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Discover The Real Vietnam 17 Days

This package tour is perfect for travelers who want to make sure to see as much of Vietnam as possible in a limited amount of time. Enjoy this trip exploring the many cultures and geographies from North to South.

ITINERARY IN BRIEF:

Day 1: Good morning Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour – Night train to Lao Cai.
Day 3: Arrival in Lao Cai – Sapa, trek to Ta Phin (~ 8 – 14 km; 5- 6 trek hours).
Day 4: More in Ta Phin and back to Sapa.
Day 5: Sapa – night train back to Hanoi.
Day 6: Hanoi – Halong, welcome on the boat.
Day 7: Explore the tranquil scenery in Bai Tu Long bay, back to Hanoi – Night train to Hue.
Day 8: Arrival Hue, city tour of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty & boat trip.
Day 9: Hue – Vietnam cyclo, visit market. Transfer to Hoi An.
Day 10: Hoi An, easy biking to Tra Que vegetable village – walking tour in the ancient town.
Day 11: Hoi An – Nha Trang.
Day 12: Nha Trang, island boat trip.
Day 13: Nha Trang – Saigon, city tour.
Day 14: Tay Ninh and the Cu Chi tunnels.
Day 15: Saigon to the fertile Mekong Delta (Cai Be – Can Tho).
Day 16: Can Tho – Saigon.
Day 17: Departure Saigon, Goodbye Vietnam.

TOUR PHOTOS

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Day 1: Good morning Hanoi.

Welcome to Hanoi, we will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. Today is free at your leisure to rest or explore, discovering your own first impressions of Vietnam (depending on what time you arrive). Overnight in Hanoi.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, hotel.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour – Night train to Lao Cai.

Depart at 8:00 am from your hotel by van. We will begin our day by visiting Uncle Ho at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and residential grounds learning about his great life. Next stop is the nearby Temple of Literature, the site of Vietnam’s first University. Here we will also have a chance to see a traditional music performance. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant for a taste of authentic Hanoi Pho (noodle soup). In the afternoon, choose from one of the numerous museums or temples around Hanoi (Museum of Ethnology, Women’s Museum, History Museum or Quan Thanh Temple).

In the late afternoon, take a cyclo trip around Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi’s fascinating Old Quarter. This is your chance to be in the midst of typical Hanoian life and Vietnamese culture. We finish our relaxing but informative day by attending a Water Puppet Show – a favorite experience for all visitors to Vietnam. We can help you to get back to your hotel if you wish, but often our guests would rather just spend the evening enjoying a drink with a view of the city. Tour finishes at about 4:30 pm. Dinner on your own.

At 8:00 pm transfer from a prearranged meeting spot to the station for your night train to Sapa. Boarding is at around 9:10 pm. You will be in shared AC soft sleeper cabin to travel North to Lao Cai town.

(Our tour guide will show you the mini hotel which you will have a shower and basic breakfast before going on Halong bay on Day 6).
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, puppet show ticket, train ticket.

Day 3: Arrival in Lao Cai – Sapa, trek to Ta Phin (~ 8 – 14 km; 5- 6 trek hours).

The train arrives at about 6:00 am. Look for the “iExplore Travel” sign when you exit the train station, as our guide will pick you up there. Take a morning drive through the clouds by car / van to Sapa, about 1.5 hours. When you arrive in Sapa you will be taken to a local restaurant for a morning basic shower, breakfast, a short rest and some last preparations before our inspiring trek.

We will then take short ride from Sapa to our trekking base. Our trek through the terraced valleys, up and down hills will take about 5 to 6 hours. We will pass rice paddies, bamboo forests, and minority villages. Lunch break along the way depending on our pace. When we arrive in Taphin village, our Dao host family will welcome us to their home where we will share in an ethnic style dinner and stay the night.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, morning basic shower, entrance fee, all meals, permit, homestay

Day 4: More in Ta Phin and back to Sapa.

At the first gleam of daylight, you will see and hear the sounds of morning village life. You can join your host family in some of their morning activities like feeding the animals, cleaning the houses, gardening or preparing breakfast. After breakfast, we can take a short wander around the village or spend more time enjoying the view and company at the homestay.

You will be then supported by our car / van back to Sapa (30 minutes). When we arrive back in Sapa, check into the hotel, shower, and pause for lunch on your own. At 2:30 pm we will take an easy 5 km walk to Cat Cat village, home of Black H’mong hill tribe, and to take part in a traditional ethnic music performance put on by the ethnic minority people. Dinner and the evening on your own. Overnight in the hotel in Sapa.

