VIETNAM CULTURE, LANDSCAPE & DAY-IN-THE-LIFE JOURNEY
DAY 1: HANOI ARRIVAL
Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you will be welcomed and picked up by our guide and driver, then, transfer you to the hotel in the cultural and historical heart of the city, Hanoi Old Quarter for relaxation after a long flight. This late afternoon, we will have a short walk street food tour around the famous Hoan Kiem lake and the Old Quarter en route, we stop at some famous food stalls and traditional family-run shops for real authentic local food and drinks.
DAY 2: HALF DAY HANOI CITY & HALF DAY COUNTRYSIDE TOUR TO THE ANCIENT CERAMIC VILLAGE ON VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE.
It is a fun way to experience the sights, smells and tastes of Hanoi. And definitely, the best way to see and learn about the real Hanoi not just the run-off-the-mill tourist sites. We would journey you to so many parts of Hanoi that you would not otherwise see and even imagine about, from the maze of zigzagging backstreets, hectic traffic, old French boulevards to the off-roads along the Red river as well as tasting the most delicious dishes of the delicious dishes that Hanoi offers you. Also, you could come in to visit some famous sights and landmarks of Hanoi! Then we would expose you the life outside of the city with a countryside Jeep Tour to the 1000-year-old Bat Trang ceramic village to learn about the day in the life of the local residents as well as experiencing the rapid changes of Vietnam under urbanization and industrialization.
DAY 3: HANOI – NINH BINH BOAT, BIKE & DAY IN THE LIFE JOURNEY
Our tour from Hanoi to Ninh Binh day tour starts at 7:00 AM to beat the traffic jam in the city and to be “early bird” at the tourist sites. Most of tour buses leave Hanoi for Ninh Binh around 8:00 AM that’s wahy we leave at 7:00. Our journey begins with a 2 hour drive from the hectic capital of Hanoi to the rural province of Ninh Binh, approximately 100 kilometers away. The first destination our Ninh Binh tour is TRANG AN, a new addition to UNESCO’s list of heritage sites. It is often referred to as the Halong Bay of the land due to its spectacular scenery. It is a truly wonderful sight to see.
On arrival, we’ll board row boats for a 2 hour journey through caves, passing local villages along the river system of the Red River Delta. The scenery comprises of lush green rice paddies during the rice growing seasons and the surrounding limestone karsts make for a stunning backdrop, presenting many photo opportunities for the keen photographers amongst the group.
We will have lunch at a local home-hosted restaurant for an authentic Vietnamese meal. After lunch, we will start our Ninh Binh motorbike tour, It is definitely the best way to discover the cultural and natural beauties of Ninh Binh countryside. As you sitting in the back of our experienced drivers for a safe and fun ride throughout the area.Tthe detours of country-roads featuring with limestone karsts, towering above you as you ride along back-roads and beautiful scenery. Ninh Binh motorbike tour is an epic that you could explore through the highway and byway of the this beautiful place. En route, we are passing rice paddies, farms and villages to experience the day-in-the-life of Vietnamese people. Also, we stop to visit a thousands year old lime-stone temple of Thai Vi. Climbing up the natural great-wall of Mua mountain and Mua cave, it is a spectacular spot to watch the spectacular panorama view of the area.
The last destination of our Ninh Binh motorbike tour is Hoa Lu, the location of the capital of Vietnam during the Dinh Dynasty (968-980) and early Le Dynasty (980-1009). The ancient citadel once covered 300 hectares of land, however the passage of time has left few remains of this once glorious capital of the Vietnam. We finish our Ninh Binh motorbike tour to return to Hanoi.
DAY 4: HANOI – HA LONG BAY OVER NIGHT ON THE LUXURY JUNK-CRUISE
9:00: You will be picked up by the driver for the trip to Ha Long bay. Leaving the city behind, drive through fascinating countryside to the dock where this Halong Bay adventure truly starts.
11:30: Upon Arrival, Climb aboard a traditional junk-style boat – with its beautiful woodwork and beaming crew – and venture out into the emerald waters of the bay. Open water soon disappears as the boat glides through often misty waters and past limestone peaks jutting dramatically out of the water. Sit down to a mouth-watering lunch and take in the scenery of what is often referred to as the Eight Wonder of the World. After lunch, you will have the chance to explore some of the limestone caves dotted around the bay by a short walk. You will have choice to soak up the sun on the top deck or go kayaking to see the karsts up close. After a delicious dinner on board, it is time to sit under the beautiful starry skies before drifting off to sleep.
DAY 4: HA LONG BAY – HANOI – HOI AN
Rise this morning to the tranquil beauty of the bay. Perhaps even wake early for a Tai Chi class on the top deck. Spend the morning exploring secluded areas of the bay. Around noon the junk returns to the dock and the journey towards Hanoi begins. You will be transferred by boat to the mainland where your vehicle will be waiting. The journey back to Hanoi takes around 2.5 hours. Your Halong Bay Junk Cruise adventures ends on arrival in Hanoi (approximately 2.30pm).
12:00 Having brunch and saying goodbye to Ha Long bay, we take a drive straight to Hanoi. We then transfer to the airport for our flight to Da Nang. Upon Arrival, the driver will pick you up to the hotel in Hoi An to stay overnight. Dinner at your own!
DAY 6: HOI AN BOAT, BIKE & DAY IN THE LIFE
Take to the streets and the waterways to discover the charm of one of Vietnam’s most loved towns. On this unique boat and bike tour in Hoi An you will escape the hustle and bustle, weaving through the backstreets to reach the country lanes that lie outside the town’s borders.
