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HIGHLIGHTS OF VIETNAM 11 DAYS

11 DAY(S) Classic Tours

Ha Noi - Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay - Hue - Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta

Description

This tour covers all must - see tourist spots from the North to South including vibrant Hanoi, Halong wonder Bay, Hue Royal City, World Heritage Site of Ancient Hoian and dynamic Ho Chi Minh City. You will catch a pretty full sight about Vietnam across the different regions, a country is long in history and rich in both nature and culture. For the gourmets, this is also a perfect chance to taste the local gastronomy through different cuisines along the way.

Highlights

 

  • Stroll through Hanoi Old Quarter - 'The 36 Streets’ by a cyclo, explore the most famous cultural attractions, including the Hoan Kiem lake, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the Museum of Ethnology, Tran Quoc pagoda and enjoy breathtaking views of West lake.
  • Relax on a leisure cruise trip on emerald water and admire the magnificient beauty of limestone islands/islets of Ha Long Bay – the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy numerous interesting activities such as kayaking, swimming, ect or simply relax on sundeck to savor the wonderful moments in such a stunning scenery.
  • Get mesmerized by the charming beauty of the old capital of Vietnam, Hue citadel also the World Heritage Site.
  • Start a new exciting day with the peaceful atmostphere and stroll through colorful shops of latterns in every corners of Hoian Ancient Town.
  •  Unwind far from the bustling city to immerse yourself in a specific characteristic of Southern culture in Mekong Delta. Take home beautiful memories and photographs of the peaceful village life and idyllic river scenery.

 

Itinerary

Welcome to Hanoi, the Capital city of Vietnam! Our local guide will welcome you at Noi Bai airport and it takes us 35 minutes driving to the center of Hanoi. Check in hotel and have a short time to freshen up.
Late afternoon, have an overall view of the capital by a “cyclo” visit, which will go through the fascinating network of narrow alleys and shop houses also known as ‘The 36 Streets’ – each street being named after the merchandise traditionally sold there, ranging from fabrics to crafts and from medicines to tombstones. 

Drop by at Ngoc Son temple located on the Hoan Kiem lake. Welcome dinner will be followed at the fine dining restaurant. 
Overnight in Hanoi.
Please note: The normal check-in time is 14:00pm.

After breakfast, we will start our city tour from Ba Dinh Square where the most solemn ceremonies of Hanoi take place. We first visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed on Monday & Friday) which is the last rest place of Ho Chi Minh President, we then visit One-Pillar pagoda nearby with unique architecture first built on 1049 by King Ly Thai Tong. Continue visiting Ho Chi Minh’s Residence including the wooden ethnic minority style house, which was built on stilts, is surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens and his fish pond.
Go on to the Temple of Literature, the very first high school of Vietnam Scholars and a temple dedicated Confucius. Have lunch at KOTO Van Mieu restaurant where we provides hospitality and life skills to disadvantaged youth in Vietnam. 
In the afternoon, we will move on to the Museum of Ethnology, where you can find an excellent full collection of 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam and wonderful implications of artifacts and patterns from their traditional handicrafts and clothes. Continue the trip to picturesque West lake to visit Tran Quoc pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hanoi built from 6th century. End of the day, we will enjoy a unique fascinating show of Water Puppetry, a traditional stage art of Northern Vietnam. 
Overnight in Hanoi.
 

After breakfast, a 90km driving south of Hanoi will lead you to Ninh Binh, the site of the one capital city of ancient Vietnam before Hanoi took its leading role in 11th century. The area is featured by lots of well-known sceneries, which include Tam Coc Caves and Hoa Lu ancient capital with the old temples dedicated to King Dinh & King Le reigned in 10th century. The visit in Ninh Binh starts by a boat trip in Tam Coc where spectacular limestone karsts jut out from the green paddy fields reminding about Guilin (China) and Halong Bay of Vietnam, which gives this scenery the name “Halong-bay-on-land”. 
Atfer your local lunch, further discovery in Ninh Binh will be continued by visiting Bich Dong pagoda. Afternoon drive back Hanoi, on the way, stop to visit Hoa Lu, the site that used to be the kings’ palace in 10th century and now famous for the wooden relieves of the shady Dinh and Le temples. 
Late afternoon, drive back to your hotel in Hanoi.  
Overnight in Hanoi.
 

Breakfast at hotel and check out. 

