Explore Vietnam From South To North
Explore Vietnam from South to North in 11 days. Arrival at Ho Chi Minh and visit the Cu Chi tunnels, through urbanized areas and a typically lush southern Vietnamese countryside. Exploring Ben Tre province and crossing cable-stayed Rach Mieu bridge. Continuing to Hue’s King Tombs & Royal Citadel and visit Hoi An Ancient Town and the Japanese Covered Bridge. We end up in Hanoi and Ha Long Bay to experience more of our trip.
Day 1 – Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, you will be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your hotel in the city center. Relax after a long journey or you can explore the area around your hotel on your own. (Ho Chi Minh City Hotel: Ha Hien Signature Hotel)
Day 2 – Ho Chi Minh City & Cu Chi Tunnels (B)
After breakfast, enjoy a 2-hour-drive northwest of Saigon to the Cu Chi tunnels, through urbanized areas and a typically lush southern Vietnamese countryside. The tunnel complex was dug in 1948 for the guerrillas to hide from French air and ground sweeps. It also served as communication routes and food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the American/Vietnam war. Visit the underground villages to better understand the tunnels’ history, life in the tunnels, and the Vietnamese’s resilience during the combats.
In the afternoon, visit the moving War Remnants Museum which presents a partial, but a 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. (Ho Chi Minh City Hotel: Ha Hien Signature Hotel)
Day 3 –Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City – Hue (B, L)
After breakfast, it is a 2-hour pleasant drive to Ben Tre province crossing 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 “Tulinh” or The Four Holy Beasts of Vietnam. Upon arrival at Hung Vuong Pier, hop on a motorized boat on Ben Tre River – one of the tributaries of the 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’s enough sunshine to dry the bricks. Continue to visit a coconut processing workshop located along the canals. Return to the boat and motor through natural scissors creeks to a village and see some local houses, making sleeping mats, and enjoying some local fruits.
Take a Tuk-Tuk (motorized cart) or bicycle on shady paths, pass by green rice fields, and vegetable plains to be able to get in touch with real local life and find out about tropical culture from peasants. Have lunch at a local riverside restaurant.
After lunch, we take a rowing-boat along a beautiful water palm creek before meeting the motorized boat and transferring you back to the pier where our driver will pick you up and drive back to Ho Chi Minh City for a flight to Hue. Upon landing, you’ll be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. (Hue Hotel: Rosaleen Hotel)
Remarks: Domestic flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Hue is not included.
Day 4 – Hue’s King Tombs & Royal Citadel (B)
After breakfast, start a cyclo (rickshaw) tour around the poetic Hue city on the bank of the Perfume River. Visit the Imperial Citadel where Kings of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, including the 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 on the peaceful Perfume River (Huong River) to Thien Mu Pagoda. Our car will pick you up from there for our next stop at King Tu Duc Tomb. The tomb is set in an elegant garden with a magnificent lake and pavilion complex. (Hue Hotel: Rosaleen Hotel)
Day 5 – Hue – Hoi An Ancient Town (B)
After breakfast, you will drive along the most beautiful coast of Vietnam to Hoi An. Stop at Hai Van pass for a panoramic view of white sand beach, blue sea, and green mountains. Arrive in Hoi An by noon time and take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Hall, and the local market. There are numerous art galleries, souvenirs, and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like! Overnight in Hoi An. (Hoi An Hotel: Venus Hotel)
Day 6 – Hoi An – Full Day Free on Your Own (B)
A free day in Hoi An for shopping, exploring, or chilling out on the beach or by poolside! (Hoi An Hotel: Venus Hotel)
Day 7 – Hoi An – Hanoi (B)
After breakfast, you will be free to enjoy your morning in Hoi An. If you have clothes tailored, it’s time to go back to the tailor shop again to try them on and adjust anything for a perfect custom fit.
Check out of your hotel by noon time and have lunch at your own expense before boarding an afternoon flight to Hanoi. Arrival in Hanoi, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. (Hanoi Hotel: Adamas Hotel)
Remarks: Domestic flights from Danang to Hanoi is not included.
Day 8 – Hanoi – Orientation (B)
Welcome to Hanoi! After breakfast, you’ll visit the highlights like Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum before exploring his house on stilts and his garden. 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. A tour around the beautiful West Lake takes us to Tran Quoc Pagoda, Hanoi’s oldest pagoda, and further to the venerable Temple of Literature built in 1077 – Vietnam’s first university.
In the afternoon, visit the Museum of Ethnology where the artifacts of 54 minority groups in Vietnam are exhibited. After the visit, return to the Old Quarter of Hanoi for a walking tour around the Old Streets which were named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend of the lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple. (Hanoi Hotel: Adamas Hotel)
Day 9 – Hanoi –Ha Long Bay (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will depart by road to Ha Long Bay, a 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, and the daily life of Vietnamese villages. On arrival at the pier, you will board your cruise and enjoy a welcome drink before checking in to your cabin. The cruise starts right afterward with a delicious lunch served on board. The cruise meanders among many karst rocks and islets in their many unique and funny shapes. Your dinner is served on board. In the evening, enjoy night fishing, drinks on the rooftop, watching an Indochina film, or massage, spa, etc. Overnight on the boat.* Shared local English speaking guide on boat. (Ha Long Bay Hotel: Oriental Sails Cruise )
Day 10 – Ha Long Bay – Hanoi (B)
In the morning, a Tai Chi class is available for “early birds”, then enjoy tea/coffee before visiting a cave naturally carved inside the karst formations. Breakfast/brunch will be served while the cruise is returning back to the pier. Disembark the pier and our guide will pick you up for a ride back to Hanoi. (Hanoi Hotel: Adamas Hotel )
Remarks: Shared local English speaking guide on boat.
Day 11 – Departure From Hanoi (B)
After breakfast, you will be free in Hanoi until being driven to the airport for your departure flight.
Specification: Explore Vietnam From South To North
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