Quintessential Vietnam - Sun N' Sea Tours

Basic Information

11 days, 10 nights
Ha Noi, Vietnam

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Ha Noi, Sa Pa, Ha Long, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh city, Cu Chi tunnel, Mekong Delta

Overview

Quintessential Vietnam

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive HANOI  
Day 2 HANOI; highlights, night train to LAOCAI (SAPA)
Day 3 LAOCAI, minority market, SAPA
Day 4 SAPA; local villages, LAOCAI, HANOI 
Day 5 HANOI, HALONG bay
Day 6 HALONG, HANOI, DANANG, HOIAN
Day 7 Hoian, walking tour
Day 8 HOIAN, countryside bike riding 
Day 9 HOIAN, DANANG HOCHIMINH CITY (SAIGON), CUCHI TUNNELS 
Day 10 MEKONG DELTA DAY TRIP with MEKONG QUEEN CRUISE 
Day 11 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. 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; highlights, night train to LAOCAI (SAPA)

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.

The rest of the time is to get ready for the night trip heading to LaoCai after an arranged dinner at the local restaurant. 

Ha Noi
on local train
breakfast, lunch, dinner
HANOI -> LAOCAI: HANOI -> LAOCAI : 21:30 – 05:30 (+1)

Day 3 LAOCAI, minority market, SAPA

Upon arrival at Lao Cai train station, get picked up and transferred for breakfast at a local restaurant and then start to drive and visit one of the most colorful minority markets not so far from Sapa town. 

Tuesday: Coc Ly market (2 –hour drive from Sapa town)
Thursday : Lung Khau Nhin market (2 –hour drive from Sapa town)
Saturday: Can Cau market (3 –hour drive from Sapa town)
Sunday: Bac Ha market (3 –hour drive from Sapa town)

Leaving the market in the late morning, we do a scenery drive to Sapa town.  We check in on arrival and the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Sapa - an incredibly picturesque village that lies in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border in northwestern Vietnam is famous for both its fine, rugged scenery and also its rich cultural diversity. Make sure you get a much different experience you ever have and not forget to have your camera on most of the time if you don’t want to miss a good shot.

Lao Cai Sapa
Lao Cai
breakfast

Day 4 SAPA; local villages, LAOCAI, HANOI 

Morning drive to Y Linh Ho from where you will start your days trek with a walk into the Muong Hoa Valley below, passing through some of the stunning rice paddy terraces that the region is so well known for. The total trekking time is likely to be three to four hours and throughout the morning the backdrop is breathtaking. You will stop at several spots that offer panoramic views of the valleys below and you are also likely to pass many H’mong people. Thanks to the linguistic skills of your guide, you will have the opportunity to interact with them and learn more about their way of life.

Having returned to Sapa for lunch, in the afternoon, take a trail heading out of town. Passing through beautiful gardens and lush pine forests you will soon arrive at the Black H'mong ethnic minority village of  Matra. During the afternoon you will also be able to visit a local school and the Catholic church of Taphin. Transfer to Lao Cai for the overnight train back to Hanoi.

Sapa Lao Cai Ha Noi
on local train
breakfast, lunch, dinner
LAOCAI -> HANOI: 20:30 – 04:30 (+1)

Day 5 HANOI, HALONG bay

We get back Hanoi very early in the morning. Check in & rest at the small hotel with breakfast included. Meet our team again and start for  Halong Bay, passing by a number of typical North Vietnamese towns and villages.

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed aboard on a 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 6 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. …Arrive back in port in the late morning. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi in time for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival at Danang Airport, meet our person and drive to our hotel in Hoian town….Evening is on your own. 

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

Day 7 Hoian, walking tour

Discover the history and flavours of Vietnam during this walking and cooking tour of Hoi An. This is a place oozing with charm, and having largely escaped the destruction of successive wars, its streets and architecture are a delight to explore. After being picked up, head straight for the Old Town ready to hit its ancient streets.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hoi An's Old Town is packed with buildings of historical and cultural significance, and boasts a number of streets that are off-limits to cars. Stroll past the many Chinese Assembly Halls, from the Cantonese Chinese Congregation with its impressive main altar, to the Hainan Chinese Congregation, which serves as a memorial to 107 merchants from Hainan Island who were mistaken for pirates and killed during the reign of Emperor Tu Duc. Stop by the Japanese Covered Bridge, which was constructed in the 1590s by the town’s Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream.

