Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival (D)
On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, welcomed to Vietnam by our guide and transferred to hotel for check in. Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, is a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old world charm and some Asia’s most striking colonial architecture.
Afternoon, transfer out to visit Ho Chi Minh Complex
, containing the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace
and the Ho Chi Minh’s house
on stilts. This complex also comprises the One Pillar Pagoda
, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. We follow this with a visit to the Temple of Literature
, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam. Dinner at local restaurant.Meals: Dinner
Accommodation: hotel in HanoiDay 2: Hanoi – Street Food With American Chef Daniel Hoyer (B/L)
Hit the streets of Hanoi for a full day street food tour with American chef/culinary instructor and food writer, Daniel Hoyer. A Hanoi resident and the author of five cookbooks, Daniel leads gastronomic adventure tours in Latin America and Southeast Asia.Details program
: Daniel and your private vehicle and driver will meet at you at 08:30 am at your hotel. Start the tour with a typical Vietnamese breakfast, the famous beef or chicken and rice noodle soup, Phở, or one of the other favorite breakfasts of Hanoi like Xôi, sticky rice with savory toppings. During breakfast, Daniel will give an overview of the Vietnamese food scene, particularly in Hanoi, and discuss the upcoming day’s activities.
Then, we drive to either the Hôm market or Châu Long market to learn about and taste some of the ingredients used in local cuisine and to watch buying and selling rituals of a Vietnamese market. Daniel will introduce you to some of vendors, explain about the ingredients for sale and assist you with purchasing items to take home.
Mid-morning, enjoy a Vietnamese coffee or tea with locals at one of Daniel’s favorite sidewalk cafes, in the historic French Quarter. Here Daniel will continue the discussion about Vietnamese food and discuss the daily life and culture of Vietnam from a well-informed expat’s perspective.
Drive (or walk)to Truc Bach lake for a snack of Pho Cuon, a grilled beef and rice noodle roll with fresh herbs and dipping sauce, along with several other favorite local snacks. Visit another neighboring market or one of Hanoi’s iconic treasures like the Temple of Literature (this depends on other itineraries for the guests and will be decided after discussing all of the options with them during the tour).
Lunch with Daniel at one of Hanoi’s Bún Chả establishments with traditional grilled pork and rice vermicelli noodles with fresh herbs, greens and crispy spring rolls (Nem Rán) like true Hanoians.
Finally stop at one of Hanoi’s renowned Bia Hoi, where they serve fresh draft beer and tasty snacks. These “pubs” are traditional favourite social gathering spots as well as watering holes during the afternoons and evenings throughout Hanoi. Here we will sit at low-slung, plastic tables on small stools and rub elbows with the locals, drink some Bia, have a snack or two (if you still have room for eating) and talk about our day. Daniel will also give you some recommendations as to dining around Hanoi and the rest of the country. (If the guests prefer, we can visit another of Hanoi’s traditional cafes instead of the bia hoi visit).
Transportation back to your hotel around 0345 pm before visit the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with Ngoc Son Temple.
Remark: Tour confirm base on Daniel Hoyer’s time if he availableMeals: Breakfast/ Lunch
Accommodation: hotel in HanoiDay 3: Hanoi – Ha Long (B/L/D)
08:00 Our guide and driver pick you up from hotel, transfer to Ha Long (160km driving one way - 3.5hrs drive). On the way you will have many chances to see some of the rural areas of the Red River Delta, take photo of Vietnamese farmers tilling the vast green paddy field. At half way, we will have a visit to a handicraft workshop with fine clothes and embroidered paintings.
12:15: Check-in registration, Boarding on Junk. Welcome drink is served
12:45: Start cruising
13:00: Have lunch board
13:30: A fantastic cruise in Ha Long bay, visit Dinh Huong island, Ga Choi island, Dog island, Sail island, Sung Sot cave
and a swim at Titop beach.
17:30: Relax and enjoy sunset
19:30: Enjoy dinner on board.
21:00: Go fishing or relax and spend a night on board.Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
Accommodation: overnight on Wooden Junk in Ha Long Bay Day 4: Ha Long – Hanoi – Hue (B/L)
Early risers can enjoy a morning view of Bay's landscapes. Sitting on the upper desk we can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the crystal-clear water of the Bay. We can hear the birds singing, cicadas’ shrill noises and gentle lapping of waves against our boat, the perfect soundtrack to accompany the fresh air and gentle breeze.
