Authentic Vietnam - Sun N' Sea Tours

Basic Information

12 days, 11 nights
Ha Noi, Vietnam

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Northern, central and southern Vietnam...

Overview

Authentic Vietnam
Vietnamese cuisine is highly regarded as one of the world's best, but few realize the variations that are found in the regional cuisines. Just like the country's geographical divisions, the food can also be separated in to South, Central, and Northern style.

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Ha Noi
Day 2 Hanoi, city highlights
Day 3 Hanoi, Tam Coc, Hanoi
Day 4 Hanoi, Halong
Day 5 Halong, Hanoi, Hue
Day 6 Hue, Danang, Hoian
Day 7 Gardening at TRA QUE village & walking tour in HOIAN town
Day 8 Hoian, free
Day 9 Hoian, Danang, Saigon
Day 10 SAIGON; CUCHI tunnels by speedboat & city sites
Day 11 MEKONG DELTA day trip with Mekong Queen cruise
Day 12 Depart Saigon

Day 1 Arrive in Ha Noi

Welcome on arrival to Hanoi. Drive to our selected hotel in the town. The remainder is to rest after your long journey.

Ha Noi
Ha Noi
None

Day 2 Hanoi, city highlights

A day to explore our Hanoi which including: the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum; the One Pillar Pagoda; the Temple of Literature – known as the country’s first national university; the macabre Hoa Lo Prison. The French built this prison near the turn of the century, with construction completed in 1901. The name Hoa Lo, means "portable earthen stove" and originates from the families who used to live on the land before the French built on it; Vietnam Women’s Museum – which is focused on the contribution of women to Vietnam's history and culture, this museum highlights their roles in Vietnam's many military conflicts as well as in commerce, including features on female street vendors, women's role in the family, and more recently, single mothers in Vietnam. Join the historical orientation cycling hours through the Old Quarter, delving into the nooks and crannies of the city and bringing us to a restored original Old Quarter homes.

Ha Noi
Ha Noi
Breakfast, lunch

Day 3 Hanoi, Tam Coc, Hanoi

After breakfast, we leave the hotel and drive South to Ninh Binh’s region and do the first stop at Van Long where we will travel through and explore the nice secluded rural area on an ox-cart. The short journey takes us around to witness the daily life of locals, between pieces of land and waterways. Enjoy a relaxing lunch nearby.

Rest of the day, we continue the journey and hop on local rowing sampan and venture on a less traveled canal of the region. It goes along the Trang An region and through 3 caves. About an hour to reach the pier where the bikes are ready there for an easy-paced 2-wheel exploration. We stop en-route to visit Bich Dong pagodas and keep cycling on small backroads to Tam Coc and get the return to Hanoi.

Ha Noi Ninh Binh Tam Coc
Ha Noi
Breakfast, lunch
HANOI to NINH BINH ~ 2-hour driving

Day 4 Hanoi, Halong

After an early breakfast it’s a three hour drive from the city to Halong Bay, passing through a number of typical North Vietnamese towns and villages. Upon arrival you will be welcomed aboard your traditional junk; the same style that have 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.

During your cruise there will be opportunities to disembark, often using smaller boats, or possibly kayaks, to venture into hidden grottos and caves. You will also make stops to explore points of interest such as floating fishing villages and picturesque lookout points.

The cuisine throughout your cruise is both plentiful and of a very high standard. Lovers of fresh seafood will be particularly happy. The dining cabin and bar create a very social atmosphere for those that wish to mix with other guests; whilst cabins, many with a private balcony, are all ensuite and spacious.

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

Day 5 Halong, Hanoi, Hue

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. ……Arrive back in port in the late morning. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi in time for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Hue Airport you will be met by you guide who will transfer you to your hotel.

Ha Long Ha Noi Hue
Hue
Breakfast
HANOI to HUE ~ 1.15mns flight

Day 6 Hue, Danang, Hoian

After breakfast, we embark on your private cyclo ride around Hue! Start your leisurely cyclo tour with a visit to Tinh Tam Lake, one of the most famous spots in this ancient capital of Vietnam. Situated on the left bank of Dinh Tien Hoang Road, the beautiful lake is considered an iconic achievement of 19th-century landscape architecture. Your guide will discuss its stunning design features before heading to Hue Citadel. Once the seat of the Nguyen dynasty, this UNESCO World Heritage Site contains the former Imperial Palace. Tombs, hallways and ornate temples comprise Hue Citadel and highlight Hue’s regal history. Pass through the high stone walls of this royal city and ride to several major landmarks within the complex.

We get out and drive to visit the towering Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous Vietnamese landmarks. Differing legends explain how the pagoda came to be - one tells of an old woman who instructed Lord Hoang Nguyen in 1601 to walk contemplatively along the river with a lit incense stick and to build a city at the spot where the incense stopped burning. Turn our route, we get to the Minh Mang Royal Tomb, is the final resting place of one of the Nguyen Dynasty’s staunchest Confucians, whose reign represents the apex of Nguyen power over the country. Our next stop is at the Garden house which offers an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy traditional Vietnamese hospitality in the surrounds of a fully-working and functioning replica of a 19th century Hue residence. The house itself is set in charming gardens, complete with lotus ponds and pavilions. Like many of Hue's homes, the structure is built on high foundations with low, dipping roofs due to the historical problem of flooding in the area. Dining at the house itself during lunch time.

