VNT 03: Vietnam Highlights
Duration: 12 days Transportation: Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City
Route: Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City
Languages: English Tiếng Việt (View map)
Highlights: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Island - Hue - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh city - Mekong Delta - Cao Dai Temple - Cu Chi Tunnels.
Introducing you to Viet Nam’s three main regions, this 12-day journey starts with the natural splendor and majesty of the north, continues to the historic charm of the central provinces before concluding with the beauty and the vibrancy of the south.
Day1: Hanoi Arrival – Cooking Class (Dinner)
09h45: Arriving in Hanoi, you will be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your hotel.Check in hotel (Rooms may not be ready till 13h00).
14h00: Pick up from your hotel for two hour cyclo ride around trading area in Hanoi's Old Quarter also known as the '36 streets'. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you. Stop for visit to: Ma May Ancient House, Dong Xuan Market, Hanoi Cathedral, Hanoi Opera House and the Vietnam History Museum.
16h00: Enjoy cooking class with Viet Cuisine restaurant. Meet the chef. Program briefing. Enjoy welcome tea or coffee.
16h15: Short visit to Market. Learn to choose fresh ingredients needed for the lesson.
17h30: Back to the restaurant for a little rest, washing hands, wearing apron, chef hat and ready for cooking. Cooking recipe, ingredients and utensils will be placed properly on each table. Watch chef’s demonstration and start practicing.
Step 1: Introduction
Brief introduction on Vietnamese food, ingredients, compliments, cooking utensils.
Step 2: Cook and Enjoy
Not just observing but you will actually prepare and cook by yourself under the instruction of the chef from the beginning to the end, learning how to marinate and to spice will be the most crucial lesson. You will also enjoy decorating dishes with carrot flowers, lemon grass stems, banana leaves and curved chili.
The authentic magical deeping sauce mixed from fish sauce, water, sugar, lemon, chili, garlic, pepper and herbs is very easy to make.
18h30: Enjoy all delicious dishes you have just cooked!!!
Your lesson with Viet Cuisine cooking class is guaranteed to be professional and memorable. You will go home happy with a high confidence to be able to set an elaborate dinner party for your friends and families.
Return to your hotel. Stay overnight in Hanoi
Day2: Full day Hanoi city tour (Breakfast, Lunch)
08h30: You will be picked up from your hotel lobby and depart for the Temple of Literature. In 1076 Quoc Tu Giam - Vietnam's first university, also referred to as Van Mieu, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam's past.
The One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049 will be visited next. This structure is one of Vietnam's most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov) and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969, his former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary.
Continue to picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh which is dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism.
Lunch will be served in one of the city's finest restaurants.
In the afternoon visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum, which is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. At the end of the afternoon take a walking tour around Hoan Kiem Lake (considered as the most beautiful lake in Hanoi) and visit Ngoc Son Temple or Temple of the Jade Mound, is located on a small islet at Hoan Kiem Lake, was built in the 19th century.
Finish the day with a Water Puppet show (1 hour duration). This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. Return to your hotel where the full day trip ends.
Stay overnight in Hanoi.
Day3: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Island (Breakfast, Lunch)
08h00: After breakfast at hotel, you will be picked up for 3.5 hour drive to Ha Long bay through scenic countryside areas. Short break on the way for refreshment.
11h30: Arrive at Bai Chay pier in Halong city. Embark the boat then start the cruise through the emerald waters between the limestone outcrops and long corridors. Lunch is served on boat. Visit THIEN CUNG cave (the cave of the heavenly palace - famous for its stalagmites and stalactites) - the cave has only opened to the public since 1998. Going out of this cave you will walk about 100m to reach the DAU GO cave then walk down about 90 steps back to the pier to embark the boat. These caves are 25-27m high above sea level. The only way to reach it is by walking.
Keep cruising forward to Cat Ba Island. Your boat will be docking at Gia Luan pier where your minivan is waiting to pick you up for transfer to your hotel.
Stay overnight in Cat Ba Island.
Day4: Cat Ba National Park – Hai Phong – Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch)
08h30: Depart your hotel for a short transfer to visit Cat Ba National Park, a special-use forest in Vietnam, the world's biosphere reserve.
11h00: Return to your hotel for refreshment, pack your things before check out.
12h00: Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch.
13h15: Transfer to Cai Vieng pier for speedboat (30 minutes) to Hai Phong city where your minivan will be waiting to pick you up for 2 hour transfer back to Hanoi.
Drop off at your hotel. Overnight at hotel in Ha Noi.
Day5: Hanoi - Hue by domestic flight (Breakfast, Dinner)
10h20: Transfer from your hotel in Hanoi to the airport for flight to Hue.
On arrival at Phu Bai airport, pick up then transfer to your hotel in Hue. Bus trip to visit Imperial Citadel and Dong Ba market. Dinner in Hue with Hue specialty – Royal Dinner (Com Cung Dinh).
Stay overnight in Hue.
Day 6: Hue City Tour (Breakfast, Lunch)
08h30: You will be picked up from your hotel lobby for the boat trip on Perfume River to visit handicraft village: making conical hat and bronze casting. Visit Thien Mu Pagoda considered as Royal Pagoda of the Nguyen Dynasty and Mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang. Lunch at the garden restaurant.
