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VIETNAM CLASSIC 13 DAYS

This trip is designed for the first time visitor to Vietnam to discover the very best of Vietnam in comfort and style. Explore Hanoi, enjoy a cyclo tour around the fascinating Old Quarter & enjoy the water puppet show. Sampan ride through a karst landscape to visit Tam Coc “Ha Long Bay on land”. Relax amongst the 3000 stunning limestone islets onboard a luxurious traditional cruise boat on Ha Long Bay. Fly to Hue to visit Royal Citadel & Forbidden citadel, cruise along the Perfume rive to discover royal tombs and enjoy the royal meal. Take a step back in time as you walk through the narrow streets of Hoi An, wander among historic homes and temples. Fly to Saigon city. Crawl through the fighting tunnels at Cu Chi and take time to absorb the river lifestyle of the Mekong delta, visit 02 famous floating markets…

Quick Reference Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2 - Hanoi city
  • Day 3 - Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Tam Coc - Hoa Lu - Hanoi
  • Day 4 - Hanoi - Ha Long Bay
  • Day 5 - Ha Long Bay - Fly to Hue
  • Day 6 - Hue Imperial
  • Day 7 - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An ancient town
  • Day 8 - Hoi An ancient town & local villages
  • Day 9 - Hoi An - Da Nang - Fly to Saigon
  • Day 10 - Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh - Cai Be floating Market - Can Tho
  • Day 12 - Can Tho - Cai Rang floating Market - Ho Chi Minh
  • Day 13 - Ho Chi Minh Departure
View full itinerary

Trip Highlight

Experience a cyclo ride through Hanoi Old Quarter streets.

Sampan to explore Tam Coc “Ha Long bay on land”.

Explore Ha Long bay with an overnight cruise (World Heritage). 

Cruise on the Perfume river to explore the fascinating Citadels and Royal tombs in Hue (World Heritage).

Enjoy “Royal dinner” in Hue.

Walking tour around the historic town of Hoi An (World Heritage).

Enjoy Amazing Sunset Cocktail cruise on Thu Bon river, Hoi An.

Experience the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City and visit the  wartime historical Cu Chi Tunnels.

Enjoy dinner on traditional wooden junk on Saigon River.

Explore the river lifestyle of the Mekong delta, visit 02 famous floating markets.

     
  • Hanoi Arrival

    Day 1: Hanoi Arrival

    Arrive Noi Bai international airport. After completing immigration formalities and clearing customs you will be met by our guide outside the baggage claim area who will escort you to a private waiting vehicle for your transfer to your hotel (approx. 45 minutes). Our guide will be holding a welcome board with your name.

    Check in hotel with welcome drink. Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.


    Meals:  B
  • Hanoi city

    Day 2: Hanoi city

    Breakfast at hotel. Full day city tour starting with the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Closed on Mondays and Fridays mornings and whole September and October for annual repairs). Visit One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Our next stop will be the Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university was constructed in 1070. The temple is dedicated to one of the world’s most famous scholars, Confucius. Inside the temple grounds huge stone stele rest on the backs of even larger stone turtles (in Vietnamese culture the turtle represents longevity).

    After lunch at Cha Ca Street with “Cha Ca La Vong”, a favorite dish of Hanoian - Listed in 1000 places to visit before you die, we continue to visit Vietnam Museum of Ethnology - The museum has successfully recreated the daily life together with the religious rituals and the symbolic festivals of each ethnic group in Vietnam. Visitors have the opportunity to admire costumes, embroidery as well as outside stilt houses and habitats from the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.

     

    We will have a short walking to visit the oldest bridge of Hanoi “Long Bien Bridge” to take photos and see the local life of Hanoi people before enjoying a cyclo ride through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as “36 streets.” This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It’s a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you. We will travel around the famous Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword.) - The heart of Hanoi Capital.

    Start your evening with a traditional water puppet performance (Roi Nuoc). The stage is actually a large container of water where the characters (carved wooden puppets} “act” out the story. Most of the stories are whimsical and fun, and the puppeteers stand in waist deep water behind a screen controlling the puppets with rods that mostly are under the water. 

