Highlights of Vietnam - Sun N' Sea Tours

Basic Information

10 days, 9 nights
Ha Noi, Vietnam

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Ha Noi, Ha Long, Hoi An, Cu Chi tunnel, Mekong Delta

Overview

Highlights of Vietnam

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive HANOI 
Day 2 HANOI; city highlights
Day 3 HANOI, HALONG BAY 
Day 4 HALONG, HANOI, DANANG, HOIAN
Day 5 HOIAN;  Vietnam cooking class & walking tour to explore the ancient town 
Day 6 HOIAN, day free  
Day 7 HOIAN, DANANG, SAIGON ;  Vespa tour by night 
Day 8 SAIGON; River cruise to CUCHI tunnels 
Day 9 SAIGON; Mekong delta day tour with Mekong Queen cruises
Day 10 SAIGON; departure 

Day 1 Arrive HANOI 

Upon arrival in Hanoi, you'll be met by your guide who will transfer you to the selected hotel in town. The remainder of your day is at leisure.

Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, ranks amongst the world's most attractive and interesting cities. It was first the capital of Vietnam in A.D. 1010, and though the nation's capital moved to Hue under the Nguyen dynasty in 1802, the city continued to flourish after the French took control in 1888. In 1954, after the French departed, Hanoi was declared Vietnam's capital once again. The remnants of over 1,000 years of history are still visible here, with that of the past few hundred years wonderfully preserved.

Ha Noi
Ha Noi
none

Day 2 HANOI; city highlights

Enjoy a full day tour of Hanoi. Your guide will be happy to personalise your programme, however we would recommend sites such as Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake. For many the Temple of Literature is a highlight worth lingering over. Built in 1070, this complex of atmospheric halls, pavilions and courtyards is dedicated to Confucius and scholars. Of special note are the 82 remaining steles of stone shaped like turtles which are elaborately carved with the names of candidates that sat the Royal examinations. A walking tour through the Old Quarter will provide another fascinating insight into the character and history of the city, before moving on to Dong Xuan Market with its bustling stalls and brisk trading of day-to-day local goods.

After lunch, consider visiting the very popular Ethnology Museum or the central Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton by American POW's during the war. Alternatively your guide will be happy to discuss alternative places of interest that you may wish to consider.

In the evening we recommend staying in and around the Old Quarter where there is a large selection of excellent restaurants and cafes to choose from. There is also the amazing 'street-food' such as Pho to be found on every corner!

Ha Noi
Ha Noi
breakfast, lunch

Day 3 HANOI, HALONG BAY 

After an early breakfast drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay, passing by a number of typical North Vietnamese towns and villages.

Upon arrival you will be welcomed aboard your private junk; the same style of junk that has sailed the bay for 100’s of years. A natural wonder of the world and one of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the creation of Halong Bay is shrouded in myth.
  
Local legend tells us how the gods sent a family of dragons to defend the country from the invading Chinese. The dragons spat out gemstones that turned into islands, linking together to create a wall against the enemy. The truth is almost as evocative as the legend and upon setting out into the bay you are met by one of the most beguiling natural scenes you will ever witness. 
Lunch is served as you depart port. You will soon leave the mainland far behind, navigating amongst the jagged limestone islands and karsts emerging from the emerald waters. Whilst some islands are no more than large rocks others are far more substantial in size.
You will travel much further into the bay than most junks, sailing a course well away from the pack and as the day progresses you will notice a significant reduction in other traffic.

During the afternoon you will visit Bai Tu Long Bay, having passed the towns of Hon Gai and Cam Pha, Oan Lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets. There will also be time to stop at Vung Vieng fishing village, where you will transfer to a rowing boat to explore the narrow channels. There is an opportunity to swim as the sun starts to set over the bay. In the evening enjoy a sumptuous supper served in the dining cabin.

Note: The order of each private junk's itinerary differs slightly and our  team will be very happy to discuss this with you.

Ha Noi Ha Long
Ha Long (on cruise)
breakfast, lunch, dinner 
HANOI -> HALONG ~ 3.5-hour driving 

Day 4 HALONG, HANOI, DANANG, HOIAN

In the early morning many of the islands are alive with the sound of various sea birds nesting in the thick green vegetation that engulf the limestone karsts. Early risers may wish to start the day with a Tai Chi class on the top deck as the sun rises over the bay. Enjoy brunch on board whilst your junk slowly turns back in the direction of the mainland, passing points of interest such as Sung Sot Cave. …Get back the dock in the late morning. 

