Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Xin chao! Welcome to Hanoi!
Upon arrival, your guide or driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
Day 2: Hanoi Cooking Class, Cyclo & Water Puppet Show
For your authentic culinary experience, we partner with Rose Kitchen, the no.1 cooking class provider in Hanoi. Today you will be picked up at your hotel by shared transfer. Head straight to a local market to purchase ingredients for the class and learn about produce integral to Vietnamese cuisine. Learn to cook in a local luxurious villa of 500m2 with a local chef. In the kitchen, you’ll prepare and cook authentic dishes, such as spring rolls, a salad of banana flowers, and barbecue pork with noodles and fish sauce. Once you’ve finished cooking, you’ll sit down to feast on the fruit of your labors,accompanied by free and unlimited local wine tasting, herbal tea, coffee,mineral water, our herbal welcome drink and free 1 beer/1 soft drink. You will then be dropped off at your hotel.
In the afternoon take a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s 36 streets, named after the products that were sold from their shops. Today, vendors on Tin and Bamboo Streets still sell the same wares. Next, sip a strong Vietnamese coffee in a café overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake - an important symbol in Vietnamese folklore. End your day with a delightful water puppet show, a traditional art that is still being performed today.
Day 3: Hanoi - Ky Son
Pic above: Frangipani Worship Hall at Moon Garden homestay.
Today you will visit the rural Ky Son village, a hamlet of the historic Duong Lam Village, only 55km from Hanoi. Ky Son is home to Moon Garden homestay, a small and unique complex of traditional style and renovated properties that celebrate northern Vietnamese architecture.
During your stay you will enjoy many activities such as Vietnamese cooking class, cycling tour around the village,learning about traditional customs or simply chatting with the local people you will meet.
Day 4: Ky Son - Mai Chau
Today depart for Mai Chau. Discover ethnic minority villages, lush green mountains, rural culture and delicious northern cuisine on your 2 day trip to Mai Chau. Upon arrival check in your hotel and relax. In the afternoon, why not ride through the rice paddies field in Mai Chau valley which is dotted with stilt houses? The ride offers opportunities for taking photos, visiting local families and interacting with the locals.
Day 5: Mai Chau - Ninh Binh
Morning at leisure.
After breakfast embark on a journey of about 3 hours to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of the Dinh and Le dynasties dating back to the 11th century. Having been eroded over the millennia, the dilapidated ruins have nearly been absorbed by the spectacular scenery creating a mystical atmosphere that will be sure to titillate your imagination.
After lunch in a local restaurant you will continue to nearby Tam Coc, popularly known for its outstanding natural beauty and the scenic karst formations which contribute to its reputation as being the “Halong Bay on land”.
Board a small boat and meander lazily down the peaceful river while passing through a series of caves. While enjoying the sounds of soaring birds overhead and paddling along the crystal-clear waters of the river, jagged limestone hills jutting skyward out of electric green rice paddies will be sure to bring out the photographer in you.
Finally, return to the pier, where your vehicle will be waiting for you for your transfer to your hotel in Ninh Binh.
Day 6: Ninh Binh - Ha Long Bay - Lan Ha Bay
Depart from Ninh Binh and travel by road to Tuan Chau Island pier in Halong Bay Set off on Heritage Cruise, where you’ll be pampered in style and comfort whilst meandering through the towering limestone cliffs and emerald green waters of Ha long Bay. Stop in Tra Bau, a secret hideaway in Lan Ha Bay that has beaches, caves and coves. You can try kayaking or simply swim in the clear waters of the bay.
Back to your boat, enjoy life aboard the vessel or in your suite, and with cocktail in hand watch the sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin. In late afternoon part in a professional cooking demonstration before indulging in a luxurious dinner in the dining hall. Spend the rest of the evening as you’d like: watch a movie in the dining area, relax on the deck with a cocktail, or go squid fishing under the cover of night.
Day 7: Ha Long Bay - Hanoi - fly to Hue
Rise with the sun and practice Vivonam on the sundeck while taking in majestic views of the surrounding bay and the cool sea breeze. Wrap up your experience with a bamboo boat trip to visit Dark and Bright Cave before cruising back to Tuan Chau Marina. Your guide and driver will take you to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue.
Upon arrival in Danang you will be taken to your hotel in Hue.
