21 Days/ 20 Nights
Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - Da Lat - Nha Trang - Buon Ma Thuat - Lak Lake - Pleiku – Kontum - Hoi An - Da Nang - Hue - Ha Noi - Mai Chau - Son La - Dien Bien Phu - Tam Duong - Sa Pa - Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi
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On arrival at Tan San Nhat Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel for check in. In this afternoon, we will have a sightseeing tour of major sights in Ho Chi Minh City. We drive past many lively streets on our way to the Reunification Palace. This mansion was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. We see these before going to the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War remnant exhibit. The final stop is Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale!.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Full day tour to My Tho – Ben Tre (B/L/-)
Heading out of town, we travel by roads to the Mekong Delta. This plain region boasts the largest rice bowl of Vietnam. On arrival in My Tho we board a boat navigating around the intricate small canals, which is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up and catch a view dotted by many islands. The exciting river trip will pass by the lush green vegetation towards the famous Unicorn Island where we have a chance to stroll around an orchard, taste many seasonal fruits and see farmers at work. We navigate some narrower canals using small rowing boats to Ben Tre Province for an interesting visit to some local industries. The extra enjoyment is a lunch at one of the famous local eating spots. We drive back to Ho Chi Minh, stopping off en route to see the beautiful Ving Trang Pagoda and the Saigon's Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon. This bustling area is crammed with sacred temples and mysterious, narrow lanes.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Da Lat Package tourS(B/-/-)
The journey northwards begins as we depart Ho Chi Minh and pass through the many tea and coffee plantations to the hill station of Da Lat, sometimes known as the " City of Eternal Spring". The drive is long but views are fantastic all along the way. Once arriving in Da Lat we can soak up the cool climate as much as we want by spending our time to wander around and catch our first glimpse of this town. The influence of the French is evident in local culture and architecture since Da Lat was founded as a hill retreat for the colonials to escape the oppressive heat in the coastal plains and the chaos of Saigon. This charming town is set around a lake and surrounded by forests, waterfalls and rolling countryside.
O/N in Da Lat.
Day 4: Da Lat Package Tour- Nha Trang travel package (B/-/-)
Today we enjoy a drive through the charming pine hill to the summer residence of Vietnam’s last Emperor Bao Dai. He was forced to abdicate in 1945, shortly after the end of the World War II. This mansion displays a lovely collection of Vietnam treasures. We follow it with a trip to the sacred Lam Ty Ni Pagoda and the Hang Nga Guesthouse. This construction is well known as the Crazy House because of its bizarre architecture. The lively central market and the old rail station are also visited before we travel by roads passing through the undulating terrains to the picturesque coastal town of Nha Trang. En route we make stopover at the scenic Ngoan Muc Pass and the Po Klong Jarai Cham Towers. These amazing structures represent an interesting culture and a colorful history of the Cham people in central coast areas.
O/N in Nha Trang.
Day 5: Nha Trang diving tourS (B/L/-)
The turquoise water surrounding a string of islands and the white sandy beach stretching the whole length of Nha Trang City make it one of Vietnam's premier beach resorts. We board a boat to explore the coastal islands. The aquarium lake is our first stop before we head out to Hon Mun Island. Today we have plenty of time to enjoy swimming and snorkeling on the blue and clear water or simply lazing on a beach. The thrilling boat trip continues towards Hon Tam Island, giving us a choice of various water sports and good restaurant for lunch. By mid afternoon we cruise back to Nha Trang Pier and complete our day with a short city tour. The impressive Ponagar Cham Towers overlooking the colourful fishing port, and the famous Long Son Pagoda are a major part of our sightseeing.
O/N in Nha Trang.
Day 6: Nha Trang Package Tours - Buon Ma Thuat Travel Packages - Lak Lake (B/-/D)
The modern comforts will be left behind as we head the coast towards the Central Highlands and travel via the famous town of Buon Ma Thuat to Lak Lake. This remote area is surrounded by the rugged mountain backdrops and the sleepy hill tribe villages. We enjoy one and half hour elephant ride to explore the rural life and the scenic countryside before transferring to the June village. This night will be spent in traditional long house of a M'nong family. The facilities here are very basic, but it gives us a chance to see the simple lifestyle of the M’nong ethnic minorities and live as many local villagers usually do.
O/N at June village.
