Discover Vietnam by exploring its food and the culture, which is unique in Southeast Asia. You will start in Hanoi, which is the cultural capital of Vietnam, and visit the ancient city center. Don’t forget to enjoy the traditional food from Hanoi, before you will visit the town of Sapa far north, near the Chinese border. Visit the ancient capital of Vietnam, Hue, and then continue your journey to the untouched beaches of Hoi An and Nha Trang, where you will have time to relax.
Day 1: Arrive Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International airport, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Then, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from as you enjoy your first day. Maybe you’ll want to take a cyclo ride to dinner at one of the French colonial villas which have been converted into gourmet restaurants. Following that, you may wish to attend a traditional water puppet performance. The sky is the limit and there is plenty to keep you busy before retiring for the evening.
Day 2 Hanoi (B/L)
On day two, you’ll be able to explore the fascinating Old Quarter and visit Hanoi’s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum and the Temple of Literature. The day will end with the chance for you to enjoy an exotic spa package at Thu Cuc Spa. Choose either the “Herbal Secrets” treatment for 150 minutes, the “Walking Walker” facial and foot massage for 120 minutes or the “Seasonal Greetings from Hanoi” treatment for 90 minutes. You’ll then be ready for a restful overnight stay.
Day 3: Hanoi – Lao Cai – Sapa (B)
Today you have a whole day free to explore shops selling silks, lacquer ware, the finest linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Or you may visit some Vietnamese famous handicraft villages like Van Phuc Silk village or Bat Trang ceramic village. In the evening, you will take an overnight train to Lao Cai – a China-Vietnamese border city.
Day 4: Lao Cai – Sapa (B/D)
The train will arrive at the Lao Cai train station at approximately 06:00. There will be a vehicle waiting to transfer you to Sapa. The drive to Sapa is 33 km and takes roughly 1.5 hours. Once at Sapa, you will check into your hotel in order to freshen up, have breakfast and then enjoy a free morning to explore the town. After a pickup from the hotel, there will be a walking tour of the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, home to the Black H’mong minority peoples. As we walk to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, we will meet some of the local people on their way to and from Sapa. Here you will have the opportunity to share cultural experiences with the families that live in the area, followed by an overnight at stay in Sapa.
Day 5: Sapa (B/L)
Following breakfast, you’ll explore the Sapa Sunday market and then set out on a 3-4 hour trek that will take you along buffalo paths and trails. We’ll also pass through the hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van, home to the H’mong and Dzay people. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery, inhabited by some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. In the afternoon, you will return for an overnight stay in Sapa.
Day 6: Sapa – Weekly Hill tribe market – Lao Cai (B/L)
Today you can have an early breakfast, bid farewell to Sapa andtake a drive to join in the most exciting events in this area – the weekly hill tribe markets. These include the Coc Ly market on Tuesday, Muong Khuong market on Thursday, Can Cau market on Saturday and Bac Ha market on Sunday. Then you will return to Lao Cai station for an overnight train back to Hanoi.
Day 7: Lao Cai – Hanoi – Cooking Class (B/D)
Upon arrival, your driver will pick you up and take you to the Hanoi flower market, followed by breakfast at a local restaurant serving its famous Pho and a cup of Vietnamese coffee. Early check in is available and before an afternoon cooking and a market tour. You have a full stomach and be lighted that you prepared it yourself!
Day 8: Halong Bay Excursion (B/L)
In the morning you will drive to Halong Bay City, approximately 3 hours away. Once at Halong Bay City, you will be welcomed on board for a four-hour cruise on the stunning bay, stopping along the way to visit one of the limestone caves in the area. As you are cruising, the boat crew will serve you a sumptuous seafood lunch. After this 4 hour trip, you’ll head back to Hanoi for an overnight stay.
Day 9: Hanoi – Hue (B/D)
In the morning you are transferred to the Hanoi airport for one-hour flight to Hue. In the 19th century, Hue was the home of the Nguyen Dynasty who built their opulent palaces, gardens and mausoleums on the banks of the Perfume River. This peaceful central city has long been synonymous with royalty, culture and spiritual reflection. In the afternoon you board a dragon boat for a cruise on the romantic Perfume River to visit the lovely Thien Mu Pagoda. From here you will continue your journey to the magnificent tombs of Minh Mang and Tu Duc and then enjoy a royal dinner in a local restaurant before an overnight stay in Hue.
