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. Freetime to discover the old quarter.
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. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
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.
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 and a special lunch prepared by the Thai people will be waiting for you.
The afternoon visit will continue with a nice bike ride, to immerse yourself in the authentic countryside untouched by mass tourism. You will be charmed by the friendly and welcoming smiles of the White Thai people, their traditional houses on stilts, green rice fields and vegetable gardens. Glide by bamboo forests along our cycle path passing through Chieng Sai, Cha, Cha Long, Na Tang, Tong Dau villages. Return to the lodge in time to enjoy its beautiful natural surroundings when the sun sets. After dinner you will enjoy a traditional music show. Overnight at Mai Chau Ecolodge or Mai Chau Avana retreat.
In the morning we will drive to Pu Luong. The road leading to Pu Luong Nature Reserve takes you to breathtaking mountain passes and offers fascinating bird’s- eye views of the whole valley.
In the afternoon we start to descend into the beautiful valley facing the Retreat where you walk around the rice terraces. A small path covered with vegetation slowly leads us to Uoi village sitting at the foot of a towering mountain. Your camera battery will discharge significantly due to the scenic view of the village from above. If time permits, we will stop at a local family to learn about the traditional brocade weaving. Walking resumes through the rice paddies again to get to the main road at the car pick-up point. Take the car back to Pu Luong Retreat.
Car transfer to Tam Coc (Ninh Binh). In the afternoon, we will take the road to Tam Coc, where we will embark on a small rowing boat to discover the outstanding karst waterscape on Ngo Dong River. Tam Coc literally translates to « three caves» and is adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of all sizes shaped like gemstones. While rowing, enjoy the peaceful scenery of rice paddies lining the river bank. Then visit Hoa Lu, the ancient Royal Capital of Vietnam, and two temples: Temple of King Dinh and of King Le, where you can admire this unique architecture from ancient times. Overnight in Emeranda resort.
Our journey today is toward the East, through the rich farmland of the Red River Delta, and then by boat to Cat Hai Island off the port city of Hai Phong. On arrival at the port, you are welcomed aboard the ship. Settle into a private comfortable cabin and unpack for a three-day cruise around Lan Ha Bay. Along the way to the unspoiled and less visited areas, you can admire the picturesque scenery of islands immersed in emerald water while enjoying a generous lunch served on board. These karst formations are littered with beautiful beaches, grottoes, and caves. Take a break from the cruise with an enjoyable paddle in the kayaks or a recreational swim in a secluded cove and the crystal-clear waters of the bay. Then back to the boat to take part in an onboard traditional cooking class. Enjoy delicious local food prepared and served for you by the wonderful onboard catering staff.
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 Hanoi airport. Flight to Da Nang and transfer to Hoi An. Night at the hotel.
In the morning you will be taken on a half-day walking tour of Hoi An ancient town. In this UNESCO-recognised 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).
Free time to discover Hoi An or enjoy the beaches 5 km from the city.
After enjoying your breakfast at the hotel, our guide and driver will take you to a fishing village named Cam Thanh to explore the daily life of fishermen here. We get on a motorised boat to cruise downstream on the Cua Dai River and drop in on a local fisherman to see how he casts nets. Then you will try paddling in a Vietnamese bamboo basket boat. On the basket boat you will traverse a tranquil water way bordered by coconut-palms. Back to the boat we will enjoy a traditional fisherman’s lunch.
In the afternoon, take the car to Da Nang airport to catch the flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
In the morning, you will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, 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 the 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. Visit the Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Presidential Palace, which was the residence of the president of South Vietnam until the end of April 1975.
In the afternoon, you will take a guided rickshaw tour for about 2-3 hours to learn deeper about Saigonese daily life. The tour takes you to a dozen typical markets with several stops arranged at Ho Thi Ky flower market; The medicinal plant store; The On Lang Pagoda and the Thien Hau Temple in the Cho Lon district. Return to the city centre to explore the small alley Le Cong Kieu with various antique shops. Night at the hotel.
We depart from Saigon in the morning for Cai Be, located in the heart of the Mekong Delta, where the river divides into multiple canals and arroyos. Upon arrival, we take a bicycle ride on Tan Phong Island to discover its fertile fruit orchards. There are several stops to visit family workshops of rice paper (banh trang re) and baskets made from water hyacinths. During lunch we will have a chance to taste various specialities cooked with the love of the locals.
In the afternoon, we return on board to visit a ceramics factory where they make pottery and tiles from clay. Transfer back to the landing stage and drive toward Can Tho. Overnight in Azerai resort.
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 to Chau Doc.
Arriving at Chau Doc in late afternoon, you will visit Chua Hang on Mount Sam - an exceptional pagoda combining the different cultural and religious influences of the region. Its architecture and panoramic view are worthy of a cinematic setting. Overnight in the Victoria Nui Sam hotel & resort.
The visit to Tra Su forest in the morning is simply spectacular. This mangrove is composed of cajuput trees and home to 70 species of birds, 140 plant species, and 20 species of reptiles, to name but a few. We will hop on a small boat sailing on a river covered by lenses of freshwater (floating on the denser saltwater below), lotus hearts and water lilies. In order to get a breathtaking view of the forest and neighbouring Cambodia, we will climb the six floors of the observation tower. Transfer to HCM City.
Free time to discover HCM City then transfer to the airport for your departure flight. End of our services.
Perhaps there is no better time to visit Vietnam than now – where the innocence of its people remains unspoiled by modernization, where raw beauty can still be witnessed steps away from luxury comfort, where the desire to strive is felt in every pulse of life, in each motion of contact. This journey will take you from north to south of Vietnam with its fascinating landscapes, rich culture, delicious cuisine and above all, its hospitable people.
- Experience the most luxury accommodation through Vietnam
- Exchange culture with Thai minority people
- Cast away on a traditional junk boat set sail through hundreds of limestone karsts that rise dramatically from the emerald waters of Lan Ha bay.
- Leisure walking tour in Hoian, a World heritage site recognized by UNESCO in 1999
- Explore the local people’s life in Mekong delta
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