Best of Vietnam: South to North

$ 0 USD/person | 15 days
Experience firsthand the beauty of Vietnam and the culture and people and wilderness. This classic adventure takes us from Saigon to the Mekong delta, Hoi An, Hue Phong Nha -Ke Bang national park and Halong bay offering the best of everything that Vietnam has to offer. 

Day 1: Saigon arrival
Upon arrival at the airport in Ho Chi Minh city, our driver with private vehicle will meet you and transfer to your desired hotel in Saigon. Remainder of the day is free to explore the Vietnam's largest city.

Day 2: Saigon – Mekong delta
We head out on a two day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. We travel south to Ben Tre by private mini bus which takes about 2 hours. Here we board our boat to cruise the Mekong Delta and explore its intricate waterways. Often referred to as the "rice bowl" of Vietnam, the fertile delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as its fantastic views while boating along the Mekong.
Arrive at the waterfront pier and embark on an enjoyable motor boat excursion. At the Island, visit a local house and be introduced to the owner, have some tea and chat with your host and stroll through the garden to get an insight into daily farming life. Continue your journey by Xe Loi (Mekong Tuk Tuk) to go deeper into coconut jungle, taste some local delicacies during lunch in Ben Tre. Take a traditional sampans and paddle along the narrow shady arroyos before returning to your vehicle waiting in My Tho city and drive to Cai Be. Around sunset we make our way up one of the many canals to our homestay in Binh Hoa Phuoc Island where we enjoy great local hospitality and a wonderful meal of local specialties. Tonight we sleep on simple camp beds in a dorm-style arrangement. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. The toilet and bathroom facilities are shared and with hot water shower!

Day 3: Mekong delta –Saigon
We will wake up early to the sounds on the Mekong Delta. Have breakfast with local family and take a boat cruise along the mighty Mekong. Visit the Cai Be floating market then continue into the narrow waterways to see local families making popped rice, rice paper, coconut candies and various other local homemade Vietnamese products from the area. You'll get to sample as we travel!
After we disembark, we'll get on our vehicle for 2,5hour drive to Saigon. In afternoon is free to explore Saigon sky high towers and central market.

Day 4: Cu Chi tunnels – Danang - Hoi An
Have breakfast at the hotel, check out and travel approximately 1.5 hours to Cu Chi Tunnels by private vehicle. This former Viet Cong stronghold provides an insight into the resourcefulness and tenacity of the Vietnamese people, as well as a unique sense of what underground life was like during the American War.
Upon arrival into the tunnels, your guide will take you on a fascinating tour of the tunnels, where you'll learn more about the conditions the people lived in, the hardships they faced, and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels. We walk past huge bomb craters - evidence of the heavy bombing campaigns in the region during the Indochina conflict, have an opportunity to venture into the tunnels and explore the complex, discover hidden entrances right beneath your feet, wander past tiny little chimneys in the ground that dispersed smoke from the underground kitchens, sample some of the simple cuisine that local fighters would have survived on.
Cu Chi tunnels are fine to visit all year round but can get crowded in mid-day. If you wish to escape the tourist then early morning or in afternoon is better. After visiting Cu Chi, you will be transported directly to the airport for a flight (VN124) to Danang city where you will be transferred 45 minutes by private mini bus to the Palm Garden Resort in Hoi An.

Day 5,6,7: Hoi An
During your stay, you have enough time here to relax and explore the beautiful Hoi An. On first day you will take an easy walking tour visit 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, communal hall, lantern-lit streets, vibrant markets, skilled tailors, artisan shops, ancient houses, colourful temples and beautiful smiles. Hoi An is a Vietnamese wonderland.

On second day in Hoi An we explore the countryside and waterways in and around Hoi An by boat and bicycle. It's five hour tour including lunch at a local family, unique basket boat ride in fishing village, emerald rice paddies and beautiful landscapes.

The following day is free to enjoy all that Hoi An has to offer. Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An is being beautifully restored and preserved. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South-East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago and it retains the feel of centuries past, making it the sort of place that grows on you the more you explore it.

