Vietnam Overland- CODE: AO09
Your arrival flight lands at Noi Bai Airport where your driver and tour guide are ready to pick you up and transfer you to the city centre for hotel check-in. The rest of the day is at leisure after the jetlag. Welcomed Vietnamese diner will be served at a local restaurant in town.
Over night in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour [B, L]
Start your day with breakfast in your hotel. Today, you will spend the whole day to explore the historic Hanoi with visits to Ho Chi Minh complex with Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Presidential palace, Ho Chi Minh stilt house. Learn the local religious practices at One Pillar pagoda and Temple of Literature, Ethnology museum is also worth visiting, as you will get the overview of Vietnamese ethnic minorities with their colorful dresses and amazing cultures. Followed by one-hour rickshaw ride to see Hanoi daily life in the old quarter and end the day with traditional water puppet show. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Mai Chau, ethnic Thai People [B, L, D]
After breakfast, you take the morning drive to Mai Chau valley in Hoa Binh province. There are stops available on the way for taking photographs. On arrival at the valley, we will get on a stilt house of White Thai people to have lunch, which is prepared by a local family. In the afternoon, trek around the villages in Mai Chau with your guide to experience locals’ daily life and enjoy the peaceful countryside. Diner at the family. Enjoy Thai traditional dance and music (Optional) and over night at the home stay.
Daya 4: Mai Chau - Cuc Phuong National Park B, L, D]
This morning, you would be awoken up by free-range roosters. Have breakfast at the family then set our for a drive to Cuc Phuong National Park. Upon arrival, you have lunch at the National Park’s restaurant and go to visit the primate rescue center where you can see different kinds of endangered langurs. Many of them are written in Vietnamese Red Book and can only be found in some parts of Vietnam. In the afternoon, embark a three-hour trek in the rain forest to visit a thousand-year-old. Overnight in Cuc Phuong guesthouse.
Day 5: Ninh Binh – Halong City [B, L, D]
After your breakfast, take an early drive to Tam Coc for two-hour boat row on a little river, which runs along the Limestone Mountain Ranges and between rice fields. This karst landscape is so breathtaking that it has been considered as ‘Halong bay in land’. Lunch at a restaurant, then drive overland to Halong City. Arrive at Halong City, check in a peaceful hotel, dinner and overnight in Halong City.
Day 6: Ha Long Bay Cruise [B, L, D]
This morning, you have an easy morning with late breakfast and rest. At 11:30 AM, check out your room and transfer to the pier for the afternoon cruise to explore the bay of the World’s wonder. Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful locations in Vietnam and has been recognized as the world heritage by UNESCO. You embark your overnight cruise boat at 12:30 and have fresh seafood lunch while the boat is heading gently for the centre of the bay. In the afternoon, beside enjoying the beautiful scenery from the top deck, there is time for you to visit a limestone cave with plenty of stalactites and stalagmites of different formations, swimming on a sandy beach and having a short kayaking to the surroundings. Dinner and overnight on the boat.
Day 7: Halong Bay Cruise - Hanoi [B, L]
Wake up early in the morning for sunrise and a view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the fresh air. Visit a fishing village by a rustic rowboat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms. Back onto the boat and start cruising towards the harbor, while an A la cart brunch is served. Disembark at noontime, get back to your private vehicle and return to Hanoi. After dinner, jump on a night train to Lao Cai province. Overnight on train.
Day 8: Visit to a Tribal Market [B, L]
You will arrive at Lao Cai City in the early morning and walk to the nearby restaurant for breakfast. After that, get back to your bus and drive to visit a hill tribe market in Bac Ha district. Here you will see Flower Hmong, Phu La, Dao, Tay, Nung…all hill tribe groups gather around for trading. It is an awesome experience of seeing colors, understanding traditions and feeling the atmosphere. The market offers a variety of local products includes colorful embroidery, handicrafts and all types of daily necessary stuffs. Here also available animal market where people sell and buy or barter animal such as dogs, pot-bellied pigs, cows, buffalos and so on.
After lunch, just take a short walk to a hill-tribe village. Here you will visit some local homes to understand more about their daily life as well as their culture and traditions. Followed by a short boat trip along Chay River (If the water level is high enough) then head back for Lao Cai city. Afternoon drive up to Sapa. Check in hotel and free leisure in the evening. Overnight in Sapa.
Day 9: Sapa Trek and Visit Tribal Villages [B, L]
After your breakfast, take a short car transfer to Ma Tra Village and spend 1.5 hours to visit the village of Black H’mong People on foot and enjoy the rustic view of rice terraces in the valley. Back to the town for lunch and rest. Going on the trek at another valley in the afternoon. The gentle downhill trek to Muong Hoa Valley is stunning as you will be amazed by the beauty of vast rice terraces from high to low and dotted with many roofs at the sides of the rocky river. Along the trek, it is also a great chance for you to interact with local people in their colorful dresses. Around 4 PM, get picked up by car for the transfer to Lao Cai train station. Dinner at a local restaurant nearby before the night train with soft sleeper back to Hanoi.
Day 10: Hanoi - Hue [B, L]
Arrive in Hanoi early in the morning. Get a mini hotel room for shower and a rest before taking a short flight to Hue in the centre of Vietnam. Hue was the capital of the country. The city is well known for its monuments, architecture as well as beautiful natural landscape. Constructed during early 19th century, the Hue Citadel was the symbol of Royal power with high mossy brick walls running more than 10km perimeter held the Forbidden City, the living area of Emperors and their family. On arrival at Phu Bai Airport, you will be picked up and transferred to hotel for check-in. Overnight in Hue.
