Vietnam Insider – 12 days

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Overview

This tour is designed to not only take you through all the major highlights of Vietnam, but also to offer a fresh and original flavor to each individual destination. Vietnam Insider showcases the country through the eyes of our specialist guides. Each and every moment has been carefully considered so that you will leave Vietnam with a deep understanding of the history, culture and natural environment, and also with the experience of something extra ordinary.

Initerary
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12

DAY 1: HANOI – ARRIVAL (Dinner)

You are arriving in Hanoi capital, a city of over a thousand years. After greeting you at Noi Bai International Airport, our guide will escort you to your hotel. Welcome dinner at one of the city´s most highly regarded culinary artisan restaurants with Madam Anh Tuyet.

Overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 2: HANOI INSIGHT CITY TOUR (Breakfast, Lunch)

Good morning Ha Noi for early risers: If you have seen how busy & chaotic Ha Noi old quarter during the day time, let get up early for different looks of Ha Noi in the very early morning when most of the things are still asleep.

See empty streets gradually wake up with dog, cat, cleaners, morning food shops, and people doing morning exercise. Meanwhile, at the other side of the city, at Long Bien night market and morning dye flower market, you will see life is very busy even before dawn.

Around the Hoan Kiem Lake, you will see locals enjoy doing all kinds of morning exercise, you may wish to join in. Later on, you will have a traditional breakfast with beef/chicken noodle, and a cup of coffee at local shops. No doubt, this tour is fascinating for early bird photographers and local food lovers.

After breakfast, stroll down to a fresh and wet market where a huge variety of fresh products are bought and sold every day- a fundamental part of Vietnamese culture. Next, we visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology which successfully presents the recognition of Vietnam as a multi-ethnic country and promotes socio-cultural diversity. Continue to the Temple of Literature back to the center. It was constructed in 1070 under Ly Thanh Tong’s dynasty, first to honor Confucius and nowadays it is used to celebrate the doctorates and high ranking scholars of Vietnam. Lunch at KOTO (refers to Know One Teach One) to support street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.

In the afternoon, take a walk on the historic Long Bien Bridge while our guide explains why it is considered with such pride by Hanoians and is a symbol of our courageous capital after the many years of war. Then it is time for a cold beer (a cup of local draught beer at the sidewalk beer shop, dare you?), and to take a street food tasting tour. Exploring some more markets to get an overview of Vietnamese food, talk with food artisans, street vendors and eat tasty local food and drink. This tour is a great way to see the parts of Hanoi that most tourists don’t.

Back to your hotel in the late afternoon and overnight in Hanoi.

DAY 3: HANOI – HA LONG BAY (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

The two- day-one- night cruise to Ha Long bay is ideal to discover both natural beauty and local life. Embark on a 4 hour drive to Halong with a quick rest stop en route at a souvenir shopping center (since the toilet is clean and best available along the way to Halong Bay).

Your heavenly journey across Halong Bay starts around at the marina at the doorstep of Vietnam’s most fascinating wonder.

Discover some of the treasures disseminated across the Bay of the Descending Dragon during the afternoon: fascinating caves, pristine beaches, picturesque floating villages, fantastic rock formations rising up out of emerald water.

While on board, you can take advantage at leisure of  on board Spa, Beauty & Massage services (with extra charge) surrounded by a stunning setting in motion, you will attend our chef’s cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking.

Defined to be one of the highlights of your stay, a highly refined, innovative and varied cuisine will be presented for Lunch and Dinner in the elegant dining-room.

DAY 4: HA LONG – HANOI – KY SON MOON GARDEN VILLAGE (Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner)

Early birds can attend a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck at the break of dawn. Start the day enjoying some delights with a colourful buffet breakfast. Continue exploring Halong Bay sailing across its 2000 islets and visiting some of its major highlights.

Check-out of the boat and you are transferred direct to Ky Son Moon Garden village via Hanoi.

