Best of Vietnam 16 Days 15 Nights

Day 1: Hochiminh City (Saigon) Arrival

Warm welcome upon your arrival in HCMC. Your guide will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the downtown.  After check in you will have free time to relax, then your guide see you again for a welcome dinner at the river cruises on the Saigon river.

Day 2: Cu Chi Tunnels, HCMC sightseeing (Meals: B,L)

This morning we set off on a busy day of sightseeing, with our first stop being a village known for making rice paper. From here we continue on to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a twisting network of narrow underground tunnels and rooms that the Viet Cong used as its military base and living quarters during the Vietnam War. We’ll learn about the Viet Cong’s life underground as well as being able to explore the network of tunnels by foot. 

We’ll then drive back to HCMC for the afternoon, taking in some of the city’s most important sights. We begin with the Reunification Palace, an outstanding example of 1960s architecture that is steeped in modern history. It was here that the Vietnam War ended in 1975, when the city of Saigon fell after a North Vietnamese army tank crashed through the palace gates, from which point the city was to be known as Ho Chi Minh City. From here we sightseeing some of the city’s major landmarks: the Notre Dame Cathedral, an imposing neo-Romanesque Catholic cathedral built in the late 19th century; and the Saigon Post Office, a classic French colonial building bearing a giant portrait of ‘Uncle Ho’ and many grand architectural details. 

Our final sightseeing of the day is to the Ben Thanh Market, an enormous sprawling covered marketplace that is packed to the gills with everything from fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and sweets; to suitcases, clothing and white goods; to traditional lacquer ware, handicrafts and kitschy tourist trinkets. Bargaining is key here, but even if you’re not shopping, it’s a dazzling spectacle to photograph. 
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

cu-chi-tunnels

Day 3: HCMC – My Tho – Can Tho (Meals: B,L,D)

Today you leave HCMC for the Mekong Delta. Surrounded by thousands of crisscrossed canals, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, most of the villages are often accessible by rivers and canals rather than by road. Upon arrival you take a motor-boat to explore the Thoi Son islet. Following a village path passing local houses to visit some family-run coconut candy mills then you take a horse-cart from village to village. 

Enjoy lunch with local special dishes followed by the “Southern Vietnamese folk music”, a very common art activity in the Mekong Delta performed by local people.  Rejoin your car for a drive to Can Tho. Overnight in Can Tho City.

Day 4: Floating market – Village Biking – HCMC (Meals: B,L)

Early wake up today to join in the Cai Rang floating market, one of the most exciting activities you should do when you are in this area. Take a motorized boat to join the market and experience how people exchange goods, fruit and many other commodities on their vessels. You also find floating restaurants, floating bars, floating gas stations, and many other floating shops. Back to the shore and take a bike cycling from village to village on path, over monkey bridges, get in touch with local people. Lunch is at local restaurant before driving back to HCMC.

Day 5: HCMC Free of Choices (Meals: B,L)

You have a whole day to explore the HCMC Surroundings. Please select the below options to learn more about the South Vietnam. Do not forget to add your favourit street food to the list and the dining option to taste and experience the HCMC and South Vietnam cuisine.

HCMC Free Choice Offers. All included. No extra cost
1. Free Choice Surroundings
2. Free Choice Street Food
3. Free Choice Dining

Day 6: Departure for Hue City (Meals: B,D)

Enjoy your free time until transfer to airport for flight to Hue. Located in central Vietnam, the World Cultural Heritage Site Hue used to be the Citadel of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945. Your local guide meets you at the airport for a transfer to hotel. Free. At leisure. Evening meeting with your guide again for a Hue Royal style dinner, taste some Royal cuisines at local restaurant. Overnight in Hue.

Day 7: Hue City Tour (Meals: B,L,D)

Breakfast at your hotel, start your story of the fascinating Hue tour with cruising along the peaceful Perfume River, make a quick stop en-route, get off the boat to explore the iconic seven-storey Thien Mu Pagoda which was constructed on a hillock overlooking the Perfume River. The charming pagoda is considered as the unofficial symbol of the city.

After finishing your sightseeing at Thien Mu Pagoda, hop in your car waiting outside to transfer to the Imperial City of Hue, one of Vietnam’s Seven UNESCO World Heritage Site, including The Citadel and The Forbidden City to learn about the history of the ancient capital of Vietnam.

Then, your next destination is Hue Royal Antiques Museum which is housed in the former Long An Palace, widely regarded to be one of Vietnam’s most beautiful palaces. While at the Royal Antiquities Museum, you have the chance to see a huge collection of ornaments, furniture, jewelry, clothing, and other items relating to royal life during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).

Take your time to explore the museum before moving to Dong Ba Market, Hue’s largest market where you can find anything and everything. After having lunch at a local restaurant, we continue on to the city’s outskirts to visit the final resting places of the Emperor under Nguyen Dynasty, Minh Mang Tomb and Khai Dinh Tomb which allows you to learn more about Nguyen Kings, as well as enjoy the spectacular landscape.