Start your Hoi An tour with the bike portion, and follow country laneways to reach some of the villages that are dotted throughout the region, stopping to talk to the locals and learn more about life in this part of Vietnam. We will cycle to a farming area called Tra Que Vegetable Village, which supplies organic veggies for all of Hoi An and nearby areas.
Pass emerald rice paddies, snaking waterways and plenty of waving children as you discover some of the beautiful landscapes found in this region. On the way we also stop for a drink to cool off from the heat.
Next up, your Hoi An boat tour! Follow your guide to the banks of the Thu Bon River to take to the waterways and discover even more of the area. Cruise along the river and enjoy the changing light over the city as the sun sets and we make our way to the Old Town dock. Afterwards, visit a local home for a feast of authentic flavours with a friendly family. Their hospitality (and cooking!) will mark the perfect ending to your afternoon in Hoi An, with lots of laughter and smiles.
DAY 7: HOI AN – SAI GON
Having breakfast at the hotel, having a free morning to chill at the hotel or last minute shopping in the Old Town before our drive to the airport to fly to Saigon, Upon on arrival, we drive to to the hotel in the center of the city.
This late afternoon, to beat the heat of the tropical climate city we will visit the city highlights including Independence Palace, Ben Thanh Market then we have personal down time for memory reflection.
DAY 8: SAI GON – VINH LONG AND MEKONG RIVER DAY IN THE LIFE
Escape the city for a tour of the Mekong Delta, where you’ll see what life is like beyond the urban centre of the south. About 2.5 hours away is the city of My Tho, a former naval base that is now a bustling port city in the Mekong Delta.
The area is the final destination of the mighty Mekong River, which winds its way from Tibet, through China, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and finally into Vietnam. An incredibly fertile region, the Mekong Delta’s prime industry is food production, producing approximately half of Vietnam’s total agricultural output. Local life for villages in the area revolves around the rivers and canals that make up the delta, so much so that people are more likely to transport by river than road.
Upon arrival into My Tho, we board our private boat for a cruise on the Mekong River. Our first stop is at a fish farm, to gain an insight into one of the cottage industries in the region. On our Mekong tour, we’ll visit an island with lush tropical gardens where we have a chance to sample tropical fruit. Continuing to another island in the Mekong Delta, we’ll learn more about another cottage industry, coconut candy. Your local guide will take you to a factory and explain the process of making the sweet. As we meander down the Mekong, we’ll have a chance to visit local villages in the area and learn more about the traditional lifestyles, culture, and customs of people who call the Delta their home.
Continuing on our Mekong discover, we’ll travel by Xe Loi (motorised cart), and visit a bee farm, from where we’ll transfer to a smaller rowing boat to help us get deeper into the smaller canals of the Delta. For lunch, we’ll hit up Diem Phuong restaurant, where your local guide will provide you with some advice on the finer points of local cuisine and assist with ordering some of these delicacies.
After lunch, our Ho Chi Minh City river tour will come to an end, and we’ll head back to My Tho for the journey back to Ho Chi Minh City where you will be dropped off at your hotel.
DAY 9 : CUC CHI TUNEL EXPLORATION AND SAI GON DAY IN THE LIFE
In the early morning, we leave the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City to explore one of the relics from one of the most significant local historical events in recent memory.
Journey 2.5 hours west towards the Cambodian border. Before arriving at the Cu Chi tunnels, we’ll visit with some local friends and gain an insight into local life in the area, both past and present. Learn about their lives, culture, and customs and get an insight into the recent past through local eyes.
Continue on to the Cu Chi tunnels. The location of the tunnels was of significant strategic importance: they’re at the end of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail, and within striking distance of the southern Vietnam capital. Initial construction started in 1948 when the Viet Minh required somewhere to hide from French air attacks, and by 1965, the tunnel complex was estimated to consist of 200 km of tunnels. It included, hospitals, schools, meeting rooms, kitchens, and sleeping quarters. Life was difficult for the inhabitants, and to protect against outside intruders, booby traps were laid throughout the complex.
Today, the Vietnamese government have preserved approximately 75 km of the Cu Chi tunnels as a memorial park, and in some areas the tunnels have been widened and low powered lights installed so that tourists can now fit through the complex.
Your local guide will take you on a fascinating tour of the Cu Chi tunnels, where you’ll learn more about the conditions the people lived in, the hardships they faced, and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels. We walk past huge bomb craters – evidence of the heavy bombing campaigns in the region during the Indochina conflict, discover hidden entrances right beneath your feet, wander past tiny little chimneys in the ground that dispersed smoke from the underground kitchens, sample some of the simple cuisine that local fighters would have survived on, and have an opportunity to venture into the tunnels and explore the complex. We ride back to the city by noon time for lunch before heading back to the hotel for a short break.
In the Afternoon, We then take a rickshaw adventure to ride from highway to byway of Saigon with a journey throughout the city center districts including distric 1,3,5,6 and Binh Thanh to have eye-to-eye experiences about the day-in-the-life of Saigon from the local residential areas to the local markets such as flower market, motorbike market, electronic market, Cho Lon market ect. Also, we visit Ngoc Hoang temple to have fully understand about the day in the life of Saigonese. On the tour, you can combine shopping.
DAY 10: SAIGON DEPARTURE
You have a free and easy day to do whatever you want and wait for the flight back home.
Note: Hotel check out time at is 12:00 pm and the driver will take you to the airport for the flight back home 3 hours before the flight time.