Budget travel to Vietnam is now a hot travel trend worldwide. The number of backpackers and indie travelers to Vietnam has tripled over the past few years. So how to...
PRIVATE TOUR – CODE: VIM12
Many European tourists choose Singapore Changi airport as a transit before coming to Indochina region. Some can’t find an early transit flight hence should choose 1 night/ 2 nights stay and visit Singapore. This tour suits them best, offering all 4 countries of Indochina mainland plus 3 nights in Singapore at the begining and the end of the tour.
Travel route: Singapore – Ho Chi Minh city – Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi tunnels – Da Nang – Hoi An – Hanoi – Halong bay – Luang Prabang – Yangon – Bagan – Heho – Inle lake – Yangon – Departure
- Day 1: Singapore
- Day 2: Singapore Free & Easy (B)
- Day 3: Singapore – Flight to Ho Chi Minh (B)
- Day 4: Cu Chi tunnels – Ho Chi Minh city tour (B,L) Group tour
- Day 5: Ho Chi Minh city – My Tho – Ben Tre – Can Tho (B,L)
- Day 6: Cai Rang floating market – Binh Thuy ancient house (B)
- Day 7: Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh city (B)
- Day 8: Ho Chi Minh city – Flight to Da Nang – Hoi An (B,L)
- Day 9: Hoi An – My Son Champa towers by Bus and Boat (B) Group Tour
- Day 10: Hoi An – Flight to Hanoi – Water puppet show (B,L)
- Day 11: Hanoi – Halong – Overnight on cruise (B,L,D) Group tour
- Day 12: Halong bay – Lan Ha bay – Overnight on cruise (B,L,D) Group tour
- Day 13: Halong – Hanoi (B,L) Group tour
- Day 14: Hanoi – Flight to Luang Prabang (B,D)
- Day 15: Luang Prabang (B)
- Day 16: Luang Prabang – Kuangsi waterfalls and villages (B)
- Day 17: Luang Prabang – Flight to Yangon (B,D)
- Day 18: Yangon – Flight to Bagan (B)
- Day 19: Bagan (B)
- Day 20: Bagan – Flight to Heho – Inle lake (B)
- Day 21: Inle lake – Free day (B)
- Day 22: Inle lake – Free day (B)
- Day 23: Inle Lake – Indein –Yangon (B)
- Day 24: Yangon – Flight to Singapore (B)
- Day 25: Singapore – Departure (B)
Day 1: Singapore
Private airport pick up with guide to your hotel to check in. Overnight in Singapore.
Day 2: Singapore Free & Easy (B)
Breakfast & Overnight in Singapore. A day at your own leisure.
Day 3: Singapore – Flight to Ho Chi Minh (B)
Morning private transfer from your hotel to SIN airport for the direct flight to Ho Chi Minh city, the biggest city of South Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport, you meet our local guide then transfer to your hotel in the inner city to check in. Free at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 4: Cu Chi tunnels – Ho Chi Minh city tour (B,L)
Today you will join a day-tour with a tourist group. We start the city tour by visiting Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Central Post Office, followed by exploring the Reunification Palace, and the remarkable site of the War Remnants Museum. Lunch is pre-arranged in a local restaurant.
Afternoon visit Cu Chi tunnels, a popular spot for both Vietnamese & foreign tourists – the network of over 200km of tunnels became legendary when they played a vital role in the War. In their heyday, the tunnels were functioning underground cities including numerous trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers & kitchens. Visitors will find it hard to imagine the destruction, damage & defoliation over this whole area, caused by bombing and mines. There is plenty of evidence of the fierce battle that took place here during the 1960s when Cu Chi was a “Free Target Zone”. Before entering the tunnels visitors can watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. You will spend the next hour exploring the tunnels. Afterwards, enjoy tea, cassava (guerrilla’s food during the war). Return to Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh city – My Tho – Ben Tre – Can Tho (B,L)
Enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields. On arrived at My Tho, visit Vinh Trang pagoda, take a leisurely boat ride along the river, view the stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank. Proceed to Tortoise islet, have lunch in the orchard garden. Then a boat ride to An Khanh – a less touristy attraction in Ben Tre, enjoy cruising on a hand-rowed sampan under the shadow of the water coconut trees along natural canals, then enjoy seasonal fruit & honey tea to the sound of “Southern Vietnamese folk music”, performed by locals.
