Hidden Charms of Vietnam

A highly recommended 14 day tour which takes you a little more off the beaten track of Vietnam

This Vietnam itinerary offers the perfect overview of this fascinating country, from the south to central Vietnam. Explore the dynamic city of Ho Chi Minh City, paddle along the peaceful Mekong Delta, and visit the Hue ancient citadel. Other highlights include visiting the charming town of Hoi An filled with hospitable people and a rich culture, the charming capital of Hanoi and the hidden valley of Mai Chau.

Tour highlights

    - Explore Hoi An - a UNESCO town

    - Visit Saigon and the Cu Chi Tunnels

    - Experience fascinating local life 

    - Stay overnight in a local village

    - Tour the Citadel City of Hue

    - Take a boat trip to the floating markets     

Itinerary

Day 1

Ho Chi Minh City arrival

Upon arrival,you will be warmly welcomed by your local guide and transferred to the city and to your hotel. The room is at your disposal at 2.00pm. The rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure. Meals on your on account. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, depart for Cu Chi where you will visit the amazing tunnel network built by Vietnamese fighters during the Vietnam War. Return to Saigon in the late morning. After lunch, we will set out to visit the former French colonial capital, Ho Chi Minh City still called Saigon by many locals. The main historical sites include Old Saigon Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera House. Round off your day at famous Ben Thanh Market where you can shop for souvenirs. The evening is free to spend at leisure. Meals on your own account. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 3

Ho Chi Minh City – Cai Lay – Can Tho

Depart Ho Chi Minh City this morning for Cai Lay (93km - 2.5 hours driving). Pass beautiful and typical landscapes like lush rice paddies and fruit farms emerging alongside the highway. Upon arrival, board a wooden boat to enjoy countryside scenery and river life. Then hop on a bicycle for a short ride of about 7km along narrow village lanes, past fruit orchards and local cottage industries. Arrive at the home of a tropical fruit farmer and have a walk around the orchard. Enjoy the opportunity to taste fresh fruits. Relax with a view from a small sampan boat as you are paddled slowly along tropical canals. Return to Can Tho for check-in your hotel. Dinner on your own account. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City - Hue

Transfer to Ninh Kieu Quay where you will board a traditional local boat for a cruise to the lively, colourful floating markets of Cai Rang. You will be surprised by the huge variety of products sold at the market, from the well-known fruits like mangos and bananas, to the most exotic ones like mangosteens, star apples, or the sweetened longans and the very odorous durians. Once satisfied with the fruity flavors of the market, enter the labyrinth of the channels and streams surrounding Can Tho, and from the boat you can observe daily life on the river. Arrive at Ninh Kieu, Can Tho in the late morning and start a bike ride through small roads of local villages. Discover the lives of local, visit a primary school, rice fields, and a local house with a lush fruit orchard. Take a small ferry to get back to the bank of Ba Lang river and enjoy lunch at a nice local before transferring directly to Ho Chi Minh City Airport. Take an evening flight to Hue city. Dinner on your own account. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5

Hue sightseeing

This morning, take a tour of the citadel city of Hue and enjoy the refined and distinct atmosphere of the town. Visit the Imperial Citade and take a leisure boat along the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda. In the afternoon, visit the Minh Mang and Tu Duc Mausoleum - two of the most beautiful tombs of Nguyen Reign. Meals on your own account. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Hue surroundings

Today we will travel out of the city to explore its beautiful and peaceful outskirts. Take a land transfer in the direction of Phuoc Tich, a 500 year old village which has been known for its dozens of wooden houses beautifully decorated with flowers, bonsai gardens or lush orchards. Phuoc Tich village is also captivating tourists with its traditional handicraft of producing ceramics over the last 500 years. Return to Hue city in the late morning for lunch and continue to Thuy Bieu Village for a bicycle ride past rice fields and fruit trees. Visit a homemade incense production household and discover the life of the farmers. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Free dinner and overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Hue - Danang

