DAY 1: ARRIVAL HANOI
On arrival Hanoi International airport. You are transferred to the hotel in down town, check in to the hotel and free at leisure for your own exploration the city before the guide and driver come back to transfer to the best local restaurant for dinner, overnight in hotel in Hanoi.(D)
DAY 2: HANOI SIGHTSEEING TOURS
Mornings are a magical time in this elegant Red River Delta city, and most Hanoians are up early, stopping at their favorite pho stand to breakfast on this most famous of Vietnamese dishes. Pho, served piping hot, is a broth with fresh rice noodles, chicken or beef, green onions and cilantro, enhanced by condiments such as lime and chilies.
The day will be filled with exploration, and we’s ll begin with a morning cyclo tour of city sights, escorted by our guide. We’s ll take in the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes the Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh’s former stilt house residence. Next we’s ll visit the 11th century Temple of Literature, site of Vietnam’s first university. Dedicated to Confucius, the Temple grounds are resplendent with pavilions and walkways invoking peace and contemplation.
Our appetite leads us next to Hoa Sua for a very special lunch on experience. Set in a lovely courtyard, the restaurant is part of a training school where disadvantaged Vietnamese children and teens are educated in cooking and restaurant skills that will enable them to have successful careers in the hotel and restaurant industry. Be sure to save room for a luscious dessert from Hoa Sua’s own French Patisserie next door.Transfer back to your hotel and free at leisure.
This late afternoon, our guide and driver will come back to bring you back downtown to see the Water Puppet Show, that near Hoan Kiem lake. The Water puppet show’s origins date back almost a thousand years to when the plays were performed on lakes and ponds. Accompanied by musicians who both play and sing, the puppeteers stand behind a screen, waist-deep in water, using rods and strings to move the wooden puppets as they enact scenes of daily rural life, ancient stories and legends.
After one hour of performance, we will go for dinner. Overnight in Hanoi.(B/L/D)
DAY 3: HANOI-HALONG BAY / Shuttle Bus
Have breakfast at hotel and next our shuttle will come to pick up (at around 07.15-07.45 am) will heading for Halong Bay, some 175km from Hanoi. Enjoy the journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life.
Arrive in Halong and board the traditional sailing junk. Whilst cruise the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave.
Enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of Halong Bay at any spot that you wish to visit. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board junk.(B/L/D)
DAY 4: HALONG BAY-HANOI/ Shuttle Bus
Early morning, get up to catch the sunrise on the bay. explore and cruise down to bait Tu long bay for more sightseeing and photography opportunities, a farewell lunch on boat before we will get back to the dock. from here, we drive straight back to Hanoi airport for your onward flight to Hochiminh city (takes for 2 and half hours).
On arrival Hanoi, transfer to your hotel for check in. Overnight in Hanoi.(B/L/D)
DAY 5: HANOI COOKING CLASS
Join a special cooking class at the well-known Anh Tuyet restaurant. This restaurant is a rare destination that keeps specific characteristics of old Hanoi, its still keep original characteristics of traditional dishes, including pho (rice noodle) and nem (rolls), therefore many foreign tourists come there. the morning course starts with a walk, accompanied by the chef Madam Anh Tuyet to the local market where participants get a chance to learn all about Vietnamese ingredients.
A cooking demonstration follows in the kitchen and everyone has the opportunity to play an active part,
Apart from introducing Hanoi’s dishes, over the past years, Madam Tuyet has taught foreigners how to cook traditional dishes. Profits are not all the things that count to her. What she likes is to help foreigners have comprehensive understanding of a close, noble but luxury Hanoi. After the class lunch is served in the restaurant to sample all the different dishes prepared during the demonstration.
Transfer back the hotel, free on your own at leisure for shopping. Overnight Hanoi.(B/L/D)
DAY 6: HANOI- HUE ANCIENT / FLIGHT
Transfer to Noi Bai airport for departure flight to Hue, takes some 1 hour fly, on arrival Phu Bai airport of Hue.
Transfer to Hotel for check in, next will be started our sightseeing tour that including of the Linh Mu Pagoda where the monks will host us with a sumptuous vegetarian meal to sample some of the local delicacies, the Forbidden Purple City, Minh Mang Tomb and the vibrant Dong Ba Riverside Market. Overnight in Hue (B/D)
DAY 7: HUE COOKING CLASS
The morning begins with a hands-on cooking class at Tinh Gia Vien restaurant, highlighting the regal flavors of Hue cuisine as we prepare our own midday meal. Free this afternoon.
