Vietnam

Vietnam is a country filled with captivating natural beauty and tranquil village life. Its highlands and rainforest regions yield new species and teem with exotic wildlife. Its islands and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia and its cuisine offers exquisite dishes. With an intriguing history spanning back over 4,000 years, including occupations from both the Chinese and French, strong cultural influences can be found in the architecture and cuisine.

VIETNAM AT A GLANCE

Full Country Name Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Location South East Asia. Vietnam is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, and Cambodia to the southwest.
Total Area 329,566 sq. km (128, 527 sq. miles)
Population 90.5 million
Capital City Hanoi (6.5 million)
People 53 ethnic minorities
Language Vietnamese
Religions Buddhism is the principal religion but there are also sizeable Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Muslim and Christian minorities. Ancestor worship is also widely practiced.
Currency Vietnam Dong (VND)
Time Zone GMT +7 Hours
Electricity Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin), Type C (European 2-pin)
International Dialing Code +84

CLIMATE

Vietnam has a diverse climate that varies significantly from region to region:

The North (Hanoi to Sapa)
April to October: temperatures between 30-35°C with occasional bursts of heavy rain.
December to March: temperatures between 10-15°C. February and March can be damp with drizzle and overcast skies.

The Centre (Hue to Nha Trang)
• Nha Trang: sunshine all year round apart from November and December when the area has heavy rain.
• Central Highland: cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March.
Da Nang and Hue: typhoons from mid October to mid December

The South (Phan Thiet to Ho Chi Minh)
• May to October: hot and wet
• November to April: hot and humid

Please note: The weather can be very unpredictable so it may be a good idea to carry an umbrella or raincoat with you. You can purchase these from supermarkets and general stores.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Passport and visa
Passports should be valid for six months from the date of entry into Vietnam. We recommend you make a photocopy of your passport and keep it somewhere separate, or scan it and keep it in an accessible email account. Visitors must have a visa before entering Vietnam. WaytoVietnam Travel can arrange this for you. A visa on arrival can only be obtained with a letter of approval.

Money
The official currency in Vietnam is the Dong (VND) which is a non-convertible currency. US dollars are widely accepted in larger stores and supermarkets. Visa and MasterCard are becoming more accepted in hotels, restaurants and large stores, especially in the bigger cities. ATM’s are widely available throughout the country, and there are a number of international banks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Telephone connections to the rest of the world are widely available, however they aren’t cheap. A Vietnamese SIM card is a less expensive way of calling other countries, however your phone will need to be unlocked in order for it to work. For example, 200,000VND worth of Viettel credit ($10) can last for up to 45 minutes to the UK.

Internet access is available in all major tourist places and you will find WiFi in most cafes in built up areas.

SAFETY TRAVEL

In general, Vietnam is very safe for travelers. Violent attacks are almost none, although theft is might sometime be a problem. When possible, secure your valuables in the hotel safe. Remember to record your traveler’s cheque numbers and credit card information, just in case.

Do not leave your wallet or cell phone in the back pocket of your pants or anywhere else that’s easily reached (like an outer zip-up part on a backpack). Be especially vigilant in markets and other crowded places like ports, ferries and train stations.

Pick-pocketing and purse-snatching are more of a problem in Ho Chi Minh City. Some thieves approach on motorcycles, grab your belongings and race off before you’ve realized what’s happened. If you ride in a cyclo (pedicab) do not hold your bag in your lap. Sit on it or put it around your neck! Same thing with your cam cord. Wearing valuable jewellery especially necklaces that can be easily grabbed is not advisable.

Use common sense and don’t walk alone after dark, both for visionary and safety problems. Except the treets in Saigon and Hanoi are well lit up in the evening and at night, some others cities might be dark to walk. You’re always better not to use cyclos or motorbike taxis at night; ask your hotel or restaurant to call a reputable taxi firm which is always metered taxi.

Traffic is chaotic, especially at prime times when traffics seem to come from all directions. If you choose to ride a motorcycle or bike, make sure you understand the driving culture quite a bit.
When crossing the street on foot, move at a slow and steady pace with eyes contact. Never stop and step back suddenly since the motorist watching your pace from a far and measure their own speed. Just walk slowly and traffics will flow around you.

CULTURE AND CUSTOMS

Etiquette and cultural differences
Experiencing different cultures is one of the joys of travelling, and it is important that these differences are respected. Knowing a few important customs of the Vietnamese people will help make your visit more enjoyable:
Try not to get angry. Showing any frustrations or annoyances by shouting or becoming abusive is extremely impolite and unlikely to achieve a positive outcome.
Pointing your finger is seen as offensive. Try to gesture using your whole hand instead.
Refrain from public displays of affection, they are considered offensive. It is extremely rare to see couples holding hands.
Wear shorts to the knees and cover your shoulders, particularly at religious sites.
Nude sunbathing is considered completely inappropriate, even on beaches.
Remove your hat when entering a religious site, addressing the elderly or encountering esteemed people such as monks.
It is improper to pat children on the head.
When using a toothpick, it is polite to cover your open mouth.
Don’t leave chopsticks sitting vertically in a rice bowl as it looks very similar to incense sticks that are burned for the dead.
When passing something to another person, use both your hands together or just your right hand. Never use just your left hand.

Food and drink
Vietnamese food is fragrant, exciting and healthy. Around the country, you will find a delicious variety on offer, influenced from France, Thailand and even India.
The most popular dish is called Pho and is often referred to as the “soul of the nation”. It’s quite simply a noodle soup dish eaten every day, predominantly for breakfast. It is served in most Vietnamese restaurants and street food vendors. Don’t be afraid to try the street food, there are plenty of options, including:
• Nem Ran or Cha Gio (fried spring roll)
• Banh Chung (sticky rice cake)
• GioLua (lean pork pie)
• BanhCuon (rice flour steamed rolls)
• Banh My (pate and egg rolls)
• Mivoithitbo/ga (noodles with beef/chicken)

It is not advisable to drink tap water in Vietnam. Bottled water is cheap and widely available.

Public holidays
• TET (Vietnamese New Year): generally takes place at the end of January or early February and lasts for three days.
• Liberation of Saigon: 30 April
• International Worker’s Day: 1 May
• Hung King’s memorial day: 10 March (lunar calendar)
• Vietnamese National Day: 2 September

TET Travel Recommendation: WaytoVietnam Travel discourages travel over the TET period. Transport is often booked or expensive. Lots of places are closed including restaurants, shops and key tourist sites.

