Delight in the allure of Vietnam’s charming wonders and historical attractions on this 13-day whirlwind. Visit the majestic Ha Long Bay, acient Hoa Lu Capital and the breath-taking Phong Nha National Park. Explore the multi-coloured culture from Hue to Hoi An and My Son, then end up with a discovery in Ho Chi Minh City, known as southern center of Vietnam.
Tour code : COT03
Travel style : Classic Highlights
Duration : 13 Days - 12 Nights
Route : Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Ninh Binh – Phong Nha – Hue – Hoi An – My Son – HCM City – Cu Chi
“Xin Chao”. Welcome to Vietnam. Your trip begins in Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam. Tourguide picks you up at Noi Bai airport. Check into the hotel before an exciting cyclo ride around Hanoi old quarter. In the evening enjoy special dinner Hot Pot – a favorite food of Hanoi people.
After the breakfast, start with Imperial Citadel of Thang Long. Enjoy walking to discover the Ly dynasty architecture and relic of thousand years. Later, visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and admire the common father of Vietnam leading the country to the independence and freedom.
Be excited with the French architecture of President palace. Next explore the beautiful lotus tower of Hanoi – One Pillar pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. The morning would not be complete without a visit to Vietnamese Women’s museum where you’ll learn the diversity of Vietnam culture and women’s significant contribution to the nation.
In the afternoon, discover the impressive sight, considered as the first National university of Vietnam – Temple of Literature. The combination of the wood and tiles, along with hundred – year – old trees create the history of the temple. Next, pay a visit to Ngoc Son temple or Temple of Jade Mountain before an impressive water puppet show to learn more about a traditional practice of Vietnamese culture.
Leave Hanoi this morning and head to Ha Long bay. En route, you will go through the rich farmlands of Red River Delta. Get the first – hands look at the coastline of Vietnam, take plenty of photos and discover the hard work of the locals in the rice field. The special thing today, experience the seafood on your junk boat with the view of limestones cliffs and floating villages.
Cool yourself off the emerald water or relax at the sundeck and enjoy the peace of the scene. You can choose to explore the bay yourself by kayak. Afterwards, admire the impressive of the most stunning limestone cave – Sung Sot cave. Gaze out at the sunset of Ha Long Bay and turning back to dine at an elegant restaurant. Spend the rest of your day with fishing yourself, back to your junk boat to have a good night’s sleep. Overnight on board.
Greet the day with a morning tai chi exercise and the opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, you will visit a beautiful island and then head back to the boat for a final glimpse of Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Next, transfer to Ninh Binh, taking in the beautiful scenery on the way.
About 150 km from the famous Vietnamese bay where hundreds of islands form a natural wonder is another equally as impressive landscape – Trang An, or commonly known as “Inland Ha Long Bay”. After enjoying a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, take a sampan boat up the beautiful river fed by natural springs and through caves that cut their way through amazing limestone karst mountains to visit an ancient 10th century pagodas and temples.
After your boat trip, it a great fun to take a bike for further exploration to Thung Nham bird garden. It is a quiet biking route on flat road & dams with a very nice scenery of mountains & local villages. The round trip is only about 10 km long, ensuring enough time for dinner and shower in Ninh Binh town before boarding the overnight train to Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park. Overnight on train.
Today, chance to marvel at the Phong Nha cave – the world’s longest limestone cave and recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site. Approach the cave by the boat along the Son river, once you enter the cave, be amazed at the majestic stalactites system, the masterpiece of the world.
After lunch, follow your guide to the Tam Co temple and the extraordinary Paradise cave. The length of the cave is 31 km and bound with a great number of the lime peaks. The limestone formation is spectacular, while you walk down the wooden stair, you will enter a fairy world and be dazzled by this gift of nature.
This morning, follow your guide to Hue - the former capital of Vietnam – a UNESCO World Heritage. Stop at Hien Luong bridge in the former of DMZ (Former Demilitarized Zone) on the road. Time to explore Quang Tri ancient citadel and War museum which are memorial sites today. Continue on to the awe-inspiring complicated of Vinh Moc tunnels which was strategically located on the border of North and South of Vietnam during war. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Back to Hue in the afternoon for a free exploration.
The first stop today is the Thanh Toan village. Visit Thanh Toan market, stroll around, meet and chat with the locals or buy souvenirs. Head to the small museum displaying agriculture of Vietnam and Thanh Toan covered bridge from the 1700s.
Then, the Imperial City (UNESCO recognized site) will leave you a spellbound due to its ancient beauty. Explore the city and learn about the history of Nguyen dynasty through many historical sites, museums, tombs, pagodas, and temples.
Continue the journey with the visit to the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, one of Vietnam’s most magnificent royal tombs. Indulge in vegetarian lunch with the nuns of a Buddhist monastery. Appreciate your meal while contacting with them to learn more about Buddhism.
In the afternoon, board a dragon boat along the Perfume river and visit Thien Mu pagoda.
The rest of the day will be yours to discover.
Depart from Hue, you will travel to the riverside town in Hoi An. The ride will stick to the coastline along the Eastern Sea while you feast your eyes on unforgettable view of Hai Van pass. Stop at the extraordinary fishing village at Lang Co beach for photos.
Through Da Nang, you will discover the Cham sculpture museum and ascend the Marble mountain.
Afternoon, enjoy a half day walking tour of Hoi An, through the Ancient quarter with paper flowers on either side of the road. Hoi An formerly was a flourish commercial port. Now, this is a charming riverside town. You can also discover Hoi An features: Chua Ong Temple, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge and Hoi An central market. One interesting thing in Hoi An is that there are a lot of tailors producing a custom suit in 24 hours or less with reasonable prices.
My Son sanctuary dates from 4th to 14th centuries. It is an important archaeological site of Hindu temples. These temples were built by Cham empire which once was the ruler much of central and southern Vietnam. My Son was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1999.
The afternoon is free to discover at your leisure.
Leave Da Nang for a flight to Ho Chi Minh city.
On arrival in Ho Chi Minh city, start a 2-hour tour to Cu Chi Tunnels. This place is a legendary and very important during Vietnam War. Be mesmerized by the immense network of connecting underground tunnels. Watch a brief introductory video and experience the severe by going into the tunnels. Back to Ho Chi Minh for lunch.
The rest of your day is on your own. We highly recommend you visit Ben Thanh market.
Time to relax and figure out Ho Chi Minh city. In the morning, you can stroll along the Tao Dan Park, enjoy the coffee with Saigon style while listening to the history of Vietnam. Immersed yourself in the blooming scene of the flowers market Ho Thi Ky. Visit the sacred Thich Quang Duc monument – the monk burned himself to protest the against the discrimination of Buddhists. Take a ride through Cho Lon – one of the oldest markets in Saigon to Nhi Phu temple built by Chinese immigrants.
In the afternoon, continue with the French architecture of General post office (GPO) and Notre Dame cathedral. Admire the magnanimity of Reunification palace where the Vietnam war was officially ended. Drive to Dong Khoi street, see the photo of the helicopter lifting the people out of Saigon in 1975. Discover the must-see sights of HCM City like Opera House, Ho Chi Minh City People committee, and War remnants museum.
Enjoy last moment in this southern center before saying goodbye to Vietnam. Your significant adventure ends!
Please note that accommodations mentioned in this list are for reference only. Depending on availability and your preference, they can be changed.