Marvellous Vietnam Tour

HanoiLao CaiSapaQuang NinhDanangHueHo Chi Minh CityTay Ninh
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Trip code: ALS-VN13MV

Departure Point: Hanoi, Vietnam

Travel Styles: Classic Journeys

Duration: 13 days / 12 nights

Trip overview

Experience the charm of Hanoi historic capital, the scenic impressive sight of Halong Bay Natural World Heritage Site, the colourful combination of ethnic minorities in mountainous Sapa, the ancient capital of Hue, the charming Hoi An ancient town, the historic Cu Chi Tunnels, the vibrant Ho Chi Minh City and the exciting river life in the Mekong River Delta. This is a wonderful trip designed for those who want to discover the very best of Vietnam, but only have limited time.

Tour highlights

  • Discover the outstanding destinations through the parts of Vietnam
  • Explore the underground labyrinth of Cu Chi tunnel
  • Live in the UNESCO’s World Heritage sightseeing of Hue and Hoi An.
  • Mingle sailing in-depth of thousand islands and islets in Halong Bay
  • Understand more local culture and chill out time
  • Enjoy Vietnamese culture through its friendly people in ethnic markets in Sapa

Trip Inclusions

    •  Accommodation in shared twin room with air-condition (AC) and private bathroom
    •  Meals as stated in the programme (B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner)
    •  All indicated transportation
    • Experienced local English speaking guide
    •  All entrance fees to indicated destinations
    •  Drinking water and cold towels available on the vehicles

Trip Exclusions

    • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
    • International airfare to / from Vietnam (quoted separately, if requested)
    • Optional tours
    • Surcharges for other language guides
    • Surcharges for night-time services, especially applied for transfers with arrivals after 23:00 hrs and arrivals or departures before 06:00 hrs.
    • Surcharges for Lunar New Year (TET) holiday
    • Personal travel insurance
    • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
    • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
    • Other beverage
    • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
    • Visa application and visa stamp fees at Vietnamese embassies overseas and/ or upon arrival (Please note that a visa is compulsory for most nationalities.)
    • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme

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    Tour itinerary

    1
    Day 1 Hanoi Arrival (N/A)

    Our driver welcomes you on arrival at Noi Bai International Airport then transfer to your hotel.

    Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some of Aisa's most colonial architecture, many peaceful lakes, parks and oriental temples. The rest of the day at your leisure or you can join our interesting daily excursions in and around Hanoi.

    Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi

    2
    Day 2 Hanoi - Lao Cai (B/L)

    You will commence your half day trip with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Complex (*) which contains Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and museum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace as well as the One Pillar Pagoda.

    Then you will visit the Temple of Literature – Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070 and was originally built as a temple to Confucius.  From this site you will have a transfer to visit the Ngoc Son Temple set on a tiny island on the Hoan Kiem Lake, the history of which is dated back to the 13th century. You will enjoy a typical lunch at a local restaurant before having a transfer back to your hotel or continue exploring Hanoi on your own.

    (*) Closed on Mondays and Fridays. Annually closed time for maintenance is October and November.

    In the evening, you will be transferred to the Hanoi Railway Station for the overnight train to Lao Cai.

    Accommodation on night train

    3
    Day 3 Lao Cai - Ethnic Market - Sapa (B/L)

    Upon arrival to the border town of Lao Cai, have breakfast before driving to visit a local market where the Flower Hmong, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay, and Nung hill tribe groups gather. The market offers a variety of local products including its interesting animal market where pot-bellied pigs, cows and buffalos can be seen.

    Note: These local markets are not held on Mondays or Fridays; arrival to Lao Cai should be planned outside these non-market days.

    Continue with a short walk to a hill-tribe village. Visit some local homes to learn about the daily life of these tribes as well as their culture and traditions

    Afterwards, transfer by road up through the mountains to the former hill station town of Sapa, a base for tourists visiting the mountainous northwest. In the terraced hills and mountains of this area, the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the vibrant colors donned by its hill tribe populations.

    Accommodation at hotel in Sapa

    4
    Day 4 Sapa - Local Ethnic Villages - Hanoi (B/L)

    Enjoy breakfast at your hotel.

    A short journey of 20 minutes by car takes you to Muong Hoa valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in northwest Viet Nam. Descending into the valley by foot you will see the largest terraced rice paddy in the Sa Pa area (If you visit the valley between May and October, there is a chance to experience and observe how the locals plant and harvest rice).

