Essence of Vietnam 20 days

Ha Noi - Sa Pa - Ha Long Bay - Hue - Hoi An - Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City 20 days

  • Itinerary:
    Ha Noi - Sa Pa - Ha Long Bay - Hue - Hoi An - Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City 20 days
  • Product code:
    VNPT1015
  • Departure date:
    You Choose
  • Price:
    From 1,637 USD
Mountainous northern Vietnam is one of the best places in Asia to visit hill tribe villages and see dramatic mountains covered with terraced rice fields. This tour combines this rural idyll with Vietnam’s best urban and small town experiences. Start in the charming capital of Hanoi, Vietnam’s artistic and intellectual capital. Explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, ride a cyclo to dinner, and watch a performance at the famed Thang Long Water Puppet Theater.

Next, board the luxury Express train bound for remote Sapa, a mountain village near the Chinese border. Visit local markets where hill tribe minorities (including Hmong, Red Dao, Tay, Xa Pho and Giay) trade their goods. View spectacular waterfalls and drive through mountain valleys. Explore the hill station town of Sapa, and visit several villages where the tribes live. During free time, enjoy your mountain chalet hotel, where you can enjoy fondue by the fire, swim, play tennis, and take mountain walks.

Return to Hanoi for two more nights. Tour a food market with a renowned chef, followed by a cooking class. Dine in French colonial villas converted into gourmet restaurants. Enjoy people watching at stylish cafes. Shop for impressive modern art in the city's many galleries. Also visit Hanoi's main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum and the Temple of Literature.

Next, fly to Danang and stay several days at the luxurious beachfront Furama Resort. Nearby, see ancient sculpture in the Cham Museum or My Son, and tour Buddhist cave temples in the Marble Mountain. Visit atmospheric Hoi An, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site and riverfront port town crammed with historic homes, tiny museums, cafes, and bustling silk and fish markets.

Fly to the resort town of Nha Trang to spend several days in a secluded private villa overlooking beautiful Ninh Van Bay at the Evason Hideaway Resort at Ana Mandara. Snorkel or dive among the coral reefs in crystal blue waters, hike nature trails, cool off in your private plunge pool, indulge in spa treatments or just relax on the white sand beach and admire the unspoiled mountain and sea views.

Continue to dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, the country's commercial center and home to a growing number of upscale restaurants and shops. Visit Chinatown, the Thien Hau Pagoda, the Reunification Palace, the Opera House and Hotel de Ville. If so desired, also visit the powerful War Remnants Museum. Explore colorful outdoor markets and Dong Khoi Street, the city's main shopping boulevard with shops selling clothes and accessories by new Vietnamese designers, hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and housewares. Try the southerners' strong Vietnamese iced coffee and a banh mi (baguette sandwich). Take a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels and watch an unusual, eclectic religious ceremony at the maintemple of Cao Daism, a unique fusion of world religions alternatively, spend the day cruising the narrow canals of the Mekong Delta.

Outlined Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Hanoi
Day 2. Hanoi
Day 3. Hanoi - Sapa
Day 4. Arrival in Lao Cai - Sapa
Day 5. Sapa
Day 6. Sapa - Lao Cai -Train back to Hanoi
Day 7. Hanoi
Day 8. Halong Bay Excursion
Day 9. Hanoi - Hue
Day 10. Hue

Day 11. Hue - Hoi An
Day 12. Hoi An
Day 13. Hoi An
Day 14. Hoi An
Day 15. Hoi An - Nha Trang
Day 16. Nha trang
Day 17. Nha trang
Day 18. Nha trang - Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
Day 19. HCMC
Day 20. Departure

Itinerary Details

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi Capital

Place & Transport: Hanoi - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Relax

water puppet performance
water puppet performance

Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International airport, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Then, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from as you enjoy your first day.  Maybe you’ll want to take a cyclo ride to dinner at one of the French colonial villas which have been converted into gourmet restaurants. Following that, you may wish to attend a traditional water puppet performance. The sky is the limit and there is plenty to keep you busy before retiring for the evening. 

