Family Exploration of Vietnam (15n/16d)

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Day 1: Welcome to Hanoi (D)
Warmly welcome upon your arrival in Hanoi. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the Hanoi downtown. Your guide’s welcome speech will give you an overall information about the city of Hanoi. After check in you will have a free time to relax then your guide will see you again for a cyclo tour wandering through the Hanoi Old quarter ended at a local restaurant for welcome dinner. Your first day will be closed by a water puppet show – a unique art performance in Vietnam before you are back to hotel for overnight stay in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B/L/-)
This full day tour takes you around Hanoi’s most interesting sights, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, House-on-Stilts, the Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda. After that you will visit the Quan Thanh Temple and the Tran Quoc pagoda, the oldest pagoda originally constructed in the sixth century. For lunch you have two options: Enjoy Hanoi special dish Cha Ca at Cha Ca La Vong restaurant, one of the most unique, over a hundred years old restaurants located in the Hanoi Old Quarter or you can taste a “Pho”, other worldwide famous dish from Hanoi. Afternoon you can select to visit one of the city Vietnam History Museum,  Vietnam Ethnology Museum, Vietnam Military History Museum and the Temple of Literature before having a walk around  the Lake of the Restored Sword, visit the Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a street-pub. You will stay overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Lao Cai for Sapa (B/L/D)
In the morning you leave Hanoi for Ninh Binh to visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and the Tam Coc caves located in the Red River Delta. Upon arrival you will spend one hour visiting the king Dinh temple and king Le temple. These two temples are constructed by local residents near the center of the old capital in order to honor Dinh Bo Linh, the first emperor of Vietnam and Le Dai Han who founded the Le Dynasty in the 10th and 11th centuries. Lunch with Vietnamese rural cuisines at local restaurant followed by a sampan ride to explore the Tam Coc caves. Rejoin your car back to Hanoi for a short break and dinner at local restaurant then transfer to Hanoi station for a night train to Lao Cai – a Vietnam – China border city. You will stay overnight on train..

Day 4: Lao Cai – Sapa (B/-/D)
Your train will early arrive in Lao Cai station at around 6:00. You local driver will wait to transfer you to your hotel located in Sapa town. This 40-minute journey offers you the first impression of the North Vietnam mountainous area with its winding road, terrace rice fields and minority ethnic villages. Your breakfast will be at the hotel. Time for relaxation or explore the mountainous town on your own (early check-in is subject to availability). In the afternoon you will have a short walking tour to visit the Cat Cat village – home of the H’Mong ethnic people located in the beautiful valley. Meet local people and visit their houses to learn about their unique customs and practices. Stop at the Cat Cat waterfall for some photo shots before returning to hotel for a break then enjoy dinner at local restaurant. You will stay overnight in Sapa.

Day 5. Sapa soft trekking –  Lao Cai for Hanoi (B/-/D)
Following breakfast you embark on a soft trek along buffalo paths through several hill tribe villages of the H’Mong and the Day ethnic peoples, through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can meet. Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon your driver will pick up you from the village and transfer you back to Sapa for a short break then to Lao Cai for night train to Hanoi -departure at around 21:15. You will overnight on train.

Day 6. Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)
Early arrive Hanoi in the morning, your driver will meet you at the station and offer you a drive to watch local people do morning exercise at the lakes or join in the morning flowers market before having a breakfast and a cup of coffee.  You leave Hanoi for Halong Bay (a World Natural Heritage site) via the Red River Delta. Upon arrival you will have a short break at the Café Lounge. Welcome on board. You will set out on a junk cruise on the bay while seafood lunch is served. After lunch, you will take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay, swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck. In the late afternoon, you will take a take a bamboo row boat to visit an interesting fishing village with an opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. You also take a kayak to discover a water tunnel with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon. Back on board to enjoy watching the peaceful sunset, joining a Vietnamese cooking demonstration and later unwind at a restaurant. Tonight you stay overnight onboard.

Day 7. Halong Bay  – Hue (Brunch/-)
Early birds will have a chance to join in the Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck and view the sunrise over the bay with a cup of coffee or tea.  After brunch you will take a tender to visit one of the most beautiful limestone grottos – Sung Sot cave. Your junk sets sail to cruise back to the dock while you enjoy a final glimpse of Halong Bay . On the journey back to Hanoi airport for flight to Hue you will have a stop at the Phu Lang ceramic village – one of the most famous ceramic brands dated from 17th – 19th century in the North of Vietnam . Tonight you stay overnight in Hue.

