Discover Authentic Vietnam Tour

This is the most reasonable and special itinerary to discover Vietnam in 17 days. You will have general experiences of Vietnam on this trip from beautiful home stay in hill tribe house of Thai people in mountain area of Mai Chau Valley, stay in great atmosphere of Hanoi and Saigon – two biggest cities in Vietnam, discover Red River and Mekong Delta as well as visit 4 world heritages of Vietnam such as: Halong Bay, Hue, My Son and Hoi An.

Destinations: Hanoi – Tay Phuong – Duong Lam – Mai Chau – Xa Linh – Ha Long Bay – Tho Ha – Hue – Hoi An – My Son – Saigon – Cu Chi –Cai Lay – Can Tho.

  • Daily departure
  • Prices valid until December 2015
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DAY 1: ARRIVAL – HANOI

Fly to Hanoi. Upon arrival to the airport, you well be met by our guide and transfer to you hotel.

Meals: Non
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 2: FULL DAY OF HANOI CITY TOUR

Morning start our tour to discover Hanoi, a peaceful city with beautiful trees and lakes, the city has thousand years of history and culture. We will have the first impression of the city by authentic Cyclo ride from your hotel to Hanoi Old Quarter – where you can experience the real daily life activities of local people in the oldest area of Hanoi. Then you will ride by the French Quarter along wide and green typical French boulevard that can explain to you why this city so called “Paris of the East” before taking a walk to Ngoc Ha village. You can see the village as an Oasis in the middle of the city, that still keep all the typical daily life activities as well as the typical community sense of the village in Red river Delta along your walk. Then visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – the symbol of the country and Presidential Palace, Presidential Garden, his House on Stilts and One Pillar Pagoda. After that, visit Temple of Literature – the central of culture of Hanoi that worship to Literature – the only subject for student to study in the feudal system just hundred years ago and Confucius. At lunch, enjoy the typical and authentic cuisine at Season of Hanoi Restaurant.
Afternoon visit Ethnology Museum in which you can study the great outline of 54 ethics people living in Vietnam. This museum is the only one in Vietnam that many artifacts display in there still exist in the life of local people but not extinct like most of the museums, that will create very good reflection about the life, culture, customs, religions and costumes of Vietnamese people. Back to the center of the city for the short walk to discover the Old Quarter. Your tour will be concluded with great experience of Water Puppet show – the unique art of Vietnamese people from Red River Delta.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 3: HANOI – TAY PHUONG PAGODA – DUONG LAM VILLAGE

Morning we will take one hour drive to Tay Phuong, one of ten most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam. Located on the top of the hill, this pagoda is very famous about the collection of Buddha and Arhat statues from 17th century and unique architecture. Then take 45 minutes bike ride the rural area nearby the Pagoda through green rice field, local villages. This is the great chances for you to discover the daily life activities in the Red River Delta, interact to local people and feel the real atmosphere of rural area. After that, back to the car for driving to the ancient village of Duong Lam, the place so called “Hoi An of the Red River Delta” as still preserve many hundred-year-old houses constructed by laterite stone – the unique material just can be found in this area. That is the reason why Duong Lam also has the name “The laterite ancient village”. Upon arrival, take the pleasant walk by the gate of the village to Mong Phu Communal House. This is one of very few village gates still remained intact locates by the old Banyan Tree as the typical image of the village in the Red River Delta. After visiting the Communal House, just take a seat at the tea house nearby and enjoy some local fresh green tea and special candy made from sticky rice flake. This is the oldest Tea House in Vietnam as the villagers made used of the spare material from constructing the Communal House to build this Tea House from 400 years ago. Then our guide will take you to walk along some small alleys in the village. The village has constructed very special system of alleys in “fish bone” style that every single alley comes to death end for the security reason. That could be the reason why many families in the village still using the old gate with the handle from outside to help the guests open the gate themselves. The walk will concluded by the visit of the most beautiful ancient house in the village of Mr. Huyen family and enjoy the authentic home hosted lunch prepare by hospitable people in his family.
After lunch, we will take another bike ride in the rural area around the village that lead you to green rice field, interesting resting house had been constructed hundred years ago for people working on the field to rest in the shade and breeze in the hot summer day. You also can visit the thousand year old tree line that had been recognized as Heritage Trees in Vietnam before coming back to the village for the drive back to Hanoi. Return to the city in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 4: HANOI – MAI CHAU

