Detail

W61: FASCINATING VIETNAM 21 DAYS

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Itinerary in Brief:

Day 1:  Arrival Hanoi – Good morning Vietnam

Day 2: Hanoi – City tour of a 1000 years old Capital

Day 3: Hanoi –  Hoa Lu, night train to Lao Cai.

Day 4: Arrival in Lao Cai – Sapa, medium trek to homestay

Day 5: More in village then back to Sapa.

Day 6: Sapa – Night train back to Hanoi

Day 7: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay

Day 8: Ha Long Bay – Back to Hanoi

Day 9: Hanoi – flight to Hue – City tour

Day 10: Hue – Phong Nha cave – Hue

Day 11: Hue – Car to Hoi An – Walking tour at ancient quarter

Day 12: Hoi An  – Visit vegetable village and cooking

Day 13: Hoi An – flight to Nha Trang – City tour

Day 14: Nha Trang – Boat tour

Day 15: Nha Trang – Bus to Dalat – City tour

Day 16: Dalat – Canyoning tour at waterfall

Day 17: Dalat – flight to Saigon – City tour

Day 18: Saigon – Cu Chi tunnel tour

Day 19: Saigon to Mekong Delta ( Cai Be, Vinh Long, Can Tho)

Day 20: Mekong Delta Can Tho – Back to Saigon

Day 21: Departure Saigon. Flight home.

 

 

 

Itinerary in Detail:

Day 1: Good morning Hanoi

Chao Ban! Welcome to Hanoi, we will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. Today is free at your leisure to rest or explore, discovering your own first impressions of Vietnam (depending on what time you arrive). Overnight in Hanoi.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, hotel.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour of 1000 years old Capital

Depart at 8:00 am from your hotel by van. We will begin our day by visiting Uncle Ho at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and residential grounds learning about his great life. Next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature, the site of Vietnam´s first University. Here we will also have a chance to see a traditional music performance. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant for a taste of authentic Hanoi Pho (noodle soup). In the afternoon, choose from one of the numerous museums or temples around Hanoi (Museum of Ethnology, Women´s Museum, History Museum or Quan Thanh Temple).

In the late afternoon, take a cyclo trip around Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi´s fascinating Old Quarter. This is your chance to be in the midst of typical Hanoian life and Vietnamese culture. We finish our relaxing but informative day by attending a Water Puppet Show – a favorite experience for all visitors to Vietnam. We can help you to get back to your hotel if you wish, but often our guests would rather just spend the evening enjoying a drink with a view of the city. Tour finishes in late afternoon.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, puppet show ticket, hotel.

Day 3: Hanoi –  Hoa Lu – Van Long, night train to Lao Cai

 Starting at 8:00 we leave your hotel for our day trip to Ninh Binh. We arrive at the Van Long Nature Reserve after a two hour drive (110km). We board a bamboo rowboat for our 2 hour row through this beautiful natural area, enjoying spectacular scenery surrounded by rice paddies and towering limestone mountain peaks. After lunch, served at a local riverside restaurant, we make a short transfer (4 km) down a peaceful country road to Hoa Lu, Vietnam’s ancient capital eleven centuries ago. Here, there are two temples dedicated to King Dinh and King Le, the founders of the ancient capital during the 10th century. Return to Hanoi late in the afternoon at around 6:00 pm. Dinner on your own.

At 8:00 pm transfer from a prearranged meeting spot to the station for your night train to Sapa. Boarding is at around 9:10 pm. You will be in shared AC soft sleeper cabin to travel North to Lao Cai town.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakafst, lunch, local boat, train ticket.

Day 4: Arrival in Lao Cai – Sapa, trek to Ta Phin (~ 14 km)

The train arrives at about 6:00 am. Look for the “Footprint Travel” sign when you exit the train station, as our guide will pick you up there. Take a morning drive through the clouds by car / van to Sapa, about 1.5 hours. When you arrive in Sapa you will be taken to a local restaurant for a morning shower, breakfast, a short rest and some last preparations before our inspiring trek.

We will then take short ride from Sapa to our trekking base. Our trek through the terraced valleys, up and down hills will take about 5 to 6 hours. We will pass rice paddies, bamboo forests, and minority villages. Lunch break along the way depending on our pace. When we arrive in Taphin village, our Dao host family will welcome us to their home where we will share in an ethnic style dinner and stay the night.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, train ticket, entrance fee, all meals, permit, homestay.

Day 5: More in Ta Phin and back to Sapa

 At the first gleam of daylight, you will see and hear the sounds of morning village life. You can join your host family in some of their morning activities like feeding the animals, cleaning the houses, gardening or preparing breakfast. After breakfast, we can take a short  wander around the village or spend more time enjoying the view and company at the homestay.