Moon Garden House in Ky Son offers a unique opportunity to experience rural life in Vietnam that has changed little over the last century. The architect specializes in the restoration of old buildings and this is reflected in the design, furniture and antiques that adorn the rooms. Local experiences are include in the stay.

DAY 5: EXPLORE DUONG LAM ANCIENT VILLAGE –  FLY TO HUE VIA HANOI (Breakfast, Lunch)

For early risers: Join in morning exercises before breakfast. Easy ride to Duong Lam ancient village through countryside paths and then return to Ky Son Moon Garden for lunch before you depart for the airport and fly to Hue.

Picked up by your local guide and go to your hotel for overnight.

Located on the bank of Song Huong- Perfume River; Hue, the capital of Thua Thien Hue province in Central Vietnam, is 700 km south of Hanoi, 1100km north of Ho Chi Minh City, and not far from the sea. Up until 1945, Hue the national capital- the political, cultural and religious center of Vietnam under the control of Nguyen Dynasty. Most well-known for its historic values; Hue had been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Overnight in Hue.

DAY 6: HUE FULL DAY WITH HOME VISIT, IMPERIAL CITADEL & TOMBS (Breakfast, Lunch)

There is nothing more valuable than visiting a local house in Hue where it still preserves well the traditional virtues dating from the feudal time under the Nguyen Emperors. We tailor to arrange the visit to a local family in which you will have a couple of hours to join the family activities and have a meal with the host. Making friend and do the cultural exchange.now to celebrate the doctorates and high ranking scholars of Vietnam.

9.30AM start your exploration with a short drive from your hotel to your host’s house (with optional stop at a nearby vibrant local market to accompany your hosts purchasing ingredients for lunch). At your host’s house, look the garden, interact and chat with your hosts to learn about traditional customs. Then, take a short walk to visit the family ancestral temple to learn about the customs associated with ancestral worship before coming back to see the cooking demonstration of traditional dishes and participate in setting the home meal if you wish. Enjoy a family lunch with your host. Return to your hotel after lunch.

In the afternoon continuing exploration of Hue including visits to the Imperial Citadel & continue visiting the last resting place of the 12th King Khai Dinh, he left behind a magnificent and huge burial idyllically located in Chau Chu Mountain just outside of Hue, home to a mix of eastern and western architecture. It took 11 years and build his final resting place and was completed in 1931.

Next, take boat trip on Huong River, or better known as The Perfume River. The boat drops us off at the beautiful Thien MuPagoda which is also home to many young people who want to try out and learn from life as a monk. History of Thien Mu Pagoda,dating back from the year 1601. Go back to your hotel for relaxation.

Overnight in Hue.

DAY 7: HUE INSIGHTS & LAND TRIP TO HOI AN (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, we take a pleasant drive through the scenic countryside of Hue. Visit a typical handicraft village where you will take part in some daily work with your host. Learn how to traditional make rice crackers, and dry them. Enjoy tea and rice crackers while chatting with your host to understand more about their tradition and daily life.

Next, let your driver take you to a special place, a historic pagoda nested in a very tranquil village in the outskirt of Hue city. It is special place because of the elevated mission of the people who run this property. Meet & and talk with your host, the master nun who is in charge of the pagoda which is also home for many homeless elderly & orphans in the area.

Play with the disadvantaged kids, teach them some English words, make friend or feed them. 

Pray with the community (nuns, kids and elderlies) before sitting back for a vegetarian meal prepared by the nuns.

Say goodbye to your new friends, and continue your land journey to Hoi An via the splendid Hai Van Pass, enjoy some stops for panoramic views. Reach the quaint Hoi An Ancient town in the early evening.

DAY 8: COUNTRYSIDE LIFE & HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN (Breakfast, Lunch)

The morning excursion offers you a closer look into the countryside life in the outskirt of Hoi An Ancient town. Such an amazing experience with first on bike through picturesque villages, rice fields, water buffalos, water coconut gardens, then meet & talk with local villagers as you meet. Continuing with an exciting basket boat rowing on the water coconut river and learn how to catch crabs. Later on, we take boat ride on a stunning river to see how local fishermen catch fish, reach Tra Que organic village for a mini course of cooking class and enjoy tasty lunch prepared by your host.

