Adventure into the very soul of Vietnam, walk around the market in Sapa with local people in their festive costums, trek across the hills terraced by rice paddies, slow exploration by a cyclo and Hanoi street food hunt with a local insider. Walking in timeless charm of Vietnam, this trip will be rewarding you an unforgettable experience.
- Take it slow in Ho Chi Minh City by a cyclo trip to get closer to its locals
- Motorbike adventure to Tam Giang Lagoon in Hue and go fishing
- Sleep somewhere else: Sleep on the train, sleep at a local villager's
- Get lost in vivid colors at a big market in Lao Cai
- Halong Bay cruise relaxes your body and soul after a long journey
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Itinerary in Detail
Once known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City was re-named to honor what Ho Chi Minh has done for the country. It sure will welcome you with a big smile.
Transfer to your hotel by a private car with your tour guide. Free time to adjust from jetlag.
Embrace a fresh morning of Saigon. This southern city oozes with nostalgic charm among its colonial-era buildings, street side Caf's and shady boulevards. Take an easy walk to the downtown, where you will see General Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and Reunification Palace.
For history buffs or children, they must love what the War Remnants Museum has to offer: mind-provoking history and great exhibition dating back to last century during wartime, including F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter are their most interesting collection. However, please be noted that your guide might not accompany you inside the museum because the content triggers sad memories for many Vietnamese.
Later, hop on a cyclo (local name for rickshaw) that is pedaled by a local. Enjoy the ride to feel the easy-lazy vibe of Ho Chi Minh City. Have some simple lunch after the cyclo ride and your private tour guide will escort you to Can Tho. The drive is long, so just take a nap on the way and you will there when you wake up.
Rise up early to get the real deal of Cai Rang Floating Market. Best time to visit is before 0700am. After an interesting visit here, you will be taken to some small islands by sampan through the tree-shaded canals and you will be riding a bike on a small island to visit a local orchard.
Get back to Ho Chi Minh City by car and take the onward flight to Danang, which will be connected with a 40-minute drive to Hoi An.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An Ancient Town is just the right definition of Vietnam's timeless charm. This morning, you will have some insightful visits at of this town's essence: the Japanese Covered Bridge, Fukian Assembly Hall and the Old House of Tan Ky.
After lunch, a class will be taken on how to make lanterns at a workshop run by a NGO. Lifestart Foundation is an Australia-based team that focuses on helping those in need through proven working programs and initiatives which are designed to effect a generational change.
Have the whole morning free to yourself.
In the afternoon, at about 2pm, we will drive you up to Hue via Danang. We will make stop at Hai Van Pass for some great photos. Free at leisure upon arrival.
Soak in elegent atmosphere of the ancient city, today you will learn more about its history with a city tour.
Start with a visit to Dong Ba Market and then step into the Imperial City and Royal Palace. Hop on a motorbike and adventure off to the beautiful Tam Giang Lagoon. Get back to Hue after a gorgeous sunset.
Leaving the ancient royal seat, you are flying to the modern capital Hanoi. The flight is about 50 minutes.
You will have a whole day exploring the city. Take a city tour that leads you to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, Hoa Lo Prison and you will discover Hanoi's fascinating grasp of gourmet with a visit to the Old Quarter.
During the 2 hours of your food adventure, you will be introduced to plenty of delicacies such as Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich), egg coffee, a time-honored ice cream parlor and some seasonal fruits. Only with your tour guide's insider lead, can you find authentic tastes hidden behind these narrow alleys. (* Notes: The places that your guide chooses for you are in good hygiene.)
You will be escorted to the train station one hour before your train. The overnight train leaves Hanoi at around 10000pm. Sleep tight!
Breaking the morning mist, you will arrive in Lao Cai at about 6am.
Take a short break and have some simple breakfast upon arrival. Later, you will be on the road to a nearby local market. Explore the market with your tour guide, learn about all kinds of funky stuff and interesting interaction between the sellers and buyers.
Local market always takes place in the morning and it will end before noon. Transfer to Sapa town and have simple lunch. Relax for the rest of day.
Gear up! Today you will be led to a dirt path passing lush rice peddies, humble villages, pristine forest and a beautiful valley.
First part of the trekking is a scenic uphill path from Cat Cat Village to Y Linh Ho, about 7km (4.4mi); continue on a mountainous road to Lao Chai, about 13km (8.1mi). Today's trekking can be finished within 6 hours at a pace that you desire.
You will stay at a local homestay near Lao Chai Village.
Have breakfast with your homestay host before setting off. Today's trek will follow a dirt footpath up and down the mountain range. Trekking route: Giang Ta Chai - Hau Thao - Hau Thao.
Starting from Lao Chai Village, you will walk uphill for 4km (2.5mi) to Giang Ta Chai Village, home to the Red Dzao people distinguish for their long tunic with embroidered cuffs. Relax with a simple lunch and some cold drinks.
From Giang Ta Chai Village, you will walk downhill for 14km (8.7mi) towards Hau Thao, where you will be picked up and transferred back to Sapa.
When back in Sapa town, take some time to refresh up at a hotel and stretch your legs before getting to Lao Cai for the overnight train back to Hanoi.
Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning and have breakfast at a hotel. Later you will be picked up by a shuttle car to Halong Bay. Board the cruise and enjoy the relaxing journey.
Your Halong Bay cruise will take you to Cua Van Fishing Village, Vung Vieng Fishing Village, Me Cung Caves, Virgin Cave, and Surprise Cave, as well as some small islets, such as Flight Cock Islet, Human Head Islet, and Toad Islet etc (subject to different itineraries of different boats).
In the evening, the junk will harbor anchor in a less-crowded area for your sweet dreams under the stars.
The cruise will reach the shore at about 11am, after a brunch. Your private tour guide and driver rwill take you back to Hanoi.
Free at leisure in Hanoi.
We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.
Our Service Includes:
- Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
- All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
- Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
- Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
- Governmental taxes
Tour code: ah-2
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