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CT-05: Highlights of Vietnam - from HCMC

Vietnam tour

This is a great Vietnam holiday to make as it is designed to include the best Vietnam tour attractions, most interesting activities, and combination of history, culture, religion, relaxation, nature, sightseeing, discovery...from Ho Chi Minh city - Cu Chi tunnels - Mekong Delta - Hoi An  - Hue - Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay







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Day 1 – Ho Chi Minh Arrival (G)

The arrival or departure gate of your Vietnam holiday, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly named Saigon, is the largest and most exciting city in Vietnam where you have the chance to encounter with exotic food,  French colonial architecture, memories of war and many interesting things to do during your Vietnam tour here.

Upon your arrival, your Vivutravel's private tour guide and driver greet you with the welcome board then escort you to your hotel (check in time at, but you can check in if the room is available). We choose the hotel which is centrally located and convenient for you to take a free walk around if you have time. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.


Day 2 – Ho Chi Minh City Tour (B, L) (G)

Ho Chi Minh city is considered the most interesting city during your Vietnam tour to learn about Vietnam past and present.

Starting at 08:00 am from your hotel in Sai Gon, you will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office. Travel along Dong Khoi street, see the Opera House and the Peoples’ Committee building built in 1897 by French architect Ferret Eugene, the 800 seat Opera House was used as the home of the Lower House Assembly of South Vietnam after 1956, continue to visit The Reunification Palace (Ex-Presidential Palace) which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Have lunch at the local restaurant.

In the afternoon, you will visit the War Remnants Museum formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes, this is a poignant display of the futility of war. The next place is Thien Hau Pagoda located in Cho Lon, the city’s Chinatown, this pagoda is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. The most impressive features of this structure are the intricately friezes and the carved tableaus towards the front of the pagoda. The impressive incense coils in the interior also make for some great photos. Another site can’t be missed is Binh Tay Market or called ‘Cho Lon’ can be roughly translated as ‘Big market’. Although the whole district lives up to its name a visit to this market really drives the point home. Selling everything from hats to dried squid, you are sure to enjoy a walk through the maze of stalls in this bustling market. Visit a Lacquer ware workshop. Drop off at hotel.


Day 3 – Ho Chi Minh – Tay Ninh – Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh (B, L) (G)

After breakfast, we invite you a very popular Vietnam tour to Tay Ninh to see the Great Holy See Temple, built in 1926, is considered one of the most striking structures in all of South-East Asia. It is the headquarters of the unique Cao Dai sect, a religion with a hybrid of Buddhism, Christianity & Confucianism. Above the entrance is the all-seeing holy eye – symbol of the sect. Visitors will attend the midday ceremony’s extravaganza to witness the daily mass held by the Cao Dai followers which is a fantastic experience. After lunch, proceed to Cu Chi to explore the amazing site where Viet Cong hid during the War. It is now a popular spot for both Vietnamese & foreign tourists - the network of over 200km of tunnels became legendary when they played a vital role in the War. In their heyday, the tunnels were functioning underground cities including numerous trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers & kitchens. There is plenty of evidence of the fierce battle that took place here during the 1960s when Cu Chi was a "Free Target Zone". Visitors can watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed before entering the tunnels. Spend the next hour exploring the tunnels. Afterwards, enjoy tea, cassava (guerrilla’s food in war time). Return to SaiGon.


Day 4 – Ho Chi Minh – My Tho – Ben Tre – Can Tho (B, L) (G)

Your Vietnam tour to Mekong Delta begins early at 7.40am, when you bus picks you up and you travel to My Tho. Upon arrival, you will be transferred into a Wooden Motor Boat, which will take you to the spectacular Unicorn Island. Here, you can experience quiet local villages and rural people working the rice fields. Make sure to snap some pictures of the exotic fisherman's port with its iconic stilt houses.

After a snack of some local tropical fruits, we'll head on to Turtle Island. Here you can get into a smaller row boat to experience a more local view of the river. We'll take you to a bee farm here where you can sample some of the tasty treats and listen to local folk music. If your sweet tooth hasn't been satisfied enough, we'll head to a coconut candy store, where you can see how local people make these great handcrafted treats and items from the coconuts around. We spend the night tonight in Can Tho.


Day 5 – Can Tho – Cai Rang floating market – Sai Gon – Flight to Danang – Hoi An (B, L) (G)

After breakfast, we will head to the largest marketplace in the area – Cai Rang floating market, the highlight of any tour in Mekong delta. Here you can cruise through the channels and check out what's on offer in this incredible market that exists entirely on the water!

From here, we'll head to visit a rice noodle making village, where you can learn how your daily noodles are made! Then we head down the river to the Monkey Bridge over the Delta, and find yet another glorious floating market for lunch. In the afternoon, we will return to Ho Chi Minh airport for the short flight with Vietnam airlines to Danang. Vivutravel's tour guide and driver meet and transfer you to the hotel. Free at leisure and overnight in Hoi An.


