Day 1: Saigon Arrival
Our representative/tour guide will meet and greet you at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City, which is formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a sprawling metropolis that is home to over 5 million people and a fast-paced city full of contrasts as street vendors selling fruit and vegetables can be seen next to glitzy western-style bars and boutiques. Saigon’s history is only 300 years old. In 1859 the city was captured by the French and became the capital of Cochin China. From 1956 until its dramatic demise in April 1975 it was the capital of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is very much the heart of Vietnamese business and entrepreneurs. And yet the city still retains its connections to the past, particularly in Cho Lon, Saigon’s Chinatown. Here dozens of elegant temples and pagodas can be seen. The French also left their mark with some fine colonial-era buildings such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Overnight at hotel in Saigon.
Day 2: Saigon - Mekong Delta - Can Tho (Meals: B, L)
We will start the trip at 07: 30 am and head for Vinh Long province. Boarding our beautiful traditional boat. This five hour river cruise takes you through Vietnam’s most productive agricultural area. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of coconut palms, sugar-cane groves and fruit orchards from the vessel as you head to the Cai Be floating market. Here you can cruise through the colourful barges full of fruits and vegetables and then proceed to local home factories such as rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies, and longans drying processing. The trip continues along the Mekong canals to Dong Hoa Hiep Island located between Vinh Long and Cai Be. Along the way you will find the local people engaged in their daily tasks and see brightly coloured Khemer pagodas. Stops on the way can be made upon request for particular visits or photos making. These evergreen islands among the Mekong River still remain unknown to many people. Arrive at La Residence de Phu An resort where you will be welcomed and served Vietnamese culinary delights. You will then walk along a narrow canal to an air-conditioned vehicle that will transport you to Can Tho. Stay at hotel in Can Tho for a night.
Day 3: Mekong Delta - Saigon (Meals: B, L, D)
Design your day tour with 3 options as follow
Option 1 (Bird Watching): Experience the variety of life of the Mekong Delta. Visit the bamboo basket handicraft village and admire the natural beauty of the countryside environment. Discover a vintage rice mill and finally come face to face with thousands of birds at the Thot Not bird sanctuary, one of the wonders of South Vietnam!
Option 2 (Biking Mekong Delta): Depart from the Hotel jetty on a traditional boat with bicycles on board. Cross the Hau river, then cruise on Cai Von canal and stop over for the visit of an incense making community.
Continuing by boat you will arrive at a tiny village. Finally, start biking through the lush countryside. It's really a big challenge on the rough trails and dikes along immense rice fields. On this trip you can experience a lot of rustic charms and the simplicity of farmers' life: funny monkey bridges, water buffalos, duck keepers, fishermen and more.
Option 3 (Cooking Tour): Take this wonderful opportunity to learn the art of Vietnamese cuisine either at the resort or at some exotic locations such as a rice field, the Binh Thuy ancient house or on our converted traditional rice barge, the Lady Hau. Visit the market first to choose the ingredients and enjoy the lunch you prepared. A gastronomic journey through the culture and history of Vietnam.
Day 4: Saigon City Tours (Meals: B)
Our city tour will help you to see the best of Saigon. In the morning we visit the historic Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum, followed by the architectural treats of French colonial Notre Dame Cathedral and the Post Office. In the afternoon. In the afternoon, we drive to Cu Chi district, 50 km to the Northwest of Saigon City. On arrival watch a video presentation on the construction of the tunnels before making your way into the tunnels. Here you can spend around an hour exploring the maze of tunnels and also view the various mantraps on display and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers. This unique experience gives a fascinating insight into what underground life in the war must have been like. The return journey to Ho Chi Minh City. Free time at leisure or shopping at Ben Thanh Market nearby. Overnight at hotel in Saigon.
Day 5: Saigon - Da Lat
A short flight takes you to Dalat City - The former French colonial hill station town of Dalat was founded over 100 years ago by a French scientist, Dr Alexander Yersin. In the afternoon, we will visit the Summer Palace of the last emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai, and Hang Nga Guesthouse, known as the ‘Crazy House’ to locals because of its bizarre architecture. You may also wish to pay a visit to one of Dalat’s most notable residents, Buddhist monk/artist, Vien Thuc. Overnight at hotel in Dalat.
