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Culture Tours & Adventure Tours
13 days

Encounter Vietnam Culture, Nature, Food and Local Lifestyle in 13 Days

Explore Vietnam from South to the North, getting a taste of the country’s diverse landscapes, intriguing history and rich culture. From the buzzing streets Ho Chi Minh City, enjoy immersive tour truly connect with the remarkable wonders of Vietnam to Hoi An - an UNESCO-designated World Heritage site with historic homes, tiny museums, cafes, and bustling silk and fish markets, herb farming. Then you will next venture to Hanoi, Vietnam’s artistic and intellectual capital. Enjoy the view spectacular waterfalls and drive through mountain valleys in Sapa. Lastly, you will spend a night in Halong & Lan Ha Bay, where thousands of limestone rock sculptures jut dramatically from the sea and numerous grottoes have created an ephemeral, fantastic landscape. A perfect ending to an exciting and enriching trip!

HIGHLIGHTS

Discover Vietnam’s rich culture: Visiting Mekong Delta, an organic farming discovery tour with the local farmers in the rural of Hoi An, the Hanoi Opera House, the real local life by vintage Minsk; participate in some engaging agricultural activities such as catching crabs, fishing and transplanting and watering vegetables in Ninh Binh…

See UNESCO Heritage – Sites: Halong Bay, Hoi An’s old town

Catch a Glimpse of Modern Vietnam: Embrace the modern energy of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, seeing evidence of Vietnam’s rapid development.

Experience life & Charming of Mekong Delta: Visit villages on foot and by bike, seeing traditional farming communities and meeting with friendly locals.

Admire the nature of Vietnam: Bound for remote Sapa, a mountain village near the Chinese border. Here you will view spectacular waterfalls and drive through mountain valleys.

Tour Included

+ Private transportation

+ Accommodation shared in Twin/Double room with daily breakfast

+ Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast)

+ Boat trip for sightseeing as mentioned in the program

+ Entrance fees for all visits as mentioned in the itinerary

+ Experienced English-speaking guide for tour on day 2 in Hanoi & day 9 in Hue & day 12 in Mekong

+ Tissues and water on coach

+ Domestic flight tickets

+ Services charges and government tax

+ Exclusive and personalized single agent/single customer service

+ No extra charge after services confirmation

+ 24/7 hotline support guaranteed;

Tour Excluded

+ Travel insurance (we highly recommend that you purchase adequate insurance).

+ International flight tickets

+ Meals, if not specified in the itinerary

+ Visa stamping fee at the airport (25US$ in Vietnam & US$ 30 in Cambodia, US$ 30 in Laos paid by cash at the airport)

+ Tipping for guides, drivers, hotel staff, restaurant staff, boat rider, etc.

+ Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.

+ All other services not specified in the itinerary

+ Surcharge for Peak season, Tet Lunar New year holidays, and compulsory dinner at some hotel & resort on Xmas and New year’s Eve

Tour Plan

Day 1: Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City

Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport, either Domestic or International arrival, after clearing all custom procedures, please proceed to exit gate and look for your guide, who will be waiting at the lobby, holding Lux Travel DMC signboard with your name on it, if you cannot locate your guide, please go to the Airport information counter situated in the middle of Domestic and International arrival lobby (inside the terminal) and call the emergency number …..  for assistance. Your guide will come to meet you up and transfer you to hotel for free at leisure.

Meals: None

From Saigon, take a 2hr drive northwest to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as living quarters, communication and supply routes, and housed hospitals, food and weapons caches. Touring the underground compounds will provide a better understanding of the history of the tunnels, the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. Return to Saigon.

In the afternoon, start with a visit to the iconic Saigon Central Post Office. Based on the design of French architect Foulhoux, it’s the creation of a unique vaulted ceiling with wrought iron beams and columns reminiscent of industrial architecture, which is now considered a symbol of Saigon and one of its most famous landmarks. Stop for a chat with Mr. Duong (if he is available), who enjoys local notoriety for his professional love-letter skills.

