Vietnam – A Long Way Up 16 Days

15 NIGHTS / 16 DAYS
Holidays in World
INCLUDES
Accommodation with double sharing room with daily breakfast
Private transportation by air-conditional vehicle
Local English speaking guides
Train tickets from Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi (4-berth apartment with air-conditioner)
Meals are mentioned in the itinerary (B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner)
Boat trip in Mekong delta; Hue, Halong Bay
Cham Dance Show in My Son
All entrance fees and sightseeing as mentioned in the program.
Water Puppetry Show in Hanoi
Waters during tour day
DOES NOT INCLUDE
International and domestic flight from/to Vietnam
Visa arrangement and stamp fee to Vietnam
Other meals and optional tour
Early check-in, late check-out surcharge.
Drinks, personal expense (phone call, laundry, tip...)
Any services not mentioned in the program.
Tips for tour guides, drivers

1

Day 1: SAIGON ARRIVAL – CITY TOUR (D)

Arrive Saigon. You will be picked up and transferred to city centre by local guide and private bus to check in our hotel. Hotel check in time is 14h00, early check-in upon availability. This afternoon, start the city tour. We drive to visit the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace. It was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese resistance fighters tanks (Viet Cong) rolled on the morning of April 30, 1975 as Saigon fell. This fascinating building is filled with history still fresh in the minds of many. Continue visiting History Museum. Before check in the hotel, we stop to take a photos and visit at the colonial-styled Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 and one of the city’s major landmarks which should be in your shooting of the city. End your tour at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste. Continue to the restaurant for dinner. Overnight in Saigon.

  • Overnight: Saigon

2

Day 2: SAIGON – MEKONG DELTA TOUR – SAIGON (B/L/D)

Picked by at hotel and drive heading to My Tho the homeland of coconut and family factories with local products like coconut candy, rice paper,… Upon arrival, embark on the boat cruising on the mighty Mekong River viewing the life to the local people live along the banks. We stop at one of 4 island in the area for sightseeing. Enjoy the fresh tropical fruits served in the heart of the garden accompanied by traditional southern Vietnamese folk music at the plantation. After that you will embark on the small boats rowed the local people thru the small cannels with water coconut tree to visit the local factories. There you will taste the honey tea and see the local people produce the coconut candy milk and of course you also can try it or stroll in the garden where the locals feed honeybee. After that enjoy the horse-cart trip through the tranquil road of the village. We continue getting on the big boat to visit the vast area. Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant nearby Mekong River with the Elephant Ear fish. Afternoon, drive back to Saigon, visit China Town also know as Cho Lon which makes Saigon differ from other cities of Vietnam, and Thien Hau pagoda. Short stop at Ben Thanh Market for your free shopping before dinner time. Overnight in Saigon.

  • Overnight: Saigon
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

3

Day 3: SAIGON – MUI NE (B)

Pick up at your hotel in Saigon and leave by the land way to Mui Ne - Phan Thiet. The scenic 220km drive north on Highway One passes through the bustling city of Bien Hoa before cutting through dense rubber plantations. Nearer to Phan Thiet the terrain changes to arid semi-desert with cactus plants and strange-looking dragon fruit trees. Arrive in Mui ne at noontime and check-in the resort. Free at leisure rest of day to relax on the beach of Mui Ne and enjoy water sport games (at your own cost). Overnight in Mui Ne.

  • Overnight: Mui Ne
  • Meals: Breakfast

4

Day 4: MUI NE FREE AND EASY (B)

At your own leisure today to relax on beach of Mui Ne. Overnight in Mui Ne.

  • Overnight: Mui Ne
  • Meals: Breakfast

5

Day 5: MUI NE – DA LAT (B/D)

Early morning, we will transfer to Dalat, the jewel of Vietnam's Central Highlands. This city is featured by a park-like environment, with lovely temperature 15°-24°C and sunlight all year round which make the city a haunt of honeymoon couples. Before reaching Dalat City, we will bend the route to visit the Elephant Waterfall and the Chicken Village of the K’Ho ethnic people residing at the base of Elephant Mountain where indigenous gong culture has been maintained by generations. Walk around the village to see their vegetable, flower farms, traditional wooden houses and beautiful weaving products. Arrive in Da Lat at the late afternoon, check-in hotel. Evening transfer to the restaurant for dinner. Overnight in Da Lat.