7:00 Have breakfast
7:30 A morning cruise to visit Human head shaped island, Tortoise island
and Bai Tu Long Bay.
10:00 Arrange luggage and check out then have lunch on boat.
11:45 Arrive at the pier and drive to airport for one hour domestic flight to Hue. En route, stop to visit But Thap Pagoda
. Arrival Hue, transfer to hotel for check in. Free time for dinner.Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch
Accommodation: hotel in Hue Day 5: Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An (B/L)
Morning, transfer to visit Hue Citadel - Vietnam’s former imperial capital and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. With an area of 500ha and a system of three circles of ramparts, namely from outside to inside: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel
), Hoang Thanh
and Tu Cam
Thanh (Forbidden Citadel) and Khai Dinh Tomb. In comparison with those of the preceding emperors, it is very elaborate. It is the result of the interminglement of many architectural trends: European and Asian
, as well as ancient and modern. Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon, leave Hue for drive south to Hoi An which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. The scenic road hugs the coastline before crossing over the Hai Van pass. A view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam’s most impressive panoramic scenes. We stop en route to visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture
in Da Nang City, the China Beach and the Marble Mountains, whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe.Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch
Accommodation: hotel in Hoi An Day 6: Hoi An – Cooking Class (B/L)
Morning, meet our guide at hotel and transfer to join a cooking class. With a guide of restaurant, we walk to the morning market where you will be showed all the ingredients we will use in our recipes. After the market tour, we board a boat for the 25-minute ride on the Hoi An River to the cooking school. On the way, we will see fishermen casting their nets up the water and watch daily life along the river. We arrive at a small town and walk to the cooking school. The lesson starts in an open-air pavilion next to the river. Chef Thanh will teach you how to cook a good lunch. We observe, we cook, we sample, and then lunch is ready preparation for you, you also taste the food you cook.
Afternoon, visit Hoi An Ancient Town
- was declared a World Culture Heritage site by UNESCO in late 1999. It is a fascinating combination of Vietnamese traditional characters with Chinese and Japanese influence. There are plenty to see in this delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridge
, the Museum of Trade Ceramics
, the 200 year old Tan Ky House,
the Chua Ong Pagoda,
the vibrant market. Today we include these on a walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past.Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch
Accommodation: hotel in Hoi An Day 7: Hoi An – Free Day (B)
Full day free at leisure.Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: hotel in Hoi AnOPTION: FISHERMEN & THE WATERWAYS: US$
Day 8: Hoi An – Da Nang – Saigon (Flight 1hr) (B/-/D)
• Learn about daily life of Vietnamese fishermen.
• Board Hoi An Eco-tour boat and commence cruising on the Cua Dai river.
• Join local fisherman on the river and enjoy hands-on experience of round net and cast net fishing.
• Learn to paddle the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats and join in a basket boat race.
• Explore the now tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war.
• Help to clean up the garbage at the water coconut jungle.
Morning, free at leisure until transfer to Da Nang airport for flight to Saigon.
Afternoon, take a Saigon city tour to visit to War Remnants Museum
which features a comprehensive collection of the machinery, weapons, photos, and documentation of Vietnam's wars with the both the French and Americans
, Reunification Palace
which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Stop at Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
, the Saigon Central Post Office
, former US Embassy, Cholon including the Quan Am Pagoda
. The district is home to the city's 400,000 Chinese and has many beautiful temples and pagodas. During our tour we will also visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda (Phuoc Hai)
, one of the most interesting pagodas in Vietnam. Dinner on Saigon Boat cruise with a traditional music show.Meals: Breakfast/ Dinner
Accommodation: hotel in SaigonDay 9: Saigon – Home Hosted Lunch In Hoc Mon (B/L)
On the way from Cu Chi to Saigon (Max 8 pax)
Morning, visit Cu Chi tunne
l (75 km northwest of Saigon) an important base during the American War
, because of its strategic location. The Vietcong built a 200km long network of tunnels connecting command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Dug out of hard laterite by hand tools without the use of cement, this amazing network was never discovered.
On the way back from Cu Chi tunnel
, stop on the way at a small village in Hoc Mon which is famous for betel and areca tree growing. Take a horse cart for 15 – 20 minutes to a traditional house. Enjoy a home hosted lunch at the house and chat with the host for the tradition of Saigon outskirt people, their daily life. Back to the car for drive back to Saigon.
Rest of the day is free at leisure.Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch
Accommodation: hotel in SaigonDay 10: Saigon Departure
Leisure time until transfer to airport for flight departure.