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Vietnam Discovery – Ladies’ Tour

14 DAY(S) Theme Tours

Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Tam Coc – Lao Cai – Bac Ha – Sapa – Lao Cai – Hanoi – Halong – Hue – Danang – Hoian – Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Cu Chi Tunnels - Departure

Description

This Vietnam deluxe tour is ideal option for visitors, especially the ladies who are inspiring and empowering, looking to discover historical monuments, colonial buildings, religious sites, and war memorials with knowledgeable guides on hand to give them an insight into this amazing country. “Viet Nam Discovery – Ladies’ tour at 4 star service takes about 14 days covering the best and the most “essential” landmarks of Vietnam with various cultures and lifestyle from Ha Noi to Ho Chi Minh City.

Highlights

  • Cyclo trip in Old Quarter of Hanoi to explore the 36 ancient Streets, get the chance to catch up daily activities of the local people.
  • Take a rowing boat trip on the scenic Tam Coc and Cycling thru the village roads winding along the mountain ranges and paddy fields, chatting with the local people on the way.
  • Intermingle with the hill tribe people at the weekly colorful market of Bac Ha, the biggest market of the ethnic people in Vietnam. Chance to admire their handmade products, chat with them and learn about their culture and tradition.
  • Enjoy a traditional herb bath of the Red Dao ethnic group and massage treatment at Spa in Sapa
  • Hiking and trekking through the hill tribe villages in Sapa, contemplate the beauty of majestic mountain ranges and terrace paddy fields.
  • Cruise in Halong Bay, one of the New Seven Wonder of Nature; kayaking on the calm sapphire water, enjoy the stunning view of sunset over the sea.
  • Enjoy cycling trip and cooking class in Tra Que Village, learn how to plant the organic vegetable with the guidedance of the farmers.
  • Participate in lantern making at the workshop of the local family and having your clothes tailor made in Hoian, stroll around the Old quarter or just relax at beach.
  • Dine in the dark restaurant in Saigon served with the people who are completely blind or on the cruise restaurant running on Saigon River accompanied by traditional dancing and folk music.
  • Eco-tourism trip to Mekong Delta, where you can immerge yourselves in the lush plantations, taste the seasonal fruits, listen to folk music performed by the local people. Cooking demonstration and prepare by yourselves for your lunch. Pedaling thru the tranquil villages coverred by the trees’ shadow.
  • Watch the shows of culture and art in the city Hanoi/Hoian/Saigon which are worldwide famous unique works of art.

Itinerary

Welcome to Hanoi, the Capital City of Vietnam!
Our local guide will be welcoming you at Noi Bai airport; 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. End of the day, we will enjoy a unique fascinating show of Water Puppetry, a traditional stage art of Northern Vietnam. Welcome dinner will be followed at the fine dining restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.
Please note: The normal check in time is 14:00pm.
 

Today, we will start our city tour from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his simple house-on-stilts and the One-Pillar pagoda near Ba Dinh Square, where the most solemn ceremonies of Hanoi take place. Go on to the Temple of Literature, the very first high school of Vietnam Scholars and a temple dedicated Confucious. Your lunch will be served at a vegetarian fine dining restaurant where you taste the local vegan and healthy dishes and feel the diversity and balance in Viet culinary.
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. Overnight in Hanoi.
Optional for evening show (quoted separately):
-    My Village Show
-    Quintession of Tonkin Show
 

After breakfast, drive 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 just 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”. Have lunch at the local restaurant nearby the wharf before continue the discovery in Ninh Binh with a cycling trip. You will pedal along the scenic village roads to explore the rice fields, limestone mountains and have a chance to chat with the local people. Afternoon drive back to Hanoi, en route stop to visit Hoa Lu, featured with the two temples dedicated to King Dinh and King Le. Arriving in Hanoi, check in at a mini hotel for shower and short relax until transferring to Hanoi Railway Station to board a night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on the train at 4-berth wooden compartment with AC.