  • Overnight: Boat
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

6

Day 6: DA LAT – NHA TRANG (B/D)

Morning visit Dalat including the Summer Palace of Bao Dai - the last King of Vietnam, Tuyen Lam Reservoir, Truc Lam grandiose temple and Dalat Flower Garden (or the Crazy House of architect Hang Nga). After lunch head to Nha Trang. The land way from Dalat to Nha Trang (more than 200km) is very sight worthy and photogenic with pinewoods, waterfalls, farms of tea and coffee, and “Picturesque” mountain pass (“Bellevue Pass” as named by the French early 20th century!). We can have a break overlooking the magnificent Danhim Reservoir and spectacular view of the ancient tower Po Klong Garai built by the Cham nation in Phan Rang - Thap Cham, 101km from Dalat. Arriving in Nha Trang late afternoon, if time permits we will visit Thap Ba Ponaga (Po Nagar Cham Tower). Check in hotel. At leisure for relax with crystal plages of Nha Trang. Evening transfer to the local restaurant for dinner. Overnight in Nha Trang.

  • Overnight: Nha Trang
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

7

Day 7: NHA TRANG FREE AND LEISURE (B)

At your own leisure today to relax on the beach of Nha Trang. Overnight in Nha Trang.

  • Overnight: Nha Trang
  • Meals: Breakfast

8

Day 8: NHA TRANG – DA NANG – HOI AN @ FLIGHT VN1942 06H05 – 07H05 (B/D)

Early morning, transfer to the airport for the flight to Da Nang. Arrive Danang, picked up by the local tour guide and proceed to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Your tour takes you through Hoi An, once a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hoi An’s architecture and relaxed lifestyle have changed little over the years. Take a leisurely walking tour of the ancient town center and visit the sites of former merchants’ homes like Tan Ky House, a 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and a Chinese Communal Hall. Before you return to your hotel enjoy browsing and shopping in the one of the most colorful local market places in all of SE Asia. Overnight in Hoi An.

  • Overnight: Hoi An
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

9

Day 9: HOI AN – MY SON – HOI AN (B/D)

Today, we will visit the religious centre of the former Champa Kingdom. My Son, 60km southwest of Hoi An, sits in a lush green valley with dozens of red brick towers and sanctuaries dating from the seventh through the thirteenth centuries. Your guide will take you through the museum and the holiest of sites before returning to your hotel. We also have chance to enjoy Cham dances in this Holy Land (at 09.30). Back to Hoian. Free at leisure in the afternoon for shopping. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Hoi An.

  • Overnight: Hoi An
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

10

Day 10: HOI AN – DA NANG – HUE (B/D)

Today we will depart from Hoian for Hue via Danang with stop to visit the Marble Mountains, five sacred hills containing dozens of Buddhist shrines, seeing the view and cave from Thuy Son and the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world and (Water and Mountain).Heading to Hue, we will pass over the beautiful Hai Van Pass -Vietnam's geographical and psychological boundary between north and south. The peak of the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds. Once an outpost of the Hinduized Cham Empire, the area around Hue was conquered in the 14th century by the Viets from the north. In 1687 the Viets made Hue their capital, and continued their expansion into Cham territory. It remained the capital under the Nguyen dynasty, which had thirteen emperors, the last of whom ruled until 1945. Hue is still the intellectual capital of Vietnam with 12 schools of higher learning. It maintained its cultural identity while other cities were accumulating foreign influences. The Nguyen dynasty left an Imperial city of citadels, palaces, tombs and temples set in the peaceful countryside bordering the Perfume River. Hue today has regained its royal demeanor and is a calm, peaceful and relaxed place to visit. The remaining French colonial garden houses and villas, quiet streets, riverbanks, and outlying tombs and pagodas that escaped damage - all give Hue a unique atmosphere of tranquility. Upon arrival, check in hotel. Overnight in Hue.

