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Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival
You arrive in Hanoi Capital, a city of thousand years of history. Meet and be greeted by your tour guide upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. The guide will give you the very first introduction about the destination and escort you to your hotel in the city Centre for check-in. Note: Hotel check-in time is 14:00. Early check-in is not available. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 2: Hanoi City (B/L)
After a good breakfast at the hotel, we start the city exploration. The first site will be the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, a site of pilgrimage. The memorial building was constructed from materials gathered from all over Vietnam (Monday & Friday afternoon, outside visit only). Next, visit the Temple of Literature which was constructed in 1070 under Ly Thanh Tong’s dynasty, first to honor Confucius and now to celebrate the doctorates and high-ranking scholars of Vietnam.
Continue to the interesting Vietnam History Museum which displays a collection of nearly 7,000 objects that vividly depict the long process of Vietnam development from early inhabitancy until the August Revolution in 1945. Take a cyclo (rickshaws) ride around the Old Quarter streets which were named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend of the lake and visit the Ngoc Son Temple. Next in the schedule is a Water Puppet show – a uniquely Northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 3: Hanoi – Pu Luong (B/L/D)
Pu Luong Retreat is located in Pu Luong region which offers tourists a new, unique and off the beaten track adventure. Pu Luong Region is unknown amongst most tourists and contains all the highlights of Northern Vietnam such as: stunning rice terrace fields, scenic rivers and Mai Chau’s remote traditional villages of ethnic minorities. These ethnic minorities, who retain their unique cultural heritage and way of living, will give you a very new experience.
Following your breakfast at the hotel, we take a 4.5-hour drive to Pu Luong. After the first 3 driving hours, the breath-taking mountain road starts appearing, giving you a panoramic view of the whole valley. You arrive at Pu Luong retreat in time for a delicious lunch. Then, you have some free time to explore the beautiful retreat with its captivating panoramic views and tranquil setting.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk-in search of stunning water wheels. Come close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes. This 2.5 km walk will take you about 1.5 hours.
After arriving at a local fisherman’s house, have a short rest to gear up for the rafting adventure (1,5 hours – 2km) with Mr. Dinh and his team. Floating along the calm river, enjoy the views and learn how to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts. Once arrived at scenic Tan Lap Bridge, disembark and drive back to Pu Luong Retreat for dinner. Overnight in Pu Luong.
Day 4: Pu Luong – Ninh Binh (B/L)
Get up early to hear the sound of nature and breathe the fresh air. After breakfast at the Lodge, we continue to descend into the beautiful valley facing the Retreat where you will walk around tumbling rice terraces. Trek through small paths shrouded in vegetation that slowly reveal a picturesque village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. Your camera will not be able to sit still! Continuing to the base of the valley, weave between roads and farmland, villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open lands. Savoir the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot and have numerous chances to interact with the locals. Then you will be transferred back to Pu Luong Retreat for lunch. This enthralling trekking will be around 4 km and take 3 hours. In the afternoon, after a 3-hour drive, you will arrive in Ninh Binh province. This province is characterised by typical rural villages of Northern region with rich culture, vast green paddy fields, expanding mountains and poetic rivers that flow to the horizon. Arrive in Ninh Binh city in late afternoon. Overnight in Ninh Binh City
Day 5: Ninh Binh – UNESCO World Heritage Site – Homestay in Hanoi (B/L/D)
Remotely located among the amazing Karst Mountains of Ninh Binh province, Nham valley & Bird Valley have always been a great place for nature lovers. Rowing boat through caves and riding on ox cart are the highlights of this excursion.
Breakfast at the hotel before starting our journey with a 2-kilometre ox cart ride from Bich Dong to Nham Valley, through the countryside, rice fields and green mountain scenery. Get off the ox cart and take a rowing boat along crystal-green canals. Explore Fairy (Hang Bụt) and Fish caves (Hang Cá) along the way. This one-hour rowing boat tour will bring you closer to the nature.
After such interesting time, enjoy lunch with Vietnamese food at a local restaurant. Relax for a while before visiting Hoa Lu and the remains of Dinh & Le Kings’ Temples. Hoa Lu was Vietnam’s former capital before it was moved to Thang Long (now is Hanoi) in 1010. Transfer to Hanoi suburb, you will reach Stork Island Village in Hai Duong Province in the afternoon. This land is famous for the litchi fruit. Check in home stay in a typical local house, then take a rowing boat trip on the lake around the island and enjoy the countryside scenery at sunset amongst the calls and flaps of thousands of birds. In the evening, after dinner with local specialties, tea party and chat with the local hosts to learn more about their life and culture. Overnight in a local house.