    This evening you may wish to dine at Madam Hien Restaurant.

    (Madame Hien is a French antique building designed by the chief architect of the renowned Hanoi Opera House. The restaurant is also the lasts venture of the most celebrated French chef in Vietnam-Didier Corlou. The restaurant has got the art of cooking delicious Vietnamese food from all of the country's regions down to a science. Stepping inside Madame Hien, customers may immediately feel the distinction of it through a cozy atmosphere created by the art of installation and luxury furniture highlighted by red lanterns around its rooms. The restaurant is also divided into different areas including both enclosed and open-air space which may help people getting out of hyperactivity of Hanoi.).

    Free your time to explore Hanoi nightlife. Overnight in Hanoi.


    Meals:  B,L,D
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Tam Coc - Hoa Lu - Hanoi

    Day 3: Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Tam Coc - Hoa Lu - Hanoi

    You may wish walk to Hoan Kiem Lake to witness and/or participate in a Tai Chi exercise. It’s a great chance for you to take pictures of local people and enjoy the sunrise from the western side of Hoan Kiem Lake. Transfer back to the hotel and enjoy your breakfast.

    We will transfer to Ninh Binh province (95 km & approx. 02 hours 30 minutes) to visit Tam Coc - is known as Ha Long Bay on the rice fields, the same limestone rocks as in Ha Long bay but seen from a winding stream through paddy fields instead of the sea. 

    Upon arrival Tam Coc Wharf, we will take a private sampan ride through a karst landscape to visit Tam Coc Grottos. You may feel like they had just disappeared from the real world to get lost in such a hidden fairy site, which is located approximately 2km from the pagoda. Tam Coc is 3 kilometers from Van Lam Wharf. Now just take a boat from Van Lam Wharf to reach the Tam Coc Grotto, which consists of the Hang Ca, Hang Hai and Hang Ba caves. This might take you three hours on your small boat along the Ngo Dong River, beginning at the village of Van Lam and proceeding through a scenic landscape dominated by rice fields and karst towers. The largest of the grotto is 125m long with its ceiling about 2m high above the water. This grotto is adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes and colours that sparkle like gemstones. Now when drifting along the gentle Ngo Dong River under the Grotto, you can feel the deeply pure atmosphere with special smell of fresh rivers water and cool air from karst mountains when reaching each of the 3 caves in turns.

    Should you feel adventurous climb up to Bich Dong Pagoda which literally means “Green Pearl Grotto” on nearby Ngu Nhac Mountain, dating to 1428 and comprising three structures: Ha, Trung, & Thuong Pagodas.

    Next stop is Hoa Lu, which was the capital of the Dinh and Early Le dynasties in Vietnam in the 10th and 11th century. The sanctuaries were built in the 17 century. We will see the stone pedestal of a royal throne, bronze bells and statues of the Emperors. Have your lunch at local restaurant. Transfer back to Ha Noi. Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.


    Meals:  B,L
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Hanoi - Ha Long Bay

    Day 4: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay

    Breakfast at hotel. We depart for Ha Long city to visit Ha Long Bay - A World Natural Heritage site and a World of New7Wonders (170 km & approx. 03 hours 30 minutes). Ha Long bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes with 1969 islets. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, other support floating villages of fishermen. You have chance of observing scenic country side of Vietnam dominated by enormous lush rice field.

    Upon arrival in Ha Long. Check-in between 11:30 - 12:00 at the boat port. Enjoy a refreshing “Welcome cocktail” upon check-in on the sun deck. Enjoy your lunch as the vessel sails to Ha Long Bay passing the Fighting cocks Islet, the Elephant leg Islet, the Castle Islet, the Soi Sim Island. Arrive at Surprise Grotto - one of the most famous grotto in the entire Ha Long, we will visit the cave by Tender. 

    After taking a lot of photos and admire the beauty of the cave we will visit the fishing village by local rowing boat (1 hour) with the opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations then we return to the vessel for free time at your leisure. You can swim in the clear emerald waters, soak up the sun over a cool beer on the top deck sun lounge or try your hand at some kayaking (your account) amongst the huge limestone outcrops that surround us. We retire to the junk and relax on the top deck and enjoy a refreshing drink from the bar.