  • Overnight: Hue
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

11

Day 11: HUE – CITY TOUR – HANOI @ FLIGHT VN1544 21H45 – 22H55 (B/D)

Start your day with visit King Khai Dinh’s Tomb, then the mausoleum of former emperor Minh Mang. Continue with a boat trip up (from the Tombs up toward the city) on the romantically named Perfume River visits Hue’s best-known religious site, Thien Mu Pagoda. Afternoon, we continue visiting the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. After exploring the ruins of this wonderful monument, we will have a cyclo tour around the old town to experience the real life of the local people. After dinner, transfer to the airport for the flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, meet your local tour guide and transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Hanoi.

  • Overnight: Hanoi
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

12

Day 12: HANOI – CITY TOUR – TRAIN TO LAO CAI (B/D)

This morning meet your guide at your hotel and depart on your tour after breakfast. Your first stop will be Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, as well as his private residence from 1954 until 1969. The wooden ethnic minority style house, which was built on stilts, is surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens. In the same complex you will see the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Your next stop will be the Ethnology Museum. Free time for own lunch. The afternoon sightseeing also includes Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. Constructed in 1070, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Then we have a tour around the Sword Lake with the stop at Ngoc Son temple. Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. After dinner, transfer to the Railway Station for the overnight train to Lao Cai around 22.00. Overnight on train (4-berth apartment with air-conditioner).

Note: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closed on Friday so we can only see outside.

Escort tour guide on train.

  • Overnight: Train
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

13

Day 13: LAO CAI – SAPA – LAO CHAI – TA VAN (B/D)

Arrive at Lao Cai Station at 06.00. Picked-up and transferred to Sapa by car (40km mountain road from Lao Cai). The mountain landscape of Sapa is magnificent and so different from what we have experienced in the South and Central Vietnam. Don't miss to stop to enjoy its misty pinewoods, graceful terraced paddy fields and get lovely pictures of charming Hmong or Dzao girls you see on the mountainside. After arrive in Sapa, we will have breakfast before leaving luggage at the hotel and hang around with our guide to Sapa market street, where we can meet the montagnards and admire their handicrafts made of wood, silver, or dyed and embroidered fabrics and clothes and visit Cat Cat village of the Hmong people. After lunch, drive to Lao Chai (10km from Sapa) and trek 5km to Tavan with stops at the villages of the tribal people Hmong, Tay and Dzay en route. Back to Sapa for overnight. Overnight in Sapa.

  • Overnight: Sapa
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

14

Day 14: SAPA – BAC HA MARKET – LAO CAI (B/D)

Today is Sunday so nothing will be better than driving overland to a market of the hill tribal people, mainly from Flower Hmong ethnical group. Early morning we will drive toward Bac Ha, about 110km from Sapa. With a dozen of tribes living in the surroundings, including Flower Hmong, Chinese, Nhang, Dzao, Nung, Phu La, Thai and King (or Viet), the market is extremely exciting esp. in the early morning. The winding road to Bac Ha helps maintain the colours (in both literal and figurative sense) of the area. In this market, we can meet hundreds of beautiful women from Flower Hmong tribe, who are famous for their wonderful craft and hand-made flowering clothes and textile fabrics, or intermingle with people from Black Hmong, Dzay, Dzao and other ethnic groups coming to the market not for purchasing stuffs, but for meeting and chatting – just once a week - like in a real cultural center. After lunchtime, we can hike around, following the mountain people to their villages for a visit, or take our car heading to further hamlets in Ban Pho. Back to Lao Cai Station later afternoon with stop for photo shooting at Ha Khau – border gate between Vietnam and China. Dinner at the local restaurant and take the night train from Lao Cai to Hanoi. Overnight on train (4-berth apartment with air-conditioner).

