Grand Tour of Vietnam

This trip will take you to all the highlight of Vietnam in 23 days from mountain area of Sapa or Da Lat to Nha Trang Beach, Red River Delta to Mekong Delta, from 1000 year old city of Hanoi to the dynamic city of Saigon, indulge with breathtaking beauty of Halong and discover 3 more Wolld Heritages of Vietnam: Hue, Hoi and and My Son with allot of exclusive discovery feature from Indochina Charm Travel. You will be satisfied when coming home and said: “Yes, I have been to Vietnam”.

Destinations: Hanoi – Duong Lam – Sa Pa – Halong – Tho Ha – Hue – Hoi An – My Son -Nha Trang -Dalat – Saigon – Tay Ninh – Cu Chi – My Tho.

  • Daily departure
  • Prices valid until December 2015
Grand Tour of Vietnam
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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 Hanoi 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: FULL DAY TO TAY PHUONG PAGODA AND DUONG LAM VILLAGE – LAO CAI

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 Tay Phuong 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 MongPhu 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 Duong Lam 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. After having dinner at Indochine Restaurant, transfer to Hanoi Railway Station for a night train to Lao Cai.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: overnight on train

DAY 4: LAO CAI – SAPA

Arriving in Laocai early in the morning, you will take one and half hours drive to Sapa – the town with four seasons in a day. Upon arrival,have breakfast at local restaurant.Then you have an orientation walk around the town of Sapa. It is said that you will find four seasons in a day here, but Sapa is normally seen in a thin mist.
In the afternoon, after having sometime for resting, you will take the short trip driving to Tram Ton Pass, the highest section over the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range. It is compared to “The Gate to Heaven”. Here you admire the grandiose mountainous view of the North West of Vietnam. A photo for souvenir should not be missed! On the way back to Sapa, we stop to visit Thac Bac, Silver waterfall, one of the most popular tourist attractions of the neighborhood.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa

DAY 5: SAPA – LAO CHAI – TA VAN – SAPA

This morning, we have chance to explore the villages of different ethnic groups around Sapa. First, we take very beautiful drive from Sapa to the villages along the valley of Muong Hoa. The scenery like a painting of Mother Nature with the fields on the terrace, waterfall on the hill side, the green of the vegetation, a winding stream down below and the air is so fresh and pure. Our first stop is at Y Linh Ho – village of the H’mong people. It is said that H’mong was one of the first immigrants to this area and famous for their hand weaving and terrace rice field in Sapa. Take a beautiful trek to Lao Chai – the other village of Mong. We take a walk around the village and to the village of Ta Van of the Giay people via the terraces rice field and the trails, experience the diversity of hill tribe people there. After that, you will be transferred back to Sapa by car. The rest of the day is on your own arrangements. You can choose to do some shopping in town, or you should not miss the visit up to Ham Rong Mountain where you can admire the view of Fansipan, “the roof-top of South East Asia” as well as the romantic view of the whole town in the mist.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa

DAY 6: SAPA – ECOLODGE

You have the whole morning to relax and discover Sapa together on your own or taking another hike to Cat Cat and Sin Chai Village. After lunch by your own account, drive to Ecolodge Resort, very impressive and romantic resort above Muong Hoa Valley. From the lodge there are breathtaking views across the scenic valleys below, which are home to villages of the Tay and Red Dao minorities. You will have great time to relax and recover in white stone bungalow; it was built based on ecological principles. You will have full day to enjoy your stay in this resort, so quiet and calm, totally pure atmosphere. After beautiful buffet dinner, you can be back to your private bungalow. You will be totally refresh when wake up in the next morning.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Topas Ecolodge

DAY 7: SAPA – HANOI

The morning is at leisure. You can spend time in the resort or take a short hike to Ban Ho, the nearby village of Tay people. After lunch at the resort, check out and drive back to Sapa. On the way drive to Lao Cai, you will take another escorted tour to Ta Phin – the village of the Red Dao. In the evening, take the overnight train back to Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: overnight on train

DAY 8: HANOI – HALONG BAY

Arrive to Hanoi in early morning; our guide will take you to visit Hanoi wholesale flower market, Hoan Kiem Lake before breakfast in local cafeteria in town. Depart to Halong Bay through Red River Delta. Upon arrival to Halong, embark to the Junk on Hon Gai International Harbour. You will be welcomed by the cruise staff, enjoy the welcome drink, cruise briefing then check in your cabin. The junk will start cruising on magnificent Bai Tu Long bay while you enjoy lunch on board. It also a great chance to admire the fascinating rock formations in the bay. In the afternoon you will visit the secluded cave of Thien Canh Son then take a short cruise to Hon Co Island where you can relax on a white sandy beach, swimming or kayaking. Back to the Junk, relax and get ready for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: overnight on junk