Pre-departure checklist
• Travel insurance
• Passport with at least six months validity from date of entry
• Photocopy of passport
• Visa
• Foreign currency (US$) and/or ATM card
• All relevant tickets
• Reconfirmed flights
• Light weight clothing (summer months and the south)
• Warm clothing (mountainous regions and Hanoi in winter)
• Appropriate shoes for trekking, cycling or walking
• Insect repellent
• Medication
• First aid kit
• Adaptor – 220V, 50Hz; 2 pin plugs
• Small daypack (for day and overnight trips)
• Water bottle and helmet (for cycling trips)

Please note: Domestic airlines do impose restrictions on baggage at approx 20kg maximum, so travel lightly where possible. Train cabins around the country, and boat cabins ¬in Halong Bay have limited space so consider this when packing.

Categories: Vietnam | Leave a comment

Sapa

Area         : 24.2 sq. km

Population: 8,975 (2012)

Sapa is a famous tourist attraction in Lao Cai province, north west Vietnam, about 376 km from Hanoi. It is favoured with spectacular natural landscapes, immense mountain ranges, hilly topography, greeny forests and rich culture with the appearance of various ethnic minorities.  All help to make up Sapa a luring and unique resort.

WEATHER AND CLIMATE
At the height of about 1600 meters above sea level, Sapa has temperate and semi tropical climate with annual average temperature at 15 degrees Celsius. Once coming here, you will be stunned with various weather of a day: cool in the morning, sunny and warm at noon, cloudy and foggy in the afternoon and chilly cold in the evening. Sapa is among the few places which snows in winter in Vietnam. The heaviest snow was on 13 February in 1968, when it reached 20 cm thick.
The good time to visit Sapa is in late spring and autumn, between March and May, when it clears and the whole town is covered with blossoming plum, peach and apricot flowers drawing a picturesque and paramount romantic scenery for Sapa. In September, once can be completely attracted by endless rice terraced fields on the hills embraced the little town.
The rainy season starts from May until August, and from December until March, it is very cold and wet.

TRADITIONAL FESTIVALS
Sapa is home for six different ethnic groups living together: Kinh, Hmong, Red Dzao, Tay, Giay and Xa Pho. Coming to Sapa in the beginning months of the Vietnamese Lunar Year (normally in January or early February), visitors will have chance to attend some of the most gripping festivals in the area.

Roong Pooc of the Giay
roong pooc festivalTaken place on the Dragon day of Lunar January in the ravishing Ta Van village, Roong Pooc festival is the special occasion when the Giay celebrate new year and pray for a coming abundant harvest, favorable weather and peaceful life. The Roong Pooc festival attracts visitors with its special rituals and ebullient traditional performances.

 

 

The Dancing Tet of the Dzao
performance by Giay womenThe most important festival of the year is organized on the first or second of the Lunar New Year in Ta Van village, with very careful and lots of preparation. The festival shows the gratitude of the Dzao people to their ancestors, besides a pray for good luck and happiness in new year. There are 14 typical traditional dances performed by seriously selected village boys and unique etiquettes by the local priest.

The Sweeping Festival of the Xa Pho
This special event is organized on every Horse day, Goat day or Human day of Lunar February with the meaning of happy and peaceful life, healthy cattle and good harvest. On this day, the villagers bring various offerings such as pigs, chickens, goats, dogs, or rice, … to dedicate to the ghosts. A priest will host the festival and humble the praying songs while people around dancing and singing with their painted faces. Afterward, all the offerings must be finished without bringing into the village.

The Gau Tao Festival of the Hmong
Gau-Tao-Festival-SapaBeing one of the most important spiritual activities of the Hmong, the Gau Tao festival is organized at the beginning of the Lunar New Year. In the festival, a priest will be invited to the local’s house to pray for their good health, good luck or children.

The Opening Harvest Festival of the Tay and Dzao
One of the biggest and most fascinating fests in Sapa, the Opening Harvest Festival of the Tay and Dzao people in Ban Ho village, Sapa takes place in the morning of the eighth day in Lunar New Year. The festival starts with solemn rites of water and soil processions then lures its audience with riveting traditional dances and singing performances. The most special and exciting dance is the “Xoe” of the Tay and Dzao, when the charming Tay girls show their professional and skillful performance then invite every audience to join them. The dance now becomes a colorful co-performance with huge circle of amateur dancers. Visitors then will attend various interesting conventional games  with locals.

SEE & DO

Sapa villages

sapa3The first and must-see when travelling to Sapa. The little villages embrace the town, Cat Cat, Lao Chai, Ta Van, Giang Ta Chai, Ta Phin are home to various minority groups in Sapa.

Love Waterfall

Located in San Sa Ho commune, 4 km south west of Sapa and is on the way to “the rooftop of Indochina Fansipan”. This is a newly discovered tourist attraction with the height of about 100m, starting from the Fansipan peak and flowing into the Gold Stream beneath. The flow at the shape of a pyramid is becoming a romantic appointment for young couples to explore.

Ham Rong mountain or “Flower mountain”

ham rong mountainLocated is at the centre of Sapa town, just opposite the Stone Church. The park is highlighted with a winding stone walkway up to the top of Ham Rong mountain. Along the road, visitors are glamoured with four season flowers in various types as well as intriguing stone statue gardens. Standing on the Cloud Yard at the height of 1800m above the sea level, one can feel the most panoramic vista of Sapa town and its surrounded valleys.

Fansipan mountain

The highest peak of Indochina at 3143m, be always a challenge for any adventure lover. To climb the mountain, you will need at least 3 days and of course, with the help of local porters and guides. On the way to conquer the mountain, one will be engrossed by great diversity of vegetation and animals on the Hoang Lien Son mountain range.

Sapa ethnic markets

Muong Hum Market2One of the most interesting activities when visiting Sapa is to attend colorful ethnic markets in the remote districts from Sapa. This is chance not only for people to buy and sell their products but also for young boys and girls to make up and find their Mr/Ms Right.

EAT & DRINK

Sapa’s specialties are another reason attracting more and more tourists travelling to this town. The cool weather of the region makes barbecued meat and fish with mushroom and vegetables the most preferred street foods in Sapa.
More surprisingly, Western restaurants, from Italian to French ones, can also be found around the center of Sapa, at a very reasonable price.

Clamped-under-the-armpit pig (Lợn cắp nách)
loncapnachThe name arises from the fact that pigs about 4 to 5 kg in weight are carried under the arm for sales at market.
Due to growing unbridled under severely cold weather all year round, pig’s meat here is much lean, solid and sweet, which makes the dish distinctive from other places.
Not long ago, this type of pork was almost wiped out because it couldn’t be sold and no one wanted to feed it anymore. All of a sudden, piglets are now promoted and become a specialty of Sapa which is admired by many visitors.

