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CT-09: Exploring Vietnam from Hanoi

Vietnam tourThis is the most beautiful Vietnam tour with visit to the top attractions of Vietnam including Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay - Hue - Hoi An - My Son holy land - Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Mekong Delta. Extension to Phu Quoc island or Mui Ne beach is on requested.







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Day 1 – Hanoi Arrival (G)

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 2 – Hanoi City Tour (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 3 – 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 4 – 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 5 – Sapa – Silver Waterfall – Ta Phin Village – Lao Cai (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 6 – 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 7 – Halong Bay Cruise – Hanoi – Flight to Hue (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. Transfer to Hanoi airport for the short flight to Hue, one of the top destinations in your Vietnam tour.  Upon your arrival, meet your tour guide and private transfer to your hotel. Check in and free at leisure. Overnight in Hue.

Day 8 – 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 7:30am 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 9 – Hue – Hoi An by private vehicle (B, L) (G)

After breakfast, another great day of your Vietnam holiday drives you to Hoi An. The exciting part will be Hai Van Pass which is one of the most scenic hillside roads in Vietnam. When braving the steep winding roads of a paved mountain pass, you will have a chance to discover peace, quiet and history along the way then have break at Lang Co bay which is 42.5km in length and has been officially a member of the World’s Most Beautiful Bays Club. In Danang, let spend time visiting the Cham Museum, the largest collection of Cham sculpture and artwork in the world and Marble Mountain, a famous religious site before Hoi An. On arrival, check in and free at leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10 – 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 11 – 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 12 – Hoi An – Danang – Flight to Ho Chi Minh Arrival (B, L) (G)

After breakfast, we drive you to Danang for the short flight to Ho Chi Minh city, 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 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. Overnight in HCMC.

Day 13 – 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 14 – 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 15 – Can Tho – Cai Rang floating market – Chau Doc (B, L) (G)

Want to explore Mekong in depth and see a real Vietnam during your Vietnam holiday? Chau Doc will be the next stop. Depart early, ideally at around 6.00pm, to travel by boat to the fruit gardens in Can Tho and the floating market at Cai Rang.  Then drive to Sa Dec, a romantic and charming little Mekong town, for a walk through the lively and authentic local market before a visit to the house of ‘The Lover’ of the famous love story written by French novelist Marguerite Duras.  The family house of ‘The Lover’ in this apparently autobiographical novel has been lovingly and faithfully restored and you will lunch here.
After lunch, drive from Sa Dec to Chau Doc, arriving at Chau Doc at around 5.00pm.
Overnight in Chau Doc.

Day 16 – Chau Doc Tour (B, L) (G)

Depart at around 8.00am for the Chau Doc River Life tour.  Cruise along the Mekong on a traditional sampan and discover the role of this immense river in local trading when you visit a floating market.

Gain an unique insight into the history and culture of the Muslim Chams with your visit to a Cham village. The Kingdom of Champa encompassed an area of modern-day Vietnam from Hue in the centre to the Mekong Delta in the south from the 7th to 18th centuries.  See traditional Cham stilt homes and a local mosque to understand more about this ages-old culture.

Continue your river cruise with visits to floating fish farms and local houses.  Experience a cruise through the Vinh Te Canal, an 87 km long canal which stretches from Chau Doc to the South China Sea at Ha Tien.  Completed in 1824, the canal was built using the labour of 80,000 Vietnamese and Cambodian workers and is a vital piece in Vietnam’s transportation network.  The canal is also geopolitically important since it shadows the border between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lunch at a local restaurant in Chau Doc and then depart at 2.00pm for the drive to Tra Su Nature Reserve, an ecological haven for over 100 species of water bird and colonies of bats.  This protected forest nature reserve abounds with flora and fauna.  Enjoy a walk through the deep forest, cruise by small boat amongst half-submerged trees and experience the stillness and serenity of this unspoilt natural environment.  Your expert guide will help to locate and identify bird, animal and plant life and give you an insight into the ecology of this undisturbed reserve.
On the way to Tra Su Nature Reserve, you’ll visit a Khmer village to see sugar being produced by hand from palm trees.  The Khmer (Cambodian) minority in the Mekong Delta favours work with palm trees because all parts of the tree – stem, trunk, leaves and flowers – can be used in some way.
Return to Chau Doc around 5.00pm.  
Overnight at Chau Doc.

Day 17 – Chau Doc – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L) (G)

After breakfast, we drive all the way back to Ho Chi Minh City. Lunch break on the way, check in on arrival and free at leisure. Overnight in HCMC.

Note: We have 2 options for you this day.
1- Take the morning boat trip from Chau Doc - Phnom Penh
2. Transfer to Can Tho to take the flight to Phu Quoc and continue your Vietnam holiday.

Day 18 – Ho Chi Minh Departure (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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VIVUTRAVEL - Reputable Tour Operator in Vietnam Since 2006 - Award For Quality Service in 2013!
Head Office: Suite 405, B13 Building, Sai Dong, Long Bien,
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