North and South Vietnam Adventure – 15 Days

North and South Vietnam Adventure – 15 Days
Starts : Sai Gon City , ends : Hanoi City
Trip code: NASVA15D
Ages: Minimum age for children on this trip is 10 years old.
Accommodation: Hotel 4 & 5 stars
Transport: Boat, Private Van /Car, Plane
Tour Type: Private (min 2 persons)

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Before the Delta Canals

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, the commercial capital of Vietnam. The city hides its culture beneath the rising modern luxury. The skyline is active and vibrant. The city lights create a rush of endless energy. The banks of the Saigon River are lined with decadent restaurants that offer tremendous views of the graceful winding water. The streets are a whirr that displays the city’s constant movement. Your local guide meets you at the airport and escorts you to your accommodation for the evening.

Ben Thanh Market comprises one of the liveliest and most quintessentially Vietnamese areas of the city. Mint, garlic, and ginger blend together to form enticing aromas. Soft silk is displayed in flashes of color inside some of the market’s endless stalls. In the evening you will enjoy a dinner with your guide who, the next day, will take you through the incredible culture and scenery of the Mekong Delta.

The city boasts an endless selection of brilliant restaurants that offer traditional Vietnamese flavors or even fuse the traditional with the unique. Nha Hang Ngon is popular amongst the locals and is housed inside a restored French Colonial mansion. The restaurant serves a wide array of Vietnamese dishes that range from simple hand made spring rolls to the popular central Vietnamese dish of Cao Lau. The streets seem to brim no matter the time of day as you make your way back to the hotel to settle in for the night.

 

Day 2: The Edge of the River

The morning blankets the city and the streets are once again bursting with energy. You find the rich aroma of Vietnamese drip coffee close by. Locals mix condensed milk into the velvety drink that turns the dark color creamy and adds a touch of sweetness to the roast. The scent of buttery croissants is another reminder of the country’s French Colonial past. Your guide meets you at your hotel after breakfast and you begin to wind your way through the city’s streets en route to My Tho.

The buildings and skyscrapers fall behind you. The road opens up and you find the colorful countryside extending to the horizon. My Tho was founded in the 17th century and relies on the cultivation of rice, coconuts, and citrus fruits. It has become an important market town to the surrounding countryside. Riverside buildings stand on stilts and overlook the water. In monsoon season the river rises and falls in accordance with the rainfall. After a brief stop in the city you will continue onward to Vinh Long.

The riverfront is filled with caves and restaurants. Locals and visitors sit on the patios and watch the boats float up and down the river. You can see a fruit vendor selling mangos and milk apples. The luscious scent of plums rises through the air. It is here that you step aboard your boat that will take you along the incredible stretch of Mekong. The river begins at the Tibetan Plateau and winds all the way down to the South China Sea to create the “Nine Dragons,” the nine separate river outlets in Western Vietnam.

As you float down the river the breeze is cool and brings the scent of the local tropical fruit orchards that run alongside the riverbanks. The farms can be found along the myriad of small canals. Delicate bamboo bridges arch over the channel. When you visit the farms you find oranges and jackfruit dangling from the branches. The natural colors are vivacious. The aroma is electric. In the evening you come to Can Tho and settle in alongside the water.

 

Day 3: Like the Locals

You notice the gardens decorating the waterfront of Can Tho. They contain lovely sculptures that capture the sunlight in the afternoon. However, dawn is the busiest time of day along the water. As you leave the city you find the famous floating markets of the Mekong in full swing. Boats from all over the delta flock to the market which is most active in the early morning. Vendors come from the local flower farms, orchards, and fishing villages to buy and sell their goods.

The town’s streets are sleepy but the river is filled with long flat wooden boats. Each boat almost overflows with goods, from jackfruit to spinach, limes to oranges. The women wear iconic conical hats as they angle and paddle their boats through the melee of the market. The scent of fresh noodle soup emanates from one of the sampans, a traditional wooden canoe. In the late morning you will come to Soc Trang, a village home to a population that is over a quarter Khmer.

Buu Son Tu is a temple in the mountain that is over two centuries old. The inner gallery is unique in that every object is made of clay. The hands of a single monk molded hundreds of statues and sculptures. The scent of sandalwood drifts from burning incense. A six-tusked clay elephant stands near the entrance. You enter a completely different world inside the Clay Pagoda and find how beautiful the persistence of a devout monk can be. You return to Can Tho for the night.