Day 6 – Hoi An My Son – Hoi An Walking Tour (B, L) (G)

Received Asian townscape award, the most favourite city award, top destination in Asia award, the highlight of any Vietnam tour, Hoi An ancient town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Asian trading port, is an outstanding material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over time in an international maritime commercial centre. Nowadays, Hoi An is more charming with red lantern at night and a perfect stop for shopping or beach break in Vietnam.

Today, we drive to visit My Son, a valley surrounded by mountains, was chosen as the site for a religious centre for the capital of the Champa Kingdom. The sanctuary area is one of the most famous Champa architectural and sculptural monuments in Viet Nam. Drive back to Hoi An for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, take a walk down the town's narrow streets to discover this rich heritage. Your first stops will be the Temple Kwan and Phuc Kien Temple located in Old Town. Following this you will visit two of the town's historic homes known as Tan Ky Ancient House and Phung Hung House. You will see the Japanese Bridge, the symbol of Hoi An as well as the town's cultural show rooms. Overnight in Hoi An.


Day 7 – Hoi An Free Day (B)

At leisure. Relax by the resort pool or optional is to rent a bicycle to ride into Hoi An to explore the picturesque central of town with its restored 18th century merchants’ houses. Hoi An also boasts some of the best silk shops, art galleries and handicraft shops in Vietnam as well as dozens of excellent restaurants serving the delicious local specialities. Overnight in Hoi An.


Day 8 – Hoi An – Hue by private vehicle (B, L) (G)

After breakfast, we leave Hoi An for Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam, well-known for magnific architecture, pagodas and royal tombs laid in small villages and surrounding hills. En route visit Cham Museum which contains the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world, and have break at Lang Co bay. Upon arrival in Hue, check in and free at leisure. Overnight in Hue.


Day 9 – Hue City Tour (B, L) (G)

The highlight of your Vietnam travel, Hue city is well - known as a place of many cultural heritages. Up to now, there is no place in Vietnam like Hue remaining a lot of originally historical vestiges..

Today, Hue city tour will guide you through the bustling streets, natural landscape and unique architecture including the perfume river, tombs, pagodas and many temples, hat making village, all of which have become major tourist attractions for visitors from all over the world.

Morning: Pick up at your hotel 7:30 am by private vehicle and visit:

1. Minh Mạng Tomb

2. Khai Dinh Tomb

3. Traditional Martial Art Van An

4. Tu Duc Tomb

5. Conicat Hat & Incense Making Village

Noon: Buffet lunch (50 traditional foods, Asia & Western foods).

Afternoon:Continue to visit the Citadel and Thien Mu Pagoda then get on the boat for a sight -seeing trip along the Perfume River. Back to town at 4:30 pm. Overnight in Hue.


Day 10 – Hue – Flight to Hanoi (B) (G)

After breakfast, we take you to the airport for the short flight to Hanoi with Vietnam airlines. Upon your arrival at Noi Bai International airport, Vivutravel's private tour guide and driver will meet you with the board sign then take you to the hotel (check in time at, but you can check in if the room is available). Hanoi, the top Vietnam holiday destination, is perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Its appeal is instant, with sweeping boulevards, tree-fringed lakes, ancient pagodas and a relatively compact historic centre.

Today is free at leisure for you to rest. Your guide will give you some Vietnam tour information and suggest you what to do during your free time. Overnight in Hanoi.


Day 11 – Hanoi City Tour – Train to Lao Cai (B, L, D) (G)

Hanoi is one of the most interesting cities to visit during your Vietnam holiday and today we spend a full day exploring the charming Hanoi City. The first stop is Ho Chi Minh Complex containing the mausoleum of the nation's founder Ho Chi Minh (closed in Monday & Friday), the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. We continue our visit to the Temple of Literture, then first university of Vietnam and end this morning city tour with a visit to the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple, which are some major highlights set by the beautiful West Lake.

Have lunch at a local restaurant

After that we visit the Museum of Ethnology (you can change to visit Museum of History, Museum of Military, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Women or Hilton Prison) then drive back to the town center to tale a walk along narrow streets of the diverse Ancient Quarter, the characterized by numerous narrow streets, which date from the 15th century, each one bears a name that reflects the business once conducted there. Examples of which are Silk Street, Rice Street, Paper Street, Jeweler’s Street and so on. This area now houses a variety of different other shops. Sit down and enjoy a glass of draught beer at the corner of Ta Hien street.

We will stop at the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. In front of this lake is the famous water puppet show at theatre where we will see a fantastic performance.

Have dinner at local restaurant and take a shower at a mini hotel before we transfer you to the train station for overnight train to Lao Cai (the city where we the train stops and it takes 45 minutes by car from Lao Cai – Sapa)


Day 12 – Lao Cai – Colorful Market – Sapa (B, L) (G)

Sapa touris definitely the spotlight of any Vietnam tour package and upon your arrival at Lao Cai train station, your private tour guide and driver will meet you with the welcome sign. This early morning, we have arranged a mini hotel for you to have shower and breakfast before driving to visit one of the below colourful markets where the ethnic groups gather to trade their local products, to meet friends to chat or drink away the troubles of life...The market is special occasion for you to experience a different but interesting culture, way of living...

