Vietnam Discovery

Start: Hanoi Finish: Ho Chi Minh City

Visiting: Hanoi, Hạ Long, Lao Cai, Sa Pa, Hội An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Củ Chi, Mekong River Delta


Duration: 13 Nights

Physical rating: Low, Medium

Special diets catered: Vegetarians

Tour Operator: Absolute Asia Travel

Group size: 2 - 12

Age range: 10-99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From:

Tour Overview

This 14-day tour is a great introduction to Vietnam's history, diverse culture, hill-tribes and local way of life which covers the highlights of Vietnam from north to south. This tour also takes in 2-day excursion to the mountainous area of Sapa in northwestern region of Vietnam where you will visit hill-tribe villages and a colourful ethnic market nearby. Please note that the tour can be fully customized to fit preferences, budget and time frame. If you wish to start the tour from Ho Chi Minh City, just let us know.

Places You'll See

Countries:

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Welcome to Hanoi

Location: Hanoi

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: No Meals

When you arrive at Noi Bai International airport in Hanoi, you'll be welcome by one of our representative and transferred to your hotel in the downtown. The remainder of the day will be all yours to stroll around the Old Quarter of Hanoi and its raucous streets full of traditional vendors and artisans. Or, if it suits you better, simply relax and unwind at your hotel for the night. The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, is a modern city that retains a unique old World charm and some of Asia's most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks give the city a relaxing atmosphere. The bustling Old Quarter of Hanoi is the area where the specific goods once offered, which the streets are named after, are for sale at these places. Meals: None Overnight in Hanoi

icon Day 2 : Hanoi – Sights and Highlights with Water Puppet Show

Location: Hanoi

This city tour of Hanoi takes in essential sites which will commence from your hotel lobby at 08.30 a.m. In the morning, you'll visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the nearby One-Pillar Pagoda; The Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. After lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant, you'll continue visiting the Museum of Ethnology, widely acknowledged as the best in the country, containing an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples; enjoy a cyclo ride for 1 hour touring through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi! The day finishes with a traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets. Note: the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed all day on Monday and Fridays, as well as from 1st October to 30th November (approx.) for annual conservation. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Overnight in Hanoi

icon Day 3 : Hanoi – Bai Tu Long Bay (Join with other travelers on the cruise)

Location: Hạ Long

Accommodation: Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At 08.00 AM, you will be picked up at your hotel and start the scenic 3.5 hour drive to Bai Tu Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world's largest marine limestone 'karst' landscape. Enjoy the landscape of the Red River Delta countryside and have a short break en-route. Meet the crew upon boarding the traditional wooden junk with cruise briefing, then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads towards the secluded islands. Visit a less visited ancient limestone caves and go sea kayaking and swimming if the weather permits. Return to the junk refreshed and relax on deck with a drink to watch the sunset. Enjoy a freshly prepared seafood dinner under the stars. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Overnight onboard a cruise boat on Bai Tu Long Bay.

icon Day 4 : Continue Cruising - Hanoi – Overnight Night Train to Lao Cai

Location: Lao Cai

Accommodation: Train

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy an early morning swim (if weather permits) followed by breakfast. You will visit a fishing village by a rustic rowing-boat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and pearl farms before cruising back to the main harbor for the drive back to Hanoi. You will arrive in the afternoon with time to relax or stroll around the Old Quarter. At 21.00, you will be picked up to Hanoi’s Railway station for boarding the overnight train leaving at 22.00 to Lao Cai. You will stay overnight on the train. Meals: Light breakfast, Brunch Overnight on the train

icon Day 5 : Lao Cai - Sapa Hiking through Villages in Muong Hoa Valley

Location: Sa Pa

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

You'll arrive at Lao Cai train station at 06.05 AM morning where your private tour guide will take you to your hotel in Sapa town for check-in and refreshing. After breakfast and a short transfer, you leave the busy town behind. You will follow a road going downhill to Cat Cat village. You will stop by a waterfall and a hydroelectric station for a while before you trek on a dirt trail through rice paddy terraces. You will also enjoy spectacular scenery while walking along a narrow river. You eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black Hmong minority, where you can take a rest while you are served lunch nearby the river. After lunch, you head to Muong Hoa valley. You will pass through Lao Chai village of Black Hmong minority and then Ta Van village of Giay minority by following a very popular trekking route. From there, you'll be transferred by private vehicle back to Sapa for overnight stay. Tour summary: Road transfer approx. 20 minutes/Hiking and village visiting 5 hours/Grade 2 of 5. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Overnight in Sapa