Visit a family business which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle, taste the delicious coconut candy & observe the pastoral life as you roam through the fruit plantation and village. Meet our car then private transfer to Can Tho, the municipality of Mekong region. Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 6: Cai Rang floating market – Binh Thuy ancient house (B)
Take a leisurely boat trip to explore the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong river (Bassac River), then proceed to visit Cai Rang floating market, which are the liveliest in the whole religion. Afterwards, you visit Binh Thuy 150-year-old house in Can Tho vicinity, typical for Mekong delta architecture but also a good example of French affect on local design. You also learn more about locals ‘ lifestyle. Binh Thuy ancient house has been captured in many films such as “The silt ways,” “The Bac Lieu mandarin’s son” and “The lover” of French director J. Annaud. Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 7: Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh city (B)
Morning private transfer back to Ho Chi Minh city. On the way you stop to visit Dong Tam snake farm and Vinh Trang pagoda. Arrive at your hotel in early afternoon. Free leisure and overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh city – Flight to Da Nang – Hoi An (B,L)
Private airport see-off with our driver then you take a short flight to Da Nang city, Central Vietnam. Upon arrival, you’re transferred to Hoi An ancient town, UNESCO World heritage. Check in your hotel then enjoy lunch with special food of Hoi An as “Cao Lau” and “Mi Quang”. Afternoon, you take a walking tour inside the old quarter. Visit the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge, Fukian Assembly hall, Tan Ky old house typical for Hoi An architecture, a costume tailor shop if you like. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoi An – My Son Champa towers by Bus and Boat (B)
Depart at 7:40AM by bus. We travel about 50km from Hoi An to My Son sanctuary. It comprises many Champa temples, in a valley roughly two kilometers wide, surrounded by two mountain ranges. It was the site of religious ceremony of kings of the Champa dynasty, and was also a burial place of Champa royals and national heroes. The My Son temple complex is one of the foremost temple complexes of Hinduism in South East Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. Though the complex has been destroyed over time, we still see many majestic ancient ruins of temples in the area.
Arrive in My Son at 9:00AM. Walk around with your guide for 2 hours to see the historic and cultural ruins of the 16th century, you will be brought back to the glorious time of the Champa civilization. Then leave My Son for Cau Lau boat station. Tour finishes at Hoi An dock at 2:30 PM. You should come back hotel by your own. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 10: Hoi An – Flight to Hanoi – Water puppet show (B,L)
Morning departure for Da Nang airport with our driver. You take a short flight to Ha Noi, the capital of Vietnam. Arrive at Noi Bai International Airport, welcome by our local guide and transfer to your hotel. Hanoi or “River-bound City” as its name literally means is Vietnam’s capital with a thousand-year-old history dating back to 1010. Enjoy lunch with “Pho-bo” beef-noodles and 1 complimentary soft drink, the tradition cuisine of Hanoi.
Afternoon sightseeing tour to the Ho Chi Minh Complex, containing the mausoleum of the nation’s founder, and his rural style residence with a house on stilts and the Presidential Palace. Also part of this complex is the unique One Pillar Pagoda, built in the 11th Century in dedication to Avalokiteshvara or Buddha of Compassion and reminiscent of a lotus blossom rising from a pond. The tour will continue on with a visit to the Temple of Literature, known as the first university of Vietnam built in 1070 by the Ly Dynasty to honor Confucius, sages and outstanding Vietnamese scholars. Join water puppet show in the evening. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 11: Hanoi – Halong – Overnight on cruise (B,L,D)
After breakfast, the cruise tour guide meets you at the hotel lobby and shuttle bus transfer to Halong Bay, which is about 160 km or 3.5-hour drive away. On the way, you will see some rural areas of the Red River Delta. Arrive in Halong City at 12:00noon time.
Check in Halong cruise (Seaview lunch). Cruising around thousands of limestone islets. Kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Luon Cave area. Cruise to Soi Sim island. Go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Soi Sim or climb up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay 17h30 Return to the main boat for a shower. Relax or snap photos as the sun starts to set 19h00 Dinner is served. Socialize with other guests, fish for squid, or just laze around Overnight on board.
Day 12: Halong bay – Lan Ha bay – Overnight on cruise (B,L,D)
Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt 07h00 – 08h30 Have breakfast on board. 08h30 Transfer to a Day Boat for a cruise to Lan Ha Bay. 08h30 – 12h00 Explore the Light and Dark Cave by kayak. Swimming and relaxing at the beaches 12h00 – 14h00 Return to the day boat. Enjoy a barbecue lunch on board.Kayaking more to explore Lan Ha Bay or just leisure at the beaches. 14h00 – 14h30 Visit a floating Pearl Farm and learn the technique for making high quality pearls. If the weather permits, we continue along to Three Peach Beach for swimming.
