Day 1: Arrival - Ha Noi. On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Ha Noi, Vietnam’s capital, is one thousand year old city with peaceful lakes, French styled buildings, old quarter streets, tree lined boulevards, brightly painted temples and pagodas. (If time permits) we enjoy a short cyclos ride around the old quarter streets to see the different local ways of life. Overnight in Ha Noi.
Day 2: Ha Noi - Sa Pa. An early morning start to drive along the Red River to Sa Pa. The roads are bumpy at times but various scenic landscape changing from the delta area to the Tonkinese Alps make for an interesting journey. At an elevation of 1,500 meters, Sa Pa was once a hill resort of French administrators when the summer heat became unbearable. The remoteness and the lifestyle of ethnic minority people are a highlight of Sa Pa although conditions are basic. Overnight in Sa Pa. Includes: (B, L).
Day 3: Sa Pa. The Phan Si Pang range boasts Vietnam’s highest mountain and lends an alpine feel to the area surrounding this hill station. Today we have enough time to explore some of nearby hill tribe villages and visit the busy market of Sa Pa where the Red Dao, Black Hmong, Tay, Xa Pho ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding valleys and hillsides to sell their goods and buy provision. Overnight in Sa Pa. Includes: (B, L).
Day 4: Sa Pa - Bac Ha. We continue venturing into northern Vietnam with the next stop being Bac Ha Market, which also attracts a wide variety of ethnic minority groups including the Variegated Hmong, Dao, Phu La, La Chi, Tay. The experience of this congregation is colorful and unique. Overnight in Bac Ha. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 5: Bac Ha - Ha Noi. The return trip to Ha Noi begins as we leave Bac Ha. Along the way you can make stops as you please, to stretch you legs and take photographs. In the evening we enjoy a performance of Ha Noi’s famous water puppets. Overnight in Ha Noi. Includes: (B, L).
Day 6: Ha Noi - Ha Long. Ha Noi is one of Asia’s most charming cities. A half day sightseeing of the town includes Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature well known as Vietnam’s first university and the History Museum with an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history, the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple and the West Lake. Heading out of town we travel by road to Ha Long Bay with stopover at Dong Trieu Pottery village. Overnight in HaLong. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 7: Ha Long - Cat Ba. This morning, we embark on a cruise out to explore Ha Long Bay. Views of sailing junks navigating past over 3,000 limestone islands and out crops jutting out of the clear and emerald water of the bay are nothing short of spectacular. Along the way we will anchor for aleisurely swim in a secluded cove and a seafood lunch. On arrival in Cat Ba we have free time to relax on a beach. Overnight in Cat Ba. Includes: (B, L).
Day 8: Cat Ba - Ha Noi. A short transfer takes us to the national park of Cat Ba before we set off on a half day exploring Vietnam’s unique off shore park. The afternoon we board a hydrofoil to Hai Phong and drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Ha Noi. Includes: (B).
Day 9, Ha Noi - Da Nang - Hoi An. There is free time for your own exploration of the town before you board a flight to Da Nang. The tour of central Viet Nam begins with sightseeing of Hoi An which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. The tranquillity and charm of this town with its low tiled houses of Chinese appearance, Japanese covered bridge, brightly painted temples and pagodas make it one of Vietnam’s most delightful places. Overnight in Hoi An. Includes: (B).
Day 10: Hoi An - Hué. Upon leaving Hoi An, we we drive to Hué, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. The scenic route passes through Da Nang before climbing over the spectacular pass of Hai Van and dropping down to the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co. On our journey we make stops at the sensational Marble Mountains and the display of Cham’s sculpture. Upon arrival, we we visit the Imperial Citadel from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Overnight in Hué. Includes: (B, D).
Day 11: Hué. The elaborate tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and the beautiful pagoda of Thien Mu are not be missed. Today we include these in a guided boat trip on the Perfume River which also provides us a fantastic views of the countryside and an enjoyable visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang, in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. Overnight in Hué. Includes: (B).
Day 12: Hué - Ho Chi Minh. At leisure. We then take a short fligh south. Ho Chi Minh City, contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping area and sidewalk cafés. An afternoon city tour of dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, includes the Nôtre Dame Cathedral, Old Saigon Post Office, a lacquerware factory, the bustling Chinatown. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh. Includes: (B, D).
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh - My Tho - Ho Chi Minh. After two hours by road from Ho Chi Minh’s bustling streets, we start venturing into the watery world of the Mekong Delta. As a highlight of the trip, we take a cruise along narrow waterways through the lush vegetation to an orchard garden where we have the opportunity to visit local homes as well as enjoy a lunch followed with seasonal fruits. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh. Includes: (B, D).
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh - Tay Ninh - Cu Chi - Ho Chi Minh. Heading out of town we drive to Tay Ninh, the head quarter of Cao Dai region. On arrival we attend the fantastic mid-day temple service when the followers fill the hall wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. On return trip we also make stop to explore Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh. Includes: (B, L).
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh - departure. There is a free time to relax or further explore Ho Chi Minh. The tour ends after your transfer to Tan San Nhat Airport for departure. Includes: (B).
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