Arrive at Lao Cai Station at 06.00. Picked-up and transfer for breakfast at local restaurant.
If today is Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday, nothing will be better than driving overland to a market of the hill tribal people, mainly from Flower Hmong ethnical group. Depending on the day, you can choose either Can Cau (Sat), Bac Ha (Sun) or Coc Ly (Tues).
After breakfast we will drive toward Bac Ha, about 70km from Lao Cai. With a dozen of tribes living in the surroundings, including Flower Hmong, Chinese, Nhang, Dzao, Nung, Phu La, Thai and King (or Viet), the market is extremely exciting especially in the early morning. The winding road to Bac Ha helps maintain the colours (in both literal and figurative sense) of the area. The distance to Can Cau and Coc Ly from Bac Ha is 30 – 50km. In all these markets, we can meet hundreds of beautiful women from Flower Hmong tribe, who are famous for their wonderful craft and hand-made flowering clothes and textile fabrics, or intermingle with people from Black Hmong, Dzay, Dzao and other ethnic groups coming to the market not for purchasing stuffs, but for meeting and chatting – just once a week - like in a real cultural center. After lunchtime, we can hike around or take our car heading to further hamlets in Ban Pho, Trieu Cai, or Na Hoi. Afternoon, driving to Sapa for dinner. After dinner, enjoy a traditional herb bath of the Red Dao ethinic group and  and massage treatment at Spa to release the jetlag. Overnight in Sapa.
 

After breakfast, hanging around with our guide to visit the Sapa town including the church, walking streets where we can meet the montagnards and admire their handicrafts made of wood, silver, or dyed and embroidered fabrics and clothes. We then take a 2-km short trekking to Cat Cat Village, the home of Hmong Ethic. Meeting and talking with locals to learn more about their daily life. Go on to Lao Chai (10km from Sapa) and walk thru 3km to Tavan with stops at the villages of the tribal people Hmong. Afternoon drive to Lao Cai Station to board the night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on the train. (4-berth wooden compartment with AC).
Optional tour: Take the train thru the valley then cable car to Fanxipan Peak in the afternoon instead of visiting Lao Chai and Ta Van Villages .
Note: Around 4-5 hours walking/trekking in total.
 

Upon arrival in Hanoi, we will be picked-up at the Station and arrive in a mini hotel for Breakfast and a short relax before transferring to Halong Bay. At 9am, head East for more than 2 hours to Halong Bay, the pride of the Gulf of Tonkin, a Natural World Heritage as designated by UNESCO in 1994 and 2006. The road will pass by the Red River delta with green paddyfields and rural villages, where hard-work farmers are busy with their farming jobs, ploughing buffaloes or planting seedling. 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 call 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 coming back the pier. Disembark from the cruise, transfer overland to Noi Bai Airport for boarding the flight 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, transfer to check in hotel. Dinner and 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. 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. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit the Tombs of King Minh Mang and Khai Dinh – two important monuments of the Nguyen Emperors since early 19th and early 20th centuries with its unique beauty. Overnight in Hue. 
 

Have breakfast at hotel and check out. 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”), enjoy the beauty of Lang Co Beach en route. Upon arrival, check in hotel.
Afternoon, you take interesting walk over the tile-roofed Japanese Bridge, visit taciturn Chinese Assembly Halls, 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 Hoian.
 

Breakfast at hotel.  Our guide welcomes you at your hotel and starts to make a bicycle trip to the countryside of Hoi An Town. Riding on bike you can see the tranquil atmosphere of the countryside of Vietnam. Arrive at Tra Que Organic village, you have a walk through and visit the garden where local farmers work on their farm and use the traditional methods without having electrical machines support. Next you are under the instruction of household who will show you how to prepare and make the land, you fertilize green manure before growing vegetables. Watering the vegetables, which you have just grown, is the last activity in the procedure of planting them. After that, you pick fresh saw-tooth coriander and Vietnamese mint for your cooking lesson later.
You have about 20 minutes to relax by soaking your feet in Vietnamese herbs. This is one of the ways to refresh yourself after the hard time in garden. Then you can join with the family chef and learn the traditional ways in preparing and cooking local Vietnamese dishes. Have your lunch with the family after class.
Afternoon, pay a visit to a lantern making workshop in the village. Here you will get a brief introduction to the history, shape, and color of the lanterns. Choose your favorite sample of lantern. Do step by step with the craftsman how to make one lantern. Keep this lantern for souvenir. Overnight in Hoian.
Optional Show in the Evening:
-    Palao Show
 

You will have a free day relaxing, swiming at beach or strolling around Hoian ancient town for shopping and having your clothes tailor-made within one day with a very reasonable cost and good quality.