Note: The music show in Cat Cat village is closed on Tuesday afternoon, an alternative will be arranged.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, music show ticket, hotel.

Day 5: Sapa – night train back to Hanoi.

Wake up in Sapa town, breakfast at the hotel then enjoy the morning with some of your new friends that you may have met the afternoon before. Today your guide is available to you for the whole day, although you have the entire day for free time and visiting the lively markets. Some suggestions include a visit to the orchird gardens of Dragon Mountain, or a cultural day trek to hill tribe village.

In later afternoon, depart from your hotel the Lao Cai train station at 5:30 pm. The train leaves Lao Cai at 8:15 pm and arrives after a pleasant sleep in your firrst class, shared AC soft sleeper car to Hanoi.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, train ticket, breakfast.

Day 6: Hanoi – Halong, welcome on the boat.

Arrival in Hanoi in the early morning at around 5:00 am. Please find your way on foot back to a mini hotel near the Tran Quy Cap train station gate to have shower and a basic set menu breakfast.

Departure for Halong Bay is around 8:00 am on a shared van from your hotel. The drive takes 4 hours driving passing through the Vietnam countryside and rice paddy-life. Arriving at the port around noon, the junks crew welcomes guests on board. Check-in, enjoy a welcome drink & attend the cruise briefing. Fresh, local seafood lunch while cruising on to Bai Tu Long Bay. Stop for swimming, visit mysterious Thien Canh cave, Relax at a secluded beach, and kayak to explore the bay up close. Back on the junk to enjoy a relaxing sunset. Dinner and overnight on board.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, morning shower, entrance fee, kayak, boat / junk, all meals, permit, fishing gear.

Day 7: Explore the tranquil scenery in Bai Tu Long bay, back to Hanoi – Night train to Hue.

Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of karst landscape. From 7:30 to 8:00 am have breakfast in the fresh air, then visit Vong Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat. Meet the locals, visit a floating school & fish farms. Later take one more swim in the middle of the bay. There is ample time for the 11:45 am check-out from the cabin while cruising back. Lunch on the boat as we slowly cruise back to port.

We will be ashore then hit the road back for water puppet show at a traditional Vietnamese village before getting back to Hanoi at around 6:00 pm. Hotel then pick up for the night train to Hue. Boarding is at 7:00 pm. You will be in a shared AC soft sleeper cabin.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, boat/junk, breakfast, lunch, train ticket.

Day 8: Arrival Hue, city tour of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty & boat trip.

Arrival in Hue at around 10:00 am. Station pick up then transfer to a mini hotel to take a shower and short rest.

This morning we will explore the Royal Tombs, choosing only to visit the best ones, as we have lots to do today. Visit the Tu Duc Royal Tomb then lunch will be served at a local traditional restaurant at noon.

After lunch, we continue to see the Khai Dinh Royal Tomb then head back to Hue center to visit the former Imperial Citadel.

Later, drive to Thien Mu Pagoda and learn more about Buddhism in Vietnam. Finally, take a short walk to the boat dock for our cruise on the Perfume River before getting back to your hotel to overnight at around 6:30 pm.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, morning basic shower, entrance fee, lunch, local boat, hotel.

Day 9: Hue – Vietnam cyclo, visit market. Transfer to Hoi An.

After breakfast at your hotel around 9:00 am we will go on a relaxing 1 hour Vietnam cyclo ride to visit Dong Ba market. After it will be time to begin our transfer to Hoi An (about 4 hours). There is fabulous sightseeing en route and we may make stops at: Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass, Cham Museum, and the Marble Mountains depending on time. Hoi An in the evening. Overnight here.

Tip: This is a very good chance for you to get great tailor-made clothes at reasonable prices. Hoi An is well known for its tailoring.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, Vietnam cyclo, hotel.

Day 10: Hoi An, easy biking to Tra Que vegetable village – walking tour in the ancient town.

The center of Vietnam has many World Heritage Sites, and Hoi An is one of them. This ancient town of Hoi An, 30 km south of Danang, lies on the banks of the Thu Bon River.

At 8:00 am your guide will pick you up at your hotel for our bicycle trip to the countryside of Hoi An Town.

Arrival at Tra Que Organic village, then have a walk to visit the gardens of local farmers. Learn about their traditional methods and farming techniques – no machines here. Later, we will partly join-in some of the garden work followed by a short feet-soaking in Vietnamese herbs – a lovely treat.

12:00 noon, we head back Hoi An town for lunch at a local restaurant then take free time to take a rest as you wish until 2:00 pm. We’ll walk around the town and experience its charming culture. We will visit the old Tan Ky House, the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, and the stylish Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. Back to hotel in the late afternoon. Free time to relax and discover other corners of Hoi An on your own. Overnight at your hotel.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, local bike, hotel.