 

 

Seven color steamed glutinous rice
seven color steamed riceThis dish is splendid with seven colors without using any artificial coloring and the pride of Nung Din ethnic women because it expresses their ingenuity and skill.
The cooking process is quite similar to that of other steamed sticky rice; however, the dying process takes a lot of time and effort. The colors all originate from leaves of different forest trees that are ground or boiled to exact the colors. What is more, the forest tree leaves are often used as restorative medicines by the locals; therefore, please do not hesitate to try this delicious and healthy dish!

Meo Cabbages
meo cabbageA wide range of sub-tropical vegetables such as white cauliflower, red beet, or chayote are planted here. Apart from the famous chayote vegetable, visitors are also impressed by a kind of vegetable which has a special bitterness. That is bitter cabbage (people commonly call it Meo cabbage) – a kind of pure vegetable in Sapa.

 

 

Salmon in Sapa
salmon sapaSuch fish which live only in cold regions like America or Europe have been imported but only successfully adopted in Sapa. With a cool climate all year round and a cold winter even with snow covers, Sapa salmon is blessed to have flesh meat, firm muscles and no grease which is suitable for processing many different dishes. The most prominent are salmon hot pots, salmon salads and grilled salmon …

Brook Fish
Sapa brook fish are usually not big, just equal to an adult finger, or a knife handle as the biggest. The most special secret is that these brook fish has no fishy flavor. Once catched, fish are often grilled on coal immediately at the stream in order to store or bring to restaurants in town for sale. After being grilled, fish’s head, tail and fins are very crisp while the fish’s round body still maintains the fiber muscles-unique characteristics only for such mountainous species.

 Mushroom
mushroom sapaSapa is the place where black mushrooms hidden in the forests. Dried mushroom can be found all 4 seasons. It swells in water but it retains its original flavour.
The mushroom can be mixed with meat, dried cuttlefish and some spices. You can eat it with many kinds of vegetables here

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Ha Long Bay

Area        : 1,553 km2
Elevation : 100m

Formed within millions-of-year process, Halong Bay may be the most precious gift of nature that Vietnam possesses so far. With its thousands of limestone mountains rising from green emerald water, Halong Bay’s flawless beauty, doted by its colorful boats has no other way to be described than coming and feeling it yourself.

CLIMATE

Halong bay has tropical climate with two distinctive seasons:

From May to early half of October: hot and moist summer with average temperature from 27-29 °C. Tropical storms are more likely during this time.
From late October to the next April: clear and cool weather. Best time to visit Halong bay.

GETTING THERE AND AROUND

Halong bay is 180 km southeast of Hanoi. Travellers can access the world’s wonder by tourist bus offered freely with the Halong package tours from Hanoi.

If you are a backpacker and want to travel with locals, go to the bus station and get a ticket for departure. There are 3 most popular bus stations where you can get the ticket to Halong: My Dinh, Gia Lam and Luong Yen bus station. The well-known buses with good quality are Hoang Long, Duc Phuc, Kalong or Kumho Viet Thanh at about 5 USD per ticket per way.

Motorbikes and bicycles are also possible since the route mainly follows the highway, however, pay attention to the dense and somehow chaotic flow of traffic on the road.

SEE & DO

Boat Cruising

halong cruiseUnlike other attraction places in Vietnam where you can reach by yourself in various way, Halong bay can only be discovered by boat. It is said that there is no other more interesting things than to jump in a traditional junk and roaming around the myriad rocky islands to enjoy the beauty of this gem. With more than 500 sleeping boats and day boats currently from budget to luxurious standard, you can easily choose what to be most suitable to your need.

 

Kayaking
kayak on Ha Long BayThis maybe the best way to explore the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay. Paddle through islets; visit hidden caves, lagoons, unspoiled beaches and floating fishing villages…where the boats cannot invade. Depending on trip length, visitors have different kayak route and time frame. Thanks to the bay’s thousands of islands the conditions for sea kayaking are ideal – the water is calm, the current is fine and the wind is not too strong.

 

Boat rowing
boating on Ha LongBesides kayaking which is more suitable for young travelers, those who do not fancy sports yet still love to enjoy the beauty secret of the bay, boat rowing around the floating villages seem to be a good choice. Just jump up on a bamboo boat and release yourselves to the popping world around with hundreds of tiny floating houses and those many limestone islands even looking sparkling in the sunset while listening to the rustling, rhythmic sound of the paddles against the water, you can feel the utmost tranquility of a paradise on earth.

Caving
halongIt is a big shortcoming if coming to Halong bay without visiting the any of the most spectacular caves in this area. Therefore, almost every tourist boats take this activity as a highlight of the bay cruise. Thien Cung, Dau Go and Surprising Cave are three most worth-seeing for their width and exceptional beauty.

 

 

Swimming

Bhaya-Legend-Cruise-BeachIt is not the best activity to do in Halong bay. However, it is for sure one of the most fascinating things to do here during stifling days of summer. Although the water is not so clear around the wharf, wait for the boat to drop anchor in the sleeping area where the water is the most emerald and clean and jump from the top deck of the boat to have the coolness refresh your mind and your body. In case you do not want this high adrenalin act, almost every boat in Halong bay will stop at Titov island or Soi Sim island for their guests to enjoy a mild soak at the nice beach over there. Hiking to the top of these islands is also a good idea to have an impeccable panoramic view of the bay. However, swimming is normally not available during the day trip due to time limitation.

EAT & DRINKS

Fried squid ball

cha-muc-ha-longThe saleswomen of squid ball in Ha Long said that squid is available in any sea but the most delicious squid must be fresh squid in the sea area of Ha Long. It is hand- pounded until it becomes long and crunchy rolls. Frying squid needs to be very picky, so as to keep the fire not too big and not too small . Patties are delicious from the start to be dropped into the oil pan . Rolls are fried until golden , then taken out and drained the oil . Fried squid becomes most delicious when being dipped in pure fish sauce with pepper.

 

Sam Quang Yen

sam halongSam is cold blooded sea animal which has hard and glabrous cover and a long thin thorn. From main ingredient sam meat, local people can make a lot of attractive different dishes, such as sam pudding, sam salad, fried sweet and sour sam’s legs,  grilled sam cartilage, etc., … Sam meat dishes are luscious, visitors to Quang Ninh should not miss this specialty.
You can savor sam at Quang Yen Town, Quang Ninh or at the restaurants on the road April 25, Bach Dang Ward, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh.