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Saigon.
Upon your arrival to Saigon (official name as Ho Chi Minh City nowadays) – the most hectic and business city of Vietnam, welcomed by our guide and transferred to your hotel for check in. 
Afternoon, start city tour with a visit 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 having a walk through Dong Khoi and Nguyen Hue Streets to experiences the daily life of the local people. Stop to visit Ben Thanh market, a symbol of Saigon. Your dinner will be served in a special restaurant - Dine-in-the-dark’ or ‘Dans le noir’ restaurant, where diners pay to eat and drink in complete darkness. This is not simply dining, but rather a uniquely sensory mind-altering experience where smell, taste, touch and hearing unite to bring you a completely new journey of the senses. Another option to choose: enjoy your dinner on the boat running on Saigon River accompanied by traditional dance and folk music. Overnight in Saigon.
 

After breakfast, drive more than 2 hours to Tien Giang province where is famous with Cai Be Floating market. On arrival, embark on the  motor boats on Mekong River to visit Cai Be Floating market. Nowadays, Cai Be floating market is getting smaller every year since trade is shifting more and more into modern central markets. Yet the trip offers you the chance to view the daily life of the local people whose entire family live together in a small boat where is also the place to stuff their goods for trade. We will stop to visit a small family business to see how coconut candy and crispy rice popcorn are made. Then wander in small villages, visit fruit plantations, accompanied by traditional southern Vietnamese folk music. Afterwards, paddling through a series of small canals to experience the charm of the Upper Mekong Delta. Arrive in Tan Phong Island, the green pearl where you can enjoy yourself with the nature. Lunch time is a good chance to get closer with the local and you will learn how to prepare special Vietnamese dishes. Food is cooked by yourself, and fresh river food is served in the heart of the garden. Cycle in the village path through orchards. Meet the local islanders to learn more about the local daily life in the Mekong Delta. Afternoon, take the boat back to Cai Be then returned to Saigon late afternoon. Overnight in Saigon. 

After breakfast, transfer to visit 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. After a short introduction video showing how the tunnels were constructed, you will have a chance to crawl into a short section of the tunnels to feel the oppressive narrowness and heat inside. Have lunch at the local restaruant before returning to Saigon.  Afternoon free at leisure until transfer to the airport for the departure flight back to your sweet home.

Inclusion

  • Accommodation in the category chosen or similar, twin-shared basic, with daily breakfast. 
  • Halong Bay Cruise excursion with all activities 
  • Overnight train tickets Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi on 4-berth wooden compartment with AC
  • Local English speaking guide(s) in Vietnam (difference guide in difference city)
  • Meals as mentioned in the program. B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner. (no drink included)
  • All entrance fees and sightseeing as mentioned in the program. 
  • Transportation by vehicle with A/C (private)
  • Boat trip in Hue and Mekong Delta 
  • Waters during tour day (2 bottles 500ml/day)
  • Traditional herb bath and massage at Spa in Sapa
  • Biking trip in Ninh Binh, Tra Que, Mekong Delta
  • Cooking Class in Hoian, Cooking demonstration on board in Halong and on tour Mekong Delta
  • Lantern making tour in Hoian
     

Exclusion

  • Visa approval letter /Visa on arrival 
  • International and domestic/regional air tickets and airport tax
  • Early check-in and late check-out
  • Hotel/Room upgrade
  • Festivity surcharge & festivity compulsory service by hotel(s) if any
  • Personal expenses, drinks, and others services not stated in the program
  • Tips for tour guides and drivers: USD 4/guests/day
     
 

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