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CAMBODIA

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LAOS

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MYANMAR

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HOIAN ANCIENT TOWN

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NORTH HIGHLAND

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RICE TERRACES

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HA LONG

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VIETNAM

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VIETNAM ESSENTIAL & MOUNTAIN - 15 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS (VI-ES03)

  • Theme’s program

Visits of the most popular sites, North Vietnam, authenticity, ethnic groups, homestay, meet local populations, Halong Bay cruise, highlights of Vietnam, Mekong Delta.

 

  • The Must-Sees

In the Northern mountains, you will be amazed by the mind-blowing rice terrace landscapes. You will meet the various and diverse ethnic groups in their authentic villages to know more about their customs and their way of life.

In the North, Hanoi, Halong Bay and Ninh Binh (terrestrial Halong Bay) are well complemented by the small paths to meet locals in the villages along the way.

In the Centre, you will visit the charming old town of Hoi An where you will spend 3 nights to relax at the beach and discover the city, as well as the imperial monuments of Hue. You will walk in beautiful villages known for their traditional handcraft.

In the South, you will enjoy discovering the colonial district, the historic buildings in Saigon, the exotic atmosphere of Cho Lon district and the Cu Chi Tunnels. Then, get to know the daily life of the Mekong Delta’s inhabitants throughout its villages.

We will go through a brand new road between Hanoi and Lao Cai where we will enjoy amazing landscapes under all altitudes, from the plane paddy fields to the astonishing mountains.

 

  • What will you do during your trip?

During the trip, you will have the opportunity to taste local delicacies, meals made by your Vietnamese hosts (homestay). You will enjoy a diner cruise in Saigon, as well as a cruise on the Halong Bay. You will meet the ethnic minorities in the northern Vietnamese mountains and visit several villages known for their traditional handcraft.

 

  • Useful information

For you, we have chosen nice hotels downtown as well as a wonderful traditional junk where you will spend a night. During the tour, you will experience the rickshaw, a domestic flight, the coach, the small boats and a cruise in a junk.

We provide a national tour guide skilled in group management.

DAY 1 : YOUR CITY Flight HANOI

Departure at your own expense from the airport of your choice; registration formalities for the flight to Hanoï.

Dinner and night on board.

DAY 2 : HANOI

Welcome by your tour-guide and transfer towards your hotel. Free time in order to recover from your flight.
Visit of the museum of Ethnology. Walking in the gardens of the museum to discover the different types of houses of the various ethnic groups. Walking tour around the old quarter The Opera colonial style, the Ly Thai To park , Hoan Kiem lake, the city’s landmark holding the Ngoc Son temple and the The Huc Bridge.

This tour will end in a magnificent colonial style house where you will be enjoying a welcoming dinner. Night at the hotel.

DAY 3 : HANOI / LAO CAI / SAPA

The road towards the northern mountains is a brand new and surprising by its diversity of landscapes, it starts in the valley ascending slowly towards the mountain. Lunch in a local restaurant in Lao Cai.

Short trek in the heart of the mountain villages between the rice terraces in areas still not touched by mass tourism. Warm encounter with the locals. Visit of one the villager’s houses. Tea tasting in that house.

Road to Sapa. Evening walk in this charming little mountain town, the neighborhood of businesses, the stoned church… 

Dinner at your expense. Night at the hotel.

DAY 4 : SAPA / MUONG HOA VALLEY / BAC HA

In the morning departure for a small trek in the Muong Hoa valley, the most beautiful of the area. This trek will lead you towards the tiny village of Ta Van, lost in the middle of the mountains and its rice fields. Along the way you will meet some of the ethnic minorities as the Hmongs, Dzays or Dzaos. Lunch in a family restaurant in a village of the Dzays.

Then you will visit a school, a great way to discover the education system in the remote areas and meet some of those ever smiling kids. Road to Bac Ha at the end of the day.

Dinner in a local restaurant.

NB : As tourism isn’t really developed in Bac Ha yet, there are no 3* nor 4* hotels. Possibility of homestay, an unforgettable and magical experience.

DAY 5 : BAC HA / HANOI

Road towards a village in the valley and more specifically its ethnic minority market which are attended by most ethnic groups: Hmong, Tay, Nung, Giay…  The markets: Coc Ly (Tuesday), Can Cau (Saturday) or Bac Ha (Sunday). Free time on the market, a real change of scenery !

Road to Hanoi. Lunch along the way.

Arrival to Hanoi. Dinner at your expense. Night at the hotel.

Note: The program can be rearranged in case of there are no markets on this day.

