18 DAYS, VIETNAM NORTH SOUTH IN STYLE
Itineraries: 18 days/17 nights
Tour Departure: From Hanoi
DAY 01: ARRIVAL HANOI
DAY 02: HANOI – CITY TOUR
DAY 03: HANOI – PERFUME PAGODA - SAPA
DAY 04: SAPA – HILLTRIBE VILLAGE – SOFT TREKKING
DAY 05: SAPA – TREKKING - HANOI
DAY 06: HANOI – HALONG WITH KAYAKING
DAY 07: HALONG – HANOI
DAY 08: HANOI CRAFT VILLAGES
DAY 09: HANOI - FLIGHT TO HUE
DAY 10: HUE – IMPERIAL CITY
DAY 11: HUE – HOIAN
DAY 12: HOIAN – SANCTUARY MYSON - NHATRANG
DAY 13: NHATRANG
DAY 14: NHATRANG - SAIGON
DAY 15: SAIGON – TAYNINH/CUCHI
DAY 16: SAIGON – VINHLONG - CANTHO
DAY 17: CANTHO - SAIGON
DAY 18 SAIGON - DEPARTURE
ITINERARY IN DETAILS:
DAY 01: ARRIVAL HANOI
Upon arrival to Hanoi airport, you will be greeted and picked up by the guide of Discovery Indochina and transferred to your hotel in center of Hanoi. Free time at leisure to relax or take the first sightseeing to the old quarter of Hanoi.
DAY 02: HANOI CITY TOUR ( B,L)
A full day city tour of Vietnam's capital. Hanoi is a unique Asian city with tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and oriental temples. The city tour includes such sights as Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the Lake of the Restored Sword, Fine Art Museum, Museum of Ethnology, and we then take a rickshaw ride through the alleys of the Old Quater. In the evening enjoy a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show. Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 03: HANOI – PERFUME PAGODA – SAPA ( B, L)
The Perfume Pagoda is one of the highlights of the Hanoi area and one of the most important religious sites in Buddhist Vietnam. Every spring, after the Vietnamese New Year, thousands of Vietnamese pilgrims come here to pray for all the health and prosperity they need to get them through the year. The pagoda itself is built into limestone cliffs and can only be reached by boat or on foot as there are no roads into this area. You will have the chance to glide along scenic waterways and walk up steep mountain paths visiting the pagodas and temples that were built in this area over the centuries. Departing Hanoi at 07.30 we have a two hour drive through the picturesque countryside and back roads to the village of Duc for some refreshments before boarding our boats for a 1.5 hour ride along the scenic Yen river. After this we will walk to the Thien Tru Pagoda (Heavens Kitchen) and the Perfume Cave and Pagoda - an hours walk in total. On our way back we visit Giai Oan and Tuyet Son Pagodas. Lunch will be at one of the little food stalls near Thien Tru Pagoda. After lunch the boat will take us back to our bus for the drive back to Hanoi. Tonight we board the night train to Sapa. Overnight on train with soft bed sleeper
DAY 04: SAPA – HILLTRIBE VILLAGE – SOFT TREKKING ( B, L)
Arrive Laocai station around 6am there will be a transfer to Sapa, situated at an altitude of 1,600 meters and 33 km from Lao Cai. It's a beautiful, scenic drive as we wind our way towards Sapa. Today we will have pleasant trek into the scenic rice field and mountains of Sapa , there will be ample opportunity to meet with our friendly people. We then embark on a lovely hikes through the verdant rice terraces to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat and Sinchai village, 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 at hotel in Sapa
DAY 05: SAPA – TREKKING – HANOI ( B, L)
Following breakfast we embark on our five-hour nice trek that will take us along buffalo paths and trails and through several hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Tavan, home to H'mong, and Dzay minority people. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you will meet. Once on the valley floor you can really appreciate the wonderful scenery that surrounds you. Stopping for a picnic lunch on the way, we’ll then take a visit to their traditional house in Tavan. The people here, they have become very adept at rice cultivation and, in marked contrast to the H’mong, they have a higher living standard as a result. Return to Sapa by mini van at 06:00 pm transfer to Laocai station for the night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on train with soft bed sleeper.
