Essence of Vietnam: The local life of Vietnamese people will be gradually revealed through this 17 day trip. Joining this tour, you will be taken along Vietnam country from the Northern part to the Southern one. Give a try and create your own experience and findings of the differences among the regions! There are much more to discover.
Day 1: Hanoi
Upon your arrival at Hanoi airport look for our driver and guide who will be waiting for you with a sign bearing your name. The journey from the airport to your hotel will take approximately half an hour and is an entertaining experience full of chaotic traffic and millions of motorbikes.
Day 2: Hanoi local life and visit Train Street (B/L)
Our guide will meet you at your hotel lobby and take you to Hoan Kiem Lake (The Lake of the Returned Sword) that shows the traditional architecture style of the Old Quarter.
Leaving Hoan Kiem Lake, our guide will take you along the Hanoi streets, here you will learn more about the Hanoians by visiting an ancient house located on 87 Ma May. Dating back to the 19th century, this very special house is a stunning example of the architecture style that once prevailed throughout Hanoi before the concrete egg-carton style took over. This is one of the few intact remains of an old-style home open to the public in Hanoi.
Our next stop is Bach Ma Temple, lying in the heart of the Old Quarter. It is said to be the oldest temple in the city. Nowadays, the temple still retains many of its original relics such as stone steles, altars, shrines and statues. Along with architectural and artistic merit, Bach Ma Temple is also a valuable resource for researching and studying about the history of Hanoi.
The trip will take you inside the alleys and explore the fascinating and confusing narrow streets of the Old Quarter where local markets are located. On the way, you will have a chance to enjoy some traditional tasty foods in the market.
To end your day, our guide will take you to Train Street, one of the hot spots for Egg-Coffee. Sitting in a street corner of Hanoi Old Quarter with a drink, chatting with your travel companions while watching the train pass by might be one the most memorable pages in your travel journal.
Day 3: Hanoi Free Day – Lao Cai by train (B)
Morning, freely enjoy yourself in this beautiful city.
Evening, Our car picks you up and transfer to train station. Take an overnight train to Lao Cai province.
Day 4: Sapa – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Tavan (B/L/D)
At 05.00am, our guide and car pick you up at train station, transfer you to Sapa Town to have breakfast and rest after the night train.
At 09.00am, have a very first walking tour in Sapa to Cat Cat village. You will be impressed by the waterfall and a hydroelectric station in here, enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. The walk takes you from Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority to Ta Van village of Giay minority. Stay at homestay.
Day 5: Tavan – Giang Ta Chai – Su Pan – back to Hanoi by shared-limousine (B/L)
After refreshing by breakfast, you will trek through the bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park.
Have lunch then you continue toward Su Pan, a small village located by the road. Back to Sapa Town after that.
14.00pm our limousine car will pick you up to Hanoi. The road may take around 4-5 hours of transfer.
Arrive in Hanoi, check in hotel and rest after long road.
Day 6: Cruise Halong Bay (L/D)
08:30 – 09:00: Limousine picks you up at your hotel in the old quarter
12:00: The crew members of Cruise will welcome you at Tuan Chau International Marina Station.
12:30: You will be taken aboard our support vessel and travel from the wharf via the bay to board our luxurious craft. Welcome fresh drinks, cold towels and a special lunch of fresh food and an assortment of appetizing delicacies will be served. You will be enchanted when decadently dining on our luxury junk. We then set sail for Lan Ha Bay – A member of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays.
15:30: We will visit the Dark and Bright Cave – famous for the pristine natural beauty and poetic, attractive seascape of Lan Ha Bay. Here you will take some photos of the romantic, lyrical local see-sights. This is also the best time for tourists to enjoy bamboo boat and swimming – which is an interesting activity to discover the truest beauty of the limestone mountains and the blue sky of LanHa Bay. Afterwards, visitors immerse in the emerald green water of LanHa Bay with exciting swimming activities or enjoy mini pool with jacuzzi on Cruise.
17:30: Return to Cruise. Enjoy sunset party on Lan Ha Bay. It is an ideal time for photography enthusiasts to capture the stunning moment of sunset at Lan Ha Bay.
19:30: Enjoy a romantic dinner at the restaurant on Peony Cruise.