Day 11: Hoi An – Nha Trang.

Breakfast at the hotel then transfer to the airport in Danang for a noon-flight to Nha Trang. Upon arrival, airport pick up then transfer to your hotel. Free to chill out on the beautiful white sand beach.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, domestic flight ticket, breakfast, hotel.

Day 12: Nha Trang, island boat trip.

Morning pick up from hotel and transfer to the boat station (15 minutes). Hop on the shared boat and begin a day on the water. The first stop will be Tri Nguyen Aquarium. Then we will cruise to Mot Island. This is one of the best places for snorkeling in Nha Trang. Hold your breath for as long as you can and dive deep into this colourful world of fish and coral. Next stop, Coral Island for sun bathing and relaxing on the off shore beach. Lunch will be served with a selection of fresh seafood. After lunch, cruise to Tranh Island for more swimming and relaxing then boat back to Nha Trang city for around 5:00 pm. Free time in the evening and overnight at your hotel.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, local boat, hotel.

Day 13: Nha Trang – Saigon, city tour.

We take an early flight this morning at 7:50 am, arriving to Saigon at 8:45 am. Transfer downtown and check-in at our hotel before our city tour of bustling Saigon starts. Visit the Binh Tay Market in Cho Lon; stopover at Thien Hau, a 150-year-old Chinese Temple; then visit a Lacquer-wares workshop as well as the Jade Emperor Pagoda. In the afternoon visit the War Remnants Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the historic Central Post Office. We will drop you off at your hotel around 5:30 pm.
Inclusion: Transfer , guide, entrance fee, breakfast, domestic flight ticket , hotel

Day 14: Tay Ninh and the Cu Chi tunnels.

Departing Saigon at 8:00 am from your hotel for a morning excursion to Tay Ninh and the Great Cao Dai Temple (a place to worship a mixture of Buddhism, Confucius, Taoism, Hinduism and Christianity). Take part in the noon mass at the temple (1 hour). Lunch in Tay Ninh.

In the afternoon we visit the Cu Chi outdoor museum to learn about the infamous tunnel systems of the Viet Cong.

Take this opportunity to get a unique understanding of the guerillas underground fighting strategies during the war. Crawl through 50 to 100 meters of the 200 km tunnel system if you dare. On the way back to Saigon visit a local rice paper workshops and take in views of the Vietnam countryside. We’ll drop you off at your hotel around 5:30 pm. Overnight at your hotel.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, hotel.

Day 15: Saigon to the fertile Mekong Delta (Cai Be – Can Tho).

Depart Saigon at 8:00 am from your hotel. Head south to Cai Be. Upon arrival at around 10:30 am, board a boat for a journey through the Mekong’s floating markets. See how river life goes on here, watch the trading between merchant ships and local farmers. Alive and exciting! Cruise through the secluded canals and cross the Mighty Mekong to an island where we will stop to enjoy fresh seasonal fruit before boating to Vinh Long. Back on the bus for our trip to Can Tho to overnight.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, hotel.

Day 16: Can Tho – Saigon

An early start for a boat trip to Cai Rang floating market, then we have some distance to cover. First a cruise, then a walk on a quiet country road taking in the magnificent scenery and getting a little bit closer to the locals as they go about their daily routine. In the afternoon, we head back to Saigon. We will drop you at the same hotel by 6:00 pm.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, local boat, breakfast, hotel

Day 17: Departure Saigon, Goodbye Vietnam.

Breakfast at hotel. Depending on your flight you may have some more time for shopping. Then we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Goodbye, and hope to see you again soon!
Inclusion: Transfer, breakfast.

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 13 nights’ shared Accommodation in double room with daily breakfast at the above indicated room types (check in and check out at around noon time)
  • 02 nights on private cabin on train Hanoi – Lao Cai (Sapa) – Hanoi
  • 01 nights on a nice and fancy junk in Halong bay
  • All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles
  • Local ENGLISH speaking guides

Note:

  • For the night train from Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi, our guide will not go with you on the night train
  • For the Dragon Pearl junk, our guide will not go aboard on cruise.
  • All entrance fees as program
  • Domestic flight ticket Hanoi – Saigon
  • Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program (Vietnamese Local food)
  • 02 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing only

TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Airfares (international and others not mentioned)
  • Meals (other than mentioned in the program)
  • Drinks
  • Visas to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
  • Mineral water beyond that supplied
  • 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…)
  • All not mentioned above

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