Up on arrival, you are welcomed by our tour leader and will be transferred to your hotel in Hanoi.. If time permits, we will have a brief city tour in Hanoi visit: the Old Quarter, and Hoan Kiem Lake (Restore Sword lake). Welcome dinner in a fine restaurant hosted by Explorient Travel. Evening highlight will be a Water Puppet Performance - the unique form of Vietnamese art derived from wet rice civilization of South East Asia.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.
Today, after breakfast in hotel, we will visit Hanoi on Ho Chi Minh Complex that includes Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, House-on-Stilts, One Pillar pagoda. After that, we will visit the Temple of Literature - a temple to Confucius, this is also known as Vietnam's first University dating back to 1070.
After having lunch at a nice restaurant, in the afternoon, we will drive to Halong Bay (180km about 3.5 hours) passing the countryside of the Red River Delta to the UNESCO World Heritage site. On arrival, check in your hotel. Tonight enjoy a fresh seafood dinner in fine restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel in Halong Bay.
After breakfast in hotel, our tour guide and driver will pick you up and drive you to the Halong habour where you board your private boat for a 4 hours journey. Cruise through the emerald waters between the limestone outcrops and long corridors; visit Dau Go Cave ‘Grotto of the Wooden Stakes' where in 1288 one of Vietnam's most famous generals, Tran Hung Dao, amassed hundreds of stakes deep inside the cave prior to a battle with an invading Mongolian army.
A short walk away, visit the newly discovered Thien Cung Cave ('Grotto of the Heavenly Palace"), famous for its stalagmites and stalactites. The cave has only been opened to the public since 1998. A fresh seafood lunch will be served on board before journeying back to Halong City where your car will be waiting to take you back to Hanoi for the flight to Hue.
On arrival in Hue, our driver will welcome you and take you to your hotel.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue.
Have breakfast in hotel, this morning we start our tour to explore the Citadel, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City.
After lunch we continue to visit a tomb monument of King Tu Duc which is located in a very special area. More than just a tomb visiting, it's the great chance to learn more about Nguyen King and the landscape is spectacular. Come back to hotel in the late afternoon. Free at leisure in the evening.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue.
Have breakfast in hotel, Check out in the morning, we depart for Hoi An. Stop en route at Lang Co beach to have short break before crossing Hai Van Pass. At the height of 500 metre above sea level Hai Van pass is the highest moutain pass in the central coast of Viet Nam. Here you can enjoy the magnificent view of the central coast. The soft adventure drive over the 23 km long pass will add more highlights for this trip.
Next, you travel to Da Nang city - the 4th large city of Viet Nam. Here we pay a visit to the fascinating Cham Museum - museum of ancient Champa kingdom's sculptures and artifacts.
You then stop en route to visit famous China Beach, better known as R&R of the US army officials and soldiers during the Vietnam War. Then you visit the Marble stone carving workshop at Ngu Hanh Son handicraft village en route to charming Hoi An. Arrive at Hoi An in late afternoon, check in to the hotel. Overnight in Hoi An.
Known as Faifo to early Western traders, Hoi An was one of South East Asia's major international ports and today it still retains that special old-world feel. Enjoy a walking tour through the Old Quarter. Hoi An is also famous for its large number of tailor shops, so if you want to have a new wardrobe made up, this is the time to do it.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An.
Today we spend a half day for exploring Hoi An town. From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants. These people came primarily to trade in the high grade silk, which is still produced in the area, as well as ceramics.
Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops, and numerous cafes. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century. We enjoy a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200- year old Tan Ky ancestral house and the Japanese covered Bridge.
Free at leisure in the evening.
Meals: Breakfast, Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.
Have breakfast in hotel and free until transfer to Danang airport for flight to Saigon.
Arrival Saigon, our leader and driver pick up and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon you will have a city tour visiting the central post office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, BenThanh market.
Rest of the day we suggest you tour Saigon's down town with its many gift shops and galleries.
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon.
Today, escaping from the high-rise hotels, shopping malls and chic restaurants of Saigon, we drive to My Tho with paddy fields, thick orchards and canals. Upon arriving, we board a private boat start exploring the vast Mekong River. We will pass by the floating market, Fish Quay along the water way to Turtle Island, a beautiful island with many orchards. Here we can enjoy a variety of fresh tropical fruits while listening to traditional South Vietnamese folk songs performed by local artists.
We then visit a coconut candy workshop before taking a short horse cart ride to visit a Bee Farm where we try some honey tea, tastes local confectionery. After that, we will have a short rowing sampan boat ride along the water coconut shady canal to our main boat then go to Phoenix Island that was the lonely bastion of Coconut Monk. Here we enjoy lunch of local cuisines with delicious Elephant Ear fish, before go back to the harbor. Drive back to Saigon by late afternoon. Tonight, you enjoy farewell dinner at a nice restaurant.
Meal: Breakfast & Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon.
Free on your own time until transfer to the airport for departure flight.
End of trip.
Mr Hung Tran