OVERVIEW

Fun cyclo ride through the maze of Old Quarter, cruise spectacular Halong Bay, explore the former DMZ with sites of Vinh Moc, Con Tien, Doc Mieu, Khe Sanh, Ai Tu, Rock Pile.... from the Royal Capital of Hue, to the Ho Chi Minh Trails with A Sau, A Luoi, ancient town of Hoi An, the beach of Da Nang, Quy Nhon to the Central Highland along the Truong Son mountain range down to the huslte Saigon Ho Chi Minh City. Walk along the former Rue Catinat, enjoy a cold beer on the rooftop bar of the famous Rex Hotel and cruise on the fascinating Mekong River... Each day is a page in very exciting book of Vietnam history with insights into local culture that combined with nature landscapes to bring you an unforgettable travel experience.

Highlights
  • Cyclo ride along the maze of colorful Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Cruise spectacular Halong Bay
  • Recall the memory of war time from the former DMZ
  • Explore the Ho Chi Minh Trails
  • Sun, sea and sand on the China Beach (My Khe beach)
  • Shopping around ancient town Hoi An
  • Drive off the beaten track along the Truong Son Mountain range
  • Explore old and new of Saigon
  • Cycling under the share of coconut forest in Mekong Delta
Trip Length: 16 days | Trip Style: Special interest| Trip Theme: Local life & culture, Nature, War relics | Physical Rating: | Start/End city: Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City
Places visited: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Dong Ha - Fomer DMZ - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi an - Quy Nhon - Quang Ngai - Pleiku - Buon Me Thuot - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta
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TOUR MAP

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Itinerary Details

hanoi, vietnam
hanoi, vietnam

Welcome to Vietnam! Met and greeted at Noi Bai Airport upon your arrival and take a short transfer downtown.

The rest of the day is for a rest to get rid of jet lag.

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a great place of interests with its vibrant Old Quarter dotted with ancient temples in a maze of little streets lined with colorful shops and stalls, French colonial buildings and tree lined boulevards, tranquil lakes, graceful pagodas and elegant cafes is one of the liveliest and most charming cities in Asia to discover.
What an interesting experience to take a leisure stroll around busy streets, mingling yourself in hustle rhythm of local life or just sitting back sipping café au lait watching currents of the city’s traffic, capturing all sights, sounds and smells are moving by.   

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private airport transfer
accommodation
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.
After these, you will take a visit to Huu Tiep Lake in the Ngoc Ha flower village where remains a part of a B52 air fortress that was shot down and fell into this lake during the Christmas bombing in 1972.
In the afternoon, you will spend time to explore the Military History Museum that contains a huge displays about the first and second Indochina wars; the Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed Hanoi Hilton by US pilots who were detained here during the war of those including Douglas Pete Peterson later returned as the first United States Ambassador to Vietnam in 1997, and John McCain - late American senator.
Later, you take a cyclo tour for a fun ride around Hanoi Old Quarter that is a maze of narrow streets home to thousands of colorful shops, traditional guilds, food stalls, café… with thousands of photo opportunities around you.
End the day with a water puppet show, a unique traditional art performance depicting scenes of rural life and national history.
Evening is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
tour activity
hanoi Sightseeing
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in hanoi
halong bay, vietnam
Cave in halong bay, vietnam

After breakfast, check out hotel and get a transfer on the highway through the land of fertile Red River Delta 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 enjoy exploring one of wonderful natural limestone caves of Halong, kayaking among the ilsand and breathtaking nature or swimming on one of the beaches
Enjoy sunset party while your 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
tour activity
Halong Bay cruise
tour activity
cave visit
meal inclusion
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
accommodation
private en-suite cabin on board
Natural tunnel, halong bay, vietnam
boat rowing, halong bay, vietnam

Wake up early in the morning 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 a floating village. Later, you will cruise to visit another part of the Halong Bay. Lunch is served on your way cruising back to the harbor.

Disembark the boat at early noon (11.00 – 11.30 depending on boat and tide). Drive back to Hanoi.
Enjoy sometime free to explore the town on your own until getting a transfer to the train station for overnight train ride to Dong Ha.
Overnight on board the train in AC soft sleeper cabin.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
bus transfer
boat cruise
halong bay cruise
tour activity
boat rowing & floating village
meal inclusion
Breakfast & lunch
accommodation
overnight train
Hien Luong Bridge, former DMZ, Vietnam
Vinh Moc tunnel, former dmz, vietnam

Arrive in Dong Ha in the morning. Met and greeted by your guide at the train station and get breakfast at a local restaurant.

