The Essentials of Vietnam

This tour is for people who do not have much time and want to travel to all major destinations of Vietnam in style. It is an intense trip with genuine moments of relaxation where you will be able to enjoy each place with interests. Take a deep dive into Vietnam’s culture and its UNESCO-registered major sites.

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Arrival In Hanoi

Hanoi, Major Sites And Monuments (B/L/-)

Hanoi – Ninhbinh– Hanoi (B/L/-)

Hanoi – Halong B/L/D)

Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue (Brunch/-/-)

Hue – Hoi An (B/L/-)

Hoi An –Saigon (B/-/D)

Saigon – Mekong Delta– Saigon (B/L/-)

Departure (B/-/-)

Hoi An, Day At Leisure (B/-/-)

DAY 1

Hanoi

 

ARRIVAL IN HANOI

 

  • The driver and guide welcome you at the airport and take you to the hotel in the city center (rooms might be available from 2pm only).
  • Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Stroll around the narrow streets of the old quarter.
  • Sit by the cathedral for a fresh fruit juice.
  • Wander around the Hoan Kiem Lake.

 

Fun fact

The old quarter of Hanoi is called the 36 streets quarter. It actually comprises of more than 70 streets. The number 36 would rather refer to the 36 guilds and workshops areas present their back in the 15th century.

 

Night at MK Premier – Luxury http://mkpremier.vn/

Night at MK Premier – Luxury

DAY 2

Hanoi

HANOI, MAJOR SITES AND MONUMENTS (B/L/-)

 

  • The guide meets you at 9am in your hotel’s lobby.
  • Transfer to the Temple of Literature, a little architectural gem, first university of Vietnam and temple devoted to Confucius.
  • Walk up north to reach the Ho Chi Minh complex
  • Visit the gardens of the Presidential palace, the one-pillar pagoda and the house on stilts where Ho Chi Minh lives his the last days of his life.
  • Go to Truc Bach peninsula for lunch in a small food shop the specialty of the neighborhood: the pho cuon and pho xao. Choice of several dishes based on pho noodles, sautéed beef, and some nice greens on top. Very local and delicious.
  • Then transfer to the Ethnographic Museum. It preserves an amazing collection of objects and facts about the 54 ethnic minorities present in Vietnam.
  • Drive back to the hotel.
  • End your day at leisure.

 

Fun fact

On Hang Gai Street, just off north the HoanKiem Lake, look for a narrow corridor at number 11 of the street. Enter the hidden Vuon Pho Co café and climb the stairs up to the top for a drink with a nice view over the lake.

 

Night at MK Premier – Luxury http://mkpremier.vn/

Night at MK Premier – Luxury

DAY 3

Hanoi NinhBinh Hanoi

HANOI – NINHBINH– HANOI (B/L/-)

 

  • Depart from the hotel at 7am.
  • Head south to NinhBinh province.
  • First stop en-route at the Hoa Lu ancient imperial capital. Two temples dedicated to Dinh and Lê dynasties.
  • Visit the temples and then hop on bicycles for a 1-hour ride across Limestone Mountains and rice fields.
  • Enter the so-called Inland Halong Bay and explore its waterways on a local rowed-sampan.
  • Visit the Bich Dong pagoda, a last climb up on three levels to have a panorama view over the valley.
  • About 3pm, start your way back to Hanoi for an arrival at about 5.30pm.
  • End of day at leisure.

 

Fun fact

On the way to go, if you wish, do not take any breakfast at the hotel and ask your guide to stop en-route at about 1-hour drive from Hanoi in Phu Ly. This place is famous for its banh cuon. It is a kind of local crepe served with flame-grilled pork belly.

 

Night at MK Premier – Luxury http://mkpremier.vn/

Night at MK Premier – Luxury

DAY 4

Hanoi

 

HANOI – HALONG B/L/D)

 

  • Have breakfast at hotel before heading out to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Departure is set by shuttle bus between 7.40 and 8.15 for an arrival on the coast a little before noon time.
  • In Halong, you will board a junk boat for a night cruise amongst the thousands of limestone islands rising majestically out of the turquoise bay. You pass grand rock formations and quaint floating fishing farms.
  • Sample a delicious lunch of freshly caught fish and seafood.
  • In the afternoon, the activity may depend on the time of the year and weather: visit grotto, kayaking, swimming, floating village exploration, etc.
  • End the day with a spectacular set-menu gastronomic dinner.
  • Spend the night on board.

 

Fun fact

You may be among the last people to stay the night on a wooden junk in Halong bay. The authorities allow only steel boats to navigate the bay in the future. So make the max of your time out there.

 

Night at Bhaya cruise (Deluxe) www.bhayacruises.com

Night at Bhaya cruise (Deluxe)

DAY 5

Halong bay

HALONG BAY – HANOI – HUE (BRUNCH/-/-)

 

  • Cruising back to the pier, a brunch is served as you get closer to disembarkation.
  • Early Tai Chi session is proposed, coffee and tea are served early as well for the early birds wishing to see the beautiful lights of sunrise.
  • Visit a grotto before starting your way back to the coast.
  • Disembark and the shuttle bus will take you back to Hanoi.
  • Have a little bit of free time and maybe an early dinner before you are picked up and taken to the airport for a late flight to Hue.
  • Welcome to Hue, you are driven to the hotel.

