Upon arrival in Ha Noi, be welcomed and transfer to your selected hotel.
Overnight in Hanoi.
HANOI SIGHTSEEING – AFTERNOON TEA AT A LOCAL HOUSE (B)
After breakfast, visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (outside) and his personal residence, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Tran Quoc Pagoda. End the morning with a visit to the Museum of Women.
In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, the first University for the sons of mandarins. Follow this with a walking tour through the old quarter of the city. Visit a local house and take your time talking with the hosts and learn about their family’s life and history. Continue to Ngoc Son Temple nearby Hoan Kiem Lake. Enjoy a leisurely ride on a rickshaw around the city and through its hidden alleyways followed. If time permits, pay a visit to a local coffee shop and enjoy Hanoi’s specialty - Egg Coffee.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Note: please note Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum is closed on Monday and Friday.
HANOI – HOANG SU PHI (B – L – D)
After breakfast, drive to Hoang Su Phi. The destination has a wonderful charm, and is also home to the most impressive terraced paddy fields in Vietnam. Take in every breathe as you stand in the midst of this vast magnificent landscape. Upon arrival in Hoang Su Phi, check into your hotel and relax.
Overnight in Hoang Su Phi.
HOANG SU PHI TREKKING (B – L – D)
After breakfast, start your trek to Tay village. Along your trek, you will pass several beautiful rice terraces and amazing natural landscapes. Tay people is the second largest group in Vietnam and they live mainly by cultivating rice. Their village is usually based at the feet of the mountains and each village has only 15 – 20 households. Have a some walk around the village, enjoy the talks with the villagers and transfer back to your hotel in the afternoon.
Overnight in Hoang Su Phi.
HOANG SU PHI – BAC HA (B – L – D)
After breakfast, depart for Bac Ha near the Chinese border towards Lao Cai. En route, make some stops at the local villages of the Hmong, Tay and Nung ethnic communities and pass by Coc Ly. Continue on to Hoang A Tuong castle before reaching Bac Ha in the late afternoon. Check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure, or walking around the nearby area.
Overnight in Bac Ha.
BAC HA – SAPA – LIGHT TREKKING (B – L – D)
After breakfast, visit the local ethnic markets where you will see representatives from different hill tribes, colorfully dressed, selling handicrafts and local produce. Markets are held on different days depending on the region.
In the afternoon, go for a short walk to a local village nearby and learn more about the daily life of the hill tribe communities as well as their living environment. Drive to Sapa and arrive in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Sapa.
SAPA LOCAL ETHNIC MARKET – HANOI (B – L)
After breakfast, depart to the local ethnic markets where you will see members of different hill tribes, colourfully dressed, selling handicrafts and produce. Depending on the day, markets can be held in different regions.
In the afternoon, drive back to Hanoi and relax for the rest of the day. Overnight in Sapa.
Note: Visits to the minority markets may be switched, depending on the opening days of each market (See schedule below). It might be cold and wet in winter (October – Mar), please prepare jacket and good shoes for the walk.
Markets on Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday.
HANOI – HA LONG BAY / LAN HA BAY (B – L – D)
After breakfast, your guide will be waiting for you at the lobby and ready for an unforgettable trip to the magnificent Halong Bay passing through green paddy fields which gives you a peaceful feeling of the rural area in Vietnam.
Upon arrival, welcome onboard the Cruise. Enjoy welcome drink upon check in to your cabin. You will have some time to relax before having lunch while the cruise makes it way to Da Chong Islet where you can admire the lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. You will also enjoy different dramatic karst formations that sometimes seem as though they are floating in the sky which will inspire and delight you. Then continue exploring the bay with a journey via the islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan. This route is one of the highlights of the cruise as the area still keeps its untouched beauty.
In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to Ba Trai Dao beach area of Lan Ha Bay, a serene area with pristine beaches, spectacular beauty, and home to about 400 fascinating islands. For those who love adventure, try on kayaking experience and for those who love the water, just simply immerse in the crystal clear waters of the bay. (Program might change slightly depending on weather condition)
Return the cruise, relax or enjoy exotic spa treatments in the extraordinary surroundings, especially as the sun goes down and as time appears to stand still. Traditional cooking demonstration on the sundeck with chef is available for those interested in learning Vietnamese dishes while the cruise continues sailing to the overnight area.
Enjoy a delicious dinner on board. End the first day with a peaceful overnight stay onboard.
Note: Your tour guide will be replaced by a local guide on board during your cruise.
HA LONG BAY / LAN HA BAY – HANOI – Flight to HUE (B – Brunch)
Breakfast on board and enjoy the fresh morning in the bay. The cruise ends around 11h00 am. Disembark and drive back to Hanoi airport. On the way, visit Tho Ha or Phu Lang village (*).
Arrive at Noi Bai airport in the late afternoon and take the flight to Hue. Welcome upon arrival at Hue airport and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Hue.
Note: Breakfast, lunch or brunch will be served on board depend each junk‘s service.
(*) Applied for programs from Ha Long Bay, Tuan Chau habor – it is not applicable for programs from Lan Ha Bay.
Flight HAN – HUI: VN1549 1605 - 1720
HUE SIGHTSEEING – Lunch at LOCAL PAGODA with LEARNED MONK (B – L)
After breakfast, take a boat for a short cruise on the Huong river. Visit Thien Mu Pagoda which is located on the river bank and is an iconic seven-story pagoda considered the unofficial symbol of the city. After that, it’s time for lunch.
