Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Chi Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.
- Visit Halong Bay
- Rising Sun bridge
- Vist Empire Old City
- Hue Royal Antiquities Museum
- Hoin An Sightseeing
- Sa Huynh Museum
- Saigon Sightseeing
Day 1: Hanoi - Halong - cabin / onboard (Vietnam) (Lunch: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam) Dinner: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam) )
By vehicle from Hanoi (city) to Halong Bay Cruise aboard traditional junk through Halong Bay, Day 1 of 2 * No ICS guide *
Depart from HanoitoHalong Bay; en route take a short stop for a break. Transfer with a tender to the comfortable junk and enjoy a welcome drink aboard. Begin the cruise through majestic Halong Bay while lunch is served. Enjoy the magical bay where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragon's teeth. The junk continues cruising through a fishing village on the bay and passes the spectacular limestone caves dotted around the bay. Soak up the sun on the top deck with optional on-board activities: sunbathing, and photo opportunities. In the evening the chef will prepare a splendid meal comprised of fresh seafood dishes and other traditional dishes. Overnight on-board.
Overnight in cabin / onboard (Vietnam).
Day 2: cabin / onboard (Vietnam) - Halong - Hanoi (Breakfast: Hotel)
Cruise aboard traditional junk through Halong Bay, Day 2 of 2 * No ICS guide *
Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise that offer a perfect opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, visit a beautiful limestone grotto then back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Check out luggage and bid tidings to beautiful Halong Bay.
By vehicle from Halong to Hanoi (city)
Sightseeing around Hanoi city center with Electric car (possible to make some quick stops
few minutes en route to take photo)
Hanoi is a blend of long established traditions and modern imprints of Western colonization. Tree-lined boulevards and colonial buildings give the city a touch of Western elegance, while crowded blocks of tiny old houses and narrow lanes full of daily life bear the charms of the past centuries. Take 60 minutes ride on an electric car through HoanKiem Lake, Quan Su Pagoda, Silk Road, Hanoi Railway Station and Hoa Lo Prison then Hanoi Opera House.
Visit HoanKiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and the Rising Sun bridge
HoanKiem Lake (HoanKiem means Lake of the Returned), is a lake in the historical centre of the Hanoi capital. It is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life. Legend has it that King Le Loi handed a magic sword called Heaven's Will which brought him victory in his revolt against the Chinese Ming dynasty back to the Golden Turtle God in the lake. The Tortoise Tower (ThapRua) standing on a small island near the centre of the lake is linked to the legend. The Ngoc Son Temple was erected in the 18th century. It honours the 13th -century military leader Tran Hung Dao who distinguished himself in the fight against the Yuan - Mongol invaders, Van Xuong, a scholar and Nguyen Van Sieu, a Confucian master and famous writer in charge of repairs made to the temple in 1864. Jade Island is connected to the shore by the wooden red-painted Huc Bridge (The Huc, means Morning Sunlight Bridge).
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi - Hue (Breakfast: Hotel) - Transfer Flight from Hanoi to Hue - Transfer - Sightseeing in Hue
Hue served as the capital of Vietnam for more than 140 years. It houses ancient temples, imperial buildings and French-style edifices. It was established in the 17th century.
Visit the Imperial Tombs of TuDuc and KhaiDinh
Venture into the countryside around Hue to the Imperial Tomb of TuDuc. TuDuc, the longest reigning Vietnamese emperor, designed and built this elegant tomb during his lifetime, using it as a retreat for meditation, reading and theatre performances. Take some time to soak in the tranquil atmosphere, wandering among the gracefully proportioned pavilions, courtyards and lotus ponds. Afterwards visit the Imperial Tomb of KhaiDinh, dramatically located on a hillside. The last of the monumental tombs of the Nguyen dynasty, completed in 1931, this tomb incorporates distinct European elements into traditional Vietnamese architecture.
Visit the Old Imperial City
Located in the heart of Hue is the Imperial Citadel, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modelled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Today, most of the buildings have been destroyed due to bombing during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking Flag Tower, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit DienTho Residence (DienTho palace) where the Queen mother lived, visit Thai Hoa Palace, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the Halls of the Mandarins, and the original Nine Dynastic Urns, among other sites, including a visit to the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum..
Overnight in Hue.
Day 4: Hue - Hoi An (Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Meals incl. in itinerary (Vietnam))
Excursion to ThuyBieu village with lunch at local house.
Around 8.30 AM, embark on boat at Toa Kham wharf and start a cruise on Perfume River. Make a stop to visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda. Back to the boat for a scenic cruise to ThuyBieu Village. Upon arrival, walk or bike tour around the village. Visit a garden house as well as an ancient ancestral temple and get the chance to communicate with local people. Visit families making incense or joss paper and learn more about the traditions of Vietnamese people. Have lunch at local house with Hue traditional specialties. Bath your foot in medicinal herbs water
a traditional therapeutically practices and enjoy foot massage by blind people. End of this tour at ThuyBieu Village.
By vehicle from Hue to Hoi An with sightseeing in Danang
Drive south from Hue along scenic mountain roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Highlights along the way include the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of North and South Vietnam; Lang Co, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the East Vietnam Sea; and the large coastal city of Danang. After arriving in Danang, visit the Cham Museum, an elegant colonial building which houses the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world; and pass by Non Nuoc Beach, a famous spot for American soldiers during the Vietnam-American War. Continue south to Hoi An, stopping enroute to visit the Marble Mountains, five stone hillocks, once islands, that rise sharply from the surrounding rice fields. Riddled with caves and shrines, they are said to each represent one of the five elements of the universe.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An - Danang - Saigon (Breakfast: Hotel ) - Sightseeing in Hoi An (Half day)
Hoi An, a picturesque riverside town, was one of South East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This walking tour includes many of the town's highlights. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. Near the bridge is Sa Huynh Museum which houses exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history. Wander into the Tran Family Chapel, a 200 year old house built for worshipping ancestors. Visit PhuocKien Assembly Hall, a Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese clans in the Hoi An area and is dedicated to ThienHauThanh Mau, the Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Sailors and Fishermen. Also enter into a Lantern Making Workshop to see how the frame is made and the silk cloth put onto the lantern.
By vehicle from Hoi An to Danang
Flight from Danang to Saigon
Overnight in Saigon.
Day 6: Saigon (Breakfast: Hotel ) - Sightseeing in Saigon [Half day]
A vibrant metropolis, Saigon teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere you look, you see the convergence of traditional and modern life. Begin the trip into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style building was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates.
Afterwards, drive to the historic centre to visit the Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon's most interesting pagodas. Proceed to pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Pass by the classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside). Finally, end up at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.