 

Fun fact

Vietnam has 8 sites registered as World Heritage by UNESCO. Halong bay and Hue are two of them. Others are the Thang Long citadel in Hanoi, the natural site of Trang An in NinhBinh, the old town of Hoi An, the Hô citadel in Thanh Hoa, My Son sanctuary and the national park of PhongNhaKe Bang.

 

Night at Cherish Hotel – City View Deluxe http://cherishhotel.com/

DAY 6

Hue

 

HUE – HOI AN (B/L/-)

 

  • The tour starts from the hotel’s lobby at 8am.
  • Visit the beautiful TuHieu pagoda and the Emperor TuDuc’s tomb.
  • Then veer off the common path and go for an easy cycling ride around the village of the Mandarins.
  • Discover their centuries-old houses set in beautiful orchard-gardens.
  • Meet the Mandarins’ descendants.
  • Have lunch at one local house.
  • Early afternoon, drive to the citadel and dive into Vietnam’s feudality, a passionating slice of History.
  • About 3.30pm, make your way to Hoi An passing the Lang Co bay and the superb Hai Van Pass around 4.30-5pm when the lights are beautiful.
  • Arrival in Hoi An in the early evening.
  • Free time.

 

Fun fact

If you like these, seize the opportunity when you are in Hoi An to go to the market buy some cashew nuts. It is called hatdieu in Vietnamese. They are pretty cheap and delicious.

 

Night at Vinh Hung Library Hotel – Superior www.vinhhunglibraryhotel.com

DAY 7

Hoi An

 

 

HOI AN, DAY AT LEISURE (B/-/-)

 

  • Full day at leisure to visit the town.
  • Do some shopping.
  • Go sunbathing on the beach.

 

Fun fact

It is easy to rent bicycles or scooters in Hoi An. If you are about to move a lot around, this will save you some money compared to taxi rides. Plus, it is much more fun.

 

Night at Vinh Hung Library Hotel – Superior www.vinhhunglibraryhotel.com

DAY 8

Saigon

HOI AN –SAIGON (B/-/D)

 

  • Morning at leisure.
  • The driver will pick you up in the afternoon to take you to the airport in Danang for a flight to Saigon.
  • In Saigon, you are taken to the hotel to drop the luggage.
  • Depart for a gastronomic journey riding pillion at the back of beautiful vintage Vespas. This is a street food adventure by night to see Saigon like very few have the chance to.

 

Fun fact

There is no real special food originated from Saigon. Unlike other important cities of the country, the metropolis does not have its own signature dish. But Saigon offers the unique opportunity to taste all the specialties from all over Vietnam gathered in one city.

 

Night at Le Duy Hotel 3* – Deluxe www.leduyhotel.com.vn

DAY 9

Saigon

 

SAIGON – MEKONG DELTA– SAIGON (B/L/-)

  • Catch up at 7am in the lobby to depart across the busy streets of Saigon and make your way to Cai Be.
  • Reaching a small pier, well hidden away from the busy Cai Be tourist center, get on a boat to start exploring the mighty river and the life it generates.
  • Walk or ride bicycle to discover an island, its orchards and local workshops.
  • Have lunch at a local home.
  • Drive back to Saigon.
  • Arrival in the late afternoon.
  • Evening at leisure.

 

Fun fact

If you are keen on cultural performances, you should not miss the A O Show. It is a dance and arts performance mixing contemporary and folkloric styles. Google it or ask your guide for more information.

 

Night at Le Duy Hotel 3* – Deluxe www.leduyhotel.com.vn

DAY 10

Departure

 

DEPARTURE (B/-/-)

 

  • Full day on your own to discover Saigon.
  • Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Extensions possible upon requests.

 

Fun fact

If you have time, go for a drink on the rooftop of Saigon at the bar of the Bitexco tower.

The price includes:
  • Accommodation in twin/double room with daily breakfast at the below indicated room types (see hotel category list below) (check in and check out around noontime)
  • 2Days/1Night cruise on boat in Ha Long Bay (shared cabin on shared boat)
  • All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles (types of vehicles depending on the number of Pax):
  • 1-2pax: car of 4 seats
  • 3-6pax: van of 16 seats
  • Local ENGLISH speaking guides
  • North (Hanoi – Suoi Mu – Ninh Binh – Halong Bay): 1 guide (no guide on board)
  • Centre (Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An): 1 guide
  • South (Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Delta): 1 guide
  • All entrance fees as program
  • Moto-taxis in Ngoc Son Ngo Luong.
  • Traditional longtail boat in Hoian.
  • Boat on Tam Giang lagoon.
  • Bicycle around the village of the Mandarins.
  • Private sampan trip in Cai Be.
  • Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program.
  • 02 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing only.

 

The price does not include:
  • Airfares (international and domestic).
  • Meals (other than mentioned in the program).
  • Beverages
  • Visa to Vietnam.
  • Tips
  • Early check in or late check out.
  • Insurances
  • Optional excursions and activities.
  • Additional transfer required due to any emergency situation.
  • Items of a personal nature (Phone calls, laundry, beverages…).
  • Peak season surcharges if any
  • All not mentioned above

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