Vietnam Discovery 14 days
ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY:
Ha Noi on Arrival
Welcome to Ha Noi, Vietnam's capital city and political center. Meet your guide and driver with a private car, take you to your hotel in the Old Quarter of Ha Noi. Take a rest and be ready for a leisure walk in the afternoon; visit Ha Noi's highlights; the Opera House, Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple. In the evening, join us for a special welcoming dinner at one of the famous in town.
Discover Ha Noi - Night train - Lao Cai
You have a full day to explore Ha Noi City, the city with more than 1000 years of history, and Ha Noi has become Vietnam's culture and political centre. In the morning, visit Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and his stilt house, former French Colonial Palace, Quan Thanh Temple with a short walk, and views look over the West Lake before lunch in town. In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison, and the last visit is the National History Museum. Watch the Water Puppet Show and dinner before boarding the night train to Lao Cai in the evening.
Sapa - Cable Car - Fansipan
The train arrives at the railway station in Lao Cai in the early morning. Be greeted by the Vietnam Backroads team. Your guide and driver will take you to the best restaurant in town for a big breakfast and ready for fantastic views on 40 km on the spiral road up to Sapa. There are some stops so that you can admire spectacular mountain scenery. You will reach Sapa town after an hour drive from Lao Cai. Sapa is a famous destination of North-West Vietnam that is perfect for adventures, hiking, and mountain biking trips. Check-in, the hotel, take a rest until midday to have lunch and ready with your camera for cable car from Sapa to Fansipan. This is the opportunity for you to view the homes of tribes with beautiful valleys and the Heaven gate. At the Fansipan, you take a walk around, admire more sites and immerse yourself into nature at 360 degrees. The cable car is 6 km, and each turn takes about 15 minutes. Then you can enjoy breathtaking mountain views as long as you wish, finally, return cable car station and back to Sapa. Explore the Sapa town on your own in the evening.
Sapa – Tribal Villages - Night Train – Ha Noi
Today's tour is fabulous, and you will have a full day trek into the home of H’mong, Dzao and Dzay tribes, and they still keep their own traditional culture and customs. Your guide knows all routes as local knowledge with various ways with different distances; 3, 5, or 11 km, even more than that, depends on your choices. After breakfast at the hotel, begins with a short transfer out of Sapa. Enjoy a guided hiking tour to Cat Cat village, Muong Hoa, Y Linh Ho, and Ta Van villages. Enjoy rice terraces and rolling green hills and dazzling waterfalls in Cat Cat village. Muong Hoa valley is home to H'mong Dao and Dzay, and they are in colourful customs. Followings to Y Linh Ho, and Ta Van, you will learn more about the culture and traditions of each tribe. Lunch en-route at hill tribe village. Admire the stunning landscapes, rice terraces, tiny thatch & wooden houses in removed hill tribe villages. Then drive to Lao Cai, shower at the hotel in town, enjoy dinner before boarding on the night train back to Ha Noi.
Hanoi – Halong Bay– Overnight on Cruise.
The train arrives at Ha Noi's railway station in the morning. Meet your guide and driver for transfer to the city centre, enjoy tea, coffee, and breakfast following activities as planned with 3.5 hours transfer to Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is one of many highlights of your vacation through Vietnam magical landscape. Ha Long Bay means the dragon descends into the sea. "Legend has it that the gods sent a family of giant dragons to help us. The dragons spat great blocks of jade, the size of mountains, which formed this barricade of islands and blocked the invasion." The Bay is listed UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 1994. It's a fantastic bay with 1,600 limestone islands and islets, and world well-known and attracts a million travellers worldwide. Make a journey planned to Vietnam without visiting Ha Long Bay if you are disappointed. Depart from Ha Noi with 3 hours and a half drives to Ha Long via Hai Phong City. Board a boat and enjoy lunch as the boat cruise into this breathtaking bay. The itinerary combined with swimming, kayaking, and stopping at some main highlights; fishing villages, hidden caves, and seafood farms. Endless photos, fresh seafood on board, enjoy Vietnamese coffee, relax on the sun deck, and watch sunrise and sunset.
Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Hue.
Enjoy Sunrise with coffee, tea, and breakfast on board, and then you have a bamboo rowing boat trip that takes us to Vung Vieng floating fishing village. We are also visiting Pearl Farm to see how natural pearls are created. Then we return to the cruise for your leisure or join one of the following optional activities: Sunbathing, traditional massage etc. Your lunch is on board while the cruise coming back to the harbour around 11:45 am. Have private transfer Ha Noi airport, through Red River Delta. Get on board of internal flight to Hue. Be welcomed at Noi Bai Aiport and will be taken to the hotel to check-in.
Hue - Sightseeing Tour
The former capital of Vietnam Feudalism and ended in 1945. The royal residences and purple citadel were damaged during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Today, Hue City and it's countryside are the hidden charms with it's old and new. Explore Hue at Purple Citadel that was the palace of last Vietnam's King. The next visit is the seven-story Thien Mu pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue city. Continue your trip to the Khai Dinh's tomb with a beautiful mixture of western and eastern architecture styles. You will have a chance to visit some workshops run by families making conical hats, incense sticks, and other unique handicrafts before returning to Hue and ends your today's tour at colourful Dong Ba Market.
Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An
Hoi An, where you travel to and stay 2 nights, used to be a famous South East Asia Trading Port from the 15th and 19 centuries. There were plenty of foreign traders from China, India, Japan, France and many others from Europe who came to Hoi An to trade. The architectural structures of houses, villas, buildings, and streets reflect a blend of Oriental and Western. Depart at 8:00 am, travel on the beautiful coast, passes through tiny fishing villages, colourful cemeteries, old pagodas and lakes, and then alongside the lagoon. There will be many stops at small fishing villages, colourful pagodas, local markets before reach Hai Van Pass. This is an opportunity for endless photos, views of mountain landscapes and the stunning bay of Da Nang. You will visit the Cham Museum that displays all the valued collections of Cham sculptures. Then to Marble Mountain and handicraft villages before driving to Hoi An. Check-in, the hotel. The rest of the day is your pleasure.
Cooking Class & Free Day
After breakfast, be picked up at your hotel to transfer to Hai Cafe for a brief introduction by your chef cook about your half-day cooking class. Then take a walk to the colourful central market with your chef, and experience the fantastic sights, sounds and aromas. You will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and select fresh produce and ingredients essential for Vietnamese cuisine. We board the Red Bridge boat for a 25-minute leisurely cruise along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to local river life, and your camera should be ready for endless photos along the river bank. On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb garden before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – the Red Bridge chefs first demonstrate each dish before preparing the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). Take a seat, enjoy the lunch that you have cooked. Finally, return to your hotel by car, spend your time exploring, go shopping, or perhaps visit a local tailor to get a custom suit or dress made.
Hoian – Danang – Fly to Saigon.
Enjoy breakfast and check out for a leisurely transfer to Da Nang to board an internal flight to Ho Chi Minh- Formerly known as Saigon, The "Pearl of the Far East" as an important trading centre in Southeast Asia. However, it's the country's largest city with a bustling and economic centre of the South. On arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport, you are welcomed and have private transfer will greet you and transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Enjoy lunch in a famous restaurant in the city centre before taking a walking tour to explore the city center. First, you visit the War Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and then to Central Post Office. Then, you walk down to Dong Khoi St, pass by Opera House and Town Hall, and stop at Fine Art Galleries- photo gallery Couleurs d'Asie by Rehahn – the famous French photographer. Then you back to the hotel for the rest.
Saigon - Cao Dai Temple - Cu Chi Tunnels
Cu Chi tunnels have two headquarter command centres and also two central networks system underground. Ben Duoc tunnels further away from Ho Chi Minh City, and this is the original one. Ben Duoc is about 70 km from Saigon, while Ben Dinh tunnels are 46 km from Saigon only.