icon Day 6 : Sapa - Weekly Ethnic Market - Overnight Train to Hanoi

Location: Sa Pa

Accommodation: Train

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, transfer by road to visit a weekly ethnic market and arrive at the busiest time where you will meet a large variety of ethnic minorities inhabited in the region in their colorful dresses. The ethnic market is not just a place for buying and selling but also opportunity for ethnic people from different minorities meeting and socializing, exchanging news, for women to demonstrate their beautiful handmade traditional costume and even for youngsters to find their dates. Though many ethnic people and vendors have to walk a long distance to reach the market, distance has never discouraged them from joining the market day and the festive atmosphere. At the market, you will stroll from one section to another to explore different local produces, spices, vegetable, farming tools, handicrafts, medicinal herbs…Especially you will encounter smiling peoples everywhere. At food section, you might be invited a cup of locally made whisky. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will drive back to Lao Cai for dinner [at your own account] and overnight train back to Hanoi. Note: There are various weekly ethnic markets around Sapa: Tuesday (Coc Ly Market), Wednesday (Cao Son), Thursday (Lung Khau Nhin, Binh Lu), Saturday (Can Cau, Pha Long market) or Sunday (Bac Ha, Muong Khuong, Muong Hum Market, Binh Lu & Tam Duong). Tour summary: Road transfer 4 to 5 hours/ market, village visit & walk about 4 hours Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Overnight on the train

icon Day 7 : Hanoi - Flight to Danang, Transfer to Hoi An * Afternoon Guided Walking Tour

Location: Hội An

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

You will arrive at Hanoi Railway Station at 05.30 AM where you private guide will meet you and take you to your hotel near the train station for freshen up and breakfast [included in the tour cost]. Later, you will be transferred to Noi Bai airport for a morning flight to Danang. Upon arrival, another local guide will meet you and take you to Hoi An for a guided walking tour. You'll start a walking tour with a lion's share of places of interest: the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge; the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls; the museum and the colorful local market. Following the narrow lanes, you'll meander through tiny streets studded by houses influenced by Chinese, Japanese, French and European architectures. After such gallavanting, your time will be your own to wander around or getting amongst some retail therapy. Meals: Breakfast Overnight in Hoi An

icon Day 8 : Hoi An - Free Day at Leisure

Location: Hội An

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

A free day in Hoi An to spend as your wish! Apart from exploring Hoi An's World Heritage architecture & colorful market on foot, you might visit Vietnam's grandest Cham ruins at My Son; attend a cooking class at a riverside restaurant; or join other travelers to get up close and personal to daily farming and fishing life. For early risers, why not capture the real Hoi An by joining a 4-hour photography tour led by a local expat expert? If you want to go below, hop on a boat to Cu Lao Cham Island for a fun and relaxing day to explore exotic coral reefs and marine life [best between March & September]. If you'd like any of these activities to be included during your free time in Hoi An, just let it be known during your enquiry, or ask one of the Travel Specialists. Meals: Breakfast Overnight in Hoi An

icon Day 9 : Hoi An – Transfer to Hue via Danang, Boat Trip on Perfume River

Location: Hue

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning you'll drive north to the Royal City of Hue with en-route stop to visit either the Cham Museum in the city centre OR the famous Marble Mountain, which stands for the five essential elements that establish nature. Continue the scenic route to Hue, enjoy the view of the coast line and Danang from the top of the Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Clouds) makes your journey interesting and have your camera ready for some great photo opportunities. In the afternoon, you will cruise the Perfume River by a dragon boat to serene Thien Mu Pagoda and drive to visit the majestic Royal Tomb of King Ming Mang [and Royal Tomb of King Khai Dinh if time permits]. Return to your hotel by road just before sunset. Note: You might consider a candle-lit dinner set in a garden house which is a traditional feature of Hue's culture. Both the garden house and the are great introduction into Hue's culture. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Overnight in Hue