Day 11: Hue City Tour [B, L]
After the breakfast at the hotel, Cruise along the Perfume River this morning visiting Thien Mu Pagoda and the ancient tomb of Minh Mang along the journey. Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will explore the Citadel with your guide and learn of its turbulent past and how it has withstood the test of time. Visit Dong Ba market and some shopping if you wish. Back to the hotel for ending the day. Overnight in Hue.
Day 12: Hue - Hoi An [B, L]
Today, you will have an overland drive to Hoi An. The drive takes about 3,5 hour via the spectacular Hai Van pass. Have a short stop at the pass for taking photos and enjoy the panorama view over the region. Continue the journey with a visit to to Da Nang's Cham Museum. The Museum’s first building was opened in 1919, but many Cham sculptures collected in Da Nang, Quang Nam and elsewhere were brought to the site over the preceding twenty years.
The collection was begun by French archaeologists and experts from L’École Francaise d’Extrême Orient (EFEO). Some artefacts were sent to Paris and others to the Ha Noi and Sai Gon (now Ho Chi Minh City) museums, but many typical objects were left in Tourane (now Da Nang). Check in a hotel in Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 13: Hoi An – Half-Day City Tour [B, L]
Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
This morning, together with your expert tour guide, you take a half-day tour of the city’s ancient quarter with old temples, local houses and museums. In the afternoon free on your own for shopping or relax on the beach. Overnight in hotel.
Day 14: My Son Visit [B, L]
Honorably recognized as a World Heritage in 1999, My Son Holy Land is captivating in various cultural values. Therefore, it is extremely useful and meaningful for those interested in Southeast Asian culture, which owes its core to ancient Cham culture, to drop off the land. Although time and the wars have destroyed some towers, the remaining sculptural and architectural remnants still reflect the style and history of the art of the Cham people. Their masterpieces mark a glorious time for the architecture and culture of the Cham, as well as of Southeast Asia.
Start from your hotel, the short drive takes you to the holy land of My Son, walk around the valley to visit the temples which is remarkable with the brick constructions and learn about the ancient kingdom existed in the area from 2nd to 17th centuries. Drive back to Hoi An and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at Hoi An.
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City [B]
Free on your own until the transfer to Da Nang Airport for an-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Transfer to the downtown of the city. Check in your centrally located hotel and free at leisure for the remainder of the day. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 16: Cu Chi and Tay Ninh Caodaist Temple [B, L]
Drive thru the countryside toward Tay Ninh city, 100 km from Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival to the head quarter of local Cao Dai religion, you will have a chance to witness the daily ceremony at Cao Dai Holy See, and meet followers come to attend the ceremony wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity and Buddhism. Having lunch at a local restaurant then continue the trip to Cu Chi, visit the incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence. Overnight at Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 17: Mekong Delta Excursion [B, L]
Depart by car to the "rice basket" of Vietnam - the Mekong Delta from your hotel at 9:00am. Today will be a full day of discovery as we explore the villages, farms, and intricate waterways that form the delta. Start the trip by a drive to My Tho, which on the way is green/yellow rice paddy fields stretching towards the horizon. Upon arrival in My Tho City, embark a boat and visit 4 beautiful islets: Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise and Phoenix. Stop at a fruits garden and visit a family in the area where you can enjoy seasonal fruits and taste coconut candy (local special product). After this, take a boat to An Khanh village to see fish breeding in floating cages and walk under coconut shade stop at some local houses to see how they pack banana and coconut-leaves cakes. Walk on “Monkey Bridge” to Vuon Dau for lunch. After lunch, take a rowing boat on narrow water palm creek and come back to My Tho boat wharf, meet the driver and drive to Can Tho for overnight.
Day 18: Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City [B, L]
After breakfast, cruise along the small and picturesque tributaries to visit the Cai Rang floating market (the nicest one with heaps of rowing boats). Stop at another village to visit a rice husking mill, and walk around the village. See the beautiful scenery and daily activities of the locals. Disembark at Ninh Kieu quay, visit an ancient house (in Binh Thuy, 10 km from Cantho). Have lunch at a local restaurant on the way back to HCMC. Overnight in HCMC
Day 19: Departure from Ho Chi Minh City[B]
The morning is free at your leisure until transfer to the airport for flight home or carrying on with more Custom Vietnam Travel's destinations.
- The trip uses air, coach, train and overnight boat trip in Halong Bay plus other short boat trips in Tam Coc in Ninh Binh, Chay River at Bac Ha, Perfume River in Hue and Mekong River in the South
- The treks at mentioned places in the program are soft except the steeper one at Cat Ba National Park. It is open for alternative in bad weather.
- Order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions
- Accommodation with daily breakfasts
- Meals mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- Expert tour guides
- Private air-conditioned vehicles
- Sightseeing fees and permits during guided time
- Boats in Halong Bay , Tam Coc, Chay River, Perfume River in Hue and Mekong River in the South
- One bottles of mineral water/person/day
- Insurance of any kind
- Any flight tickets
- Visas and airport departure tax
- Tips and gratuities
- Meals, drinks and others that not mentioned clearly in the inclusion above
WHAT TO BRING:
- Good trekking shoes, Umbrella, Poncho, Sun glasses, Sun cream and mosquito spray
- School stationery for local kids if you wish
- For other please refer to the Ultimate packing list