Hanoi is home to about 7.6 million people and the second largest city in Vietnam by population. The city has been inhabited since 3000 BC and offers must-try dishes such as phở and bún chả. From Hanoi, travellers can easily access other provinces in the north, making the city an ideal base to explore northern Vietnam’s mountains and valleys. Nearby, travellers can explore Sapa’s rolling hills, Ninh Binh’s karst landscape and Hạ Long Bay’s grottoes or floating villages.
With a population of more than 8.5 million people, Ho Chi Minh City is known as the country’s multicultural and commercial hub, blending old and new throughout the city. French colonial architecture and Chinese pagodas sit alongside high-rise buildings, international restaurant chains and large shopping malls.
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Upon your arrival at Noi Bai International Airport and after clearing customs, please proceed to the Meeting Point area at “Gate 02” at the arrival hall of Terminal 2 to meet our local tour guide. Transfer to hotel for checking-in. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B/L/D)
After breakfast at hotel, you’ll enjoy the full-day city tour.
In the morning, you pay a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex to explore the architectural and historical aspects of Uncle Ho’s final resting-place. Just next door is Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts and lying to one side of the Mausoleum is the One Pillar Pagoda, which was founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049 - the structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Continue on to the Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda at West lake - one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam, then Temple of Literature and Quoc Tu Giam, see Vietnam’s first university, constructed in 1070 - it’s gardens and well-preserved architecture will offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
In the afternoon, you take a half day tour Hanoi including the Presidential Palace – a grand colonial building that houses the living and working headquarters for the French Governor General of Indochina; Saint Joseph Cathedral – Hanoi’s oldest Roman Catholic Church which was completed in 1886 and emulate the architectural visage of the famous Notre Dame in Paris; as well as Hanoi Opera House – one of the most famous architectural landmarks of Hanoi. Later, continue on with a rickshaw around the heart of the old city; experience around The Old Quarter – a maze of quaint narrow streets dating back to the 13th century, each named after the craft or goods that was specifically traded there. Later, you enjoy the performance of Water Puppet Show. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Overnight on cruise (B/L/D)
After pickup from your hotel, you will leave Hanoi by private car/van at 8:30 am, arriving at the jetty around 12:30 pm. You will be welcomed aboard and set sail through the bay while lunch is served. You will pass through the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons' teeth. After lunch, you will take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with golden sails, and then go swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathe on the sundeck. Later in the afternoon, you will visit an interesting fishing village with the opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. Back on board, you can enjoy cocktails while watching the sunset. Later, you will unwind at a lavish dinner before an overnight stay on the deluxe junk.
Day 4: Halong – Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
Beginning a new day with doing Tai Chi on the top deck, feel the fresh air. Have a breakfast with served coffee or tea. Then starting to visit Sung Sot Cave, one of the best caves in Halong. Join in cooking demonstration with cruise’s chef. Prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes and then enjoy lunch on board before heading back to the harbor. After disembarking, you’ll transfer directly to the airport for a flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival Da Nang airport.
Note: The itinerary may change variable up to different cruises and operation conditions.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels – City Tour (B/L/D)
From Ho Chi Minh City we will head northwest to Cu Chi Tunnels, one of very few monuments remained from the Vietnam War. 200km of the tunnels, dug by hand and inhabited by the forces of the Vietnamese guerillas, are beneath the ground here and stretches from nearby the Cambodian border to the edge of Ho Chi Minh City, even covering a place that once was a US airbase. We can listen to our guides’ introduction about the traces, exhibits, old weapons here or crawl by ourselves several dozen meters inside the tunnel to get the real feeling of what the War had been in this land. Gradually we will find out the reason why Cu Chi is a symbol of the ingenuity, loyalty, hard work and determination of the Vietnamese. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you’ll take a sightseeing tour around the city visiting the War Remnants Museum – a comprehensive collection of more than 20,000 graphic photographs, military vehicles as well as weapons, documenting the horrors of Vietnam’s wars with both the French and Americans; and the Reunification Palace – formerly the official residence and administrative center of the President of South Vietnam until the fall of Ho Chi Minh City in 1975. Along the way, enjoy a photo stop at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral as well as the General Post Office with its ancient French architecture; before embarking on a little bargain-hunting at Ho Chi Minh City Square or Ben Thanh Market – a bustling market that is popular among the native city dwellers and tourists alike, offering everything from souvenirs to clothes as well as local delicacies.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
After breakfast, embark on a 02-hours journey to My Tho, a prosperous town of 170,000 inhabitants in Mekong Delta which is famous for its extensive orchards and immense rice fields. Enjoy a wooden boat ride along Mekong River through Bao Dinh Canal followed by a leisurely cruise around Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix as well as Tortoise Islands. Bob along the tiny canals under shady palm trees; stroll through villages to learn about the daily lives of its inhabitants; and visit bee farms, coconut-candy workshop as well as sample freshly picked fruits at the invitation of friendly local farmers. After lunch, return to Ho Chi Minh City and rest of the evening is free at leisure for your own activities.
Day7: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)
Relax at hotel until transfer to the airport for a flight departure.