Day 2 Hanoi City Tour (B/L)

Place & Transport: Hanoi - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, and Temple of Literature.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

On day two, you’ll be able to explore the fascinating Old Quarter and visit Hanoi’s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. The day will end with the chance for you to enjoy an exotic spa package at Thu Cuc Spa.  Choose either the “Herbal Secrets” treatment for 150 minutes, the “Walking Walker” facial and foot massage for 120 minutes or the “Seasonal Greetings from Hanoi” treatment for 90 minutes.  You’ll then be ready for a restful overnight stay.

Day 3: Hanoi - Lao Cai - Sapa (B)

Place & Transport: Hanoi to Lao Cai - Train & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Relax

Bat Trang ceramic village
Bat Trang ceramic village

Today you have a whole day free to explore shops selling silks, lacquer ware, the finest linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Or you may visit some Vietnamese famous handicraft villages like Van Phuc Silk village or Bat Trang ceramic village. In the evening, you will take an overnight train to Lao Cai - a China-Vietnamese border city.

Day 4: Lao Cai - Sapa (B/D)

Place & Transport: Sapa - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Take a walking tour of the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat.

Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat Village

The train will arrive at the Lao Cai train station at approximately 06:00. There will be a vehicle waiting to transfer you to Sapa. The drive to Sapa is 33 km and takes roughly 1.5 hours. Once at Sapa, you will check into your hotel in order to freshen up, have breakfast and then enjoy a free morning to explore the town. After a pickup from the hotel, there will be a walking tour of the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, home to the Black H'mong minority peoples. As we walk to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, we will meet some of the local people on their way to and from Sapa. Here you will have the opportunity to share cultural experiences with the families that live in the area, followed by an overnight at stay in Sapa.

Day 5: Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van (B/L)

Place & Transport: Sapa - Transfer

Today’s Activities: 3-4 hours trek to hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van.

Lao Chai and Ta Van Village
Lao Chai and Ta Van Village

Following breakfast, you’ll explore the Sapa Sunday market and then set out on a 3-4 hour trek that will take you along buffalo paths and trails.  We’ll also pass through the hill tribe villages of Lao Chai and Ta Van, home to the H'mong and Dzay people. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery, inhabited by some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. In the afternoon, you will return for an overnight stay in Sapa.

Day 6: Sapa - Weekly Hill tribe market - Lao Cai (B/L)

Place & Transport: Sapa - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit the weekly hill tribe markets.

Coc Ly market
Coc Ly market

Today you can have an early breakfast, bid farewell to Sapa andtake a drive to join in the most exciting events in this area - the weekly hill tribe markets. These include the Coc Ly market on Tuesday, Muong Khuong market on Thursday, Can Cau market on Saturday and Bac Ha market on Sunday. Then you will return to Lao Cai station for an overnight train back to Hanoi.

Day 7: Lao Cai - Hanoi - Cooking Class (B/D)

Place & Transport: Sapa to Hanoi - Train & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Cooking Class.

Cooking Class
Cooking Class

Upon arrival, your driver will pick you up and take you to the Hanoi flower market, followed by breakfast at a local restaurant serving its famous Pho and a cup of Vietnamese coffee.   Early check in is available and before an afternoon cooking and a market tour.  You have a full stomach and be lighted that you prepared it yourself!

 

Day 8: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi (B/L)

Place & Transport: Hanoi to Halong Bay - world nature wonder

Today’s Activities: Go sightseeing Halong Bay.

Halong Bay
Halong Bay

In the morning you will drive to Halong Bay City, approximately 3 hours away. Once at Halong Bay City, you will be welcomed on board for a four-hour cruise on the stunning bay, stopping along the way to visit one of the limestone caves in the area. As you are cruising, the boat crew will serve you a sumptuous seafood lunch. After this 4 hour trip, you’ll head back to Hanoi for an overnight stay.

Day 9: Hanoi - Hue (B/D)

Place & Transport: Hanoi to Hue - Flight & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Take a dragon boat for a cruise on the romantic Perfume River, Visit Thien Mu Pagoda, tombs of King Minh Mang and Tu Duc.

Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda

In the morning you are transferred to the Hanoi airport for one-hour flight to Hue.  In the 19th century, Hue was the home of the Nguyen Dynasty who built their opulent palaces, gardens and mausoleums on the banks of the Perfume River. This peaceful central city has long been synonymous with royalty, culture and spiritual reflection.   In the afternoon you board a dragon boat for a cruise on the romantic Perfume River to visit the lovely Thien Mu Pagoda. From here you will continue your journey to the magnificent tombs of Minh Mang and Tu Duc and then enjoy a royal dinner in a local restaurant before an overnight stay in Hue.

Day 10: Hue City Tour (B/L)

Place & Transport: Hue - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit Hue Citadel, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City and the Imperial Museum. Tu Hieu pagoda and the Dong Ba market.

 Hue Citadel
Hue Citadel

This morning you will embark on a tour to visit Hue Citadel, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City and the Imperial Museum.  This gallery of antiques houses collections of bronze, pottery, chinaware, Phap Lam enamel, court robes, head-gear and the personal belongings of former Vietnamese emperors. The tour continues with a visit to the Tu Hieu pagoda and the Dong Ba market. You’ll enjoy lunch with the fine cuisine of Hue at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel for the evening.

Day 11: Hue - Hoi An (B)

Place & Transport: Hue to Hoi An - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit Cham Museum.

Hoi An
Hoi An

A breathtaking drive will bring you from Hue to Hoi An via Danang city. Admire the scenery while you go along one of the most beautiful coastal roads in all of Asia. Upon arrival at Danang you will visit the Cham Museum where you will have the opportunity to learn more about this advanced but lost civilization.   You’ll then drive to Hoi An. From the 16th  to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders for  its high grade silk, which is still produced in the area, as well as ceramics. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 12: Hoi An (B/D)

Place & Transport: Hoi An - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit Chinese Assembly Hall, the Japanese bridge, the Phuc Kien Pagoda, and Tam Ky ancestral house.

Phuc Kien Pagoda
Phuc Kien Pagoda

In the morning you will enjoy a half-day walking tour through the narrow, winding streets of the Ancient Quarter to visit the Chinese Assembly Hall, the Japanese bridge, the Phuc Kien Pagoda, and Tam Ky ancestral house which is more than 200 years old.  Next, you can relax at a local pub, do some shopping or visit the local tailors who make quality clothes in a flash. You’ll then spend the night in Hoi An.

Day 13: Hoi An (B/D)

Place & Transport: Hoi An - Bicycle

Today’s Activities: Take a bicycle tour along country roads.

Hoi An - Bicycle
Hoi An - Bicycle

After breakfast at your hotel, you will take a bicycle tour along country roads and through the rice fields to get in touch with local farmers and fishermen or to visit nearby beaches. Then you’ll have a free afternoon and an overnight stay in Hoi An.

 

 

Day 14: Hoi An (B)

Place & Transport: Hoi An

Today’s Activities: Relax

 Fishermen
Fishermen

Today you will be free to relax at the beach and enjoy the wonderful services offered by the resort. Or you can take a bicycle tour along the country roads and through the rice fields to get in touch with local farmers, fishermen and others.One thing you won’t want to miss is the tailor shops. You can order any tailor-made clothing (even a tuxedo!) and you will have your beautiful clothes within 3 to 4 hours, and at a price that will amaze you.

 

Day 15: Hoi An - Nha Trang (B)

Place & Transport: Hoi An to Nha Trang - Flight & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Relax

Nha Trang Beach
Nha Trang Beach

You are free until pick up at your hotel and transfer to Danang airport for your short flight to the resort in Nha Trang. Voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Nha Trang boasts a six-mile stretch of beautiful fine white sand, quiet and warm waters, and stunning archipelagos. You will stay overnight in Nha Trang.

 

Day 16: Nha Trang (B)

Place & Transport: Nha Trang

Today’s Activities: Relax

Today you will be free to relax and enjoy the resort facilities. You may choose to snorkel or dive among the coral reefs in crystal blue waters, hike nature trails, cool off in the pool, indulge in spa treatments or just relax on the white sand beach and admire the unspoiled mountain and sea views before retiring for the evening.

