Tour code:
OM/VN/CH/001
Country:
Vietnam
City:
Hanoi
Holiday Types:
Cultural & History Tours
Duration:
15D14N

 

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  635

$US 0


15D14N Passion Vietnam
Overview

Day 1: Arrival Hanoi
Day2: Hanoi
Day3: Hanoi/Hoa Lu/Overnight Train
Day4: Lao Cai/Bac Ha/Sapa
Day5: Sapa
Day6: Sapa/Lao Cai/Hanoi
Day7: Hanoi/Halong Bay
Day8: Ha Long Bay/Hanoi/Hue
Day9: Hue
Day10: Hue/Hoi An
Day 11: Hoi An/Da Nang/Saigon
Day 12: Saigon/Tay Ninh/Cu Chi/Saigon
Day 13: Saigon/Caibe/Vinh Long/Cantho/Melong Delta
Day 14: Cantho/Saigon
Day 15: Saigon/Departure
 

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival in Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi, the capital of unified Vietnam. The city was founded in 1010 on the right bank of the Red River and was then known as ‘Thang Long’, roughly translated as "Soaring Dragon." Hanoi is one of the most charming cities in South East Asia with its authentic street scenes, large shady avenues, numerous lakes, manicured gardens and well-preserved architecture. Transfer from NoiBai airport to your hotel. Free evening. Dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 2 : Hanoi
The day is dedicated to a more in depth discovery of Hanoi beginning with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. This imposing monument, dedicated to the father of modern Vietnam, was constructed from marble and granite and takes the form of a stylized lotus (closed Mondays and Fridays). Located nearby is Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts and the One Pillar Pagoda, a symbol of Hanoi. Continue your tour with a visit to the ancient Taoist Temple of QuanThanh, where lies the genie protector of the city (or Tran Quoc Pagoda located on the shores of LakeWest). Next visit the Temple of Literature, or van Mieu, a structure dedicated to Confucius. Constructed in 1070, the compound soon became first Vietnam’s university. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, where you will have the opportunity to sample some regional delicacies. In the early afternoon visit the renowned Museum of Ethnography (closed Mondays), which houses an interesting collection of artifacts relating to the mosaic of ethnic groups that inhabit Vietnam. Alternatively, visit the Museum of History (closed Mondays) which displays an array of exhibits ranging from prehistoric times to the fight against French colonization. This afternoon’s touring will also provide the opportunity to see Hanoi’s famed old quarter from the seat of a cyclo. During your tour around the district you will see some of the areas original 36 streets which have always sold the same wares. Silver Street, Silk Street and Flower Street are just a few. During your adventure through this maze of streets you will see traditional ‘tube houses’, a style of architecture indigenous to this part of Hanoi. Next, visit the Temple of Jade at the centre of atmospheric HoanKiemLake, otherwise known as the lake of ‘the restored sword’. Finish, the city tour with a stop at the food market in Hang Be Street. This afternoon is free for a stroll along the boulevards of the old colonial quarter where you can view some of the best French architecture in South East Asia. In the evening, visit Hanoi’s water puppets theatre to attend a performance of the traditional show. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 3 : Hanoi / Hoa Lu / Overnight Train
Depart Hanoi for NinhBinh province and enjoy the drive through the luxurious vegetation of the Red River Delta. Continue on to Tam Coc and take a cruise up the river through karst hills and rice fields on a traditional boat, a photographer’s paradise. Sometimes referred to as ‘HalongBay on land’, for some its beauty surpasses that of it’s coastal rival. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.Continue your tour with a journey through bustling villages, rice paddies and some beautiful limestone rock formations. Arrive at Hoa Lu, the capital of Vietnam for 41 years under the Dinh and Le dynasties (between 968 and 980). Discover beautiful shrines dedicated to the Emperor Le Dinh, the first ruler to unify the country. Aside from this important historical site, this region is also worth a visit for its rolling hills and picturesque rocky landscapes. Return to Hanoi. After dinner in Hanoi, take the night train to Lao Cai. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 4 : Lao Cai/ Bac Ha / Sapa
Arriving in Lao Cai in the early morning, begin your jeep exploration of this fascinating area with a visit to Bac Ha dye market, one of the most popular in the region. Held only on Sunday, the market is a focal point for many of the region’s ethnic groups. Groups such as the Flower Hmong, the Tay and the Thai come to trade wares such as silver jewelry and embroidered clothing. This spectacularly colourful market is justly well known for its many hand-made craft products.Lunch.Depart Bac Ha for SaPa, en route visit the bridge of beauty "CauKieu" linking Vietnam and China before continuing. Arrive in SaPa late in the afternoon and enjoy some free time for exploration of this pretty hill station. At an altitude of 1650 metres, with a refreshing temperate climate, SaPa was founded by the French in an effort to escape the oppressive heat of summer in the coastal plains. Near the town is the imposing Mount Fan Si Pan (3143m), Vietnam’s highest peak. This region can indeed be called the roof of Indochina. SaPa itself is a town with a powerful draw for the regions inhabitants, many of them from ethnic minorities. Groups such as the Hmong, Red Zao ,Tay and Dzay regularly visit the town. The town also retains some of its former colonial feel with many stately mansions set amongst the stunning mountain scenery. Finish your day with a tasty meal at a local restaurant. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.
Option 1: Saturday: Replace Bac Ha market with a trip to Can Cau
Option 2: Tuesday: Replace Bac Ha market with a trip to Coc Ly, where you can enjoy a cruise on the River Chay.

