Start your tour of Vietnam’s local lifestyle and historic sites in Hanoi as you explore the city’s boulevards, lakes & lively old quarter. Enjoy a homestay at the well-appointed Moon Garden in the village of Ky Son with hands-on activities and wonderful encounters with local residents. Head to the countryside of Ninh Binh and tour a local village by bicycle or on foot and then cruise the emerald waters of Halong Bay. Head southward to the charming merchant town of Hoi An, take a walking tour, visit the vibrant riverside market, and bicycle through nearby villages. Travel south to bustling Ho Chi Minh City for the city contrast and then head into the Mekong Delta for your exciting homestay in a local village.
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“I just returned from our wonderful trip! I just want to thank you for a fantastic itinerary; everything was perfect! Vietnam is a beautiful place and you allowed us to see the most beautiful spots and some great tours. So thanks again and if I travel to Asia again, I will be sure to contact you."
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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, 2 nights at well appointed homestays, lunches & dinners as indicated, services of expert English speaking local guides, entrance fees to sites listed on the itinerary, private A/C transportation, 2 on-tour flights, and airport transfers. International flights are not included, contact us for preferred rates and schedules.
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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 evening, enjoy a cultural water puppet performance at a local theatre.
Drive to Ky Son Village in the morning. Take a pleasant walk around the village to get a taste of the northern countryside lifestyle of Vietnam before joining your host for lunch preparation. Have lunch and learn more about the Vietnamese culture through conversations with residents. In the afternoon, set out on a bike ride along local trails with stops for taking pictures, picking herbs and vegetables, chatting with children and farmers and shopping at the village market while soaking up the pastoral atmosphere and village tranquillity. Return for a relaxing traditional herbal bath before dinner. Before the day concludes, soak your feet in a traditional herbal treatment.
After breakfast, depart Ky Son and head towards the town of Ninh Binh. On arrival, visit Vuon Thi Village offering you more opportunities to interact with the local people by partaking in their daily activities. Discover the lifestyle, hospitality and friendliness of the Northern people when you prepare lunch with a local family. Later, work alongside the farmers in the field and learn how wet rice is cultivated. Sit back and take in the mesmerizing limestone cliffs while leisurely cruising the reservoir, and then return to the hotel and check-in for your one night stay.
This morning, drive by green rice paddy fields to Halong Bay. Upon arrival, board a wooden sailing for a cruise amongst the hundreds of islets of Halong Bay. Enjoy a seafood lunch and a swim (if weather permits) before visiting a grotto of gigantic stalactites and stalagmites. Drop anchor during the late evening for an overnight stay amongst the dramatic limestone peaks rising out of the sea.
Start the day early to enjoy a Tai Chi class on the top deck if you wish. Continue cruising into the bay, passing islets & caves while enjoying a buffet brunch on board. Arrive at the dock in Halong in the early afternoon where you will meet your guide and be driven to the airport in Hanoi for your departure flight to Danang in Central Vietnam. On arrival, meet your local guide and then transfer to your hotel in Hoi An for check-in. The remainder of the day 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, visit one of Hoi An’s famed lantern workshops and learn to personally make a lantern. Today’s tour also includes some time at the riverside market. End the day with a sunset boat ride on the Thu Bon River.
After breakfast, take a morning boat cruise to the Kim Bong Village where you will visit a shipbuilding yard and cycle through the village with stops at old colonial houses, temples and local cottage factories. Drive to Tra Que Village for a visit to a kindergarten. Join the pupils in planting trees before walking to a farm to discover traditional gardening methods. Taste the local specialty “Tam Huu” spring rolls and indulge in a traditional herbal footbath. After sightseeing, transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). On arrival, meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in. The evening is at your leisure.
Today, enjoy an ‘early-bird’ look at Saigon and see the city as it comes alive. Take a walk to the famous Ben Thanh Market and pass some ornate Chinese and Hindu temples along the way. Enjoy a famed Pho noodle soup breakfast. Later, this morning you will visit the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels where the Vietnamese guerrillas built a labyrinth of narrow tunnels as hideouts during the recent war. Never discovered by American forces, these tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a half-day city tour. Highlights include the Reunification Palace (photo stop), the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, the moving War Remnants Museum, Chinatown, the Binh Tay Market and either the Thien Hau Temple or the Quan Am Pagoda.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then leave Ho Chi Minh City for Tien Giang province in the rich agricultural region of the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival, cross the river and cycle on the Cai Thia village path by serene countryside and then stop at an orchard for a taste of local fruit. Embark your boat for a cruise to a local house where you will have lunch, and then take a rowing sampan along small creeks before cruising to your home stay. On arrival, the host will provide you with a warm welcome, and in the afternoon, you can relax or take a stroll around the islet to explore at your leisure. This evening, take part in dinner preparation with the host followed by dinner and lively conversation.
After breakfast, enjoy some time cycling on the islet, passing orchards, a local market, a school, and local villages, and then take a boat trip to Vinh Long town with a visit to the Vinh Long market before returning by road to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. The remainder of the day is 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.
Day 5: Cruise on Halong Bay.
Day 9: Get a unique look at Saigon in the early morning as the sun comes up.
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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