ESSENCE OF VIETNAM
18 Days 17 Nights
Have you visited Vietnam before or is it the first time you travel to this Orient country? You have heard of Vietnam many times through Internet, friends and other travelers but you wonder if it is a “real” Vietnam? It is both true and false. There is no better way to understand new place and new culture by experiencing it yourself. This Vietnam tour that last about 18 days will take you to not only famous tourist spots but also other authentic sites of Vietnam.
Kyaking in Halong Bay, one of New Seven world wonders
Dig deep in the culture and history of Hue, UNESCO Heritage site
Try to be a real farmer and fisher one day in Hoi An
Have leisure time in Nha Trang beach and explore Nha Trang Islands
Explore the mangroves and lush forest in Tra Su Bird Sanctuary
A bustling metropolis in a combination with the tranquility, Hanoi offers the elegance French charms of its colonial architectures, the rush rhythm of life along 36 old streets to the anarchy traffic by plenty of motorbikes. It seemed like a typical picture you will ever imagine for the South East Asia life and spirit.
Welcome you to Hanoi, our friendly tour guide and driver will meet and greet you at Noi Bai International airport. After a short ride to city center, you will check in your hotel and save the remaining time of this day at leisure. Get to know Hanoi in an easy way, you might walk around the Hanoi Old Quarter, wander through the tasty vendor foods and absorbed the local life here.
This evening, your Welcome Dinner will be served at a finest restaurant named Madame Hien, a cozy place with lovely fusion food.
After breakfast, start your morning ride to West Lake – the biggest lake in Hanoi and you take a visit to nearby Tran Quoc Pagoda. This is the oldest pagoda and be considered as a typical example of Vietnamese Buddhism with its history of more than 1500 years. Exist and drive you to a must-visit site, you will hear stories about Great Leader – Ho Chi Minh while going on an orientation walk at Ho Chi Minh Complex (Mausoleum & Museum).
Pass through the One Pillar Pagoda – a unique architecture that only available in Vietnam before having your local lunch. Take a break and enter in the ancient landscaped courtyards, gardens and pavilions of Temple of Literature, this is the first university of Vietnam, where many monuments still remain to dedicate to the scholars who graduated here.
To explore historic Hanoi Old Quarter, hop on a “Cyclo” and go around the old streets. Granted, this is the best way to blend in the local life, to capture the most rustic pictures of Hanoians. Later, check in Water Puppet Theater and enjoy the traditional folk art performance before ending up the today tour.
On the evening, you will take a night train to Lao Cai, ready to visit the best place of Southern Vietnam – Sapa Town.
The overnight train will arrive Sapa in this early morning, local tour guide and driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel for breakfast.
Leave your luggage back and follow your guide to discover Cat Cat Village. Trekking down to the trail and obtain a glimpse of traditional lifestyle of ethnic villagers, you will capture the amazing view over famous terrace fields and fascinating landscape of mountainous area.
The trail leads you to Cat Cat Waterfall and then enjoy wetting your feet in the chilly weather here.
After having your local lunch, return to your hotel for checking in. This afternoon, make your way to Sapa town and enjoy your leisure time afterwards.
There is no activity today. You are free in th daytime before leaving Sapa to Hanoi at around 3PM.
Wake up in the breezy morning, after breakfast at your hotel; we depart to MGallery Sapa Hotel for the Fansipan Express Train. A 2KM rail route over Muong Hoa, which offers you spacious view over the highland valley and shortens tourists’ travel time for around 20 minutes to reach Fansipan cable station.
Once reach the station, you will use a cable cabin to conquer the Fansipan Mount Peak. Catch your opportunity to check in the top of Indochina, take in some of the best panoramas Vietnam has to offer.
Later, return to your hotel and check out. You will transfer back to Hanoi by express coach this afternoon. Reach Hanoi in the later evening and stay at your relax after a long ride.
Depart from Hanoi to Halong. You will travel to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site – a maze of limestone caves, islands and grottoes rise out of the emerald water; the scenery is epic and Halong Bay is waiting for you to discover.