Leaving the royal tombs, we head to the nearby village to see locals making incense stick and conical hat.
In the late afternoon, hop in your car to get back to the city center. Stay overnight in Hue.

Day 8: Hue – Hoi An (B,D)

Today you leave Hue for Hoi An, another World Heritage site in the Central Vietnam. Hoi An is one of the oldest towns in south-east Asia and characterized by a rich blend of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and European architecture. Formerly known as Faifo, the ancient riverside town of Hoi An was a major trading port from the 16th to the 19th century. Journey to Hoi An is travelling over the Hai Van pass where you have a stop for a panoramic view over the Lang Co beach. 

On the way to Hoi An you may like to stop at one of the interesting places:
1. Museum of Cham Sculpture
2. Marble Mountains and Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village.
Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 9: Free choice – Hoi An Suroundings- Streetfood (B,L,D)

Your stay in the Hoi An Ancient town will be full of interesting. Please select two of the Free Choice Sightseeing – Hoi An & Surroundings to start your interesting day in Hoi An.

1. Walking in Hoi An Ancient town
Walking tour to explore the town with old houses, narrow streets and stop to sightseeing the lantern makers, Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Halls, Handicraft workshop.

2. Tra Que Vegetable village by bicycle
Where you can join with gardening activities as preparing the land and fertilizing with seaweed from the local lake, prepare food and join lunch with a local family. It is also good time to relax and learn more about the Vietnamese village.

3. Kim Bong Carpentry village by boat
Formed in the 15th century by Vietnamese from the Northern Vietnam, Kim Bong carpentry developed vigorously and the occupational village was established with three groups: Ancient architectural construction, civil wooden furniture and shipbuilding. Many carpenters from this village worked to build Hue Citadel

4. My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary dates from the 4th to the 13th centuries. It was a unique culture on the coast of contemporary Vietnam, owing its spiritual origins to the Hinduism of India. This is graphically illustrated by the remains of a series of impressive tower temples in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence. The My Son Sanctuary is a remarkable architectural ensemble that developed over a period of ten centuries. It presents a vivid picture of spiritual and political life in an important phase of the history of South-East Asia.

5. Red Bridge Cooking Class (Joined group)
Begins with a with a drink at Hai Scout Café followed by a visit the Hoi An colorful market. It is time to get in touch with local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients for your own cooking lesson. Boat trip cruising along the Hoi An river to the cooking school. On arrival, you explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden. Learn about some of Hoi An and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The 2-hour cooking lesson includes a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving. Try some dishes yourselves. Lunch is served included what you have cooked.

Free Choice Street Food – Authentic experiences
1. “ Rice & Chicken” followed by a cup of Vietnamese coffee/tea/softdrink
2. “ Banh Xeo Hoi An “ followed by a cup of Vietnamese coffee/tea/softdrink
3. “ Cao Lau Hoi An” followed by a cup of Vietnamese coffee/tea/softdrink
4. “ Mi Quang ” followed by a cup of Vietnamese coffee/tea/softdrink

Free Choice Dining:
1. Hoi An cuisine set-menu at local restaurant.
2. Dinner on the beach at local restaurant.
3. BBQ fresh seafood on the beach at local restaurant.
4. Relaxing Dinner Cruise on the Hoai river and the Thu Bon 

Day 10: Deparure for Hanoi Capital

Again you take a one-hour flight to Hanoi. Widely acknowledged as one of the loveliest cities in Asia, this one-thousand-year old city offer you its unique images that totally different from other Asian cities.

Hanoi still retains a small-town provincial charm and unique intermingle with a French legacy wide, tree-lined boulevards, parks, grand villas and an artistic, café society.Your guide meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the  downtown.  Enjoy a cyclo ( trishaw) riding around Hanoi Old Quarter with last stop at the famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theater for a Water Puppet Show – a unique art performance. Welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 11: Hanoi – Train to Sapa (B,L,D)

Please select one of the Hanoi city options and one of the Hanoi Surroundings to enjoy the day in Hanoi before having a night train to Lao Cai for Sapa. Overnight on train.

Hanoi Free Choice Offers. All included. No extra cost
1. Free Choice Sightseeing
+ Option 1: Hanoi Full-day ( Maximum 7 places )
+ Option 2: Hanoi Half-day ( Maximum 4 places ) & One of Hanoi Surroundings

2. Free Choice Street Food Lunch Break – Authentic experiences
3. Free Choice Dining

Feel free to personalize and enrich your visit 
Hanoi Sightseeings:
1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum ( open in the morning) ; 2. One Pillar Pagoda
3. Quan Thanh Temple ; 4. Temple of Literature
5. Bach Ma Temple ; 6. Hanoi Ancient House
7. Tran Quoc pagoda ; 8. Sword Lake and Ngoc Son Temple
9. Vietnam Military History Museum ; 10. Vietnam National Museum of History
11. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology ; 12. Vietnamese Women’s Museum

Hanoi Surroundings
1. Bat Trang pottery villages: About 13 kilometers south east of Hanoi center, Bat Trang village, established in 14th or 15th century, is famous for ceramic and pottery products of high quality such as vases, bowls, dishes, and many other kinds of ceramic products which have been exported worldwide.