Day 17: Nha Trang: (B)

Place & Transport: Nha Trang

Today’s Activities: Relax

You’ll have another free day to relax and enjoy the resort facilities or you can visit some of the famous sightseeing destinations:  the Cham Ponagar towers, the Oceanographic Institute, Chong Promontory Rocks, the local Dam Market.  You can also take a boat tour to discover the Nha Trang Bay with is beautiful islands and enjoy lunch at a fishing village. You will have the night free and settle in for an overnight stay.

Day 18: Nha Trang - HCMC (B)

Place & Transport: Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City - Flight & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit Chinatown, the Thien Hau Pagoda, the Reunification Palace, the Opera House, the Hotel de Ville and the War Remnants Museum. Outdoor markets and bustling Dong Khoi Street.

War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum

Today you will take a short morning flight from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the country's commercial centre and home to a growing number of upscale restaurants and shops. You can visit Chinatown, the Thien Hau Pagoda, the Reunification Palace, the Opera House, the Hotel de Ville and the War Remnants Museum. You’ll visit colourful outdoor markets and bustling Dong Khoi Street, the city's main upscale shopping boulevard with boutiques selling clothes and accessories designed by new Vietnamese designers, hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and house wares. You’ll then spend the night in HCMC.

Day 19: Ho Chi Minh City - Tay Ninh & Cu Chi Tunnels (B/L)

Place & Transport: Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh & Cu Chi Tunnels

In the morning you will drive to the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh and witness the noon service. The temple is decorated with colorful kites in all shapes and sizes and fitted inside with a series of Buddhist symbols and the sacred all-seeing eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect. This religion is a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. 

Next, you will take a half-day private excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At its height, the tunnel system stretched over 250km, from Saigon to the Cambodian border, and was three levels deep. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today, the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction, giving you a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S.-Vietnam War must have been like. Then relax in your hotel and fall restfully asleep.

Day 20: Ho Chi Minh City - Depart (B)

Place & Transport: Ho Chi Minh City - Depart - Flight not included

Today’s Activities: Hotel transfer to airport

Transfer to the airport ready for your departure. Wish you have a pleasant journey home and thank you for using our services - Discovery your way.

REFERENCE PRICE

Valid from now until 30 Dec 2016

Tour Category

Number of Persons in Group - Tour cost per person (in USD)

1

2

3-4

5-6

7-9

10-14

Sgl Sup

3 STAR

2,694

2,107

1,911

1,754

1,687

1,637

 

4 STAR

3,473

2,886

2,690

2,533

2,466

2,416

 

5 STAR

4,447

3,860

3,664

3,508

3,441

3,390

 

 

NOTE:

- Booking Terms & Conditions
- Itinerary can be tailor-made based on your requirements.
- Please feel free to contact us for more information in details
.

♦ Centrally Located Hotels

♦ Authentic Vietnamese Food as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner)

♦ Train ticket Hanoi-Lao;Cai-Hanoi, shared in 4-berth cabin

♦ Private Boat Trip in Halong Bay

♦ Private boat trip in Mekong Delta

♦ Private Car and Driver

♦ Flight & Transfer in Vietnam

♦ Private English Speaking Guides

♦ Entrance Fees

 

♦ International Airfare Tickets to enter & leave Vietnam

♦ Vietnam Entry Visa Fees

♦ Single Room Supplement

♦ Personal expenses

♦ Beverage 

♦ Tips and gratuities

♦ Other services not mentioned above

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Exchange rate

Currency codeCurrency nameBuyTransferSell
AUD AUST.DOLLAR 17751.75 17858.9 18018.19
CAD CANADIAN DOLLAR 17661.96 17822.36 18053.4
EUR EURO 26486.38 26566.08 26816.15
GBP BRITISH POUND 28928.8 29132.73 29392.58
HKD HONGKONG DOLLAR 2863.58 2883.77 2927.01
RUB RUSSIAN RUBLE 0 382.72 426.47
SGD SINGAPORE DOLLAR 16439.92 16555.81 16736.93
THB THAI BAHT 670.31 670.31 698.29
USD US DOLLAR 22690 22690 22760

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