Today’s Vietnam is a paradox living in the limbo of the old and the new. Every day, this resilient S-shaped country is wrestling to keep their centuries-old way of life alive while trying to adapt to the modern world. From its ancient treasures to glitzy skyscrapers, from the sleepy countryside to the vibrant city life, from bewitching mountainous spectacles to ethereal seascapes, the sheer diversity of Vietnam makes every journey a rewarding experience. Aside from the backbone 4 H’s: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, the verdant Mekong Delta is also one of the best holiday destinations in Vietnam. In the span of 8 days, you will be shown a Vietnam through the prism of a local and get to witness the living, breathing work of art that she is.
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Meals: NA – Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, the timeless capital of Vietnam. Upon your arrival, our tour guide will transfer you to your hotel in the city center.
In the afternoon, enjoy a city tour visiting some of the main attractions in Hanoi like Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, Hanoi Opera House, and St. Joseph Church.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
Meals: Breakfast – Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.
As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi surely has a good many to offer its visitors, with its perfectly balanced mix of cultural, historical and natural spectacles. Today you have a full day to explore the capital of Vietnam. Pay a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex; starting with Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in the center of monumental Ba Dinh Square that houses the embalmed body of the late Vietnam communist leader, followed by the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house in the garden at the back, as well as the neighboring diminutive One Pillar Pagoda – a symbol of Hanoi. A little further southwest is the tranquil Temple of Literature – the first university in Vietnam, inviting quiet contemplation.
You will also get to explore West Lake, 15km in circumference, covering a sizable part of Hanoi and offering colorful Vietnamese life filters with aesthetically designed temples scattered here and there such as Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple, fishermen casting their fish rods and nets, as well as Western-oriented cafes and bars. Return the Old Quarter right at the heart of Hanoi and take a rickshaw ride along its signature tree-shaded streets, mustard yellow French colonial villas with green shutters, and civic architecture landmarks. You will pass by Hoan Kiem Lake, framed by winsome flame trees, along the way. Enjoy an authentic Water Puppet Show, the proudest and most intricate traditional folk art of the country.
Day 3: Hanoi-Ha Long
Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner – Accommodation: On Cruise
Prescribed as one of the World Heritage Site in 1994, Halong Bay is undoubtedly one of the best holiday destinations in Vietnam. After getting picked up from your hotel, you will be transferred by van/car to Ha Long Bay at 12:00. Upon arrival in Ha Long Bay, you will be welcomed aboard and enjoy lunch while weaving through a myriad of islands and islets towering over and reflected off the emerald waters of Halong Bay. After lunch, take a short trek to a nearby summit for an aerial view of the bay peppered with golden sails, and then proceed to a quiet beach for some swimming or kayaking, or just simply go back to the ship and sunbathe on the sundeck, whatever tickles your fancy. Later in the afternoon, pay a visit to a tranquil fishing village to interact with fishermen who have inhabited the bay for almost three generations. Go back on board and enjoy a drink on the sun deck while can enjoy drinks while basking in the glorious sunset. Enjoy dinner and stay overnight on the junk.
Day 4: Ha Long – Hanoi – Fly to Danang – Hoi An
Meal: Breakfast/Brunch – Accommodation: On Cruise
Today, you will continue to sail around Ha Long Bay. Get up early to join a Tai Chi lesson with other passengers on the sun deck, or just simply take in the beautiful view of limestone islands, charming beaches, and amazing grottos unfurl right before your eyes. After breakfast, you will visit a dazzling karst grotto then go back to the boat for a final glimpse of Halong Bay’s fine spectacle as you cruise back to the dock. Your tour guide will wait for you at the dock and transfer you to the hotel in the city center of Hanoi.
12:00 – 16:30: Transfer back to Hanoi for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival, your guide and driver will meet you and take you to your hotel in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An
Meals: Breakfast – Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An
Like Halong Bay, Hoi An Ancient Town is also one of the best holiday destinations in Vietnam, but with a completely different appeal. Once a major entrepot in Southeast Asia from the 15th century to 19 century, harboring foreign traders from China, France, Nederlands, Japan, Poland, and Arab, this lovely quaint town possesses a beguiling hotpot of cultures and architectures.
In the morning, you will go back in time with a visit to My Son Sanctuary, also known as “the Angkor Wat of Vietnam” – a cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO in 1999. The majestic capital of the once-thriving Champa Kingdom with multiple Hindu temples devoted to the god Shiva, unfortunately, is now a cluster of ruins due to age and bombing, standing as a witness to the glorious bygone era.
Later in the afternoon, you will take a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding alleyways visiting some well-preserved historical sites such as Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200- year old Tam Ky ancestral house, and the Japanese Bridge. After that, there will be free time for you to shop or relax. You will stay overnight in Hoi An.
Day 6 Hoi An – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: Breakfast – Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
In the morning, you will be transferred to Danang Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Today’s highlight will be a city tour to the most famous landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City. You will stop at Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral – established in the late 1880s, followed by a visit to the Old Post Office. Afterwards, you can contemplate Vietnam War exhibits in the War Remnants Museum, and drop by the Independence Palace – symbolizing the reunification of Vietnam. Visit China Town and Ben Thanh Market, where a wide variety of Vietnamese food and souvenirs can be found.
Day 7: Saigon – Mekong Delta – Saigon
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch – Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon
The Mekong Delta, with its exotic water civilization and luxuriant fluvial landscapes with sprawling rice paddies, is blooming as one of the best holiday destinations in Vietnam, promising you an immersive experience. Our tour guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and take you to Cai Be Floating Market. Take a cruise amongst local barges piled up with fresh produce, pay a visit to some local workshops, and enjoy lunch under the cool shade of An Binh Island’s lush orchards.
In the afternoon, hop on a sampan and venture into the countryside and witness the floating, breathing work of art that she is. As you glide through the narrow canals, take in the tranquillity of the surroundings and lose yourself in the labyrinth of water arteries, lush orchards, exuberant mangrove vegetation, and velvety rice fields. Stop at a nursery garden to watch local farmers grow their world-famous produce. Your cruise ends in Vinh Long. Your driver will be waiting for you at the dock to take you back to Saigon City center.
Day 8 Departure Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: Breakfast – Accommodation: NA
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be free until our guide comes to pick you up and transfer you to the airport to catch your scheduled flight. Your exploration of the best holiday destinations in Vietnam ends here. Thank you and bon voyage!
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