21 days 20 nights
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta,
Cu Chi tunnel
Day 1: Arrival at Hanoi International Airport
You will be met at the airport by your guide who will be on hand to make sure your trip gets off to a fantastic start. We will then take you to the heart of Hanoi, The Old Quarter. Be sure to look out for the world’s longest mosaic which depicts some iconic Vietnamese traditional stories and offers a glimpse into the vibrancy and creativity of Hanoian culture. Once in the Old Quarter, you will be escorted to your three-star hotel where you are free to relax and take in the atmosphere. The architectural melting pot of Hanoian buildings creates an eclectic and fascinating glimpse into its history and the city pulses with the energy of the streets.
Day 2: Experience Hanoi (B)
This first day allows you to explore Hanoi at your leisure. During this time you can really drink in the ambience of downtown Hanoi. Whether you choose to delve deeper into Hanoi’s history at the many museums, sample the local delicacies at the plentiful restaurants or shop for beautifully crafted souvenirs, you won't be short of inspiration. Allow yourself to become immersed in the culture and you will be astonished what it has to offer. After a day of exploring, you can take well-earned rest in your hotel.
Day 3: Hanoi city tour and night train to Lao Cai (B, L, D)
During day three you will visit the highlights of Hanoi on our carefully composed tour. Your first stop will be the Buddhist temple of Tran Quoc Pagoda which is one of the oldest temples in Ha Noi.
After this, you will take a glimpse into Vietnam’s history with a trip to the Ho Chi Minh complex. This vast park is home to Ba Dinh square where Ho Chi Minh read the Independence Declaration, the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house and the Presidential Palace.
You will then stop for lunch at one of our favourite spots for some flavoursome Vietnamese food.
After lunch, you will unearth some Vietnamese culture in Hanoi’s Temple of Literature. The stunning traditional architecture of this temple plays host to some of Vietnam’s finest creative minds. The beautifully preserved gardens and statues of Confucius will escort your mind back to the 11th century when this Temple was founded by Confucius (Khong Tu). The finale of day three is a trip to the theatre where you will enjoy the water puppet performance, a traditional form of entertainment loved by Vietnamese people and tourists alike. The wooden puppets are used to tell stories of daily life in rural Vietnam. After dinner, you will travel to Hanoi’s train station where you will embark the night train to Lao Cai at 21:30.
Day 4: Lao Cai – Sapa. Trekking to H’mong ethnic villages (B, L, D)
You will arrive at Lao Cai train station at 06:00, the perfect time to discover the rambling mountains and undulating rice paddies. From here you will trek to the H’mong ethnic villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van. The breathtaking scenery really comes to life when you meet the people that living there. You will trek approximately 12-13km over the course of one day. This will really allow you to experience the stunning scenery. The trek will be rewarded with an overnight stay in a homestay in Ta Van village.
Day 5: Trekking in Sapa- Night train to Hanoi (B, L, D)
Your adventure will continue as you trek to Cat Cat village and Sin Chai village both inhabited by H’mong ethnic locals. You can drink in the fresh countryside air as you trek through the luscious countryside and uncover the local traditions of the of the mountains and it’s inhabitants. After sampling some of the local delicacies, you will travel back to Lao Cai train station for your return journey to Hanoi.
Day 6: Hanoi Food Tour (B, L , D)
After two days of adventuring in the mountains of Sapa, you will be ready to refuel with some delectable Vietnamese dishes. We will escort you to sample the finest in traditional foods Hanoi has to offer. On the menu is bun cha, a dish cherished by Hanoians not only for its incredible taste but also its local origin. Also on the menu is banh cuon, a delicately rolled rice sheet filled with a flavourful filling which originated in the North of Vietnam. You will also stop at the top spot for sipping on a Vietnamese egg coffee. Coffee in Vietnam is an institution in itself with its thick consistency and a rich, indulgent flavour. This combined with the creaminess of the egg makes for an almost pudding-like drink. A food tour would not be complete without tasting the favoured street food of Hanoi, banh my. Your day of fine dining will end with an overnight stay in a three-star hotel.
Day 7: First day in Halong Bay (B, L, D)
The next part of your adventure will take you to the striking coast of Halong Bay. The vistas here are the epitome Vietnam's beauty and you will soon understand why. The shuttle bus will pick you up at 08:00 and drive you to Halong Bay where you will embark the cruise ship at midday. Throughout the cruise you will view; Oan islet, Teapot islet, Monster Face islet, Torch islet, Dragon islet, Porcupines islet, all named for the shapes they depict. These towering limestone islands peaked with forests are set in the dazzling waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. You will also venture to Amazing Cave who’s name barely does justice to the magical chamber spiked with stalactites and stalagmites. You can continue your floating adventure into the night as you sleep onboard the cruise ship.
Day 8: Second day in Halong Bay (B, L, D)
The climax of your Halong Bay trip is a visit to Titop Island, its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters create a relaxing ambience to end the cruise. You will disembark the cruise at midday and return to Hanoi for another night in the three-star hotel.
Day 9: Transfer to Hue (B)
Day nine will be spent travelling from Hanoi to Hue. You will be met at Hue airport where you will be transferred to your next hotel. Our staff will be on hand to ensure a straightforward and stress-free journey.