  • Overnight: Train
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

15

Day 15: HANOI – HA LONG – OVERNIGHT ON BOARD (B/L/D)

This morning, we journey east for 4 hour through picturesque rice-farming villages of the Red River Delta, where we see everyday Vietnamese village life to reach to Halong Bay, a Natural World Heritage as designated by UNESCO since 1994 and 2006. 12h15, embark at Tuan Chau Marina. Get on board our overnight cruise. Welcome drink will be served instantly during cruise briefing. Check in our reserved cabin and take a rest.
13h20, enjoy a nice set lunch. Relax on sundeck and grab the unparalleled scenery of Halong Bay while cruising ahead to the Bay. Cruise through Hoa Cuong floating fishing farm.
15h00, by tender, visit Titop Island. Have free choice of activities such as sunbathing; swimming; conquering the peak of the biggest island in Halong named of a Russian space hero and taking panoramic photos of Halong bay in the afternoon.
16h00, challenge yourself at Luon cave by kayaking – an indispensable water activity in Halong offering the serenity of escape and cooling your soul down to recover after a 4-hour-car drive.
17h30, go back on our main cruise for relaxation. Regain our energy by enjoying fantastic views of Halong on sundeck at dusk.
18h30, join cooking class on the sundeck to learn how to make Spring Roll - an authentic specialty, which is voted for World's 50 best foods by CNN.
19h30, a sophisticated dinner that gives us an appetite will be dedicatedly served in romantic ambience, especially with BBQ fresh seafood and a variety of Vietnamese and Western foods.
21h00 onwards, evening activities: watching film at the outdoor bar; playing board, guitar and card games; going fishing squid on tender. Enjoy squid cooked after fishing.
22h00, overnight at the quietest sleeping area. End of the first day in Halong.

  • Overnight: Quietest Sleeping Area
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

16

Day 16: HALONG – HANOI DEPARTURE (B/L)

06h30, start a new day by doing Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck or be ready your camera while Dawn breaks over the sea. 07h30, have a light breakfast with coffee, tea and bakeries on board. 08h30, explore Me Cung (Maze) cave, which is rare in cave-lake seascape. Climb up several rugged stone stairs to admire the miracle of stalactites in a very complex structure, then overlooking gradually to the west, a great lake will appear in front of you, considered as a royal garden surrounding by natural mountain walls. Its water looks blue all year round and breathtaking from high above. 9h30 – 10h30, come back to the cruise. It's time to check out our cabin, relax among grand views. Farewell lunch is deliciously served whilst the cruise keeps on its route back to the marina. 11h45, disembark at Tuan Chau Marina. Transfer back to Noi Bai airport for the departure flight.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
HOTELS
Paragon Hotel (Premium Room) - Saigon
Pandanus Mui Ne Resort (Superior Room) - Muine
TTC Premium (Superior Room) - Dalat
The Light Hotel & Resort (Superior) - Nha Trang
Hoi An Silk Village Resort (Deluxe Room) - Hoian
Eldora Hotel Hue (Deluxe City View) - Hue
Flower Garden Hotel (R.O.H Room) - Hanoi
Orient Express (4 berth Cabin) - Train
Chau Long Hotel (R.O.H Room) - Sapa
Gray Line Cruise (Deluxe Sea View) - Halong Bay
HOTELS
Eastin Grand Hotel (Deluxe Room) - Saigon
Anantara Mui Ne (Deluxe Room) - Muine
Ana Mandara Villa (Villa Room) - Dalat
Intercontinental Nha Trang (Deluxe Ocean View) - Nha Trang
Palm Garden Resort (Superior) - Hoian
Imperial (Deluxe Room) - Hue
Sheraton Hanoi Hotel (Deluxe Room) - Hanoi
Chapa Express (4 berth Cabin) - Train
Victoria Resort & Sapa (Superior Room) - Sapa
Pelican Cruise (Deluxe) - Halong Bay
Cost per person
HOTELS From October 1st, 2017 to April 30th, 2018
(Except for 24th December 2017 – 4th January 2018 & 15th – 22nd February 2018)
USD 2716 (Twin/Double Sharing)

From May 1st, 2018 to September 30th, 2018
(Except Public Holidays 30.Aug - 02.Sep)
USD 3498 (Twin/Double Sharing)
HOTELS From October 1st, 2017 to April 30th, 2018
(Except for 24th December 2017 – 4th January 2018 & 15th – 22nd February 2018)
USD 3498 (Twin/Double Sharing)

From May 1st, 2018 to September 30th, 2018
(Except Public Holidays 30.Aug - 02.Sep)
USD 4175 (Twin/Double Sharing)

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