Market days:

Tuesdays: Coc Ly Market(after the market we make boat trip along Chay River to enjoy beautiful landscapes and visit some local villages on the way before driving to Sapa)

Wednesdays: Cao Son Market

Thursdays: Lung Khau Nhin Market

Saturdays: Can Cau Market (On the way back we can visit the palace of the H'Mong King, walk to Ban Pho village in Bac Ha or make the boat trip on Chay River)

Sundays: Bac Ha Market, Muong Khuong Market or Muong Hum Market.

After the market, we drive back to Lao Cai for a stop to visit Thuong temple where you can learn a bit more about Vietnamese religion and take some memorable photos at Vietnam – China border gate. Continue to Sapa, check in and free at leisure. Another beautiful day of your Vietnam tour ended with joy and fun. Overnight in Sapa.


Day 13 – Sapa – Lao Chai – Ta Van – Giang Ta Chai Village – Sapa (B, L) (G)

Sapa is the dream Vietnam holiday destination for many people even the Vietnamese. There are 5 different ethnic groups in Sapa including the Tay, Day, Xa Pho, H'Mong, Red Dao to live together that make Sapa tour a great place to explore. Again, Fansipan is the highest peak of Vietnam – a life trip for adventurers, the villages by the side of Hoang Lien mountain range create picturesque sceneries, and terrace rice fields and valleys on its foot considered as the world's most beautiful heritage.

Today, we drive to Lao Chai village of the H'Mong minority and start to walk down the amazing Muong Hoa valley to experience their life and take wonderful photos. During the trip, you can visit some of the local family on the way, learn how to plant rice, how to make rice wine, how to make cloth, how is their wedding or funeral tradition.... Continue to Ta Van village of the Day people where we stop in a local family to try some tea, have picnic lunch before trekking to Giang Ta Chai village of the Red Dao minority where you are picked you by our private vehicle back to Sapa. (We can arrange this Sapa tour flexibly for you. Depend on you wish, we will take a long or short trek). Overnight in Sapa.


Day 14 – Sapa – Silver Waterfall – Ta Phin Village – Lao Cai – Train back to Hanoi (B, L) (G)

After breakfast, our Sapa tour drives you to Silver Waterfall – one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vietnam with more than 100 meters high, white water poured down the stream . The scenery along the way is nice with the pine forest and the 'su su' spreading over the hills. After cooling yourself in the waters and scenery we drive a little bit more to visit the "Heaven Gate" where "earth meets heaven". Time to enjoy beautiful sceneries of the mountains and valleys. Back to Sapa to rest (check out at 12:00). Free time at leisure until we pick you up for the last visit to Ta Phin village of the Red Dao minority then continue to Lao Cai train station for an overnight train to Hanoi. We do hope that you have enjoyed your Vietnam tour in Sapa and wish to welcome you back.


Day 15 – Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise (B, L, D) (G)

The top attraction and a must for any Vietnam tour package, Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Because of their precipitous nature, most of the islands are uninhabited and unaffected by a human presence. The site's outstanding scenic beauty is complemented by its great biological interest.

This early morning, upon your arrival back in Hanoi, we have arranged a mini hotel for you to have shower and breakfast. Today, your Vietnam Tour will give you an unique experience to the spectacular bay – Halong. It is a three-hour drive to famous Ha Long Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders. Views of sailing junks navigating past over 3000 limestone islands and rocky outcrops jutting out of the bay are nothing short of spectacular. We travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where we board a boat for an exploration of the bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available), as well as spending a night on board. We visit one cave in the area and, in the warmer months, there is a chance to enjoy a swim. Conditions may be somewhat more communal compared to staying in a hotel, however it is a wonderful experience to be spending a night on the bay – weather permitting, the views at sunset are incredible. Bedding and towels are provided. All boats used by Peregrine have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning. There may also be the chance to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) on Halong Bay.


Day 16 – Halong Bay Cruise – Hanoi (Brunch) (G)

Do not forget to get up early to enjoy the sunrise from the sea. This morning, you can join Ta Chi class on sundeck. Continue cruising before getting back to the pier where your guide and driver are waiting for the drive back to Hanoi. Stop on the way at "Yen Duc" village to experience the living space of the Vietnamese and if you have time, let visit Con Son pagoda to learn more about Vietnamese history and culture. Check in and overnight in Hanoi.


Day 17 – Hanoi Departure (B) (G)

Day is free at leisure until Vivutravel's tour guide and driver take you back to the airport for your departure flight home, or the next destination. Vivutravel would like to thank you so much for your traveling with us. We wish you all the best and hope to see you again!

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