    Enjoy and learn the Vietnamese cooking demonstration on the sundeck, you can attend the chef's cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking. Your delicious seafood dinner will be served at the restaurant. Stay overnight on cruise for a more in-depth experience.

    (The itinerary above may be changed depending on the cruises we choose and weather permitting).


    Meals:  B,L,D
  • Ha Long Bay - Fly to Hue

    Day 5: Ha Long Bay - Fly to Hue

    Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi Exercise with an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. Sitting on the upper desk we can enjoy the breath - taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the crystal-clear water of the bay. We can hear the birds singing, cicadas chirping ashore and the gentle lapping of the waves against our boat, the perfect soundtrack to accompany the fresh air and gentle breeze.

    International brunch buffet served in the restaurant. Check-out on board and disembarkation at boat port, Ha Long city. Our tour guide will pick you up and transfer to Noi Bai airport to take a short domestic flight to Hue city (approx. 01 hour 10 minutes). Upon arrival, you are welcome and transferred to the hotel for check in with welcome drink. Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Hue.


    Meals:  B,L
  • Hue Imperial

    Day 6: Hue Imperial

    Breakfast at hotel. This morning an excursion boat trip along the romantic Perfume River carries us through a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes, where Hue’s best known religious sites are located. We will visit Thien Mu Pagoda - one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious work ship in Hue.

    We include this in a half day cruise on the Perfume River which also gives us a taste of the scenic countryside and an enjoyable visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. This impressive landmark reflects the beautiful architecture, intricate decor and mysterious statues. Afterwards we take a short drive though the rolling hill to see the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc - One of the most beautifully designed complexes among the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty. Embedded in a lush pine forest, this tomb is the final resting place of Emperor Tu Duc (1848-83) who had the longest reign of all emperors of the Nguyen dynasty. 

    Have your lunch at Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant.

    (Tinh Gia Vien is located down a quiet lane within the citadel in Hue. It has a lovely garden, and serves set menu meals presented in an artistic fashion. Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant has been featured in 20 international magazines and 30 Vietnamese newspapers. It is highly recommended for. As quoted from the Travel Guide Book - VIETNAM and South-East ASIA: “Highly recommended is the garden setting at Tinh Gia Vien known for serving dishes in the traditional style of  Hue’s imperial court.).

    Continue by overland to explore the Hue Citadel Complex including Royal Citadel and Forbidden Citadel - UNESCO World Heritage sites, set up by Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945. We will visit the striking Flag Tower, the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, Dien Tho Residence (Dien Tho Palace), Thai Hoa Palace, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the original Nine Dynastic Urns...

    This evening you may wish to enjoy “Royal dinner” at Ancient Hue - Royal Cuisine & Gallery. Enjoy a delicious food while listening to melodious music and having a feeling of being the King and Queen. All wear traditional royal clothes. All the served food is royal including dishes reminding dragon, phoenix, or peacock...Overnight in Hue.



    Meals:  B,L,D
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An ancient town

    Day 7: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An ancient town

    Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to An Bang “The City of the Dead” - Around 20km from the popular beach Thuan An, you can find An Bang Cemetery that would amaze anyone visiting this region for the first time. At An Bang cemetery thousands of incredible graves of innumerable designs cover an area over 10 hectares wide. It is a place that must be seen to be believed. Such the variety in styles no one can say what school of architecture these graves come from. One grave, for example, looks like a castle from Arabian Nights, while others would remind you of the royal tombs in Hue.

    We continue our trip to Hoi An (145 km & approx. 3 hours 30 minutes). We will pass over the dramatic Hai Van Pass, also called “the Pass of Ocean Clouds”. Our journey crosses over a spur of the Truong Son (Annamite) Mountain Range that juts into the Vietnam Sea. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the route.  On route we will stop at the lovely Lang Co Fishing Village where the stretch of white sandy beach curves outwards between a clear blue lagoon and sea.

     

    You’ll have a brief look at the remarkable Hindu statuary in the Cham Museum - One of the largest collection of Cham sculpture and artwork in the world. The museum is officially known as the Museum of Champa Sculpture. We continue to visit a nearby stone-cutting craft village before leaving for Hoi An ancient town (35km).

