On arriving at Noi Bai Airport, you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel in the city centre. Hotel check-in is available at 2 pm. Free time to explore the 36 streets of the Old Quarter.
Overnight at the hotel.
Starting the day trip with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum (closed on Mondays & Fridays) & his former stilt-house residence. We will then visit the Temple of Literature, constructed in 1070 to worship Confucius, which also served as the first Royal National University in Vietnam. There are 82 stone steles, carried by tortoises, engraved with names, birthdates, and birthplaces of honoured doctorates from 1442 to 1779. Local people believed that touching the head of these tortoises would bring luck. The green and neatly maintained gardens and lotus ponds make this place a peaceful hideaway from the city’s hustle and heat.
Our afternoon exploration begins with the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays, the alternative on this day being the History Museum). The museum offers a wide range of informative and well-documented displays of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, including colourful hill tribe costumes. The outdoor display is an impressive collection of traditional houses of various minorities from the north to the central Highlands. Drive back to the Old Quarter for a 1.5-hour walking tour, specially designed for a deeper insight into Hanoian daily life. We will also visit the Ngọc Son temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain) which sits on a green islet in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, connected to the lakeside by a graceful scarlet bridge named The Huc (meaning the early sunlight welcoming place). The temple is dedicated to Tran Hung Dao - the General who defeated the Mongols in the 13th century and Van Xuong De Quan - the patron of literature and examinations. Ngoc Son temple and Hoan Kiem Lake are frequently visited by tourists and locals. Overnight at the hotel.
Early breakfast and we leave Hanoi for Halong Bay. On the way we pass through countryside indicative of the Red River Delta, with endless rice fields and winding rivers. Arriving at Halong tourist harbour around noon, you will board an elegant wooden junk. A delicious lunch is served on board while the boat gently navigates through countless islands and limestone structures arising from the turquoise water. In the evening, a fresh seafood dinner prepared by a skilful chef awaits you. Enjoy a peaceful night on board in the middle of the quiet sea. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change according to the cruise and weather conditions.
Please note that the itinerary is subject to change according to the cruise and weather conditions.
Nothing can be compared to waking up to a serene morning surrounded by karsts. You can have an early morning dip and then breakfast on board. We will continue to sail through the bay during the morning to explore hidden areas. The junk will always stay close serving as a backup vessel for those who need it. Around midday we will return to the main harbour & drive back to Ha Noi airport. Flight to Da Nang.
In the morning you will be taken on a half-day walking tour of Hoi An ancient town. In this UNESCO-recognized world heritage site you will visit Chua Ong Pagoda (dedicated to “Quan Thanh De Quan” - an ancient Chinese general), Chinese assembly halls, the 200-year-old Tan Ky house (with Japanese and Chinese influenced architecture), and the Japanese Covered Bridge (built by the Japanese then living in Hoi An to connect their quarter to that of the Chinese). Following is your own exploration of the legendary shopping scene; where handicrafts, jewellery, traditional apparel, and shoes are on sale.
Follow a local guide for this experience which starts with a leisurely biking trip along the country roads. Observe traditional Vietnamese rural life as the local people work in the paddy fields. Farmers and water buffalo working the fields have become a symbol of Vietnamese countryside life. This is sure to provide you with a rich array of picture opportunities to share with family and friends. Along the way, watch out for buffalos ploughing rice fields while ducks swim across the top. You will have a chance to hop off your bicycle to visit vivid green paddy fields and a beautiful organic vegetable village. Join a farmer to tend to the vegetables and hoe the soil. As you meander through the countryside you will experience the friendliness of the local people greeting you along the way.
Later, board the boat for a river cruise to meet and engage with local fishermen. Enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional fishing net. You will also take a paddleboat trip in a unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat down the waterways of a coconut palm paradise before returning to Hoi An.
Free time to discover Hoi An.
Free time to discover Hoi An or enjoy the beaches 5 km from the city. In the afternoon, take the car to Da Nang airport (without guide) to catch the flight to Ho Chi Minh City. You will be picked up and transferred to the hotel in the city centre. Night spent in the busy and colourful city.
This morning we leave the hotel at 8 am and drive to Ben Tre Province in the Mekong delta. Upon arrival at Hung Vuong Pier (90km from Ho Chi Minh City), we get on a boat and cruise along the Ben Tre River. The boat stops at an artisanal brick factory for you to explore its imposing ovens. A sweet break is planned at a coconut candy workshop where you will see how the coconut flesh is used and processed. A short tuk-tuk or bike ride on the narrow winding road in the countryside will take you deeper into the village and we will stop to visit a family braiding mats. The local restaurant will prepare classic dishes of the Mekong delta for your lunch. Following lunch, we board a rowboat to join the maze of canals and return to the landing stage. Stop at Mr. Sau Khanh's house, a very hospitable villager to see his antique collection. He will happily show you the special technique of climbing coconut palms. Overnight at Mekong Coconut homestay.
Start the morning with breakfast prepared by the family, then traverse a branch of the Mekong by sampan. Later, you will journey by bike through the local countryside to see first-hand, daily life on the Mekong. The winding path meanders between charming traditional houses. Back on board the sampan, several stops are made along a canal for a chance to see coconuts being worked. You will disembark near the town of Cho Thom, say goodbye to your crew and travel by road back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Free time to discover Ho Chi Minh City then transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
From the amazing karst rock formations of Halong Bay to the floating markets of the Mekong Delta, the ancient temples and houses of Hoi An or the historical wonders of imperial Hue. This trip will take you not only through the most beautiful landscapes but also to impressive cultural and architectural monuments of Vietnam.
• The old quarter and ancient houses of Hanoi and Hoi An
• French Colonial architecture in Saigon
• The picturesque karst landscape of Halong Bay
• Ecotour in the Hoi An countryside.
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:
- Accommodation with breakfast on a Double/Twin Basis in Hotels listed or similar
- 2 days/1 night cruise in Halong Bay
- All entrance fees and sightseeing as mentioned in the program
- Experienced English speaking tour guides except on free days (for other language guides supplements will be applied)
- Meals as mentioned in the program (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles with driver
- Boat trips in the Mekong Delta as mentioned in the program
- Domestic flights Hanoi - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City in economy class
- Bottled water during the tour day
OUR SERVICES DO NOT INCLUDE:
- Rates and Hotels are subject to availability
- Domestic & International flights when not mentioned
- Drinks and meals other than those mentioned
- Gratuities to guides, drivers, boat crews, wait staff... We recommend you allow USD$3-6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture.
- Personal expenses of any nature like, laundry, telephone calls, shopping, incidentals at hotels etc.
- Visa Stamping Fee for Vietnam
- Travel Insurance
- Peak season or Public holiday surcharges if any
- Other services not mentioned in the itinerary
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