In the evening you may wish to stay at your hotel and attend an imperial dinner, wearing the traditional clothes of the emperors. Overnight Hue
DAY 8: HUE- HOI AN
Check out the hotel and drive for the riverside town of Hoi An. Some 130 km away from Hue, hugging the coastline along the South China Sea, serves up breathtaking views that grow even more spectacular as we wind our way up Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Clouds).
We’s ll pause to admire the stunning vistas of Lang Co beach to the north, and the city of Danang to the south.
Passing China Beach, where many American GI’s took their R&R (Rest and Relaxation!), and the Marble Mountains, home to the Cham legacy.
In the afternoon, take a walking tour around this once-thriving port and visit the famed old quarter, the Japanese Bridge, the old Assembly Halls, art galleries and many old houses once belonging to Chinese merchants. Come evening, Have dinner at the Café des Amis along the river. Overnight Hoi an (B/L)
DAY 9: HOI AN COOKING CLASS
Hoi An is a charming, small town which can be easily explored on foot. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, it was a thriving international trading port with a large Chinese and Japanese population.
More than any other place in Vietnam, Hoi An exudes a feeling of centuries past and is a favorite with all travelers. You may choose to stroll, soaking up the atmosphere and exploring the many fascinating ancestral homes (some of which have been occupied by the same family for fifteen generations), or rent a bicycle for a scenic ride to Cua Dai beach, 4 km away. The town is also famous for its tailors who are revered for their fine (and fast) work. We will meet for lunch at the Pho Cu restaurant.
This afternoon, we will take a cooking demonstration with Miss Vi of the White Lantern and have dinner before going back the hotel. Overnight Hoian (B/L/D)
DAY 10: HOI AN -DANANG- SAIGON/ FLIGHT
Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast, free at leisure until transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon.
Upon arrival, transfer to hotel for check in.
Next will be visiting to the old Saigon post office, Notre dame cathedral, former presidential palace, war remnant museum and the Chinese district of Cho lon to enjoy the bustling wholesale quarter of Saigon. Overnight in Saigon (B/D)
DAY 11: SAIGON-CU CHI TUNNELS- MEKONG DELTA
Pick you up at your Hotel at 7.00 am and depart for Cu chi ,we will drive through a typical Southern Vietnamese countryside to cu chi district, upon arrival in Cu chi.
we experience ourselves the underground village built by Cu Chi guerrilla fighters, remain of a real bloody battle field which is simply a network of tunnels built during the long years of wars .
By 1965, 250 km of tunnels criss-crossed Cu Chi and surrounding areas -just across the Saigon River was the notorious guerrilla power base known as the IRON TRIANGLE.
The Cu Chi tunnels played a vital part in the American war in that they allowed the Viet Cong to control a large rural area only 30 to 40 km from Saigon . At its height, the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The network, parts of which were several levels deep, included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centres and kitchens.
Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and feel of what underground life in the American War must have been like. The tunnels have been widened for our benefit (otherwise we would not be able to enter them!) For those interested there’s even the opportunity to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range.
Continue onto the Hau nghia, Duc Hoa route to take a shortcut to highway1 to My tho in the Mekong delta, driving past paddy fields and tributaries.
Have lunch with Mekong delta specialties at Ngoc Gia Trang restaurant. After lunch. Board our private motorized boat for a river cruise on the upper part of Mekong River for a taste of agriculture life on the mighty Mekong River. Disembark the boat strolling around the colorful my tho wholesale fruit market to enjoy the bustle local daily life.
Continue your ride upstream stopping en route at a boat building family factory and end at Thoi Son5 Island, walk through the lush orchards with tropical fruits, have an opportunity to taste diverse types of Mekong delta fruit while enjoying traditional music.
Shuttle back to the pier, drive back to Saigon and transfer to the Hotel. Overnight in Saigon (B/L/D)
DAY 12: SAIGON DEPARTURES
Today is departure day and time to bid your guide farewell. There will a transfer waiting to take you from the hotel to the airport for your flight home.
We wish you a pleasant journey home and we know you will take away many wonderful memories of the sights and tastes you have savored.(B)