Dong Ha is the provincial capital of Quang Tri province, located just about 25km from the Ben Hai River which was the demarcation line between the North and South Vietnam during the war.
For those who took part in this bloody war, the name Dong Ha is something very special but also very familiar. This town was the headquarters of the elements of the U.S Marines – Dong Ha Combat Base, to support Marine positions along the DMZ.

Spend some time to wander around the town of Dong Ha to recall the memory of the old time though things has changed a lot and Dong Ha today is a pretty modern town, being an economic hub between Central Vietnam, Laos and northeast Thailand.
Drive eastwards to visit to the Hien Luong Bridge spanning over the Ben Hai River once the boundary between the two Vietnam.
Following is the Vinh Moc Tunnels, about 12km north of the demarcation line, one of the famous tunnel systems used during the war by locals for living, hiding and fighting. This was also the most heavily bombed area in Vietnam. 
From here you get visits to Doc Mieu Base, Gio Linh FSB (Alpha 2), Con Thien (the Hill of Angels), Camp Carol then drive westward along the Route 9 to visit the old Khe Sanh Combat Base then toward the Laotian border to the Lang Vei Special Forces Camp.
Get back down to the Highway 1 and visit to the Ai Tu Airfield then the Quang Tri Citadel where the fierce 81 day fighting in 1972 took away life of more than 20 thousands young men from both sides, the La Vang Cathedral which despite its years of turmoil remains an important pilgrimage site for Vietnam's Catholics and the structure of a bombed out church can be seen.

Arrive in Hue in the late afternoon. Check in hotel and evening is at your leisure.

Located in the central Vietnam, Hue is the old imperial capital and the treasure of the country’s royal past and known for its both historical values and beautiful natural landscapes. This city is also one of the war memorial sites and famous with the bloody battle that raged for 26 days from 31 Jan to 25 Feb during the Tet offensive in 1968.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
tour activity
Former DMZ & battle fields explore
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in hue
Imperial Citadel, Hue, Vietnam
Thai Hoa Palace, Hue, Vietnam

Today you will have an exciting day with bicycle to explore beautiful Hue city (You can take car drive or motorbike ride instead – up to your choice). 
First, ride your way out of the town center to visit to the traditional bronze casting village where you see locals make beautiful stuffs with traditional tools and methods.
From here you ride across the Da Vien Bridege to the southern bank of the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu, the oldest pagoda in Hue and is iconic symbol of the city.
Continue your ride along the paved road that surround the ancient citadel and get thru an ancient gate to get into the Old Quarter. Visit the Tinh Tam Lake and the Museum of Royal treasure.

This afternoon you spend time for a walking tour to explore the Hue Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City, where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945, reflecting the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today.
Afterwards, visit the Dong Ba Maket, the central market of the town with plenty of local produces, for sightseeing and perhaps trying some local specialties. From here you cycle to a traditional village that is famous with traditional handicraft of making paper flowers.
Enjoy sightseeing, local interaction and have for you some best photos.
Back to hotel in the late afternoon and remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
bicycle ride Hue
tour activity
Hue imperial citadel explore
tour activity
traditional villages visit
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in hue
on the ho chi minh trails, vietnam
on the ho chi minh trails, vietnam

After breakfast, embark on a drive westward along the Route 49 to A Luoi that located along the Ho Chi Minh Trails now Ho Chi Minh Highway.
This area was made famous with names such as Mommy Pass, Blood Stream, A Shau valley and Hamburger Hill.
Take a trek to conquer the A Bia Mountain that is also known as Hamburger Hill where a bloody battle fought by the South Vietnamese Army and US Army against the North Vietnamese Army from 10 to 20 May 1969.  
Continue on the former Ho Chi Minh Trails and visit to A Shau valley with relics of the A Shau Special Forces Camp then drive along spectacular landscapes dotted with minority villages of the Ta Oi, Van Kieu, Co Tu… to Prao of Quang Nam then to Da Nang. Along the way you will have some stops for visiting local village and enjoy local interaction to learn about their life and tradition.