Depart from Hanoi to Mai Chau – the peaceful green valley in the West of Hanoi. This trip gives you a lot of photo opportunities with spectacular scenery of mountain area and rice fields. Drive up to Luong Son then turn to Kim Boi on beautiful drive along peaceful rice field between impressive scenery of limestone mountain on the hidden road. This is much more authentic drive than the regular way to Mai Chau via Hoa Binh. Upon arrival to Mai Chau, check in and have lunch at local house of Thai people in Pom Coong village. Afternoon we will take a walk around the valley to visit some nearby villages, carpet green rice fields and Mai Chau town. After dinner, enjoy traditional music show performed by local people in the village.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Homestay at Mai Chau

DAY 5: MAI CHAU – HANOI

In the morning you can say good bye to our very hospitable host then drive up to Xa Linh area about 30 kms away from Mai Chau. First, we will visit Na Bai – the traditional village of Muong People locates on the beautiful plateau on the bank of Hoa Binh reservoir, this village is hidden from tourist and very friendly to the visitors. You will have lots of chances to interact to hill tribe people there. Then transfer to visit the village of Mong people at Xa Linh. We will have lunch at local restaurant on the way back to Hanoi. Arrive back to Hanoi in late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 6: HANOI – HALONG

In the morning drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay by Red River Delta with beautiful rice field and activities of local people along the way. Upon arrival to Halong, embark to Dragon Pearl – an authentic Junk on Halong Bay. You will be greeted by the hospitable cruise. Enjoy the welcome drink and cruise briefing on board. Check in your lovely room then enjoy lunch while the Junk start sailing to Bai Tu Long Bay with beautiful topography and scenery of lime stone mountain. The Junk will cruise to Cap La and anchor by the fishing village there. From here, you can have a beautiful one and half hour discovery of Halong Bay on the Kayak. Back to the junk for swimming in emerald water of Halong Bay. Then you can relax on the sun deck and enjoy the beauty of Halong in the sunset while the Junk sailing to Cong Do.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: overnight on junk in Halong Bay

DAY 7: HALONG BAY

You can great the sunrise of Halong Bay on the sun deck with cup of tee or coffee available on the junk. Then enjoy the breakfast in fresh air and beautiful scenery of the Bay. The Junk will start cruising to Cong Dam while discovering geological values of Bai Tu Long Bay. Upon arrival, you can enjoy kayaking through the hidden lagoons and geological park in Cong Dam then back to the Junk for sunbathing, relaxing or swimming before lunch on the junk. After lunch, we will sail to Cong Dam Fishing village. The villager will take us to their village on the traditional basket boat, rowing by their village, visit the beautiful lagoon then visit the school, local fish farm and interact with local fish man in the village. The basket boat will take us back to the junk then we sail back to Cong Dam area. In the evening, enjoy the impressive private dinner in the Thien Canh Son Cave. It will be one of the highlight on your trip in Halong.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: overnight on junk in Halong Bay

DAY 8: HALONG BAY – THO HA VILLAGE – HUE

In the morning we will cruise around Bai Tu Long Bay. The junk will stop in a beautiful place for your last swim on the cruise. Then we will cruise towards the harbor while A la carte lunch is served. On the way back to Hanoi, visit Tho Ha the famous village of terracotta products before 20th century. Upon arrival, take a short local ferry to the village. Visit a local home of Mr. Viet, where you can see how rice paper has been made and have the interesting talk with him about his family and his life. Mr. Viet was NVA (Northern Vietnamese Army) who liberate Saigon in 1975. After spend time in his house and talk to the owner for deeper understand about life of local people in the village, we will visit 400 years old pagoda that still remains all original architecture and Buddha statues, specially the holly and peaceful atmosphere that have not been touched by the tourist. Discover village through narrow and zigzag alleys with the old houses had been constructed from broken part of terracotta from the past. Walking over to the end of the village to the dike, where you can see the village from distance over the beautiful lake. Drive to Noi Bai Airport for flight to Hue. Upon arrival, take the half hour drive to Hue and check in your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue.

DAY 9: HUE CITY TOUR

We will start our day by the cyclo trip from your hotel over famous Trang Tien Bridge to Dong Ba –the famous whole sales market in Hue. The cyclo even can take you by the area selling food in the market along Perfume River. From the market, we will follow the river bank toward to the area around the ancient citadel of Hue, getting over the streets, local shops for the over view of daily life and architecture of this famous citadel. The ride will be ended at Noon gate – the main entrance of Imperial Citadel for the walking tour to the inner area of the citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945 including Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, and Forbidden Purple City. At noon, visit Dong Thien Pagoda then experience the vegetarian lunch prepared by the nun. The Pagoda also run some kinder gartens for poor children and our visit will contribute directly to children in these classes. You also can interact with the nuns before visiting Tu Duc Tomb, discover beautiful and impressive architecture of this unique construction in Hue as well as the story of the King there. Back to the hotel and the rest of the day is free at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