Disembark and transfer to Hanoi in time for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival at Danang Airport, you will be met by you guide who will transfer you to your hotel in Hoian. 

Once known as Faifo, the UNESCO designated World Heritage town of Hoi An was one of the Orient’s major trading ports in the 16th and 17th centuries. Despite the passing of the years and the ravages of weather and war, the centre of Hoi An remains much the same as it did in its heyday. The town is undoubtedly one of the highlights of any visit to Vietnam with the laid-back atmosphere and the fine Colonial architecture lining cobbled streets offering a glimpse of times gone-by..…A short distance from the town centre is Cua Dai Beach, popular with both locals and visitors for its sandy beach, warm sea and seafood stalls. Hoi An is famed throughout Vietnam for its fine cuisine and there are any number of sensational restaurants and cafes to choose from.

Ha Long Ha Noi Da Nang Hoi An
Hoi An
breakfast
HANOI -> DANANG ~ 1.20mns flight 

Day 5 HOIAN;  Vietnam cooking class & walking tour to explore the ancient town 

We hope you enjoyed last nights meal as today you have the opportunity to recreate some famous Hoi An dishes as well as some of the other Vietnamese dishes you will have been enjoying over the past few days. 

Start by our visit Hoi An’s colourful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about all the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later.
We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy.
On arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb garden, before learning about some of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours – the Red Bridge chefs first demonstrate each dish before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, we sit down and eat what we have cooked.

Afternoon, explore the former merchants’ homes, the 450 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market. Hoi An is one of the best places in Asia to shop for silks, handicrafts, antiques and art. The local tailors are also famous, for their high standards of work and can create anything to order in just 24 hours.

Hoi An
Hoi An
breakfast, lunch

Day 6 HOIAN, day free  

Day free to stroll the town on your own
Hoi An
Hoi An
breakfast

Day 7 HOIAN, DANANG, SAIGON ;  Vespa tour by night 

Morning transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). We get the pick up and check in hotel on arrival.  

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and is located near the Mekong Delta. The city was then renamed after the North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam in 1975, becoming Ho Chi Minh City. Today the city centre is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French buildings. However, as the undoubted economic centre of Vietnam, high rise office towers are starting to take their place amongst this wonderful colonial architecture. 
At 6pm, commence your evening tour with a difference, this Saigon night tour is part night excursion, part street food adventure. Experience Saigon nightlife the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter.

To start off this Saigon night tour, enjoy drinks at our Vespa-themed café, Café Zoom, to watch “as the world goes by” (as said in the Lonely Planet guide book). Throughout the night, try a variety of food and drinks at 2 local restaurants and samplings of Saigon’s best authentic street food. Zoom past the famous must-see sights of Ho Chi Minh City while in the bustling traffic. We’ll also go to a Vietnamese-style coffee shop with special live music, and then wrap up the evening at an exciting Rock music bar where the new generation of Vietnamese unwind and flaunt their unique styles…..Guests ride pillion behind our drivers to enjoy and experience the Vietnamese nightlife with friends. This tour includes free flowing drinks and all you can eat, so come with an appetite!

Hoi An Da Nang Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
breakfast, dinner (local food)
DANANG -> SAIGON ~ 1.15mns flight 

Day 8 SAIGON; River cruise to CUCHI tunnels 

After an early start, meet your driver and transfer to a pier in District 1 for a riverboat trip up the Song Sai Gon to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels.  Enjoy a light breakfast before casting off the riverboat for the scenic journey upriver. Song Sai Gon (‘Saigon River’) rises in Cambodia and meanders through miles of rural Vietnamese countryside before reaching the northern outskirts of HCMC, and this morning’s trip will be an opportunity to learn about life on the river and its banks.

Upon arrival at the Cu Chi Tunnels, watch a brief but informative documentary before following your guide underground. Created by the Vietnamese resistance during their long struggle for independence, the tunnels are an astonishing network over 250km in length, up to three levels deep in some places, and often dug by hand. Construction begun in the 1940s and continued for 25 years, extending right up to the Cambodian border. The tunnels let the Viet Cong control a large rural area around Ho Chi Minh City, which played a huge part in the eventual victory, and in some places even housed entire villages to protect them from American bombing. Today, some of the remaining tunnels have been opened to the public, offering an insight into what underground life - and subterranean battle - must have been like in this tenacious achievement……After spending some time exploring the tunnels and learning how they were used, emerge for a lunch before heading back downstream to Saigon. 