Day 10: Hue City Tour (B, L, D)
Our driver will pick you up between 07:30 - 08:30 and will take you on a sightseeing tour of Hue. The first stop is the tomb of the emperor Tu Duc. A fantastic example of Vietnamese architecture, the tomb is set in two main areas; the tomb area and the temple area.
Secondly, you will visit the tomb of Khai Dinh, the twelfth king of the Nguyen Dynasty. This tomb, although smaller than some others, is known for its intricacy. The mix of architectural styles exhibits both the European and Oriental influences which are present in Vietnamese culture.
After lunch, our tour guide will accompany you to the Imperial Citadel. The majestic architecture, built by Gia Long, has faced destruction over the years during the fierce conflicts which took place here. It is the scars on these buildings that tell the stories of the battles fought here.
This day tour will unwind with a cruise along the romantic Perfume River aboard a dragon boat. You will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda which has seven stories, making it the tallest in Vietnam. The elegance of the pagoda and gardens combined with the aroma of the of the orchids which bloom in Autumn will transport you to a place of tranquillity. This relaxing final part of the tour will end at approximately 16:30 and from then on you are free to continue your discovery of Hue City and enjoy your stay in the hotel.
Day 11: Hue to Hoi An (B, L)
You will continue your journey South from Hue to Hoi An and take in some exquisite scenery along the way. The first beauty spot is Lang Co beach with its delicate white sandy beaches nestled in between staggering mountains and crystal waters.
Next along the journey is the Hai Van pass. This mountainous stretch of road affords fantastic views of the azure water below. It is famed around the world as being one of the most beautiful coastal roads.
The journey will also take you through Marble Mountain and the stone carving village of Non Nuoc, another example of Vietnam’s many artisan trades.
The journey will end at your hotel in Hoi An where the evening is yours to enjoy the next city on this fantastic tour.
Day 12: Hoi An City Tour (B, L, D)
The tour will commence with a visit to the Phuc Kien assembly hall where you can enjoy the intricate and colourful architecture and lose yourself in the oriental celebration of artistry and mythology.
The tour will continue with Tan Ky and Phung Hung ancient houses. Tan Ky house represents a more traditional Hoi An style architecture whereas Phung Hung house combines elements of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture into one building. It is symbolic of the cultural heritage of the town and will transport you back to the sixteenth century when it was an international trade port.
You will then have another taste of Japanese design when you visit the serene Japanese covered bridge that was built as a connection between the Japanese and Chinese living quarters in Hoi An.
After stopping for lunch in Hoi An town, you will travel the temple of My Son Sanctuary. It owes it’s unique location and appearance to its Hindu origins. After absorbing the effects of the sanctuary and it’s locale you will travel back to Hoi An town where you will have free time to explore.
Days 13, 14 and 15: Free days in Hoi An (B)
This is your chance to discover some of what Hoi An has to offer in your own time. You can soak up the charming ambience of Hoi An and wander down it’s winding alleyways, imagining the lively port that once operated here. You can visit the museums of Hoi An to uncover more of the town’s rich heritage or you can indulge your more adventurous side with boat trips through the water coconut groves. You are free to discover this enchanting and exceptionally beautiful town at your leisure.
Day 16: Transfer from Hoi An to Da Nang airport (B)
Your journey will once again move South through Vietnam from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh city. You will be taken from Hoi An to Da Nang airport by car. You will then fly to Ho Chi Minh city where you will be driven to your hotel.
Day 17, 18 : Mekong Delta Tour- My Tho, Ben Tre and Can Tho (B, L, D) (B, L)
This two-day tour will take you on a spectacular tour of three towns, My Tho, Ben Tre and Can Tho, in the vast and legendary Mekong Delta. The flotilla of wooden boats will usher you through the winding canals to see the fruitful and fertile towns that farm on this incredible stretch of water. During the tour, you will taste many of the delicacies produced and prepared along the river from the fresh, succulent fish served daily to the famous coconut candy. Your taste buds will be tantalised as will your eyes on your journey through the delta and its culture.
Day 19: Free time in Ho Chi Minh (B)
This is your chance to encounter all that Ho Chi Minh has to offer. This dynamic, metropolitan city has all of the attractions of any major city but with a distinctive Vietnamese allure. It’s energy hums all around you and you cannot help but be absorbed by this vivacious city. The two worlds of traditional Vietnamese markets, tranquil temples and tempting street side eateries collide with the contemporary designer malls all watched over by ultra-modern skyscrapers.
Day 20: Cu Chi Tunnel Tour (B, L)
You will be collected at 08:00 or midday and escorted back through time in a unique opportunity to voyage through the Cu Chi tunnels. This is your chance to experience the passageways that were once used by soldiers during the Vietnam war. This mesmerising maze of underground tunnels spreads across the country reaching as far as the Cambodian border in some places. It was used as a hiding spot for the troops and the main route for sending communications and supplies. You will return to Ho Chi Minh at 17:00 where you can absorb as much of the city’s energy as you can on your last night in this incredible country.
Day 21: Ho Chi Minh airport transfer (B)
After 21 days exploring Vietnam and discovering many of its wonders you will be driven from your hotel in Ho Chi Minh to Ho Chi Minh airport for your return flight with memories of all of the amazing places and souvenirs for your loved ones. We are happy to have been part of your remarkable journey.