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Essential Vietnam Tour, 8 Days

Style: Vietnam Sightseeing Tours

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Activities:

Hightlights: Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay - Da Nang - Hoi An - Hue - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh

Description: This trip is designed for those who have short time but want to visit the whole country. The wonder of Halong Bay, the old capital of Hue, Hoian town

Day 1: Arrival - Ha Noi
You are met on arrival at Noi Bai Airport, transferred to hotel for a check-in by our guide. Then, there might be a tour by cyclo within 1 hour around the old quarter streets to discover the local people life.
O/N in Ha Noi.

Day 2: Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay
Today we commence our sightseeing of Hanoi with the Ho Chi Minh Complex, containing the mausoleum of the nation's founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of Hanoi. We follow this with a visit to the Temple of Literature, well known as Vietnam's first university, and the Ethnology Museum which displays an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnam’s ethnic minorities with their own traditions, cultures & life-styles. The peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple and the bustling Hang Be or Dong Xuan Market are also visited before driving straight to Ha Long Bay.
O/N in Ha Long.

Day 3: Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi
The legendary Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. We board a traditional boat for a 5- hour trip around Halong Bay. This exciting cruise provides us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. These limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. We round off our excursion with a seafood lunch served on board
Finally, we will driver back to Hanoi.
Evening: Water puppets show, the unique Vietnam traditional art.
O/N in Ha Noi.

Day 4: Ha Noi - Da Nang - Hoi An
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Noi Bai airport for flight to Da Nang. On arrival at Da Nang Airport, you are met and transferred to Hoi An, which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There are plenty to see in this tranquil and delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant market. We include these sights in an enchanting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past O/N in Hoi An.

Day 5: Hoi An - Da Nang - Hue
Depart for Hue via Danang from Hoi An. The scenic 4-hour drive will be getting over Hai Van Pass known as one of Vietnam’s most impressive panoramic scenes offering spectacular views of mountains, the sea, idyllic beaches and villages (we can choose the shorter way by driving through the tunnel). However, on the way we will stop by one very famous Cham Museum in Da Nang city. This structure contains many exquisite limestone carvings from the vanquished Kingdom of Champa which has been the central coastal littoral prior to the march of the Vietnamese nation south.
In the afternoon, the Imperial Citadel including Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Purple Forbidden City. This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. Close to this masterpiece is Hue Imperial Museum which displays an interesting collections of bronzes, Chinaware, court robes and various emperors’ personal belongings.
Afterward, visit the Royal Mausoleum of Tu Duc. And then we enjoy a boat trip on the Perfumes River to see Thien Mu Pagoda if time permits.
Later on, we come back to Hue center &l stop by the bustling Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass many fantastic eating spots, all ideal for visitors to sample some local delicacies.
O/N in Hue.

Day 6: Hue - Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Pick up on arrival and transfer to city center for a check-in.
In this afternoon, we spend a half-day exploring the captivating Ho Chi Minh City. The most places of interest are located near the town center. We pass by the now-demolished wartime American Embassy on our way to the Reunification Palace. This famous mansion was a former residence of the President of Southern Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. Upon leaving these landmarks we drive to see the crowded Saigon's Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon, which is crammed with fascinating temples as well as mysterious and narrow lanes. We follow it with a visit to the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War remnant exhibit with a wealth of images from the notorious conflicts.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 7: Full Day To Mekong Delta - Cai Be
In the morning, we will keep heading out of town by roads to Cai Be in the heart of the Mekong Delta. On arrival we embark a boat for a leisurely trip around the tributaries of the mighty Mekong River, stopping en route to explore the vibrant floating market of Cai Be where each boat usually sells one particular item such as pumpkins, pineapples, sugar canes and more. In order that customers know where to shop, the vendors hang that item from the highest part of the boat. We continue our exciting river trip to visit some local cottage industries including rice paper makers, sweet factory and bonsai nurseries. The boat will anchor at an island, giving us a chance to see various farmers at work and enjoy a huge lunch followed by many seasonal fruits. We weave our way through the intricate network of canals which are the lifeblood of the Mekong Delta. On reaching Vinh Long Town, we meet up with our vehicle for a return to Ho Chi Minh City.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure
At leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flight (check out hotel before 12h00).

INCLUDING:
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
- Air ticket Ha Noi - Da Nang, Hue - Ho Chi Minh
- Accommodation in hotels (shared twin room)
- Meals as indicated: B = breakfast, L = lunch
- English or French speaking guide
- Entrance fee to indicated sights
- Water puppet show
- Boat trips

EXCLUDING: Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room, personal expenses, insurance...