21:00-00:00: Enjoy the nightlife of the bay from the top deck. Immerse yourself in music, enjoying a glass of cocktail from the bar, watching famous films and relaxing on the cruise. Otherwise, you can fish squid with the sailors or simply relax in the room and watch the bay from the balcony.
Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi by shuttle bus/ Hanoi – Hue by flight (B/L)
6:30-7:30: Breakfast is served at restaurant.
8:00: Cruise will arrival Frog Pond area, in here you have kayaking and free to relax in the four-season mini pool on Lan Ha Bay – A silk ribbon made from green mountains, blue seas and diverse fauna and flora.
9:30: Checking out of the room. Then the lunch in the restaurant is ready for you, pay the extra fee (if any) at the reception while traveling to the port. Kindly needed to pay for the costs in charge of the front desk (if any) while traveling to the port.
11:15 – 11:30: Disembark and move back the port.
11h30 – 11h45: You are at Tuan Chau International Marina Station. Here, our shuttle bus will pick you up and transfer you back to Hanoi.
On the way back to Hanoi, the bus will drop you off at meeting point (Aeon Mall Long Bien), and then our car picks you up here and transfers you to Noi Bai International airport for your flight to Hue later in the afternoon.
Upon arrival in Hue, our car and driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation.
Check in at your hotel and enjoy the rest of the night at your leisure.
Day 8: Hue Imperial & Citadel (B/L)
08.30am: After breakfast, met up by Vietnam Travel and Cruise’s guide and private car for a city tour of Hue and surroundings areas. We first visit Royal Citadel which was constructed by Emperor Gia Long in the style of French military architect Vauban during the first decade of the 19th century, containing the Imperial city and the Forbidden Purple City, the Emperor’s private residence. There are many palaces and temples inside. Other attractions that we will have a sight-seeing is Minh Mang tomb and the vibrant Dong Ba riverside market. Enjoy your lunch at the local restaurant.
The tour finishes around 16.00pm and our car will drive you back to your hotel in Hue.
Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B)
09.00am After breakfast, your car and guide will pick you up for a 160km journey from Hue over scenic mountainous roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Halfway between Danang and Hue lays the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and South Vietnam. The trip continue southwards, passing Lang Co. After arriving in Da Nang, transfer straight to Hoian for checking in your hotel and enjoy your relaxing time in this ancient town.
Day 10: Hoi An walking tour (B/L)
08.00Am: Our guide will take you to Hoi An old quarter which known as Faifo to early Western traders, Hoi An was one of the major trading centre in South East Asia between the 16th & 17th centuries. A charming 16th century merchant town, with strong Japanese and Chinese influences, Hoi An is best explored on foot. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved architecture, it is also a thriving center of traditional handicrafts. Wander through the cobbled streets, past low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central market and the small harbor where colorfully painted boats are moored. Your walking tour will include visits to a private house where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting to one of the family chapels built by prominent merchant or official families as centers for ancestor worship. Continue to Sa Huynh Museum which contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history.
Finally, continue to the famous Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. In the afternoon, board a local boat and cruise down the Thu Bon River enjoying the unspoiled countryside and stopping to visit a pottery village and woodcarving village before returning to Hoi An Harbor.
Day 11: Hoi An Cooking Class (B/L)
Challenge yourself to be a professional chef of Vietnamese traditional food by taking this cooking class where you are in charge of your dishes from picking the right ingredients to cooking them. Savor the finest traditional food made by you, appreciate Hoi An’s beauty while listening to Vietnam’s rich culinary history and touch our culture.
Day 12: Hoian Free Day (B)
Free day in Hoi An.
Day 13: Hoi An – Sai Gon by flight (B)
Our car will pick you up and transfer you to the airport to catch your flight to Saigon Airport.
Upon arrival in Saigon, our driver and car will meet up with you and bring you to your accommodation in Saigon. Check into your hotel and relax at your own leisure.
