Route: Hanoi – Sapa – Halong – Hue – Hoian – Saigon – Mekong – Saigon
Tour code: VNP02
Travel date: individual tour with flexible travel date
ITINERARY IN DETAIL:
DAY 1: ARRIVE HANOI (-)
Welcome to Vietnam!
The tour-guide of TandP TRAVEL will be welcoming you at Noi Bai airport; it takes us 35 minutes driving to the centre of Hanoi to check-in hotel. Relax and explore Hanoi yourself. Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 2: HANOI CITY TOUR – LAO CAI (B/D)
Full Day City Tour in Hanoi: Vietnam’s artistic and intellectual capital. Explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Enjoy people watching at stylish cafes. Shop for impressive modern art in the city’s many galleries. Also visit Hanoi’s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum and the Temple of Literature. Late afternoon we will enjoy a unique fascinating show of Water Puppetry, a traditional stage art of Northern Vietnam. Your adventure trip to Sapa begins with an overnight train from Vietnam’s capital city to the border town of Lao Cai . The deluxe Victoria Express departs at 10 pm. O/N on the train
DAY 3: SAPA (B/D)
The train arrives at Lao Cai train station at approximately 6:00 a.m. There will be a vehicle waiting to transfer us to Sapa. The drive to Sapa is only 33 km but it takes around 1.5 hours. Once at Sapa, leave your bag at hotel. We can freshen up, and have breakfast, free morning to explore around town. At 10 a.m. from the hotel there will be a walking tour to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, home to the H’mong hill tribes minority peoples. As we walk to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, we will meet some of the local minority people on their way to and from Sapa. Here we have the opportunity to share cultural experiences with the families that live in the area. Overnight in Sapa.
DAY 4: SAPA – TRAIN BACK TO HANOI (B)
Following breakfast, we explore the Sapa Sunday market and then set out on our 3-4 hour trek that will take us along buffalo paths and trails and through several hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van, home to H’mong, and Dzay people. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can meet. We will stop for a picnic lunch on the way to Ta Van village. We transfer back to Lao Cai for train journey back to Hanoi. The train departs at 9:15 p.m. Overnight on train
DAY 5: HANOI – HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
Arrive in Hanoi around 5 a.m. in. Pick up from here, transfer to Restaurant and Café Tara for breakfast and morning coffee. Leave Hanoi by private vehicle at 8:30 a.m. arriving at the jetty around 12:30 p.m. Our crew welcomes you on board the Lagoon Explorer Cruise. Enjoy a welcome drink, check-in to your cabin. A fresh seafood lunch will be served at 1 p.m. At that time, we will begin our 3.5 hours cruise through mystic Halong Bay to see the amazing karsts with different formations: Mat Qui (Monster’s face) islet, But Moc islet, Cap De islet, Trong (Drum) cave, Trinh Nu cave, floating fishing village, with its unique way of life. Then head to Luon cave, enjoy swimming, sun bathing at Ti Top beach or climb the peak of the mountain for a breath-taking panorama view of Halong Bay. Enjoy another seafood feast for dinner and for the night owls, there is an option of night fishing.
DAY 6: HALONG BAY – HANOI – HUE (B/L)
Rising to the sound of lapping bay waters, we have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the Emeraude water of the bay. After breakfast, explore Sung Sot cave (8 a.m. to 9 a.m.), swim and relax at Soi Sim beach. At 9:30 a.m., our boat cruises back to the jetty while brunch is served from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. We continue cruising through the bay, along the way seeing more of the fascinating formations. Checkout is at 11:45 a.m. Our boat arrives at the harbor by noon for our drive back to Hanoi. Transfer to airport for your short flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Phu Bai Airport, You will be transferred directly to your hotel in Hue. Dinner and overnight in Hue.
