Throughout Amazing Vietnam5 5 (1 reviews)
Hanoi – Halong Bay - Hue – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Cu Chi Tunnels
A good suggestion for people who don’t have much time but still want to see all the highlights of Vietnam. The charming, traditional, and authentic Old Quarter of Hanoi, a half day boat cruise on the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay, a visit to a village reserving Water Puppets and its stories, the citadels and temples in the former capital of Hue.
Then to the picturesque Hoi An Ancient Town, the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, the one and only Mekong Delta – its rivers, canals and fruit orchards, and the Cu Chi Tunnels from the Vietnam/American war. It may seem like so many things packed in such a small backpack, but all are selected carefully and you will still have free time and be comfortable!
We plan and book all the details of your itinerary, including lodging, in-tour flights and transportation, activities and admission, and all meals noted. Choose this itinerary, or use it for ideas to pick and choose and plan your own unique guided journey
Arrival at the Hanoi International Airport, you will be welcomed by our guide and transferred to downtown to check in your hotel. Enjoy your welcome dinner at a local restaurant with Vietnamese cuisine, as we help orient you to Vietnam. Overnight in Hanoi.
After breakfast, you will start to explore our capital, Hanoi. You will visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (view outside on Mondays, Fridays and afternoons as its closure), His House on Stilt, One Pillar Pagoda and Tran Quoc Pagoda on the West Lake. Next, you will visit the Temple of Literature, the first University of Vietnam. In the afternoon, you will have a one hour cyclo tour in the bustling Old Quarter of Hanoi, experiencing our busy, local daily life.
Cyclo is a typical transportation vehicle, very popular in Vietnam in the past. It was created by a French engineer in 1939 but later it became the main transfer vehicle in Vietnam. Today cyclo is only used to transport tourists in the historical areas and in a short distance and they’re colorful decorated.
The Old Quarter of Hanoi consists of 36 small, narrow streets. It’s compared to China Town in Ho Chi Minh City. The Old Quarter is the most bustling area in Hanoi, with many shops, restaurants, bars and boutique hotels. You can find everything here at a reasonable price if you know how to bargain (normally 50% off). The Old Quarter is also the place where you can find all kinds of Vietnamese traditional/popular foods and drinks. In the evening, you can stretch your legs walking around Ta Hien – backpackers/fresh beer streets, Dao Duy Tu – iced tea street, Dinh Liet – woolen products street and Hang Dao – “Made in China” clothing street….
Later, say “goodbye” to Hanoi and proceed to Ha Long City. Drive between lush rice fields of the Red River Delta. Arriving in Ha Long City, check your hotel and enjoy free time. Overnight in Ha Long City.
After breakfast, you will check out your hotel and be transferred to the harbor where you will embark on a “junk” boat cruise around the islets, caves and grottos of Ha Long Bay. The boat will stop a while for you to take a short visit to the limestone formations inside Thien Cung and Dau Go grottos. Enjoy seafood lunch on board before disembarking the harbor. In the afternoon, visit rustic and skillful Bao Ha Carpenter and the Puppet Shallow Village. Meet Mr. Tuan, the person who is preserving the puppet shallow performance tradition of the village. Visit his house and learn how he creates puppets fig trees. He will also show you how to perform water puppet and puppet shallow.
Later gather at the village pagoda for a one hour show. Leave Bao Ha village for Hanoi and directly to the airport for a flight to Hue. Our guide will greet you personally at the airport and drive you to your hotel for check in. Overnight in Hue.
After breakfast, take a boat upstream the Perfume River to the pagoda of the "Heavenly Lady" (Thien Mu) pagoda. Built in 1601 between a river and a pine forest, the Thien Mu Pagoda ("Heavenly Lady Pagoda") in Hue is one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. Among the many interesting artifacts housed at the complex is the car that took the monk Thich Quang Duc to his self-immolation in 1963 Saigon.
