Arrive in Saigon, welcome by local tour guide and transfer to hotel check-in. Free at leisure.
Day 2 Saigon city tour & street food by night on scooters (B,L,D)
Morning tour includes the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral built by the French in 1880 and City Post office building. Drop by Ben Thanh Market for viewing local people doing their transactions at busiest time. Lunch at a local restaurant and return to hotel to relax.
Late afternoon, ride through the busily lit boulevard to Chinatown to get a view of the daily lives of food-stall and vendors at the market, which reflects the daily activities of most Vietnamese people. You continue the drive a long a man-made Tau Hu canal that was an important waterway that linked Saigon to the Mekong Delta 200 years in the past. Any tour of Saigon by night is not complete without tasting some of the popular local restaurants where you can enjoy real local tastes and blend yourself in local life. We end tour at a local coffee shop, where you can enjoy a delicious cup of famous Vietnamese café sua da.
Day 3 Saigon – Mekong Delta – À Ố Show (B,L)
Morning drive to the southernmost region of the Mekong Delta known as the rice basket of Vietnam. On arrival in Hùng Vương Pier (Bến Tre town), take a private boat on Bến Tre river – one of tributaries of Mekong River to witness lively activities along the river, such as fishing, water transferring… Stop at a brick workshop to see how to make bricks in handy traditional method and visit one of plenty of coconut workshops. Take a walk to a family workshop making sleep-mats and enjoy fruits and tea.
Then experience motor-cart (xe lôi) or cycle riding under tree shades, passing by green rice fields and vegetable crops. Lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, take a rowing boat along water palm creek and return to pier, then transfer back to Saigon.
Evening, enjoy À Ố Show (one of the four versions: The Mist, Teh Dar, My Village or À Ố Show) at Saigon Opera House.
Day 4 Cu Chi Tunnels – Flight to Siem Reap (B,L)
Morning visit Cu Chi Tunnels famed for its over 200-kilometre-long tunnel system used during the Vietnam War. Back to Saigon for lunch with Pho Noodle before you transfer to the airport for flight to Siem Reap. Pick-up on arrival and transfer to hotel check-in.
Day 5 Siem Reap – Angkor Wat – Angkor Thom (B,L)
Early risers may experience a spectacular sunrise view at Srah Srang Lake. This 900-year-old lake was previously a bathing pool for the royals and is still filled with water today. The trees surrounding the water’s edge offer a beautiful reflection in the tranquil waters as the sun’s colors begin to fill the sky. Back to hotel for breakfast.
Then we head to the famous Angkor Wat, the world’s largest temple with the world’s longest intricately carved bas-relief panels. Explore this 3-tier pyramidal structure with massive galleries of thousands of Buddhas, interior walls and niches decorated with stone apsaras (celestial dancers) and devatas (goddesses). Take a walk around the top terrace for a great view of Angkor. After lunch, visit Angkor Thom, which means the "Great City" in Khmer, the 12th-century royal Buddhist city especially famed for its grand Bayon temple. Also included are the South Gate, Bapoun, the Terrace of the Elephant, and the Terrace of the Leper King and Ta Prohm – the 12th century temple that has been left largely un-restored in its natural state surrounded by jungle. Return to hotel and evening is free at leisure.
Day 6 Siem Reap – Countryside and Treak Village Cooking Class (B,D)
This morning, we drive southwest of town to remote villages where you will enjoy the stunning countryside including villages, traditional house style, green rice fields, the people, their culture and the wonderful smiles of the children. Have an experience ox- cart riding through the rice field. On the way back, we can visit the local market and Les Artisan D’Angkor. Free at leisure early afternoon.
Approximately 4:30pm, pick-up at hotel. Remork transfer (tuk tuk) to a rural location (Treak Village); the Cooking class is in an outdoor covered pavilion, surrounded by Banana trees, bamboo and a fish pond, or our Herb Garden. Take a short walk in the village to visit a local family and garden to see the ingredients growing. Learn about food superstition and beliefs. Our classes are very hands on and interactive and each person has an individual cooking station. Meals are eaten in a lovely pavilion perched over a fish pond, or at the Herb Garden, a pavilion surrounded by flowers and fresh herbs.