icon Day 10 : Hue City Tour - Flight to Ho Chi Minh City

Location: Ho Chi Minh City

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today you'll continue visiting the Imperial City of Hue, firstly with the ancient walled Citadel including the former Imperial Palace. You'll then visit the Dong Ba market to learn about local produce and specialties of Hue. You might get some great deals done at the local Dong Ba Market. Afternoon you will be transferred to Phu Bai airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you'll be met by another local expert who will escort you to your hotel in the downtown. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

icon Day 11 : Ho Chi Minh City – Cultural City Tour

Location: Ho Chi Minh City

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you'll enjoy a guided city tour starting with the War Remnants Museum - a real eye-opener to a part of Vietnam's proud history, followed by the Reunification Palace, the former Presidential Palace for the president of the South of Vietnam, the Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post office to get good shots for our memory of the big, modern city of Vietnam. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will continue by heading to Chinatown with walking tour through back streets of China town near Cho Lon to view the local daily life. Stop off for a visit of Thien Hau temple, which was built in the early 19th Century dedicated to Thien Hau, the goddess of seafarers. We delve deeper into Chinatown visiting the amazing Cholon and Binh Tay Market (or Ben Thanh market) for an insight into where locals shop. Then you'll be back to hotel at around 17:00. Optional: Your lunch today will be at 'Cuc Gach Quan' restaurant which is known as a countryside restaurant set in a French colonial house which combines architecture, design and traditional cooking. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

icon Day 12 : Visit Cao Dai Temple and Cu Chi Tunnels

Location: Củ Chi

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, you will drive for 2 hours to Tay Ninh, once the historical center of the Cao-Dai religion. Founded in 1926, Cao-Dai is a combination of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. At the Holy See Temple, you will have the chance to watch the worshipers in their long white tunics during noon mass. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels where you will visit the amazing network of underground tunnels was used during the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong. This huge construction was a habitation for villagers in the war time. With 3 levels of depth, it was never discovered by the US during the Vietnam War despite its proximity to Saigon. Visit the fighting tunnel system with your local guide. If you really want some excitement, it is possible to fire a real AK 47 or M 16 for a minimum $12 USD for 10 bullets (optional). Return to Saigon, arriving around 17.30. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

icon Day 13 : Explore the Mekong Delta (Vinh Long)

Location: Mekong River Delta

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning you'll head south to visit of Cai Be colorful floating market cruising among local barges full of fruits and vegetables. Then, an optional stop can be made at local workshops where you can see how to make rice paper, coconut candy and pop-rice, pop-corn ...Visit a handicraft village where you can see how they make rice-net for spring-rolls, fish sauce & soya sauce, cooking salt, sewing coconut-leaves for cottage roof. Later, a rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals to enjoy peacefulness of the Delta. You will also see traditional houses made of wood and palm tree leaves and see some activities of the local farmers with an opportunity to interact with them and see how they catch fish or pick up fruits by ancestral ways in Mekong Delta. A tasty lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Afternoon walk around and then enjoy some fresh fruits while listening to the traditional music. The trip today also takes in some gentle cycling along village paths to see the local farms, houses, real life and the ancestral ways to pick up fruits in Mekong Delta. The cruise will end at Vinh Long city where you will drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

icon Day 14 : Ho Chi Minh City Departure

Location: Ho Chi Minh City

Meals: Breakfast

Your time will be your own until being picked up to Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City for your onward journey or departure flight. Farewell from Vietnam! Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

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    Free Wi-Fi at Accommodation

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    Meals – Half Board

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    1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

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    Fully Guided

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    Accommodation

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    All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

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    Airport Transfers at Destination

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    Entrance Fees

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    Train Tickets

What's Not Included

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    Drinks with Meals

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    Tipping and Gratuities

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    International Travel

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    Country Entry Visas

Your Peace of Mind Options

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    Low Deposit

    Absolute Asia Travel requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 56 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Dates & Availability