South to North Vietnam

Itinerary

Arrive at Saigon airport; meet the guide with the welcome signboard (the group are given flowers). Transfer to hotel for check in with an orientation tour of Saigon city to have an overview of Saigon. Evening, welcome dinner at the Mandarin restaurant with the paghrticipation of some Saigonese well-known photographers such as Ms Dao Hoa Nu and Mr. Doan Duc Minh

Meal: Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Sai Gon
Morning, accompany a well-known Saigonese chef for an interesting market tour of Ben Thanh, Saigon’s Central market, to introduce ingredients and buy food. Then proceed to home with this well-known chef where a cooking class/demonstration takes place, enjoy the results for lunch before returning to the hotel. Afternoon, make an excursion to Saigon’s historic landmarks including a walking tour for photo opportunities toward the Old Saigon Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, former Presidential Palace and War Remnants Museum (the main room, where a collection of photos taken by war journalist photographers are now on display). Continue to visit the Saigon Association of Photographic Artists where you can interact with Mr. Nguyen Dang, the Director. Evening, enjoy private dinner at the former residence of Henry Cabot Lodge, twice-US Ambassador to South Vietnam during the 1960’s.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Sai Gon
After an early breakfast, we set out for an excursion to Mytho, in the Mekong Delta. Enjoy a 2-hour scenic drive passing paddy fields and tributaries. On arrival, board our private motorized boat for a river cruise on the upper part of the Mekong River for a taste of agricultural life on the mighty Mekong River visiting a fish-farming village then entering Vam Xep canal with its beautiful scenery of water palm. Disembark and stroll around Quoi An fruit orchard visiting fruit-drying kilns and a coconut craftware-making home. Enhance your trip with a short horse-drawn cart ride along the village road. Upon arrival at Ben Truc – Phong Phu garden, sample some fresh Mekong delta fruit whilst enjoying some local traditional music and an opportunity to interact with the local people whose daily lives take place on and around the river. Complete your trip with a rowing-boat ride to explore the water palm canals. Re-board the main boat and transfer back to My Tho. Arrive at the quay and then lunch at Mekong Rest Stop restaurant, featuring some great Mekong specialities. Continue southwards to Can Tho for the night

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Can Tho
After breakfast, check out of hotel and board the boat for a cruise to visit Cai Rang floating market, the normal wholesale and retail market of the local people. There will be hundreds of boats laden with fruit, vegetables and fish, jostling for trade. Sellers advertise their wares by crying out across the waters. Then visit My Khanh orchard garden where you will sample some delicious seasonal fruits. Leave Can Tho and drive back to Saigon with a lunch stop at My Tho. On arriving in Saigon, transfer to hotel

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Overnight in Sai Gon
Morning transfer to the airport, and a 1-hour flight to Danang. On arrival, transfer directly to the ruins of My Son, 50 Km South West of Danang, the site of the most important Cham intellectual and religious center, dating back the late 4th century. My Son has only 20 monuments still standing today, and is considered a Cham counterpart to the grand cities of South-East Asia’s other Indian-influenced civilizations: Angkor (Cambodia), Pagan (Myanmar), Ayuthaya (Thailand) and Borobudur (Java). Head to Hoi an, a former international trading port during the 17-18th century with an eclectic mix of western and eastern-influenced architecture. On arrival, transfer to hotel for check in.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Overnight in Hoi An
Enjoy a walking tour around the narrow streets visiting former merchants’ houses, Phuc Kien Pagoda, the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, and the local market, where we can take some time to shoot some lively pictures of fishmongers on the river bank. Afternoon is free at leisure to explore this ancient town or visit the Thanh Ha pottery-making village. Return to the hotel late afternoon.