In the midafternoon, take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Hall and the local market. There’re numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like.

Enjoy the rest of the late afternoon at leisure.

Overnight in Hoi An.

DAY 9: HOI AN- DA NANG – HO CHI MINH CITY BY FLIGHT (Breakfast, Dinner)

After breakfast, transfer to DA NANG airport for a jump flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

Once affectionately called the diamond of the far-east, Ho Chi Minh City is now the most populated city in Vietnam with modern office skyscrapers amidst Chinese style pagodas and food stalls along the street creating a dynamic urban area. Ho Chi Minh City’s architecture and lifestyle is the reconciliation between American and Chinese influence, just as historic as it is modern.

Upon arrival, take a quick visit to the Presidential Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office and leisurely walk along the Dong Khoi street, or Rue Catinat.

Enjoy a couple of hour leisurely at your hotel before continuing with another amazing experience.

The scooter evening tour offers you a glance of Saigon’s nightlife, within 2,5 hrs we’ll drive you from the chaotic traffic of the city center to total quiet corners of other districts such as 4, 5, and 8; from bustling streets to local and hidden eateries; from popular tourist spots to the most trendy hanging-out places of the Saigonese at night. We also get into the “foodie heaven” where full of food stores and stalls as well as food carts with all kinds of street food for miles long. We make a few food stops for tasting local yet delicate treats such as stir-fried snails, rolling rice cakes and a local herbal drink “Sâm mía lau củ năng”. All will give you a lifetime experience. Seat back and enjoy your ride!

Overnight at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY 10: LIFE ON THE MEKONG RIVER (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

(No tour guide from Ho Chi Minh City)

Today you will leave bustling city of Ho Chi Minh for two-day-one night sampan cruise trip to explore live life along the Mekong River.

Upon arrival at Ben Tre town, you will board your Mango Cruise and head for An Hoa canals. Upon boarding your private sampan, enjoy a refreshing coconut juice on the deck while meeting your crew members and enjoying the scenery and fresh air from the water. 

The cruise will take you to Phong Nam village in Giong Trom, with a stop to visit at the coconut processing workshop where you can see how the locals utilize every bit of the coconut.

Another stop at a brick making workshop, where the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand.  From here, you will start a Bicycle trip around Phong Nam village around 4km, enjoy a casual cycling trip that will take you to visit a local rice noodle factory which produces Hu Tieu noodles, one of the most popular dishes in the region.

After your visit take a short walk to Mrs. Huong’s house, who lives with her 3 children and grandson – they live on fishing, shrimp and fruit orchards. Enjoy fresh fruits and tea in her garden and then board a rowing sampan, taking you through a lush narrow canal, displaying the tranquil nature of the region.

Return to your boat to enjoy the lunch before continuing to cruise to Cai Be. On the way stop at local village and begin cycling, enjoying the peaceful scenery and quiet road pathways.

In the evening relax and enjoy your cruise then prepare for your cooking demonstration while enjoying your dinner.

Overnight on board on the Upper River near Cai Be.

DAY 11: MEKONG DELTA – HO CHI MINH CITY (Breakfast)

(No tour guide from Ho Chi Minh City)

Breakfast will be served onboard while cruising towards the town of Cai Be. Upon arrival you will be transferred to a smaller boat to explore the lively floating Market and its bustling township.

Enjoy the houses on stilts along the River bank and local businesses.

Breakfast will be served onboard while cruising towards the town of Cai Be. Upon arrival you will be transferred to a smaller boat to explore the lively floating market and its bustling township.

Enjoy the houses on stilts along the River bank and local businesses. After the visit, our car is ready to transfer you back Ho Chi Minh City. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

DAY 12: HO CHI MINH CITY DEPARTURE (Breakfast)

Your own leisure to explore the city further before departing to Tan Son Nhat International airport for your onward flight. 

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