ITINERARY: Hanoi – Sapa – Halong Bay – Hoian –My Son- Hue – Ho Chi Minh City- Cu Chi – Mekong Delta
Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival (D)
Welcome by our guide at the airport Noi Bai airport and then be transferred to your hotel in the center of city. You will visit our legend/history about Hoan Kiem lake (the lake of the Restored Sword). Attend the performance of Water Puppet show - an unique Vietnamese arts and enjoy our welcome dinner at a Local Restaurant. Overnight in Ha Noi. Day 2: Hanoi – Fullday tour (B/L)
Today enjoy a full day city tour starting with the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam and the impressive Ethnologic Museum, dedicated to Vietnam\'s 54 ethnic groups. The beautiful West Lake and the History Museum with an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history are also highlight of our trip. Visit these sights before continuing to the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem. In the evening, attend the performance of of Ca Tru, one of the most recent Vietnamese cultural Heritage recognized by UNESCO. Overnight in Hanoi
Please note, you may as well visit Uncle Ho in his museum (Mondays and Fridays closed)
Day 3: Hanoi – Bat Trang Pottery village - Overnight to Sapa (B/D)
Visit Bat Trang pottery village in the morning. Bat Trang, which translates as \'bowl-making village\' became famous for its bricks and for its bat dan, a type of bowl popular in the Red River Delta. Bat Trang was so well known that its bricks. The village\'s ceramics were finished with five types of glaze: iron brown, blue and white, ivory, moss green, and cracked. The most typical designs, and the ones that are most popular to this day, involve a combination of white and deep cobalt blue.
In the afternoon, at leisure for own activities (late check out subject to the supplement cost below)
At 20:00, pick up at hotel, transfer to Hanoi Railways Station for Train to Lao Cai (4 person- compartment sharing unless you wish to charter a cabin) Overnight trip. Day 4: Lao Cai – Sapa – Lao Chai/Ta Van - Sapa (B/D)
Arrive at Lao Cai Train station at about 6.30. Picked up by our local guide and move toward Sapa by bus.
Having breakfast and relax before explore Sapa Town. At a elevation of 1600 meters, Sapa is a delightful old French hill station situated in the mountainous region of Vietnams\' northwest, close to the Chinese border. The region is home to many ethnic minorities groups all wearing their traditional and colourful attire.
Hike down to Lao Chai village to visit the Tay and Day tribes. Continue along the bottom of the Sapa valley to get to Ta Van village, which is supposed to be the most beautiful one in the area .Have a picnic lunch on the way . Today you will spend abt 4 hours hiking. It depends on you if you want to hike more or less. At least you can see one village - it is a must (!), once in this region! Return to Sapa by motorbike or jeep. Overnight at hotel
Day 5: Sapa – Ta Phin - Lao Cai (B/D)
After breakfast check out and get ready for the trip. Drive to the direction of Ta Phin village (abt 40 minutes)- home to the Red Dao people. Here you have the opportunity to share cultural experiences with the families of Black Hmong and Red Dao that live in the area. This will be about a 2 hour hiking experience.
Continue drive to Lao Cai station for night train to Hanoi by 4 berth compartment train. Overnight trip.
Day 6: Hanoi Arrival - Ha Long Bay (B/L/D)
Arrive in Hanoi early morning. Have breakfast at hotel or local restaurant.
8.30 am pick up and travel to Ha Long city for about 3 hours drive. Upon arrival, transfer to a junk for a cruise around Ha Long Bay with a delicious local seafood lunch served on board. Passing many rocks and islets in shape of Dog, Incense, Fighting-cock, Finger, Hoa Cuong etc and short swim at Titov beach (if weather permitted). Have dinner on board.
In the evening, enjoy the night fishing if you like and later over night on board.
Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi - Hue (B/ L)
In the morning, cruising to Bai Tu long bay, and passing Fire Islet, Bo Nau Islet and fishing village. Having lunch on boat and arrive at Ha Long wharf about 12.00 noon. Return to Hanoi by private car, arrive in Hanoi about 16.00 pm then heading to airport for afternoon flight to Hue.
Welcome by our local tour guide and move to hotel in the city for check in. Overnight at hotel
Day 8: Hue Ancient City (B/L)
You will visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue, King Tu Duc’s tomb (Tu Duc is a king but also a poet, so his mausoleum is a poet garden). Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, take a scenic boat trip on Perfume River to visit Thien Mu pagoda & King Minh Mang tomb (typical formal oriental style designed). Return to your hotel by car/bus
Overnight in Hue.
Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B/L)
Today we will heading to Hoi An through Hai Van pass, and Lang Co beach – one of the most beautiful beach of Vietnam. Visit Cham museum on the way, Cham museum is the open air collection of Cham sculpture. Many of the sandstone carvings are breathtaking. After check-in at hotel, visit the Ancient town. The visit will includes Japanese covered bridge, some Chinese Assembly Halls, and some typical Vietnamese houses of 18 century. Free time for shopping later on. Overnight in Hoi An. Day 10: Hoi An - My Son – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L)
We travel about 50km from Hoi An to My Son sanctuary. It comprises many Champa temples, in a valley roughly two kilometers wide, surrounded by two mountain ranges. It was the site of religious ceremony of kings of the Champa dynasty, and was also a burial place of Champa royals and national heroes. The My Son temple complex is one of the foremost temple complexes of Hinduism in South East Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. Though the complex has been destroyed over time, we still see many majestic ancient ruins of temples in the area. Back to the city for lunch.
Transfer to Danang airport for late afternoon flight to HCMC. Meet on arrival Saigon, transfer to hotel for check in.Overnight at hotel Day 11: HCMC – Full day tour (B/L)
In this, the largest of Vietnam’s cities, you will see the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life everywhere, and there is something invigorating about it all. Constrasting images of the exotic and mundane abound. There are the street markets, where bargains are struck and deals are done; the pavement cafes, where stereo speakers fill the surrounding streets with a melodious thumping beat; and the sleek new cafes and pubs, where tourists chat over beer, pretzels, coffee and croissants.
Visit to Thien Hau pagoda, Notre Damecathedral, former post office, former Presidential Palace, War Museum, China town with Ben Thanh market.
Overnight at hotel in Saigon (HCMC)
Day 12: Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City (B)
The watery world of the Mekong Delta is home to many bustling floating markets. This day you will a boat trip exploring the vibrant floating market of Cai Rang, whose the trading way is unique; each boat usually sells one particular item. After an impressive boat trip, you are back to Ho Chi Minh via My Tho with stop over a Bonsai garden.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 13: Saigon – Cu Chi tunnels – Tay Ninh - HCMC (B)
Drive a long way on the country side of Vietnam to Tay Ninh, 100 km from Ho Chi Minh city. On arrival to the head quarter of Cao Dai religious, you will have a chance to witness the daily ceremony at Cao Dai Holy See, and meet followers come to attend the ceremony wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity and Buddhism. Continue the trip to Cu Chi, visit the incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence. Overnight at Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)
Free time for shopping or optional visit before transferring to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure.
LAND SERVICE COST :
Tour price is in US dollar per person based on twin sharing room
Validity: until 30 Sep 2010
Twin share accommodation as specific or similar (at hotels and on boat in Halong Bay)
Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above (Please note: pick-ups will be by a guide and driver or, where a guide is not necessary, a driver only. All unaccompanied drivers will be briefed in advance, and will carry a mobile phone to ensure smooth transfer arrangements)
Local English speaking guide in each city
Standard half board meals as per program
Round trip train ticket between Hanoi & Lao Cai based on sharing compartment (unless charter cabin required by clients)
Room for refreshment on arrival from train from Sapa with breakfast
VAT and service charge
Domestic & International flight and all airport taxes