    Have your dinner at Nam Long Restaurant. 

    (Located in the banks of the scenic Thu Bon River and close to Cua Dai Beach, Nam Long Restaurant is surrounded by the lush green beautiful gardens and flowers, offering its guests delicious dishes in a spectacular environment. With a mixture of colonial style and traditional Vietnamese decoration, Nam Long Restaurant has made its mark as the finest Vietnamese restaurant in Hoi An. Vietnamese dishes are harmoniously blended with Hoi An specialties to make dining at this restaurant a culinary treat.).

    Free your time at leisure to explore Hoian’s night and overnight in Hoi An.


    Meals:  B,D
  •  Hoi An ancient town & local villages

    Day 8: Hoi An ancient town & local villages

    Breakfast at hotel. Our guide and driver will be ready in the lobby of your hotel in preparation for a village journey, go walk-ing around Hoi An ancient town to the port where you will embark on the boat. From the boat, you can enjoy the busy daily life of Hoi An people. Continue to Thanh Ha pottery village where you can learn and enjoy the daily life of Thanh Ha people. Observe all the steps of making a pottery product: vase, pot, kettle, cooking pot,...embark on the boat to visit Kim Bong carpentry village, listen to the history of the village, come to visit the ship-building yards, see the handicrafts and sculptures.

    After your lunch. Enjoy a walking tour around the historic town soaking up the atmosphere, exploring the many Chinese assembly halls and fascinating ancestral homes, some of which have been occupied by the same family for fifteen generations. One of the most spectacular Assembly Halls is the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, built in 1690. The pagoda inside contains intricate statues and artwork, in part dedicated to Thien Hau Than Mau, the Goddess of the Sea and protector of fishermen. Walking tour of the ancient town center takes us to the sites of former merchants’ homes, the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge - The symbol of Hoi An. The Japanese Covered bridge was the first bridge in Hoi An and was constructed in 1593. It was built by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream. We continue to visit the Chua Ong Pagoda and the 200 year old Tan Ky ancestral house.

    The town is also famous for its shops in particular it’s large number of tailors. If you wanted, you could have a whole new wardrobe made for you here. You can enjoy browsing and shopping in one of the most colorful local marketplaces in all of Southeast Asia. Free your time to relax or discover the hidden charm of Hoi An town. Overnight in Hoi An.


    Meals:  B
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Hoi An - Da Nang - Fly to Saigon

    Day 9: Hoi An - Da Nang - Fly to Saigon

    Breakfast at hotel. A free morning in Hoi An to discover the hidden charms. Our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to Da Nang airport for domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approx. 01 hour 10 minutes). You are welcomed by our guide and driver at Tan Son Nhat airport and then be transferred to the center of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon.

    Enjoy a sightseeing of major sights in Ho Chi Minh City. A completely mesmerising tour will give you a fascinating insight into the history, culture, and the daily life of the locals in this busy, buzzing city. We will explore the China Town called “Cho Lon”, meaning “big market”. This area is one of the busiest commercial districts of Ho Chi Minh City and its atmospheric streets are home to some of the city’s most interesting sites. Here we will visit the Thien Hau Temple, which was built in the early 19th century and dedicated to the goddess of seafarers. We delve deeper into Chinatown, visiting the amazing Cho Lon and Binh Tay Markets, which are full of energy and dazzling array of goods.

    Enjoy your special dinner on Indochina Junk, cruise along Saigon River, enjoy your dishes and listening to traditional folk music, sing and dance. You will have relaxation-time to catch the over view of the city, people working at Saigon port. Along both sides of the river are mansions, life of the civilians…..Free your time to explore Saigon nightlife. Overnight in Saigon.


    Meals:  B,D
  • Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnels

    Day 10: Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnels

    Breakfast at hotel. We drive to Cu Chi district, 50 km to the northwest of Saigon city (approx. 01 hour 30 minutes). The incredible underground network in Cu Chi stretched over 200 kilometers and became legendary during the American war. The extensive tunnels have been specially constructed with living areas, storage facilities, weapon factories, filed hospitals, command canter, plus accommodation. Upon arrival to the Cu Chi Tunnels, watch a short introductory video showing how they were constructed, then spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels, you will even have a chance to crawl through the tunnels. Also on display are various mantraps, the remains of an American tank and numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers. For those interested there's even the opportunity to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range.

