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 is free for you to recover from jet leg or stroll around by yourself.
Day 2: Hanoi: Visit Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature, Ethnology Museum, Old Quarter, & Enjoy a Water Puppet Show
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
. From these visits, you will have a better understanding of this national hero. Afterwards, your guide will show you around the Temple of Literature & National University, a typical Chinese-style building constructed in 1070, in which Confucius are enshrined. ► Have You Ever Seen People with Shiny Black Teeth?
Among the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, the most impressive is Hmong minority nationality, for a unique custom they have retained. The Hmong people think they are pretty with black teeth, so they will dye their teeth black and their ethnic group is also called the black-teeth tribe. This afternoon, you will be escorted to visit the Ethnology Museum
, to learn about the ethnic groups in Vietnam and their history.
Afterwards, your guide will take you to watch a local special 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 will be guided to explore the bustling Old Quarter
to experience local life.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3: Drive to Halong Bay & Enjoy Halong Bay Cruise
After breakfast, we will start a scenic drive of about 150 kilometers (93 miles) for around 3 hours 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 lunch while sailing on the sea.
In the afternoon, you will take an onshore excursion to visit some heavenly caves, which are typical karst caves. Stepping into the caves, you will see a variety of unique stalactites. Besides, you can also take part in some interesting activities, such as kayaking, diving and swimming. Experience an overnight stay on cruise. ★ What Makes Us Different?
Halong bay consists of Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay, and Bai Tu Long Bay based on depth of seawater and distance from the shore. Halong Bay is the closest to the coast and is the earliest to be developed, followed by Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.
Different from small cruises arranged by other travel agencies in commercialized shallow waters of Halong Bay, we offer you the carefully selected luxury cruise. Our Halong Bay cruise trip includes most of must-see karst caves and islands in Halong Bay, as well as varieties of water sports in Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, like kayaking, paddle boat riding, and swimming. This 2-day and 1-night cruise tour will enable you to fully relax with all essence views of Halong Bay.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Halong Bay Cruise Tour; Fly 70mins to Hue
In the morning, please do not miss Tai Chi Class
on the sundeck at 06:00. You must have heard of Yoga, an exercise originated from India. But Tai Chi is originated from China as a very famous kind of Chinese Kung Fu. The Tai Chi master on the cruise will teach you some basic postures and motions. Under his guidance, you can move your body slowly, adjust breathing, maintain a posture, and relax your body and mind. After that, let’s see the rising sun over the sea and taste great morning coffee. A wonderful day starts!
Follow your cruise guide to a scenic island, where the residents still have an unbelievable simple rural life. You can walk into their triangular thatched cottages and see their simple room layout. The hospitable locals will also greet you with their homemade fruit wine, fruit tea, and fresh fruits. After finishing the local family visit, you will return to the cruise ship for an abundant brunch. Then disembark, and your guide and driver will meet and transfer you to Hanoi Airport, where you will take flight to Hue, the lost imperial city in Central Vietnam.
Day 5: Hue: Visit Thien Mu Pagoda, Forbidden City, Tomb of Tu Duc & Dong Ba Market
As the ancient capital of Vietnam for three dynasties, Hue 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 more than 400 years. 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 Dong Ba Market
, which is the largest traditional trading market in Hue. Here, you will see various seafood, the famous Hue bamboo hats, glutinous rice paper, silk painting etc. If you are interested in any goods, you can try to bargain with the vendors and get them at a quarter of the market price.
Hue Royal Palace
Hue Thien Mu Pagoda
Day 6: Hue to Hoi An by Car via Da Nang; Visit My Son Sanctuary
After breakfast, we will drive southwards to Da Nang. 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.► Take a Postcard of Vietnam with Your Camera!
Drive through Truong Son Range, we’ll arrive at the Hai Van Pass
on the mountain top, which is the demarcation point between the north and south of Vietnam. This road section was named "one of the 50 must-see places in life" by National Geographic, as one can view the mountains on one side and the sea on the other side here. We will stop at Lang Co Beach
, where the white narrow curved beach is presented in many Vietnamese brochures. Your experienced guide will find you the best shooting location so that you can easily shoot a blockbuster like those in brochures.
Lang Co Beach
My Son Sanctuary
In the afternoon, 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 local people's culture, belief and lifestyle. After around 2 hours' visiting, we will drive to Hoi An. Upon arrival, your guide will help you check in at the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7: Hoi An: Join-in Cooking Class & Ancient Town Walking Tour
After having eaten Vietnamese food for a few days, would you like to learn how to make some delicious Vietnamese dishes? This morning, you will join in an interesting cooking class tour in Hoi An. Schedules are as below:
[08:00 - 08:15] Your private guide and driver will pick you up from hotel and send you to Hai Scout Cafe to meet your foodie guide and other participants. Hai Scout Cafe address is No. 98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An Ancient Town.
