Day 1: Hanoi arrival
Upon your arrival at Hanoi airport, look for our driver who will be waiting for you with a sign bearing your name. The journey from the airport to your hotel will take approximately one hour and is an entertaining experience full of chaotic traffic, distinctive architecture and overloaded motorbikes. Check in your hotel and enjoy your free time in Hanoi as your leisure.
Day 2: Hanoi local life – walking tour (B/L)
We will begin this trip at 09.00 in a very local coffee shop located at the bottom of the Old Quarter over looking Hoan Kiem Lake (the Lake of the Returned Sword) that shows the traditional style of architecture in the Old Quarter.
Leaving Hoan Kiem Lake, Tour guide will take you along the Hanoi streets and learn more information about Hanoians by visiting an ancient house (87 Ma May). Dating back to the 19th century, this very special house is a stunning example of the type of architecture that 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. The next visit to Bach Ma Temple, in the heart of the Old Quarter, it is said to be the oldest temple in the city. Today it contains many valuable 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 the history of Hanoi.
This trip will take you go inside the alleys and explore the fascinating and confusing narrow streets of the Old Quarter where exists the local markets. On the way, you will have a chance to enjoy some traditional tasty foods in the market. You can choose among three light dinner dishes, from the extremely popular “Phở” (Noodle soup), “Bún chả” (grilled pork vermicelli soup) and lastly, our personal favorite “Bún Bò” (Beef soup).
Finally, the guide will take you to Ta Hien street where is one of the hot spots for beer, sitting at a street corner in Hanoi old quarter with a beer glass, chatting with your freshly made friends while watching people pass by might be one the most memorable pages in your travel journal.
Day 3: Hanoi free day – Lao Cai (B)
Your day today is free to explore the labyrinth of streets in the Old Quarter, where each of the 36 streets is named after a product once sold exclusively in that street 100 years ago.
20.00 : transfer to station for your night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train.
Day 4: Sa Pa – Cat Cat – Y Linh Ho – Tavan (B/L/D)
Arrive in Lao Cai. Pick up to Sapa town and meet up with your guide. Having breakfast at local restaurant.
Met up at your hotel in Sapa by local guide and driver for a short road transfer heading to Cat Cat village. After a couple of minutes, you will follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village. You will stop by a waterfall and a hydroelectric station for a while before you trek on a dirt trail through rice paddy terraces. You will also enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. You eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest while you are served lunch nearby the river.
After lunch, you head Muong Hoa valley. You will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Tavan village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route. You will spend the night in local house of Giay minority. You will be able to take a walk to enjoy the valley view as well as swim in the river nearby.
Approx: 5 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch.
Day 5: Tavan – Giang Ta Chai – Supan – Hanoi (B/L)
Once you get energy for your last day trek by having a delicious breakfast, you leave for Giang Ta Chai village of Red Dao minority. You will trek through bamboo forest, which belongs to Hoang Lien National Park. On the way you will pass by a waterfall where you will have time to take a rest and enjoy the surroundings. You will find a nice place to enjoy lunch.
After lunch, you continue toward Su Pan, a small village located by the road. Here you start your journey back to Sapa by car.
16.00 – Transfer to Lao Cai station to catch over night train to Hanoi.
Approx: 1-hour driving/ 3 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch..
Day 6: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay (L/D)
Arrive Hanoi early morning. Pick up to your hotel for a resting. No room book for today. Having breakfast at hotel before going to Halong Bay.
08.00 – 08.30: Halong Cruise’s bus and guide will pick you up at your hotel. On the way to Halong city, enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life.
12.15: Embark on Halong Cruise. Welcome drinks would be served before receiving cabin and cruising route briefing. Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch while our boat slowly cruise through amazing limestone seascape.
15.15: Visiting Sung Sot cave, one of the most amazing caves in Halong Bay. The two chambers that form this amazing grotto are decorated with thousands of spectacular stalactite and stalagmite forms.
16.25 Enjoy easy kayaking around the fishing village, then return to the vessel for your own leisure. Fresh fruit platter will be served on the sundeck.
17.45: Keep cruising to the overnight anchorage area
19.00: Seafood set-dinner on board
21.00: Enjoy evening activities – Movies (Night), Board Games, Fishing or karaoke.
Overnight on Halong Cruise.
Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Hue (B/L)
A new day has come with beautiful sunrise view from your cabin
05.30: Optional to wake up for sunrise or swimming.
07.30: Breakfast with complimentary tea & coffee.
08.00: Be transferred to nearby Ti Top Island for swimming or climb up to the top to see the outstanding scenery of the bay.
09.00: Return to Cruise. Check out and settle the bill
09.30: Discover the mystic recipes of the Vietnamese cuisine by joining cooking class on the sundeck. The vessel cruises leisurely back to harbor.
