HANOI / HALONG BAY / SAPA / HUE & HOI AN / MEKONG DELTA / SAIGON
You will discover several UNESCO World Heritages sites, including magnificent Halong Bay and historic Hoi An. This trip starts in colonial Hanoi and ends in vibrant Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon). Journey from Sapa in Vietnam’s northern reaches, where you’ll hike amongst rice terraces and meet ethnic minority people, through the heritage-rich cities of Hanoi, Hoi An and Saigon, to the very south, where you’ll explore the canals of the lush Mekong Delta. In addition, Phong Nha national park is another surprise we added to this itinerary.
Note: This trip cam be best combined with Cambodia and or Laos, please fill out the form in same page and let our Vietnamese travel consultant tailor a trip just for you.
Hanoi arrival, Vietnam’s colonially influenced atmospheric capital.
DAY 2: DISCOVER LOCAL HANOI – Begin with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex and the Ethnology Museum to learn about the country’s ethnic groups. Visit the Temple of Literature and the Old Quarter, with a stop for local delicacy ‘ca phe trung’ (egg coffee) en route. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant before visiting a water puppet artist for a chance to participate in the creation of the puppets and to enjoy a private performance. Board the overnight train to Lao Cai, Sapa
After an early morning arrival and breakfast, transfer to beautiful Sapa. Later you will trek through luscious, stepped rice paddies and hills visiting small villages to rest and meet the communities who call them home, ending your walk at Ham Rong Mountain.
DAY 4 – Your Sapa adventure continues with approximately seven hours of trekking through the rice terraces, visiting the H’Mong villages of Y Linh Ho and Cat Cat. Continue to Ta Van and try your hand at batik painting, in a class lead by a Black H’mong woman. Sit down for a chat with an ethnic minority family in Lao Chai village.
Take a free morning to soak up views around Sapa before an afternoon trek between Hau Thao and Giang Ta Chai villages – at Giang Ta Chai, there is an attractive waterfall. All aboard the overnight train to Hanoi.
Arrive into Hanoi and depart for Halong Bay. Board your vessel for a serene and unforgettable cruise on the glassy, limestone-studded waters. Pass by quaint shing towns, taste freshly caught seafood and admire the vistas of the bay. There are many activities to take part in while you’re onboard – swim in the cool waters of the bay, explore stalagmite and stalactite- filled caves, and even squid shing (in season). (B,L,D) On day 8, rise early to catch the sunrise over the karst peaks of the bay and practice Tai Chi on deck. Return to Hanoi and take the ovenight train to Dong Hoi.
Arrive in Dong Hoi this morning. Dong Hai is a coastal city that is the gateway to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The park is home to more karst landscapes within which have formed some of the world’s most spectacular caves. You will explore Phong Nha, only accessible by river. Once inside the cave, your boatman will row you 1.5km into the 45km-long cave. Marvel at the incredible caverns lled with stalactites. You will also explore one cave on foot.
Spend the morning discovering the wonders of the cathedral-esque Paradise Cave.
Take a full-day tour to the DMZ, the buffer that existed between North Vietnam and South Vietnam during the War. You’ll visit the Vinh Moc tunnels and battleground of Khe Sanh before driving on to Hue, Vietnam’s last imperial capital.
Embark on a cyclo tour of the city, heading to the Imperial Citadel and Purple Forbidden City – built in 1362 it was home to Vietnam’s Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945. The banks of the Perfume River outside the city are dotted with UNESCO-listed Imperial tombs – visit Minh Mang’s before cruising on the river itself.
Journey to Hoi An, stopping en route to visit the Lady Buddha, a 67-metre high Bodhisattva of Mercy, on the picturesque Son Tra peninsula. Arrive in Hoi An and head out onto the town’s charming streets on a walking tour that will take you past old Chinese trader’s houses to the elaborate Japanese Bridge.
Transfer to Danang and fly to to the vibrant city of Saigon. On arrival, explore Saigon’s Central Post Office, before strolling the grand Rue Catinat to the Hotel Continental. Later, ascend to the rooftop bar of the Hotel Caravelle for city views (drinks at your own expense), before an exhilarating ride through Saigon’s streets, riding pillion on the back of a vintage Vespa. Continue to a favourite local eating spot. Wind up your night with drinks and live music (at your own expense).
Head south to Ben Tre and board a small boat to meander through the waterways of the Mekong Delta, the perfect way to explore the lush, green landscapes. Stop for a stroll through a local village and to see mat weavers at work. A tuk tuk will then deliver you to the pier to board ‘Le Jarai’, a beautifully restored teak rice barge where, as you continue cruising you can enjoy a cooking demonstration and a three-course lunch of Mekong specialities. Travel to the delta city of Can Tho.
Pay a morning visit to Cai Rang oating market, where you’ll see boats piled high with the colourful produce of the region. Take a relaxed cycle through beautiful, peaceful countryside before returning to Saigon
Transfer to the airport well in a head of time take your departure flight back to your home-land. Thank you for traveling with “Vietnamese Private Tours”.