Walk along Dong Khoi street, formerly la rue Catinat and pay a visit to Gialong Palace – Ho Chi Minh City Museum for its beautiful architecture and listen to its history through times. Continue to ‘Le Loi Street’ to meet a local artisan who specializes in traditional engravings.

Next, stroll through the old central market (your vehicle will be available) before arriving at the city’s oldest colonial-era apartment, built in 1886, and see what the young creative Vietnamese are up to from their funky boutiques and coffee shops. Sit down at one of the stylish coffee shops and interact with a local resident who moved here in 1975.

Leave the compound and have a look at the building on the other side, which used to be ‘Banque de l’Indochine’ (Indochina Bank) during the 1920s. It’s a stunning example of the east/west fusion style of architecture.  Transfer back to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

The program will start with a quick visit of Cai Be floating market. Then, we’ll come to Tân Phong island for biking / walking on village paths to see the local daily life: orchard, school, church, pagoda, traditional houses... On the way, we can make some stops to see how they make rice-net for spring-rolls, sewing coconut-leaves for cottage roof and specially see how they wave the dried water-hyacynth to make many products: baskets, bags, hats, wallets, shoes...

Then, the rowboat will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals to enjoy the peaceful time.

Back to our boat to go across one of the longest river in the world, Mekong River, to come to An Bình Island. Travel on Muong Lo handmade canal to check in at a very nice homestay. Have a fresh shower before cooking some special dishes with the members of local family. We’ll enjoy dinner & overnight at homestay.

Overnight at Homestay

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Have a breakfast and check-out for a walk along the village to enjoy the fresh air in the morning & arrive the local workshop to see how to make rice paper, coconut candy, pop-rice... Enjoy some sweets with a cup of hot tea.

Then, we turn on Mỹ An canal to see many brick kilns on both sides of the canal &  Hòa Tịnh canal, we will walk in the peaceful village to see how they make bricks, wave bamboo trays & baskets… Our boat continues to come to another village in Long Hồ to see how they make conical hats by hand, a process to make rice noodles…

Also, we can visit Vinh Long market in the town. This is the best choice for you to take pictures of fish, shrimps, prawns, crabs, snakes, rice-field rats, tropical fruits, vegetables... The cruise will end at Vinh Long city around 11:30AM. After enjoy a lunch, you drive back to Saigon in the afternoon.

Overnight in Saigon

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, you drive back to airport for onward flight to Danang. Upon arrival at Danang Airport, your guide will be waiting at the lobby then transfer to Hoi An. Check in hotel and free at leisure.

In the afternoon, enjoy HALF DAY HOI AN WALKING TOUR

Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An known then as ‘Faifo’, was a prosperous trading port, attracting Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships amongst others. Today, this World Heritage ancient town is recognised for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets and distinctive local cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. Hoi An’s narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour of its many atmospheric sights including: the old merchant houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, first built in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its intricate woodcarvings; and the colourful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two.

Overnight in Hoi An

Meals: Breakfast

Embark on an organic farming discovery tour with the local farmers in the rural outskirts of Hoi An’s Ancient Town. Start your morning with a leisurely 4km (2mi) bike ride through the countryside, heading to Tra Que Vegetable Village named after a sweet scented herb grown here and used to flavor Hoi An specialties like Cao Lau noodles. Upon arrival, stroll around the fishponds and through the neatly organized organic gardens and observe local farmers working the fields using traditional methods that date back hundreds of years. The rich soil from this village produces some of the most flavorsome vegetables and herbs in all of Hoi An. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, change into some work clothes provided by the villagers and join the friendly farmers in watering the plants or fertilizing the land. Take a break next to the water wheel or try your hand at some traditional music instruments. Learn how to prepare and hand-grind rice to make rice paper which is then grilled over a charcoal fire which is eaten as a crunchy snack. Transfer back to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast at hotel, you drive back to airport for onward flight to Danang. Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, your guide will be waiting at the lobby then transfer to hotel for check in and free at leisure.