    The walk takes you from Lao Chai village of the Black H'mong minority to Ta Van village of the Zay minority, providing the opportunity to see the different traditions and costumes of the two ethnic minority groups. Return to Sa Pa by car.

    Enjoy lunch at your hotel in Sapa.

    Mid-afternoon, take a transfer with sharing bus from your hotel in Sapa back to Hanoi centre. You will reach your hotel in the Old Quarter around 8:30PM.

    Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi

    5
    Day 5 Hanoi - Halong Bay (B/L/D)

    07:45' - 08:15': Pick up at your hotel in Ha Noi by shuttle bus. After that we leave Hanoi for a 3.5 hour to reach Halong Bay. At Tuan Chau International Marina, a tender boat will take you to our Halong Phoenix Cruiser.

    A refreshing welcome drink is served and you can check into your cabin. When you are putting all of your stuffs into your cabin, our boat starts gliding out to the centre of the World Heritage Site. Your lunch, at the boat’s restaurant, is would be served with fresh local seafood, but vegetable menu is always available at your request.

    From the marina area, our cruiser passes by Dog Head and Swan Islands, Ba Hang Floating villages (with floating houses), Incense Burner then Thumb Islands before reaching to Luon cave area for kayaking.

    We have time to gear up for one hour kayaking around Luon cave area .Our guide will show you some basic safety guidelines and techniques to paddle before helping you to sit on our brand new sit-on-top kayaks.After that our boat will help you visit the Titop Island one hour for swimming, sun-bathing or getting a panoramic view on island peak.

    As the sun sets over the bay, we head back to our cruise and relax. Coffee, tea and fruits will be available on the sundeck or you can order your favorite drink while our boat cruises to the night’s anchorage area.

    Dinner will be served with local seafood. After dinner you may choose to enjoy drinks from the bar or top deck or experience squid fishing before retiring.

    Accommodation on board in Halong Bay

    6
    Day 6 Halong Bay - Hanoi (B/L)

    Enjoy the morning view of the beautiful landscape with a cup of coffee or tea. Have breakfast in the fresh air.

    You will visit the impressive Cave of Halong Bay – Surprising Cave (Sửng Sốt) with your tour guide, a truly awesome and amazing cave to experience.

    Check out of your cabin and settle your bill as our boat begins cruising back to the harbor. Experience more views of Halong Bay such as Fighting Cocks Island (Symbol of Halong Bay), Incense Burner and Stone Dogs Islands.

    A cooking demonstration onboard shows you how to make authentic Vietnamese Spring rolls. You will learn about the recipes and techniques that create this popular dish of Vietnamese people.

    Lunch is served on board during cruising towards the harbor.

    Depart the Halong Phoenix Cruiser and travel by tender boat back to Tuan Chau International Marina where you then board the bus for your return journey to Hanoi. Arrive at your hotel around 17.00

    Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi

    7
    Day 7 Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An (B)

    Morning transfer to Noi Bai Airport to take early flight to Da Nang.

    Our driver will be waiting for you at the airport for another 1-hour transfer to Hoi An Ancient Town. Check in your hotel in Hoi An.

    Afternoon half day tour

    The guide will welcome you at hotel lobby. Walk to the old town, buy entrance tickets and begin the tour. Start visiting the Temple Kwan, Phuc Kien Temple, Tan Ky Ancient House, Phung Hung house, Japanese Bridge and cultural show rooms in Hoi An.

    After your walking tour, if you have free time, you can do shopping at the old town and take photos by yourself. Guide will take you back to the hotel.

    Accommodation at hotel in Hoi An

    8
    Day 8 Hoi An - Hue (B)

    The day is free at leisure for you to explore local cuisine and do some shopping on your own.

    Afternoon drive to Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam. Stop in Danang to visit the Cham Museum which contains the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. Arrival to Hue, check in hotel and free evening.

    Accommodation at hotel in Hue

    9
    Day 9 Hue City Tour (B/L)

    We will pick you up from the hotel in Hue city. The tour will start with a visit to a hat and incenses stick making village, you will have the opportunity to learn the traditional job of people here and you can buy some for souvenirs…

    Next is a short drive to visit Tu Duc tomb: Tu Duc designed the exquisitely harmonious tomb, which was constructed between 1864 and 1867, for use both before and after his death. Dinh tomb: unlike Hue’s other tombs, being a synthesis of Vietnamese and European elements. Even the stone faces of the mandarin honor guards are endowed with a mixture of Vietnamese and European features.