Day 8. Hue (B/L/-)
Breakfast at hotel then you will have a private trip on the Dragon boat cruising on the Perfume river to visit the Thien Mu pagoda-built in 1601 and, one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. From there you rejoin your car to visit the Nguyen Dynasty king Minh Mang’s tomb and king Tu Duc’s tomb. Lunch is at a local restaurant. Afternoon you will explore the Hue Citadel. It is a huge complex covering an area of 520ha and comprising three circles of ramparts, Hue Capital Citadel, Royal Citadel and Forbidden Citadel. End of the day you will visit the local Dong Ba market built in 1899on a bank of the Perfume river – a paradise for snapshots of daily activities. In the evening you will have a chance to enjoy a Hue Citadel Royal style dinner tasting some Royal cuisines at local restaurant. You will stay overnight in Hue.

Day 9: Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An (B/-/D)
In the morning you will leave Hue Citadel for Hoi An Ancient town, another World Heritage site in Central Vietnam . Your trip will travel over the Hai Van pass where you have a stop for a panoramic view over the Lang Co beach before arriving at your hotel in Hoi An. You will have a walking tour to explore the old houses, narrow streets, moss-grown walls, lantern makers. You will stop to visit some of the most interesting sights of the town including Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Halls and handicraft workshop and traditional arts performance. Dinner at local restaurant and stay overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10: Hoi An Farming & Fishing Life (B/L/-)
This unique tour offer you a truly experience about Vietnamese fisherman and farmer ‘s daily life and learn more about the Vietnamese rural culture .
Starting from you hotel, you will have a leisurely cycling along country roads . Time for taking photos before stop to visit the Tra Que beautiful organic vegetable village. After taking the typical farmer’s clothe and dressing up as a farmer, you can join with local farmer to water, plant vegetable or riding a water buffalo in a rice paddy field. Later you will have a boat trip to meet a local fishermen and try your hand on the traditional net fishing and manage to paddle an unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat. After enjoy a lunch on boat you will take your bike cycling back to hotel. Free. At leisure. Stay overnight in Hoi An.

Day 11: Fly Ho Chi Minh City (B/-/D)
Again you take a one-hour flight to Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City. Unlike most cities you have visited, Saigon is the most dynamic. Everyone seems busy riding, buying, selling, studying, and building. However, the city’s core is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings.  In the afternoon you will have a private tour visiting some of its famous attractions such as the Reunification Palace, the Municipal Theatre, the City Post Office, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. You can also have a walk through the city’s main shopping boulevard with fashionable boutiques and hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and house-wares and end up at the Ben Thanh market, one of the city biggest markets. Enjoy dinner on the Bonsai cruises on the Saigon river. You stay overnight in Saigon.

Day 12. Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho/Mekong Delta (B/L/-)
In the morning  you will drive out toward the South-Western Vietnam to Mekong Delta or “Nine Dragon River Delta”. Surrounded by thousands of crisscrossed canals, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, most of villages are often accessible by rivers and canals rather than by road. After two-hour drive you will arrive My Tho. Upon arrival you will take a sampan motor-boat on the Tien river to the Thoi Son ( Unicorn) islet, one of the four famous islets ( Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise, Phoenix). From here you follow a village path passing local houses, visiting some family – run coconut candy mill, take a horse-cart from village to village or enjoy a sampan rowing along small canals. Lunch with local dishes will be served right in the garden restaurant. You also have a chance to experience “Southern Vietnamese folk music “, a common art activity in the Mekong Delta performed by local people. Rejoin your car back to Ho Chi Minh city for stay overnight.

Day 13. Ho Chi Minh City – Phan Thiet/Mui Ne (B)
Now it is time for your beach vacation at Phan Thiet/Mui Ne. Situated near the city of Phan Thiet and roughly 4-hours drive from Ho Chi Minh City, Mui Ne is one of the most unspoiled beaches in all of South East Asia. Check-in. At leisure. Overnight stay in Mui Ne

Day 14-15 Phan Thiet/Mui Ne Beach Vacation (B)
You will be free to relax and enjoy the facilities offered by the resort or you can easily visit some of Mui Ne highlights such as jeep rides, visit the Po Shanu Cham Tower or play a round of golf at the Ocean Dunes Golf Club. Overnight stay in Mui Ne.

Day 16. Phan Thiet/Mui Ne – Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B)
Enjoy your free time at your hotel or you can do your last minute souvenir shopping before transfer to HCMC airport for your flight home. Thanks for joining with us and we hope to serve you for your next trip.

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