On arrival in Hanoi, warm welcome by your tour guide and transfer to your hotel for relaxing.
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 2/ Hanoi, Vietnam’s Capital City (B,L)
Today we spend a full day exploring Hanoi, the city’s cultural heart that bears traces of centuries’ old dynasties. We visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in the city. Driving through the Hanoi French Quarter we pass by the Opera house, HoanKiem Lake, and the political center Ba Dinh Square. Visit Van Mieu, known as the Temple of Literature containing historical artifacts and Vietnam’s first university. Then enjoy a traditional cyclo ride through Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Lunch will be served at an authentic Vietnamese restaurant. After lunch visit “Hanoi Hilton”, where American prisoners of war were once confined. Then we continue to explore the habits of local, stop at the popular coffee shop; you will enjoy sips of coffee dripping from the filter. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 3/ Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D)
Depart to Halong Bay. Enjoy the landscape of the Red River Delta country side.
On arrival, enjoy welcome drink on board, receive cruise brief programs and safety instructions. Then check-in and enjoy lunch while the cruise starts cruising into quiet area of Halong Bay, passing small islets. Visit caves, grottos by bamboo boat and stop at a beach for swimming or enjoy kayaking (optional). You can enjoy cruise activities such as cooking class, Happy Hour time, watching movies, or squid fishing at night. Enjoy dinner and relaxing time on board.
Day 4/ Halong Bay – Hanoi – Dong Hoi – Phong Nha (B,L,D)
The day starts early onboard with Tai Chi session on the sundeck. Coffee, tea and pastries for breakfast are served in the dining room with morning view of bay’s landscape.
Visit one of the biggest caves in Halong bay with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Return to the boat, check-out and cruise back to the Wharf. Disembark and say farewell to the crew.
Drive back to Hanoi airport for a flight to Dong Hoi. Arrive and transfer to Phong Nha for check in the hotel. Overnight in Phong Nha
Day 5/ Dong Hoi – Phong Nha full day tour (B,L)
Drive to the Xuan Son ferry landing (45km) and take a boat ride on the Son River to spectacular Phong Nha Cavern comprising Bi Ky Cave & Cung Dinh Cave.
In the afternoon, we have underground trekking through Paradise
Using Tramcar services for roundtrip from the center to the bottom of Paradise cave. Then waking about 2km into this breathtaking cave, past the lights and tourists, over rocks and through underground rivers.
Day 6/ Dong Hoi – Hue (B,L)
After breakfast, take the Highway 1 across the Hien Luong Bridge over the Ben Hai River, the demarcation of North and South Vietnam during the war. Pass by the Doc Mieu Base in the DMZ, and Con Thien Fire Support Base. Visit the ruin vestige of the ancient citadel Quang Tri and the battle site of Quang Tri - Cam Lo and recall the Operation Buffalo (July 1967).
Drive parallel to the DMZ along Route 9 to Khe Sanh and pass a series of fire support bases, such as the Rockpile, and the Da Krong Bridge. Tour the KheSanh Base, a French fort, battle sites, and other military camps. Arrive in Hue and check into the hotel.
Day 7/ Hue City Tour (B,L,D)
In the morning, we visit Thanh Toan ancient roofed bridge “built over 200 years ago” viewing the countryside village “this is a real local touch”.
Take a boat ride on the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, the oldest and most important Buddhist shrine in Vietnam. Here you will see the Austin driven by the monk to his immolation in Saigon to protest the anti-Buddhist repression of President Ngo Dinh Diem. Then visit the Imperial Citadel and Flag Tower, the strongest stand by the VC during Tet, 1968.
Have a home style dinner at the local house. Savor with special dishes and enjoy royal tea with the open atmosphere of a hospitality and friendly family. Overnight in Hue
Day 8/ Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An (B,L)
Drive to Hoi An via Hai Van Pass, renowned for its scenic beauty. Pass by 5th PhuLoc town, which was Marine Regiment 1st Div - Hue air field during the war, and stop at Lang Co Beach for pictures. Onward to the Freedom Hill, “Hill 327”, "Red Beach II" where the first U.S. combat marines landed in 1965. Arrive in Da Nang, passing Nguyen Van Troi Bridge—built by the US, now named for a VC who tried to blow up former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. Visit the Marble Mountain and Non Nuoc beach, known as "China Beach R&R for American Soldiers." Arrive in Hoi An and check into the hotel.
Day 9/ Hoi An biking and fishing tour – city tour (B/L)
You commence the day leisurely cycling along country roads witnessing local Vietnamese rural life first hand, discovering all manner of photo opportunities - coming and visiting a beautiful organic vegetable village, watering and planting vegetable, hoeing a soil with local farmer, riding a water buffalo in a rice paddy field; seeing ducks swimming along the rice farm or farmers tending their crops. The photo opportunities are endless. As well you will experience the friendliness of the local people greeting you along the way. Later you will board the boat for a river cruise to meet and engage with local fishermen and enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. You will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat while the waterways of coconut palm paradise. This tour provides you with a cultural window into the ways of life of both our farming and fishing communities. Have lunch at the house of a local people.
In the afternoon, we have a walking tour through old Hoi An, visit Phung Hung Ancient House, Museum of Hoi An, Kwan Kung Temple, Japanese Covered Bridge and Workshop of Traditional Handicrafts
Day 10/ Hoi An – Danang – Saigon (B)
Free day at leisure until transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon.
Pick-up on arrival and transfer to hotel check-in. The rest of day is at leisure.
Day 11/ Cu Chi Tunnels – Saigon city tour (B,L)
Have an excursion to Cu Chi, 70km north of Saigon, famed for its over 200-kilometre-longtunnels was used by guerrilla during the Viet Nam War and understand how they managed to prolong the war in such difficulties. Stop at the Ben Duoc War Memorial (over 40,000 people have fallen) before testing your marksmanship with an AK rifle at local rifle range (optional).
In the Afternoon: city tour includes: War Remnants Museum, features 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 transaction at busiest time. Overnight in Sai Gon
Day 12/ Mekong Delta (B,L)
Today, we drive to the rural town of Cai Be. Upon arrival, take a small boat to visit local villages. Stop at local workshops where you will see how pop-rice, rice paper and coconut candy are made. Then the boat takes us deeper into the countryside via smaller canals to Tan Phong Island to visit workshops where people make country cottage roofs from coconut palm leaves and export various products such as baskets, bags, hats, wallets… from water-hyacynth. We have the option to walk or bike on the island. We have lunch at a local house and enjoy Southern Vietnamese folk music. After lunch, have a short rest before driving back to Saigon late afternoon. Evening is free for your own activities.
Day 13/ Saigon Departure (B)
The morning is at leisure until transfer to the airport for your departure flight (normal check out).
Please feel free to contact us if you have any special requests.