 

Ngan

nganNgan (meaning “boring”) can be processed as many dishes: Grilled, steamed, porridge, stir-fried with noodles or vegetables. Generally known as “boring” but not boring at all. Male visitors often love ngan wine. This kind of alcohol has very special taste and smell of the sea.

 

 

Sa Sung

sa_sung_HLA rare species which is only found in Quan Lan Island – Minh Chau (Van Don, Quang Ninh). Fresh sa sung fried with fresh garlic an chilli is a unique dish of coastal people of Ha Long. Roasted dry sa sung is fragrant and succulent. Sa sung dotted with chilli sauce, lettuce, herbs and beer would be great for the day …
Sa sung is very rare, no wonder why the price is so high, it is nearly 4 million Vietnamdong per kilogram.

 

Gat Gu cake

banh-gat-gu“Gat Gu” (Vietnamese: Gật gù) cake is similar with steamed rolled rice pancake. It is made from rice flour. When making this kind of cake, the maker have a secret to make it more delicious by adding cold rice. After being done, when we take this kind of cake, it nods repeatedly.
In Viet Nam, “gat gu” means nodding repeatedly, so that the name of this cake is “gat gu”. Here, there is a custom that when eating Gat Gu cake, each one will nod repeatedly three time before eating t o greet their visitors, and visitor also do it again to show their thanks. “Gat gu” cake is quite special and delicious. If you ate it once time, you would never forget it as well as Quang Ninh.

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Hanoi Capital

Area            : 3,345km2
Population   : 6.562 million (2010)

Hanoi is an antique yet awakening metropolis of Vietnam. It is well-known as a centre of authentic local cultures, contemporary art and haute cuisine.

CLIMATE

Representing the typical weather of tropical monsoon type in Northern Vietnam, Hanoi has the hot summer with high rainfall and the dry cold winter. The city also receives a large amount of sunlight and a relatively high humidity all throughout the year. Although the weather is divided into two main seasons: rainy season (from January to September), and dry season (from October to April), thanks to transition months, Hanoi still experiences all four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

SEE & DO

hanoi13Old Quarters: The first and foremost destination for any visitor in Hanoi is the Hanoi Old Town (Old Quarters). One can easily get lost in the tiny and labyrinthine streets with myriad boutiques and shops. In the past, this was the centre of commerce of Hanoi with the most skillful craftmen who concentrated in a specific street with their special products. Name of the streets used to be refered to the allocation it specialized, such as “Hang Bac” street (Bac means silver) is well-known for jewelry, while “Hang Thiec” (Thiec means tins, metal) is typical for metal works.

hcmcHo Chi Minh’s complex: This is where the Vietnamese show their pride and definite respect to their great father of the country: President Ho Chi Minh. Come visit the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and his modest stilt house, just nearby the spectacular Presidential Palace before entering the Ho Chi Minh Museum to understand why he become immortal in Millions of Vietnamese’s hearts.

 

 

temple of literature in HanoiTemple of Literature: One of the most fascinating and impressive constructions in both cultural and structural aspects is the Temple of Literature. Built in 11th century and still known as the first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature dedicated to Confucian and is among the rarely well-preserved ancient structure in Vietnam.

 

 

tran quoc pagodaTran Quoc Pagoda: The solemn yet tranquil pagoda Tran Quoc lies on the small island on the dazzling West Lake, just few minutes away from the bustling Old Quarters. Its is known as the oldest and most sacred pagoda in Hanoi as well as most ravish and shining one.

 

 

Ethnology museumMuseum of Ethnology: To be the largest Museum in Vietnam, Museum of Ethnology acts as a fully informing exhibition with various objects and information on different tribes of Vietnam while revealing the unique traditional culture of Vietnamese to international friends.

 

 

 

quang baQuang Ba flower market: Located by Nghi Tam str. overlooking the poetic West lake, Quang Ba flower market is the largest and most hectic flower market in Hanoi. Known as “Night market” since it only opens during night time and finishes at 7.00 am the next morning. People from all around Hanoi and adjacent provinces bring their only products – the most colorful and fresh flowers here for sales. This is for sure the ideal place for not only buying some super cheap flowers but hunting the most expensive moment of Hanoi at dawn.

 

EAT

It would be impossible to get starved in Hanoi – the centre of sensational cuisine. No matter where you come from, an array of restaurants providing foreign fares and Vietnamese cuisines are always ready to serve all your needs.

Cha Ca La Vong
cha caAdd : 14 Cha Ca Street
Tel    : +84 4 3825 3929
Price    : US$6 – 8 with drink
Cuisines : Vietnamese
Description    : You are sitting in one of the oldest house in Hanoi, served by the most traditionally styled chef with traditional dish of fish fried tableside with herbs, spices, onions, peanuts, and rice noodles.

 

Bun Bo Nam Bo
bun bo nam boAdd : 67 Hang Dieu Street
Tel : +84 4 3923 0701
Cuisines : Vietnamese
Price : US$3
Description : Local cuisine, dining on a budget

 

Phở (Noodle soup)
phoThis universally famous food is best enjoyed in Hanoi, where it was “invented” in the early 20th century. Pho- or rice noodle soup- is omnipresent in Hanoi, appearing anywhere from street vendors to high end restaurant chain Pho 24. Some is served with chicken and some with beef. Each type of meat entails a variety of sub-dish, using from beef tenderloin to beef brisket, chicken wing to chicken thigh. The tip is, look for the place where locals gather the most and you know where you should order and sit down.

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Central Highlands Experience 7 days

DAY 1: DANANG (HOI AN) – FLY TO PLEIKU     
Bien Ho - PleikuPick-up at your hotel in Hoi An/Danang and transfer to the airport for your flight to Pleiku. Upon arrival to Pleiku, drive to visit Bien Ho (T’nung Lake) and the local market. Transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Spend overnight in Pleiku
 

 

DAY 2: PLEIKU – KONTUM – PLEIKU     
Church in Kon TumTransfer to Kontum. On the way visit a Giarai ethnic minority village and learn about the Giarai’s traditional funeral. Pass through vast farm and take advantage of the many photo opportunities during the scenic drive along the Ho Chi Minh Road.  In the afternoon, visit Kontum with its suspension bridge of Dak Dri, the wooden church and ancient cathedrals. Continue driving to Pleiku and spend the 2nd night in Pleiku.

