PRIVATE TOUR – CODE: VIBU2

“This trip was amazing! It was a real cultural experience! As well as meeting some amazing people, I also learnt so much about Vietnam. The food was delicious, the accommodation was great and I loved that most of the travelling were flights and not bus! That made it so easy and less tiring then other tours I have done in the past.” This Vietnam 10-day tour is the perfect way to experience a taste of Vietnam’s best in a short amount of time. Find out more here.

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Travel route: Hanoi – Duong Lam – Halong – Sapa – Hanoi – Da Nang – Hoi An – Hue – Saigon – Mekong delta – Saigon – Departure

BRIEF ITINERARY

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2: Hanoi – City tour – Duong Lam ancient village – Son Tay ancient citadel (B)
  • Day 3: Hanoi – Halong – UNESCO World Heritage – Hanoi (B,L) Group tour
  • Day 4: Hanoi –Afternoon Cycling to Bat Trang and Le Mat village – Night train to Lao Cai (Sapa) (B)
  • Day 5: Lao Cai – Sapa – Cat Cat village (B)
  • Day 6: Lao Chai village – Ta Van village – Giang Ta Chai village (Muong Hoa valley) (B)
  • Day 7: Ta Phin village trekking – Lao Cai – Express bus to Hanoi (B)
  • Day 8: Room-day-use in Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang – Hoi An (B)
  • Day 9: Hoi An –Cooking class – Train to Hue (B,L)
  • Day 10: Hue city tour – Flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) (B)
  • Day 11: Saigon – Departure (B)

DETAIL ITINERARY

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival

Welcome to Hanoi, the 1,000-year-old capital of Vietnam !

Upon arrival at the Airport, you will meet our driver and transfer to hotel for check-in. Free relaxation after your long flight. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi – City tour – Duong Lam ancient village – Son Tay ancient citadel (B)

Enjoy Hanoi city tour today to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and his former residence, One pillar Pagoda, Ba Dinh historic square where former President Ho Chi Minh declared the Independence of Vietnam in 1945. Leave Hanoi for Duong Lam village, a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River Delta. Lunch is arranged by yourselves.

In the afternoon, you explore the village with about 300 hundred-year-old houses, Mong Phu communal house, tombs of 2 famous kings “Phung Hung” and “Ngo Quyen”, rice fields, the village gate, old well. Enjoy some talk with the locals in their own ancient houses while visiting the ancient houses there. Leaving Duong Lam village with the deep understanding on farming will give you exciting experience ever. On the way back Hanoi, you visit Son Tay ancient military citadel, typical for Vauban architecture, built in the reign of King Ming Mang (1822). Son Tay Ancient Citadel has become a unique military architectural work and cultural historical relic, attracting many tourists. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi – Halong – UNESCO World Heritage – Hanoi (B,L)

From 8:00 – 8:30am, you’re transferred with our tour guide to Halong City on a shared shuttle bus. This transfer takes around 3 hours. We may stop enroute for drinks and short relaxation. Arrive at the Halong pier at around 12:00 and board the boat. Begin sailing and pass through a magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth. After lunch, you visit Thien Cung cave, the biggest cave of Halong bay and newly opened to tourists in 1998. Take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with red sails. Get back to the boat and sunbath on the sundeck. Later in the afternoon, visit an interesting fishing village with rattan boating among the village to know more about the locals’ life. Back to Halong pier and transfer back to your Hanoi hotel. Arrive at your hotel at around 20:30. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 4: Hanoi –Afternoon Cycling to Bat Trang and Le Mat village – Night train to Lao Cai (Sapa) (B)

Free morning at your leisure. Check out your hotel at 12:00 noon. You can leave your luggages at the hotel lobby (Free luggage handling).

At 13:00, you’re picked-up at your hotel by our tour guide with standard bikes, then cycle through Chuong Duong bridge to Bat Trang ceramic village. Enjoy the rural landscape along the Red river dyke on the way cycling (20km). Upon arrival at Bat Trang village, you visit the village communal house where the villagers usually organise special events during festive seasons. You can get inside a ceramic plant to see the handicraft men making the most famous products of Vietnam. Visit the ceramic market at the village center when the products are exporting to worldwide. Say goodbye to Bat Trang, you continue cycling to Le Mat snake village. Visit a family who still raise up snakes inside and. Cycle back to your hotel.

Inclusion: Private bike, admissions, 1 bottle of mineral water, English speaking guide

At 19:00, you’re transferred to Hanoi Railway station at 19:30. You can use the public bathroom in the hotel for refreshment before the train journey. Overnight on the train (shared 4-soft-sleeper compartment).

