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. 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 - transfer to Sapa - half day tour
Depart Hanoi and travel by road to Sapa.The transfer time is approximately 5.5 hours.
Upon arrival at your hotel in Sapa check in and relax. In the afternoon enjoy a half day tour of Muong Hoa valley, the largest rice paddy terraces in Sapa. The trek will then take you from Lao Chai village of Black Hmong to Ta Van village of Giay minority.
Day 4: Sapa full day tour
This morning start on a road leading north from Sapa with several stops en route for magnificent view of Fansipan mountain, Sin Chai valley and rice paddy fields. Continue to a narrow road which leads to a thick rainforest covering walled-up mountains and waterfalls before arriving at Ban Khoang, where you will see the traditional customs and practices of the ethnic Red Zao.
Get back on the road to visit Ta Giang Phinh valley which is inhabited by the Black Hmong. After lunch enjoy a soft trekking tour that takes you to small local villages where you can witness more daily life activities such as ploughing, harrowing or harvesting. In leisure months men often gather to built new houses or repair parts of old ones while women stay home making their traditional costumes. The walk ends in mid afternoon.
Day 5: Sapa free morning - transfer to Hanoi
Free day at leisure until you are transferred to Hanoi.
Check in your hotel in Hanoi and relax.
Day 6: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay - Lan Ha Bay
Depart from Hanoi and travel by road to the Tuan Chau Island pier in Halong Bay. Set off on your luxury 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 - Ho Chi Minh City - Half Day Tour
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.
Start the tour 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.
Next, stroll down Dong Khoi Street, which figured prominently in Graham Greene’s famous Vietnam novel, The Quiet American, as Rue Catinat. The walk ends at the Saigon Opera House. From a bomb shelter to housing the parliamentary Lower House, the Opera House has had an interesting history.
Day 12: Mekong Delta Full Day Tour, overnight in Can Tho
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 are freshing drink as the Cai Be Princess Sampan sets off for its leisurely cruise on the busy waterways of the Mekong Delta. On the river, all sorts 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 Can Tho. Arrive at your hotel in the afternoon.
Day 13: Cai Rang floating market, back to Ho Chi Minh city
The Cai Rang floating market is one of the most unique and colorful markets in Southern Vietnam. Learn about the history and culture of the market and buy fresh fruits from one of the charming local vendors. Then, visit a traditional family owned“noodle house” where colorful noodles are made using traditional techniques.See the fascinating process of making noodles and sample some of the delicacies. Make your way along the idyllic canals in search of a traditional cocoa farm, where you will learn a lot of interesting facts and stories about chocolate! Find out how organic cocoa is used to make everything from wine to cosmetics, while enjoying a glass of cocoa milk or cocoa wine! Delicious! You will then be transferred to Ho Chi Minh city
Day 13: Departing Ho Chi Minh city
Your guide will meet you at your hotel andtransfer you to the airport for your flight.