Day 10: Hue (B/L)
This morning you will embark on a tour to visit Hue Citadel, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City and the Imperial Museum. This gallery of antiques houses collections of bronze, pottery, chinaware, Phap Lam enamel, court robes, head-gear and the personal belongings of former Vietnamese emperors. The tour continues with a visit to the Tu Hieu pagoda and the Dong Ba market. You’ll enjoy lunch with the fine cuisine of Hue at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel for the evening.
Day 11: Hue – Hoi An (B)
A breathtaking drive will bring you from Hue to Hoi An via Danang city. Admire the scenery while you go along one of the most beautiful coastal roads in all of Asia. Upon arrival at Danang you will visit the Cham Museum where you will have the opportunity to learn more about this advanced but lost civilization. You’ll then drive to Hoi An. From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders for its high grade silk, which is still produced in the area, as well as ceramics. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 12: Hoi An (B/D)
In the morning you will enjoy a half-day walking tour through the narrow, winding streets of the Ancient Quarter to visit the Chinese Assembly Hall, the Japanese bridge, the Phuc Kien Pagoda, and Tam Ky ancestral house which is more than 200 years old. Next, you can relax at a local pub, do some shopping or visit the local tailors who make quality clothes in a flash. You’ll then spend the night in Hoi An.
Day 13: Hoi An (B/D)
After breakfast at your hotel, you will take a bicycle tour along country roads and through the rice fields to get in touch with local farmers and fishermen or to visit nearby beaches. Then you’ll have a free afternoon and an overnight stay in Hoi An.
Day 14: Hoi An (B)
Today you will be free to relax at the beach and enjoy the wonderful services offered by the resort. Or you can take a bicycle tour along the country roads and through the rice fields to get in touch with local farmers, fishermen and others. One thing you won’t want to miss are the tailor shops. You can order any tailor-made clothing (even a tuxedo!) and you will have your beautiful clothes within 3 to 4 hours, and at a price that will amaze you.
Day 15: Hoi An – Nha Trang (B)
You are free until pick up at your hotel and transfer to Danang airport for your short flight to the resort in Nha Trang. Voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Nha Trang boasts a six-mile stretch of beautiful fine white sand, quiet and warm waters, and stunning archipelagos. You will stay overnight in Nha Trag.
Day 16: Nha trang (B)
Today you will be free to relax and enjoy the resort facilities. You may choose to snorkel or dive among the coral reefs in crystal blue waters, hike nature trails, cool off in the pool, indulge in spa treatments or just relax on the white sand beach and admire the unspoiled mountain and sea views before retiring for the evening.
Day 17: Nha trang: (B)
You’ll have another free day to relax and enjoy the resort facilities or you can visit some of the famous sightseeing destinations: the Cham Ponagar towers, the Oceanographic Institute, Chong Promontory Rocks , the local Dam Market. You can also take a boat tour to discover the Nha Trang Bay with is beautiful islands and enjoy lunch at a fishing village. You will have the night free and settle in for an overnight stay.
Day 18: Nha trang – HCMC (B)
Today you will take a short morning flight from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the country’s commercial centre and home to a growing number of upscale restaurants and shops. You can visit Chinatown, the Thien Hau Pagoda, the Reunification Palace, the Opera House, the Hotel de Ville and the War Remnants Museum. You’ll visit colourful outdoor markets and bustling Dong Khoi Street, the city’s main upscale shopping boulevard with boutiques selling clothes and accessories designed by new Vietnamese designers, hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and house wares. You’ll then spend the night in HCMC.
Day 19: Tay Ninh Holysee temple & Cu Chi tunnels (B/L)
In the morning you will drive to the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh and witness the noon service. The temple is decorated with colorful kites in all shapes and sizes and fitted inside with a series of Buddhist symbols and the sacred all-seeing eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect. This religion is a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. Next, you will take a half-day private excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km, from Saigon to the Cambodian border, and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today, the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction, giving you a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S.-Vietnam War must have been like. Then relax in your hotel and fall restfully asleep.
Day 20: Depart Vietnam (B)
There is no activity planned for today, so you will be able to pack, plan and still have leisure time before heading to the airport and bidding farewell to HCMC. “Cam on va Chao tam biet!”