You will be then supported by our car / van back to Sapa (30 minutes). When we arrive back in Sapa, check into the hotel, shower, and pause for lunch on your own. At 2:30 pm we will take an easy 5 km walk to Cat Cat village, home of Black H’mong hill tribe, and to take part in a traditional ethnic music performance put on by the ethnic minority people. Dinner and the evening on your own. Overnight in the hotel in Sapa.

Note: The music show in Cat Cat village is closed on Wednesday afternoon, an alternative will be arranged.

Inclusion: Breakfast, transfer, guide, entrance fee, music show ticket, hotel.

Day 6:  Sapa – night train back to Hanoi

Wake up in Sapa town, breakfast at the hotel then enjoy the morning with some of your new friends that you may have met the afternoon before. Today your guide is available to you for the whole day, althought, you have the entire day for free time and visiting the lively markets. Some suggestions include a visit to the orchild gardens of Dragon Mountain, or a cultural day trek to hill tribe village.

In the afternoon, depart from your hotel for the Lao Cai train station at 5:30 pm. The train leaves Lao Cai at 8:15 pm and arrives after a pleasant sleep in your first class, shared AC soft sleeper car to Hanoi.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, train ticket, breakfast, entrance fee

Day 7: Sapa – Hanoi – Ha Long Bay, welcome on boat

Arrival in Hanoi in the early morning at around 5:00 am

 Departure for Halong Bay is on a private van from the train station. The drive takes 4 hours driving passing through the Vietnam countryside and rice paddy-life. Arriving at the port around noon, the junk’s crew welcomes guests on board. Check-in, enjoy a welcome drink & attend the cruise briefing. Fresh, local seafood lunch while cruising on to Bai Tu Long Bay. Stop for swimming, visit mysterious Thien Canh cave, relax at a secluded beach, and kayak.

To explore the bay up close. Back on the junk to enjoy a relaxing sunset. Dinner and overnight on board.

 Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrances fees, kayak, boat / junk, breakfast, lunch, dinner, permit, fishing gear.

Day 8: Explore the tranquil scenery in Bai Tu Long Bay, back to Hanoi

 Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of karst landscape.  From 7:30 to 8:00 am have breakfast in the fresh air, then visit Vong Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat. Meet the locals, visit a floating school & fish farms. Later take one more swim in the middle of the bay. There is ample time for the 11:45 am check-out from the cabin while cruising back. Lunch is on the boat as we slowly cruise back to port.

We will pick up and transfer to your hotel in Hanoi for check in and overnight in Hanoi.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, boat / junk, breakfast, lunch, hotel.

Day 9: Hanoi – Hue (flight) – City tour of Vietnam’s last feudal and boat trip.

We transfer to Hanoi airport for flight to Hue. On arrival, we pick you up and transfer to Hue for city tour in Hue.

City tour includes the boat trip on Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda. Drive by A/C car to visit the former Imperial Citadel, royal tombs of former emperors such as Khai Dinh, Tu Duc. At the end, a visit to Dong Ba market is something you can see more local life and local food in this imperial city.

Inclusion: Transfer, flight, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, local boat, hotel.

Day 10: Hue – the world natural heritage of Phong Nha Cave – Hue

Our guide and A/C car will pick you up and transfer to Phong Nha Cave. On the way, stop to visit La Vang church which was built in 1925. Our guide introduces about many places such as : Ben Hai river, Hien Luong bridge, Doc Mieu base… Arrive to Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park (natural heritage of the world).

After lunch, board a boat and cruise along the Son river to Phong Nha cave. At here, you will feel the magical and magnificent caves. Phong Nha also boasts underground rivers, large caverns and passageways and broad pristine sandbanks. The most impressive cave – Phong Nha cave is probably also the most beautiful with many fascinating rock formations with imaginative names such as The Lion, Fairy Caves… The farther one gets inside the Phong Nha Caves, the more illusory the stalactites and stalagmites look as they glitter when right light is shone on them.

Back to Hue city by A/C car and overnight here.

 Inclusion: Breakfast, lunch, transfer, guide, entrance ticket, boat, hotel

Day 11: Hue – Hoi An – Walking tour to explore the ancient quarter.

Transfer by car to Hoi An. There is fabulous sightseeing en route and we may make stops at: Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass, and Marble Mountains in Danang city.

In the afternoon, you’ll walk around the town and experience its charming culture. We will visit the old house of Vietnamese, the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, and the stylish Chinese Assembly Hall.  Back to hotel in the late afternoon. Free time to relax and discover other corners of Hoi An on your own. Overnight at your hotel.

Tip: This is a very good chance for you to get great tailor-made clothes at reasonable prices. Hoi An is well known for its tailoring.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, hotel.

Day 12: Hoi An, easy biking to Tra Que vegetable village and cooking your lunch.

Cycle from your hotel to Tra Que Organic village, then have a walk to visit the gardens of local farmers. Learn about their traditional methods and farming techniques – no machines here. Later, we will partly join-in some of the garden work followed by a short feet-soaking in Vietnamese herbs – a lovely treat. Next, we head into the kitchen to learn to prepare and cook some simple local dishes. Share lunch with the host family after class.