Buddhism has a long and complex history in South East Asia. Pay a visit to a local pagoda. Spend a valuable hour being guided through a pagoda with a senior monk, enjoy a cup of tea and interact with the chief monk to take a look at the Buddhist movement, life experiences of the monks and their charitable work for the community. Not only do they share their own experiences as monks today, but they can also shed light on the various twists and turns of the religion’s history in Vietnam. Followed by a healthy vegetarian lunch made with natural ingredients, learn what monks usually have for a meal.
In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel, a complex covering an area of 520 hectares comprising three circles;the Hue Capital Citadel, the Royal Citadel and the Forbidden Citadel. Continue to Emperor Tu Duc's Mausoleum, built according to the laws of geomancy.
Overnight in Hue.
HUE – HOI AN – via HAI VAN PASS – LANTERN FESTIVAL (B – L)
transfer to Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass. Stop on the way for some photo opportunities. On the way, visit the Cham Museum, probably best museum in the world focusing on the ancient kingdom of Champa. Continue on to the charming old town of Hoi An, an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port during the 15th to 19th centuries. Many of the buildings in the town reflect historical architectural styles and the whole town is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site. Check-in to the hotel and relax.
In the evening, join in a special event of the ancient town called Lantern Festival. It takes place monthly on the 14th (lunar calendar) and turns the charming town into an awe-inspiring scene of paper lanterns of all shapes and colors. On this day, the shop houses, restaurants, bars, coffee shops stop using electricity and lights up the places with hundreds of lanterns and candles.
Overnight in Hoi An.
HOI AN STREET FOOD TOUR – Free time at leisure (B – L)
Hoi An’s food is about simplicity and it is as local as it gets. Dishes are created based on what’s growing in the garden. Restaurants pride themselves on using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients including seafood from the nearby river and water - used for making the noodles of the town’s famous dish, cao lau - from the local wells. Today, let’s discover Hoi An’s gastronomic trails by bike. Start by walking to White Rose Dumpling house, learn about how the local prepare this special dish and try some as your starter. The tour continues to take you to one of the ancient houses in town and then enjoy Cao Lau at a local stall. Try Pho and see how it is different from the other versions of Pho in Vietnam. After that, make a stop at Gieng Ba Le and learn the story behind this infamous well. Try Hoi An’s pancake and grilled pork which are among locals’ favorites. The last stop will satisfy your taste bud with a special Banh Mi. Ride back to your hotel in the late morning.
In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour in the old town. Explore the remnants of the town’s trading days and its Old Quarter with 850 magnificent old structures still line the streets; the old tile-roofed shop houses, shady pagodas, and colorful communal halls. Visit Phuc Kien Pagoda and the Japanese wooden bridge.
Overnight in Hoi An.
HOI AN – Flight to CAN THO (B)
After breakfast, time at your leisure to enjoy the accommodation or wander around the town.
In the afternoon, pick up at your hotel and transfer to the airport for a flight to Can Tho. Upon arrival, be welcomed and transfer to your hotel for check in and relax.
Overnight in Can Tho.
Flight DAD – VCA: VN1441 1920 - 2055
CAI RANG FLOATING MARKET & BREAKFAST CRUISE – COOKING CLASS AT A LOCAL ORCHARD – EXPLORE THE COUNTRYSIDE (B – L)
Get up early in the morning to explore one of the most interesting markets of Vietnam, Cai Rang floating market. As you enjoy your breakfast on board, you will find yourself surrounded by hundreds of boats, all specializing in a particular fruit or vegetable. The atmosphere on these picturesque waterways is just wonderful. Your guide will explain the culture of ‘river commerce’ while you can choose fresh ingredients for your cooking class after that. The vibrancy of the colors is matched only by the freshness of the flavors. Then head to a local house with a beautiful garden, with the assistance of the host, join a small cooking section to prepare your lunch. Walk or bike around to explore the beauty of this area as well as learn a little about the local life here. Transfer back to your hotel.
Overnight in Saigon.
CAN THO – SOC TRANG – OK OM BOK KHMER FESTIVAL – SAIGON (B – L)
After breakfast, transfer to Soc Trang for a special event called Ok Om Bok aka the Festival of workshipping the Moon. It takes place usually from October 28 to November 03 and is celebrated by the ethnic group of Khmer people in Mekong Delta. The significant event is the long boat race between November 23 and 25.
Join and celebrate together with the community here before having lunch at a local restaurant. After that transfer to Saigon. Upon arrival, be welcomed and transfer to your hotel for check in and relax.
Overnight in Saigon.
SAIGON SIGHTSEEING – COFFEE CUPPING & TASTING (B)
After breakfast, visit the former Presidential Palace, or as it is known today - the Reunification Palace. Then head to the historical heart of the city and visit the Notre Dame Cathedral (outside visit only due to its renovation). The red bricks of the cathedral walls were originally from Paris, France. From there, take a short walk to the old Central Post Office. After that, visit the best-preserved buildings from the colonial era, the Opera House and the Hotel de Ville now home to Saigon’s municipal authorities. Continue to Catinat building. Built in 1927, in an art deco style, it has once again become a hub for fashion conscious Saigonese and contains many designer boutiques, galleries, restaurants and cafés.
In the afternoon, visit to a hidden coffee shop tucked away in an alley of Saigon and enjoy an authentic coffee cupping, or coffee tasting – the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee. Discover different types of Vietnamese coffee beans and learn how each processing method brings unique tastes. Practice and learn how to do cupping step-by-step with the standards of Specialty Coffee Association. At the end of the session, your host – an experienced barista, will reveal the 5 types of coffee. After that, try making your cup of coffee and enjoy it while listening to the host’s stories about Coffee Culture in Vietnam. End the day with a visit to China town with its the bustling Binh Tay Market. Transfer back to your hotel.
Overnight in Saigon.
After breakfast, time at leisure till transfer to the airport for the departing flight