Day 7: Buon Me Thuat Package Tours - Kontum Travel Packages (B/-/-)
The exciting exploration continues with a short dugout ride around the scenic Lak Lake. Today we have a walking option to discover a nearby village of the M'nong people. This ethnic group has settled here long time ago and made for the main local population. We continue our overland expedition along the central highlands though Vietnam's biggest growing coffee area in Pleiku to Komtum. The deep contrast of lush vegetation and red surface of basaltic soil is incredible all along the way. Once reaching Komtum Town we visit the traditional culture center, the Komtum Seminary, the Wooden Church and the Banar hill tribe village. They are just some of the major attractions in town.
O/N in Komtum
Day 8: Komtum - Hoi An sightseeing tour (B/-/-)
An early morning start to drive towards Hoi An. We pass the beautiful mountainous region on our way to the central coast region. A part of the pleasure of travelling in this region is the simple joy of seeing the rice fields and the smiling faces of the people. On arrival in Hoi An we start our sightseeing tour. This delightful town was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There are plenty to see in Hoi An Town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant market. We include these sites in an enchanting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past.
O/N in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoi An Package Tours - Hue sightseeing tour (B/-/-)
The following destination of our trip is Hue which was once the feudal capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945. Along the way we visit the China Beach, the sensational Marble Mountains and the famous Cham Museum which boasts the largest collection of the Cham treasures in Vietnam. The winding road begins as we make our way up the spectacular Hai Van pass. A view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam's most impressive panoramic scenes. On arrival in Lang Co, we make a break by the beach for a leisurely swim. The impressive drive will deliver us to Hue by early afternoon. We start seeing Hue with 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.
O/N in Hue.
The beautiful riverside pagoda of Thien Mu is one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious work ship in Hue. We include this in a half day cruise on the Perfume River which also gives us a taste of the scenic countryside and an enjoyable visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang. This impressive landmark is laid in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes, featuring the beautiful architecture, intricate decor and mysterious statues. Afterwards we drive though the rolling hill to see the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and the famous Tu Hieu Pagoda. The sightseeing tour is followed with a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts.
O/N in Hue.
Day 11: Hue – Hue sightseeing tours (B/-/-)
After breakfast at hotel, you will take a morning flight to Hanoi.
Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you will be welcome & escorted to the heart of Hanoi. The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia ‘s most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere
In this afternoon, we will take a visit to the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam, the History Museum with an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history and the outlaying Ethnologic Museum. This gleaming mansion is dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups. Afterwards we drive back to the town center to visit Ngoc Son Temple & Hoan Kiem Lake
If time permits we enjoy a cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places
Evening: Water puppets show, the unique Vietnam traditional art.
O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 12: Hanoi – Duong Lam – Mai Chau (B/L/D)
In the morning, we start from Hanoi to Duong Lam village, a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River delta where still preserve many hundred-year-old houses. It will be your unique experience as you walk along tiny ancient alleys; visit Mong Phu Communal House in Mong Phu hamlet - the only hamlet whose original village entrance gate remains intact, dedicated to national heroes. Have the opportunity to bike in the village and have some talks with the locals in their ancient houses by visiting the ancient houses of Mr Lam, Mr Ha and Mr Huyen. After that, we continue walking to visit Mia Pagoda (other hamlet in Duong Lam village), is built in 15 th century and admire 287 statues of all sizes, among with are famous sculpture such as the statue of Buddha in the Himalayas and the statues of the Eight Vajra Deities. Then visit Ngo Quyen temple and Phung Hung temple, places dedicated to two national heroes Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung.
Lastly, we will go back a local family to enjoy your special lunch with Vietnamese foods in an ancient house.
At around 14:00, we will keep heading to Mai Chau valley & view sunset behind the hills. After dinner in a family, we have the opportunity to take part to a traditional dance show.
O/N at house on stilts in Pom Coong remote village.
Day 13: Hanoi - Son La (B/-/-)
This morning we are going to have a short trekking journey (or bike tour) to some of remote villages of Thai People inhabiting in Mai Chau valley.
The journey northwest begins as we depart from Mai Chau and pass through the undulating terrains of tea plantations, terraced rice fields and sleepy villages linked to the road which is the main artery of trade between the northwestern region and the capital city. This is our first glimpse of rural Vietnam and sets the tone for the days ahead. En route we have several stops to stretch our legs and visit some roadside villages. The thrilling drive will deliver us in Son La by mid or late afternoon depending on road and traffic conditions. We check in hotel and enjoy a short walk around this mountain town. There is a little traffic on roads and many Black Thai in traditional costume scurry in all directions.
O/N in Son La.