In the afternoon visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Tombs. Return to your hotel where the full day trip ends.
Stay overnight in Hue.
Day7: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An (Breakfast, Lunch)
08h30: Pick you up from your hotel then transfer to Da Nang. Spend time in Lang Co beach en route, taking photograph from Hai Van Pass (The pass of Sea and Cloud). Stop for a visit to Cham Museum and Marble Mountain on the way to Hoi An. Arrive in Hoi An. Check in hotel. Lunch to be arranged in a local restaurant.
After lunch we spend a walking tour around this enchanting port town. Follow the narrow lanes lined with centuries-old houses influenced by Chinese, Japanese, French and European architectures and visit its numerous places of interest: the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls, the local fish market … Around the town we can see a numerous art galleries and tailor shops, get some made-to-order clothes if you like.
You spend more two hours boat trip on the Thu Bon River to enjoy the natural view and discover the normal life of local fishing people. Return to your hotel.
Stay overnight in Hoi An.
Day8: Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City by domestic flight (Breakfast, Lunch)
08h30: You will be picked up for transfer to Da Nang airport for 70 minute flight to Ho Chi Minh city. On arrival at Ho Chi Minh airport the guide will welcome you and escort you to a restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, we embark on a half day city tour to visit the War Remnants or History Museum (choose which one you would most like to see) and the former Presidential Palace, from there stroll (your vehicle will be available at all times) to the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall (if time permits). In the late afternoon head to Cholon, the city's Chinatown district, discover the markets and shops of the area.
Return to your hotel for check in. Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day9: Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Delta: My Tho – Ben Tre – Can Tho (Breakfast, Lunch)
08h00: You will be picked up from your hotel lobby by our representative and transferred to My Tho, the closest city to Saigon within the delta. Take a boat trip on the Mekong River for sightseeing around an island named after 4 holy animals: the Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise and Phoenix. Visit the Phong Phu Coconut Candy Workshop (a famous specialty food of Ben Tre Province). Take a cart ride through the coconut tree orchards on countryside paths to discover how Vietnamese farmers work in their rice fields and fruit gardens, as well as observe the daily activities of villagers in the Mekong Delta. Stop to enjoy seasonal tropical fruits before visiting a local house where people make sticky rice cakes mixed with coconut flesh, banana or beans. You also have the chance to cross the “monkey bridge” for lunch.
After lunch, enjoy a rowing boat ride along the creeks under the shadow of the water coconut trees back to the pier. Proceed to Can Tho via Vinh Long. Check in hotel on arrival. You are free at leisure to explore Can Tho town. Dinner will be on your own.
Stay overnight in Can Tho.
Day10: Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating Market – Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast, Lunch)
Early in the morning, take a boat to visit the colorful Cai Rang floating market. Here, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The main items sold here are fruit and vegetables and each boat has a long upright pole at its bow from which samples of the goods for sale are hung. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with mango, bananas, papaya, pineapple, and even floating pho vendors. Along the way, admire the scenery and daily life of the local villagers. After a visit to the colorful floating market, check out & have lunch before return to Ho Chi Minh City via Trung Luong to visit the flower garden. Arrive in Ho Chi Minh city at around 18h00.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day11: Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast, Lunch)
Depart Ho Chi Minh City at 08h00 in the morning for the drive to Tay Ninh. Leaving the city behind, the scenery changes to views of rice paddies, villagers drying noodles by the side of the road and other scenes typical to southern Vietnam. In Tay Ninh visit the Cao Dai Great Temple, with architecture that could have come straight from a Walt Disney fantasy and where all the major faiths of the world blend together in a unique religious cocktail.
After lunch in a local restaurant visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels which consist of an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars. Start the visit with the Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc sections of the tunnel. Here you can imagine what it was like to be a guerrilla complete with Russian Carbine rifles and AK 47's on display. In the late afternoon journey back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day12: Ho Chi Minh Departure (Breakfast)
Today you are free at leisure for shopping or wandering the town till pick up time from your hotel lobby to Ho Chi Minh airport for flight onward.
End of services.
Tour Price & Availability:
Day 1 : Arrival Ho Chi Minh city
Tour guide and car pick up at the airport and then tranfer to the hotel for checking in. Visit Reunification Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post Office, City Hall. Free time . Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 : Mytho - Mekong delta tour (B, L)
Full day tour: Coach trip to Mekong Delta : Boat trip on the Mekong river to fruit orchards and visit Thoi Son Islet - Drink tea with honey and local wine. Return to Ho Chi Minh City - Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3 : Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple (B, L)
In the morning we have an excursion to the famous Cu Chi tunnels (the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border about 200km).
From Cu Chi we drive to Tay Ninh, the headquarters of the Cao Dai Sect, whose patron saints include Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill. Back to Saigon. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4 : Ho Chi Minh City - Danang - Hoi An (B, L) ( Flight )
Transferring back to the airport this morning for another flight, you will be greeted on your arrival at Danang and driven to Hoi An. There will be a stop to visit the Marble Mountains along the way.
