Summer idyll 21 days 20 nights

Our summer idyll tour takes you on a three-week adventure through the cities and countryside of Vietnam to discover the natural beauty of this amazing country. Enjoy the hot rays of sun streaking down from the sky casting beautiful patterns across the remarkable countryside scenes. See the sun reflect on the crystal blue waters and watch it dance across the surfaces of the caves. Explore the fast paced dynamic cities with people spilling out on to the street to enjoy a cold refreshing drink in the summer heat. Learn about the rich Vietnamese culture and traditions as you meet the people that live in these beautiful places. Let us show you all this and more on our Summer tour.
Ban Gioc waterfall,  Vietnam Summer idyll 21 days 20 nights

 
Tour code: GDT08E
Duration: 21 days 20 nights
 
  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
    • Our team will collect you from the airport and bring you in Hanoi beloved Old Quarter. As you disembark, let the hot air kiss your skin as you are absorbed into the magnificent orchestra of the bustling streets. This is your chance to absorb some of the vibrancy and energy of the city. You can the take the time to wander through the electric streets overflowing with buildings and plants. It is easy to get overwhelmed in the atmosphere of Hanoi but there are also many other attractions to gratify all of the senses. From delicious cafés and restaurants to the scintillating and impressive museums, one thing is for sure, Hanoi will not fail to excite you.
       
      Hoan Kiem Lake HaNoi
      Long Bien Bridge
  • Day 2: Hanoi City Tour - Lao Cai (B/L)
    • Day two of your Hanoi discovery will take you to what we feel are the top spots to encounter authentic Hanoian culture. The first stop will be the tranquil Tran Quoc Pagoda. One of the oldest in the city, the elegant structure set against the peaceful lake attracts both Buddhist worshipers and travellers alike.
      Next you will be immersed in a momentous piece of Vietnamese history with a trip to the Ho Chi Minh complex. During a tour of the complex you will have the opportunity to view the preserved body of the celebrated Ho Chi Minh as he rests in the Mausoleum. This is set in Ba Dinh square, a large, beautifully maintained park that played host to reading of the Independence Declaration and is also home to the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house.
      We will then stop to enjoy some mouth-watering local food at one of our hand picked restaurants, followed by the Temple of Literature. Be transported back to the 11th century when this temple was constructed by Confucius (Khong Tu). You will round the day off with a performance at the much loved puppet theatre. These uplifting and humorous performances tell tales of Vietnamese legends and the ebb and flow of daily life in rural Vietnam. The amusing stories are accompanied by the finest musicians and vocalists playing traditional Vietnamese music.
      Reminisce about the day whilst enjoying another delicious Vietnamese meal after which you will be taken to Hanoi’s train station to board the 21:30 train to Lao Cai for the next part of your adventure.
       
      Ho-Chi-Minh-Mausoleum
      water Puppet
  • Day 3: Trekking In Sapa (B/L/D)
    • The train will arrive into Lao Cai at 6:00 am from where we will reach Sapa town. Here the adventure will really begin with a trek through the mountains to discover the ethnic villages of the H’mong people. You will be amazed at the vibrant green rice paddies cascading down the mountains. Our guide will take you to the heart of the H’mong community in the villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van. You will see the local people robed in remarkable outfits all handmade and embroidered using local produce, and experience the charm of the people that inhabit this extraordinary landscape. You will really be able to engage yourself in this wonderful culture as you enjoy their food and hospitality as you spend the night in a homestay in Ta Van village.
       
      Ta Van villages
      children with buffaloes in Ta Van village
  • Day 4: Sapa - Hanoi (B/L/D)
    • Continue your trekking adventure as our guide takes you to the unique Giang Ta Chai village approximately 3km from Sapa town. The small village which is nestled in between the rolling luscious mountains is known for it’s distinctive traditions and buildings. You will be able to catch a glimpse into the daily life of the H’mong people with women weaving intricate hand-dyed fabrics and children playing amongst the animals roaming free in the village.
      Your journey through these majestic and peaceful mountains will transport you next to the village of Supan. Enjoy the stunning surrounding views and serene ambience as well as the beautiful rose and vegetable plantations in the valleys below. You can also view the magnificent Fansipan peak, the 'roof of Indochina'. Supan is home to the Red Dao ethnic people who are known for their distinctive dress of beautifully embroidered clothes, artisan silver jewellery and vivid red turbans. After dining some delectable local dishes, you will travel back to Lao Cai train station to take the night train back to Hanoi at 9:30 pm.
       