Depart for Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van mountain pass with beautiful panoramic views looking out over the central coastline. After a peaceful stop at the white sandy beach of Lang Co we continue on to Da Nang to visit the Cham Museum. It is home of the largest collection of sculptures and relics from the Cham civilization once known as the Khmer civilization. In the afternoon, arrive in Hoi An, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meals on your own account. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 8

Hoi An Town

Take a stroll to explore Hoi An town, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes. Set out to explore the quaint cobblestone streets of the town with the more than two-century-old Chinese houses. Sites include the Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Phung Hung Chinese-style trading house. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Meals on your own account and overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 9

Hoi An Town

After breakfast, we depart the hotel for a discovery around Hoi An. Embark for a boat ride to the mouth of Thu Bon river to enjoy the daily activities of fishers such as throwing fishing net and trading their products. Your boat then continues cruising for about half an hour to a fishing village. Changing to smaller bamboo boat (a coracle) to discover a distinctive mangrove forest. Under the blurry sunlight inside the forest, you might feel a mysterious atmosphere covering this whole area. This excursion also gives you a chance to admire skilful fishermen who are working in the forest. Back to the main land in mid-morning where you will hop on your bike for cycling through the countryside to Tra Que village (about 20 minutes biking). This village has been known for its special aromatic herbs, mint and basil; leaves of those plants are smaller than usual, however they have a very particular aroma. Together with local people in their daily work, you will learn how to plant and water vegetables. Then learn to cook some local specialities, for example “Tam Huu” – set of shrimps, pork and aromatic herbs. Of course you will get the opportunity to enjoy your creations after cooking. Return to your hotel in the middle afternoon and spend the time free at leisure. Free dinner. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10

Hoi An - Danang - Hanoi

Depart Hoi An for a morning flight from Danang Airport to Hanoi. Welcome by local guide on arrival and take a transfer to city centre for exploring the city. Tour to the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature to have a glimpse at this Vietnam’s first university. Then, explore the diversified architecture of Hanoi and its famous 36 streets of Old Quarter by a combined tour between walking and taking a cyclo ride. After walking around Hoan Kiem Lake – a symbol of the Hanoi city, enjoy a performance of traditional water puppet show. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 11

Hanoi - Duong Lam Village - Mai Chau Valley

In the morning, depart for Duong Lam village and take a bike ride to visit local houses, including a communal house dating back to 17th century. Meet with local villagers and visit a workshop for self-made soya sauce. Have lunch at a local house and travel on a picturesque road through mountains and valleys to Mai Chau town. Mai Chau is located in a beautiful valley, and has been populated by the White Thai tribe for several centuries, known for their harmonious community life and many lovely age-old traditions. They live on stilt houses, close to rice fields and streams. Arrive at your home-stay in Mai Chau in the late afternoon and enjoy a welcome dinner and a performance by locals of ethnic minority Muong and Thai people. Overnight at in a Thai traditional house on stilts.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12

Mai Chau Valley

Wake up to a traditional breakfast at your home-stay. We then start our morning with a biking trip around the village and area. This is a good opportunity to take nice photos of buffalos and local people working on the fields. Return to the home-stay for lunch. After a short rest, be transferred from the home-stay to Cun Pheo Village where you will start a light trekking. Pay a visit to Cun Pheo village, home to the Muong people and follow the big trail to Van village of Thai people, passing rice fields and trek on the hillside back to the home stay. Dinner and overnight in the homestay..

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13

Mai Chau - Hanoi

After breakfast, spend time exploring the village. In the late morning, transfer back to Hanoi on a picturesque road through mountains and valleys. Check in to your hotel and enjoy your last night in Hanoi. Meals on your own account. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 14

Hanoi Departure

Enjoy your last few hours exploring charming and historical Hanoi as you wish. Transfer to airport for your onward flight. Your room in Hanoi is at your disposal until noon. Meals on your own account.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Pricing

Superior 1st October 2016 - 31st December 2016

Deluxe 1st October 2016 - 31st December 2016

Superior 1st January 2017 - 31st March 2017

Deluxe 1st January 2017 - 31st March 2017

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