OVERVIEW

Travel along the lenght of Vietnam through its stunning highlights, discover the landscapes, reveal hidden charms of the places and check out specail tastes in some most interesting way. Sipping cafe au lait on the veranda of a colonial building in the centre of Saigon and savour local tastes as a Saigoness; Walk in the shade of tropical orchards of the Mekong Delta and reveal the freshness of this fertile land; Wander through charms of Hoi an ancient town, the majestic corridor of Imperial city of Hue and experience a vegetarian feast at a Buddhist pagoda; Cruise the spectacular Halong Bay, marvel at bustling Hanoi's Old Quarter and enjoy Hanoi specialties.

Highlights
  • Saigon nightlife and food taste adventure
  • Hoi An farming experience and home cooking
  • Fruit and veggie carving class
  • Vegetarian feast at a Buddhist Pagoda
  • Hanoi Old Quarter walking and food tasting
  • Spectacular Halong Bay cruise on luxury boat
Trip Length: 12 days | Trip Style: Comfort | Trip Theme: Heritage, Culture & Food | Physical Rating: | Start/End city: Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi
Places visited: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi - Halong Bay
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TOUR MAP

This trip map is to help you to imagine how your trip goes. Please click on destination marks to view travel guides for each place.

Itinerary Details

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Xin Chao! Welcome to Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City, the largest metropolis in Vietnam!

Being the largest metropolis in Vietnam, Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City is a very dynamic city that contains a big blend of old and new, East and West. This place is characterized by busy traffic, fast moving daily life, skyscrapers, exciting nightlife and is home of some best street foods. 

Met and greeted at the airport and transfer to hotel for check in.
Remainder of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private airport transfer
Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

This morning you have a fun ride on cyclo to explore some highlights of Saigon – Ho Chi Minh.
Your first visit will be the War Remnant Museum that contains a huge display and documents related to the first and second Indochina Wars that ravaged and put the country in turmoil for almost the whole 20th century.
Following is the Reunification Palace (formerly Independence Palace, the Presidential Palace of the South of Vietnam); the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a special Gothic architecture constructed between 1863 and 1880 and said to be the replica of the one in Paris; the nearby Central Post Office with a very artistic façade and ornate stucco works, where you can send postcards home.
Later, enjoy a short walking and shopping along the Dong Khoi Street, former Rue Catinat, made famous by Graham Greene in his best-selling book the Quiet American and perhaps take a sit on the veranda of French style Hotel Continental, sipping café au lait, watching local life goes on its way...
Spend the remainder time of the morning to wander through the Ben Thanh Market that is full of souvenirs and fresh local produces before a lunch of local taste with a best of best Banh My in Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City.
Get back to the hotel for a break.

Late afternoon, at 5.00PM, jump on back of motorbike for Saigon nightlife and food tastes adventure which will take you out of the center to hidden corners of the city where Saigonese love to hang out at night.
Enjoy your ride through couple criss-cross alleys to local food stores where you will enjoy some local style dishes that is well-known by locals but won’t be found by tourists.
From here, you ride to a riverside park for a short walk and an awesome view of Saigon in neon lights then continue to roll onto a hidden coffee shop for live music. Sit down and enjoy the cozy atmosphere and the romantic violin melodies that enhance the singer’s deep-lying voice. Later, get up to a rooftop lounge with exciting atmosphere to grab a cold beer, enjoy the fantastic panorama view over the city and feel the beat of the night.
Back to hotel at 10.30PM. (time to finish depending on you).

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Cyclo ride & sightseeing Saigon
Saigon night life & food adventure
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel in Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City
Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Breakfast at the hotel then leave Saigon for a 2 hour drive through scenic country land to the Mekong Delta with stops to visit a Cao Dai church of Caodaism whose 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; and the Vinh Trang Pagoda, a special Buddhism architecture in Mekong with more than hundred year history.

Dubbed as the rice bowl of Vietnam, Mekong Delta which is silted up by the currents of the Mekong - the World’s 12th longest and largest river, through thousands years, is home to spider net waterways, undulating rice paddies, evergreen tropical orchards and rustic rural sceneries where you find life is so relax in the tropical light.