DAY 6 : HANOI

Visit of the temple of Literature.
Sightseeing around Ba Dinh square. The Ho Chi Minh mausoleum from outside, the one pillar Pagoda famous for its original construction entirely in teak emerging from a pound. Lunch in a local restaurant. Rickshaw tour after lunch around the old quarter, you will dive into the craziness of Hanoian traffic, perfect way to get to know the city better and the daily life of its inhabitants. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at your expense. Night at the hotel.

DAY 7 : HANOI / HALONG BAY

Road towards the pride of Vietnam : the famous Halong Bay. Arrival around noon.

Boarding for a cruise in a traditional wooden junk, you will navigate through the astonishing karstic limestones and the 3000 islands emerging from the emerald green waters of the Tonkin gulf. Seafood lunch.

Cruising in the heart of this bay listed as UNESCO world heritage site since 1994.  

Stop on an island to enjoy the beach and watch the sunset on the bay. Seafood dinner. Night on board.

DAY 8 : HALONG BAY / HANOI Flight HUE

Visit of a surprising naturally craved cave. Check-out and lunch on board. 

Road towards Hanoi and along the way, quick stop in the Dong Trieu village famous for its ceramics, meeting with the locals. Transfer directly towards Hanoï's airport and boarding for your flight towards Hue. Arrival and transfer directly to your hotel.

Dinner at your expense. Night at the hotel.


Note: Possibility to transfer from Hanoi to Hue by night train, unforgettable experience. Details in price list on the last page.

DAY 9 : HUE / HAI VAN Pass / HOI AN

Visit of the Citadel : the Imperial city, located in the heart of the Citadel, discover the Imperial City by the visit through the Palace of Supreme Harmony.

Road towards the Thien Mu pagoda recognizable by its high octagonal tour. Departure for a cruise on the Perfume River to discover the countryside landscapes surrounding the river. Lunch in a local house on the river bank.

Dinner at your expense. Night at the hotel.

DAY 10 : HOI AN

Breakfast at the hotel. Day at leisure to discover the old town and rest.Meals at your expense. Night at the hotel. No guide nor driver this day.
Option (can be done on day 7 or 8): Snorkeling around the Cham Island. Two different spots and relaxing time on a beach. Regular snorkeling, 1 tank dive or 2 tank dive.

DAY 11 : HOI AN

Breakfast at the hotel. Free day to enjoy the beach or to continue exploring the city. Meals at your expense. Night at the hotel. No guide nor driver this day.
Option: Departure in the morning towards the ancient ruins of My Son. These ruins are the biggest remains of the Cham realm, brilliant from the VIIth to the XIIIth century. My Son is located 69km south-west of Danang and was an Imperial City during the Cham dynasty. These Hindu influenced temples, completely different from the rest of the Vietnamese temples are worth the trip. Back to Hoi An. Lunch at your expense and rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at your expense. Night at the hotel.

DAY 12 : HOI AN Flight HO CHI MINH

Breakfast at the hotel. Early transfer towards Danang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City and then road towards the Cu Chi war tunnels. This 200km long network of connecting tunnels was dug by the Viet Congs during the Vietnam War. You can enter those tunnels by an enlarged entry to discover the conditions of life of the Vietnamese soldiers during the conflict. Road to Ho Chi Minh and lunch in the city. Sightseeing in the old French quarter. The central post office: Constructed between 1886 and 1891, this building is a real footprint of the French. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel’s workshop and is inspired from Parisian buildings. The Notre Dame Cathedral: This red bricked cathedral is one of the landmarks of the city. It was constructed by the French between 1877 and 1880. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city. Dinner at your expense. Night at the hotel.

DAY 13 : HO CHI MINH - MEKONG DELTA - HO CHI MINH

Tour in the Chinese district also known as Cholon. Visit local market Binh Tay, where you can find everything from food to textile. Small walk in the narrow streets filled with shops selling traditional medicine products and then visit of the impressive Thien Hau Pagoda.
Road towards Cai Be in the Mekong Delta. The delta is a large network of canals on a huge area of 40 000 km². On the way visit of a Cao Dai temple, religion born in the south of Vietnam. Cruising along the canals surround by a luxuriant vegetation and passing by a wholesale floating market. You will enjoy local fruits on the boat. You will stop along the way to discover the making of rice cake, coconut candy and rice wine.  Lunch on an island: the elephant ear fish. Road back to Ho Chi Minh City and rest of the afternoon at leisure. Farewell dinner cruise on the Saigon River. Night at the hotel.

DAY 14 : HO CHI MINH Flight YOUR CITY

Breakfast at the hotel. Free day and meals for personal shopping. Transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for your flight home. Check-in and boarding.

DAY 15 : YOUR CITY

Breakfast on board. Arrival.


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