Day 6: Departure to Halong Bay (B/L/D)
Wake up in the morning and, together with your host, stroll to the open-air market to explore the village bustling atmosphere, chat with friendly villagers and buy some food for breakfast.
After breakfast, farewell to the cosy family and drive to Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO World Natural Heritage – where thousands of spectacular limestone islets and grottoes rise from the clear emerald Gulf of Tonkin. Upon arrival, have a welcome drink on board prior to your check-in. Lunch with fresh seafood will be served while the boat is cruising through many stone islets, floating villages, small beaches. Visit a floating fishing village, talk and meet with local villagers then enjoy a swim or some free time at your own on the sundeck. Dinner will be ready by the time the boat anchors off at a quiet designated area for the night. Overnight on board in Halong Bay.
Note: Itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions or local administration regulations.
Day 7: Halong Bay – Night train to Hue (Brunch)
Breakfast is served while the junk boat cruises around Ha Long Bay, passing by many islets named by their shapes such as Dog, Incense Urn, Fighting Cock, Finger, etc. Stop for a while to explore the Surprise Cave – one of the most beautiful caves of the bay. The junk boat then continues cruising towards the wharf. Disembark at about 11.00AM, your driver is ready to bring you back to Ha Noi. Check in small but clean hotel for a bath and quick relax before take a night train to Hue.
Overnight on train in soft sleeper AC cabin.
Day 8: Hue (B/L)
If you are a history lover, Hue will easily be on the top of your Vietnam must-see list. This capital of Nguyen emperors is packed with temples, tombs, palaces, pagodas or their remains (survived the damage of the successive armies).
In the morning, upon arrival in Hue, meet your local tour-guide and driver transfer to the hotel in the city centre, drop off your luggage and start exploring the historical city.
First, visit Thien Mu Pagoda on the bank of scenic Perfume River then have lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, visit the Imperial Citadel where the Kings of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, including the Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns, Forbidden Purple City, etc. The tour ends at your hotel at about 5.00PM. Overnight in Hue.
Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B/L/D)
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and visit the Tombs of King Khai Dinh & King Minh Mang. In complete contrast to Emperor Minh Mang’s stylish creation, the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh appears at first to be an unprepossessing concrete construction. Its interest lies within in an uneasy combination of Vietnamese and European features and the use of fragments of ceramics and glass for decoration.
Continue travelling to Hoi An via Da Nang with a stop on the way to enjoy local specialties – Bún Thị Nướng (Grilled pork with fresh noodles). We also stop in Hai Van Pass, which translates as “Pass of the Ocean Clouds,” and offers spectacular scenery.
Hoi An retains a sense of charm and history that have largely survived the destruction of successive wars. Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptional well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street designs reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site. Sample central Vietnam dishes in local restaurant.
Mid-afternoon, take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese assembly hall, a typical Vietnamese merchant’s house, an interesting museum and a local market. There are numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes. The next visit is to a lantern craftsman’s home in the old streets. Here you will have a brief introduction to the history, shape and colour of the lanterns as well as the procedure to make them. You can then try to assemble and decorate one on your own, and keep it as a souvenir of your time in Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An
Day 10: Hoi An – Sidecar to countryside (B/L)
Enjoy a lovely breakfast at the hotel then spend the morning lazily stretching on a sun lounger by the palm-fringed infinity pool or perhaps return to the Ancient Town for some last-minute souvenirs. Afternoon: Explore the picturesque countryside of Hoi An by vintage sidecar, from a unique perspective from which to photograph the area’s lush rice fields and single-craft villages that grew from when Hoi An was a prosperous harbour city in the Middle Ages. Meet your guide in hotel at about 3pm, transfer to Thu Bon harbour, embark the boat and start cruising along the green river to Kim Bong Carpentry village. This is a very interesting village where you can see the woodcarvers and carpenters at work. With only simple, little tools, the talented, patient local people produce lovely examples of ancient architecture, wooden furniture, and shipbuilding.
After stroll in the village, continue the fascinating boat cruise on the Thu Bon River for sightseeing of natural landscapes and catch up with water life activities. On the stunning river dotted with green islands, day by day, local fishermen earn their living. You will get to know more about traditional fishing tools and methods employed by locals for centuries.
Enjoy a BBQ feast arranged on the bank of a small island while watching the sun setting down behind the mountains afar.
Later cruise back to Hoi An town while the last sun’s rays linger to the peaceful scenery and catch up the infinity of colours and reflections of Hoi An town at dusk. The trip ends at your hotel around 7pm.