Upon arrival, you take boat cruise on a branch of the Mekong River, exploring lively activities along river such as fishing, water transferring etc, visiting to local cottage industries such as coconut candy processing, sleeping mat weaving, salt making, pottery making and so on.
Enjoy walking under the shade of tropical orchard and taste the freshness of the delta with tropical fruits freshly picked from trees.
Lunch is served in a home garden restaurant with local specialties such as elephant ear fish, green Mekong prawn, banana flower cake, fresh spring rolls and so on…
After lunch, enjoy a short rest on hammock before taking exciting ride on motor cart (or bicycle) along shady paths, pass by coconut forests, green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch on real local life and take little sampan rowing along meandering canal to the pier where you take the drive back to Ho Chi Minh City for a late afternoon flight to Da Nang, gateway to Hoi An ancient town.

Airport pick up and transfer to hotel for check in. Evening is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
Boat cruise mekong
Delta Sightseeing
Breakfast & lunch
Internal flight
Hotel in hoi an
Sightseeing Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, Vietnam

Nested by the bank of the Thu Bon River, Hoi An ancient town once was the largest sea port the Centre Vietnam from 15th to 19th century and was the hub for merchant boats from both East and West. The town is characterized by medieval streets with yellow painted ancient houses, communal halls, temples and were designated World Heritage by UNESCO in 1999. The exceptionally well preserved architectures, traditions and life style along with beneficial tourist services making Hoi An today one of the top destinations in the World.

This morning you have a walking tour to explore featured sights of Hoi An and to discover fantastic traditional tastes of this alluring ancient town.
Wander through the Hoi An market which is filled with fresh local produces, sights, sounds and smells; visiting ancient merchants’ houses that remains architecture style and atmosphere from 17th and 19 century with traditions nourished by generations living under the same roof, the Hoi An Museum, colorful Chinese communal halls, the 400 year-old Japanese covered bridge, theancient Ba Le Well with water only from which makes perfect Cao Lau, one of Hoi An famous specialties…
Along the walk you will have chance try different local specialties such as: Cao lau, Quang noodle, white rose, VAC cake, fried wonton, chicken rice and so on.
Remainder of the day is free at your leisure to explore the town on your own. As Hoi an is a paradise for shopping lovers, it is the chance for you to indulge yourself with some fantastic shopping of tailor made clothes and souvenirs.

Summary of inclusions

Hoi An sightseeing & food tasting
Breakfast & lunch
Hotel in hoi an
Farming in Hoi An, Vietnam
Cooking class in Hoi An, Vietnam

After breakfast, enjoy an eco-cycling tour along the little paths through rice paddies, farms and peaceful villages where you will see buffalos, locals working with traditional tools and friendly children waving at you along the way.
Visiting Tra Que organic vegetable village, meeting local farmers and joining into farming activities to learn and to practice the traditional farming ways in preparing the land like hoeing soil, making beds, fertilizing the land with seaweed which is exploited from the nearby river, transplanting and watering vegetable…
After farming experience, visit a farmer’s house and enjoy welcome drink before you take a relaxing foot massage with medicinal herbs.
Later, taking part in preparing and cooking some of the famous local dishes including Banana flower salad, local fresh Spring Rolls or “Tam Huu”, and local Rice-pancakes or “Banh Xeo” with the instruction of the local chef. Then, it is time to enjoy lunch of your own creation and check how wonderful cook you are.

After lunch and a break, continue to make your way along undulating rice paddies, shrimp farm, duck farms, getting into hidden country paths, visiting local home and enjoy local interaction.
Finally, get on a round bamboo boat for an exciting row thru the water coconut forest which was the lair of Viet Cong during the war and listen the story about the history of the land.
Back to the hotel and afternoon is free at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

country cycling
farming experience
cooking class
Breakfast & lunch
Hotel in hoi an
Hue, Vietnam
Fruit carving, Hue, Vietnam

After breakfast, check out hotel and take a scenic drive through green lands, pristine beaches, spectacular lagoons and verdant mountains to Hue. Check in hotel upon arrival and after a break, take a cyclo ride crossing Truong Tien Brigde to the old quarter to visit to the Hue Citadel & Imperial City.

Built between 1804 and 1833, the fortress-like citadel encompasses three courts covering the total area of more than 6 square km that surrounded by massive brick walls and protected by a moat system. There were hundreds of buildings that built in a perfect harmony within strict principles of Fengshui, reflecting the pomp and circumstances of the last feudal dynasty in the country.