      Red Dao ethnic people
      Giang Ta Chai village
  • Day 5: Hanoi at leisure (B)
    • You will arrive in Hanoi at around 05:00. After checking-in at your hotel, you can continue your discovery of Hanoi’s treasures as you have this day free to explore at leisure. There are myriad different options on how to spend your day. Take a walk around the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake always buzzing with activity, or visit St Joseph’s Cathedral, built by the French colonial government in the late 19th century. Be sure to sample the delectable delicacies that Hanoi has to offer from the legendary Vietnamese coffee to the aromatic and mouth-watering local dishes. Unwind and relax with another night in your hotel.
       
      Hanoi-city-views
      St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi
  • Day 6: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B/L/D)
    • The next part of your journey will take you to the absolutely breath taking Halong Bay. At 8:00 am you will board the shuttle bus to Halong Bay where you will arrive at midday to embark the cruise ship. You will be met by awe-inspiring scenes of turquoise blue water spiked by arrestingly beautiful islands each garnished with rich forest. The cruise will take you on a mesmerizing journey through the iconic bay, often used to illustrate the pinnacle of Vietnam’s beauty. During the cruise you will visit Oan Islet, Teapot Islet, Monster Face Islet, Torch Islet, Dragon Islet and Porcupine Islet, all named for their visual counterparts! These islands and the beautiful bay in which they are situated all tell the story of a fierce dragon matriarch and her offspring that came to defend the bay from invaders. The miraculous scenery certainly appears to have an otherworldly beauty about it.
      Your journey continues with a visit to Sung Sot Cave (Amazing Cave) and Luon Cave. The rocks, chiselled over time by the relentless ocean, set the imagination free and the luminous colours casted by the light above really bring these caves to life. Continue your voyage as you spend the night aboard the cruise ship gently rocking in the sanctuary of the bay.
       
      Halong-bay
      Luon Cave
  • Day 7: Halong Bay - Lan Ha Bay (B/L/D)
    • You will start your day with a class of Tai Chi, a relaxing martial art that is extremely beneficial for the body and the mind. You will then go to Lan Ha Bay to visit its mysterious caves by kayak offering magnificent plays of light and dark. You will then find yourself in the middle of a sumptuous lake, sheltered from the ocean protected by immense cliffs.
      Your adventure will continue at the Halong Pearl Farm where you will have the chance to see the pearl making process as well as the making of beautiful jewelry.
      Then return to the boat for the second night on board.
       
      Bai Tu Long Bay
      Dark and Light caves
  • Day 8: Halong Bay - Lang Son (B/L/D)
    • The morning will take you Ti Top Island famed for its pure and luscious atmosphere. This island slinks out of the water with its delicate white sand before the beautiful grey rock reaches high up into the sky, all topped with a carpet of vibrant green. After soaking up the peace and serenity of Ti Top the cruise will return to the harbour where you will disembark for your next step to Lang Son.
      Lang Son is a busy town with a thriving trade market owing to its with China. You will visit the gateway of this trade route, Dong Dang Market. Let the market flood your senses as the bright colours of the Chinese and Vietnamese products grab your attention, the smell of the freshly cooked foods fills your nostrils and the buzz of the market keeps you floating through the busy streets.
      After sampling all that Dong Dang has on your offer you will travel to Mau Pagoda, an ornate structure that sits beautifully cradled in the mountains. The perfect place to unwind after the excitement of the markets.Tonight you will have dinner and overnight at your hotel in Lang Son.
       
      Lang-Son-Vietnam
      Mau Pagoda
  • Day 9: Lang Son - Ban Gioc Waterfall (B/L/D)
    • After your night at Lang Son, you will travel to the village of Phuoc Sen, inhabited by the Nung people, in the province of Cao Bang which is close to the border with China. You will be introduced to the Nung people who are famed for their production of farming tools. You can see the fruits of their labour all around you in the vast rice paddies that adorn the surrounding mountains.
      From here you will visit the almighty Ban Gioc waterfall that demarcates the border between China and Vietnam. This breath-taking arrangement of cascading water set against the vivid green background, is sure to create an atmosphere of complete awe and amazement.
      You will also visit Nguom Ngao cave, located in the opulent karst mountains of Cao Bang. The name itself is a local Tay name meaning Tiger’s Cave as it is believed that tigers once took shelter inside the cave. Let your imagination be captivated as you wander through the cave. Tonight you will overnight at a Nung ethnic family.
       