Day 7 Siem Reap – Danang – Hoi An (B)
Transfer to the airport for flight to Danang. Arrive in Danang airport, welcome by tour guide and transfer to Hoian check-in hotel.
Day 8 Hoi An street food & Silk lantern workshop (B,L)
This morning, we have a walking tour visiting the colorful Hoi An market. Our walk then continues along the busy streets, discovering out-of-the-way producers and street vendors making and selling a wide variety of exotic foods. Arriving at the Ancient House where we will relax and enjoy refreshments and taste the local delicacies bought directly from the vendors on the way.
Then we will explore the historic attractions of this charming colonial town on a walking tour, with stops at the Quan Cong Temple, Phuoc Kien Pagoda, Japanese Covered Bridge, Quang Dong Pagoda. Last stop is the workshop of traditional handicrafts, where we learn how to make a silk lantern and bring home our own products.
Late afternoon, we take a boat on Thu Bon River, you can enjoy experiencing the busy daily life of Hoian town. The rest of day and evening is free to explore the town on your own.
Day 9 Kim Bong – Cam Kim and Cam Thanh Village – Full day biking tour (B,L)
Today is a full day of activities. We take a biking trip along the country roads witnessing local Vietnamese rural life. We will take in rice paddies with water buffalos, countryside sceneries, local people… Cam Kim is a scenic rural island still less touristic. We make our first stop at a boat building workshop where you can see how wooden boats are made by skillful hands of the workers. The second stop is Huynh Ri carpentry workshop where you will see the artisans creating unique craft. The next visit is a family who makes rice-noodle in traditional way. Final stop is a sleeping mat workshop. We will have the opportunity to interact with local people and learn more about their daily lives.
Continue biking to visit Cam Dong village where we can experience walking or cycling on the floating bridge and Bamboo Bridge. Lunch with a local family. After lunch, we will experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat while the waterways of coconut palm paradise in Cam Thanh Village. Return to hotel and the rest of day is at leisure.
Day 10 Hoi An – Hue – Home-style Dinner (B,D)
After breakfast, transfer to Hue (approx. 110km), arrive in Hue check in hotel.
Afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel, designed for exclusive use by the emperor, his family, and his retinue, started in 1804. The city is protected by a series of four enormous outer walls that are 7-10 meters thick. Much of the Imperial City, including the Forbidden Palace, was destroyed during a vicious battle between opposing forces during the Tet Offensive of 1968. One can spend an entire afternoon wandering around the grounds of the Imperial City, viewing the ancient architecture of the Nguyen emperors and scars of recent battles.
Tonight we visit Mrs. Tuyet’s house to enjoy the traditional tea and Hue-style dinner with her family. This is an opportunity to learn more about Vietnamese culture and traditional customs. Overnight in Hue.
Day 11 Aodaigo tour by scooters – Making Hue-style cakes – Hanoi (B,L)
Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam, is famous for its quiet and peaceful environment, for the traditional handicrafts and traditional customs, for the charming ladies in violet aodai and also for its royal and household gastronomy.
Morning, Aodaigo ladies in a traditional Áo Dài meet you at hotel lobby and we ride eastward along the city river to Thanh Toàn tile-roofed Bridge in Thanh Toàn village, about 8 km from Hue. We enjoy the peaceful scenery of the countryside with farmers working on their tranquil rice fields, talk to friendly local people in the small market and learn more about their daily life.
Then we continue riding to Sình painting village, famous for woodblock printed paintings. We will stop at a local family and learn about painting techniques and materials. Leaving Sình village, we ride to another local family to learn how to make Hue-style cakes, try to wrap some and enjoy the very special cakes of Hue. After lunch with the local family, we transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi. Arrive Hanoi, meet our guide and transfer to hotel check in hotel.