[08:15 - 09:00] Your foodie guide will accompany you to Hoi An main market. On the way, he/she will introduce some cultural background and history of Vietnamese cuisine. You’ll then be escorted to know some ingredients, spices, vegetables and seafood in the market.
[09:00 - 10:00] Take a scenic cruise to Red Bridge Cooking School, you will see lively life scenes on both riverbanks. Upon arrival, you will visit the exotic Herb Garden firstly where you will see a lot of fresh plants emitting charming smells, and many of them are your lunch seasonings.
[10:00 - 11:30] Cooking Class begins. You will learn to cook the following four typical dishes:
• Rice Paper & Fresh Rice Paper Rolls of Shrimp
• Crispy Hoi An Pancakes with shrimps, herbs, bean sprouts & a Peanut Sauce
• Seafood Salad with Tra Que Herbs
• Quang Nam Style Fresh Noodles with Chicken
After all food are prepared well, you will learn the food decoration, and the way to carve the tomato rose and Vietnamese hand fan.
[11:30 - 12:30] Lunch time! Enjoy your masterpiece and some other foods prepared by your chef.
[12:30 - 13:00] After lunch, you will get back to Hoi An by cruise to meet your private guide.
Clients in Cooking Class
Japanese Covered Bridge
In the afternoon, start your Hoi An Ancient Town
walking tour to admire the remarkable architecture. This town is a combination in cultures and architectural styles of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese. You will see many Chinese-style buildings like Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall
, and Tan Ky Old House. The guide will lead you to go inside the buildings and tell you the stories behind them. The Japanese Covered Bridge
is also a local highlight.
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 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 and transfer you to the hotel. After a short rest, you will visit two landmarks of Saigon: Center Post Office
and Notre Dame Cathedral
, which are two colonial buildings by French.
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels, War Remnants Museum & Reunification Palace
Today's visit will start from the famous Cu Chi Tunnels
which is 45km (30 miles) away from Ho Chi Minh City. Here, your guide will take you to experience the special life during the Vietnam War, when the people lived in underground tunnels for daytime, and could only come out to relax at night for a while. You may see the kitchens, living quarters, and 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 truly feel the cruelty of the wars. Our last stop today is the Reunification Palace
, the former Presidential Palace.
Day 10: Drive 2h to Ben Tre, Enjoy Mekong Delta Cruise, Then to Can Tho
Today, we will enjoy the mother river of Southeast Asia, Mekong River. Your guide and driver will take you to Ben Tre, which is located in Mekong Delta area with a strong exotic flavor and is famous for its coconut candy. Upon arrival, you will get on a boat and cruise along the Ham Luong River
to enjoy the amazing idyllic scenery. Midway through, you will see many different kinds of boats sailing on the river and the locals exchanging goods onboard, you will also have a chance to visit the fruit orchards, coconut groves, coconut candy workshops, and etc. Afterwards, we will land at a village to explore the authentic Vietnamese rural life by visiting a farmer's house. Here, you will also take a "Xe Loi" car or a bicycle to wander around. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant. Afterwards, we will reach the dock by sampan and get on the boat back to Ben Tre. Finally, you will be driven to Can Tho and stay one night there.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 11: Visit 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 scenes of how local people do business and live on water. You will also have a chance to taste fresh local fruits and snacks when visiting a workshop on the shore of the market. You will get to know the way to make colorful rice papers and rice noodles. After the visit, we will drive you back to hotel and enjoy breakfast. Later, we will drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.★ Privilege of Our Guests:
Different from the public shuttle boat with fixed schedule arranged by other travel agencies, we arrange the private motorized boat for you. You don't have to get up early at 4:00 to catch the shuttle boat, and we will arrange for you to start around 6:00 in the morning, so that you can get to Cai Rang Floating Market at about 7:30. It can't be late anymore, because the industrious Vietnamese have begun to work early, and the liveliest scene of Cai Rang Floating Market takes place from 7:00 to 8:00. If it is too late, you may miss it.► Why Are the Fruits and Vegetables Being Hanged on the Poles?
Cai Rang Floating Market is the largest and the most distinctive water market in Vietnam, with the most abundant goods. At dawn, as villagers living nearby begin to bring their own fruits, vegetables and flowers for sale, the market turns to be bustling. Heavy boats loaded with goods are not easy to move, so the smart vendors set up a high bamboo pole on the bow. Items sold are hanged on the pole, to make buyers know what are in their cabins. There are usually pumpkins, onions, bananas, and flowers on the poles. Buyers will first look at the bamboo poles to make sure whether to buy or not, and then move the boat close for a trade. There are also some vendors carrying goods on small boats, shuttling among visitors’ boats for peddling. Their durians, mangosteens, pitayas, rambutans, jackfruits, and coconuts are very fresh, you could buy some to try.
Day 12: Departure from Ho Chi Minh City, Airport See-off
Your 12 days best Vietnam tour will come to an end here. After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to the airport according to your departure flight schedule. We wish you bon voyage!