Day 11: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh (B/L)
After breakfast, you will be free until boarding a domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam’s undisputedly commercial headquarters. Located on the bank of the Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, is Vietnam’s major port and largest city and it still retains wide downtown avenues flanked by pristine colonial mansions.
Be welcomed by our guide at Tan Son Nhat Airport and depart for the city tour: Cholon market; walk the narrow streets of China town, the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Centre Post Office. Your tour guide can drop you off at Ben Thanh Market for shopping at your request. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Private Cruise (B/L/D)
This morning we will take you on a journey to several Mekong Delta‘s significant destinations. Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s biggest rice bowls with three rice crops per years and is the major contributor to Vietnam and other countries’ food basket. Upon arrival in Cai Be, embark on a private sampan, check in your private cabin and start the cruise. From the sampan, observe life as it plays out on shore – people going about their daily activities against picturesque landscapes – while your attentive crew serves tea and seasonal fruit. Before arriving at Sa Dec, stop at various points along the river for a look into some of the cottage industries of the region including a brick factory where everything is made by hand, pass monkey bridges and tiny villages to visit a Cao Dai temple. Arrive in Sa Dec and stroll to the outdoor market. Visit one of the highlights of the charming town, the ancient house of Huynh Thuy Le, a real-life character in the celebrated novel and film “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras. Lunch is served on board while cruising towards Can Tho along a narrow canal teeming with life. Explore the countryside surrounded by local rowboats. The last stopover before sunset is at an ancient house (a “Nha Co” in Vietnamese), dating back to the 19th century. The owner will welcome you and a candlelit dinner will be served in this authentic countryside setting. After dinner return on board while the boat continues its cruise towards the Hau River. Overnight in en-suite cabin on private sampan.
Day 13: Explore a bustling floating market – Return Ho Chi Minh (B/L)
Wake up early at 6:00 am to visit the famous Cai Rang Floating Market which operates daily starting from 5:00 am. Arriving at the market’s core, you will see dozens of colourful boats laden with fresh produce from all over the Delta. Note the long poles with produce hung on top to advertise the products on offer. After some time to view the market from several different vantage points, you will slowly cruise back to the resort taking in scenes of stilt homes, women doing laundry in the river and children playing on its banks. Go ashore for a closer view of rural life, including stops at a small noodle workshop and a tropical fruit orchard.
Breakfast is served on board while the Song Xanh navigates towards the market among local barges loaded with fruits and vegetables from the Delta, making for some stunning photos. Continue cruising towards Can Tho city and disembark at the private jetty. Your tour-guide is waiting for you to transfer back Ho Chi Minh City. Check in hotel and free time for the rest of the day.
Overnight in hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh – DEPARTURE (Breakfast)
Free time to further explore the city before departing to Tan Son Nhat International airport according to your onward flight.
***END OF SERVICES****
|German Speaking guide||20USD/day/group|
|Italian / Spanish guide||25USD/day/group|
|Vietnam visa on arrival (Iran)||US$75/person (authorization letter) + US$25 (stamp fee)|
|City||Standard (3*)||Superior (4*)||Deluxe (5*)|
|Hanoi||Golden Rooster Hotel||La Casa Hotel||Pan Pacific|
|Mai Chau||Pu Luong Nature|
|Ninh Binh||Tam Coc Palm House||Hidden Charm Hotel & Spa||Emeralda Hotel|
|Halong||Renea Cruise||Athena Cruise||Scarlet Pearl Cruise|
|Night Train to Hue||Air conditioned 4 berths, soft sleeper or private 2 berths (on request)|
|Hue||Romance Hotel||Eldora Hue Hotel||Pilgrimage Village|
|Hoi An||Sunshine Hotel||Bella Maison Hadana Resort||Royal Hoi An|
|Ho Chi Minh||Lavender||Muong Thanh Central||Majestic|
|Mekong Delta||Boutique private sampan*|
Notes: Similar hotels will be chosen in case the hotels above are fully booked.
(*): Apply for a group of maximum 6pax. Le Cochinchine cruise will be the alternative for bigger groups.
Travellers can cancel the tour before the deadline of cancellation; charges will be applied according to the cancellation deadline. The date of cancellation is the date in which the written communication od cancellation is received by the company. Charges are a percentage of the total tour price per person, including surcharges but excluding any amendment charges and any insurance payment.
15 to No show 100 % charge
24 to 16 days 50 % of the tour price
29 to 25 days up 10 % of the tour price
30 days up no charge
Child from 1 – 5 year: Free of charge if sharing bed with parents
Child from 6 – 7 year: charge 50% of adult price if sharing bed with parents
Child from 8 – 9 year: charge 90% of adult price if using extra bed/mattress in parents ‘room
Child from 10 year up: adult rate