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. The rest of the day is free for your own discovery of the Old Quarter.
Today we escape the busy city and head to Mai Chau - a beautiful and quaint valley mainly occupied by the White Thai. We get to the town around noon where a special lunch prepared by the Thai people is waiting to be served. In the afternoon, we will make a nice bike ride to discover an authentic country really unknown by mass tourism. We will be charmed by the traditional houses on stilts, the smiles of the Thai, friendly welcoming and green rice, vegetable gardens and bamboo forests near our path, crossing the villages: Chieng Sai, Cha, Cha Long, Na Tang, Tong Dau ... After dinner, you will enjoy the traditional music show in the evening. Night at the homestay.
This morning we drive 170km to Tam Coc also known as “Dry Halong Bay”. We will pass by some of the most picturesque scenery in Vietnam. Arrive in Tam Coc right on time for lunch. In the afternoon, you will board a rowboat for a peaceful navigation along Ngo Dong River. Tam Coc literally means “three caves”. During the boat trip you will cruise among limestone mountains reflected in the emerald water, between rice fields and through three beautiful limestone caves beautifully decorated with stalactites and stalagmites of all sizes and shapes. We will spend the rest of the day riding a bicycle and getting lost on winding roads passing lotus ponds, temples, and cottages. We will visit Bich Dong pagoda, which hides among the trees on a lush hillside. Overnight at the hotel.
Today you have breakfast at the hotel, and we depart early for Ha Long Bay. We take the way via Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, passing a typical countryside of the Red River Delta with endless rice fields and meandering rivers. Arriving at Ha Long 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.
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 stay close at all times serving as a backup vessel for those who need it. Around midday we will return to the main harbour & drive Noi Bai airport in Hanoi. Catch the flight to Hue City. You will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Hue.
Start the morning with a boat trip on the poetic Perfume River. Our first visit is to Thien Mu Pagoda (Celestial Lady pagoda) built in 1601 on the Northern bank of the river. With its seven-storey Phuoc Duyen tower, Thien Mu Pagoda became the symbol of the ancient capital and has often been mentioned in folk rhymes about Hue.
We continue cruising toward Thuy Bieu, a laid-back village settled on the banks of the Perfume River. The village is famous for its green Thanh Tra (a small kind of pomelo) orchards. Then you have a peaceful walk through the village, visiting communal houses, ancient temples, and the garden houses - a typical and unique feature of Hue. You will be treated to a foot bath in medicinal herb water, followed by a soothing massage from the skilled hands of a blind therapist to recharge after a full morning spent sightseeing.
Join the cooking class to prepare Hue’s signature dishes under our chef’s instruction and enjoy your delicious freshly made food in the open-air riverside restaurant.
After having lunch, we drive to visit Hue Imperial City. In the ultimate royal city of Vietnam, we will have a chance to see beautiful structures including the Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns and the Forbidden Purple City or Tu Cam Thanh. Continue on to visit the Tomb of Tu Duc designed by the Emperor himself before his death. The Tomb includes 50 monuments arranged asymmetrically and highlights the perfect harmony of buildings and nature. Take time to soak in its tranquil and relaxing setting.
Head back to the city centre and night at the hotel.
After breakfast we hop in the car and take the Mandarin Road from Hue to Hoi An. The scenic journey offers views of seemingly endless stunning beach landscapes and dense tropical forest. Along the road we can stop to take photos of Da Nang Beach. We will visit the Marble Mountains and the Cham Museum before arriving in Hoi An. We will have a lunch of typical local dishes at an ancient town restaurant.
We spend the afternoon wandering this UNESCO-recognised world heritage site and its highlights: the Japanese Covered Bridge (built by the Japanese then living in Hoi An to connect their quarter to the Chinese’s one), old Phung Hung house, Hoi An’s market and ancient port. We make a special stop at the Reaching Out tea house - a tranquil oasis in the bustling centre of Hoi An.
Remark: On the 1st and 15th of every lunar month, all the streetlights will be turned off and the whole town will be illuminated with the warm glow of multi-coloured lanterns.
After breakfast, hop on a bicycle and ride to Phu Thinh beach, passing through lush paddy fields. On the way we will stop at the Precious Art Gallery Museum to admire the exhibition of photos and costumes of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. You will have an enjoyable massage facing the sea, and afterwards swim freely at Phu Thinh beach. A Seafood lunch is served right on the beach. After that we ride back to the hotel. Rest of the day is free for your own exploration.
Free time to free time to discover Hoi An or enjoy the beaches 5 km from the city. In the afternoon, take the car (without guide) to Da Nang airport 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 Sai Gon), 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 candies workshop where you will watch how coconut flesh is used and processed. A short tuk-tuk bike ride on the winding small road of the countryside will take you deeper into the village and we will stop at a family braiding mats. The local restaurant prepares typical dishes of the Mekong delta for your lunch. Following, we board on a rowing boat to join the maze of canals and return to the landing stage. Get back on the car and we continue driving to Can Tho. Night spent at the hotel.
Today we will be the early birds taking the morning boat trip to Cai Rang floating market, the largest in the region, where boats bursting with fruit and vegetables gather every day. After joining in at the busy market, you will take a walk in Mr. Ba Cong’s orchard to taste fresh tropical fruits. The following visit is to a workshop where you will see how the local (canna indica) vermicelli is made. Get back to the mainland by boat and then we will drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Ho Chi Minh City, constructed between 1877 and 1880 by the French. Only a few steps from the Cathedral is the General Post Office. People come here not for sending postcards or letters, but mostly to admire its interior with an arched roof and curved windows, reminiscent of early European railway stations. The city tour then continues along Dong Khoi Street heading to see the Opera House and the Peoples’ Committee building, built in 1897 by French architect Ferret Eugene. The 800 seat Opera House served as the home of the Lower House Assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. Night at the hotel.
Free time to discover Ho Chi Minh City then transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
A journey into nature, biodiversity and green-tourism to discover the lush ecosystems of Vietnam. The common thread is total immersion in preserved natural sites, accompanied by passionate tour guides.
• Rice paddies in Mai Chau valley
• The sugar loaf hills of Ninh Binh (terrestrial Halong Bay)
• The limestone landscape of Halong Bay
• The green orchards and small arroyos of the Mekong Delta
• The imperial tombs of Hue
• The ancient houses of old Hoi An trading port
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 - Hue, 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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