14h30 – 16h00 Cruise back to the main boat 19h00 Enjoy dinner and overnight on board.
Day 13: Halong – Hanoi (B,L)
Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt 07h30 – 08h30 Have breakfast at sunrise. 08h30 – 09h30 Explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave – the nicest cave in Halong Bay. 09h30 Return to the boat. Freshen up and check out of your cabin. 09h30 – 10h30 Continue your cruise exploring the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet and more… 10h30 – 11h30 While heading back to the habor, watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch. 12h00 Disembark the Cruise 12h30 Transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi city center by shuttle bus. 16h30 – 17h00 See you off at the hotel in Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 14: Hanoi – Flight to Luang Prabang (B,D)
Today you catch a local flight to Luang Prabang. Private see-off transfer with our driver is provided. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, you meet our local guide then private transfer to check in hotel.
Late afternoon, explore Street Night Bazaar, where you can find the lovely collection and handmade textile by local and hill tribes. Dinner and overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 15: Luang Prabang (B)
Today, you will first visit the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures. Afterwards, we will visit magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then embark on the a leisure cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine.
On arrival back in the city, we will transfer to visit Wat Siphouthabaht to admire the sunset; this is the really peaceful place to catch the last beauty of the day. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 16: Luang Prabang – Kuangsi waterfalls and villages (B)
Today you coss the Mekong River by a boat to reach the picturesque village of Ban Chan – a pottery village. You’ll visit the morning Phousi Market, where you will find many things sold as local tea, dried buffalo skin, saltpeter along the chickens, vegetables and hild-tribe weavings. Continue to visit local villages of Laos ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay-a Hmong village, Ban Ou – a Laoloum village and Ban Thapene-a Khmu village Laos to watch they make their famous traditional crafts. End of day go to beautiful Khouangsi Waterfalls where you can swim in a refreshing pools or just walk along the forest trails.
Before transfer back to the city, we will take a short visit to Kuang Si Falls Butterflies Park, which is now one of the must-see when visiting Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 17: Luang Prabang – Flight to Yangon (B,D)
THAI AIRWAYS INTERNATIONAL TG 577 – Luang Prabang 14:50 – Bangkok 16:55
THAI AIRWAYS INTERNATIONAL TG 305 – Bangkok 18:05 – Yangon (Mingalabon) 18:50
Morning departure for Yangon (private airport see-off without guide).
On arrival at the Yangon international airport, welcomed by our guide and transferred to your hotel for check in and has a rest (Check in time is 14:00 and early check in is subject to availability). The former capital Yangon is the largest city and the most important commercial center in Myanmar.
Afterwards, visit the 2,600 years old Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese can be seen from almost anywhere in Yangon. You will start at the eastern staircase where you will find the shops selling various religious items and other unique objects. Upon reaching at the main platform, witness the colors transform on the 100-meter pagoda which is literally covered with over 60 tons of gold leaf. Then return to the hotel. Dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in Yangon.
Day 18: Yangon – Flight to Bagan (B)
After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the airport for the domestic flight to Nyaung U (Bagan). Featuring more than 2000 red brick temples scattered across an area of 41 square kilometers in the central region of Myanmar, Bagan is known to be one of the greatest architectural sites in Asia.
Upon arrival, start your sightseeing in Bagan with a visit to the renowned Shwezigon Pagoda considered to be the prototype of later Myanmar stupas; constructed by King Anarahta in the early 11th century. Continue your visit to Kyansittha U Min, Htilominlo Temple and Gubyaukgyi Temple which has an exquisite mural painting of 13th century. Also visit to Manuha Temple built in 1059, and Nan Phaya which has been built in the 11th century by the Mon King Manuha. Then move on to some workshops of lacquer wares and wood crafts to learn about local production. Transfer back to your hotel for refreshment.
In the afternoon, drive to the jetty and board on a private boat along the majestic Ayarwaddy River towards Kyaukgu U Min. Enjoy the fabulous scenes of local lives on the water while cruising. Stop to explore a riverside village and observe the lives of the residents there before reaching Kyaukgu U Min, built during the 13th century for the locals to hide from the invading Mongols according to the legend. After your exploration, a combination of a relaxing cruise and car will take you back to the hotel. Lunch and dinner will be on your own account.