Day 12 Hanoi street food & city tour – Art of water puppetry (B,L)
Morning, we make the first stop at Bach Ma temple and walk along the narrow streets to Hang Be market. Taste street foods and learn about “local cuisine culture”, such as cha que (sausage with cinnamon), banh cuon (Vietnamese rolling cakes), bun cha (rice noodles served with cha que), nem (deep fried “square-shape” spring rolls) and che (a popular dessert soup with many varieties kinds of beans). Take a rest at a local café and enjoy local style coffee.
Afternoon, visit the Presidential Palace (façade only), One Pillar pagoda, the Temple of Literature known as the first university of Vietnam.
We end the tour at a mini stage of one famous puppeteer – Mr. Phan Thanh Liem – in Hanoi. We not only get to watch the 30-minute water puppet show but are also encouraged to handle the puppets. Then have a warm talk with the puppeteer to learn more about the culture and story of the unique art originated in Vietnam's wet rice civilization. Return to hotel and free at leisure.
Day 13 Hanoi – Lan Ha Bay with luxury Ginger Cruise (B,L,D)
In the morning, take a scenic drive from Hanoi to Hai Phong. Arrive at Got Ferry Terminal, where your luxurious floating home sets sail around noontime.
Enjoy a welcome drink upon boarding while being acquainted with the facilities on board. After a short briefing, we start our unique journey of exploration in one of the new wonders of nature – Lan Ha Bay. We enjoy lunch in Ginger’s light-flooded dining room offering panoramic views of the passing scenery. During the cruise we can see an ancient lighthouse, built by the French over 100 years ago. We head deeper south into the maze of Lan Ha Bay, a part of Halong Bay which was just recently opened to the public. Relax on the sun deck and soak in the aura of the fascinating scenery that emanates from the surreal seascape. During this cruising time there is enough time to enjoy our onboard activities. Take a plunge in the pool or let us pamper you with a selection of fine treatments and massages in our large Lady Ginger spa. We reach the landing spot of Viet Hai Village on Cat Ba Island where we hop on bikes (electric car available) for an active tour along small paved roads towards a village nestled in a valley. Meet and greet local inhabitants doing their daily work, see their homes and the village school. Back on board, our chef is ready and prepared for an interactive cooking class in the open kitchen at the restaurant. Learn about local ingredients, preparation and cooking of particular dishes to imitate easily at home. We arrive at a tranquil anchor spot for the night, a hidden away place to reminisce on the day’s adventures and enjoy cocktails under the stars. Dinner is served in the dining room. You may like to hang out at our bar after with a drink or pay a visit to the evening cinema which is set up in the dining area. Kick back with your favorite drink in probably the most unusual cinema you have ever visited. Have some fun with our team joining them for squid fishing before retiring to your room.
Day 14 Lan Ha Bay – Hanoi – Bomb Shelter Tour at Sofitel Metropole Hanoi (B)
Wake up early and join our Tai Chi session on the sun deck to ease mind and muscles with the first rays of the sun touching the water. Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries await you in the dining room to start the new day. Ginger anchors up and we cruise to Frog Lake, a secluded spot which is perfect for our morning excursion. In kayaks or swimming we enjoy a close encounter and discovery of the bay. Paddling through the dreamlike landscape with tree-topped islands, you will feel a sense of freedom and harmony with nature that you have never experienced before.
Back on board a hearty breakfast is served in the dining room as we cruise back to the pier where we arrive around 11 o’clock in the morning. Savor the last cruise moments of this unique journey relaxing on comfy sun beds on the terrace deck. Transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi.
This evening, you have the option to join the history tour to “the Lost Bomb Shelter” of Sofitel Metropole Hotel, an honorable mentioned in 2013 UNESCO Heritage Awards.
(Reservation should be made in advance, tour duration around 50 minutes)
Day 15 Hanoi Departure (B)
Free time at your leisure until check out at noon. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Have a great journey!