In the afternoon, you will have a chance to see Hanoi with different appearance. After listening to your guide’s briefing, hop on the vintage Minsk with professional rider to start discovering hidden corners in Hanoi. Stop at Opera house for photos then follow the narrow, winding, zigzagging backstreets and alleyways with just enough room for a single bike to turn up in the biggest second-hand mechanics and electronics market in Vietnam where you could buy anything from a pistol for a US Army Jeep of to the pedal of a Chinese bicycle, or a radio from the 1970s to the latest Phones. Continue your journey by visiting a Hanoian’s family at the formal home-visit where lives a Vietnam-war veteran and his lovely family, living in the tiny Russian apartment compound since the 1960s. Whilst being invited to have a cup of Vietnamese tea with the family, you will enjoy a rare opportunity for real cultural exchange. The Minsk will take you on the second part of our journey - “Classical Hanoi Romance” to pass charming French boulevards before tasting authentic food: Banh Cuon; Pho Cuon & Egg coffee. End of the cultural adventure trip with full of nice memory

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Depart Hanoi for a 2-hours’ drive to the Tho Ha Village in Nho Quan district to begin a leisurely 5 – 15 km biking trip (3 - 10 miles) passing by sleepy villages and picturesque countryside landscapes. Continue to Dong Tam Hamlet to participate in some engaging agricultural activities such as catching crabs, fishing and transplanting and watering vegetables. After an hour or so, return to the hamlet in time for a cooking class and lunch with a local family where sweet potato cakes and grilled fish are on the menu. After lunch, board a rowboat at the Nha Le Pier and enjoy a trip to the 900m (2,953ft)-deep Galaxy Grotto, so named for the sea of stalactites growing from the ceiling above, like so many stars. The grotto is also home to a large bat colony which nests near the end of the grotto. Return hotel in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Hanoi

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Depart Hanoi on a 5.5hr drive to Sapa via the Noi Bai - Lao Cai expressway, opened at the end of 2014. Enjoy views of rice paddies, village homes, and misty mountains along the way. After checking in to your hotel, have lunch at Red Dzao, a local restaurant serving typical Sapa cuisine. In the afternoon, HALF DAY SAU CHUA - SA SENG

Enjoy the 15 minute drive to the villages of Sa Xeng and Sau Chua, from here you will have the best viewpoints of the Hmong villages nestled in a mountainous area overlooking Muong Hoa valley. We will then leave the main road for a 2 hour walk to explore the 2 villages of the Black Hmong named Sa Seng and Sau Chua which consists of 4 small hamlets scattering along the narrow but fascinating valley. The walking path winds its way from the high mountainside gradually downhill to pass through farmland and impressive terraced fields and later along Sau Chua stream which connects the hamlets. Enjoy beautiful scenery while walking, meeting Hmong people doing their everyday work along the way. Pay a visit to some local homes to discover the local way of life. Walk ends as the village path meets your van, transfer 5km back to Sapa. Overnight in Sapa (Lunch)

NOTES

Suggested time: 14:30

Duration: 3 hours

Trekking distance: 3 km

NOTES:

Suggested departure time: 07:00

Tour duration: 10 hours, including time of transferring from Hanoi to Sapa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Full day excursion exploring several ethnic villages nearby. Morning departure from Sapa to the Muong Hoa Valley, home to the largest terraced rice fields in Vietnam. The valley is most active in the planting and harvesting season between May and October, peaking in late September to early October when the golden fields are harvested. Walk from the Black H’mong village of Lao Chai to the Zay village of Ta Van, enjoying the cool climate and magnificent views of the terraced fields and the Fansipan mountain range. Along the way, you may encounter vast indigo farms and hill tribe women with their hands dyed blue. In Ta Van, visit a H'mong family to witness the traditional dyeing methods that have been handed down for generations. Participate in some of their daily activities including indigo dyeing and weaving.