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Day 5 : Sapa
The day is devoted to a beautiful hike through the breathtaking scenery of SaPa valley. Start by road that descends in the wake of the street Cau May (6 km) En route, admire the rice terraces hidden behind mist of the morning, a truly awe-inspiring sight. Follow a small track and cross the MuongHoaRiver and pass well tended rice terraces on your way to the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai.  Continuing through the colourful rice terraces you will reach the village of Ta Van Giay. As you continue your trek along the MuongHoaRiver you will cross a small suspension bridge, roughly 2km from the settlement. Here you can discover a fascinating collection of rock carvings. These engravings depict some beautiful images of man, stilt houses and some beautiful decorative patterns. Lunch at a home in the village. Conclude your day’s trekking with a visit to the village of Giang Ta Chai. Return to Sa Pa. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 6 : Sapa / Lao Cai / Hanoi
Free day. You can visit the market daily SaPa where ethnic groups come to exchange their agricultural products or sell their traditional costumes facts carefully at the hands of women. Then you go to climb the mountain Ham Rong (Dragon jaw), where you can not miss the opportunity to take beautiful photos of the region. An interesting walk leads you to the theatre where you will have the opportunity to attend the spectacle of dancing five races of SaPa (optional for the group of over 10 persons).In late afternoon, transfer to Lao Cai station Lao Cai. Dinner. Embarking on board the train to Hanoi (air-conditioned sleeper car, compartment 4 people to share). Overnight on board. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 7 : Hanoi / Halong Bay
Arrive in Hanoi at 5 am and transfer to the city for breakfast. Depart Hanoi early morning for the world famous HalongBay, or bay of ‘the descending dragon’, a journey of approximately 3 1/2 hours. Listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, Ha Long Bay is a stunning limestone archipelago stretching over some 1500 square kilometers and comprising nearly 2000 islets. Board your junk for a memorable cruise through the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ gliding gently past fishing communities and hidden cave systems. Visit the ‘Cave of Surprises’, really a complex, where you can marvel at strangely formed stalactites and stalagmites. After anchoring at a nearby beach you can go for a swim or climb to the top of ThienCung (Heaven’s) island to get a panoramic view of the bay and surrounding islands. Delicious local seafood is served on board the boat, with other options available. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included. NB. Accommodation on junk in private cabin (with air conditioning and shower).