Check in hotel in Da Nang in the late afternoon and remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
tour activity
Ho Chi Minh Trails discover
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in da nang
da nang, vietnam
da nang, vietnam

Da Nang is the largest city in the Centre of Vietnam located on the coast of the East Sea and is one of Vietnam's most important port cities. During the Vietnam War, what is now the Da Nang International Airport was a major air base used by the South Vietnamese and United States Air Forces. This town also known as the place where the first American combat troops landed in, marking the direct involvement of the American GI on the Vietnam War.

Today, after breakfast at the hotel, you will have a full day sightseeing of Da Nang.

Visit to Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountain), discover the stunning natural caves, enjoying the beautiful view from the top of the mountain, visiting mysterious pagodas and the sculpturing village at the mountain bottom.  

Continue to visit to the Da Nang Museum of Champa Sculpture, which shows the most complete collection of rare and valuable items of the famous Cham culture
Following is the Han market, one of the city’s major traditional markets and among its most-visited attractions for both domestic and foreign visitors. This market is well-known for its live and fresh seafood, as well as its fresh fruits and vegetables, and local specialties.

In the afternoon, take a visit to Son Tra Peninsular, used to be the base for US radars, where you enjoy the scenes and atmosphere of the original tropical jungle, visiting the Spanish cemetery, Fairy chess playing ground and if you are lucky, seeing Cha Va monkeys – a kind of rare and endangered primate in the World, having great view of Da Nang from the top of mountain and visiting to the Linh Ung pagoda which houses the huge 67 meter high Quan Yin Buddha statue.

Spend some time in the afternoon to visit and swim at the Nam O Beach where at 9.03am on 8 March 1965, 3,500 US marines disembarked from their landing crafts and waded on to the shores, becoming the first American ground troops to arrive in the country.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
tour activity
Sightseeing da nang
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in da nang
danang, vietnam
danang, vietnam

Breakfast is at the hotel.
Enjoy sun, sand and sea at the My Khe beach, the popular R&R place for GIs during the war. 

Summary of inclusions

tour activity
beach relax
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in da nang
Cycling Hoi An country, Vietnam
Hoi An ancient town, Vietnam

Breakfast then check out hotel and take a short transfer to Hoi An ancient town passing the old Nuoc Man heliport.

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 all are designated as part of the World Heritage by UNESCO in 1999. The exceptionally well preserved architecture, traditions and life style along with beneficial tourist services making Hoi An today one of the top destinations in the World

Take a bicycle tour to explore the charming country of Hoi An. Cycle your way through stunning villages and green farm lands, visiting Tra Que herb garden veggie village, meeting local farmers and joining into farming activities like: hoeing soil, using seaweed, transplanting and watering vegetable…
Following, make your way along undulating rice paddies, shrimp farm, duck farms, getting into hidden country paths, visiting local home and enjoy local interaction.
Later, enjoy a round bamboo boat rowing trip thru the water coconut forest which war the lair of Viet Cong during the war and listen the story about the history of the land.

In the afternoon you enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An ancient town with visits to Hoi An’s Colorful Local Market, ancient houses, Chinese Assembly Hall, The 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An Museum and so on…
As this is also a food tour so, you will have a walk along streets and hidden alleys for the food discovery. You can have chance to eat more than 6 dishes: Cao lau, Quang noodle, white rose, VAC cake, fried wonton, chicken rice and so on.

Evening is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private transfer
flight
hoi an cycling
tour activity
ancient town walking tour
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in hoian
Cham tower in Quy Nhon, Vietnam
Quy Nhon beach, Vietnam

After breakfast, check out hotel and take your drive along the highway 1 to Quy Nhon.
Along the way, you will make stops to visit Tam Ky, the provincial capital of Quang Nam province, the old Chu Lai army base now the “Chu Lai open economic zone’ and the International Chu Lai airport, My Lai village where a massacre took place in Mar 1968 (this visit is quite distressing for some, you can skip if you do not want to).
Keep driving along the coast through spectacular country scenery and have a break at the beach of Sa Huynh then before arriving in Quy Nhon you will take another stop to explore the Banh It Cham Tower, a wonderful architecture built by the people of the Champa kingdom hundreds of years ago.
Welcome back Quy Nhon! We are sure that you will see a much different Quy Nhon from the old time of war, the same as many regions in Vietnam the area has been developing very much. The remainder time of the day you can decide where to go & what to do to satisfy your return best or just relax and enjoy swimming on the Quy Nhon beach.
Overnight in hotel in Quy Nhon.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
tour activity
explore Quang Ngai & Quy nhon
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in quy nhon
Hill tribe people in Central Highland, Vietnam
Rong House, Central Highland, Vietnam