Day 6: Da Lat Sightseeing Tours (Meals: B)
Option 1 (Kayaking): A trip to the Highlands wouldn't be complete without exploring the beautiful lakes in the region. Nothing beats the stunning views of mountains and forests from the serenity of Tuyen Lam Lake. Head deep into the jungle on small rivers and tributaries that feed into the lake. Our flat water kayaks offer the stability of a canoe and the speed of a more traditional kayak. Get out into areas that are accessible only by water and see some of the natural beauty and wildlife Vietnam has to offer. Back to hotel and stay overnight in Dalat City.
Option 2 (Biking & Kayaking): Stroll through the pine forest and hike to the top of Pinhatt Mountain (1, 700 meters) for a view of beautiful Tuyen Lam lake. Enjoy a boat ride across the lake to visit Vietnam most beautiful pagoda. A good mix of pine forest, coffee plantations, and jungle on this trek. Moderate 4 hour walk with one strenuous uphill climb.
Option 3 (Easy Trek): Stroll through the pine forest and hike to the top of Pinhatt Mountain (1, 700 meters) for a view of beautiful Tuyen Lam lake. Enjoy a boat ride across the lake to visit Vietnam most beautiful pagoda. A good mix of pine forest, coffee plantations, and jungle on this trek. Moderate 4 hour walk with one strenuous uphill climb.
Option 4 (Pinhatt & Tuyen Lam Bike & Hike): Bike the lake trails and hike to the top of Pinhatt Mountain. This mixed activity combines a great off road ride on single track through pine forest with a hike up to one of the best lookout spots in Dalat. We bike from Dalat down to Tuyen Lam Lake, ditch the bikes before hiking up the mountain, have lunch and then ride back up to Dalat.
Day 7: Da Lat - Nha Trang (Meals: B, L)
Option 1 (For regular tourists): We will head eastward, making our way towards the coast. We’ll pass through pine forests and small market garden communities before reaching the top of Ngoan Muc Pass where we begin our 18 kilometer descent down to the coastal plains below. If you look to the left from here you may see where the old rack and pinion railway made its way down the range. Looking forward, you may just be able to make out the coastline situated 50 kilometers in the distance. We will reach to Nha Trang City in the afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Nha Trang.
Option 2 (For biking Enthusiasts): This ride to Nha Trang starts with a 45 minute transfer 33 kilometers to the north east of Dalat on a new road and through the newest national park in Vietnam (Bidoup Nui Ba). It offers fantastic cycling in the highlands as well as down a 28 kilometer pass to the coast. The first section of the ride starts in pine forest and rolls through the hills with beautiful views of farms, countryside and Nui Ba Mountain. There is one final 3 kilometer climb to the top of the pass before some serious downhill. The 28 kilometer, uninterrupted downhill section is the longest section of continuous downhill we offer. After reaching the bottom of the pass we have a picnic style lunch by the side of the river. Faster riders may have lunch at the top of the pass before the downhill. The section of riding after lunch offers a beautiful sampling of country living in Vietnam, passing through small villages and farms. This section of riding, although pleasant, can be challenging as the hills roll continuously. Average riding distance is 70 kilometers with an option to ride more, or less. The support vehicle can be used at any time by tired riders and is used to also transport luggage and provisions. Overnight at hotel in Nha Trang.
Day 8: Nha Trang River Tours (Meals: B, L)
Cruising down river and enjoying the village peaceful life along the banks of Cai River. The trip begins with a visit to the Po Nagar Temples, an outstanding example of Cham architecture, situated on Mount Cu Lao where you can have panoramic views of the surrounding. From here board the riverboat for the leisurely cruise cruise visiting Cu Lao Fish market. Take a horse carriage to visit a wide range of local handicrafts in production, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery that unfolds along the banks, experience and make acquaintance with local people in their natural scenery & daily life. Next stop will be a short visit to Pagoda Orphanage where it shelters and cares for over 120 abandoned, orphaned or street children. We will visit a family of local people and see a typical Vietnamese country house in the countryside. Transfer you back to the city. Overnight at hotel in Nha Trang
Day 9: Nha Trang - Hoi An (Meals: B)
At Leisure and then you will be taken to the airport in Nha Trang to take 1 hour flight to Danang City, famous for East Sea and the former R&R for US servicemen. Pick up upon arrival and transfer to Hoi An. Visit the fascinating Cham Museum, famous East Sea and the Marble Mountains en route to charming Hoi An. Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site. At leisure for the rest of day and overnight in Hoi An.