The overnight cruise will welcome you on board around noontime and our journey is started from Tuan Chau Harbor. Take your time enjoying leisurely the peaceful bay.
Wake up, rise and shine in the morning, make your way up to the sundeck and be amazed by the picturesque sunrise over the bay. A Tai Chi class will be arranged before breakfast time. You also can choose to kayak around Drum Cave or stay at your leisure cruise before passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet and many more.
At noontime, the cruise reaches harbor and it is time for checking out and return to Noi Bai Airport. Depart for Hue and then reach Hue after around 1.30-hour flying.
Upon arrival, local tour guide will welcome and take you to a local restaurant for an authentic dinner. Check in your hotel and stay at your leisure time afterwards.
The poetic beauty of imperial Hue was chosen to be capital of Vietnam under Nguyen Lord’s Dynasty. If you travel to Hue, the one that you have to visit is the Imperial Citadel – a UNESCO cultural heritage. The Hue Citadel was first constructed in 1805 under King Gia Long reign and through 27 years, it finally completed with more than 140 buildings under King Minh Mang reign.
Located in the north bank of famous Perfume River, the massive complex contains three main circles of ramparts: Hue Capital Citadel, Royal Citadel and Forbidden Citadel. Devote your morning time to discover all of the best sites in the citadel complex before taking an easy boat trip to Thien Mu Pagoda – the oldest pagoda in Hue.
After lunch with delicious dishes of imperial cuisine, your tour guide will escort you to visit Khai Dinh and Minh Mang Tomb – a chance to review the imperial life of Vietnamese Emperors as well as diversity of architecture design through history.
This morning, depart from Hue to Hoi An, a long ride along the coastline of North Pacific Ocean with amazing views, you then pass Hai Van tunnel – the longest pass tunnel of South East Asia and Danang – a beautiful beach city with a long line of front beach resorts. Stop and visit Marble Mountain, take the lift up to the top, where you can explore the caves, temples as well as enjoy the breathtaking view of Danang. Still a short distance drive you to Hoi An, you will check in hotel and stay at your leisure time afterwards.
Hoi An was a trading port for international merchants from China, Japan, India, Indonesia and Europe back then 16th to 19th Centuries. An UNESCO World Heritage Site is beautifully preserved with ancient temples, assembly houses and old tile-roofed shops. Follow your tour guide to visit Japanese Covered Bridge, an iconic symbol of Hoi An. Strolling through the ancient streets, make a stop at a special teahouse – Reaching Out is a tranquility place that aids locals with disabilities.
Stay at your leisure time to enjoy the cozy and peaceful atmosphere of this ancient town.
Additionally, you will have wonderful time at Cam Thach Village, a small beautiful town, and experience the daily life of local people. They friendly show you their daily work as farming and fishing. Try yourself and feel the happiness when you catch some fishes for lunch.
Fresh up your morning in Hoi An, you will have a half-day time to wander around the streets. Stroll around the streets for capturing amazing moments of Hoi An; comfort yourself at local coffee stores would be highly recommended to you.
Time to check out your hotel and transfer to Danang Train Station, you will travel to Nha Trang by train which depart from 12:00 and reach Nha Trang – the best beach city of Vietnam around 21:30 tonight. After a long ride, local tour guide will welcome and drive you to your hotel. Help you with the luggage and check in your hotel, afterwards, stay at your leisure.
Take you to discover Nha Trang, a sunny day at Mun Island for snorkeling and swimming activities. Mun Island is best well known as a Marine Preserver Area where you can dive for 300 kinds of corals and diversity of sea creatures.
Transfer to Hon Mot Island for Vietnamese lunch and be amazed with the floating boat restaurant that will be included for you. In the afternoon, check out Bai Tranh Beach and enjoy the sea. Here, many water sports are offered for tourists such as Jet Ski, Parasailing, Scuba Diving, etc.