After lunch, if you wish, your guide will take you to a nearby village that specializes in producing incense. Just outside the village, a local craftswoman has been making conical hats, or non la, with just one hand since childhood. Observe her expertise at fashioning these beautiful creations that have become quite popular with visitors. We then will take the departure for Hoi An, driving on the picturesque route via Lang Co and over the Hai Van Pass (Ocean Cloud Pass) the we reach Danang and continue to drive for the final 30 minutes to Hoi An where the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Hue Da Nang Hoi An
Hoi An
Breakfast, lunch
HUE to DANANG then HOIAN ~ 2.5-hour driving

Day 7 Gardening at TRA QUE village & walking tour in HOIAN town

Our guide will see you at the hotel for driving or biking to a local farm in Tra Que village. A short stroll will take you around the vegetable garden and then you can join the farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from thelocal lake. Following steps are raking the ground, sowing, watering, picking vegetables and many other gardening activities. After all these activities, you will take a short rest and enjoy foot bath before getting to preparing lunch with a local family. Your lunch will consist of many local delicacies including ‘tam huu’ spring roll, Banh xeo or local pancake of people in vietnam middle region. You can join the cooking with the chef on these meals. Bike or drive back the town in the early afternoon.

The rest is to discover the Hoi An town, stroll between centuries-old stone houses, explore the former merchants’ homes and narrow lanes that lead to bustling piers and old trading docks. Snap photos of architecture that dates back to the 15th-century and make time to visit the Japanese Bridge, whose covered walkway leads to a rare Buddhist temple.

Hoi An
Hoi An
Breakfast, lunch

Day 8 Hoian, free

Play at the beach or stroll the town on your own.

Hoi An
Hoi An
Breakfast

Day 9 Hoian, Danang, Saigon

Free at leisure till the transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Saigon. Get the picked up and check in hotel on arrival. The rest is on your own.

Hoi An Da Nang Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Breakfast
DANANG to SAIGON ~ 1.15mns flight

Day 10 SAIGON; CUCHI tunnels by speedboat & city sites

Journey out of the city centre to the Cu Chi regions, where you will visit the vast underground network of tunnels built first as a defence against the French, and later expanded during the American war. It was from here that the North Vietnamese waged their guerrilla warfare and you will marvel at their ingenuity and resilience.

See secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms. The more adventurous may explore the deeper second, and even third level tunnels. For those preferring to remain above ground, there is ample opportunity to view excavated areas from above. Your guide will advise you of the length and level of difficulty of each tunnel before entering - some are easily accessed by stairs...

Afternoon, join us with the city highlights at which the sites recommended as the Reunification Palace, formerly South Vietnam's Presidential Palace, which remains largely untouched since the day Saigon finally fell to North Vietnamese troops in 1975; Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Saigon Post Office offer visitors a glimpse of a French Colonial past, with the latter being design by Gustave Eiffel himself. For most a visit to the War Remnants Museum, formally known as the Museum of American War Crimes is high on the list, and although it can be quite a chilling experience, the various exhibitions offer an insight into the suffering of the Vietnamese people during recent conflicts...

Ho Chi Minh Cu Chi
Ho Chi Minh
Breakfast, lunch
SAIGON to CUCHI ~ 1.5 – hour riding (speedboat)

Day 11 MEKONG DELTA day trip with Mekong Queen cruise

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 several kinds of 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 to CAIBE ~ 2.5 hours driving

Day 12 Depart Saigon

Transfer to the airport for the flight home.

Meal(s): breakfast

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 1,813 1,090 948 866 817 787
MID-RANGE 1,940 1,158 1,016 934 885 855
SUPERIOR 2,116 1,254 1,112 1,030 981 951
DELUXE 2,841 1,606 1,467 1,387 1,339 1,309
Low Season
STANDARD 1,813 1,090 948 866 817 787
MID-RANGE 1,940 1,158 1,016 934 885 855
SUPERIOR 2,116 1,254 1,112 1,030 981 951
DELUXE 2,841 1,606 1,467 1,387 1,339 1,309

HIGH SEASON : OCT – DEC, 2016 & JAN – APR, 2017

LOW SEASON : MAY – SEP, 2017


STANDARD

Hanoi: Hanoi Elegance Ruby hotel - Superior room - www.elegancehospitality.com
Halong: Huong Hai Junks - Deluxe room - www.huonghaihalong.com
Hue: Midtown hotel - Deluxe city room - www.midtownhotelhue.com
Hoian: Vinh Hung Library hotel - Superior room - www.vinhhunglibraryhotel.com
Saigon: Sunrise Central hotel - Premier Deluxe room - www.sunrisecentralhotel.com

MID-RANGE 

Hanoi: Golden Cyclo hotel - Executive room - www.goldencyclohotel.com
Halong: Glory Legend Cruises - Deluxe - www.glorylegendcruises.net
Hue: Romance hotel - Deluxe - www.romancehotel.com.vn
Hoian: Atlas hotel Hoian - Superior city - www.atlashoian.com
Saigon: Silverland Central hotel - Deluxe - www.silverlandhotels.com

SUPERIOR

Hanoi: Tirant hotel - Deluxe room - www.tiranthotel.com
Halong: Pelican cruise - Deluxe room - www.pelicancruise.com
Hue: Eldora hotel - Deluxe city - www.eldorahotel.com
Hoian: La Resiencia hotel - Junior Suite town view - www.laresidenciahotel.com
Saigon: Paragon Saigon hotel - Premium - www.paragonsaigon.com


DELUXE 

Hanoi: Apricot hotel - Sketch - www.apricothotels.com
Halong: Orchid cruises - Suite Balcony - www.orchidcruises.com
Hue: Indochina Palace - Palace Deluxe - www.indochinepalace.com
Hoian: Sunrise Premium resort - Ocean Deluxe - www.sunrisehoian.vn
Saigon: Hotel Majestic - Colonial Deluxe - www.majesticsaigon.com

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
  • Vietnam visa
  • International arrival & departure flight ticket and airport tax
  • Domestic flights within Vietnam starting from US$ 108/person (to be advised at the time of booking)
  • 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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