15 days 14 nights
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
You will arrive in Hanoi airport where you will be met by your driver in the arrival halls to begin your adventure. Take in the views as you are driven to the Old Quarter, the heart of Hanoi. Look out for the interesting mix of architectural styles and the intricate mosaic that snakes its way to the Old Quarter. You will have the rest of the day to explore downtown Hanoi and drink in the atmosphere of this lively city.
Day 2: The first day in Halong Bay (B, L, D)
The first stop on your tour of Vietnam is the incredible Halong Bay. The shuttle bus will leave at 08:00 and at midday, you will embark the boat to begin your cruise around the beautiful waters and imposing karst peaks. Each island juts out of the water like a mythical beast, some named after the familiar objects that they depict. On your voyage, you will visit Oan islet, Teapot islet, Monster Face islet, Torch islet, Dragon islet, and Porcupines islet. After lunch, you will set sail for Amazing Cave whose name only begins to describe the full effect of this otherworldly maze of rock formations. You will continue this amazing experience with a trip to Luon Cave whose cavernous mouth opens up into a tranquil haven of still blue water making it the perfect home to a large variety of species of wildlife. After an exciting day of exploration, you will be free to relax on the boat as you sleep on board.
Day 3: The second day in Halong Bay and night train to Sapa (B, L, D)
You will continue your discovery of this picturesque bay with a trip to Titop Island. This is not one of the biggest of the islands, but it is famous for its peaceful ambience and beautiful formation. The conical island is blanketed in luscious greenery and surrounded by beautiful white sands. Feeling thoroughly relaxed, you will finish the cruise at midday and return to Hanoi. The tour should reach Hanoi at around 17:00, and you will be free until 20:30 when you will be collected from your hotel to board the night train to Sapa.
Day 4: Lao Cai – Sapa – Trekking to H’mong ethnic village (B, L, D)
Your train will arrive in Lao Cai at approximately 06:00 where you will be driven to the town of Sapa. As you trek through the mountains to discover the ethnic minority villages, you will be treated to some of Vietnams finest views of rolling hills decorated with tumbling rice paddies. In the villages, you will see the exquisite outfits of the local people, all skillfully embroidered by hand. After trekking approximately 12-13km, you will reach Ta Van village where you can experience local culture first hand as you spend the night in a local homestay.
Day 5: Trekking in Sapa – Night train to Hanoi (B, L, D)
Continue your discovery of the magnificent mountains and charming villages as you trek to Cat Cat village. Get a taste of H’mong life as you meet the people that live there and discover their rural lifestyles and rich culture. After this, you will continue on to Sin Chai village, home to the Red Dao ethnic community whose name comes from the vivid red turbans they wear. This village is set at the foot of Fansipan Mountain, the tallest peak in Indochina. Here you will experience remarkable views of the peak itself and the surrounding range. After a day of exploring in the mountains, you will be ready for some tasty local food before taking the night train back to Hanoi at 21:30.
Day 6: Hanoi free time (B)
This is your time to discover the beauty of Hanoi at your own pace, and there really is something for everyone. The city’s rich history can be unearthed at its many museums and in the atmospheric Ho Chi Minh complex. You will be escorted back through time to experience Hanoi’s dynamic past as you view the legendary Ho Chi Minh is his final resting place, and visit the square where the Independence Declaration was read in 1945. Discover some of Vietnam’s finest scholars at the Hanoi Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first national university. Take a relaxing walk next to the famous Hoan Kiem Lake and discover the legend of "Lake of the Returned Sword" in Ngoc Son Temple. The streets of Hanoi take on a new rhythm by night as the bars and restaurants spill out onto the streets and live music drifts through the air. You will spend the night at your hotel in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi - Hoi An (B)
Today you will travel from Hanoi to the ancient port town of Hoi An and the journey itself is an adventure. After taking a flight from Hanoi to Danang, you will be driven along the coastal road which separates the green, rambling mountains and the crystal blue waters. Along the way, you will see Marble Mountain which consists of five peaks, each one representative of the five elements. It is here that you will see the incredible artistry of in the Stone Carving Village. The technique for carving these impressive cultures been honed over many years and passed down through the generations.
Day 8: Hoi An Tour (B, L)
Let your tour guide share their expert knowledge of this town's rich history as you wander the ancient buildings of Hoi An. First, you will discover the fabulously ornate Phuc Kien Assembly Hall whose luxurious grounds are dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea, the protector of sailors. Discover the hall’s lineage as it changed hands from Vietnamese owners to Chinese traders.
You can continue your discovery the multicultural influences of Hoi An as you visit the ancient houses of Tan Ky and Phung Hung whose intricate and well-conserved architecture tell the tales of the traders from all over the world who inhabited this town, and a short walk away, the Japanese covered bridge.
After a tasty local lunch, you will travel the short distance to the serene village of Tra Que, famous for its fresh vegetables and calm ambience. Here you will stay at Tra Hue homestay and the afternoon is yours to enjoy.
Day 9: Cooking class and Bicycle tour (B, L)
Today you will feed your body and soul, starting with a cooking class using the fresh vegetables grown in the village. Learn how to pick the best vegetables, and create some flavoursome local dishes. After a nourishing meal, drink in the fresh air as you take a bicycle ride around the village discovering the patchwork of fields and farms with the water buffalo roaming freely among them. Feeling refreshed, you will travel back to Hoi An where you are free for the night.
Day 10, 11: Free days in Hoi An (B), (B)
This is your time to enjoy Hoi An at your own pace and tailor your time to suit your own interests. Hoi An is a shopper’s paradise with its large ion of beautifully crafted goods lining the streets. It is the perfect place to update your wardrobe with the best tailors offering exquisite tailoring at great rates. For the historian, Hoi An has a number of fascinating museums which help paint a picture of this port town’s prosperous past. The beauty of the town really shines through at night with the glow of traditional lanterns that guide the way between the plentiful bars and restaurants.
Day 12: Hoi An to Ho Cho Minh (B)
You will be provided with a transfer from Hoi An to Danang for your flight to Ho Chi Minh. From Ho Chi Minh Airport, you will be taken into the whirlwind of colour and life that is Ho Chi Minh City. You will find yourself swept up in the buzz of excitement that constantly fills the streets. Today you will discover the pivotal role that this thriving metropolis played in the Vietnam War. You will visit both the historic Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. After, you will discover the lasting influence of the French colonies as you visit the Notre Damn Cathedral and The Central Post Office. You will then visit the vibrant Chinese district of Cho Lon. Your afternoon in Ho Chi Minh will be topped off with a trip to Ben Thanh Market. As you enter the grand building you will be amazed at the numerous stalls all piled high with every type of good imaginable.
Day 13, 14: Mekong Delta tour 2 days 1 night (My Tho – Ben Tre – Can Tho) (B, L, D) (B, L)
Once again your adventure will take to the water, bringing with it a peaceful balance to the excitement of the city. You will explore the maze of waterways that make up the Mekong Delta. You will be able to see a whole host of amazing wildlife from the birds nesting in the forests to the strong water buffalo lazing in the rice paddies and the many species of river fish inhabiting the water. The whole river is alive with the communities that live here. You will voyage through tributaries and see first hand this unique way of living and farming. You can sample the local produce at the floating markets where the flotillas of wooden boats stacked high with fresh food create a buzz of excitement as they sell their wares.
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh to Ho Chi Minh airport (B)
Today marks the end of your adventure in Vietnam. We will deliver you to Ho Chi Minh airport for your homeward flight after an unforgettable 15 days of discovery and exploration in Vietnam.