of vegetable gardens and rice terraces with green mountains rising above. Take a rest at the scenic waterfall and balance your way across their hanging bridge. There will be time for visiting with local families and learning about their traditional fiber processing. Return to Sapa and the rest is on your leisure. Overnight in Sapa.
DAY 4: SAPA SURROUNDING/HANOI (B/L/D)
Morning free on your own activities. Meet our guide at noon and ride by car to the Golden Stream Valley, stopping at Lao Chai village. Walk down through the village from the main road and start trekking through the rice fields to Lao Chai (Black H'mong) and Ta Van (Dzay) villages. You will visit some local families and learn about their daily life and fascinating culture. Continue to a local Dzay family for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we trek to Giang Ta Chai (Red Dzao) village. The trek offers some moderate challenges as we negotiate a winding trail by rice terraces along the steep mountainside. The lush vegetation is dense as the trail leads up to a peaceful hamlet perched on the side of Hoang Lien Mountain. After chatting one of the families in the village, we walk to the main road to meet up with our driver and return to Sapa town. Heading to LaoCai for our return train Hanoi.
Train journey: assumed to leave 20:00 from LaoCai & arrive Hanoi at 05:00
DAY 5: HANOI - HA LONG BAY (B/L/D)
Get back Hanoi early in the morning, drive to a small hotel for resting. After breakfast, we leave Hanoi for the World’s Heritage of Halong Bay. Upon arrival, welcome aboard and set sail through bay while lunch is served. Passage into the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth.
After lunch, take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with golden sails, go swimming on a quite beach or sunbathing on the sundeck. Later afternoon, visit an interesting fishing village with opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. Back on board and enjoy cocktails while watching sunset and later unwind at restaurant for a lavish dinner.
Road journey: 200km ~ 3.5hours
DAY 6: HALONG – HANOI - HUE (B/L)
Morning enjoy the sunrise, that would be great picture as it is raising up from the ocean and through the peaks of the limestone islands. Cruise back to Ha Long City. Lunch on boat while cruising. Disembark and drive back Hanoi. Take the evening flight to Hue. Welcome and transfer to hotel for checking in. Overnight in Hue.
Air journey: HANOI HUE on VN airlines by 1 hour & 10minutes
DAY 7: CITY TOUR OF VIETNAM LAST FEUDAL DYNASTY (B/L)
Cycling to visit the Imperial Citadel - situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, with an area of 500 ha and a system of three circles of ramparts, namely from outside to inside: Kinh Thanh (Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). The Citadel stared in 1805 under the reign of Emperor Gia Long and completed in 1832 under the reign of Emperor Ming Mang. Under Nguyen’s reign, Kings have ordered to build ramparts, palaces and constructional works of royal. Over 200 years to now, it is still original with nearly 140 small and large constructions. Our visit continued to Thien Mu pagoda - built in 1601 between a river and a pine forest, the Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. Move the steps to Minh Mang’s, this tomb is well known for its harmonious blend of architecture and natural landscape. The excursion ends at conical hat village – a distinctive feature of culture in Hue. Leisure at night in Hue.
DAY 8: HUE/DANANG/HOIAN TOWN (B/L)
After breakfast at hotel, we take a driving via Hai Van Pass, passing through many pretty red-tiled villages with fruit orchards, enjoying spectacular views of sky and sea .....to get Hoian. En route, drop to visit the Marble mountain, these five rocky outcrops are said to represent five natural elements, and are the source of many intriguing legends, as well as housing temples and once even an army hospital! You will see skilled artisans carving all manner of statues from marble sourced locally at the mountains’ base. Arrive Hoian and hotel check in.
Road journey: 145km ~ 3 hours driving
DAY 9: HOIAN - walking tour in the ancient town (B/L)
Morning, we take a walking tour in Hoian Ancient town that was a prosperous trading port between 17th & 19th centuries. Today, this world Heritage –listed town boasts well-preserved buildings, pedestrian streets and unique cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. Visit the old merchant’s house with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with outstanding wood carvings. Followed by a boat trip on Thu Bon River before getting back our hotel. Overnight in Hoian.
DAY 10: DA NANG - NHA TRANG - the best beaches & corals (B)
Breakfast from hotel then airport transfer to Da Nang for fligh to Nha Trang, welcome and transfer to your hotel. Free to chill out on the beautiful and white sandy beach.