DAY 10: HUE – DANANG – HOI AN

Morning visit Thien Mu pagoda – the symbol of Hue city before take a walk around Kim Long Village. It will be great chance to learn about lifestyle of local people there. Visit the hundred years old ancient house that belong the Mandarin of Royal Court in the village and talk to 84 years old lady – the granddaughter of the mandarin in the house. After that, depart to Danang through famous Hai Van Pass. Upon arrival, visit Cham Museum with great collection of sand stone artifact from 4th to 13th century then enjoy lunch at Apsara Restaurant. Drive to Hoi An, the little attractive town very famous as living museum which was originally one of major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Check in your hotel in Hoi An. In the evening, take the orientation in ancient town of Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

DAY 11: HOI AN CITY TOUR

Morning take a walking tour to Hoi An ancient town. Visit Thang Loi Handicraft workshop in Phan Chu Trinh Street. You will have the chance to experience all the typical traditional handicraft of Hoi An, such as wood carving, mat weaving, lantern making, silk worm raising, spinning and weaving, table cloth making and embroidery picture. These handicrafts made great contribution to upgrade living standard of local people since Hoi An turn to be popular destination for the tourists. Then take a walk to Hoi An ancient town. We will start the walk from small alley from Phan Chu Trinh Street to Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. This is the typical ancient street of Hoi An, that can show you great atmosphere of the ancient town. Visit the Japanese Cover Bridge – the symbol of Hoi An. After that visit Tan Ky, the most well-known and authentic ancient house in town. Then take a walk along the Nguyen Thai Hoc – the ancient street of Hoi An to the market of the town. Visit the local market and Phuc Kien Congressional Assembly Hall, the communal place for Chinese community from Fukien province in China as well the worshiping temple to Thien Hau, the Goddess protecting people on the sea – that was so important for the Chinese Merchant and Fishman in the past. Then enjoy the cooking class in Morning Glory Restaurant.
Afternoon depart for the cyclo trip to Cam Nam Village (this is exclusive discovery feature of ICT). The cyclo will take you from the town to Cam Nam Bridge. You will have the first stop for the photo opportunity of the activities and scenery on the Thu Bon River. Then the cyclo will take you along the Thu Bon River bank, where you can have another photo stop for panorama view of Hoi An from other side of river. You will ride along the riverside and cycle through local villages of Cam Nam. This is untouched area by tourism with very friendly and hospitable local people. You can see their daily life activities or even viewing the interior of their house and their life through always opened doors. The cyclo trip will be ended at green small canal covered by water coconut trees. Embark on the boat and take a cruise to Thu Bon River. You can experience the local daily life along river, such as fishing, farming, catching clam …. Come back to Hoi An around sunset time.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

DAY 12: HOI AN – COOKING CLASS – MYSON – HOIAN

In the morning, you will join to authentic cooking class in The Market Restaurant. We visit Hoi An’s colorful and bustling market where participants learn about the uses of different fresh noodles, how to recognize and buy fresh fish, herbs and their uses in Vietnam, fresh and dried spices – their uses in our recipes and medicinal purposes, rice and grains, see and taste exotic fruits.
On our return to The Market Restaurant we tour the many different Street Food counters, seeing live cooking demonstrations, learning how to make many different recipes with food tastings along the way. See bread for our Banh Mi or baguettes being made in front of you and then taste the baked bread fresh from the oven. Rice and water being ground to make rice water to make noodles, rice flour crepes, dumplings and rice paper dried on bamboo and grilled to eat with Hoi An chilli sauce. See our famous dish of Cao Lau, the noodles being made by hand and steamed over an open fire. We offer a choice of traditional Vietnamese teas served with homemade Hoi An cupcakes made freshly in front of you. Taste sweet treats and candy that we eat at Tet our Vietnamese New Year celebrations. And much more …..
The cooking lesson runs about 2.5 hours – our cooking teachers first demonstrate each dish before we prepare the same dishes ourselves. After the lesson we sit down and eat what we have cooked. You will receive a copy of the recipes and a Vietnamese cooking utensil to take home.

