Day 1: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) - Arrival
Welcome upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh city by our local tour guide and driver, then transfer to hotel. Relax after a long flight and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in town. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city. Note: In case of your early flight to Ho Chi Minh City in the morning, you can join in a Saigon city tour after dark by Vespa to see a fascinating lifestyle and enjoy mouthwatering street foods. (Optional)
Day 2: Saigon City
After breakfast, we will start to visit War Museum, Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace it was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese tanks seized 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 to the Old Post Office, the Notre Dame Cathedral. Depart to Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km. From Saigon to the Cambodian border and was three levels deep. The network included innumberable trapdoors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S. - Vietnam American must have been like. Back to hotel and overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 3: Saigon - Mekong Delta - Cai Be (B,L)
This morning, journey south to the Mekong Delta to visit Cai Be Floating Market. Board our riverboat for a cruise along the endless waterways of the mighty Mekong Delta. Stop to visit brick pottery kilns and a floating fish farm. Afterward, reach a small restaurant serving the local delicacies of the river. Later, arrive at the lush orchards of a local house in which you will spend the night in a homestay with a local family. Overnight in Vinh Long.
Day 4: Mekong Delta - Saigon - fly to Nha Trang (B)
In the morning, join with local people to buy special fruits or other souvenirs, afterward, continue your boat trip along the maze of waterways and canals through An Binh Island. Stop at an old southern house with a bonsai garden and visit some local cottage industries which produce candy as well as rice cakes. Following our cruise, return to the Pier and transfer to our awaiting vehicle to return to Ho Chi Minh City for short flight to Nha Trang.
Day 5: Nha Trang (B,L)
This morning, take a boat trip to Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island to visit the small ocean world of various sea species of Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province. Then keep on boating to Mun Island for snorkeling. Here you have a chance to see lots of lives colorful corals and fishes. Next, visit Mot island, Tranh Beach island where you will relax, swim or join water sports. You can also see the sea swallow nests on the rock islands during the boat trip. Lunch on the island and get back to the hotel at around late afternoon.
Day 6: Nha Trang - Leisure (B)
Free for leisure at Nha Trang Beach
Day 7: Nha Trang - fly to Da Nang - Hoi An (B)
Goodbye the beach city, transfer to Cam Ranh airport for short flight to Danang, visit Danang city with Cham museum, Non Nuoc Beach and Marble Mountains. Later, travel southward to Hoi An ancient town for your relaxing time. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 8: Hoi An- Ol Town & Country Side - Cooking Class (B,L)
After breakfast, enjoy a morning walking tour in Hoi An town – one of the World Culture Heritages of Vietnam. This quaint riverside town still boasts a wealth of century’s old traditional architecture. The influences of several Asian cultures can be seen in old houses and waterside buildings. It is also famous as a place to be instantly created inexpensive tailored outfits. In the afternoon, join the fantastic Cooking class at Red Bridge restaurant with the first activity to visit Hoi An colorful market to experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market; and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later. Then, board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School; explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – each dish is first demonstrated by the Red Bridge chef’s before preparing the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, sit down and eat exactly what you have cooked. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoi An - Being a Farmer & Fishermen - Hue (B,L)
This morning, you can choose bus or bike to cycle to a local farming village to join the daily work life of local farmers – hoeing and a soil, watering veggie at an organic herb garden, riding water buffalo in the field and enjoy the freshest air of the countryside beauty. After that, board the Hoi An Eco-tour boat and cruise to the mouth of the river where it meets the Cua Dai Sea. You will also learn and try our hand at local traditional fishing techniques using round and cast nets, learn to paddle the strange and unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats. Explore the now tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war and hear of the extreme conditions endured by soldiers on both sides. Have a relaxed fun with catching beautiful purple crabs on bamboo basket boat. After visiting a local water coconut palm village, take a walk around the village and have some tea and snack with local talks… Back on-board our Hoi An Eco-tour boat, enjoy your lunch and the cold beer or soft drink on the boat. In the afternoon, transfer to Hue via Hai Van pass and Lang Co beach. Overnight in Hue.
Day 10: Hue Imperial City (B,L)
After breakfast, take a dragon boat trip along the Perfume River upstream to Thien Mu Pagoda where you can see the panorama of Hue city. From here, travel to King Khai Dinh’s tomb and Tu Duc’s tomb. After lunch, visit Citadel, The Forbidden City, and Dong Ba market. Overnight in Hue.
Day 11: Hue - fly to Hanoi (B)
Today, travel north to Hanoi on plane. Check-in hotel and relax for the rest of the day. Note: You can walk down to the busy streets in Hanoi Old Quarter to see the daily life of local people, go shopping, relax at the hotel, enjoy coffee or tea at City view café…
Day 12: Hanoi City (B,L)
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Ho Chi Minh Complex to see Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilt, the Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda. Following, explore the Temple of Literature which originally built as a temple to Confucius. This is the site of Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. The Temple now is a destination of Vietnamese students for their educational good luck praise. After lunch, keep on visiting the Museum of Ethnology, which is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. Then return back to the center city to take a one-hour cyclo around the Old Quarter, known as the 36 streets. This bustling area of narrow streets is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. The last activity today is to enjoy the unique Water Puppet show. Notes: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is not opened on every Monday & Friday. The Museum of Ethnology is closed every Monday. The Museum can be moved to your favorite museum in Hanoi.
Day 13: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B,L,D)
After breakfast, travel northeast Quang Ninh province to enjoy our time in the tranquil of Halong Bay. Arriving at Tuan Chau pier at midday, take the tender to the cruise. Welcome on board by crew team then we check in a room before enjoying seafood lunch. The cruise takes you deeper into the Bay passing thousands of islands and islets with various shapes of Fighting Cocks, Dogs islets….The cruise also passes and stop at the floating village that is free from busy traffic, electric lights, houses, shops, and buildings… Your activities this afternoon are kayaking, cooking demonstrations on the cruise, swimming at the beach or climbing up to the top of the island to catch the panorama of the Bay. Enjoy dinner and relax in the evening on the cruise.
Day 14: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B,L)
Wake up early morning to join Tai Chi lesson today makes you feel stronger for a long day trip. After that, have a light breakfast then take the small boat to Sung Sot cave (Amazing cave). Back to the cruise then we have our brunch (breakfast/lunch) or A la carte menu is served while cruising back to the pier. Travel back to Hanoi in the afternoon.
Day 15: Hanoi - Departure (B)
Free at leisure for last-minute shopping before transferring back to the airport for our flight home. The Best of Vietnam: Classical & leisure Tour itinerary in 2 weeks ends.