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Day 8 : Halong Bay / Hanoi / Hue
After breakfast, continue your journey cruise through the breathtaking scenery of BaiTu Long Bay. After disembarking, return to Hanoi by road in time for lunch. Enjoy a free afternoon exploring the city on foot or simply relax with a drink at the edge of HoanKiemlake. In the late afternoon transfer to NoiBai airport for your flight to Hue. On arrival in Hue, transfer to your hotel and check in. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 9 : Hue
The day is spent discovering Hue, capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 during the reign of the Nguyen dynasty emperors. Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1993, the Citadel is only one of many well-preserved historical sites in the city and its environs. Cruise in a sampan on the Huong River (Perfume River) to Thien Mu Pagoda, or pagoda of the Heavenly Lady, a Buddhist shrine dating from the mid-seventeenth century.  Located on the banks of the Huong River, it is easily recognizable by its octagonal tower. Continue your tour with a visit to the Citadel, seat of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors. Construction began in 1804 under the orders of the first Emperor Gia Long after the site had been selected using principles of geomancy. The site is composed of three sections; the capital city (ThanhKinh), the imperial city (Hoang Thanh) and the Forbidden City (Cam Thanh). It was largely destroyed in 1968 during the fighting that engulfed Hue following the Tet Offensive. Today, efforts are being made to restore and preserve this invaluable piece of heritage. Next, take a walk through Dong Ba market that offers an array of goods and produce, ranging from fresh vegetables to conical hats. Lunch at a local restaurant provides an opportunity to sample some of Hue’s famously refined cuisine.In the afternoon visit the intricately decorated tomb of KhaiDinh, which contains a beautiful altar and a bust of the king. Next, visit Minh Mang’s mausoleum located on the left bank of the Huong River, which represents the perfect harmony between nature and architecture. Return to Hue. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 10 : Hue / Hoian
Depart Hue for Hoi An along Highway 1 which links Hanoi to SaiGon. This drive is reputedly the most beautiful in all Vietnam, taking you past coastal fishing settlements, most notably Lang Co with its stunning lagoon backdrop. The drive also takes you over Hai Van Pass, or ‘pass of the ocean clouds’. En route stop in Da Nang for a visit to the informative ChamMuseum, which houses one of the largest collections of Cham artifacts in the world (optional).En route, stopping in a village of stone carvers at the foot of the MarbleMountain. Continue on to the delightful town of HoiAn which stands on the banks of the Thu Bon river, some thirty kilometers southeast of Da Nang. Around the fifteenth century, this old port town in the kingdom of Champa was known as Faifo. Check-in to hotel on arrival.  Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. The afternoon is spent strolling through the narrow streets of this atmospheric old town. This former port, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is full of architectural gems that show a range of influences. Visit the Japanese bridge, the temple of the genie of water,  theFujian temple and the fish market. Around the seventeenth century Hoi An was one of the busiest ports in South East Asia, with Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Dutch, French and English merchants visiting the town in search of spices, lacquer ware, and ceramics. Enriched by the proceeds of this trade many merchants constructed beautiful homes. One can admire these charming houses along Tran Phu Street, one of the oldest in Hoi An. Architecture in the old town tends to show an integration of Sino-Japanese influences in a local style. Most buildings share the same overall plan; built on two levels, they are constructed like a tube between two streets that run parallel. In the late afternoon take a boat ride on the ThuBonRiver for the chance to view some beautiful rural scenery, finishing at around sunset. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 11 : Hoian / Danang / Saigon
Transfer to the airport for your flight from Da Nang to SaiGon. On arrival transfer and check in to your hotel. Begin your exploration of this frenetic city with lunch at a local restaurant. Not only is SaiGon the most important economic centre in Vietnam, it also has some very imposing colonial architecture which belies in fascinating past. Almost a hundred years of French rule bestowed upon the city some pearls of colonial architecture. Visit the central post office, designed by Gustave Eiffel, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, inspired by its counterpart in Paris. Continue your city tour with a visit to District 5, formerly known as Cho Lon or ChinaTown. Cho Lon, or ‘big market’, with its congested streets is where most of the city’s ethnic Chinese population live. The district lives up to its name in the form of BinhTay wholesale market. Founded in 1778 the market sells a stunning array of goods and produce, ranging from fish to incense. Finish your city tour with a stop at ThienHau temple, otherwise known as ‘Temple of the Heavenly Lady’, to marvel at its intricate friezes and coils of incense. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 12 : Saigon / Tay Ninh / Cu Chi / Saigon
Excursion to TayNinh to visit the spectacular Cao Dai temple, the Cathedral of the religion of the same name. This sect, originating in Vietnam, draws freely from other philosophies of Christianity and Confucianism. The architecture of the cathedral is stunning, neither Eastern nor Western. You can attend the main ceremony at Noon (Remove your shoes before entering). Lunch at a local restaurant.Continue to visit Cu Chi, where the Viet Cong confused the Americans through a miracle of primitive technology. The guerrillas escaped from their enemies through a maze of resistant bomb tunnels that span nearly 200 km. Most of these tunnels are too narrow for Western visitors, who usually, rapidly become claustrophobic. But a small portion of the labyrinth has been enlarged to give tourists a glimpse of the city underground Cu Chi. Back in SaiGon at the end of the afternoon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 13 : Saigon / Caibe / Vinh Long / Cantho / Mekong Delta
Start early by road to Cai Be located 105 km south of SaiGon. Now boarding a boat on the Mekong through the floating markets of Cai Be, where you can admire displays of fruits and vegetables. Explore islands, visiting factories where they prepared delicious sweets based small coconut, popcorns, rice cakes and so on. Lunch in a garden of bonsai or in an old house. You will enjoy the famous fish "elephant ear". Continuation of visit by a small sampan ride through the shady canals to Vinh Long. You will cross over the parkway many small boats carrying fruits, vegetables, fish. Parkway in orchards, tasting tropical fruits. In late afternoon, transfer by road to Can Tho, an important rice in the Mekong Delta, known as the Capital of the West, located at the edge of HauGiang, arm the southern Mekong. Dinner. At night, it is good to stroll on the docks NinhKieu, bordering the river. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 14 : Cantho / Saigon
Parkway morning boat to the floating markets of Cai Rang, then continuation to the discovery of small channels through the islands covered with lush flora. Cycle the parkways and paths through orchards (optional), tasting tropical fruits. Lunch.Landing. Return to SaiGon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and accommodation included.

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Day 15 : Saigon / Departure
Free day until departure. Enjoy a last stroll to admire the colonial architecture, visit the colourful markets or take a trip through the frenetic streets in a cyclo. Free until departure from hotel. Transfer to the airport for departure flight. Breakfast included.

NB: The itinerary can be run in reverse.

End OF Service
 


Includes

All accommodation on twin/double sharing basis with daily ABF
All tours & transfers on Private Tour with English speaking guide, all entrance fees
Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch,D=Dinner), drinks excluded
 


Excludes

Air fares of any kind ( Domestic & International )
Services not mentioned above
Extra charges, personal expenses
Surcharge for peak/festival season if any (upon booking)
Optional tours/meals/transfers if any, drinks excluded
Travel insurance, visa fees
 


Departure

Daily

Note

No reservations have been made at this time Itinerary mentioned above is only tentative and is subject to guests’ flight timings. Rate quoted is nett & non commission-able Hotel Subject to change without notice