Meal: Breakfast
Hotel: Overnight in Hoi An
Free to explore the town unaccompanied until 10 am. Depart Hoi An for Hue, the former capital of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty of emperors from 1802 until 1945. The scenic route passes through Danang before climbing over the Hai Van (Ocean Clouds) Pass where the summit provides a spectacular panoramic view of the central coastline, before dropping down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co, located on a jutting sand dune line. Enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at a restaurant in Lang Co before continuing the drive to Hue. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. Afternoon, take an hour cycle ride around the city for an overview and to photograph the romantic French colonial styled villas located along the Perfume River bank. Evening, Royal dinner at a local restaurant hosted by some well-known photographers such as Mr. Nguyen Van Dung, Mr. Pham Ba Thinh and Mr. Le Quang Hoang from the Hue Artist Photographers’ Association.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Hue
Morning take a dragon boat upstream towards the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s most preserved religious monument standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower. Drive to visit the Imperial Citadel to get an overview of the former Royal history and life. Lunch is at the Thuong Tu pancake restaurant (specialties of Hue). Afternoon, drive to visit the elaborate Tu Duc Royal Tomb, which was designed to blend with the natural setting of the landscape. After this, visit the Khai Dinh Royal Tomb with different architecture and atmosphere that has elements of eastern art mixed with western designs. Before returning to the hotel, we come up to the Vong Canh hill for an opportunity to take a shot of the spectacular upper part of the Perfume River.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Overnight in Hue
Morning, transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi, meet and transfer to your hotel. Begin a tour of this charming capital city by visiting the Temple of Literature for an overview about Hanoi culture and history at the outset of the trip. Then head to the very beautiful Museum of Ethnology where you can see unique presentation of objects & dress from a variety of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. Lunch is at Cha Ca La Vong local restaurant, the Hanoi fish specialty, which is a plethora of smells, colours and textures. In the afternoon, we continue to wander in the downtown area through the old section of 36 streets, traditionally named after 36 wares. Balance of the day is for independent activities and own exploration the city life.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Overnight in Ha Noi
After breakfast, we drive 30 km (45 minutes) from Hanoi to Tay Phuong Pagoda, which was built in the 17th century, and is very famous for the 18 statues of La Han coated with lacquer paint. After that we visit the near by Thay Pagoda which was first built in the 11th century. This is located at the foot of Thay mountain and here lies the home of traditional water puppetry, and chance to see the oldest stage for performing water puppet right in the village lake. Back to Hanoi for free at leisure. Afternoon, optional shuttle to Ha Tay to visit the picturesque Duyen Thai village which has been engaged in lacquer-ware making for many generations, the wide range of quality products available here is a testament to the skill and dedication of the villagers. Walk around the village and interact with the local people to see their effort on each piece. Enjoy another short drive of 5 km to Nhi Khe village. Most of the households here are involved in the craft of turning wood, horn and bone into beautiful and useful products especially wooden musical instruments. The ancient village is also nice with the narrow zigzag alleys echoing the hammering and chiseling sound. Back to Hanoi for fresh up Dinner is at the Wild Rice Vietnamese restaurant. Transfer to the train station to take an overnight train ride to Lao Cai.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Overnight on train
Arrive in the early morning at Lao Cai station, near the Chinese border, freshen up and take a simple breakfast at the local guesthouse before a scenic drive to the hill tribe Can Cau Market, it is just a small market, but very colourful, set in the mountains near the Chinese border. Almost every Saturday around 8 different minorities gather at the market selling and buying their own made things. The Flower H’Mong minority is the most common here, and their colourful dresses make a beautiful sight. Enjoy a picnic lunch at a village, then transfer to Sapa and check into your hotel. Dinner is served at the hotel

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Sapa
After breakfast at hotel, drive to Su Pan, where we start the descent to Ban Ho village. We walk through the village and experience the daily life of the Tay minority. The guide will prepare a delicious lunch in a local Tay house. We cross the suspension bridge and walk uphill through the terraced rice fields until we reach the Red Dao minority village - Nam Toong. Drive back to Sapa and freshen up before transferring to Lao Cai railway station. Optional visit Tran Hung Dao temple, the century-old banyan tree, the park of the 12 zodiac-signs, and the China-Vietnam border. Then, transfer to a local hotel near Lao Cai railway station to freshen up before taking an overnight train back to Hanoi.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Overnight on train
Upon arrival in Hanoi, meet with your guide and transfer to hotel for fresh up and breakfast. Then drive around three and a half hours to Halong City with a break en route at a local coffee shop. Arriving by noon at the quayside, we board our private junk to begin a 4-hour cruise through spectacular Halong Bay, stopping along the way to explore the limestone caves or just lazing about on the deck of our boat. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most spectacular natural wonders. The tiny limestone islands are dotted with many beaches and grottoes created by the wind and the waves that provide an excellent backdrop for swimming. Whilst on board indulge in a delicious seafood lunch and dinner
Early check in at hotel in Hanoi

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight on board (seat in coach)
Early morning, get up to catch the sunrise on the Bay. Explore & cruise around the bay for photography opportunities. Brunch before returning to the port and driving back to Hanoi with a stop en route in the ceramic-making village of Phu Lang to observe the century-year old method of ceramic production. Arrive in Hanoi in the afternoon to do the shopping. This evening we will meet for a farewell dinner at ‘Indochine’ Restaurant.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Ha Noi
Free until transfer to the airport for departure flight. End of services

Meal: Breakfast
Hotel: Not include
Inclusive of: Non-inclusive of:
Hotel accommodations with daily breakfast

Private airport transfers and transportation on tour

Sightseeing with one escort English speaking guide

Admission fees and permits as per the itinerary

Private boat cruises

Domestic airfare SGN-DAD; HUI-HAN with airport taxes

Return train tickets HAN-LCI-HAN

Halong junk (shared boat/surcharge for overnighting on Halong Ginger)

Meals as indicated (meals only without drinks)

Mineral water and cold towel on car/van/bus

Vietnam visa

Other meals with drinks

Other early check in or late check out

International departure airport tax

Travel insurance

Others items not mentioned in the Inclusive of: column

Local Map

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Tour type: Daily Tour
Duration: 15 days
Maximum number of people: 40
Location: Vietnam
Rate:
Adults:
Children (Age 7-10):
(charge 70% )
Children (Age 3-6):
(charge 50% )

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