Air journey: DANANG NHATRANG on VN airlines by 1 hour & 15minutes
DAY 11: NHATRANG CITY – ISLAND BOAT TRIP (B/L)
This excursion takes you to visit a selection of the numerous attractions in Nha Trang City. First the car will drive you to Cau Da for a visit the Vietnam Oceanographic Institute. After that, you will go to Long Son Pagoda and the Po Nagar Temples. The tour end after the visit to local Dam Market.
After lunch at a local restaurant you will have a relaxing half-day cruise on the turquoise waters of the Eastern Sea. Your craft is a simple (but safe and comfortable!) reconverted fishing boat. Off shore from Nha Trang lie numerous islands, some inhabited and many dotted with idyllic fishing villages, the next stop is at the aquarium. We then head out to Hon Mun Island where we have the chance for swimming and snorkeling to see really beautiful coral reef in the crystal clear waters before boarding our boat back to Nha Trang harbor. Overnight in Nhatrang.
DAY 12: NHATRANG - SAIGON (B/L)
Morning flight from Nhatrang to Saigon. Meet our person and drive to the town for touring the War Remnants Museum which presents a partial, but riveting, view of the American Was, as it is known in Vietnam; Reunification Palace, former residence of the Indochina Governor General and later President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in April 30, 1975 and the Notre Dame Cathedral, an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral in the centre of city. Drive to hotel for check in after touring.
The rest is at leisure. Overnight in Saigon.
Air journey: NHATRANG SAIGON on VN airlines by 50 minutes
DAY 13: CU CHI TUNNEL by SPEED BOAT (B)
Have breakfast at hotel. You will be picked at hotel for an hour scenic speedboat trip to Cu Chi tunnel which are 70 kilometers North West of Saigon, created since 1948 to assist the Viet Minh to combat the French. This is an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapon shops, field hospitals, command centers. During the American War the entire area of Cu Chi was designated a fire free zone and was heavily bombarded. From 1988, two sections of the tunnels have been open for visitors. Back Saigon and the rest is at leisure.
Boat journey: 1 hour boating
DAY 14: SAI GON – CAIBE – MEKONG LODGE (B/L/D)
Leave Saigon after breakfast, we head to Mekong Delta, the land of nine dragons. Getting out of the city, you will see the mighty delta with its quaint rural landscape and immense waterway.
Arrive at Cai Be River Wharf around 10.am, we will get on our charming shuttle boat to reach Mekong Lodge, the green pearl of Mekong Delta. The boat transfer is part of the trip experience itself as it is your first contact with the Mekong’s fertile alluvial water, which shapes the richness of the land.
Disembark and welcome you to Mekong Lodge; our smiling staffs in local traditional costume await you at Mekong Lodge iconic front bamboo-shaped gate. Check in your private bungalows and enjoy a delicious lunch in our Mekong Riverside Restaurant.
Take some rest and begin our private walking tour to discover the nearby village around Mekong Lodge. We will visit a coconut candy workshop and a brick factory to see the traditional manual production of goods in Mekong Delta. Meat and talk with local people, renowned for their friendliness, warmth and generosity. Our guide will take you to immerse in the heart of the land.
In the evening, get some hands on culinary experience by joining our Vietnamese cooking class. Our chefs will instruct you to prepare the Mekong Lodge signature dishes. Have fun and some interesting recipes to take home with. Enjoy dinner in a cozy atmosphere.
Road journey: 120km ~ 2.5 hours driving
DAY 15: CAIBE - SAI GON (B)
Begin our second day with buffet breakfast, then getting on our rowed sampan to visit Cai Be floating market, a cultural feature of Mekong Delta. Try to visit it early and you will see the most vibrant scene on Tien River with hundred of boats gathering for fresh produce trade. Get back to Mekong Lodge to continue the discovery of Mekong Delta with cycling on its tranquil winding lanes and crossing canals. Take in the fresh air, beautiful view and taste some freshly picked fruit in local orchards. Around noon, cycle back to Mekong Lodge for check out and ride back Saigon.
DAY 16: DEPARTURE - GOODBYE VIETNAM (B)
Free at your leisure until transferring to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your next destination.