After this brief walking tour of Hoi An, head to a family-run restaurant for a delightful local cooking class. The chef will run through the range of delicious dishes that you will recreate. Learn how to choose the best supplies, and discover some of the less-familiar ingredients, then head back to the restaurant ready to cook…Pick up recipes to wow your family and friends with and discover the tricks to making some of the legendary Vietnamese dishes at home. Sit down to feast on all the delicious dishes you’ve created, and promise yourself (and us) that you'll share this culinary glory when you get home.

Hoi An
Hoi An
breakfast, lunch

Day 8 HOIAN, countryside bike riding 

Spend a day leisurely cycling though the scenic countryside of Vietnam, far from the traffic the motor scooters, and the noises the city. You will cross the islands on the Song Thu river delta using local transportation, including ferries and floating bridge . This tour will take you to discover how wooden river boats  are made, learn the secret of weaving the colorful straw “Hoi An” sleeping mats, try the renowned Vietnamese basket boats . You will spend the day with first-hand contact with one of the rural inhabitant of the region, far from the usual tourist circuits…..At lunchtime you will be invited into the home of a local Vietnamese family for a traditional Vietnamese meal, and learn their customs and traditions. After lunch and break, you will begin your return towards Hoi An, which will take about an hour.

Hoi An
Hoi An
breakfast, lunch

Day 9 HOIAN, DANANG HOCHIMINH CITY (SAIGON), CUCHI TUNNELS 

Morning transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City  (Saigon). Upon arrival, meet your guide and drive to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels.  Set at 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. Finish the visit and we head back the city by late afternoon. Check in our selected hotel. The remainder is on your own. 

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and is located near the Mekong Delta. The city was 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. 

Hoi An Da Nang Ho Chi Minh Cu Chi
Ho Chi Minh
breakfast, lunch
DANANG -> SAIGON ~ 1.15mns flight .SAIGON -> CUCHI ~ 1.5 hour driving 

Day 10 MEKONG DELTA DAY TRIP with MEKONG QUEEN CRUISE 

Join our wooden boat excursion today on the charming Mekong Queen to explore the Mekong Delta’s unique market and also the symbol of the region, Cai Be floating market. Just only 2 hours away from Saigon, beautiful countryside sceneries and surprisingly hospitable people are waiting for you. 
Boarding our traditional boat at the local pier and start cruising around the floating market while sampling our tropical fresh fruits, letting the cool breeze touch your hair, you will find the place a truly destination to spend the day relaxing. You will be surprised by the way the locals trade and advertise their products. 
Disembark the boat temporarily to explore deeper about the local life by visiting the town’s business and craft factories before we transfer you to an ancient Mandarin house where a delicious home hosted lunch with Mekong’s specialties awaits. 
After lunch, enjoy a short sampan ride before we continue to cruise upstream the Mighty Mekong toward Vinh Long. Along the way, enjoy an intimate visit to a beautiful orchard with several kinds of tropical fruits grown. Here, also let your soul blends with the Vietnamese traditional melodies of “Vong Co” before we take you back to the mainland where your car already waiting to take you back to Saigon for another night. 

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

Day 11 SAIGON; departure 

Breakfast at the hotel. Free to stroll the city on your own till the departure. 
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 1,913 1,120 955 868 805 765
MID-RANGE 2,003 1,169 1,005 917 855 814
SUPERIOR 2,136 1,249 1,085 997 935 895
DELUXE 2,716 1,560 1,395 1,305 1,245 1,203
Low Season
STANDARD 1,893 1,109 945 858 796 755
MID-RANGE 1,962 1,142 978 890 829 787
SUPERIOR 2,116 1,228 1,064 977 915 873
DELUXE 2,650 1,479 1,315 1,227 1,166 1,124
HIGH SEASON : OCT – DEC, 2016 & JAN – APR, 2017
LOW SEASON  : MAY – SEP, 2017

STANDARD 
Hanoi    : Hanoi Elegance Ruby hotel – Superior room 
Sapa      : Sapa Dragon hotel – Superior balcony 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
Sapa      : Sapa Legend hotel – Superior 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 
Sapa      : Sapa Legend hotel – Superior room
Halong  : Pelican cruise – Deluxe room
Hoian    : La Resiencia hotel – Junior Suite town view
Saigon   : Paragon Saigon hotel – Premium

DELUXE 
Hanoi    : Apricot hotel – Sketch – www.apricothotels.com  
Halong  : Orchid cruises – Suite Balcony – www.orchidcruises.com  
Sapa      : Victoria Sapa resort – Superior room – www.victoriahotels.asia 
Hoian    : Palm Garden resort – Superior Garden room – www.palmgardenresort.com.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 
Local train Hanoi – LaoCai –Hanoi, sharing cabin with A/C 
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 

Photos

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