 

 

DAY 3: PLEIKU – BUON MA THUOT – LAK LAKE – BUON MA THUOT     
lak lakeToday’s journey will take you to Buon Ma Thuot, famous for its coffee plantations. Proceed to Lak Lake, where a scenic boat ride on dugout canoes (2 persons per canoe), brings you to a village of ethnic M’nong people. Then embark on an elephant ride. Return to Buon Ma Thuot for check-in. In the evening, attend the performance of ethnic dances, songs and gong music and join the villagers in drinking local “Can” wine.
Spend overnight in Buon Ma Thuot.

 

DAY 4: BUON MA THUOT – NHA TRANG         
onroad to nha trangIn the morning, visit the Ethnographic Museum in Buon Ma Thuot, which is housed in the palace of former King Bao Dai. Take the scenic road towards the coastal plains to Nha Trang with a short stop at Po Nagar Cham Towers, built between the 7th and 12th centuries.
Spend overnight in Nha Trang.

 

 

DAY 5: NHA TRANG ISLANDS WITH SNORKELLING
scuba dive in nha trangExperience the coast of Nha Trang aboard a boat as we set out in the morning, for our first stop at the aquarium. We then head out to nearby islands and a marine reserve. Snorkeling and swimming over the coral reefs in warm, clear water, followed by sunbathing and seafood lunch. Back to the city and experience mud bathing and then back to your hotel.
Spend overnight in Nha Trang.

 

 

DAY 6: NHA TRANG – DEPARTURE
tran phu strAt leisure until we will transfer you to the airport to catch 1 hour flight back to Ho Chi Minh City where you will connect your outbound flight to next destination. End of service.

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With locals and homestay in Northern Vietnam 7 days

This 7-day-tour gives you an amazing experience of truly local life in Vietnam. From the unique Thai ethnic culture in Mai Chau and Moc Chau to the peaceful rural life in countryside land of Ky Son and Duong Lam villages. From a graceful traditional homestay to a luxury boutique garden homestay, come with us to see the difference; to enjoy cycling, trekking between mountainous valleys then immerse yourself in ancient architecture of the best preserved villages.

DAY 1 : AUSTRALIA – HANOI
hanoiYou’ll be greeted at the Noi Bai airport and transferred to your hotel at the city centre. Time will be free for your refreshment.
Overnight in Hanoi

 

 

 

DAY 2 : HANOI – MAI CHAU
mai chauIn the morning drive to Mai Chau, we’ll leave the city behind and pass through the craggy, mountainous landscape. On arrival in Pom Coong village, you’ll check in to the stilt-house home of a Thai ethnic minority family. In the afternoon, you can cycle through the lovely villages in the Mai Chau valley letting your guide point out and explain the wonders along the way. Afterwards, we return to Mai Chau for dinner and homestay in the stilt house with your friendly Thai hosts.

 

DAY 3 : MAI CHAU – MOC CHAU
moc chauAfter breakfast with a view, you can wander around the houses to glimpse the daily life of local people. They specialize in weaving brocade products and they’re happy to show visitors their skills. The village is operated as a community cooperative organized by the people themselves.

After lunch we keep on to Moc Chau stopping en route at nice hidden waterfalls. We arrive in Ban Doi, a small black Thai village where is implemented a community-based tourism project. Check-in, refresh yourself and follow the guide for a gentle walk throughout the village. Possibility to go for a tea factory visit at night.

Note: The stop at the waterfalls can be replaced by a 1-hour walk from Ban On to Nam Tom before arriving at the homestay.

DAY 4 : MOC CHAU BIKING
moc chauAfter breakfast, we discover the secrets of making the excellent local Oolong tea. We then take a ride on a quiet road, up and down along plum orchards, trading ‘hellos’ with locals along the way. We stop after a few kilometers to walk down to a beautiful valley inhabited by H’mong people. Your awesome guide will set up a picnic lunch here before we get back on our bikes. We keep riding for few kilometers more before veering left on one of the most beautiful roads of the area. The ride ends at our homestay where we can shower and rest before dinner and a good night’s sleep.

 

DAY 5 : MOC CHAU – MOON GARDEN HOMESTAY RETREAT
moon garden homestayAfter breakfast, we say goodbye to Moc Chau and drive to Ky Son. This is an ancient Viet village of the most friendly local farmers who you will meet and interact with you through this two days trip. There are more than a hundred families living in this village, and most of them are farmers. Upon arrival around noon time, you will enjoy a local specialty ‘welcome drink’ before a short introduction to the house, kitchen and garden before joining the host for a home-cook lunch.

After lunch, you will have a brief discussion with the host about the village, the local life; learn some basic Vietnamese words and the traditions of the Vietnamese. We will continue walking or cycling through the village, visit families along the way as you will be invited in for a cup of tea and a very friendly chat… The host will not forget to ask you to bring a long a bamboo basket which you will take to the village field, pick up some herbal medicine for the traditional style bath this afternoon. You will be meeting with many local farmers in the field, take some sweet corn, sweet potatoes and vegetable (depending on the season) back to the homestay… Enjoy an herbal bath before dinner.

The night here is the most precious moment after full afternoon activities. Enjoy the quiet night in the court yard full of candle light while the host does a Buddhism chanting for peace and good health.

DAY 6 : KY SON – DUONG LAM VILLAGE – HANOI
duonglamWake up in the peaceful morning with fresh air, we will do a morning exercise or you will join the host for a 30 minute Taichi. We enjoy a breakfast before helping the host to prepare offerings for ancestor worship, a Vietnamese tradition to honor and show deep gratitude to their ancestor. We take an easy cycling on the quiet village roads to the nearby village of Duong Lam (about 5km) call in their famous pagodas and temples, experience daily life of local resident at their ancient houses.

Mong Phu Village in Duong Lam Commune has nearly 400 family homes, 100 of which are very old with the oldest 30 houses estimated to date back 200-400 years. Mong Phu and other hamlets in Duong Lam are archeologically important because the villagers have clung to their traditional communal farming lifestyle.

We cycle another thirty minutes by anther village way back to Ky Son for lunch. We say goodbye to the host family to drive back to Hanoi. Overnight at your hotel in Hanoi.

DAY 7 : HANOI – DEPARTURE
hanoiAs with the arrival day, the program for today depends on your flight departure time. Your guide can advise you on any last minute Hanoi sights or shopping before our car picks you up at your hotel for the transfer to the airport.

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Northeast and Northwest Vietnam Adventure 12 days

Travel by car on the adventure of a lifetime, exploring the majestic limestone mountain ranges and picturesque terraced paddy fields of Vietnam’s unspoiled north-east region. This exciting 12-day trip is especially suitable for those travelers who love green eco tours or want to learn about the customs of the hill tribe people. Either way, you will take away a collection of memories.

