Vietnam In Depth
Best Season: Oct to March
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 Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.
Day 01: Hanoi arrival
Take the evening to relax and feel out your new surroundings
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 02: Hanoi city’s highlights
On your way back to the old centre, visit the banks of Truc Bach Lake filled with locals practicing Tai Chi or plaing badminton as a daily routine
Continue to a local market to capture a lively buying and selling scene
Skip breakfast at the hotel this morning and join the locals in the streets for a bowl of Pho
Visit the Presidential Palace (formerly Palace of the Governor-General of French Indochina), Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilt and nearby One Pillar Pagoda.
Afternoon visit to the Temple of Literature – dedicated to Confucius, was built in the 11th century. It was the first university in Vietnam and students still come here to burn incense
Drive to Hanoi Center to explore the lively Old Quarter of Hanoi. This is a place you must see to experience Hanoi, where you will find shopping and cultural/historical sites all wrapped into one
Transfer to the Hanoi Railway Station for the overnight train to Lao Cai
Overnight on train.
Day 03: Lao Cai – Weekly ethnic market – Sa Pa
Take a drive along the winding mountainous road to visit a weekly ethnic market where Flower H’mong, Dzao, Tay and other ethnic people come from surrounding regions in their colorful traditional costumes to sell their farming products and buy necessities.
Continue on to Sa Pa town to overnight
Day 04: Sa Pa
Capture the beautiful mountainous landscape, terrace rice fields and local life
Back to Sa Pa and climb up Ham Rong Mountain to have beautiful panoramic view of Sa Pa town
Overnight in Sa Pa
Day 05: Sa Pa – Hanoi
After lunch take the drive back to Hanoi via Lao Cai Expressway.
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 06: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
Board a luxury Vietnamese sampan for an overnight boat cruise amongst the limestone islands rising majestically out of the turquoise bay. End the day with a BBQ dinner aboard the boat
Overnight on board
Day 07: Ha Long Bay – Da Nang – Hoi An
Pass beautiful spots such as Trong, Trinh Nu and the Me Cung Caves, and get a chance to explore the Surprise Cave
Transfer back to Hanoi and on to the Noi Bai Airport for a short flight to Da Nang, a busy seaport in Central Vietnam.
Transfer to Hoi An, a World Heritage site designated by UNESCO in 1999
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 08: Hoi An
Jump on a bike to take in the local scenes
Head back to town to epxplore ancient streets of Hoi An, lined with Chinese traders’ homes and wooden houses reincarnated as restaurants, cafés, and outlets for local artists, craftsmen and tailors. Hoi An's
unique fusion of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture is well displayed here, in what is arguably Vietnam's most tourist-friendly town
Experience the old town as its streets come alive at night
Overnight in Hoi An
Day 09: Hoi An – Hue
En-route, stop at Cham Museum – houses a collection of stone scultures from the Hindu-practing Cham Civilization
Capture beautiful shots of Lang Co Lagoon and view of Da Nang from the top of Hai Van Pass
Continue to Tu Duc Tomb. Tu Duc began planning his tomb long before his death in 1883. The major portions of the tomb complex were completed from 1864-67, along with future temple buildings that served as a palatial retreat for Tu Duc and his many wives during his lifetime
Overnight in Hue
Day 10: Hue
In the afternoon, head out to Thien Mu Pagoda, a nicely located pagoda overlooking the Perfume River and the beautiful landscape beyond. If you are lucky, you could observe the Pagoda’s praying ceremony and experience local religious life. Also, do not miss the stunning sunset on Perfume River
Overnight in Hue
Day 11: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City
In the afternoon, follow in the footsteps of the novelists Graham Greene and see the sites in Saigon’s fabled District 1.
Start at the Reunification Palace, the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883, most materials for Saigon's Notre Dame Cathedral were imported from France. Neo-Romanesque in form, it is a major centre of Catholicism in modern Vietnam, and one of the city’s major landmarks. Next to the cathedral stands the Saigon Post Office, a classic French colonial structure, is still a functioning post office today and features huge ceilings, a giant portrait of Uncle Ho, and many beautiful details. Continue along the former Rue Catinat to the Hotel Continental – famous from the ‘Quiet American’ novel and film – and on to the Caravelle Hotel, home to many foreign reporters and secret agents during the Vietnam War
Take in remarkable panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City from its highest building. At 68 floors, the Bitexco Building was opened in 2011and rises 262 meters into the sky. The eye-opening view from the Skydeck gives you a sense of the vibrant city you will be exploring during your stay
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 12: Cu Chi Tunnels & Ho Chi Minh City
Continue to the Chinatown of Cho Lon. Among the oldest and most interesting parts of Saigon, this is where the large Chinese community has been settled for centuries
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta
Walk on village path and visit a farmer’s house and ride bicycles through village roads past rice fields, coconut groves and local houses.
Visit a tapioca cake workshop and a local Cao Dai temple, then cycle along riverside and back to your waiting vehicle for the drive to Can Tho.
Overnight in Can Tho
Day 14: Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
Visit the Binh Thuy Ancient House, a rare and well-preserved example in Can Tho City of a characteristic
Mekong Delta house
Return to Ho Chi Minh City for a night out on the town and overnight stay .
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City departure
End your trip here and on to your next adventure