11.00: Set menu lunch is served on board
12.00: Disembark and back to Hanoi
16.00: Arrive in Hanoi. Transfer directly to the airport and take the flight depart Hanoi to Hue. Your guide will be waiting for you and pick you to hotel for checking in.
Enjoy your free time in Hue.
Day 8: Hue city tour full day (B/L)
08.00: Today we start the tour to Hue Monument Complex, which is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage. Our driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer to the boat station in Hue. We board a boat for a trip on the Perfume River to visit the towering Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous Vietnamese landmarks. Differing legends explain how the pagoda came to be – one tells of an old woman who instructed Lord Hoang Nguyen in 1601 to walk contemplatively along the river with a lit incense stick and to build a city at the spot where the incense stopped burning.
From Thien Mu Pagoda, we then take a short drive into a lush valley of the river where seven tombs were built for seven Nguyen emperors. Each is an expression of the unique personality of the man whose remains it holds and each is comprised of three elements: a temple dedicated to the worship of the deceased emperor and his queen, a stone stele that records the biographical and historical high points of his life, and the royal tomb itself. We will visit two most famous tombs: Minh Mang and Khai Dinh Tomb. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we return to the center of Hué city. The massive Hue Royal Citadel is the most well known and iconic site in Hué. Begun in 1805 by Emperor Gia Long, it is actually a sprawling complex comprised of the Imperial City, several museums, lakes, and lovely gardens, all laid out in a series of concentric circles. We also visit the Forbidden Purple City, originally built in the early 1800s for the personal use of the emperor and staffed by eunuchs who posed no threat to the royal concubines. Nearly destroyed in the Tet Offensive, the ruins today house the Royal Library and the grounds flourish with mimosa plants and vegetable gardens.
After that our car will take you to Dong Ba Market: Dong Ba market is the biggest and most significant central market of ThuaThien – Hue province and the adjacent regions. In Dong Ba market, you can go shopping and see the daily life of local people.
The tour finishes at about 16.30 and our car will drive you back to your hotel in Hue.
Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B)
08.30: After breakfast this morning, your private 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. Continue southwards passing Lang Co.
After arriving in Danang, tour the Cham Museum, an elegant colonial building which now houses the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world and briefly pass My Khe Beach, a famous spot for American soldiers during the Vietnam-American War.
Continue south to Hoi An, stopping enroute to visit the Marble Moutains, five stone hillocks, once islands, that now rise sharply from the surrounding rice fields. Riddled with caves and shrines, they are said to each represent one of the five elements of the universe.
Arrival Hoi An, check in your hotel and enjoy your relaxing time in this ancient town.
Day 10: Hoi An cooking class (B/L)
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel and have a walk to the cooking class at 106 Nguyen Thai Hoc street. This 3 hour session is a rich & comprehensive gourmet experience. You start with a 1 hour market tour to learn about Vietnamses ingredients & how to choose fresh food. Next is a short talk on the art of Vietnamese gastronomy, vegetables, herbs & spices & how to prepare & use them. The practical includes learning cooking & cutting techniques & how to use Vietnamese vegetable grater & knife. You will get hands-on experience of fresh summer rolls, grilled chicken with lime leaf, banana flower salad, soup with cabbage wrapped shrimp.
After lunch in the cooking class, transfer back to the hotel. Enjoy your time in Hoi An.
Day 11: Eco Tour – Farming & Fishing (B/L)
Our Vietnam Travel and Cruise provides you with a close-up and intimate exposure to both the local farming and fishing communities. Accompanied by your tour guide, you commence the day leisurely cycling along country roads witnessing local Vietnamese rural life first hand, discovering all manner of photo opportunities – coming and visiting a beautiful organic vegetable village, watering and planting vegetable, hoeing a soil with local farmer, riding a water buffalo in a rice paddy field; seeing ducks swimming along the rice farm or farmers tending their crops. The photo opportunities are endless. As well you will experience the friendliness of the local people greeting you along the way. Later you will board our Vietnam Travel and Cruise’s boat for a river cruise to meet and engage with local fishermen and enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. You will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat while the waterways of coconut palm paradise. This tour provides you with a cultural window into the ways of life of both our farming and fishing communities.
Tour program includes :
- Tour guide meets you at your hotel
- Cycle to a local farming village traveling along picturesque country roads ( Bus or bike are option to choose to go )
- Share in the daily work life of local farmers – hoeing and a soil, watering veggie at an organic herb garden, riding water buffalo in the field and enjoy the freshest air of the countryside beauty.