    Have your lunch at Vietnam House Restaurant.

     (Vietnam House is one of few restaurants which has had the honor to receive leaders from around the world, including George Bush Sr. and Former Philippine President Cory Aquino. Sitting in a restored French colonial house, Vietnam House renders a cozy and traditional ambiance with large French windows, traditionally attired waiters, classical genre of songs and spaced out sitting arrangements).

    The following program is a sightseeing of major sights in Ho Chi Minh City. First stop is Notre Dame Catholic Cathedral and short visit to French built Post office nearby and then we will visit the War Remnants Museum, which primarily contains exhibits relating to the American phase of the Vietnam War. We continue to visit the Reunification Palace. Discover the history and fascinating street life of Saigon on a walking tour along Dong Khoi Street, known as Rue Catinat in French-colonial times. Free your time to explore Saigon nightlife. Overnight in Saigon.


    Meals:  B,L
    Hotel:
      As Above
  • Ho Chi Minh - Cai Be floating Market - Can Tho

    Day 11: Ho Chi Minh - Cai Be floating Market - Can Tho

    Breakfast at hotel. We’ll take a scenic early morning drive to Vinh Long (140 km & approx. 02 hours 30 minutes). Stop for photos at Tan An Town over the flat rice fields. The program will start with the visit of Cai Be colorful floating market cruising among local barges full of fruits and vegetables. Then, an optional stop can be made at local workshops where you can see how to make rice paper, coconut candy and pop-rice, pop-corn ...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 roof...

    The rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals and to enjoy the peaceful time. It’s very 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. A Mekong delta lunch will be served under the shade of local orchards on An Binh Island with the famous dish “Fried Mekong Elephant Ear Fish”

    After your lunch, we can walk around and then we will enjoy some kinds of fruits when listening to the traditional music. One more thing to do in this trip is biking, it’s so peaceful to bike on village paths to see the local farms, houses, real life and the ancestral ways to pick up fruits in Mekong delta. Meet the driver in Vinh Long and transfer to Can Tho. Check into hotel on arrival in Can Tho.

    Have your dinner at Sao Hom Restaurant.

    (This restaurant has an idyllic riverside location. They're located inside the old Can Tho Market Hall (now upmarket) former market and occupy prime real estate next to the pier where the luxury boat Les Bassac docks. It's an open restaurant with cheerful yellow paint and outdoor seating. This is a good place to come when you're looking for some Western comfort food or a safe experience of Vietnamese dishes.). 



    Meals:  B,L,D
  • Can Tho - Cai Rang floating Market - Ho Chi Minh

    Day 12: Can Tho - Cai Rang floating Market - Ho Chi Minh

    Breakfast at hotel. Enjoy a short walk to Ninh Kieu Pier for sampan to Cai Rang floating Market - One of the most interesting sights in the delta. Every boat has a long upright pole at its bow on which samples of the goods for sale are hung. During the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even smuggled goods like cigarettes. Each boat is loaded with plenty of seasonal goods. Activities at the market are also an occasion for tourists to study the cultural aspects of southerners. You can see the market in the distance, it does not look like much, just a mass of boats. The boats all display their wares on a mast so you can see what they have available.

    Enjoy a short trek before arriving at a rice-husking mill. You can even try passing one of the many fragile monkey bridges along the canals photo shot... Transfer back to Saigon (170 km & approx. 03 hours 30 minutes).

    Free your time at leisure. Overnight in Saigon.


    Meals:  B
  • Ho Chi Minh Departure

    Day 13: Ho Chi Minh Departure

    Breakfast at hotel. Free your time to discover Saigon streets or shopping at Ben Thanh Market - the symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. Our guide and driver will be ready in the lobby of your hotel in preparation for your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.


    Meals:  B
    Hotel:
      As Above
Vietnam Travel Land

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