Discovering Vietnam highlights in 9 days. Arrival at Hanoi and visiting the One Pillar Pagoda, the great symbol of Hanoi. Continue our trip to UNESCO World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty, Ha Long Bay. Exploring Hoi An Ancient Town, Ho Chi Minh City attractions, and taking a Dragon boat Cruise upstream of the peaceful Perfume River (Huong River) to Thien Mu Pagoda at Hue.
Day 1 – Arrival in Hanoi
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, you will be welcomed by our driver and transferred to downtown. Check into your hotel and refresh after a long-haul flight.
Hanoi Hotel: Adamas Hotel (3 Star)
Day 2 – Hanoi’s Highlights (B)
After breakfast, visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum before exploring his house on stilts and lush gardens. A short walk from the mausoleum is one of the great symbols of Hanoi, the One Pillar Pagoda, an 11th-century wooden temple built on a single stone pillar in the water. It was designed to resemble a blooming lotus. Pass by the Presidential Palace to the West Lake where you will visit Tran Quoc, one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam, meaning “protecting the country”.
In the afternoon, visit the venerable Temple of Literature built in 1077 – Vietnam’s first university. Continue with the Museum of Ethnology where displays artifacts of 54 minority groups in Vietnam.
Late afternoon, take a rickshaw ride (cyclo) around the Old Streets which were named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Stop at Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple to learn about the legend of the lake. Browse through art galleries, handicraft shops, and cafes. Enjoy a Water Puppet Show, typical traditional performance created by Vietnamese wet-rice farmers in the Red River Delta in the 10th century.
Day 3 – Hanoi – Ha Long Bay (B, L, D)
After breakfast, depart by road to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. Travel through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the landscape of rice fields, water buffalo, the daily life of the Vietnamese village. Board a traditional Junk. Lunch on board. The cruise passes by many rocks and islets in many funny shapes. The cruise may stop for a while for visiting one of the best caves on the bay. Later on, the Junk will anchor in a peaceful bay for relaxing and overnight. Dinner and overnight on board.
Ha Long Bay Hotel: Oriental Sails Cruise (3 Star)
Day 4 – Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Hoi An (B, L)
Breakfast is served while the Junk cruises around Ha Long Bay, passing by many islets named by their shapes such as Dog, Incense Urn, Fighting Cock, Finger, etc. Stop for a while to explore a cave – one of the most beautiful caves of the bay. The Junk then continues cruising towards the wharf. Ready to disembark about 10:30 AM. Drive back to Hanoi (for a group of 2-3pax) where you will meet our private car and continue to Noi Bai Airport for a flight to Danang. For a group of 4pax up, you will go with a private minivan from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay and Ha Long Bay to Noi Bai Airport for a flight to Danang. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our guide and drive to Hoi An, around 35 kilometers away
Domestic flight from Hanoi to Danang is not included.
Hoi An Hotel: Venus Hotel (3 Star)
Day 5 – Hoi An Ancient Town – Walking tour (B)
After breakfast, you will walk around the tiny town of Hoi An with your guide to visit a 400-year-old Japanese Bridge, a 300-year-old Chinese temple, and a 200-year-old Vietnamese former merchants’ house, local market.
There are numerous art galleries, souvenir and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like!
Day 6 – Hoi An – Hue (B)
After breakfast, you will drive along the most beautiful coast of Vietnam to Hue. Stop at Hai Van pass for a panoramic view of white sand beach, blue sea, and green mountains.
Arrival in Hue, visit the Imperial Citadel where Kings of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, including Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns, Forbidden Purple City, etc.
In the afternoon, take a Dragon boat Cruise upstream of the peaceful Perfume River (Huong River) to Thien Mu Pagoda. Our car will pick you up there to King Tu Duc Tomb. The tomb is set in an elegant garden with a magnificent lake and pavilion complex.
Hue Hotel: Rosaleen Hotel (3 Star)
Day 7 – Hue – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Breakfast at your hotel and then drive to the airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon landing, you’re met by our guide and visit the moving War Remnants Museum which presents a partial, but riveting, view of the American War, as it is known in Vietnam. Continue to the Reunification Palace, former residence of the Indochina Governor-General and later President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. The day ends with visits to the charming Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Post Office, one of the oldest buildings Ho Chi Minh City built around 1886-1891, the elegant Saigon Opera House, and the bustling Ben Thanh Market.
Domestic flight from Hue to Ho Chi Minh City is not included.
Ho Chi Minh City Hotel: Ha Hien Signature Hotel (3 Star)
Day 8 – Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L)
After breakfast, it is a 2-hour pleasant drive to Ben Tre province crossing the cable-stayed Rach Mieu bridge. As you cross the bridge and have a panoramic view towards the South Sea, you may see the four islets of Ben Tre: Long (Dragon), Lan (Unicorn), Quy (Turtle), Phung (Phoenix) gathering together, known as “Tu Linh” or The Four Holy Beasts of Vietnam. Upon arrival at Hung Vuong Pier, hop on a motorized boat on the Ben Tre River – one of the tributaries of the mighty Mekong river – while sight-seeing lively activities along the river such as fishing and boats transferring fruits, flowers, and rice to local markets. Our first stop is at a brick kiln to see how to make bricks traditionally by printing and baking. Those brick kilns are open in the summertime only when there is enough sunshine to dry the bricks. Continuing on, we’ll visit a coconut processing workshop located along the canals. When we return to the boat, we’ll motor through natural scissors creeks to a village and see some local houses, sleeping mat making, and enjoy some local fruits.
Take a Tuk-Tuk (motorized cart) or bicycle along shady paths, pass by green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch on real life in the delta, and find out about tropical culture from peasants. Lunch will be at a local riverside restaurant.
After lunch, we’ll take a rowing-boat along a beautiful water palm creek before meeting the motorized boat and transferring you back to the pier, where your car will take you back to Ho Chi Minh City overnight.
Day 9 – Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap (B)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
Specification: Colorful Vietnam