Check-in Date
Check-out Date
Room Type
   
Adults per room Childen per room Number of Rooms

Essential Vietnam - 9 Days

Date post: 24/04/2014
Travel from South to North on a 9-day tour, exploring Vietnam’s geography and culture. Start in Vietnam’s modern metropolis, Saigon then travel north to the sleepy riverside town of Hoian. Discover the ancient capital of Hue, before immersing yourself in Hanoi’s colonial charm and conclude your tour with an overnight boat cruise among the towering limestone islands of Halong Bay.
 

Day 1: Saigon Arrival.
Welcome to Vietnam’s financial hub: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Arrive in the late morning and enjoy an orientation tour through Saigon’s bustling streets en route to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to recover from jet lag and explore the city on your own.
Meals: N/A.
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon.
Day 2: Saigon City Tour.
Enjoy a full day to tour Saigon’s diverse attractions. Start with a visit to Saigon’s China Town, then learn about traditional Vietnamese medicine at the FITO Museum and browse through the amazing array of goods at Ben Thanh Market. Stop for lunch then continue on the city tour with a visit to the War Remnants Museum and former Presidential Palace. You conclude the day exploring the city’s French colonial architecture, stopping at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon.
Day 3: Saigon – Mekong Delta – Saigon.
Today you travel to the Mekong River Delta on a day trip to explore the rich culture and lush fluvial landscape. Your driver and guide will meet you at your hotel and take you to Cai Be. Start your tour with a visit to Cai Be’s colorful floating market, cruising among the local barges stuffed-full of fruits and vegetables. Visit some local workshops then enjoy a delicious lunch served in the cool shade of An Binh Island’s orchards. In the afternoon, take a traditional rowboat and venture deeper into the countryside, floating through narrow canals to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Stop at a nursery garden to discover how farmers along the delta produce their world famous fruits and vegetables. The cruise ends around 3:30 PM in Vinh Long. Your driver will meet you at the dock and take you back to Saigon.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon.
Day 4: Saigon – Danang – Hoian.
After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your internal flight to Danang. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport and take you on the short drive to the sleepy riverside town, Hoian. Take a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the ancient quarter, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Hall, the 200-year old Tam Ky ancestral house and the famous Japanese Bridge. End the day with a relaxing sunset boat trip.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.
Day 5: Hoian – Danang – Hue.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel then check-out and drive over the 500m-high Hai Van pass to Hue. Enjoy a stop at the scenic Lang Co Beach for a drink before continuing on to Hue - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Vietnam’s former capital. Spend the afternoon on a leisurely walking tour through the ancient city. Visit the Royal Citadel, the Imperial Museum, as well as the Mausoleum of King tu Duc (a replica of the king’s palace built for the next reincarnation of the king).
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue.
Day 6: Hue Fly to Hanoi.
Spend the morning on a private boat cruise down the romantic Perfume River to visit the Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda), Dong Ba Market and the ornate Minh Mang's tomb. Drive to Phu Bai Airport to catch your short flight to Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi. Upon arrival, get transferred to your hotel in the city centre. Free at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi City Tour.
Today you have a full day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. With its wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and ancient oriental pagodas, Hanoi is an eclectic mix that offers something for everyone. Your city tour will take you to Hanoi’s key sites: the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and stilt house), the Presidential Palace, the nearby One Pillar Pagoda; the Temple of Literature; West Lake including the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda & Quan Thanh Temple; and one of the city's museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum). Later in the afternoon, enjoy a traditional Water Puppet Performance – a unique folk art that originated a thousand years ago during the Ly dynasty. A water puppet show depicts the daily activities in Vietnamese rural life as well as important historical events and ancient legends. Each water puppet is hand-carved and given five layers of lacquer paint to protect the puppets from the water and to add vital colors to the performance.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.
Day 8: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, before setting out on a 3 to 4 hour drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Halong Bay.
* The following Halong Bay itinerary is a sample for our standard service on a 3 star junk/ cruise. Different programs are available through our luxury cruise itineraries on the Violet, Jasmine, Ginger, Paradise or Au Co. Please contact us for more details.*
Spend 24 hours on a traditional Junk Cruise in the amazing bay: a natural wonderland composed of jutting limestone islands and sparkling turquoise waters. Arrive at the dock around noon and board your junk. Savor a gourmet lunch of fresh seafood onboard as sailing out into the mystical bay. In the afternoon, cruise around some of Halong’s many islands, including Dinh Huong and Ga Choi. Along the way visit one of the bay’s 3 largest caves (Thien Cung, Dau Go or Sung Sot). Stop at an island cove with a sheltered white-sand beach and take a dip in the warm waters of the Gulf of Tonkin (weather permitting). Pass the night on your junk, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of calm waters.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Accommodation: on cruise.
Day 9: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure.
Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea, before setting out to explore the nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk for brunch then take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of Bai Tu Long Bay as you navigate back to Halong City, where your driver will meet you at the dock and take you to Noi Bai International Airport to catch your departure flight home.
Meals: Brunch.
Accommodation: N/A.

Tour

Location map