Day 8: Hoi An to Hue guided tour
Full day touring and combination of transfer from Hoi An to Hue. Enjoy the most impressive Vietnam landscapes along the way with visit to Marble Mountain, China beach, Da Nang history museum. Also visit the Lang Co beach, Elephant spring where you can swim at the waterfall.


Day 9: Hue full day tour
Hue is Vietnam’s former royal capital. The trip today includes the Imperial Citadel, which includes the Forbidden Purple City. The latter was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric and the gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war.
We also visit one of the royal tombs that of Emperor Tu Duc, with its central lake set amid a grove of frangipani and pine trees.  A special vegetarian lunch will be arranged in a nunnery.  After lunch we visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many to be the unofficial symbol of Hue. It's an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. One of the most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk who, in 1963, drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest against the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime.
Enjoying a dragon boat cruise in late afternoon on the Perfume River for about 60 minutes at sunset is also an experience not to be missed.

Day 10: Hue – Dong Hoi via DMZ and Vinh Moc tunnels
With your guide, driver and private vehicle you will travel from Hue to Dong Hoi: Your guide will recommend stops along the way to see a small church showing the signs of mortar attack in the area and visit former US Bases, visit the former DMZ that used to demarcate the division between North and South Vietnam (1954-1975. You also visit the museums containing photographs and memorials of the war and take a fascinating tour of the Vinh Moc Tunnels. Arrive in Dong Hoi by mid-afternoon, check in and free time to relax and swim.

Day 11: Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng national park
8:00am begin your adventure to the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. About one and ½ hours away by road, the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park has a system of natural and uniquely interesting water grottoes and is covered with thick jungle, as well as abundant wildlife and plants. The park is also recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site. Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is located in the middle of the Annamite Mountain Range, 40km from Dong Hoi, 500km from Vietnam’s capital of Hanoi, and close to the Vietnam - Laos border, just several kilometres to the west. The grottoes and caves in this region are the oldest in Southeast Asia.
During your day you will visit Thien Duong ("Paradise Cave"). Paradise Cave was discovered by scientists of the British Caving Research Association in 2005 and has a length of 31km, making it the longest dry cave in Asia. You will then drive along the historical Ho Chi Minh trails to the Son River where you will take a boat ride for 45 minutes to the famous Phong Nha caves (wet cave and dried cave). In mid-afternoon your boat will take you back to your vehicle and transfer one hour to your hotel in Dong Hoi for swimming and sun set relax.

Day 12: Dong Hoi – Hanoi
Morning we travel from Dong Hoi to Hanoi by air arriving by mid-day. The rest of the day is free to explore the city. You can venture into the atmospheric Old Quarter to see the real Hanoi, stroll the tree-lined boulevards to admire the French architecture. Or visit one of the old temples for some insight into the country's turbulent history.
Enjoying an ice-cream with the kids or a coffee at one of the riverside coffee shops at sunset is also an experience not to be missed.

Note: Tonight please prepare light luggage for Halong cruise. Your main luggage you can be kept in the hotel in Hanoi. Please meet hotel reception and ask for this.

Day 13: Hanoi - Halong Cruise  
Have breakfast in hotel and ready to be picked up at 7:30Am by shuttle bus and join a tour group for Halong bay trip. Four hour drive to Halong Bay, board your desired junk boat, enjoy the magnificent Ha Long Bay. Lunch, dinner and breakfast all included. Overnight on board in a cozy air-conditioned cabin with en-suite bathroom facilities.
*** Please contact us for Halong cruise itinerary.

Day 14: Halong Cruise – Hanoi
Halong cruise will be over at 11:00Am, and then shuttle bus will meet you and transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi. Arrive back Hanoi around 4pm. 
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi 

Day 15: Hanoi - Departure
Free at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for the departure.

We are flexible! Please contact us as soon as possible and request your preferred day and time then we'll confirm.
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