Day 10: Hoi An (Meals: B)
In the morning, you will enjoy a walking tour with first stop is the bustling fish and vegetable market and then we will go through the Old Quarters to see the town's landmarks of Japanese Covered Bridge, ancient Assembly Hall, Phuc Kien Temple and then we take a river trip and you will enjoy the scenery along the Thu Bon River and the general view of Hoi An Ancient Town. It transforms itself at night, when many of the shops hang lanterns outside. We will transfer you back to the town and rest of time at your own leisure. Hoi An is well know for souvenir shopping with great prices and also famous for its large number of tailor shops, so if you want to get a cloth tailor made to measure, this is the time to do it. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 11: Hoi An - Hue (Meals: B)
This morning we drive to Hue, we will cross Hai Van Pass where you will have magnificent view of the East Sea. Stop at Lang Co to have break. Check-in hotel in Hue City. Hue served as Vietnam's capital under the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945 and the city’s regal past can still be seen inside the walls of the Citadel and the Imperial City. Both were heavily damaged during the Tet Offensive of 1968 when the Hue served as Vietnam's capital under the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945 and the city’s regal past can still be seen inside the walls of the Citadel and the Imperial City. Touring the ancient Imperial Citadel. Back to Hotel and the rest of time at your own leisure. Overnight at in Hue city.
Day 12: Hue – Hanoi (Meals: B)
Morning boat trip on Perfume river to visit Thien Mu pagoda. Touring the countryside around Hue is a great way to discover the "real" Vietnam. The cultural, religious, and educational centre of Vietnam, Hue has a lot of historic sites waiting to be discovered. Visit the 500-year old village of Phuoc Tich with its worship halls and communal houses for a taste of ancient Vietnam. And stop at the historic Thanh Toan Bridge, one of two covered bridges remaining in the country and then we will drive to visit handicraft village of Phu Cam - the one of the best-known places for making conical hats for hundreds years. This guided tour will teach you more about these hidden gems and their legacy, as nearly all of them have direct links with the old Imperial Court. Visiting beautiful Garden Houses in Hue. The houses are not only attractive, but they also are a great way to learn about the traditional beliefs and rituals of the Vietnamese people. This evening fly to Hanoi. Pick up upon arrival and transfer to the city for hotel check-in. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 13: Hanoi City Tours (Meals: B)
This comprehensive day tour takes in all of Hanoi's essential sites. In the morning we will visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and historical presidential relics and then the Temple of Literature nearby. Afterwards we head to Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake. The Ngoc Son temple is set on a tiny island on the Hoan Kiem Lake and dates back to the 13th century. The lake itself is a picturesque focal point of Hanoi, frequented by tourists and locals alike. In the afternoon, we will visit Museum of Ethnology, widely acknowledged as the best in the country which houses a display dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic minority peoples. Then we will take 1 hour by cyclo ride through Hanoi's Old Quarters to experience daily life of people who are living in the oldest parts of the city, Enjoying the famous traditional water puppetry show in Thang Long Theatre where you will have chance to get a general picture of the daily activities typical to Vietnam's rural areas. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
Day 14: Hanoi - Halong Bay (Meals: B, L, D)
Morning depart for Halong Bay, we go through the scenic countryside. The wondrous Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. Heading out of the town we embark on a boat for an exploration of the legendary Halong Bay. This exciting five hour cruise will provide us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3, 000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karsts formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. Stay overnight on the Junk Cruise
Day 15: Halong Bay - Hanoi (Meals: B)
Waking up and enjoy the sun rising over the Bay. After breakfast, visit beautiful limestone grotto then back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Our car will pick you up at the pier and transfer back to Hanoi. Free at leisure or make your own exploration to the city. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
Day 16: Hanoi Departure (Meals: B)
Free at leisure until transferring to Hanoi airport to take departure flight. Home sweet home. End of service