DAY 7: HUE (B)
Today we explore this fabulous city. We start with a visit to the Citadel, containing the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City, the Emperor’s private residence. The Imperial City , created in the 19th century and modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing . There are many palaces and temples inside. We also visit the Imperial Museum , The Tu Hieu Pagoda and the vibrant Dong Ba Riverside market. Dinner by your own account for more flexibility. Overnight in Hue
DAY 8: HUE – DANANG – HOI AN (B/D)
Rising up in the ancient land, enjoy your breakfast in the hotel. Then, board a private boat for cruising the romantic Perfume River, visit Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda), the ornate Minh Mang’s tomb. We will enjoy lunch on the boat before disembarking the Dragon boat. Leave the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Hue to Hoi An, We will travel over the Hai Van pass, stop in Danang for a visit to the Cham Museum and handicraft villages on the foot of Marble Mountain before arriving in Hoi An. Once in Hoi An, we will check into our hotel and have some free time to explore or relax, swim on the beautiful beach. Dinner and overnight in Hoian.
DAY 9: HOIAN (B)
From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders. These people came primarily to trade in the high grade silk, which is still produced in the area, as well as ceramics. Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops, and numerous cafes. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century. We enjoy a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200- year old Tam Ky ancestral house, and the Japanese Bridge. Following the tour there will be free time to shop or relax. Dinner by your own account for more flexibility. Overnight in Hoian
DAY 10: HOIAN – HCMC (B/D)
Leaving Hoi An, we make the 60 minute drive from Hoi An to Danang Airport. From Danang we take the one-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), where we transfer directly to our centrally located hotel. We embark on a city tour of Saigon including The Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office, Remnant War Museum, Giac Lam Pagoda, China town with ancient pagodas and temples, and bustling Binh Tay Market. Overnight in Saigon
DAY 11: HCMC – Tay Ninh – Cu Chi – HCMC (B)
8:00 am pick-up at the hotel; this morning we drive to Cao Dai Temples in Tay Ninh to observe the midday service. Following lunch we will drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels and then return to HCMC at around 6 pm. Tay Ninh , near the Cambodian border, is home to the unique Cao Dai sect, whose patron saints include Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill to name a few. The religion is a hybrid of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. The Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh has been described as a Walt Disney fantasia of the East. The temple’s exterior is decorated with multi-colored dragons of all shapes and sizes competing for space with a number of religious symbols. Above the main entrance is the all-seeing holy eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect. The interior is just as engaging as statues of Jesus Christ, Buddha and the Hindu god, Brahma, stand side by side. The trip to Tay Ninh is combined with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km. from Saigon to the Cambodian border and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S.-Vietnam War must have been like.
DAY 12: HCMC – MEKONG (CAN THO) (B/D)
This morning we set off for a drive through the Mekong Delta to the town of Vinh Long, well-known for its floating market. Here we will board our private boat Cai Be Princess Cruise for a cruise along the maze of waterways and canals to Vinh Long. We will stop at the home of a Bonsai gardener for a sumptuous Delta lunch, including the popular dish of ‘Elephant ear fish, before continuing our exploration of the tributaries and canals of the delta. Toward the end of the day, we arrive in Can Tho city, heart of the Mekong Delta, for overnight
DAY 13: CAN THO – HCMC (B/L)
You wake up to the sounds of the Mekong River welcoming a new day. After breakfast, start cruising to the Cai Rang floating market, guests are transferred to a local traditional boat to enter the market. Then, continue cruising with the hotel’s guide along narrow creeks to visit a noodle factory and an orchard. After sampling local fruits, our guide will escort the guests back to the hotel by local boat through myriad canals. Following this we will rendezvous with our vehicle for the drive to the town of My Tho, where we will visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda and the Dong Tam snake farm before our return to Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 14: DEPART SAIGON (B/-/-)
You enjoy the free time until transfer to airport for your departure flight.
Hotels/accommodations in double/twin share
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner) (no drinks)
Land Transfers by private air-con vehicles.
Boat cruises if specified in the itinerary.
English speaking guides. Other languages are available upon request.
Sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.
International air fare
Visa stamp fee
Drinks and personal expenses
Airport departure taxes if any.
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