      Ban Gioc waterfall
      Nguom Ngao cave
  • Day 10: Cao Bang - Ba Be National Park (B/L/D)
    • The journey continues with a trip to Ba Be National Park, arriving at midday to scenes of enthralling beauty as the luxuriant green mountains tumble into the vast blue lakes. Along the way you will be introduced to the Tay Minority community whose spectacular stilt houses and rice farming traditions spread harmoniously through the natural landscape. The best way to immerge yourself in the true natural beauty is to voyage by boat. Our boat will take you down the river Nang. Here you will have the opportunity to engage the adventurer in you and explore the area by kayak as you really breath in the magnificent pairing of land and water. Be sure to look out for myriad different species in living in this fantastic, flourishing environment.
      On this voyage you will explore the Puong cave where you can venture into the majestic limestone mountain to witness the work off many years of erosion that have created the peaceful yet impressive structure that exists today. The thousands of stalactites and stalagmites that decorate this cave provide a great habitat for the thousands of bats that reside here.
      You will then explore Ba Be lake itself, the heart of Ba Be national park. The lake bed consists of limestone rock and its craggy and uneven surface makes it a prime ecosystem for a wide range of flora and fauna. This aquatic adventure climaxes with an overnight stay in Mr Linh’s Homestay, a skilfully crafted wooden stilt house. Here you can relax and enjoy the amazing local cuisine while simply admiring the surrounding views.
       
      Ba Be Lake
      Puong cave
  • Day 11: Ba Be National Park - Hanoi (B/L)
    • After breakfast, we will stroll along the riverfront, and visit the lovely Pac Ngoi Village where most Tay people live in traditional houses. You can hike to the upper reaches of the lake, in an area marked by massive limestone cliffs and mountains. Later, your driver will take you to Hua Ma cave and up onto a pass where you can to take amazing photos of the terraced fields.
      After lunch in a local restaurant, you will continue your journey back to Hanoi, arriving there at around 17:30.
       
      adventure babe national park
      Hua Ma cave
  • Day 12: Hanoi - Hue (B)
    • Your journey will continue to take a flight further south to the historic city of Hue in Central Vietnam. Once the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802 to 1945, this city still holds and imperial grace. Summer’s here are hot and dry making it the ideal time to explore the rich history hidden within its walls.
       
      Royal Palace Hue
      Thien Mu Pagoda Hue
  • Day 13: Hue -  Phong Nha National Park (B/L)
    • At 08:00 you will be picked from your hotel for your trip to the relatively recently discovered Paradise Cave. On arrival to Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park you will stop for lunch at Phong Nha Lake House where you can enjoy great views of the still lake and the luscious green surroundings.
      After filling up on a delicious lunch you will start your discovery of Paradise Cave which was only discovered in 2005. The cave itself offers 31km of striking stalactites and stalagmites all glimmering in the fractions of lights that break in through the cracks. At 17:00 you will return to the lake house where you will stay overnight.
       
      Phong Nha Cave Entrance
      Phong Nha Cave
  • Day 14: Phong Nha Cave - Hue (B/L)
    • At 08:00 you will be collected from Phong Nha Lake House to go and explore Phong Nha Cave. This stunning cavern is located in the oldest mountains in Asia and, much like Paradise Cave, was only discovered recently. This enormous underground works is made up of 14 grottoes as well as over 13km of winding underground river. The walls, dripping stalactites, reflect the colours of the river below making stunning light shows.
      You will have lunch at a restaurant in Dong Hoi Town and return to Hue. You will arrive back in Hue at around 17:30 where you can check into your hotel and relax after a day of exploring.
       
      Phong Nha Cave Entrance
      Paradise Cave
  • Day 15: Hue (B/L)
    • Our guide will collect you between 07:30-08:00 to begin the tour of the fascinating city. The first stop is a visit to the atmospheric tomb of the Nguyen Emperor Tu Duc built between 1864 and 1867. This lavish and elaborate tomb was designed by the emperor himself. Let your imagination take you back to the 19th as you stroll through the grounds that were once the playground of Vietnamese royalty.
      Continue your trip into past as you visit the tomb of Khai Dinh, the twelfth king of the Nguyen Dynasty. Built in the early 20th century this tomb is smaller than most others but has the some most amazing and intricate designs seen in any tomb. Drawing inspiration from European, Oriental and Vietnamese architecture, you can really get a feel of the luxury and extravagance of the King’s lifestyle. Get some lunch and enjoy some of Hue’s local specialties.
      After lunch you will continue your discovery as you uncover the secrets of the Imperial Citadel. This impressive and fascinating structure is just a fraction of what once stood here. The many battles that took part here over the years have left the site with many battle scars. It is enclosed by a moat whose waters are routed from the beautiful Perfume river.
      You will get to witness the beauty of the Perfume river first hand as you travel down the waterway by traditional dragon boat. Then discover Thien Mu pagoda which rests on the banks of the river. This is the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, its 7 tiers reading up high into the sky, each story representing a step in enlightenment.
       