Day 14: Son La - Dien Bien Phu (B/-/-)
The provincial museum and the top hill old prison are some of major sights in Son La Town. We include these in a short morning tour before we wind our way past the stunning mountain scenery. The road conditions are very poor therefore we need to bring along our spirit of adventure until Dien Bien Phu, the site of the decisive battle in Vietnam's struggle for independence in 1954. Once reaching Dien Dien we drive around to see this fast growing town and make stop at Dien Bien Phu museum which details the event in place. We follow it with a visit to the strategic hill A1 and the old battle field where the lush vegetation grows behind many war relics including old French tanks and artillery pieces. O/N in Dien Bien Phu
Day 15: Dien Bien Phu - Tam Duong (B/-/-)
Heading out of Dien Phu Phu Town, we spend a full day travelling into Vietnam's most mountainous region. The roads are difficult at times, but the spectacular landscape with a mixture of terraced fields and colourful local population makes the hardship all worthwhile. Along the way we encounter the mountaineers going about their daily business. These local villagers are almost the Red Hmong, Kho Mu, Mang, Dao people who still retain their age old cultural traditions and wear distinctive costumes. We arrive in Tam Duong by late afternoon and may have time strolling around. This small hill town is surrounded by the breathtaking mountain backdrop and frequently visited by the ethnic minority people. O/N in Tam Duong.
Day 16: Tam Duong - Sapa (B/-/-)
The breathtaking north scenery is unequalled although the conditions are very basic. Today we continue driving along a zigzag route to Sapa. The road conditions is very poor in some places but it is still a wonderful trip for photograph hunters as we pass though the various scenic water falls, charming villages and rolling mountains. The hill station of Sa Pa was founded in early last century and rapidly became an ideal place for anyone seeking an enjoyable escape from the unbearable heat in plains. At an elevation of 1,500 meters, it has some warm days and cool evenings. Today we can soak up the fresh climate as much as you want by spending the time to wander around and catch the first look of Sa Pa. The ethnic minority people are frequently seen in this hill town and small vendors along the street sell local textiles and handicraft.
O/N in Sa Pa.
Day 17: Sapa adventure travel packages (B/L/-)
Time to visit Sa Pa Market where the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay , Xa Pho ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding mountainsides or valley to trade their goods and enjoy a walk to some nearby hill tribe villages such as Cat Cat, Lao Chai and Ta Van villages.
O/N in Sa Pa.
Day 18: Sapa trekking tours to Bac Ha market – back to Hanoi by train (B/L/-)
We continue venturing into northern Vietnam with the next stop being Bac Ha Market, which also attracts a wide variety of ethnic minority groups including the Variegated Hmong, Dao, Phu La, La Chi, Tay. The experience of this congregation is colorful and unique.
Afternoon, enjoy a boat trip down stream Chay River and take visit to villages along the river, discover the local people life.
Transfer to Lao Cai Railways Station for overnight train back to Hanoi.
O/N on board.
Option 1: Bac Ha & Muong Khuong Market on Sunday
Option 2: Coc Ly Market on Tuesday
Option 3: Lung Khau Nhin Market on Friday
Option 4: Can Cau Market on Saturday
Day 19: Hanoi railway station – Halong Bay (B/L/D)
05h00: Arrive at Hanoi Railways Station, transfer to hotel for leisure and breakfast.
08h00: We are picked up at your hotel and then keep going to Halong Bay. On the way, we will stop by a Humanity Center where almost disable children known as Agent Orange affected victims in the Vietnam war are living & working and contributing to the social development. You will have chance to see how much the war did damage Vietnam & how hard Vietnamese people are surviving.
12.30 We are welcome on the traditional junk and have welcome drink. Start the boat trip to visit Halong Bay, listed as a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. This picturesque “Dragon descending to the sea” Bay has 1,969 limestone islets rising from the sea, many of them containing beautiful grottoes. Visit of a grotto then seafood lunch on board.
The excursion includes the visit to Con Cho Island, Dinh Huong Island, Canh Buom Island, Ga Choi Island. Swimming on Titop or Hoa Cuong beach. Watching sunset. Fishing with seine and owing bamboo boat (on request). If you are unable to do or not interested in joining those kinds of activities, you can stay on the sundeck to relax on your own.
Dinner and overnight on Cruise
Day 20: Halong Cruise - Hanoi (Brunch/-)
In this morning, we will keep on our journey by junk-boat to to explore more islands & natural beauties of Halong Bay.
At around 10:30: you will have a brunch served on cruise before reaching to Halong Harbour at around 12:00. Right here our car will be at disposal to pick you up then drive back to Hanoi.
At around 15:30: You will get to Hanoi & the rest of time you will be free on your own
O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 21: Hanoi - Departure (B/-/-)
At leisure until transfer to Noi Bai Airport for departure flight (check out hotel before 12h00)
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