Day 8: Hue Full Day City Tour
Start your tour with the ancient walled Citadel, which was closely modelled along the lines of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Then visit Khai Dinh tomb, admire the unusual combination of architecture that blends a traditional Chinese past with a modern Western future. Khai Dinh was the Nguyen Dynasty’s most eccentric and unusual king, who reportedly embraced French colonialism. Much like his father, Khai Dinh favoured imported luxuries, spent huge sums of money on his tomb, and was the subject of ridicule by nationalist leaders. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
In afternoon you’ll have a tour of Thien Mu pagoda, one of iconic sights in Hue and An Hien garden house. An Hien garden house contains many large and small architectures built according to the traditional architecture style of Vietnam in general and Hue in particular. The garden house is strongly influenced by fengshui. The main architecture of An Hien garden house is a 3-room 2-gable house with wooden structure and beautifully sculpted patterns. Over a century of existence, An Hien remains almost intact both in landscape and architecture
Day 9: Hue drive to Hoi An via Hai Van pass
Today you will be transferred to Hoi An over the scenic Hai Van Pass,probably the most scenic stretch of coastal road in Vietnam. You will visit Cham museum which houses the largest exhibition of Cham sculpture in the world with almost 300 terracotta and stone works of art ranging from the 7th to the 15th centuries. The tour continues with a visit to the Marble Mountains which are a group of five limestone and marble hills in Ngu Hanh Son District. The mountains sheer porous limestone is punctuated by caves and tunnels which are fitted with spectacular Buddhist and Hindu shrines. Check in your hotel in Hoi An. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 10: Hoi An Full Day City Tour
Begin your story of Hoi An, a former port that welcomed Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants between the 16th to 18th centuries. Today it is renowned for its old quarter lined with two-storey Chinese shops, with elaborate carved wooden facades and terracotta tile roofs. And not forgetting expert tailor shops and delicious food! The tour includes stops at several famous landmarks. The first is Chua Ong Pagoda, dating back to 1653 and built in honor of the Chinese general Quan Cong, who is worshipped by many as a symbol of loyalty and justice. Next, pop into Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, to see the Jinshan Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea and the protector of sailors. From there it’s a short walk to Tam Ky House, a 200 year old ancestral house and finally, stroll across the often photographed 17th century covered bridge built by Japanese craftsmen. The beautifully built bridge doubles as a temple and is a major landmark of Hoi An. After a Vietnamese lunch, take a short boat trip down the river and visit a craft village where local artisans make ceramics. End your afternoon with a visit to the docks and see traditional fishing boats and the unusual round basket boats that ply the water.
Day 11: Hoi An - Street Eat Tour & Hoi An Memories Show
Set off on a culinary adventure in Hoi An to discover the flavours and dishes that make this coastal town unique. Alongside an expert local guide, your journey introduces you to the stories behind Hoi An’s most iconic dishes at the town’s most famous eateries. Start your tour at a local restaurant famous for white rose dumplings, found exclusively in Hoi An. Enjoy these delicacies while marveling at the work that goes into them. The staff churn out up to 6000 of these dumplings every day and each one is as beautiful as the last. Your visit here includes a chance to try making a few of your own dumplings too!
Continue on to find another local specialty: banh can. These crackers are served with quail eggs, pork and a tasty salad and are a Hoi An street food favourite. Pull up a small street side stool and enjoy with your guide. Alternative is banh mi “Vietnamese baguette”. Continue onward to sample grilled pork satay and visit the central market on way. Finally, the famous Cao Lau noodles or equally popular chicken rice. Wrap up the tour with a local Vietnamese coffee- the perfect ending to any meal.
In the evening take a boat ride from Bach Dang pier to see Hoi An Memories Show, perhaps Vietnam's most impressive art show. With 500 performers taking over the outdoor stage in their traditional ao dai costumes and modern staging techniques, the show is one spectacular visual performance that showcases the rich history, culture and identity of Hoi An.
Day 12: Hoi An - Danang - fly to Nha Trang
Pic above: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Nha Trang
Today fly to Nha Trang from Danang airport.Upon arrival in Nha Trang check in your hotel and relax
Day 13: Nha Trang - Day at leisure
Pic above: Lagoon Pool Villa, L'alaya, Nha Trang
Day at leisure in Nha Trang
Day 14: Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City
Day 14: Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight.
Upon arrival, your guide or drive will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
In the afternoon enjoy a half day city tour. Start with a visit to the Reunification Palace, once a symbol of the South Vietnamese Government. It was here on 30 April 1975, that the war ended when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates. See the war room, the banquet hall and the presidential office with the unusual gifts which have been received. Then,continue to the Central Post Office, designed and constructed by the renowned architect Gustave Eiffel, and take a moment to send a postcard! Just behind the post office is the Notre Dame Cathedral, an iconic Saigon landmark built in neo-Romanesque style by the French between 1863 and 1880. Today it’s a favoured backdrop for Vietnamese wedding photographs.
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta
Depart from your hotel at 8am and drive about 2 hours from Saigon to the township of Cai Be to board the Cai Be Princess. The crew welcomes you aboard with cold towels and a refreshing drink as the Cai Be Princess Sampan sets off for its leisurely cruise on the busy waterways of the Mekong Delta. On the river, allsorts of boats ply the water, from small fishing boats to cargo barges loaded with fruit and vegetables. Observe a little of river life as it plays out on the banks - noting the people and the stunning landscapes - while your attentive crew serves you tea and seasonal fruit. At Tan Phong Islet board a little rowing boat to explore the canal’s hidden mangroves. Return to yoursampan to visit an ancient house built in the 19th century.
Make stops along the way to provide glimpses of local cottage industries, including factories for the production of coconut candy and puffed rice (the local equivalent of popcorn), products that provide a living for the river people. Your cruise ends at Le Longanier Restaurant. Lunch is served in this exquisite colonial-style villaset in a lush tropical garden by the river, surrounded by fruit trees, giving you a sense of life during the Indochina of yesteryear. After lunch, take a short walk along a small canal, towards the Ba Bon Bridge where your personal vehicle awaits to drive you to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at your hotel in the afternoon.
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City Depart
Your guide will meet you at your hotel andtransfer you to the airport for your flight.