DAY 06: HANOI – HALONG WITH KAYAKING ( B, L, D)
Pick up from station in Hanoi around 05am. Time for breakfast and then we start our journey with four-hour drive through the Red River Delta to Ha Long City. Arrive in Halong City we transfer to cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Halong Bay, giving us the chance to take in the stunning scenery of this World Heritage Site. While on board we will be served a sumptuous fresh, local seafood lunch followed by a swim and exploring some of the limestone caves in this area. When the sun comes down we drop anchor for the night nearby a remote island.
12h30: Board Cruise , check-in registration
13h00: Have lunch with welcome wine.
14h00: A fantastic cruise in Ha Long bay
15h00. Optional visit to Thien Cung cave , Dau Go cave, round over Tuan Chau island, or Sungsot cave
Optional swim at lovely beaches. Afternoon tea with pastries on the sundeck or in the restaurant and drink before dinner
18h00: Junk cruise angkor by the lagoon
19h00: Enjoy 4 course diner and overnight on Junk
DAY 07: HALONG – HANOI ( B)
Rising to the sound of ocean coming to life for another lovely day. We breakfast over sunset:
07h30 : Junk boat once again sets sail through breathtaking secluded Halong bay
08h00: Enjoy breakfast while cruising
10h00 : Return to Halong city and have brunch on board. Back to Halong wharf and disembark
Transfer back to Hanoi. Overnight in Ha Noi.
DAY 08: HANOI - CARFT VILLAGE ( B, L)
This day trip to the surrounding areas of Hanoi visits two villages, each of them specializing in their own trade. It is ideal for those people who are interested in craft and artwork and wish to take a unique souvenir of Vietnam home with them. The people of Bat Trang are famous for their ceramics. This is where Hanoians come to buy their pottery. The village of Dong Ho has for generations been the place where Vietnam's most famous folk paintings were made. The trip also includes a detour to one of the most remarkable pagodas in North Vietnam; Thap But. We leave Hanoi at 08.00 for a 30 minute drive to Bat Trang. Once here we will walk through the village visiting different homes to observe the ceramic production process. After lunch, we drive for another 20km. to the village of Dong Ho, the home of traditional folk paintings in Vietnam. These artisans and their forefathers have been producing fine woodblock prints for centuries. We conclude our trip with a visit to Thap But pagoda before returning to Hanoi around 17.00.
DAY 09: HANOI - FLIGHT TO HUE ( B, L)
Breakfast at hotel. Morning enjoy the beauty of Hanoi with a soft walk throught the alleys of the Old quarter for shopping tour with a visit to biggest market in Hanoi – Dong Xuan market before the transfer to the airport for the flight to Hue VN 245 1100 1210. Arrive in Hue, transfer to hotel. Time for a freshen up. We then visit the elaborate mausoleum of emperors Tu Duc & Khai Dinh. Visit famous Dong Ba market where is the best place for shopping and search for nice souvenirs for the loved-ones at home. Overnight in Hue.
DAY 10: HUE – IMPERIAL CITY ( B, L)
Hue, the former capital of Vietnam (1802 -1945 under Nguyen Dynasty), is known as ‘the city of peace and poetry’. The city is charming and has a romantic atmosphere. With a small sampan we make a cruise upstream the Perfume River to visit the famous Thien Mu Pagoda and the Hon Chen Temple. From here, we will start a trek towards the remote area of small imperial tombs. Impressive and mysterious, because many of these imperial tombs seem to be forgotten by many. We will finalize our excursion at one of the most romantic places of the area; the complex of Minhmang Emperor's tomb. Located in lush vegetation, the tomb combines majesty with oriental charm. Afterwards we visit the Forbidden Citadel, which seems to be untouched despite turbulent history like the wars. The rest of the day you will be free at leisure. Overnight in Hue.