Ben Duoc tunnels are most foreigners love to see, more ruined bases, much longer actual tunnels, more remains of battles ring by the jungles, and tranquil river. Visit the real tunnels, spend more time at leisure, and avoid crowded buses.
Depart from your hotel at 8:30 am with a couple of hours drive northwest of Ho Chi Minh to Tay Ninh. In the morning, visit the incredible Cao Dai Temple, and attend the holy noon mass. In the afternoon, explore the unbelievable tunnels of more than 250 km. Arrives at the Cao Dai Temple around 11: 20 am. You have so much time for photos endless and walk around compounds to more things before the noon mass. Cao Dai is an indigenous religion encompassing Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism. Followers of the religion hold several documents as holy, and they have to wear the long dress at noon to pray. This belief practice began in 1921 when a man received a vision of the Divine Eye, a powerful symbol of Cao Daism. Most followers are white at noon mass, and the pope, archbishop, cardinal, and priest are colourful. After the noon mass, you continue travelling through the compound and make some stops, visit more sites before your lunch at the best restaurant in town.
A private transfer takes you through lush farmlands, idyllic villages, and rubber plantations to Ben Duoc tunnels. The Head Quarter is also the command centre of the underground network tunnels of more than 250 km. The tunnels of Cu Chi are an extensive network and were used for hiding and fighting during combat and served as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches, and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were important to the Viet Cong in their resistance to enemy forces and helped counter the growing American military effort. Arrive at the Be Dinh tunnels around 3:00 am, watch a documentary film, then explore the renowned fighting tunnels on foot, traps, bunkers, trenches and experience crawling a piece of the underground tunnels. Then return to Saigon by vehicle in the late afternoon.
Mekong Delta Explorer
The Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam is a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies. With freshwater all year rounds and rich fertile soils, the Mekong Delta has been called the rice bowl of Vietnam.
Commence the journey to Mekong Delta with 2 hours drive on the freeway from Saigon to Cai Be. Arrive around 10:00 am, board a wooden sampan boat, cruise along the Mekong River, visit family workshops making local snacks and handicrafts and pass the small Cai Be floating market before crossing the Mekong River to Binh Hoa Phuoc village. Keep on cruising on a small branch to the home of locals, where your lunch is delicious home-cooked. Take a walk to fruit orchards and visit one of the beautiful ancient houses on An Binh island. Taste some season fruits, listen to Mekong folk music performed by locals. Return to the boat and continue your cruise on peaceful channels until reaching the lively Dong Phu canals. Dong Phu canals are artificial to make a shortcut for waterways instead of a way loop An Binh island. It's busy, and this is a chance you experience life on rivers. Then your boat escapes from the island to reach Vinh Long town. Say goodbye to your boatman before a transfer to Can Tho city.
Can Tho – Floating market – Saigon
An early morning start with a motorboat ride on the lively Can Tho River to the floating market. The boat ride is exceptional; pass many houses on stilts, land markets by the river, floating petro stations, timber factories alongside. This is a great time to see the market on trading. Small boats are moving around bigger anchored boats, trying to find a good deal. The items for sales are hung up on bamboo sticks, so the buyers and sellers quickly find business partners. Others are tiny sampans that sell breakfast, ride noodle soups, steam rice with porks, sweet soup, coffee boats etc. The items and farm products that are on the market depend on the time of year. Afterwards, continue your boat ride onto small branches of Can Tho River, explore the rural villages, experience local life on canals. Return to the hotel, rest until check out at 11:00 am for 3.5 hours driving back to Saigon. Lunch en route.
Ho Chi Minh - Departure
Today is your return home. After breakfast, spend the rest shopping on Dong Khoi St, Ben Thanh Market, and relaxing until a pick up for transfer to the International Airport to fly home. Tour End!