      Khai Dinh Tomb
      Hue Boat Trip
  • Day 16: Hue - Hoi An (B/L)
    • Today you will leave behind the buzz of the city as you travel to the delightful and picturesque town of Hoi An. Get lost in the charms of the town that once was a thriving port. However, getting there is half the fun! This journey will take you through some of Vietnam’s most famous scenery. Let the vivid colours wash over you as you travel through the striking and sparkling Lang Co beach. Famed for it’s azure waters and white silky sand, this vista really is more astoundingly beautiful than any picture could ever depict.
      Your journey will continue as you travel onwards and upwards to the dizzying heights on the legendary Hai Van pass. Hailed for being amongst the most beautiful stretches in the world, this mountainous road will not fail to amaze you. Carry on through the mountains as you come to the Marble Mountains, the five peaks that stand tall like the guardians of Da Nang. Each mountain represents one of the five elements and each is delicately capped with a pagoda. After the excitement of the journey and all it’s magnificent views you will arrive to your hotel in Hoi An where you are free to explore the charming town at leisure.
       
      Lang Co beach
      hai van pass hue
  • Day 17: Hoi An at leisure (B)
    • Now you will have the day to explore the enchanting town of Hoi An, you will be free to uncover the hidden gems and rich history of this town at your own pace. While the port style integrity has been maintained, the majority of port trading now takes place in nearby Da Nang. This creates a wonderful air of preservation.
      You can discover more of the town’s rich past at any of it’s numerous museums that will help you to understand everything from folk culture to trading.
      The pedestrianised streets are a safe place to lose yourself if a wonderland of lanterns and skilfully crafted wares. One of the main shopping attractions of Hoi An is the exquisite tailoring at fantastic prices. Here you can have custom-made pieces, crafted from the finest materials, made to fit at a fraction of the price you would pay at home.
      For something a little different, why not visit the water coconut grove at the mouth of the river Hoi An. You can discover the local community and the amazing array of things they make from the coconut grove. The best ways to explore this area is by bicycle or boat, be sure to look out for the majestic buffalo lazing in the summer sun.
       
      Hoi An Old Quarter
      Hoi An Old Quarter
  • Day 18: My Son (B/L)
    • Today you will visit My Son Sanctuary, the perfect place for you to reflect on the phenomenal beauty of the region. This dramatic and breath-taking site houses impressive stone towers that symbolise purity and greatness. These values are mirrored and magnified in the rolling mountains all around. The magnificent structures were built by the Cham clans and their spiritual influences are rooted in Hinduism. Over time nature has begun to reclaim the towers with greenery creeping up the walls and unifying the beauty and grandeur of the structures with that of the natural surroundings.
      After drinking in the purity of the sanctuary and mountains, you will return to the charming Hoi An.
       
      My-Son-Sanctuary
      My-Son-Sanctuary
  • Day 19: Historical City Tour of Hoi An (B/L)
    • Our tour guide will take you to the top beauty spots and points of interest in Hoi An. Your first stop with the Phuc Kien assembly hall. Founded in the late 17th century, this glorious complex served the largest Chinese ethnic minority group in Hoi An, the Fujian. The ornate oriental design and thriving gardens make for stunning photographs and a glimpse into the grand meetings that were once held here.
      Next on the tour are the ancient houses of Tan Ky and Phung Hung, both shedding light on the towns fascinating heritage. Tan Ky is more representative of a traditional Hoi An house. Built by a Vietnamese family with some hints of Japanese and Oriental design that murmur of the multicultural environment of the busy trade port here in the 16th century. This is even more evident in Phung Hung house that is a real mixing pot of Asian architecture. This mainly wooden sculpture was highly influenced by Japanese and Chinese design which is symbolic of the towns history when traders from all over the world worked in this lively port.
      Just a few steps away is the next point on this tour where you will be able to see the Japanese covered bridge. Built as a connection between the Japanese and Chinese living quarters, this elegant wooden bridge will take you back to the days when traders scurried over this striking stone and wood structure.
       
      Hoi An Old Quarter
      Hoi An
  • Day 20: Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City (B)
    • After taking in the delights of Hoi An, you will be dropped in Da Nang airport for you flight to Ho Chi Minh. Upon arrival you will be taken to you hotel in Ho Chi Minh City where you are free to spend the night relaxing and taking in the buzz of the vibrant city.
       
      Saigon
      Saigon
  • Day 21: Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B)
    • This will be the final day on your incredible Vietnamese adventure. Be sure to fit in one last delicious Vietnamese breakfast before we drive you to Ho Chi Minh airport for your return flight.
       
      Sai-Gon-Cafe
      Saigon

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