Day 19: Bagan (B)
Today, you will explore the settlement of Nyaung U and neighboring villages. Start with a visit to the vibrant Nyaung U Market the busy market in New Bagan with great opportunities of photographing and mingling with the locals, watch how they earn their daily lives. Explore a local village nearby, and if you wish, continue to the lesser-known temples and monuments in the area for the remainder of the morning.
In the afternoon, you will visit to Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece constructed in “Mon” style, one of Bagan’s most wonderful temples. From here, you will continue by a horse cart for an excursion to Oak Kyaung Monastery decorated with multi-colour mural paintings, Thatbyinnyu Temple, Bagan’s tallest temple, gigantic Dhammayangyi Temple noted for its remarkable brickwork and, Sulamani Temple. Proceed to Shwesantaw Pagoda to enjoy the breath-taking sunset over the Ayarwaddy River and the various temples from the upper terrace of the temple. Transfer back to your hotel for overnight. Lunch and dinner will be on own account.
Day 20: Bagan – Flight to Heho – Inle lake (B)
After breakfast, transfer by car about an hour to the airport for your domestic flight to Heho. Upon arrival at Heho airport, welcome by our guide and drive to Nyaung Shwe town located adjacent to Inle Lake through the scenic Shan hills. En route, stop to visit to the rural workshops that produce traditional Shan paper and handcrafted umbrellas. On arrival, take a short tour around this charming Shan town including visit to one of the tomato warehouse where the tomatoes are sorted and priced for sales and some of the many monasteries and nunneries in the town. Then aboard on a private motorboat to Inle Lake, one of Myanmar’s most fascinating sights.
In the afternoon, observe the daily activities of the local leg-rowing fishermen and their floating gardens. Visit Ngahpe Chaung Monastery with the decoration of gold gilded wooden Buddha images and numerous teak pillars. This temple was famous for its jumping cats in the past. Proceed to the PhaungDawOo Pagoda, the most famous pagoda in the lake containing five sacred images of Buddha covered in gold leaf. Move on to some of the workshops making inconceivable woven items from lotus silk, cigar, blacksmiths or silver smiths. Return to hotel by boat. Lunch and dinner will be on your own account.
Day 21: Inle lake – Free day (B)
Free leisure in Inle lake all-day-long.
Day 22: Inle lake – Free day (B)
Free leisure in Inle lake all-day-long.
Day 23: Inle Lake – Indein –Yangon (B)
After breakfast at hotel, visit the colorful floating market which rotates its location between the villages in a 5-day schedule (the market is closed on dark moon and full moon days). Then, take one-hour boat ride to the Indein Pagoda Complex, where you will walk through the bamboo forests and enjoy an exciting view of over a thousand of pagodas and stupa ruins.
In the afternoon, transfer back to your hotel and check out. Enjoy your last boat ride on the way back to NyaungShwe. Then, proceed by car to the Heho airport for your flight to Yangon. Upon arrival, picked up by our guide and transferred to the downtown of Yangon to visit Bogyoke Market also known as Scott Market, where you can find the extensive collection of traditional crafts and souvenirs (the market is closed on Mondays and public holidays). After sunset, head to China town to visit the colorful Khen Hock Keong Chinese Temple and the lively night market. Then, you will return to the hotel for overnight. Lunch and dinner will be on own account.
Day 24: Yangon – Flight to Singapore (B)
3 hours before flight departure, our tour guide will pick you up from your hotel to Yangon international airport for Singapore. Upon arrival in Singapore, you meet our driver then private transfer to your hotel to check in. Overnight in Singapore.
Day 25: Singapore – Departure (B)
After breakfast, free at leisure until transfer to the airport for your departure flight onward (With driver only). Goodbye & See you next time in Southeast Asia !
- 22 nights hotel accommodation in modern and central hotels
- 2 nights on Halong cruise among the bay
- Private car transfer or tourist shuttle bus with experienced drivers
- Group tours joining with other tourists in Ho Chi Minh city, My Son, Halong bay
- Tours, sightseeing, and boat rides according to itinerary with local English speaking guides
- Private boat trip in Mekong delta, Inle lake
- Water puppet show tickets in Hanoi
- Meals according to itinerary: B = Breakfast; L = Lunch ; D = Dinner
- Mineral water during transfer
- Visas, airfares
- Meals not mentioned in itinerary ;
- Drinks, gratuities and expenses of a personal nature
- Tipping for tour guides and drivers