On this walking tour you will explore the Ngo Mon (the Noon Gate or gate of the Sun) where the King appeared to promulgate the Royal calendar every New Year; the Thai Hoa Palace (the Palace of Supreme Harmony) where seated the Royal Throne and where Royal coronations and Grand Royal meetings were hosted; the Royal Theatre, Royal Library, living palaces, Royal Temples, the Palace of Splendor, the 9 Dynastic Urns and so on…

The remainder of the afternoon we will enjoy a vegetable and fruit carving class to learn something about art of food decoration in Hue.
With the connection to royalty when Hue was the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty for nearly 150 years, Hue cuisine bears a great influence of Royal style in which food decoration is a very prominent aspect and is still carried strong in Hue till date.
You instructor help you to get familiar with tools, choose the right materials and instruct you how to make from simple objects to something more elaborate depending how skillful you are.
Of course, the course is not meaning to teach you to become professional after just two hours but to help you to learn something interesting about Vietnamese cooking and to see how Vietnamese royalty feasted their eyes on the food that was served.
An optional Royal Banquet in dragon painted room with Royal style dressing, decorative foods serving and traditional music performance is available at your disposal.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
Hue cyclo ride
royal citadel explore
fruit carving class
Breakfast
Hotel in hue
Traditional village, Hue, Vietnam
Ancient bridge, Hue, Vietnam

After breakfast, check out hotel and enjoy your exciting day tour to discover Hue royal monuments, countryside and fascinating nature by motorbike (you can choose to take car drive instead).
Ride your way along little paths through charming villages where traces of time seems to remain intact. Visit a local market which located in beautiful and very poetic country scenery, the centuries-old covered bridge of Thanh Toan and a farming exhibition house then continue your ride through hidden alleys, off the beaten track, visiting traditional villages of handicrafts such as conical hat, paper and incense making.
Continue to one of Emperor Mausoleums, a special royal architecture built for eternal resting of Emperor and in line with the Royal City. 

Later, visit a charming pagoda on a hillside where you will take part in preparing and cooking a meal of Hue Buddhist vegetarian style.
Eating vegetarian is now quite a trend over the World. This is not only healthy but also can help to purify one’s mind and help to reduce carbon emission.
Vietnamese people in general and Hue Buddhists in particular mainly eating vegetarian for religious purpose. For ordinary Buddhists, vegetarian is normally eaten twice a day on the first day and full moon day of the month while monks and nuns eat vegetarian only so, cooking vegetarian has been brought to a high level of how to make simple materials such as mushroom, tofu and greens into eye catching, tasty and nutritious dishes.
After lunch and a break, transfer to the airport for short afternoon flight to Hanoi.
Airport pick up and transfer to hotel for check in. Evening is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
hue motorcycle ride
country & royal monument explore
vegetarian cooking
Priave aiport transfers
internal flight
Breakfast & lunch
Hotel in hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam

This morning you will spend time to explore some main interesting sights of the city including:
Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex dedicated to the father of modern Vietnam, consisting of his Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, Uncle Ho’s house on stilts; One Pillar Pagoda – an iconic symbol of the city that dated back from 1049; the ruin of the ancient Imperial Citadel of Thang Long; Temple of Literature, the first University of the country that built from 1076, where huge stone steles on turtle backs bear names of the country’s men who received Doctor Laureate through royal examinations.

Lunch with a famous Hanoi’s specialty: Cha Ca.

Noon break at the hotel and this afternoon you will enjoy Water puppet show, a typical Vietnamese traditional art depicting scenes of traditional life and national history. Later, take a leisurely walking tour for sightseeing Hanoi Old Quarter, a maze of streets with thousands of photo opportunities around you.
Along the way, you will have chance to sightsee local street life, traditional guilds, food market, shopping areas, ancient houses and temples. Enjoy tasting some Hanoi specialties such as Bun Cha, Banh Goi (Pillow cake), Nom bo kho (beef salad), Banh Cuon (rice paper rolls), Snail with tamarind sauce and so on. Finish your tour with a stop at a traditional coffee shop for a cup of Hanoi special egg coffee in a hundred years old family shop.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
Hanoi highlights sightseeing
Old Quarter walking & food tasting
Breakfast & dinner
Hotel in hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam
Hanoi cooking class, Vietnam

This morning at 9.00AM you will get picked up from hotel for your special Hanoi cooking class.
Meet up with the Chef and enjoy a walking tour through bustling local market. You will get an introduction about the daily life, the Vietnamese cuisine, food, ingredients, spices and local ways of cooking. Of course, you will also instructed how to choose and pick up the freshest food of the day for your cooking.  
After the market, take a short visit to village temple to learn more about village culture, history, lifestyle and beliefs before taking a walk a local home where the cooking course takes place.  
Today you will learn to cook some Vietnamese traditional dishes that are typical tastes of the Red River Delta area and north Vietnam, including: Bánh cuon – fresh rice paper on hot steamer bed, Spring rolls with fish, Salat of fresh rice noodle with beef and sweet-sour sauce…
Finally, enjoy the meal and finish the class about 13.00. Say goodbye to the chef and family and transferred back to the hotel.
Remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
Hanoi home cooking class
Breakfast & lunch
Hotel in hanoi
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay, Vietnam