     

    For lunch, you will be back to the city to enjoy Vietnamese food.

     

    In the afternoon, you will visit the Hue citadel: the tallest flag pole of Vietnam (37m-hight), Ngo Mon gate where Bao Dai ended Nguyen dynasty, Thai Hoa Palace (Palace of Supreme Harmony), Hall of the Mandarins, Forbidden Purple city… Thien Mu pagoda: built on a hillock overlooking the Perfume river, this pagoda is an icon of Vietnam and the symbol of Hue city. Cruise the beautiful perfume river by dragon boat viewing daily life along the way. Visit some villages and do not miss viewing sunset on the river. At the end, you will be transfer back to your hotel and the rest of day is free at leisure.

    Accommodation at hotel in Hue

    10
    Day 10 Hue - Ho Chi Minh City (B)

    After breakfast, you will be transferred to Phu Bai Airport for a morning flight to Ho Chi Minh city, the most dynamic city of Vietnam, a Mecca of commerce and also a city with a chequered history and rich culture. Our driver will be waiting for you at Tan Son Nhat airport and take you to your hotel for checking in.

    Afternoon start the city tour, Alsimexco tour guide and driver pick you up at the hotel for visiting Re-Unification Palace, the former Presidential Palace.

    You then visit the nearby Central Post Office, the Notre Dame Cathedral, which are in Romanesque art and French-style, and the War Remains Museum, where you can have a closer look of the Vietnam War. The tour will finish at your hotel.

    Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

    11
    Day 11 Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels (B/L)

    In the morning, visit Cu Chi Tunnels (70 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City), once time was called "Tunnel rats" by American soldiers, used the evocative term "black echo" to describe the experience of being in the tunnels. During the Vietnam War, the network of tunnels in the Cu Chi district linked VC support bases over a distance of some 250 kilometers, from the outskirts of Saigon all the way to the Cambodian border.

    On the way to Cu Chi tunnels, you enjoy spectacular view of paddy fields. After that you will go to Ben Dinh tunnels. First you see documentary film about guerillas war in Cu Chi district. Here you can crawl through some of the safer areas of the tunnels, view command centers and booby traps, fire an AK-47 rifle on a firing range and even eat a meal featuring typical foods that soldiers living in the tunnels would have eaten.

    Then you walk around the tunnel area to see Bomb crates, underground bunkers, deadly traps,... Try tunnels to see how guerillas could live, fight and survive during the war. You can feel the atmosphere of war.

    Enjoy typical Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant.

    You will be back in Ho Chi Minh city in the early afternoon.

    Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

    12
    Day 12 Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta (B/L)

    At 8:00am, the guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and bring you by car to your boat at our pier. The boat departs and you slip away from downtown Saigon via narrow canals, and enter the verdant green tributaries of the Mekong Delta. A light breakfast is served on board.

    Enjoy a brief stop at the ornate, overwater Tuong Van Pagoda, while your guide explains the importance Buddhism to many people of the Delta. Visit a bustling, colorful riverside market full of local curiosities, tropical fruits and all manner of fish and shellfish. Great photo opportunities!

    At 10:30am, reach the idyllic watery expanses of the Delta itself, known as the Delta of Nine Dragons for the 9 tributaries that splinter from the main Mekong River. Turn off the delta into small, winding canals of the Thu Thua area, shaded by a canopy of foliage as you drift along lazily.

    Depending on the route, you will visit a traditional riverside house with huge Burmese pythons as pets, a quaint Mekong village and surrounding rice paddies, and then a traditional farmhouse where you’ll sample coconuts and Mekong whisky.

    Or you will visit a local merchant and try a range of Mekong produce, and whisky and wine. You’ll walk along the banks of the river to a traditional rural Vietnamese house where 3 generations live, before exploring a charming village where you can try fresh coconuts from the tree. This variation provides fascinating insight into life in the Mekong Delta region.

    Please note: Our tours are flexible. Your guide may combine parts from both routes.

    At 12:30pm, enjoy a traditional Mekong Delta lunch at a local pagoda prepared by our private chef. After lunch, you will visit an orphanage run by Buddhist monks. Following is a visit a colorful Cao Dai Temple. Around 02:30pm, return to the speedboat and depart for Ho Chi Minh City. 04:00pm, arrive back in city centre and return you to your hotel by car.

    Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

    13
    Day 13 Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B)

    Free at leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for departure flight.

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