DAY 1: HANOI – NGHIA LO     
Yen BaiDepart from Hanoi to Nghia Lo, situated in Yen Bai province. Muong Lo (Nghia Lo) is considered one of the four famous “rice bowls” of North-Western Vietnam, next to Muong Thanh (Dien Bien), Muong Than (Than Uyen), Muong Tac (Phu Yen). Enjoy the scenic drive with spectacular views of roadside hills dotted with ethnic minority villages and palm shaded tea plantations.
Spend overnight in Nghia Lo.

 

DAY 2: NGHIA LO – MU CANG CHAI – THAN UYEN – SAPA
mu cang chaiContinue your journey further north. The road takes you through Mu Cang Chai, famous for the terraced fields which have been listed as Vietnam’s national heritage. Admire the masterpiece of local H’mong people and take the chance to record as many frames as possible at this photogenic stretch. Continue to Than Uyen, home of the White Thai minority and known another “rice bowl” of the area. After lunch at a local restaurant in Than Uyen, proceed to Sapa, passing through an area inhabited by Blue Hmong, Thai, Dzao and Lu people and driving over the Lai Chau pass, the highest mountain pass in Vietnam.
Arrival to Sapa – a resort town founded by the French in 1922. Located 360 km from Hanoi, Sapa used to be the summer retreat for the French and is now a popular tourist destination for foreigners and locals alike. The area around Sapa has stunning vistas onto terraced rice fields and the region is home to a number of ethnic minorities, such as the Black H’mong, Red Dzao, Giay and Xa Pho hill tribe people. Continue your journey to the Topas Ecolodge, located 18 km from Sapa amidst rice terraces and surrounding ethnic minority villages. Accommodation at Topas Ecolodge.

DAY 3: SAPA – TOPAS ECOLODGE     
Topas EcolodgeEnjoy the day at leisure. Do some trekking on your own (organized trekking tours are available at surcharge) in the surrounding area, get in touch with the locals or just enjoy the breath-taking views onto the Sapa valley from your room. Accommodation at Topas Ecolodge.

 

 

DAY 4: SAPA – BAC HA SUNDAY MARKET         
Bac Ha marketAfter breakfast, depart for the highland town of Bac Ha where you can wander through the district market, considered one of the most colourful ethnic markets in the Northwest. Flower H’mong, Phu La and Dao Tuyen minorities gather every Sunday at Bac Ha to buy and sell their handicraft products and fresh produce. A weekly rendezvous for the locals and men folks can often be seen wending their merry way home at the end of a day at the market.  After lunch, visit Hoang A Tuong Palace which used to be residence of the local H’mong Lord. Enjoy a light trek to visit Ban Pho. The region’s famous corn wine is brewed here and named after the village. Accommodation at Sao Mai Hotel in Bac Ha.

DAY 5: BAC HA – HOANG SU PHI         
terraced field in ha giangWe set off on a full day journey through Sin Man district to Hoang Su Phi. The rough but scenic route traverses a dense jungle before crossing over a pass and dropping down to Sin Man. You can see beautiful terraced fields in Sin Man and Hoang Su Phi districts. Along the way we may also encounter the Nung Ing, Tay, Red Dao, Dao Ao Dai, La Chi and Co Lao, just some of the many hill tribe groups who have settled in the area. Accommodation at Pan Hou Ecolodge.

 

DAY 6: HOANG SU PHI – HA GIANG     
children in Ha GiangContinue your journey to Ha Giang. Enjoy the scenic drive with endless photo opportunities. Along the way, you will see many ethnic minority groups. Upon arrival to Ha Giang, have lunch and check into the hotel. In the afternoon, visit Tien Thang village on the outskirts of the city. This is an old and beautiful Tay ethnic minority village that well preserves the identity, cultural traditions and architecture.
Accommodation at Huy Hoan Hotel in Ha Giang.

 

DAY 7: HA GIANG – SA PHIN – DONG VAN      
dong van geoparkThe remote region of Dong Van and Meo Vac is a land of rugged mountains and beautiful hill tribe villages which have remained unchanged for centuries. The Dong Van rock plateau has been enlisted by UNESCO as a World Geopark. Today we head northwest out of Ha Giang Town towards this northernmost tip of Vietnam. The former H’mong royal house at Sa Phin is a primary attraction of the region, but the blend of the hill tribe people’s colourful costumes and the majestic mountainous scenery make this long and sometimes bumpy trip an unforgettable experience.
Accommodation at Cao Nguyen Da Hotel in Dong Van.

DAY 8: DONG VAN – MEO VAC – BAO LAC – NGUYEN BINH – BA BE LAKE     
ha giangToday, the journey takes you through the rolling hills and the picturesque scenery to Ba Be National Park.  We have time to visit Dong Van Town before continuing to Meo Vac which is inhabited mostly by the Lo Lo and Pu Peo ethnic minority people. They still retain their centuries old cultural traditions and are recognizably distinct from each other by their dress.  The remoteness and the simple lifestyle of the area’s local people are highlights of Meo Vac. Living conditions are very basic here. Roads are bumpy and zigzagging through the mountains. But the journey is more than rewarding. Meet the locals and learn more about the life and culture of the Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung ethnic minorities who make for the main population in this region. Surely, your presence will attract the locals’ attention as this part of the country still receives very few visitors.  Depending on road and traffic conditions, we arrive in Ba Be by late afternoon or early evening.
Simple accommodation at a village home stay.

DAY 9: BA BE LAKE – CAO BANG
ba be lakeThe legendary lake of Ba Be is just one continuous water body although the name means” three lakes”. Today we embark on a boat cruising down the Nang River which is the main water source of the lake. This exciting river trip will give us a taste of the tranquil countryside and an enjoyable exploration of the Ba Be National Park. We traverse en route the Poong Grotto before stopping at some nearby hill tribe villages and getting off the beaten track to the scenic Dau Dang Waterfalls. Afternoon drive to Cao Bang. Overnight at hotel in Caobang.

 

DAY 10: CAO BANG – BAN GIOC WATERFALL – LANG SON
ban gioc waterfallDepart Cao Bang to Ban Doc Waterfall (Trung Khanh) and enjoy the very nice scenery with water reeling handmade by the Nung People, which brings water from the stream to the rice fields. Peaceful feeling will let you comfortable. Short trek to visit Ngam Ngao Cave, a big and yet unexplored cave with extraordinary natural stalactites (please wear appropriate shoes and shorts, since you most likely will get wet). Continue to Ban Doc Waterfall, which shares the river border with China. Take a boat trip to the waterfall, where you will meet visitors from China, who also come here to enjoy the atmosphere of the famous waterfall on the same river. Boxed lunch will be provided. Afternoon drive to Lang Son.
Overnight at hotel in Lang Son.

