Today you’ll fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival you will meet your driver who will take you to your hotel downtown. Rest of the day at leisure.
Today discover Ho Chi Minh City, the capital and economic heart of the country, with your guide: discover the Central Post Office designed by Gustave Eiffel (yes, the one of the Eiffel tower!), Reunification Palace where former Vietnam Presidents used to live, Town Hall, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Tien Hau pagoda, and War museum. You’ll also cross the lively Chinese Cho Lon neighbourhood, Binh Tay market, and discover the numerous pagodas of the city.
Today you will drive to Ben Tre (2hrs), a small town where you’ll embark on a traditional sampan for a discovery of Ben Tre local life along the river until Nhon Thanh village. Then you’ll go on by bicycle through the rice fields and local gardens. In the afternoon you’ll drive to Tra Vinh (2hrs) and discover the Khmer Krom culture. On foot or by bicycle on the streets, meet the locals busy in their gardens. You can also visit the church or the school. After a final visit to the local Khmer pagoda, you’ll reach your homestay for the night.
After breakfast you will start another bicycle tour through the many Khmer villages to familiarize yourself with the place. Explore Cau Ke market, and discover the old colonial style Huynh Ky house. In the afternoon you’ll drive to Can Tho (2hrs). On the way, you’ll also visit Binh Thuy communal house that dates back to the 19th century, and is still richly decorated.
This morning you will embark on a small boat to explore Cai Rang floating market, a busy marketplace where everything is sold on board! Then you’ll drive to Sadec, charming small town on the Song Tien river immortalized by the French writer Marguerite Duras. You’ll visit her Chinese “Amant” (lover)’s house, and the Kien An Cung pagoda. Finally you’ll drive to Ho Chi Minh City’s airport and board a flight to Hue, in the centre of the country.
Today you’ll explore Hue, the old imperial city from 1802 to 1945, with your guide. Hue is known for its architectural embellishments, as well as its tranquil and romantic atmosphere. You will start with a cruise on the Perfume River to reach Thien Mu pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist pagodas in the country (built in 1601). Then you’ll visit the Imperial City, and some of the Emperors’ remarkable Tombs.
Today you will reach La Chu village in the countryside. Explore on bicycle this place specialized in herbs. Discover the typical products of the region on the local market. At a family owned restaurant, you’ll learn how to make banh loc, Hue’s traditional dish prepared with rice wheat and shrimps. A herbal feet bath will reward you for your efforts! In the afternoon, you’ll drive on the coastal road to Hoi An. You’ll stop in Da Nang for the Cham Art museum visit, where the archeological remains of the old Hinduist Champa kingdom are exposed. If you feel like it, you can also stop at the Marble Mountain and climb its 156 stairs to Tam Thai pagoda. Finally, stay in Hoi An for the night.
This morning, take the bicycle again to discover Cam Thanh fishermen’s village. On the way, wander across the rice fields, buffalos, temples, and local peasants at work. Then you’ll join fishermen on their boat on the Thu Bon river and why not try fishing yourself. You’ll change boat to discover the local mangrove, where crabs are catched with a bamboo stick. After reaching a house hidden in the mangrove, enjoy a barbecue for lunch and learn how local houses are made from bamboo and coconut leaves. Back to Hoi An, you’ll explore its old neighborhood.
This morning you will drive to Da Nang airport and board a flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, you’ll discover the city with your guide: Saint-Joseph cathedral, crafts street, remarkable pagodas, beautiful Chinese merchant house, Dong Xuan indoor market, the East Gate and Long Bien bridge also designed by the Eiffel team. You’ll keep visiting the city on a cyclo, and pass by the old colonial buildings such as the Opera. You’ll discover the Litterature Temple, actually the first University in Vietnam, Tran Quoc pagoda, and Quan Thanh Temple. At the end of the day, enjoy a Puppet show on the water.
Start your day strolling in the gardens of the former Governor’s Palace, where Ho Chi Minh’s stilts house is also located. Next to it, you’ll visit the old imperial Citadel. Explore the new historical museum, that exhibits newly found remains of the past. You’ll see there the Flag Tower, the majestic Doan Mon Gate, Kinh Thien Palace’s relics, and the North Gate that was attacked by the French in 1882. In the afternoon, the Ethnology Museum will show you the many ethnic groups that compose the Vietnamese nation.
This morning, you will drive to Hai Phong (3.5hrs) and take a ferry to Cat Ba island (20mn). You’ll embark for a cruise to Lan Ha Bay, an extension to Ha Long Bay but a bit less touristic. Reaching a fishermen’s floating village, you will stop and visit a local family’s floating house. After learning about their way of life, your boat will take you to Ong Cam Bay for a kayaking experience, surrounded by amazing cliffs. After dinner on board, you’ll spend the night in the bay.
Today, you can get up early to contemplate the sunrise on Lan Ha Bay, an unforgettable moment. Your cruise will go on through the Bay’s islets, and Ba Trai Dao beaches will appear for a bathing time in a magical place. After lunch, you’ll disembark at Ben Beo port. You’ll drive back to Hanoi and stay in the city for this last night of your trip.
Today is the end of your trip to Vietnam. Your driver will take you to the airport, where you will board a flight to your next destination.