Vietnam In Depth
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi city’s highlights – Lao Cai
Day 3: Lao Cai – Weekly ethnic market – Sa Pa
Day 4: Sa Pa
Day 5: Sa Pa – Hanoi
Day 6: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Da Nang – Hoi An
Day 8: Hoi An
Day 9: Hoi An – Hue
Day 10: Hue
Day 11: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City
Day 12: Cu Chi Tunnels & Ho Chi Minh City
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City – Ben Tre – Can Tho
Day 14: Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh City
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City Departure
DAY 1 | 2 h |300 km
Welcome to Hanoi
Take the evening to relax and feel out your new surroundings
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi city’s highlights
Wake up early, grab your cameras and head out to Hanoi’s biggest flower market in Quang Ba
On your way back to the old centre, visit the banks of Truc Bach Lake filled with locals practicing Tai Chi or plaing badminton as a daily routine
Continue to a local market to capture a lively buying and selling scene
Skip breakfast at the hotel this morning and join the locals in the streets for a bowl of Pho
Visit the Presidential Palace (formerly Palace of the Governor-General of French Indochina), Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilt and nearby One Pillar Pagoda.
Afternoon visit to the Temple of Literature – dedicated to Confucius, was built in the 11th century. It was the first university in Vietnam and students still come here to burn incense
Drive to Hanoi Center to explore the lively Old Quarter of Hanoi. This is a place you must see to experience Hanoi, where you will find shopping and cultural/historical sites all wrapped into one
Transfer to the Hanoi Railway Station for the overnight train to Lao Cai
Overnight on train
Lao Cai – Weekly ethnic market – Sa Pa
Arrive at Lao Cai Railway Station in the early morning.
Take a drive along the winding mountainous road to visit a weekly ethnic market where Flower H’mong, Dzao, Tay and other ethnic people come surrounding regions in their colorful traditional costumes to sell their farming products and buy necessities.
Continue on to Sa Pa town to overnight
Drive to Muong Hoa Valley and take a full day walk between villages of H’mong and Dzay ethnic minorities. Capture the beautiful mountainous landscape, terrace rice fields and local life
Back to Sa Pa and climb up Ham Rong Mountain to have beautiful panoramic view of Sa Pa town
Overnight in Sa Pa
Sa Pa – Hanoi
Today we’ll take the drive and walk to village of Red Dzao ethnic minority for more photos.
After lunch take the drive back to Hanoi via Lao Cai Expressway.
Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 6 | 2 h |2 km
Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
Head out in the morning to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Board a luxury Vietnamese sampan for an overnight boat cruise amongst the limestone islands rising majestically out of the turquoise bay.
End the day with a BBQ dinner aboard the boat
Overnight on board
Ha Long Bay – Da Nang – Hoi An
Start your day with calming Tai Chi, often accompanied by an amazing sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of Bay’s landscape
Pass beautiful spots such as Trong, Trinh Nu and the Me Cung Caves, and get a chance to explore the Surprise Cave
Transfer back to Hanoi and on to the Noi Bai Airport for a short flight to Da Nang, a busy seaport in Central Vietnam.
Transfer to Hoi An, a World Heritage site designated by UNESCO in 1999
Overnight in Hoi An
Start the day with a tour of a local farm and fishing community
Jump on a bike to take in the local scenes
Head back to town to epxplore ancient streets of Hoi An, lined with Chinese traders’ homes and wooden houses reincarnated as restaurants, cafés, and outlets for local artists, craftsmen and tailors. Hoi An's unique fusion of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture is well displayed here, in what is arguably Vietnam's most tourist-friendly town
Experience the old town as its streets come alive at night
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Hue
Depart Hoi An for Hue in the morning
En-route, stop at Cham Museum – houses a collection of stone scultures the Hindu-practing Cham Civilization
Capture beautiful shots of Lang Co Lagoon and view of Da Nang the top of Hai Van Pass
Continue to Tu Duc Tomb. Tu Duc began planning his tomb long before his death in 1883. The major portions of the tomb complex were completed 1864-67, along with future temple buildings that served as a palatial retreat for Tu Duc and his many wives during his lifetime
Overnight in Hue
Take a tour of the Hue Imperial Citadel, recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993. Explore the Imperial Citadel, closely modeled along the lines of the Forbidden City in Beijing
In the afternoon, head out to Thien Mu Pagoda, a nicely located pagoda overlooking the Perfume River and the beautiful landscape beyond. If you are lucky, you could observe the Pagoda’s praying ceremony and experience local religious life. Also, do not miss the stunning sunset on Perfume River
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Ho Chi Minh City
Take the morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon – the most dynamic city of Vietnam where modern high-rise buildings sit next to ancient temples
In the afternoon, follow in the footsteps of the novelists Graham Greene and see the sites in Saigon’s fabled District 1.
Start at the Reunification Palace, the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883, most materials for Saigon's Notre Dame Cathedral were imported France. Neo-Romanesque in form, it is a major centre of Catholicism in modern Vietnam, and one of the city’s major landmarks. Next to the cathedral stands the Saigon Post Office, a classic French colonial structure, is still a functioning post office today and features huge ceilings, a giant portrait of Uncle Ho, and many beautiful details. Continue along the former Rue Catinat to the Hotel Continental – famous the ‘Quiet American’ novel and film – and on to the Caravelle Hotel, home to many foreign reporters and secret agents during the Vietnam War
Take in remarkable panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City its highest building. At 68 floors, the Bitexco Building was opened in 2011and rises 262 meters into the sky. The eye-opening view the Skydeck gives you a sense of the vibrant city you will be exploring during your stay
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Cu Chi Tunnels & Ho Chi Minh City
Depart Ho Chi Minh City and head out to Cu Chi Tunnels. After an introductory video, viewing various mantraps, the remains of an American tank and numerous bomb craters, you will spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels to see how the Viet Cong survived in this underground network
Back in Ho Chi Minh City, check out the Jade Emperor Temple. The Jade Emperor, heaven's gatekeeper, sits in the centre of this pagoda in an incense-filled room. Hidden chambers hold woodcarvings and altars depicting scenes Taoist and Buddhist myths. The pagoda is a photographer's paradise, with ribbons of aromatic incense smoke, robed monks, artfully carved figures, Buddha sculptures and a turtle pond.
Continue to the Chinatown of Cho Lon. Among the oldest and most interesting parts of Saigon, this is where the large Chinese community has been settled for centuries
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta
Transfer to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta. Set out on a boat trip on channels winding through coconut forest
Walk on village path and visit a farmer’s house and ride bicycles through village roads past rice fields, coconut groves and local houses.
Visit a tapioca cake workshop and a local Cao Dai temple, then cycle along riverside and back to your waiting vehicle for the drive to Can Tho.
Overnight in Can Tho
Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
Step onboard a boat to visit Cai Rang floating market. Take in the daily activities of the locals who live along the Mekong canals
Visit the Binh Thuy Ancient House, a rare and well-preserved example in Can Tho City of a characteristic Mekong Delta house
Return to Ho Chi Minh City for a night out on the town and overnight stay
Ho Chi Minh City departure
Spend the morning capturing the photos of the city in the early light
End your trip here and on to your next adventure