Day 5: Lao Cai – Sapa – Cat Cat village (B)

Early morning pick up from Lao Cai train station to Sapa town. Enjoy breakfast in the hotel. Leave your luggages in the hotel lobby and start your visits off the beaten track to Cat Cat village. You take an easy walk among traditional stilt-houses, Si suspension bridge, Tien Sa waterfall and trekking inside bamboo forest. When in Cat Cat village after a beautiful walk down the valley and enjoy the stunning views of terraced rice fields. Drive back Sapa town to check-in your hotel. Free afternoon at your leisure after the last night train. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 6: Lao Chai village – Ta Van village – Giang Ta Chai village (Muong Hoa valley) (B)

Morning pay a visit to Muong Hoa valley with a short trek from Lao Chai village to Ta Van village and then to Giang Ta Chai village. You trek among the stunning terraced rice fields, intermingle with Hmong and Dzay hilltribes and get insights into the locals’ life. Break for delicious lunch in the local house offering stunning view of Muong Hoa valley. Hear the sound of wind, breath the flavour of ripe rice and taste the local food. Afternoon you find out legendary assumption of Ancient Rock Ground before transferring back Sapa town to visit Rock Church and Sapa town market. Transfer back to your hotel. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 7: Ta Phin village trekking – Lao Cai – Express bus to Hanoi (B)

At 8:00, you begin the afternoon with a 3km trek through breathtaking landscape to the village of Suoi Ho, home to H’mong minority. From here you can enjoy views over endless rice terraces, and you will have the opportunity to see some of the animals used by the locals. Continuing on to Ma Tra village you will come across the impressive ruins of a church dating back to the French occupation in the early 1900s. Take a minute to explore this intriguing sight and take some photos. Trekking to the village of Ta Phin you will be able to meet both Black H’mong and Red Dao minorities. The Red Dao are known for their expertise in herbal medicine as well as usage of plants from the land to treat many illnesses. Your guide will be able to introduce you to some Red Dao women who can tell you more about their many remedies. A Red Dao herbal medicine bath can be arranged for you to experience, so please ask. Transport will be provided from Ta Phin back to Sapa.

At 15:45, you take the express bus Sapa Express or Sapa EcoVan to Hanoi following the new highway road. After 5-hour driving, you check in your hotel in Hanoi and overnight.

Day 8: Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang – Hoi An (B)

After breakfast, you’re private transferred with our driver to Hanoi airport, taking the 1-hour flight to Da Nang in Central Vietnam. Upon arrival, you meet our Hoi An tour guide at the airport then private transfer to Hoi An Old quarter. Check in the hotel in Hoi An.

In the afternoon, take a half day walking tour of Hoi An, discovering the historic town which used to be a prosperous seaport city during the 16th to 18th centuries. Visit Hoi An’s colourful local market, Tan Ky old house, Fukian Assembly Hall, and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge. You can also see local residents raising silkworms and producing silk for Hoian’s burgeoning textile industry. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 9: Hoi An –Cooking class – Train to Hue (B,L)

We start the day (8.15am) with a drink at Hai Scout Café (98 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hoi An Ancient Town, Tel: 3863210) – our meeting point.

Visit Hoi An’s colourful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.

We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy.

On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – each dish is first demonstrated by the Red Bridge chef’s, before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration).

After the lesson, we sit down and eat exactly what we have cooked.

Inclusion: Welcome drink (non-alcoholic) at Hai Scout Café; Local English speaking guide/chef; Welcome drink at Red Bridge and 1 bottle of water; Cooking demonstration & lunch or dinner; All recipes and notes; Transfer from Red Bridge Cooking School to central Hoi An

Check out the hotel and private transfer to Da Nang Railway station. Take the Da Nang – Hue train (code SE4: 13:50 – 16:25) crossing Hai Van mountain pass with splendid landscape enroute: 1 side is Pacific ocean, 1 side is Truong Son mountain. Soft-seat is arranged for this train journey.

Upon arrival at Hue Railway station, you meet our tour guide in Hue and private transfer to your hotel in Hue for relaxation. Overnight in Hue.

Day 10: Hue city tour – Flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) (B)

Morning take a halfday city tour in Hue. You visit the Forbidden City and the Imperial Citadel, the magnificent tomb of Vietnam’s last monarch Khai Dinh and the tomb of the poet-king Tu Duc. Enjoy the romantic boating along the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue.

Check out at 12:00. Take your afternoon flight to Saigon. Private airport transfers are included. Check in your hotel. Overnight in Saigon.

Day 11: Saigon – Departure (By Flight) (B)

Breakfast at the Hotel. Morning visit to Saigon city centre from 13:00 to 17:00, visiting Reunification Palace (2 hours), War Remnants Museum (1 hour) and Nortre Dame Cathedral (half-hour). Entrance fees, tour guide and private car are included.

Return to your hotel to check out then transfer to Saigon international airport. Say goodbye to Vietnam and see your soon. End of services.

INCLUSION

  • 08nights hotel accommodation
  • 01 night on the Superior train Hanoi – Lao Cai (Sapa) roundtrip (Shared with other 2-3 tourists)
  • Local English speaking guides in different cities
  • Transfer and sightseeing with air-conditioned vehicles and experienced driver
  • Meals as indicated: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
  • Admissions to indicated sites
  • Group tour to Halong 1-day boat trip including rattan boat, lunch on board and cave exploration
  • Train tickets Hanoi – Lao Cai (1-way overnight shared compartment), Da Nang – Hue (Soft-seats)
  • Bottled water during transfer

EXCLUSION

  • Vietnam visa arrangement
  • Meals not mentioned, drinks and personal expenses (eg. laundry, telephone call etc).
  • International & Domestic airfares
  • Camera and video camera fees.
  • Trekking gears.
  • Tips (eg. Driver, guide,..)