DAY 9: HALONG BAY – THO HA – HANOI

In the morning you can admire the sunrise on the bay from sun deck of the Junk. Enjoy the bay’s morning landscape with a cup of tea or coffee then have the breakfast in the open air. After breakfast, you will have a chance to visit Vung Vieng fishing village in a rustic rowing-boat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms. Then back to the junk for more leisure time for swimming in the middle of the bay. The cruise will be back to the harbour while an a la carte lunch is served. At noon, disembark to the port and drive back to Hanoi. 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 back to Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

DAY 10: HANOI – HUE

Morning transfer to Airport for the flight to Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Upon arrival, check in the hotel in Hue. Afternoon take a 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.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

DAY 11: HALF DAY HUE CITY TOUR

Morning we drive to visit Thien Mu pagoda, the symbol of Hue city then take a walk around Kim Long Village where you can visit the original ancient house of the former mandarin, mingle with local people and experience their daily activities in the village. Then visit Tu Duc Tomb, discover beautiful and impressive architecture of this unique construction in Hue as well as the story of the King there. At noon, experience the vegetarian lunch at Dong Thien Pagoda and interact with the nuns there.
The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

DAY 12: HUE – DA NANG – HOI AN

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 then take the orientation walk around the town. Evening is free at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

DAY 13: FULL – DAY 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 you have free time for discovering the town on your own or shopping.
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
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

DAY 14: HOI AN COOKING CLASS – MY SON

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 chili 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 15: HOI AN – DA NANG – NHA TRANG

Morning transfer to Danang Airport for the flight to Nha Trang – the dynamic ocean town beside one of 29 most beautiful bays in the world. Upon arrival to Nha Trang, check in the hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure to discover the town on your own or just relax on the ideal beach.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Nha Trang

DAY 16: NHA TRANG – FULL DAY WITH OCEAN & ISLANDS

Morning we will depart for an excursion out to the bay of Nhatrang, one of 28 best bays in the world. Start from your hotel to Cau Da port, we will embark to our boat and sail to Tri Nguyen Aquarium where you can see many sea species of Nha Trang like a small ocean world there. After that, we will cruise to Mun Island that very well-known as the best island for snorkeling where you can see lots of lives colorful corals and fish. After having a good time swimming or snorkeling in crystal blue water at Mun Island you will have a chance to see caves in which the sea swallows make their nest. Then relaxing, swimming & doing water sports or other activities at Mot Island, Tranh Beach Island or on a small island calling “Mini beach”. Taking a fresh lunch at the island. On the way back you will visit a interesting local fishing village before going to the shore.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Nha Trang

DAY 17: NHA TRANG – DALAT

Morning drive to Dalat – the city of flower over great scenery of highland.Upon arrival, check in to your hotel in Dalat. In the afternoon, take the orientation work to city center, the market of Dalat and famous XQ embroidery workshop. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Dalat

DAY 18: DA LAT

Morning drive to Robin Hill, then take a cable car to Thien Vien Monastery over the great panorama view of the city. Visit Thien Vien Truc Lam, the great monastery of famous trend of Buddhism in Vietnam. Drive back to the city then take a short walk along Tran Hung Dao Street, where you can feel great atmosphere of the Hill Station in the past by the French Villas remained along the street. Visit Dalat Station, one of the most beautiful stations in South East Asia, where you still can see the original steam locomotive.
Afternoon visit Linh Phuoc pagoda and the vegetable farm nearby. In the evening, enjoy the home hosted dinner in the hospitable family in Dalat.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Da Lat

DAY 19: DA LAT – SAIGON

In the morning visit Chicken village of Lat people before drive to Lien Khuong airport the flight back to Saigon. Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), take tour to Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post office. Afternoon take a tour Ngoc Hoang Pagoda, where hundreds of local people come and burn the incense for their luck, prosperity and happiness. After that, visit History Museum, where you can see great outline of the 4000 years history of the country.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

DAY 20: FULL DAY TO TAY NINH AND CU CHI TUNNELS

Morning depart for Tay Ninh, the head quarter of Cao Dai religion. On arrival we will have time to visit the impressive Holy Temple of Caodaism, the famous local religion that is the symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity and Buddhism before attending the fantastic mid-day mass. After having lunch in local restaurant, drive to 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. Transfer back to Saigon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

DAY 21: 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. Check in your hotel in Can Tho. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Can Tho

DAY 22: 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 23: SAIGON – DEPARTURE

Morning is free at leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flight. End of Grand of Vietnam Tour 23 Days.

Meals: Breakfast

End of Services

Services included:

• Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Air ticket Hanoi- Hue; Danang – Nhatrang, Dalat- Saigon
• Train ticket: Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi
• 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, cable car, boat trips
• Join cruise on Halong Bay
• Water and 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)
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2 participants  2922 3485
3-6 participants  2539  3102
7-10 participants  2157  2720
11-14 participants  2019  2534
15-19 participants  2008  2519
20 participants and above  1917  2508
Single Supplement 590  1184
Exclusive discovery
Learning and Sharing

Tour to Duong Lam and Tho Ha, two ancient villages in the Red River Delta. Bike ride in the rural area around Tay Phuong Pagoda.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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