Overnight in Sapa (Breakfast, Lunch)

NOTES:

Suggested departure time: 08:30

Tour duration: 08 hours

Trekking distance: 6km (4mi)

Grade: Easy

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Morning departure for Ta Phin village where you begin a gentle trek along hilly terrain to observe local people working in the terraced paddy fields. The Ta Phin Village is home to two ethnic groups, the Black H’mong and Red Dzao, who have been living in harmony for generations despite having different customs, cultures and dress. Afternoon drive back to Hanoi in the late afternoon

Overnight in Hanoi

NOTES:

Suggested departure time: 08:30

Tour duration: 09 hours

Trekking distance: 8km (5mi)

Grade: Easy

Estimated arrival time at Hanoi: 18:30

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Depart from hanoi for a 2.5-hour drive to Tuan Chau international Marina via the new highway. Arrive at 11:30 and be greeted with a warm welcome and special tea at the Heritage Cruise’s lounge. Then it’s time to climb aboard the Heritage Cruise and check in; enjoy a welcome drink as you receive a cruise briefing and safety instructions. Set sail for Da Chong islet, where you’ll stop on the way for lunch at L’Indochine Restaurant and see a heritage lighthouse built by the French more than 100 years ago, Heritage Cruises takes you to contemplate the magnificent sceneries made from limestone mountain of Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago. This bay is untouched and remote, as not many cruise boats use this route. The cruise vessel approaches the Ba Trai Dao (Three Peach beaches) or Tra Bau in Lan Ha Bay, a natural frontier between the provinces of Halong and Haiphong. This secret hideaway has beaches, caves and coves, plus the spectacular natural beauty of about 400 islands. Guests can try kayaking or simply swim in the clear waters of the bay.

Back on Heritage Cruises, enjoy life aboard the vessel or in your suite, and with cocktail in hand watch the sunset over the Gulf of Tonkin.

Activities available include an afternoon tea and wine tasting, and the chef will also lead a Vietnamese cookery class. A delectable dining experience to remember will be served on board; Savour the finely prepared local cuisine in an intimate and romantic setting. Bask in the radiant evening views of the bay at the bar on top deck. You will also have the chance to go squid fishing or watch a movie in the restaurant. The bars are open until late.

Overnight onboard (Lunch, Dinner)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Start the day with a session of Vovinam on the sundeck, followed by a light breakfast. Then take a bamboo boat out to explore the Dark and Bright Cave. The Dark & Bright Caves is the collective name for the two corridors of water that cut beneath the same karst rock in Lan Ha Bay. Its one is pretty dark and one is pretty bright, owing to the fact that the Dark Cave is a blind alley of water while the Bright Cave opens up onto a verdant lake on the other side. Around both caves, you will see ancient fossils of snails as well as a thriving ecosystem of sea life just below the surface. Then return to the ship for checkout. Enjoy a brunch while cruising back, arriving at Got Harbor and relaxing at our lounge while your transportation arrives. Drive back to Hanoi for onward flight home or connecting to one of our beautiful islands for your beach holiday extension.

Meals: Breakfast, brunch

End of service

Hotel list

City
Hotel list
Room type

4 star package

City
Hanoi
Hotel list
ANATOLE HANOI HOTEL
Room type
Deluxe city
City
Sapa
Hotel list
PISTACHIO HOTEL
Room type
Superior Valley View
City
Halong
Hotel list
HERITAGE BINH CHUAN CRUISES
Room type
Delta Suite Balcony
City
Hoi An
Hotel list
HOI AN ROSEMARY BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Room type
Deluxe
City
Ho Chi Minh
Hotel list
HARMONY HOTEL
Room type
Premier
City
Cai Be
Hotel list
Homestay
Room type

5 star package

City
Hanoi
Hotel list
HOTEL DE l’OPERA
Room type
Deluxe
City
Sapa
Hotel list
SILK PATH GRAND RESORT
Room type
Classic Mountain view
City
Halong
Hotel list
HERITAGE BINH CHUAN CRUISE
Room type
Delta Suite Balcony
City
Hoi An
Hotel list
ANANTARA HOI AN
Room type
Deluxe
City
Ho Chi Minh
Hotel list
MAI HOUSE HOTEL
Room type
Deluxe
City
Cai Be
Hotel list
Homestay
Room type

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