At 9:00, head East for about 3 hours to Halong Bay, the pride of the Gulf of Tonkin, a Natural World Heritage as designated by UNESCO in 1994 and 2006. Upon arrival in Halong, check in the overnight cruise to discover the magnificent beauty of this “Descending-dragon” bay, created by thousands odd-shaped limestone rocks and karst grottoes. After a lunch on board, we can visit the Grottos, stop for swimming or kayaking, passing floating houses and approach islets to enjoy their beauty in close distance. Back to the cruise, enjoy cooking demonstration before having dinner. Evening attend activities on the boat or relax at your own leisure. 
Overnight on the cruise. 
Please note the program may be little varied upon the cruise you choose. 
 

You should wake up early to enjoy the dawn on the sea in the early morning. The Vietnamese calls the "East Sea" by a point-oriented name "Eastern Sea", so you may guess how miraculous seeing the sunrise over the islets of the Bay. After breakfast, our boat will continue to cruise in marvelous areas, where almost each islet has its own name, adopting its shape or reminiscent like Sail Island, Fisherman’s head rock, Butterfly rock or Turtle islet etc. Check out your room and have brunch on board while the cruise comes back the pier. 
Disembark from the cruise and our shuttle bus will transfer your back to Hanoi, then head to Noi Bai airport for boarding the flight (should depart after 18:00) to Hue, the Old Captical of Vietnam before Hanoi took its role as the current Capital city of Vietnam. Upon arrival, picked up by the local tour guide and transferred to check in hotel. Your dinner will be served at local restaurant.  
Overnight in Hue.
 

Being recognized by UNESCO as the 1st Cultural World Heritage for Vietnam, Hue is highlighted by the old royal architectural works and the most traditional Vietnamese lifestyle. 
After breakfast, we will discover the charm of the city from the Royal Citadel, Forbidden City, Hue Royal Museum. Go on having a boat trip on Perfume river to visit Thien Mu pagoda, the iconic of Hue city. 
After your local lunch, drive 12 km out of Hue City to visit the Tombs of Emperor Minh Mang located on the west bank of Perfume river, which was built from 1840 and completed in 1843 with the effort of ten thousand workers and artisians. The Tomb offers a balance of nature and structures that is unmatched among tombs in Hue. The solemn and quiet architecture set in a poetic landscape demonstrates both the Emperor's strictness and deep beliefs. 
Continue visiting Emperor Khai Dinh’s Tomb, the last great tomb of the Nguyen dynasty with a mix of Asian and European style in architecture and decoration. The tomb began construction in 1920 and took eleven years to complete, and was still unfinished when the Emperor Khai Dinh passed away. Though in extent,  Khai Dinh’ Tomb is small in comparison with the rest of Imperia tombs, its construction, decoration and details are very elaborate. 
Overnight in Hue. 

Breakfast at hotel and check out. 
From Hue, we will transfer to Hoi An, an architectural combination of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese styles. The trip will take about more than 3-hour driving through Hai Van pass (the “Ocean Cloudy Mountain Pass”), and enjoy the beauty of Lang Co beach en route. Upon arrival in Hoi An, check in hotel.
After your local lunch, you take interesting walk over the tile-roofed Japanese Bridge, visit taciturn Chinese Assembly halls and enjoy the attractiveness of ancient houses or listen to folk music of Central Vietnam at old club-houses. Later we can stop at shrines or stroll into the market located by Thu Bon river, where you may find the same feelings of the artists, who see the rooftops of Hoian a magical old world of Oriental feel and source of inspiration. This is also a wonderful town to shop for lanterns, soft silk, raw silk, or get your clothes tailored within a day. 
Rest of day will be free on your own to discover the town lighten up with thousands of colorful lanterns and night market by the river. 
Overnight in Hoi An.
 

Breakfast at hotel. 
You will have a free day to relax, enjoy the time at beach or wander in town for shopping around, another option is biking to the outskirt villages to see the local life. Hoian is also the place offering multiple choices in term of local delicious dishes and don’t miss this chance. Or simply you just sit down and sip a cup of tea or coffee at a charming corner. 
Overnight in Hoi An.
Please note: No sightseeing included on this day.

Optional half-day tour to My Son:
07:30 – 08:00 Drive to visit My Son Sanctuary where you can discover the hidden treasure of the Cham culture that once brightly developed in the area of present Central Vietnam dated from VII century to XIV century. This is a cluster of partially ruin Hindu temples that have been abandoned for a long time located in a lush valey surrounded by the mountains. Thanks to the beauty and secrets of building the Cham Towers hereby, My Son had been also designated by UNESCO as one of the five World Heritages in Vietnam. Don’t miss the chance to watch Apsara Dance performance while touring in this site. 
12:00 Transfer back to Hoi An ancient town. 