Check out hotel after breakfast and at around 8.30, you will get picked up then leave Hanoi for a drive to Hon Gai pier where you board the boat for cruise on spectacular Halong Bay & Bai Tu Long Bay

Said to be one of the most beautiful nature wonders in the World, Halong Bay consists of thousands of limestone islands soaring up from the emerald water of the bay. The different shape of islands here is the result of the work of wind and water through millions of year. With dotted pristine beaches, floating villages, amazing natural caves and fascinating scenes, Halong and its surroundings is the must-see for travelers to Vietnam.

Check in on board upon arrival at noon time.
Have lunch while leisurely cruising to the core of the bay amongst thousands of dramatic lime stone islands.
In the afternoon you will visit a natural cave of Halong then enjoy kayaking through the karsts and breathtaking nature or swimming on one of the beaches
Enjoy sunset party while our cruise is sailing to the overnight anchorage.

Dinner and overnight on board amongst islands and under star live sky.

Note: the cruise itinerary can be different depending on tide condition, boat and route assigned.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
bus transfer
Halong Bay cruise
cave visiting
halong kayaking
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
private luxury room on board
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay, Vietnam

Early riser will have chance to catch the sunrise over the Bay’s spectacular landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. 
After breakfast, take a rowing boat tour around to visit to explore a tunnel. Later, you will cruise to visit another part of the bay.
Lunch is served on your way cruising back to the harbor.
Disembark the boat at early noon (11.30 – 12.00 depending on boat and tide). Drive back Hanoi and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Halong Bay cruise
boat rowing
Breakfast & lunch
Hotel in hanoi

Breakfast at the hotel and free at your leisure. (Check out time is 12.00PM)

Getting transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travel and see you again!

Summary of inclusions

Breakfast
private airport transfer

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PRICE & TERMS

PRICING IN US DOLLAR FOR PRIVATE TRIP PER PERSON BASED ON TWIN/ DOUBLE SHARING:

Number of Persons 2 3 - 4 5 - 6 7 - 8 9 - 10 11 - 12 13 - 15 Single supp
Price Please contact us for best price upon your travel date, number of travelers and specific needs

Inclusions

  • Accommodation in a shared twin/double room.
  • Meals as mentioned.
  • English/French speaking guide
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Water & cold tissue in car
  • Government taxes & Service charges

Exclusion

  • Other services than mentioned
  • Visa & International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • Bank transfer fee if any

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IMPORTANT NOTES

Tour itinerary: This tour itinerary is designed based on local travel conditions, logistics and availabilitis of transportation between visited destinations. It is for you to see how the trip should go, what you can do, see and enjoy during the trip. The itinerary can be tailored by adding more of desired visitng destinations, activities or removing any you do not like to meet your travel time frame, style, budget and expectation the best.

Tour price: Travel Authentic Asia focus on quality and affordable package prices with the best value. The price is based on number of traveler taking the trip, the accommodation category you wish to stay, the mode of transportation, meals provided….

Payment: A deposit of 30% of total price is needed to initiate the tour booking after the itinerary is finalized. The balance for the trip is due 15 days prior to your arrival.

Arrival and departure flights: You are advised to make your own booking for international flights from/back your home country. This allows you to determine better the travel time frame, budget and to deal with insurance claim when needed. Travel Authentic Asia team will base on your flight schedule to work out the best itinerary for you or/and to modify the itinerary to get it matches.

Travel documents: You must carry a valid passport and have obtained all of the appropriate visas, permits and certificates for the countries in which you will visit during your trip. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the duration of the trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of the correct visas, permits and certificates for your trip. Travel Authentic Asia accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for the failure of clients to obtain appropriate documentation.

Travel insurance: It is your responsibility to get your own international travel insurance and read the insurance policy before you travel and ensure that the insurance scheme provides with the requisite level of cover. Insurance should cover personal accident and medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation, baggage loss, and cancellation or curtailment of vacation. In some cases, travelers may have pre-existing medical conditions which their travel insurance company will not cover.
Other than local travel insurance(s) included in sightseeing tickets at sites, Travel Authentic Asia does not provide any kind of travel insurance on the trip except required and paid separately from the tour price.

 
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