DAY 11: LANG SON – HA LONG
kayaking on Ha LongDrive to Halong bay through the lush of Red River vegetation. Arrival Halong bay pier and check-in registration, board our boat for a stunning cruise amongst towering limestone backdrop while enjoying lunch on board. The cruise will take you by exotic islets with shapes of Dog, Incense Urn, Sail, Fighting Cocks, which are naturally formed by process of erosion between the see water and limestone mountains. Arrive Surprise Cave a a visit and then explore Luon cave by bamboo a row sampan, this cave is a natural tunnel thrusts through a mountain’s foot and leads to an exotic lagoon surrounded by mountains covered by dense jungle. Seafood dinner and optional night paddle. Overnight on Halong Junk (twin A.C cabin).

DAY 12: HA LONG – HANOI
Indochina sails cruise on Ha Long BayOur boat once again sets sail through breathtaking secluded Halong bay
A new day wake you up with joys and emotions in an early morning for watching sunrise on sea. Enjoy break fast and continue exploration. Visit Tortoise, Man’s head islands. Brunch onboard before returning to the wharf.
Time to head back to Ha Noi, ending the first part of our adventure.

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Ease-off Vietnam Family holiday 14 days

This Vietnam Family tour is especially for those who need nothing but some days of a dolcefar niente life. Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta are cannot-miss spotlights for this Vietnam tour package. Need something else? Phan Thiet with the most beautiful beach is your best bet!

Day 1: Australia – Hanoi
hochiminh mausoleumUpon your arrival at the Noibai International Airport, our private guide will warmly greet you and drive you to the hotel for check-in.
Have some free time in the city. In the late afternoon, you will be invited to a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show, which is definitely a highlight in your Vietnam holiday.
Stay overnight in Hanoi for your first night in Vietnam tours.

 

Day 2: Hanoi – Ha Long
Bhaya LegendAfter breakfast, drive to Ha Long Bay with 4 hours travelling for the overnight cruise on a deluxe junk. Begin with a seafood lunch then explore some limestone caves. In the afternoon enjoy a swim or relax in the sun on the top deck or try your hand at some kayaking.

 

 

Day 3: Ha Long Bay – Ha Noi
Bhaya LegendThis morning continue to move around the bay to find more secluded areas to either swim or kayak. At around midday, the boat will return to the main harbour before transferring to an awaiting vehicle for the journey back to Hanoi to spend the night.

 

 

Day 4: Hanoi – Fly to Danang – Hoi An
hoian lanternFree in the morning at your own pace. Hanoi preserves the lifestyle dating back to the French colonial era, which will definitely immerse you if you dare to open up your heart. Have lunch on your own and then we will take an ongoing flight to Danang.
Check in upon arrival and we will get around in the Ancient Town with attraction complex of Japanese Bridge, Old Merchant House, China Assembly Halls and some other interesting shops.
Stay overnight in Hoi An.

Day 5: Hoi An Free time
hoianHoi An is famous for its brightly coloured lanterns lighting up the streets. Join a lantern-making workshop, where the kids can create their own. Visit a tailor and have them sew you up a new wardrobe or spend the day relaxing on the beach. You really can’t go wrong!

 

 

Day 6: Hoi An Free time
countryside in hoianSpend the day exploring Hoi An at your own pace and do as much or as little as you choose. If the beach is not your thing then you might like to take part in a cooking class, or become ‘tomb raiders’ as you explore the ancient ruins of My Son.

 

 

Day 7: Hoi An – Da Nang – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
catheralWake up in the early morning, the sunshine and beautiful landscape will accompany us all the way to Da Nang, from where we will fly to Ho Chi Minh City.
After a short break, we will take a city tour visiting Vietnam tours’ Saigon highlights: Reunification Palace, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral and Thien Hau Pagoda.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Day 8: Mekong Delta excursion
mekong deltaHeading out of the bustling city to Mekong Delta, we ride along rice field to My Tho, a famous stop for any Vietnam tours in Mekong region. Upon arrival, we embark on a boat navigating around the small canals in the delta region, which passing My Tho fruit market. Joining in with daily activities of local people and enjoy the atmosphere of water world along the canal and along the Tien River. The exciting cruise continues to Unicorn Island, here you can taste many seasonal fruits and enjoy the local traditional music, performed by the islanders. Have lunch at a typical country garden house.
Passing through Tan Thach natural cannals in Ben Tre after lunch, we will reach Thoi Son Island, where we will trek through the fruit plantation. Later we will be taken to My Tho town. My Tho is a beautiful piece of memory for your Vietnam tours.
We will go back to Ho Chi Minh City before night falls.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh – Mui Ne
fishing village in mui neThis morning our private vehicle will drive you to Mui Ne with 5 hours travelling. This is a wildly popular place for watersports like windsurfing and kitesurfing, and its giant sand dunes are ideal for jeep safaris. The area is also famous for its cheap, fresh seafood. Your days will whizz by as you savor your last beach adventures and sunsets. Don’t forget to snap a few photos!
Stay overnight in Mui Ne.

 

Day 10 – 12: Mui Ne Free time
sand dune mui neEnjoy your free day in Mui Ne!

 

 

 

 

Day 13: Mui Ne – Ho Chi Minh City
muineSay goodbye to Mui Ne and we will go back to Ho Chi Minh City in the morning. Check in upon arrival. Spend overnight in Ho Chi Minh.

 

 

 

 

Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City – Australia
saigon in the eveningEnjoy your Vietnam vacation free day in Ho Chi Minh City. Our driver will drop you off at the airport for your departure flight, ending your Vietnam holiday. We will be looking forwards for your future Vietnam tours with us!

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Essence of Vietnam Family tour 12 days

From south to north, Vietnam is a kaleidoscope of wonderful people and picturesque landscapes. Imagine learning the mysteries of the Viet Minh in Ho Chi Minh City or exploring the beautiful lakes and boulevards of Hanoi – and what better way to get to know the locals than to be their guests on a Mekong Delta homestay? Experience historical temples, visit Vietnam’s spectacular coastline, enjoy delicious banquets and explore lively cities – all with a touch of comfort – on this 12-day Essence of Vietnam tour.