DAY 11: HUE – HOIAN ( B, L)
Transfer to Hoi An via Danang. Visit the Cham Museum containing the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world . Visit five sacred hills known as the Marble Mountains containing dozens of Buddhist shrines. Transfer to Hoian, a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit the former merchants' homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market. Overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 12: HOIAN –NHATRANG ( B )
We visit Hoian old houses and temples, bridges and markets. Transfer to the Airport for the flight to Nha Trang
VN 335 0940 1045. Nha Trang is Vietnam’s best-known beach destination with miles of white sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and wonderful fresh seafood restaurants. There are days free to enjoy Nha Trang as you please. Overnight in Nha Trang.
DAY 13: NHATRANG ( B, L)
Visit Ponagar Cham Town, Longson pagoda, and Oceangraphic stitute we then board our boat for a cruise to visit fishing villages, and island. Water sports abound including parasailing, jet skiing, water skiing and relaxing boat trips to the outlying islands. Overnight in Nha Trang.
DAY 14: NHATRANG - SAIGON ( B, L)
Transfer to airport for the flight to Saigon VN335 1135 1230. Arrival Saigon, greet and pick up by our guide and driver. Check–in to hotel. We have time to visit the following sights in Saigon: Reunification Palace, Cholon, Notre Dame Cathedral, Ben Thanh market, Giac Lam Pagoda, Jade Emperor’s Pagoda, especially War Remnants Museum: Formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes, this is a poignant display of the futility of war. Some of the black and white photography in the ‘Requiem’ exhibit is particularly touching; dedicated to both foreign and Vietnamese journalists and photographers who perished during the conflict. The courtyard outside contains the spoils of war, namely rusting jets, tanks and cannons captured from the American military machine. Overnight in Saigon
DAY 15: SAIGON – TAYNINH/CUCHI ( B, L)
Enjoy a morning drive through typical southern Vietnamese countryside to Tay Ninh Province in the west of Vietnam. At Tay Ninh visit the incredible Cao Dai Great Temple, with architecture that could have come straight from a Walt Disney fantasy and where all the major faiths of the world blend together in a unique religious cocktail. In the afternoon visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. Overnight in Saigon.
DAY 16: SAIGON - MEKONG DELTA (B,L)
Leave Ho Chi Minh City after breakfast for Vinh Long. Arrive in Cai Be floating market, we will take a boat trip to explore the floating market, one of the most attractions in the Mekong Delta. Continue cruising to Vinh Long the capital of Vinh Long Province. What makes a trip to Vinh Long worthwhile is not the town itself but the beautiful small islands in the river. The islands are totally given to agriculture, especially the growing of tropical fruits, which are shipped to markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Visit Binh Hoa Phuoc Island where one of the fascinating things to be seen are the “monkey bridges”. These are makeshift footbridges built of uneven logs about 30 to 80 cm wide and from 2m to 10m above the canals. For lunch sample the local delicacy, the "Elephant's Ear Fish" on Binh Hoa Phuoc Island. Proceed to Cantho, just over 30km, and a ferry ride away from Vinh Long, the bustling commercial centre of the Mekong Delta. Can Tho is one of the more attractive delta towns but as in the rest of the Mekong Delta the best sights are on the water. Overnight in Cantho.
DAY 17: MEKONG DELTA - CANTHO - SAIGON ( B, L)
Rising early to the sounds of the Delta coming to life for another day, we breakfast and start our trip with a boat cruise on sparking streams along the endless waterway of Mighty Mekong River to Cairang and Phongdien floating markets. There will be hundreds of boats loaded with fruits, vegetables and fish jostling for trade. Sellers advertisers their wares by crying out across the waters. We visit the lush orchards and are treated to a delicious tropical fruits. Afternoon drive to Ho Chi Minh city.
DAY 18: SAIGON – DEPARTURE ( B)
At leisure to do you shopping before the transfer to airport for your flight outward.
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