2. Van Phuc silk village: About 8 km southwest of Ha Noi, Van Phuc silk village is well known for its traditional sericulture, weaving, and silk products for a long-lasting history of more than two thousand years. The village makes more than 2 million meters of silk per year and is an ideal place for silk products & souvenirs

3. Duong Lam Ancient village: Duong Lam ancient village, some 60km to the west of Hanoi, has a history of about 1,200 years with many houses dating back up to 400 years. One special thing about the village is that most of the buildings here are made of laterite and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area. The village also has its prestige as two of Vietnam’s kings, Phung Hung (761-802) and Ngo Quyen (896-944) were born in here.

4. Dong Ho painting village: Dong Ho painting village, 30 km to the East of Hanoi, or Vietnamese woodblock prints is a distinct Vietnamese folk art. Dong Ho paintings reflect people’s innermost feelings. Dong Ho paintings is made of of bark of a tree called “Dzo. Colors of the painting are refined from various kinds of tree leaves that people can easily find in Vietnam. Dong Ho paintings have about 300 years of history in the north of Vietnam. It is always considered a symbol of traditional culture and aesthetic value of Vietnam.

Day 12: Lao Cai – Sapa – Cat Cat Village (B,D)

Early arrive in Lao Cai, a Vietnam-China border city. Meet you local driver for transfer you to your hotel located in Sapa town. Enjoy the North Vietnam mountainous area with its winding road, terrace rice fields and minority ethnic villages.  Time for relaxation or explore the mountainous town on your own (early check-in is subject to availability). Afternoon you have a short walking tour to sightseeing the Cat Cat village – home of the H’Mong ethnic people located in the beautiful valley and learn about their unique customs and practices. Stop at the Cat Cat waterfall for some photo shots before returning to hotel. Enjoy dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 13: Ethnic village – Train back to Hanoi (B,L,D)

You start the day with a soft trek along buffalo paths to the Ta van and Lao Chai, villages of the H’Mong and the Day ethnic peoples, through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can meet. More time to learn about other ethnic community in Sapa. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon your driver picks up you from the village and transfer you back to Sapa for a short break then to Lao Cai. Dinner at local restaurant then you catch a night train to Hanoi. Overnight on train.

Day 14: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D)

Early arrive Hanoi in the morning, your driver meets  you at the station and offer you a drive to watch local people do morning exercise at the lakes or join in the morning flowers market before having a breakfast and a cup of coffee.  Leave Hanoi for Halong Bay via the Red River Delta. Enjoy welcome drink onboard then start cruising through Bai Tu Long Bay while lunch is served. Stop to visit and explore Vung Vieng fishing village by bamboo boat or you can have a kayak around Vung Vieng area. 

Time to relax, sunbath or swimming at Ban Chan Beach. Back to the junk to enjoy the sunset cocktail while the boat is cruising to Cong Do area docking for overnight.  BBQ dinner followed by some activities of board games or squid fishing. Overnight on traditional junk.

Day 15: Halong – Hanoi (B,Brunch)

Early bird with exercises with Tai chi on the sundeck then enjoy a light breakfast. Explore Thien Canh Son Cave. Watching fruits carving demonstration. Enjoy Ha Long Bay scenery while the junk boat cruising back to shore. Rejoin your car for journey back to Hanoi. Enjoy one of the below activities before back to hotel for relax and at leisure.

Free Choice Activities
1. Enjoy some glasses of “Bia hoi Hanoi ” at local pub.
2. Enjoy Vietnamese ca tru (ceremonial singing) traditional music

Ovenight in Hanoi

Day 16: Hanoi Departure (B)

Today is the last day of your “Best of Vietnam 16 Days”. Enjoy your free time at your hotel or you can do your last minute souvenir shopping before transfer to airport for your flight home. Have a good journey and thanks for joining us.

Note:
We can arrange additional customized trips for you if the above itinerary does not match your expectations.

TOUR PRICE AND TERMS OF SERVICES

Category – 4 Star hotels

US$2350,–/person
Valid from 1 Oct 18 – 30 Apr 19
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US$2209,–/person
Valid from 1 May 19 – 30 Sep 19

Category – 5 Star hotels

US$2955,–/person
Valid from 1 Oct 18 – 30 Apr 19
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US$2698,–/person
Valid from 1 May 19 – 30 Sep 19

Above tour price is based on group of 2 persons
Request your exact group size for better price

Tour Duration: 16 Days / 15 Nights
Tour Operates: Year Round / On Demand

What’s included:
– Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
– Domestic flights
– Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
– English or French speaking guide (for other languages supplements apply)
– Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
– Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary
– Entrance fees for mentioned visits

What’s excluded:
– Other meals than mentioned
– Other services than mentioned
– International flights
– Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
– Tips, Travel insurance

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