Free afternoon to explore more about old quarter or relax on the beach.

Inclusion:  Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, light lunch, local bike, hotel.

Day 13: Hoi An – Nha Trang

 Breakfast at the hotel then transfer to the airport in Danang for a flight to Nha Trang. Upon arrival, airport pick up then transfer to your hotel. Free to chill out on the beautiful white sand beach.

Today you will have a sightseeing day in Nha Trang, including: Embroidery workshop, Oceanography Institute, Ponagar Cham Tower, Long Son Buddhist Pagoda, Dam local market.  Back to your hotel in the afternoon. Overnight in Nha Trang.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, domestic flight ticket, entrance fee, hotel.

Day 14: Nha Trang, island boat trip

Morning pick up from hotel and transfer to the boat station. Hop on the boat and begin a day on the water. The first stop will be Tri Nguyen Aquarium. Then we will cruise to Mot Island. This is one of the best places for snorkeling in Nha Trang. Hold your breath for as long as you can and dive deep into this colourful world of fish and coral. You can have sun bathing and relaxing on the off shore beach. Lunch will be served on the island with a selection of fresh seafood.

Inclusion:  Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, local boat, snorkeling equipment, hotel

Day 15: Nha Trang – Bus to Dalat (Central Highland), city tour

You take the bus in the morning uphill to Dalat with the altitude of 1.500m above the sea level.  After arriving Dalat, you will explore the highlights of landscapes of the town of flower, Dalat. The visit will be Truc Lam Meditation Pagoda, Tuyen Lam lake aslo called “Paradise” lake, Clay House, Lat minority village, former French Railway Station, Crazy House, former French villas street, Dalat market.

Inclusion:  Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, hotel

 Day 16: Dalat – Cayoning at waterfall.

What is Canyoning?

Canyoning is navigating your way through a canyon. In this case, the canyon runs through a series of spectacular water falls and in some sections the topography requires ropes to navigate our way successfully. Other sections can be hiked or swam through.

At the practice slope you’ll learn the basics of knot tying, harness wearing, hardware, and proper rappelling technique. After the guides are satisfied that you’ve got it down, you’ll head down your first rappel! It is an exciting 15 meter descent into the river below. There is a beautiful waterfall right next to the area we descend into, and from here we head further down the canyon to a natural water slide. We take our time having a couple of goes at it before continuing downriver.

The trail meanders over some gently rolling, jungle fringed hills along the side of the river, and at points we have to get down into the river itself to continue forward.

Inclusion:  Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, picnic lunch, water, rappelling gear, hotel

Day 17: Dalat – fly to Saigon, city tour      

You take a flight to Saigon. Transfer downtown and check-in at our hotel before our city tour of bustling Saigon starts. Visit the Binh Tay Market in Cho Lon; stopover at Thien Hau, a 150-year-old Chinese Temple; then visit a Lacquer-wares workshop as well as the Jade Emperor Pagoda. Then visit Caodaism Temple, War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the historic Central Post Office. We will drop you off at your hotel in late afternoon.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, domestic flight ticket , hotel

Day 18: Cu Chi tunnels  

In the afternoon we visit the Cu Chi outdoor museum to learn about the infamous tunnel systems of the Viet Cong. Take this opportunity to get a unique understanding of the guerillas underground fighting strategies during the war Crawl through 50 to 100 meters of the 200 km tunnel system if you dare.  Back to Saigon and overnight there.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, hotel

Day 19: Saigon – Visit the fertile Mekong Delta, Cai Be – Vinh Long – Can Tho        

Depart Saigon in the morning from your hotel. Head to the south to Cai Be. Upon arrival, board a boat for a journey through the Mekong’s floating market. See how river life goes on here, watch the trading between merchant ships and local farmers. Alive and exciting!  Next stop to see local family workshops such as coconut candy, rice paper cake, pop rice, honey.  Cruise through the secluded canals and cross the Mighty Mekong to an island where we will stop to enjoy fresh seasonal fruits before boating to Vinh Long. Back on the bus for our trip to Can Tho to overnight.

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, fruits, boat, hotel.

Day 20: Can Tho – Saigon              

An early start for a boat trip to Cai Rang floating market, then we have some distance to cover. First a cruise, then a walk on a quiet country road taking in the magnificent scenery and getting a little bit closer to the locals as they go about their daily routine. In the afternoon, we head back to Saigon. We will drop you at the same hotel .

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, local boat, breakfast, hotel.

Day 21: Departure Saigon. Goodbye Vietnam                    

Breakfast at hotel. Depending on your flight you may have some more time for shopping. Then we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Winsome Vietnam Travel hopes to see you again soon!

Inclusion: Transfer, guide, breakfast.

Note: The itinerary can be tailored upon your special request.

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