Ho Chi Minh Cu Chi
Ho Chi Minh
breakfast, lunch
SAIGON->CUCHI tunnel ~ 1.5-hour riding (speedboat) 

Day 9 SAIGON; Mekong delta day tour with Mekong Queen cruises

A day out of Saigon to explore Mekong delta on a luxury wooden boat, the Mekong Queen, with a visit of the colorful Cai Be floating market (the earlier we reach the more boat we find), where you can observe the busy trading activities of local traders with several kinds of agricultural product. 
Continue cruising to a local factory to visit and learn how pop rice, pop corn, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Returning to the boat to take a 50 minute excursion to Dong Hoa Hiep Island and discover the beautiful and peaceful sceneries together with the typical life of the region a long the Mekong River. 
A 10 minute walk through a local village and fruit gardens, you will be able to stop at a local family scaled Longan process factory, where you have another opportunity to take photo of and interact with the so friendly and hard working local people before coming to an old Mandarin house, built hundred years ago and it is where at least four generations of the family have been living. A so delicious Vietnamese lunch will be served at the house. 
Returning to the Mekong Queen by walking or taking a small rowing sampan for another one hour and a half cruise through to Vinh Long. You then visit another local family where you have a short walk through his nursery garden and enjoy tropical fruit in the Mekong Delta. Getting back to the boat to cross to the pier where you get on board your vehicle for a drive back to Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh Cai Be Vinh Long
Ho Chi Minh
breakfast, lunch
SAIGON -> CAIBE ~ 2.5-hour driving 

Day 10 SAIGON; departure 

Your day is at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your onward flight. 
Ho Chi Minh
breakfast

Rates (per person in USD)

Accommodation 1 pax 2 pax 3 pax 4 pax 5 pax 6 pax or more
High Season
STANDARD 1,592 958 850 793 750 713
MID-RANGE 1,689 1,012 903 846 804 775
SUPERIOR 1,843 1,108 999 942 900 870
DELUXE 2,537 1,430 1,290 1,264 1,222 1,193
Low Season
STANDARD 1,577 950 842 775 743 715
MID-RANGE 1,638 980 872 815 772 745
SUPERIOR 1,823 1,085 975 918 876 848
DELUXE 2,369 1,354 1,245 1,188 1,145 1,117
HIGH SEASON : OCT – DEC, 2016 & JAN – APR, 2017
LOW SEASON  : MAY – SEP, 2017

STANDARD 
Hanoi      : Hanoi Elegance Ruby hotel – Superior room 
Halong    : Huong Hai Junks – Deluxe room
Hoian      : Vinh Hung Library hotel – Superior room 
Saigon     : Sunrise Central hotel – Deluxe room 

MID-RANGE 
Hanoi      : Golden Cyclo hotel – Executive room 
Halong    : Glory Legend Cruises – Deluxe 
Hoian      : Atlas hotel Hoian – Superior city 
Saigon     : Silverland Central hotel – Deluxe 

SUPERIOR 
Hanoi      : O Gallery Premier hotel – Deluxe room
Halong    : Pelican cruise – Deluxe room 
Hoian      : La Resiencia hotel – Junior Suite town view 
Saigon     : Paragon Saigon hotel – Premium

DELUXE 
Hanoi     : Apricot hotel – Sketch
Halong   : Orchid cruises – Suite Balcony 
Hoian     : Palm Garden resort – Superior Garden room 
Saigon    : Hotel Majestic – Colonial Deluxe 

Policies

Inclusions
English speaking, local guide 
All accommodation listed in double/twin share with breakfast 
En-suite room on sharing Halong cruise 
Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles 
All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary 
Boat trip wherever it has 
All meals listed 
Government tax 

Exclusions
Visa 
International arrival & departure flight ticket and airport tax 
Domestic flights within Vietnam (on request) 
Any meals not listed in the itinerary 
Drinks, other than water on activity days 
Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tips…)
Peak-season surcharge & compulsory meals to be advised at the time of booking 
Travel insurance  & other services not listed in “inclusive”

Remarks
The itinerary is flexible, depending on arrival or departure flights of passengers 
Ground operator reserved the right to amend or adjust itinerary to match with real situation
The confirmation is subject to the availability at the time of booking 

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