From here we make our way to Danang Beach for lunch before continuing on to Hoi An. You will have the remainder of the day free to explore some of the many tailor shops or cycle to Cua Dai Beach six kilometers from the town. Overnight at hotel in Hoian.
Day 5 : Hoi An (B, L)
Fullday visit Hoian: PhucKien Pagoda, Hoian Museum, Japanese Covered Bridge, TanKy Old house, Assembly Hall of Cantonese Chinese Congregation, Hoian market. Lunch and dinner at restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6 : Hoi An - Hue (B, L) ( 150km )
Drive to Hue at 8.00 am. On the way visit Hai Van pass and Lang Co beach. Arrive Hue.
In the afternoon, we embark on a cycling tour of Hue and the surrounding area to visit the Citadel, containing the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City. Lunch at restaurant. Overnight at hotel in Hue.
Day 7 : Hue - Hanoi (B, L) ( night train )
Cruise along the Perfume River to visit the ornate tomb of Emperor Minh Mang. From here we will cruise back to the eccentric Tu Duc's tomb, and discover this Emperor's opulent lifestyle. Back to the Perfume River and board our Dragon Boat. We enjoy lunch while cruising back down towards Hue, stopping on the way to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many as the unofficial symbol of Hue.
This afternoon we board the Reunification Express E 2 for an overnight train journey. Our destination is the Hanoi capital, approximately 10 hours away
Day 8 : Hanoi - Halong bay ( B, L, D)
Arrival in Hanoi this morning is scheduled for around 05.00 with a transfer directly to Halong bay .
After the city tour we will depart Hanoi bound for Ha Long City. Upon arrival in Ha Long City we check in to our hotel. Free time at leisure in the afternoon. This evening have the chance to sample some delicious Vietnamese delicacies at one of the many local restaurants.
Day 9 : Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Island National Park ( B, L)
Today we board our own private boat for a five-hour cruise around the secluded and majestic Halong Bay. We have the chance to swim in the bay's emerald waters and also visit one of its many splendid caves. After lunch, drive to Cat Ba Island. Explore the township of Cat Ba or visit the National Park. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 : Cat Ba Island - Hanoi ( B, L)
Am: Catch the local ferry to Hai Phong, around three hours away.
Have breakfast on board the ferry before arriving in Hai Phong. Take a short ciy tour before coming back Hanoi.
Pm: arrive Hanoi. Making a tour to visit Ethonology Museum and Hoa Lo (former prison). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11 : Hanoi City Tour ( B, L)
This morning we start our itinerary with a morning city tour of Hanoi, taking in the Ho Chi Minh Complex which includes the Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Presidential Palace, Fine Arts Museum as well as Ho Chi Minh's former stilt house residence. After lunch, visit Temple of Literature, Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake and the vibrant old quarter . Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12 : Depart Hanoi (Breakfast included)
Free time until transfer hotel to the airport for your flight out of Vietnam.
- Accommodation in shared twin room with air-condition (A/C) and private bathroom;
- Meals as stated in the program B= breakfast, L= lunch; D= dinner;
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Local English-speaking guides;
- All entrance fees as mentioned in the program;
- Boat trip as stated in above sights;
- Mineral water and chilled tissue served on trip;
- Air tickets as mentioned above (Hanoi-Hue and Da Nang-Ho Chi Minh with Vietnam Airlines).
( Contact us for details of Tour package Price or adjust itinerary on your own schedule at: email@example.com)
What's Not Included:
- Visa stamping fee on arrival;
- All air tickets not mentioned in the program and above quotation;
- Optional tours;
- Surcharges for other language guides;
- Personal travel insurance;
- Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc…
- Meals and services other than mentioned in the program;
- Drinks with meals;
- Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the program.
Good to Know:
- Prices may vary according to your travel time and are higher in the high season, e.g. Christmas period (Dec 24-26), New Year period (Dec 31-Jan 02).
- For additional hotel night cost to the packages, please contact us for the rates.
- This tour package can be fully customizable to fit your travel plan. You can also disregard full package tours and choose whatever travel items you need. We can quote the tours you really want. Usually travel insurance is not covered in our quotations.
- Keep your luggage and money by yourself.
- Inform in advance if you are vegetarian.
- Take original passports, good and comfortable trekking shoes, insect repellent, torches, sun scream, towels, rain gear and extra warm clothes. All customers must obey the order of your guide for your safety.
- Child from age of 3 to 9 Years (usually enjoying 10%-20% discount. Contact us for the actual discount for your case).
- 9 Years old and above will be charged as Adult Price.
Very Important notice from TUN Travel:
- All tours & transfers are all based in English Speaking local guides. For other languages, please contact us for new quotations.
- Itinerary Change to the confirmed itinerary may happen because of traffic, weather, or any other conditions not under our control such as war, strike, fire, acts of government, riot, etc. We will do our best to make sure that all the travel will be similar. Tun Travel can substitute the itinerary upon your agreement.
- Transportation and Restaurants: The cars, vans or coaches for the land transportation should be in good shape with air conditioner. All restaurants should be tidy and clean.
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