- Board Vietnam Travel and Cruise’s boat and cruise to the mouth of the river where it meets the Cua Dai Sea
- Learn and try your hand at local traditional fishing techniques using round and cast nets
- Learn to paddle the strange and unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats
- Enjoy basket boat dancing of Gangnam Style on the round boat ( THUNG CHAI) shown by Vietnam Travel and Cruise’s crews
- Explore the now tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war and hear of the extreme conditions endured by soldiers on both sides.
- Have a relaxed fun with catching beautiful purple crabs on bamboo basket boat.
- Learn how to make an origami creations from reeds of palm leaves such as grasshopper , birds, ring, sunglass ,bracelets….etc
- Visit a local water coconut palm village, take a walk around the village and have some tea and snack with local talks……………
- Back on-board our Vietnam Travel and Cruise’s boat, enjoy lunch and cold beer or soft drink.
Return to hotel by coach.
Day 12: Hoi An free day (B)
Enjoy yourself in Hoi An. You may choose to lounge by your resort pool, swim at the beach or indulge in a massage, facial or pedicure.
For those wanting action, optional activities include a half day countryside cycling tour, scuba, snorkeling, abseiling, fishing or a photography tour. We can include any of these in your itinerary.
Cultural options include My Son ancient ruins, historical walking tour of Hoi An or Marble Mountain.
Day 13: Hoi An – Sai Gon (B)
Transfer to Da Nang airport for your flight heading to Sai Gon. Upon your arrival at Saigon 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. Check in your hotel and enjoy your time in the most exciting city of Vietnam.
Day 14: Sai Gon city tour – Cu Chi tunnels (B/L)
You will be met at your hotel at 08.00 by guide for a morning walking tour through the heart of Saigon’s famous and historic city landmarks including Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), the Rex Hotel, Municipal Theatre, Hotel de Ville and Notre Dame Cathedral. You will then join your vehicle and drive to the site of the former US Embassy (now the US consulate) before visiting the impressive Re-Unification Palace and War Remnants Museum.
After lunch, you will take the journey west from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi. On arrival you will be guided through the famous tunnels used by the communist guerrillas during the Vietnam War. The tunnel network stretches over 250km and extends to three levels underground providing you with a remarkable insight into the hardships, courage, determination and terror of a guerrilla war. You will return to your hotel at approximately 18.00.
Day 15: Cai Be – Vinh Long homestay (B/L/D)
The program will start with a visit of Cai Be colorfull floating market cruising among local barges full of fruits and vegetables by the luxury boat of Mekong Travel. Then, an optional stop can be made at local workshops where you can see how rices paste, coconut candy and pop-rice, pop-corn are made.
It is so interesting to visit the handicraft village where you can see how they make some special products: making rice-net for spring-rolls, fish sauce & soya sauce, cooking salt, sewing coconut-leaves for cottage proof…
The best lunch will be served at local house (ancient house, orchard or bonsai garden…)
The rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals and to enjoy the peaceful time. It is so interesting to see traditional houses made of wood and palm tree leaves and see some activities of the local farmers with an opportunity to make contacts with them and see how they catch fish or pick up fruits by ancestral ways in Mekong Delta..
One more thing to do in this trip is biking ! It will be so amazing to bike on village paths to see the local farms, houses, « monkey » bridge, real life…
Day 16: Vinh Long – Sai Gon (B)
Have a breakfast and walk along the village to enjoy the fresh air in the morning. Boat trip to visit the brick kilns where you can see how the local people create beautiful potteries from clay. We can visit Vinhlong market in the town. This is the best choice for you to take pictures of fish, shrimps, prawns, crabs, snakes, rice-field rats, tropical fruits, vegetable…
The cruise will end at around 10:30 in Vinh Long town. After lunch we return to Sai Gon.
Day 17: Departure (B)
You will be picked up from your hotel for the half hour journey to the airport. Be sure not to pack any valuables in your checked in luggage and remove all sharp objects and liquids from your carry on. Take your flight home.
- Selected accommodation with breakfast in twin share room.
- Meals as listed in the itinerary.
- Private air-condition transportation. (except Ha Long)
- Boat at the program.
- Experience and friendly English-speaking local guide.
- Sightseeing and permit fees during guided times.
- Domestic flight: Hanoi – Hue; Danang – Sai Gon
- Train: Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi.
- Service charge and VAT taxes.
- Welcome gifts
- Travel insurance (compulsory)
- International flights with airport and departure taxes
- Alcoholic drinks & drinks at meal time + Optional visits + Personal expenses (Telephone, laundry…)
- Visa stamping fee for Vietnam (visa on arrival, valid 30 days: $25USD upon client’s nationality + 1 photo. Passport has to be valid at least 6 months after departure date of the country). Subject to change without prior notice
- Personal expenses
- Tips for guide, driver, boat crew & hotels’ porters
- Meals other than those mentioned above
- Other services not clearly indicated in the Package Inclusion above.
- `Early check-in/ Late check out
– 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.