Optional full-day tour to Ba Na hills:
07:30 – 08:00 Morning transfer to Ba Na hills for discover this beautiful attraction in Da Nang city. You will take a cable car to the summit of mountain (at 1487m of sea level). Start visiting Ba Na Hill with many different attractions: Funicular, Debay ancient wine cellar & Le Jardin D’Amour, Linh Ung pagoda, Thich Ca Buddist statue, etc. Have buffet lunch at local restaurant.
This afternoon you continue to join activities and games in Fantasy Park. Later walk to the summit of the mountain at the height 1487m – the highest one of Ba Na Mountain, visit Bell Tower, Nghinh Phong tower and Golden Bridge, to take beautiful photos of the mountain and Da Nang city. 
Late afternoon, taking the cable car back to foothill. 
15:00 Transfer back to Hoian ancient town. 

Please note: Wax Museum, cotton animal game and carnival skill at Fantasy Park is not included in my quotation, joining them will be at your own account.

Breakfast at hotel and check out. 
Transfer to Danang airport to take the flight to Saigon (official name as Ho Chi Minh City nowadays) – the most dynamic city of Vietnam. Upon your arrival, welcomed by our guide and transferred to your hotel for check in.
The city tour will begin with a quick sightseeing of the city to the Reunification Palace, the witness of the fierce Vietnam War ended in 1975. The grand building today is a Museum and Hall of official receptions. Nearby the Palace are the Notre Dame Cathedral (view from outside only), built between 1877 and 1883 and colonial-styled Central Post Office, one of the city’s major landmarks. Then visit Ben Thanh market, a symbol of Saigon.
Dinner on the cruise on Saigon river and enjoy traditional folk music on board. 
Overnight in Saigon. 
 

After breakfast, head to My Tho, the homeland of coconut and family factories with local products like coconut candy, rice paper,… Upon arrival, embark on the boat cruising on the mighty Mekong River viewing the life to the local people live along the banks. We stop to visit an island in the area, enjoy the fresh tropical fruits served in the heart of the lush garden accompanied by traditional southern Vietnamese folk music. Later, embark on other small boats rowed by the local people thru the small canals shadowed by water coconut trees to visit the local factories. There you will taste the honey tea and see the local people produce the coconut candy milk and of course you also can try it or stroll in the garden where the locals feed honeybee. Lunch is served at local restaurant nearby the river. 

In the afternoon, continue to visit Vinh Trang pagoda, a famous pagoda in the area with architecture combination of Chinese, Cambodian, and French cultures. Return to Saigon late afternoon. 
Overnight in Saigon.

Breakfast at hotel and time at leisure until transfer to the airport for the onward flight. 
Please note: The normal check out time is 12:00pm. 

If your departure flight is in the late afternoon or evening onward, you can consider the optional tour as below.
Optional half-day tour to Cu Chi tunnels: 
Drive to Cu Chi tunnels – 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. 
The sightseeing in Cu Chi tunnels is started with a short introduction video showing how the tunnels were constructed, you will have a chance to see the poor conditions underground, see handmade booby traps, and crawl into a short section of the tunnels to feel the oppressive narrowness and heat inside. Return to Saigon, then drive straightly to the airport for departure flight.
 

Inclusion

-    English-speaking tour guides on touring dates (station guides);
-    Accommodation on twin/double sharing basic with daily breakfast at hotels;
-    Overnight cruise for Halong Bay excursion with meals on board;
-    Meals at the local restarants as mentioned in the program (no drink included);
-    Private airport transfers and touring in AC vehicles ;
-    Shuttle bus Hanoi – Halong – Hanoi; 
-    Entrance fees and Zone fee as per program;
-    Water on the touring day: 2 bottles/pax/day;
-    Water Puppet show;
-    Cyclo tour in the Old Quarter in 1 hour;
 

Exclusion

-    International, domestic flights and airport departure tax;
-    Meals not mentioned in detailed program;
-    Cambodia and Vietnam Visa;
-    Early check-in, late check-out surcharge;
-    Surcharge for Christmas and New Year period (to be advised upon booking confirmation);
-    Tipping for Guides (USD 4/pax/day) and Drivers (USD 2/pax/day);
-    Banking fee for payment by bank transfer;
-    Other expense not mentioned in the program. 
 

 

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