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This 7-day tour is to offer you the most authentic experiences in Vietnam with the spectacular days in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Visit Hanoi – a symbol of culture and a source of pride throughout the history; wallow in Halong bay with a traditional junk cruise; savor Ho Chi Minh City – the hustle and the bustle metropolis city; going in depth with Mekong cultural daily life.
Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City
For those with limited time but wish to explore the highlights of Vietnam by visit the most 2 metropolis cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. You will experience the real Vietnam, the contrast of traditional and historical Hanoi which has been one of the few cities in Asia left entirely void of the western-style boxy business architecture and vibrant and exciting Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon), the heart and soul of Vietnam. It’s a bustling, dynamic and industrious center, the largest city in the country, the economic capital and the cultural trendsetter.
Upon arrival at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, welcomed by our guide and drive to your hotel in Hanoi downtown, time to relax after your journey.
Afternoon walking tour of Hanoi old quarter, wandering around and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Old quarter Hanoi, explore the winding lanes and stop for coffee at local café or taste some local street food if you wish, stop for a chat; local people are busy but friendly if you take time to connect. Enjoy a performance of traditional Water Puppetry, an art form unique to northern Vietnam.
Optional tour of Hanoi Street food taste
Enjoy the savor of Hanoi specialty – take your pick from traditional Hanoi Pho (beef noodle soup), Nom (green papaya salad with seasoned beef), Banh Goi (pillow-shaped rice pastry with minced pork and mushroom), Banh Cuon (hot rice paper with pork and fried onion) or Bun Cha (fresh noodle with grilled pork). If you are hungry, try two or three varieties – they are snacks rather than a meal.
Overnight in Hanoi.
You will have the whole day to explore in depth the capital city of Hanoi. Beginning with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. This imposing monument, was constructed from marble and granite and takes the form of a stylized lotus (closed Mondays and Fridays). Also visit nearby Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts and the One Pillar Pagoda, a symbol of Hanoi. Continue on to the ancient Taoist Temple of Quan Thanh, where lies the genie protector of the city (or Tran Quoc Pagoda located on the shores of Lake West). Next visit the Temple of Literature, a structure dedicated to Confucius, constructed in 1070, the compound soon became first Vietnam’s university.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, where you will have the opportunity to sample some regional delicacies.
Afternoon visit to the renowned Museum of Ethnology (closed Mondays), which houses an interesting collection of artifacts relating to the mosaic of ethnic groups that inhabit Vietnam.
Then continue moving on to Van Phuc silk village a small village where family worked in weaving and dying silk over centuries, once the creators of fine material for the robes of the Royal court, learn about silk making process and shop for finest silk products in Van Phuc village.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Morning depart for Halong bay, a 3-hour drive through the Red River Delta to Halong Bay, comfort stop en route for stretching your legs and coffee before arriving to Tuan Chau marina.
We then board on a traditional wooden sailing junk for a cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Halong Bay, giving us the chance to take in the stunning scenery of this World Heritage Site, enjoy the beautiful limestone seascape with Fighting cock, Dog Rock and Incense Burner. Halong is an excellent example of a Karst landscape with its 2000 islands created by a complex chain during millions of years of geological movement.
Lunch will be served on board with sumptuous fresh, local seafood.
Afternoon enjoy a swim and kayaking to explore some of the limestone caves in this area. When the sun comes down we drop anchor for the night nearby a remote island.
Overnight on boat
Early wake up and enjoy sunrise over the bay, view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the fresh air.
Cruising to another part of Halong bay with a close up view of stunning limestone peaks such as Drum cave, Man’s head Islet. Heading to Van Gia fishing village you will have the opportunity to understand more about the fisherman’s daily life. Have lunch on board with a variety of local foods, enjoying the rest of the boat trip before getting back to the dock. Have a short break before transferring back to Hanoi.
Your leisure time in Hanoi in the evening or join our optional night tour in Hanoi.
Morning transfer to Hanoi airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh city (HCMC).
Upon arrival in HCMC (or also known as Saigon), your guide will be waiting to transfer to your hotel.
Start your tour of Saigon with a visit to the War Remnants Museum, you will see the story of the city’s darkest and most tragic hours during the Vietnam War.
Next visit to the Reunification Palace, formally known as the century-old Presidential Office, which witnessed the growth of Ho Chi Minh City during peacetime and throughout the Vietnam War until its end in 1975. Continue to the nearby French colonial area, including a stop at the impressive Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, discover the magnificent neon-Romanesque architecture as you take in the tranquil atmosphere inside. At the opposite Central Post Office, one of the oldest buildings in Ho Chi Minh City, learn about this significant landmark – the busiest post office in Vietnam.
Then stroll down follow Dong Khoi Street, which figured prominently in Graham Greene’s famous Vietnam novel, The Quiet American, as Rue Catinat. The walk ends at the Saigon Opera House. From a bomb shelter to housing the parliamentary Lower House, the Opera House has had an interesting history.
Exotic life in Mekong Delta will value your stay in Vietnam with unforgettable memories, unique experience and chance of communicating with such friendly and hospitable local.
We start the tour early morning, go ahead to My Tho where will expose the colorful outskirt life, picturesque rice fields along the journey. Upon arrival, take a boat trip on Mekong River with various stop at the villages (islets), visit the authentic life of the local at a coconut candy workshop, learn how to make coconut candy. Continue walking on the village’s road and ride a horse-drawn carriage along village road to the next stop and taste fresh honey and seasonal fruits while listening musicians perform traditional folk music.
An adventurous sampan ride in palm shading creeks will be the next experience of the riverside region to the Turtle island, a beautiful natural spot. Sit down for a delicious traditional lunch with the Mekong Delta specialty – Deep fried elephant ear fish and many local delicacies.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon. If you are interested, stop on the way to visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the most beautiful ancient pagodas of the Mekong Delta.
We drive northwest of Ho Chi Minh city to visit Cu Chi tunnels – used to be a Viet Cong base during America war, a network of tunnels which stretched for over 200 km, parts of which was several stories deep, consists of innumerable trap doors, constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command center and kitchens.
Watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. Also on displaying are various man-traps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers. We then spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels to see the first hand how the Vietcong communists were able to survive in this underground network, including weapon and booby trap exhibitions, navigating authentic Viet Cong tunnel, visiting different underground bunkers (kitchens, meeting rooms, ammunition etc.), a firing range and much more. Try the local cassava root that sustained Viet Cong fighters for years.
Enjoy a delicious traditional Vietnamese lunch by the river before departing Cu Chi to return to Ho Chi Minh City. Drop you off at the airport for your onward departure flight