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Our 11-day Classic Vietnam Tour offers a deeper understanding of Vietnam’s fascinating cultures, natural wonders, historic monuments, vibrant cities, awe-inspiring & pristine landscapes. Starting from Ho Chi Minh City - a modern and pulsating city, we will explore its temples, pagodas, French colonial architecture and museums and memorials to the Vietnam War. We also experience Mekong delta rural life on a river cruise tour to explore the colorful Cai Be Floating Market. Move to the Central of Vietnam, you will have change to discover the modern and ancient history at Hue and Hoi An’s remarkable monuments. Head north to visit Hanoi, Vietnam’s vibrant capital, and Halong Bay, where you’ll take a traditional sailing junk boat in the breathtaking Gulf of Tonkin.
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DAY 01: HO CHI MINH CITY
On arrival at the Tan Son Nhat Airport in HO CHI MINH CITY (HCMC) or Saigon, you will be welcomed by our guide and driver then transferred to your hotel for check-in. Our guide will be happy to answer any questions about Vietnam along the way, and assist you with check-in at the hotel.
Depending on your arrival time, some soft sightseeing is arranged and suggested. Feel free to relax for the rest of the afternoon.
Today, our Classic Vietnam Tour starts as the guide picks you up then takes you to visit the historical landmarks of Ho Chi Minh City. Our first destination is Reunification Palace (or the former Presidential Palace), symbol of the Southern Administration’s reign until end of April 1975.
Next, stop at War Remnants Museum (or History Museum) for a glance look of the suffering of the Vietnamese people during recent Vietnam War. Then, head to Notre Dame Cathedral which is considered being one of the most beautiful Catholic church in Vietnam. It was built in the period 1877 – 1880 by by the colonial French with materials entirely imported from Marseilles.
NOTE: History Museum is closed on Mondays.
Our next stop is Saigon Post Office, a popular tourist destination in Saigon. It was designed and built in the early 20th Century by Gustave Eiffel. After that, we head to Jade Emperor Pagoda (near Cholon Market and Chinatown) which is one of the most impressive temples in HCMC, filled with statues of deities and heroes. Have lunch at the restaurant which is suggested by our guide.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Cu Chi Tunnels - famous historical site in Vietnam. This vast network of tunnels was built by the Vietnamese guerrillas (Viet Cong soldiers) during the battles that took place in the Southern of Vietnam. The tunnel is over 120 km in length which is an intricate network of interlinked multilevel passageways at times stretched as far as the Cambodian border. It contain meeting rooms, kitchens, wells, clinics, schools, depots, trenches and emergency exits all aimed for guerrilla warfare. If you want, you can crawl inside the Cu Chi Tunnels to experience how difficult the life was to the Viet Cong soldiers.
After the discovery to the Cu Chi Tunnels, you will be transferred back to HCMC. Relax at your hotel.
After breakfast, our guide will pick up you then take you to Cai Be Floating Market. It takes around 2 hours to reach the destination.
Upon arrival, board a local vessel for the day’s cruise in the delta’s waterways, stopping to visit a small handicraft factory on Turtle Island and to visit a tropical fruit orchard. There is also a chance to visit a cottage factory where ‘pop-rice’, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Later we will take a horse-drawn cart ride along country roads, admiring the scenery and the daily life of the local villagers and enjoy a taste of the locally-produced honey, and explore the Xep Canal by boat.
Lunch will be served in the local Mekong style with specialties of the area. After lunch we pay a visit to the Vinh Trang Pagoda, surrounded by beautiful gardens, in My Tho Town, before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Check out your hotel this morning, then be transferred back to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for the domestic flight to DA NANG.
Upon arrival, your local guide and driver will be waiting to take you on a short transfer to Hoi An Ancient Town. On the way, we stop to visit the Marble Mountains. You’ll discover the stunning natural caves, enjoy the beautiful view from the top of the mountain, visit the mysterious pagodas and the sculpturing village. Upon arrival in Hoi An, check in for your hotel and take a short break.
In the afternoon, begin with a leisurely walking tour in Hoi An which offers you the opportunities to visit highlights in the Hoi An Old Quarter. Our first destination is 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. There is a small temple attached to one side as a prominent example of Japanese architecture. Next, head to Ong Temple which was built in 1653 by Chinese settlers to worship Guan Yu, an ancient Chinese general whose character stands for loyalty, bravery and justice.