Day 1: Australia – Ho Chi Minh
vendors in Ho Chi MinhToday you arrive at Ho Chi Minh from a non-stop flight from Melbourne/Sydney with Vietnam Airlines. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is an exciting and dynamic city brimming with street vendors, cyclos, temples, shops and colonial architecture.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh.

 

 

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City excursion
ben thanh market in saigonWith countless food stalls, restaurants, museums and markets, the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City have something for everyone to enjoy.
Take a guided tour of the highlights of this bustling, cosmopolitan city including the Reunification Palace, the former palace of President Thieu and his predecessors. Nearby are the Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh.

 

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh – Can Tho with 40km cycling and homestay
biking in mekongThe Mekong Delta is the lifeblood of South-East Asia, and this fertile region within Vietnam is a maze of canals brimming with life, markets and tropical foods.
This morning drive from Ho Chi Minh City to Cai Lay a town at the entrance of the Mekong Delta. After a quick safety briefing and gear check, grab you bike and start your 40km ride along a series of paved and dirt paths. Cycle through small villages, rice fields and fruit orchards, where you will see daily life unfold, wave to the kids as they go to school and see farmers tending to their animals and crops. Take a boat cruise to see traditional floating market and visit home-based factories producing rice popcorn and coconut candies.
Have dinner, chatting with the local and overnight at a local house.

Day 4: Can Tho to Ho Chi Minh City with 30km cycling
floating market in mekong deltaIt’s an early start to the day as you take a small boat and cruise to the Can Tho market, the busiest floating market in the Mekong. Watch the daily ritual of people haggling for goods and grab a morning coffee at the local floating café! Enjoy your last cycling day pedaling along country roads to see a historic communist base. Glide quietly on a sampan around the base and discover how the communists lived and worked during the war. Afterwards, drive back to Ho Chi Minh arriving late afternoon.

 

Day 5:  Ho Chi Minh – Fly to Danang – Hoi An
children in hoianTake a morning flight to Danang. On arrival we are greeted and driven a short distance to Hoi An which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There are plenty to see in this tranquil and delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant market. We visit these sights on an enchanting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets, and assembly halls which reflect the town’s multi-cultural past
Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 6: Hoi An Farming and Fishing tour
farming and fishing in hoianGetting in touch with local fishing life by using the fishing nets, riding funny basket boats, visiting a water palm coconut paradise and learning about the history about the Vietnamese people are great things to experience. The Farming and Fishing eco tour will be the special and unique tour that is committed to providing you a unique cultural window into the Vietnamese way of life.

 

Day 7: Hoi An Free time
hoian beachSpend the day at leisure on the beach or having clothes made by one of the expert, inexpensive tailors Hoi An is famous for. If you like to cook, you can spend a fabulous day exploring the local produce market with an expert chef who will teach you the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine.

 

 

Day 8: Hoi An – Danang – Fly to Hanoi
water puppetToday take a 01hour10min flight from Danang to Hanoi.
This afternoon city tour, we visit Literature Temple and Quoc Tu Giam – Vietnam’s first university constructed in 1070. After that, we enjoy one hour cyclo tour of Hanoi’s vibrant Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake, the focal point of the city. This is great fun! Lastly, in the late afternoon, you will be enchanted by the legends and stories told at the Thang Long Water Puppet show that no one should miss while visiting Hanoi.
Spend overnight in Hanoi.

Day 9: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay on Private chartered Junk
Bhaya LegendToday you will leave Hanoi for Halong Bay. Upon arrival Halong you are welcome on board on a private boat for your family . Check- in. Enjoy welcome drink & cruise briefing. Time for short relax followed by lunch with traditional Vietnamese seafood while cruising cruising to magnificent BaiTuLong Bay, admiring by the fascinating formations of the Bay. Enjoy swimming in the crystal water. Explore the well-hidden Thien Canh Son Cave then take a short cruise to Hon Co island where you can enjoy relaxing on a white sandy beach, swimming or kayaking. Back to junk for relaxing. Have dinner and overnight on board.

Day 10: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi
vung vieng floating marketGreet the day with an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay and view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the fresh air. Visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms. More time for swimming in the middle of the bay. Start cruising towards the harbour while an A la carte lunch is served. Checkout. Boat arrives at the harbor by noon for a drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi .

 

Day 11: Hanoi Free time
flower sellling vendor in hanoiWith a vibrant Old Quarter to explore, delicious food to discover and a city where ancient meets modern with ease, no wonder Hanoi is a favourite with travellers.
Time is at your own leisure to explore Hanoi on your way.
Spend overnight in Hanoi.

 

 

Day 12: Hanoi Departure
hanoiThe day is at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight. End of our services.

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Best of Central Vietnam 6 days

Venture into the heart of Vietnam, travel to the UNESCO World Heritage sites listed town of Hoi An, My Son holy land, Hue imperial city. Wander through the streets of this charming town and learn the history of past emperors in the Imperial city of Hue.

DAY 1: DANANG TO HOI AN
hoian townUpon arrival at Danang airport or railway station you will be met and transferred to Hoi An, stopping at Marble Mountains en route.

 

 

 

 

DAY 2: HOI AN – MY SON
my son holy landIn the morning, drive to My Son, a World Heritage, 40 kms southwest of Hoi An. My Son was a capital and religious center of Cham people, now remaining with red brick towers and sanctuaries. My Son, considered being in the same league as some of Southeast Asia’s greatest archaeological sites, including Angkor in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar, Ayutthaya in Thailand and Borobudur in Indonesia. These towers and sanctuaries were built from the 7 to 13 centuries.
Back to Hoi An for lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, tour Hoi An on foot, visiting an old merchant’s home, the Japanese Covered Bridge, Hoi An Market and a local Chinese Temple. Enjoy the afternoon free at your leisure.

 

DAY 3: HOI AN
an bang beach in hoi anEnjoy the day free at your leisure to explore the town at your own pace or to simply relax.

 

 

 

 

DAY 4: HOI AN TO HUE
khai dinh tombHead north over the scenic Hai Van Pass to Hue. This afternoon visit the Royal Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh

 

 

 

 

DAY 5: HUE
Thien Mu Pagoda by Perfume RiverTake a cyclo to visit the Imperial Citadel. Continue by road to Thien Mu Pagoda from where you will enjoy a boat cruise along the Perfume River. Later, visit Dong Ba Market.

 

 

 

DAY 6: DEPART HUE
Royal Dinner in HueAfter check-out this morning you will be transferred to Hue airport or railway station where your arrangements end.

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