Start moving back to the main land around 16:00, car will pick up and transfer you to your hotel for relax.
Blend in the tropical delight with Nha Trang at your leisure time today. Let’s get tanned in this lazy day at the sandy beach or you may choose one of other options for excursions.
After a rewind time at the beach, back to the visiting journey and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. On your arrival, local tour guide and driver will meet and greet you at Tan Son Nhat Airport.
Drive you to the city center and begin the city tour at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, one of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) symbol with its stunning neo-Romanesque architecture design. Exist and come to explore the Old Saigon Post Office before strolling down follow Dong Khoi Street. The stroll ends at the Saigon Opera House. Y
our tour guide will escort you to War Remnant Museum, which contains displays of military aircraft, weapons and many proofs for the history. Make the way to the last point of this city tour, you will visit Dong Xuan Market.
Spend a short break walking around this local market you can capture pictures of the family-run stores with diversity of local food and tropical ingredients. Then, enjoy authentic Southern Vietnam traditional dinner at a local restaurant before checking in your hotel.
After breakfast, together will travel to the heart of the Mekong Delta, the water world that flows to the rhythms of the mighty river. After approximately 2-hour driving, reach Cai Be Pier then board the wooden boat to visit Cai Be floating market, where tropical fruits, veggies are sold from boats to boats.
Along the sail, be surprised with the local life on the river banks, you will see people living on the wooden boats, stilt houses which were built on the water, the poverty of many families and the scenic green view over the river.
The tour inclusions have visiting coconut candy workshop, rice paper workshop and Vietnamese lunch at a local house. Navigating a small wooden boat around the intricate canals with a lady on a colonial hat, you then reach a nursery garden, where you can try local tropical fruits and enjoy “Don Ca Tai Tu” a special folk music of the Southwest Vietnam. Explore the brick and pottery factory nearby before disembarking at Vinh Long Pier.
Driver will pick up you here and we continue the journey to Can Tho City. Spend one night in Can Tho.
Wake up early and explore the township of Cai Rang, you come to see the biggest floating market in this area by a local boat that anchored at Ninh Kieu Wharf.
Reach the township and blend in the bustling commerce atmosphere, you can order local coffee and purchase tasty tropical fruit from local vendors. The next drive takes you to Chau Doc, a peaceful countryside where travelers washing through on the river route between Vietnam & Cambodia.
You will stop at Chau Doc for one day and discover the Chinese, Cham and Khmer communities by visiting pilgrimage sites: mosques, temples and churches. Tra Su Bird Sanctuary is the most highlighted sightseeing in Chau Doc; take a sampan to explore the mangroves and lush forest. Mainly of immense 800 thousand hectare is wetland, which limits the visitors to approach other creatures and help this national reserve becomes a collection of fauna, flora, and water birds.
Live in the rustic and countryside atmosphere, the Mekong Delta is land of winding waterways, lush paddy fields and floating markets. Leave Chau Doc for its neighbor Nui Sam today, you will check in a special accommodation – Victoria Nui Sam Lodge and spend another day in this sleepy land for leisure.
The best time to visit Chau Doc and Nui Sam in around September to November – the high water season and time for rice fields’ harvest, when you can have spacious view over the yellow paddy fields.
After the leisure time at Nui Sam for clear air and peaceful atmosphere, you will check out of your hotel this morning and return to Ho Chi Minh City. You will spend one more night in Ho Chi Minh City.
You are free at leisure time to visit around until time to check out and then transfer you the airport for your return flight. Pack your luggage and unforgettable memories. Have a safe flight to come back home and see you later.
Daily breakfast and meals as mentioned in the program
Transfer by vehicle with A/C
All entrance fees and sightseeing as mentioned in the program
Local English speaking guide
All local taxes and service charges
Visa approved letter if needed
Drinks are not mentioned in the program
Personal Travel insurance (Highly recommended)
Tips for tour guide and driver
Optional tours and extra services
Any service not clearly mentioned in the program
Xin chao !
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