Museum of Trade Ceramics is our next destinations. It is an elegant Vietnamese style wooden house which was built in 1858 showcasing antique ceramic artifacts. Then visit the 200-year-old Tan Ky House which was the residence of a Chinese merchant in the part. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
In the morning, a guide from the local cooking school will take you on a tour to Hoi An Market to learn about the ingredients which be used in your recipes. Walk through the market, observing the colorful daily life of local people. After the market, board a boat ride along Thu Bon River for about 25 minutes, watching local fishermen casting nets as part of their daily routine.
Arrive at a small township and walk to the cooking school. The cooking class in Hoi An starts in an open-air pavilion by the river under the instruction of an experienced chef. Observe, practice, sample and bring out a good lunch cooked the local style to your own taste. Enjoy it by yourself.
Spend the rest of the day as you wish in Hoi An. Sunbathe on the beach, go shopping, or become familiar with the quaint streets of Hoi An.
This morning, you will be transferred to HUE - the former capital of Vietnam. It takes around 3 hours to drive from Hoi An town to Hue. During this scenic drive, you will get to watch the stunning Hai Van Pass which offers panoramic views of the coastline below. Upon arrival, check in hotel and take a short break.
In the afternoon, start our half day tour with a visit to the Ancient Citadel, Imperial Enclosure, Forbidden Purple City, was once home to the imperial family of Nguyen Dynasty, the last monarchy in Vietnam.
After that, head to Dong Ba Market where locals purchase their fresh produce. While in the market, you could try some local Hue specialties such as Banh Khoai (Hue savoury pancakes), and Banh Bot Loc Tom Thit (thin rice paper filled with meat and shrimp). The rest of the day will be yours to explore this charming city.
After breakfast, our guide will pick you up for an adventure on a river cruise on the Perfume River. During the cruise, you will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda which is the most elegant pagodas in Vietnam with its characteristic seven-tiered tower. The pagoda was built more than 400 years ago. It is located at the north shore of the Perfume River.
Next, stop to visit the Emperor Tu Duc's Tomb which is considered as one of the most beautiful and picturesque tombs among Nguyen Dynasty Kings’ tombs. It takes 3 years to construct this large construction which showcases a mixture of Asian and European architectures. Have lunch at a local restaurant in Hue City. Rest of the day, feel free to explore at your leisure.
In the evening, the guide will pick up you then take you to Hue Airport for a short domestic flight to HANOI. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi for check in.
Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital with a thousand-year-old history dating back to 1010. The city’s fascinating beauty which is characterized by unique cultural relics, ancient streets of antique houses, elegant French colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and romantic lakes has made it one of the most charming cities of Asia. Today, our guide will take you on a full-day city tour of Hanoi. Start our tour with a visit outside Ho Chi Minh Complex included Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda…
Then visit Temple of Literature – the first university of Vietnam. It was constructed as a temple university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius. Continue the tour to Vietnam Fine Art Museum to have a glance look of Vietnamese Fine Art. Lunch will be served at KOTO Restaurant where the staff is former street children being trained in culinary and hospitality skills.
In the afternoon, visit The Women’s Museum which gives an intriguing message about beautifully presented tribute to the women of Vietnam across the ages. After that, head to West Lake – the biggest lake in Hanoi and visit Quan Thanh Temple and Tran Quoc Pagoda. Return to Hoan Kiem Lake where you guide will introduce you some myths and stories about this important lake to local cultures.
Finish your day off at Bong Sen Opera Theatre for a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show, a typical northern Vietnamese art form.
Today, you will be transferred to HALONG BAY, which is about 160 km (3.5-hour drive away). On the way, you will see some rural areas with plenty of chances to take photos of Vietnamese farmers working in paddy fields. Stop half way to visit a handicraft workshop of fine clothes and embroidered paintings. Arrive at the docks around mid-noon, check in aboard the Halong Bay Cruise. A sumptuous local seafood lunch will be served as you cruise this spectacular bay.
After lunch, you will have chance to visit some of the best attractions of Halong Bay such as: Dinh Huong Island, Ga Choi Island, Dog Island, Sail Island, Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave.
There is also a stop at Ti Top Mountain, where you can climb to the top for a stunning panoramic view of Halong Bay. Then you return to your boat. Relax to enjoy the bay view at sunset, have your delicious dinner.
NOTE: Program may differ slightly base on cruise ships.
Wake up early and refresh your body and mind with a Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck. Have breakfast while continuing watching the stunning views of Halong Bay. There will be an opportunity for you to do kayaking, swim or access some of the sites inaccessible by the larger boats, including a cave.
Lunch will be serviced on board before the cruise arrives back at the dock where you will be picked and be transferred back to HANOI by private car.