Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi, Airport pick-up
Welcome to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam! Upon your arrival, your local guide and driver will meet you at the airport and then transfer you to the well-selected hotel. The rest of the day will be remained for you to recover from jet leg.
Day 2: Hanoi city highlights
Today, you will spend a full day to explore the must-see attractions in Hanoi. Firstly, your guide will take you to visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which was built in memory of the President Ho Chi Minh who led Vietnam to its independence from French colonial rule and devoted all his life to the liberation. Here, you will visit the Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh Residence, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Hall. After finishing the visit, you will have a better understanding of this national hero. Afterwards, your guide will show you around the Temple of Literature, a typical Chinese-style building, in which Confucius and many Confucian sages are enshrined. It was built in 1070 and is said to be the first Sinology University in Vietnam, from which you can trace the close relationship between Vietnam and China in ancient times.
In the afternoon, we will come to the Ethnology Museum. Can you imagine that there are as many as 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam? This museum will show you the most Vietnamese ethnic characteristics in the shortest time. Then round off the day with a local special of Water Puppet Show, which is Vietnam's most distinctive traditional folk stage show. You will not only have fun, but learn more about Vietnamese culture through it. After the show, you could go to the Old Quarter to experience the local nightlife to fully relax yourself.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
One Pillar Pagoda
Temple of Literature
Day 3: Drive 3h to Halong Bay, Take a Halong Bay Cruise
After breakfast, we will start a scenic drive of about 150 kilometers (93 miles) through northern Vietnam to Halong Bay, a World Cultural Heritage Site and a gift for human from nature. Upon arrival, you will be warmly welcomed by the cruise staff and led to check in. Around noon, it will be a pleasant experience to enjoy the lunch while sailing on the sea.
In the afternoon, you will visit some heavenly caves, which are typical karst caves. Stepping into the caves, you will see a variety of strange stalactites. Besides, you can also take part in some interesting activities, such as kayaking, diving and swimming. Experience a unique overnight stay on the cruise.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Continue the Halong Bay Cruise, Fly 1h10mins to Hue
In the morning, you could take a Tai Chi class on the sundeck if you like. After a short practice session, you could enjoy morning tea or coffee. Then please get ready to disembark for a few hours' land tour. The hospitable local people will welcome you with their home-made fruit or animal wine. After finishing the local family visit, you will return to the cruise for an elaborate brunch. Your cruise trip will be ended after the meal and your guide will meet you again onshore to transfer you to Hanoi Airport, where you will take flight to Hue, the lost imperial city in Central Vietnam.
Day 5: Hue imperial city full day trip
Hue is the ancient capital of Vietnam for three dynasties and is famous for its historical sites. In the morning, you will take a private dragon boat on the Perfume River for around 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to the Thien Mu Pagoda, which is a famous ancient pagoda with a history of around 400 years. The vegetarian food here is delicious and you can have a try if you want. Then, we will come to the Hue Royal Palace, which is also called the Forbidden City of Hue, the capital of the last dynasty. It is also the largest and most complete existing complex of ancient buildings in Vietnam and represents the highest achievement of Vietnamese ancient architectural art.
In the afternoon, your guide will show you around the Tomb of Tu Duc, which is one of the most beautiful architectures among the Ruan Dynasty (1802 - 1945) complex and where you will feel the harmonious relationship between humans and nature. Our last stop today will be the Dong Ba Market, which is the largest traditional trading market in Hue. Here, you will see various seafoods, the famous Hue bamboo hat, glutinous rice paper, silk painting etc. The market price is high, but you can usually buy things here at a quarter of the price if you are good at bargaining.
Day 6: Drive 3h to Hoi An via Da Nang, Enjoy leisure time in Hoi An
After breakfast, we will drive southwards to Hoi An Ancient Town. On the way, we will pass by the most beautiful coastline in the world, and stop to have a drink while enjoying the wonderful scenery. Then upon arrival, your guide will help you check in at the hotel, and take you to a famous local restaurant to enjoy lunch. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the old town by yourself.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7: Visit My Son Sanctuary from Hoi An
Today, we will come to a world-class tangible cultural heritage, My Son Sanctuary, which is the heart of the famous ancient kingdom of Champa. The Champa Kingdom ruled central and southern Vietnam for as long as 14 centuries and here, you will have a chance to learn about this mysterious and brilliant kingdom. Besides, you will also enjoy a Champa Dance Show, which will bring you back to the ancient period and enable you to know more about the local people's culture, belief and lifestyle. After around 2 hours' visiting, we will drive back to Hoi An town. Your guide will recommend some nice restaurants for you to have lunch. The rest of the day is free for you to stroll around the old town and feel the real life of local people.
Day 8: Drive 1h to Da Nang，Fly 1.5h to Ho Chi Minh City
Today, you can wake up naturally and have your breakfast. Enjoy some free time in the morning and then check out from the hotel. We will head to Da Nang Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon your arrival, the local guide and driver will pick you up on time and transfer you to the hotel.
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh city highlights with Cu Chi Tunnels
Today's visit will start from the famous Cu Chi Tunnels which is 32km (20 miles) far away from HCMC. Here, your guide will take you to experience the special life during the Vietnam War, when the people lived in the underground tunnels for daytime, and could only come out to relax at night for a while. You may see the kitchens, the living quarters, and the meeting rooms in the tunnels, which will offer you a perspective on what on earth the people suffered during that period.
Later, you will be transferred back to the city and pay a visit to the War Remnants Museum. Here, you could see many objects left over from the wars, through which you can fully feel the cruelty of the wars. Our last stop today is the Reunification Palace, the former Presidential Palace, as well as its nearby attractions.
Day 10: Drive 2h to My Tho, Enjoy Mekong Delta Cruise
After breakfast, we will leave the bustling Ho Chi Minh City and head for My Tho, which is a gateway to Mekong Delta. During the 2 hours' driving, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the rice fields and visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda at the halfway. After arriving at My Tho, you will change to a boat to experience the local life on Mekong River, and visit some traditional stilt houses as well as the boat-building workshops. Lunch will be specially arranged on an island. Afterwards, we'll continue to drive to Can Tho city and check in at the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 11: Morning boat trip to Cai Rang floating market, Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City
Today, in order to experience the busiest time of Cai Rang floating market, you need to get up a bit earlier and head there by boat along the Mekong River. The hard-working people, the flourishing trading, the coming and going boats will show you the realest pictures of how local people do business and live on the water. You will also have a chance to taste the fresh local fruits and snacks. Then, we will drive you back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 12: Departure from Ho Chi Minh City, Airport see-off
Your12 days best Vietnam tour willcome to an end here. After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to the airportaccording to your flight schedule. We wish you bon voyage!