Recipes: (Vegetarians are provided with replacement ingredients).
1. Cabbage leaf parcels shrimp mousse in broth
2. BBQ chicken & lime leaves
3. Mango salad with prawns
4. Crispy Hoi An Pancakes with pork, prawns & bean sprouts

In the afternoon, we will drive to My Son, the Holly land of Champa kingdom date back from 4th to 13th century. Arrive to My Son before sunset and not many other tourist, you will have great chance to discover and feel the great ancient atmosphere of the complex of nearly 70 difference towers there, where you can find the best brick sculpture in the world and learn about the influences of Hinduism to their. My Son also had been recognized to be culture world Heritage in 1999. Back to Hoi An in late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

DAY 13: HOI AN – DANANG – SAIGON

Morning transfer to Danang airport for the flight to Saigon. Upon arrival take tour to Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post office. Lunch at Pho 2000 Restaurant. Afternoon take a tour to China town, the special identity of Saigon. Visit Thien Hau Pagoda, where hundreds of local people come and burn the incense for their luck, prosperity and happiness. After that, take a walk around Cho Lon, the biggest whole sale market in town. It is great combination of busy and bustle atmosphere of the market and traditional Chinese Architecture there.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

DAY 14: HALF DAY TO CU CHI TUNNELS

Morning depart for Cu Chi, the famous network of tunnels were used as the base from which the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The Cu Chi Tunnels consist of more than 250km of underground tunnels. This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels, the tunnels are between 0.5 to 1m wide, just enough for a person to crawl along. Back to Saigon for lunch at Al Fresco Restaurant. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

DAY 15: SAIGON – CAI LAY – CAN THO

Morning we drive 2 hours from Saigon to Cai Lay, a small but fertile town in the Mekong Delta through the new national free way. Upon arrival, drop off at the town’s local pier and start boarding our small motorized boat for a 30 min boat trip on one of the small branches of the Mekong River. Witness the lively life on the water of the locals. Disembark at Cam Son bridge where you start a leisure cycling trip (alternative transportation is our “xe loi”, a fun local transportation) into a deep Mekong Delta exploration. The ride is about 7km on shady narrow village roads curving over tiny canals and past fruit gardens and sleepy villages. Many kids will greet you with a big smile and “xin chao” or Hello. During the village road, you will have a chance to stop and visit local factories, fish farm, rice paddies to learn briefly about the local economy, business. Arrive at a lush orchard with diverse tropical fruits. Have a friendly chat with the owner – a former veteran with interesting topics about his motherland as well as his daily life both past and present. He will be very happy to walk you around his garden. Enjoy the opportunity to taste fresh fruits picked right from the trees. Then relax with a sampan ride to visit a local ancient house, have a brief interaction with these friendly residents in their 100 year‐old house before tasting their hosted lunch with traditional dishes of the Mekong land. Bid farewell to the family then drive to Can Tho – the capital city of Mekong Delta. Upon arrival, check in your hotel in Can Tho.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Can Tho

DAY 16: CAN THO – SAIGON

Morning take the early boat trip to visit Cai Rang floating market where local people whole sale all product of Mekong Delta. It will be great chance for taking part to the local activities and taking pictures. The boat will take you around the floating market 2 times to make sure that you will have enough opportunities for taking photos here. Then the boat will take you to visit the local bustling inland market where you can see all local products of Mekong Delta selling here. From the market, take the short ride on boat to the small local alley that you can walk along and experience the real daily life activities of local people here. Take the pleasant walk along the local village by the river bank and integrate with local people there before getting to local Rice Processing Factory. You will know exactly how the white rice had been made from paddy rice in here. You will meet the car then transfer to Sao Hom Restaurant for lunch. After lunch, we will drive back to Saigon. Arrive to Saigon in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

DAY 17: SAIGON – DEPARTURE

Morning is free at leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flight. End of Discover Authentic Vietnam Tour 17 Days.

Meals: Breakfast

End of Services

Services included:

• Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Air ticket Hanoi – Hue; Danang – Saigon
• Accommodation in hotels (shared twin room)
• Meals as indicated: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D= Dinner
• English speaking guide
• Entrance fee to indicated sights
• Water puppet show
• Cyclo tour, boat trips
• Join cruise on Halong Bay
• Waters & cool towels on the van

Services excluded:

• Other meals, tip, drinks, international flights & airport tax, single room, personal expenses, insurance…

Remarks:

• The tour prices are subject to change during Christmas and New Year Eve (24 and 30 Dec)

Price per person in US$
Valid till 31 December 2015 (subject to change on 24 Dec and 31 Dec)
Private party of First Class
3-Star hotels
Superior Class
4-Star hotels
2 participants  2345 2821
3-6 participants  2033  2509
7-10 participants  1694  2171
11-14 participants  1583  2092
15-19 participants  1574  2083
20 participants and above  1513  2011
Single Supplement  454  1020
Exclusive discovery
Learning and Sharing

Tour to Tho Ha, the ancient village in the Red River Delta. Cyclo trip in Hue and to rural area of Hoi An and boat trip on Thu Bon River, cooking class in Hoi An and lunch hosted by nuns in Dong Thuyen Pagoda. Walking tour to Kim Long Village in Hue. Home hosted dinner in Dalat.

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