Days 1 & 2: Arrive Hanoi. On the first day no activities are planned. Meeting time is normally at 6.00 pm. In the meantime take a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter – a maze of streets, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry. Vietnamese food is one of the world’s most delightful of cuisines, and enjoy some of the finest at Little Hanoi. Late afternoon of the second day we will attend a performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre. Then head to the train station to board our overnight train to Sapa. Includes: (B).
Days 3 - 5: Sapa. After arriving in Lao Cai in the morning, we transfer 45 minutes to Sapa. An afternoon excursion will take us to the village of Ta Phin where we'll have a chance to interact with some of the local ethnic minorities such as H'mong, Dao, and Zai. We will spend an hour or two strolling through the villages before returning to Sapa early evening. The next day we take a moderate 5-6 hour trek through the Muong Hoa River valley. We will stop at Lao Chai village for lunch and on to the Ta Vinh village for our homestay. The terrain can be steep at times and slightly challenging. However, passengers with a moderate fitness level should be fine.
The homestay accomodation for the evening is basic, but bedding and mosquito nets are provided. After breakfast on the fifth day, say goodbye to the host family and walk on to a nearby village (1-2 hours) where a bus will be waiting to transfer us back to Sapa. Take the afternoon to relax before catching our overnight train back to Hanoi. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 6 & 7: Halong Bay. Today we arrive off the train in Hanoi in the early morning and transfer directly to Halong Bay (3 hours). Thousands of islands rise dramatically from the waters of Halong Bay and, to further their beauty, intricate caves have been hollowed out through these limestone karst formations. Aboard a sailing junk visit some of these islands and caves, perhaps taking a pre-dinner swim, before spending a peaceful night beneath the stars. In the morning, continue the cruise to Man's Head Island and Tortoise Island and visit Luon cave by small bamboo boat. After an early lunch on board head back to Hanoi with time for shopping or further sightseeing until our overnight train to Hue. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Hue. We arrive into Hue mid morning and will transfer to our hotel. It's then time to explore Hue, once the imperial capital. We can visit Tien Mu Pagoda and one of the Nguyen emperors tombs whilst soaking up the scenery of the countryside. We'll take a morning tour around the Citadel which also contains the Forbidden Purple City, modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing. Badly destroyed during the Tet Offensive in 1968, significant restoration work has since occurred. Late morning or early afternoon we'll drive over the Hai Van Pass and in to Hoi An arriving late afternoon.
Days 9 - 11: Hoi An. The picturesque port town of Hoi An, once known as Faifo, was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections. We suggest you take a walking tour of this living museum which includes the Museum of History and Culture, the Tan Ky house, the Japanese bridge, the Fujian Assembly Hall and lunch at a riverside restaurant to sample some of the local delicacies. Hoi An is also a shopping mecca for tourists in the region – tailors can produce virtually anything overnight – clothing, silk lanterns, lacquer ware and other crafts abound. And for sun worshipers, Cua Dai beach is 4 kms from town. Includes: (B).
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City. We leave Hoi An and drive to Danang (45 min) for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City is a sprawling metropolis that was once the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country’s commercial center. You may choose to do an optional city tour by cyclo which could include Notre Dame, The Rex Hotel, City Hall, the colonial Post Office, and the massive Ben Thanh Market. Visit Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum for a taste of history. Includes: (B).
Day 13: Mekong Delta. Head south to the Mekong Delta where we'll spend the night with a local family. Exploring by boat and on foot, we'll experience a different lifestyle from what we've seen elsewhere in Vietnam. A 2-3 hour drive takes us to Ben Tre where we will board our covered, wooden boat to explore the Mekong Delta and have a chance to see the local cottage industries of this area. In the early evening we'll arrive at our homestay for the night. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided as is a traditional southern Vietnamese dinner. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 14: Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City. After breakfast we head back to Saigon. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 15: Depart Ho Chi Minh City. Depart Ho Chi Minh City at any time today. Includes: (B).
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Asia Vietnam Local Culture Cultural Journey Museum Tours