After breakfast, embark on your drive and travel north on Highway No.19 to Pleiku, stop in An Khe to visit the area of Camp Radcliff and the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters.
Along the way there and around, we also have some stops for visiting to hill tribe villages (Montagnard) and learn something interesting about their life and traditions.
Arrive in Pleiku and take a short visit to the former Pleiku Air Base now Pleiku Airport and the vestige old Camp Holloway now become a resident area.
Check in hotel in Pleiku and remainder of the day is free to wander around this mountain laidback town.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
tour activity
an khe & Pleiku Sightseeing
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in pleiku
Coffee plantation, Buon Me Thuot, Vietnam
Waterfall in Central Highland, Vietnam

Drive to Buon Ma Thuot. The capital city of Dak Lak Province is largest city in Central Highlands region. This place is known for its natural beauty and is famous as the regional "capital of coffee”. Enjoy the scenery and panoramic views of the lowland countryside along the drive. On the way make stop to see coffe and Rubber plantation.
Visit the Eakmat Coffee Research Institute to learn about the various processes of coffee cultivation, such as tempering, nursery, planting, grafting, tending and harvesting. Get to know the steps of the wet-dry coffee processing method and have an overview of Vietnam's coffee quality.
Later, you spend your time to explore the Dray Nur, Dray Sap waterfalls which are natural highlights of the area.

Transfer to airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh. Upon arrival, get picked up and transfer to hotel.
Overnight in hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
sightseeing
Buon me thuoat sightseeing
tour activity
waterfalls visit
flight
Internal flight
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in ho chi minh city
Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

After early breakfast, depart Saigon centre for a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, one of the most famous war relics in Vietnam and the World. This system was dug and used as a stronghold of Viet Minh and Viet Cong during the wars from 1948 to 1975. The underground city consists a spider net of more than 200km of narrow underground tunnels that connecting half or total covered hideouts, shelters, fighting bunkers, hospital, school, living rooms and so on with air filters, airtight covers, booby traps and sentries were all part of the system.
Walk along trails under tropical foliage to discover the area with booby traps, secret entrances, workshops, hospitals and so on. It is also the chance for you to creep into a tunnel to experience how the Vietcong lived and fought during that time and learn how the hard condition can be down there.  

Drive back to the city and this afternoon you will spend your time to explore city’s freatured sights including War Remnants Museum (or History Museum), Reunification Palace - formerly the Independence Palace which was the Presidential Palace of the South Vietnam, the Notre Dame CathedralSaigon Central Post Office and Dong Khoi Street - formerly Rue Catinat – that made famous by Graham Greene in his best-selling book The quiet American. Perhaps take a sit in a rooftop bar of Rex Hotel Saigon, grasp a cold beer and watch the current of people and time pass by below.

Evening is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
tour activity
cu chi tunnel explore
tour activity
ho chi minh city Sightseeing
meal inclusion
Breakfast
accommodation
Hotel in ho chi minh city
Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Boat rowing in Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Breakfast is at the hotel then leave Saigon for a 2 hour scenic drive through scenic country land to the Ben Tre 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.

Ben Tre province is an island surrounded by the two river: Mekong River (Tien River) in the North and Co Chien River in the south and the South China See in the East. This province is famous with coconut gardens that spread throughout the land. During the war, this province was called Kien Hoa and many villages were Viet Cong sympathizers. It was also home of the Dong Khoi movement in early 1960’.
Upon arrival in Ben Tre, you will take boat cruise on the Ham Luong 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.
Also, you will have an exciting ride on motor cart (or bicycle) along shady paths, pass by coconut forest, green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch on real life and find out about this fascinating tropical land and take little sampan rowing along meandering canal to explore the local way of life.  
Disembark the boat and drive back to Saigon.
Evening is at your leisure.

Summary of inclusions

transportation
Private vehicle
boat cruise
Boat cruise mekong river
tour activity
mekong delta Sightseeing
meal inclusion
Breakfast & lunch
accommodation
Hotel in ho chi minh city

Breakfast is at the hotel.
Today is departure day. Enjoy some free time for last purchases or simply relax before your transfer to airport for onward flight or continuing with more “Travel Authentic Asia” destinations.

Safe travel and see you again!

Summary of inclusions

meal inclusion
Breakfast
transportation
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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