Day 14: Visit Sai Gon City Tour & Cu Chi Tunnel (B/L)
8.00am our car will pick you up to depart for Cu Chi tunnel, the trip will take approximately one and a half hours bus driving. Upon arrival, before exploring the tunnels, you will have some short introduction followed by introductory video about how the tunnels were constructed and how the people survived in the harsh conditions of the war time. Then, spend your time to explore the remaining area and tunnel systems which included the special constructed living areas with kitchens, bedrooms side by side with other martial facilities like storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, and command centers helping whoever lives inside the tunnels meet their basic needs. Besides, there are also many hidden trap doors and dangerous traps within the maze-like tunnels for security purpose during the war. Afterward, special tea and cassava (guerilla’s food during the war) will be served. Break time for relax or time for those who want to try the real shooting gun. Have lunch at local restaurant
After lunch, back to Saigon to visit Independence Palace, also known at the Reunification palace, was built on the sight of the former Norodom palace. The Independence palace is a widely known landmark of Ho Chi Minh City and was designed by the architect Ngo Viet Thu. Continue seeing the beautiful structures from the French Colonial times such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Central Post Office. Followed by the remarkable site of the War Remnants Museum the museum has a vast display of the both the Indochina wars.
Day 15: Cai Be – Vinh Long Homestay (B/L/D)
Morning, our car picks you up and transfer to Mekong Delta area. The road may take around 2 hours on car of transferring. Enjoy your view through your window.
Have a chance to visit the amazing Cai Be floating market, where hundreds of boats full of fruits, vegetables, and other goodies gather together. This is also an opportunity to learn how coconut candy, rice paste or pop rice are made. Then enjoy the Vietnamese lunch served by local people.
In the afternoon, experience first hand how to catch fishes or pick fruit the Vietnam traditional way.
Day 16: Vinh Long – Sai Gon (B/L)
Have breakfast and take a walk along the village to enjoy the fresh air in the morning. Travel by boat to visit the brick kilns where you can see how the local people create beautiful potteries. Visit Vinh Long Market
The cruise will end at around 10:30 in Vinh Long town. Back to Saigon for your last night.
Day 17: Departure (B)
All things come to an end and, unfortunately, this is the end of your journey! Meet up with your driver who will take you to the airport for your departure flight.
- Accommodation: 11 nights at 3-star hotel, 2 nights on train, 2 nights home stay, 1 night on boat
- Transfer: Private transfer throughout, except Ha Long Bay
- Meals: 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 4 dinners
- Activities: Hanoi city tour on motorbike, Hanoi – Sapa tour, Ha Long Bay overnight cruise, Hoi An biking tour, Hoi An cooking class, Saigon city tour & Cu Chi tunnels, Mekong – Cai Be Homestay tour.
- Others: Domestic airline and train tickets, entrance fees, English speaking guide.
- Spending money
- Tips & gratuities
- Activities not listed
- Meals not listed, All drinks
- International departure taxes
- International flights
– Travelers are highly recommended to purchase Travel Insurance upon commitment of the booking in case of force majeure. Travel Insurance covers such costs as emergency and medical evacuation, hospital fees, property loss, etc. which could possibly happen during the trip.
– Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.
– The itinerary may subject to change depending on weather conditions and the local situation.
– Reservations during peak times such as Christmas, New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year, National Holidays may be subject to supplementary charges.
– If any proposed service is not available at the time of booking, we will try to find alternative and similar option and minimize changes to the program.
– Domestic flights may subject to change or reschedule before departure date
– Vietnam Travel and Cruise is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay or damage to personal property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from but not limited to acts of God or force majeure, illness, disease, acts of war, civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, animals, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind, overbooking or downgrading of services, food poisoning, mechanical or other failure of aircraft or other means of transportation or for failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart on time. Additional expenses incurred due to delays, accidents, natural disaster, political actions and unrest, must be covered by the clients. Vietnam Travel and Cruise will make every effort to recoup any losses from the service providers.
– A Deposit of AUD$300 per person is required upon confirmation of your booking. This deposit is non-refundable.
– The balance is due 30 days prior to departure. If you fail to pay by the due date we reserve the right to cancel your booking and retain your deposit.
– If you make a booking less than 30 days prior to departure, full payment is due within 48 hours.
Cancellation: Any cancellations must be made in witting.
– Cancellation fees apply to all cancelled reservations. The fee is determined by the date written cancellation received by Vietnam Travel and Cruise.
– Cancellation more than 30 days – Loss of deposit
– Cancellation at 30 or less days – 100% of total booking cost
Special conditions: Depending on airlines, hotels, cruises’ cancellation policies, the above conditions may be modified.
Claims and refunds for unused services
No refunds or exchanges can be made in respect of accommodation, meals, sightseeing tours, transport or any other services, which are included in the tour prices but not utilized by the client.