This trip provides the best features of both the North and Central areas of Vietnam: from stately Hanoi, the mountain area of Sapa, the Citadel at Hue, the ancient town of Hoian, the holy land of My Son, to the natural wonder of Halong bay,Hanoi - Sapa - Halong - Hue - Hoian - My Son - Danang
Exploration of Vietnam's marvellous World Heritage sites will amaze everyone. This trip provides the best features of both the North and Central areas of Vietnam: from stately Hanoi, the mountain area of Sapa, the Citadel at Hue, the ancient town of Hoian, the holy land of My Son, to the natural wonder of Halong bay, with its 2000 islands of different sizes and shapes rising from the emerald water of the Gulf of Tonkin, a real masterpiece of nature. All this will be sure to stir your imagination.
Day 1: Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival you will be welcomed by our guide and transferred to the hotel. Tonight we will have dinner at one of the finest restaurants in town
Day 2: Hanoi (D)
Hanoi is sometimes called the Paris of the Orient with its shaded boulevards, verdant parks and ochre buildings that retain an old world charm.
This morning we will visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum which has become a popular pilgrimage place for the Vietnamese, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts and the One Pillar pagoda. Following this we will visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076 and the first Vietnamese University. After lunch we will visit the fine Ethnology Museum followed by an hour's drive on a cyclo (a pedal rickshaw) to visit the old quarter of Hanoi.We have lunch at restaurant.In the evening we will enjoy the unique water puppet performance.
Day 3: Hanoi- Halong bay (B,L,D)
From Hanoi we depart for Halong Bay. Our journey takes us through the lush green fields of the Red River delta to the coast and beautiful Halong bay whose name means "an ascending dragon". We will arrive in time for a delicious, fresh, seafood lunch on our boat which will cruise this secluded bay so we can marvel at some of the 2-3000 limestone peaks that emerge from the emerald water. We have the opportunity to view a spectacular cave crammed with stalagtites and stalagmites, and, weather permitting, to swim in the clear waters surrounding our boat. We can also kayak to explore some of the hidden charms in part of the bay before spending the night on board.
Day 4: Halong bay – Hanoi. ( B,L)
In the morning we will continue kayaking so we can explore Luon cave, Turtle islet, Human Head islet and Saddle islet. After lunch on board the boat we will leave Halong for Hanoi. In the evening we will take the overnight sleeper train to Sapa.
Day 5: Sa Pa ( B, L)
Our guide will welcome us upon arrival and we will make our way to the nearby China/Vietnam border gate where we can observe the start of early trade taking place between the two countries. About one hour's drive on a scenic route brings us to Sapa, an old French trading town set high on the mountainside with spectacular views all around.
After checking in to the hotel, there will be free time to explore the market. After lunch we will take a 3hr walk to Cat Cat village which belongs to the H'mong people, and we will also see the waterfall.
Day 6: Sapa (B,L)
Today after a short jeep journey overlooking beautiful, terraced rice paddies, we will arrive at two villages, Lao Chai and Tawan, which belong to the H'mong and Giay hill people. We will take a 3hr trek to visit them, returning to Sapa by jeep afterwards. The afternoon is free for exploration of this interesting town. In the late afternoon we leave by bus for Lao Cai station to catch the overnight sleeper train back to Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi
We arrive back at Hanoi in the early morning. After hotel check in, the day is free to further explore this vibrant town where shops and museums abound.
Day 8: Hanoi - Fly to Hue ( B,L,D)
In the morning we leave for the airport and our short flight to Hue. It was once the capital of the Nguyen emperors and was packed with influential people: bureaucrats, princesses, traders, astrologers and courtiers, who left behind many beautiful and intrigueing reminders of their times. Upon arrival we will check in at our hotel. In the afternoon we will visit the Citadel, the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple city. In the evening, we will have a Royal meal, only eaten by the Emperor in the old days.
Day 9: Hue –Hoian.( B)
In the morning we will take a dragon boat to cruise along the Perfume River. We will pause to visit Thien Mu pagoda, one of the best loved architectural pagodas in Vietnam considered by many as the unofficial symbol of Hue. It is an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. One of the most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk who, in 1963, drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest against the treatment of Buddhists by the S.Vietnamese regime. After that we will continue our boat trip to the majestic and scenic Emporer Minh Mang tomb.
Next we will leave Hue and head south through coastal rice paddies to the fishing village of Lang Co, before taking the scenic, mountainous route over the spectacular Hai Van Pass, arriving at the riverside town of Hoian in the afternoon. (approx. 4hrs driving time)
Day 10: Hoian (B,L)
In 1995 UNESCO recognised Hoian as a World Heritage site. Hoian was a thriving, international, commercial seaport for Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Dutch, English French and Arab traders. These people came to trade primarily for many things but especially high quality silk which is still produced in the area. Today Hoian is a quaint riverside town, popular among tourists for its charming architecture, cafes, souvenir and tailor shops. Some of the lovely buildings in the narrow streets have changed very little over the last 100 years.
In the morning today, we will enjoy a walking tour through the narrow, winding streets of the Old Town, visiting Fukien assembly hall, the 200 year old Kan Ty home, the Japanese covered bridge, Hoian museum and the handicraft workshops,
The afternoon is at leisure to explore the town further or to visit nearby Cua Dai beach.
Day 11: Hoian –Danang - Fly Hanoi (B)
In the morning today we will transfer to Danang for our flight back to Hanoi. In the afternoon you are at leisure to see more of Hanoi or buy those last minute souvenirs.
Day 12: Hanoi - Departure (B)
Your tour cost includes
• Service of the bilingual tour guides
• Additional local crew support
• All accommodation with daily breakfast
• Domestic airfares
• All meals indicated in the itinerary
• All transports by private A.C coaches with reasonable supply of water
• Other transport such as A.C Soft sleeper overnight train and boat
• Entrance fees and permits to sightseeing as indicated
Your tour cost excludes
• International airfares
• International departure tax
• Visas and visa fees
• Meals and beverage not mentioned in the itinerary
• Personal expenses such as: bar, telephone and laundry bill
• Personal travel insurance (Compulsory)
• Tips and gratuities
Trip cost and further information please contact us : firstname.lastname@example.org
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