Then return to downtown to visit the Imperial Citadel. Visit the Citadel, including the Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh). At noon time, lunch will be served at a garden house restaurant with Hue cuisine.
In the afternoon, ride bicycles to the quiet countryside of Hue to visit rice fields, small villages and the Thanh Toan Bridge. Your last stop today is Dong Ba Market where you can buy the best cloth for long Vietnamese style dresses at reasonable price. Overnight in Hue.
After breakfast, proceed to Hoi An along the central coast of Vietnam with a stop on Hai Van Pass to observe the beauty of the beaches and rocky mountains of Vietnam, and Lang Co Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam with long white sand and twinkling blue water.
Arriving in Hoi An, check in your hotel and enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant with food in Hoi An style. In the afternoon, follow your guide to walk around the tiny town of Hoi An for a city tour: 400 year old Japanese Bridge, 300 year old Chinese temple, 200 year old Vietnamese former merchants' house. Overnight in Hoi An.
After breakfast, ride a bicycle to Ky Son Martial Art Courtyard, meet your master and he will introduce to you about the history, main characteristics and advantage of Tai Chi. Follow him to practice in a short Tai Chi class and learn some massage methods that you can apply to your family at home!
Say Goodbye to your master and continue your bike riding to the home of a craftsman in the city. Here you will get a brief introduction to the history, shape, and color of the lanterns as well as the many stages of making them. Then, you will be shown how to decorate and to make your own lantern. You can also keep it as a souvenir. Lunch will be served at local restaurants in town before boarding a flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon arrival, meet your local guide there and transfer to downtown for hotel check-in. Evening is free to do whatever takes your fancy. We recommend a few hours relaxing at Sax N’ Art Jazz Club for a Saxophone performance show by the famous local musician, Manh Tuan. His show starts at 21:00 and lasts to midnight. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Cai Be Floating Market is a famous place in the Mekong Delta. Here the Tien River forms the border between Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre Provinces. Every day, hundreds of boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other products anchor along the banks of the river, waiting for traders and customers, as they have done for over 1000 years. The place is picturesque, and the trade is hot and fun.
Depart early in the morning. Upon arrival at Cai Be, take a boat to cruise around the Cai Be Floating Market. Visit local gardens and houses to see orchard and local trade, etc. After lunch at an Ancient garden house, we proceed to Vinh Long, passing a small and beautiful canal with peaceful villages, the unique natural setting of the Mekong Delta region. Stop at An Binh islet to visit some of the famous fruit orchards. After crossing the Co Chien River, the excursion ends at Vinh Long pier where our driver is waiting to take you back to Saigon. Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
After breakfast, you will explore Ho Chi Minh City’s highlights including the Reunification Palace, War Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Centre Post Office.
After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, which are 70 kilometers North West of Ho Chi Minh City, created in 1948 to assist the Viet Minh to combat the French. This is an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapon shops, field hospitals, command centers. During the American/Vietnam War, the entire area of Cu Chi was designated a fire free zone and was heavily bombarded. Since 1988, two sections of the tunnels have been open for visitors. You can try shooting real guns in Cu Chi with M16, M60 & AK47!
In the evening, a Farewell Dinner will be served on the Bonsai River Cruise. The boat will start Tan Cang pier and cruise along Saigon River for 2 hours while an international/Vietnamese buffet is served and fire dance, live music are performed. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Breakfast at your hotel and then you will be transferred to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your departure flight. Goodbye to Vietnam!
Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room
Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver
The services of an experienced English-speaking guide throughout the tour (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests return to their hotel or reaching their destination)
Domestic flights Hanoi – Hue & Danang – Ho Chi Minh City including airport taxes (Vietnam Airlines, economy class)
Where necessary, entry fees and permission to enter border areas for all visits mentioned in the program
Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available
Private boat trip in Ha Long Bay, Hue, and in Mekong Delta
VAT and other taxes
International flight tickets and airport tax
Vietnamese Visa handling and stamp fee
Dinners, except as specified above
Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
Camera fees (if any)
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