Explore Vietnam's modern day capital, Hanoi, and then marvel at the towering limestone cliffs as you cruise Halong Bay on a traditional junk before taking the overnight train to the old hill station of Sapa. Explore rural villages, tour a colorful local market, and take walking tours admiring the mountainous countryside. Travel to Central Vietnam, and stay in the old Imperial Capital, Hue, visiting emperors' tombs and the Imperial Citadel, and then head to the charming merchant town of Hoi An. Take some leisure time to yourself at the beachside town of Nha Trang and then head south to Ho Chi Minh City. Marvel at the hustle & bustle of Vietnam's most vibrant city and then cruise the canals of the lush Mekong Delta region.
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The above is simply a list of highlights and does not represent all of what you will (and can) see on this trip.
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Prices, if shown, are per person based on a party of at least 2 adults traveling together. A single room supplement cost is applicable for those who would like their own single room. If traveling alone, please contact us for a solo traveler cost. This is a tailor-made private trip, contact us for free personalized trip quote. Prices subject to change.
Hotel with daily breakfast, 1 night on board well-appointed ship in Halong Bay, round trip overnight train to/from Sapa, lunches & dinners as indicated, services of expert English speaking local guides, entrance fees to sites listed on the itinerary, private A/C transportation, 3 on-tour flights, and airport transfers. International flights are not included, contact us for preferred rates and schedules. Note that the Victoria train does not operate on Saturdays, an alternative will be offered. Train schedules are subject to change.
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Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be met in the arrivals area by your local guide holding a name-board. After a warm welcome and brief introduction, take a private airport transfer to your hotel for assistance with check-in. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Enjoy a full day tour of Hanoi’s illustrious history including a tour of the Old Quarter by cyclo. Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. Highlights of today’s tour include a visit to the imposing marble edifice housing the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed on Mondays & Fridays and annually in October & November for restoration) before moving onto his wooden stilt house. Visit the One Pillar Pagoda dating from the 11th century; this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. Tour the Temple of Literature, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam's first university. In the afternoon, visit the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and then the Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple. A fascinating & exciting one-hour cyclo tour of Hanoi’s old quarter allows you to catch a glimpse of ancient Hanoi and to learn about Vietnamese traditional architecture.
This morning you will meet your guide and then drive to Halong Bay where you will board a traditional wooden junk for your overnight cruise. Set sail through the bay while a seafood lunch is served. Rest your eyes on the azure waters of this magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waters. Visit Titop Island and have some leisure time swimming and relaxing on the beach if weather permits or opt to climb the steps to the top of the mountain for great views of the bay. Stop at a floating fishing village, take some time to kayak if you desire or just relax on board the junk. Dinner is served onboard.
Start the day early and enjoy a Tai Chi class on the top deck with an opportunity to see the magnificent scenery as the sunrises over the sea. Arrive at Sung Sot Grotto for a guided tour including a walk up of about 150 steps and then return to the boat and have breakfast. Cruise to the dock in Halong where you will meet your guide and be driven to Hanoi for some time to freshen up at a hotel. At the appointed time in the early evening, meet your guide and drive to the train station to board the overnight train to Lao Cai (Sapa).
Arrive in Lao Cai in the early morning and then head to a local restaurant nearby for breakfast before continuing your scenic journey to Sapa. Visit the local market which serves as a lively congregation point for various ethnic minority groups. Later, check-in to the hotel and have the afternoon to explore the town at your leisure.
Drive to Y Linh Ho village in the morning where your scenic trek will lead you down to the Muong Hoa Valley festooned with terraced paddy fields. Enjoy a light trek along the Hoang Lien Mountain Range with various photo stops before heading to the Lao Chai Junction for a panoramic view of the Muong Hoa Valley. Return to Sapa by car. In the afternoon, a stroll around Sapa and along dirt trails flanked by serene gardens and pine forests will provide interesting insight into the local lifestyle. Proceed to a small and isolated Black Hmong ethnic minority village, and then continue hiking through rice paddy fields immersed in spectacular natural scenery. During weekdays, you may also have an opportunity to visit a local school. Proceed to the church of Taphin where your car will take you to the Lao Cai Train Station for your return journey to Hanoi. A day use room will be available before boarding the train for you to relax and freshen up.
Upon arrival in Hanoi, transfer to a hotel to freshen up and have breakfast and then head to the airport for your flight to the city of Hue in central Vietnam. On arrival in Hue, meet your local guide and drive to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is at your leisure
Today’s tour showcases Hue’s ancient to modern history. Take a morning boat cruise on the peaceful Perfume River and visit the Thien Mu Pagoda. Afterwards, venture into the countryside around Hue to the Imperial Tomb of Tu Duc, the longest reigning Vietnamese emperor. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel in the heart of Hue, a vast complex built in the early 19th century. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Today, most of the buildings have been destroyed due to bombing during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. You will also spend some time browsing at the Dong Ba Market before returning to your hotel for the evening at your leisure.
After breakfast at your hotel, journey from Hue over the scenic Hai Van Pass to Danang where you will visit the Cham Museum, an elegant colonial building which now houses the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. Briefly pass China Beach, a famous spot for American soldiers during the Vietnam-American War. Continue south to Hoi An, and check-in to the hotel. The afternoon is at your leisure.
Enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hoi An is a picturesque riverside town, known as Faifo to early western traders, and was one of South East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Now, this beautifully preserved historic city is best seen on foot. Your walking tour includes a visit to an ancient merchant home, the Japanese Covered Bridge-Pagoda, the first bridge on this site was constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream, and the Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall. Also today, spend some time at the riverside market, visit one of Hoi An lantern workshops, and take a peaceful boat ride on the Thu Bon River. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Depart Hoi An as you transfer to the airport in Danang for your flight to the beach city of Nha Trang. On arrival, meet and transfer to the hotel for check-in.
This morning, visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers, the Dam Market, the Nha Trang Stone Cathedral, and the Long Son Pagoda where the giant Sakyamuni Buddha statue sits majestically on the top of the hill. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Enjoy breakfast and the morning at your leisure. At the appointed time, meet your guide for transportation to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, meet and transfer to the hotel for check-in.
A sightseeing tour of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, includes a photo stop at the Reunification Palace and visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Chinatown, the Binh Tay Market and the Thien Hau Temple. In afternoon, take an excursion to se the Cu Chi Tunnels before returning to your hotel for the evening free at your leisure.
Depart for the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival in the town of My Tho, enjoy a boat cruise along the river and take a short walk to a handicraft workshop where products are made from coconut trees. Experience an exciting horse-drawn cart ride to visit a local house where you will enjoy tea and taste home grown fruit. Board a sampan and drift along the narrow, tree-lined canals for further exploration of the Mekong Delta, and after lunch, visit a family-run business making coconut candy before returning to My Tho. On the return trip to Ho Chi Minh City, visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda if time permits. Arrive in the city by late afternoon and have the evening at your leisure.
After breakfast, meet your local guide in the hotel lobby at the appointed time and then transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Days 4 & 5: Discover the mountainous town of Sapa in the north of Vietnam.
Day 10: Enjoy a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An town.
This itinerary has been tried & tested and can be booked as-is. However, should you wish to customize your tour, you may contact us here.
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