 

Day 4: The Waterway to the Park

The morning in Can Tho is quiet and refreshing. You indulge in a rejuvenating cup of Vietnamese coffee before you begin your morning exploration of the delta and follow the Bassac River northwest. Eventually you will come to Tram Chim National Park and Wetlands Reserve. The park encompasses almost 30 square miles of land. The land is flat and open with rising reeds and lush plains. There are over 200 bird species in the area including the rare redheaded crane that can grow up to six feet tall. When the sun begins to set beyond the horizon you can watch the endless colors of dusk drape over the sky. You can hear birds calling through the reeds. Flocks of geese fly through the distant sky. Lily pads almost cover one of the coursing canals. By the time night sweeps through the park you have settled into your accommodation and dream of the majesty to come.

 

Day 5: Morning Chorus

The sunlight rises over the vast wetlands that are divided by winding canals. The light spreads effervescent color into the skyline. The rich purples give way to pink and fade into the blue morning. The early hour chorus of birds begins. The variety of birdcalls is active and wild. You can hear the combination of chirps and hoots emanating from the meadow. When you venture out along the canals you find fish floating to the surface in search of a morning meal. Birds circle overhead. The active biosphere is in full motion.

The sun continues to drift away as you return to the larger body of the Bassac River eventually coming to Chau Doc. The town sits on the banks of the river and is filled with the eclectic cultures of Chinese, Cham, and Khmer communities. The paddy fields extend outwards from the town like an ocean of greenery. You can see Sam Mountain, the largest peak in the province, standing 690 feet tall. The Mubarak mosque sits on the bank opposite Chau Doc. The twin domes and immaculate white minarets rise into the air like clouds against the backdrop of blue sky. Men wear sarongs and sport white prayer caps.

The mosque was constructed in the mid 18th century with bamboo pillars and feels unique to the riverside community. At the base of Sam Mountain you will find the Tay An Pagoda that dates back to the mid 19th century. Incense wafts from the gallery. Two elephant statues guard the entrance. There are over 200 statues inside the temple, many of Buddha; however, there is also a single life-like statue of an honored monk that sits on a varnished table in the back chamber.

 

Day 6: The Water’s End

Chau Doc is situated at the intersection of the Bassac and Mekong River. Pastel colors wash across the storefronts. The morning market comes into full swing after sunrise and you can once again see the vibrant culture of the river. You can even see a plethora of boats with pyramids of colorful lychees filling the hull. After breakfast you make the return journey to Ho Chi Minh City. The streets are as lively as you remember but this time it greets you with comforting familiarity. The spires of the Notre Dame Cathedral continue to stand over 190 feet tall. The rose window adorns the façade.

The materials to construct the church were brought over from Europe in the 19th century, from the exterior’s stone walls to the interior’s marble floors. When you enter the church the city’s bustle is replaced by a tranquil ambiance. You are surrounded by the scent of myrrh and the lofted ceilings arch high above you. In the evening you can enjoy the flavors of the Refinery Bar and restaurant. The bistro-like ambiance is embellished by the garden terrace location. With the memory of the cathedral and the charm of the French décor it will feel like you have been transported to Paris even though you are in the center of Saigon.

 

Day 7: Distance of the Delta

The city comes to an eager whirr in the morning. You can’t help but think of the elegant bonsai farms and subtle trickle of the backwater canals that felt like your own little secret. You indulge in the Vietnamese drip coffee. The flavor is decadent and deep. The emerald, overarching trees of the riverbanks are still vibrant in your thoughts. The floating markets are inescapably palpable. After breakfast your private transfer meets you at the hotel and takes you to the airport for your flight to Hanoi capital in Vietnam

Day 8 : Hanoi City Tour

This full-day private tour of Hanoi showcases the best of a city known as the “Paris of the East”. Travelers will kick off their morning with a stop at the Ho Chi Minh Complex, where they will get an up-close look at the former leader’s stilt-house residence, mausoleum and Presidential Palace before exploring the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Afterwards, visitors with journey to the Temple of Literature, which was constructed as an homage to the great thinker Confucius. Travelers can wander the grounds of the first university in the nation, which dates all the way back to 1070! The historic halls are lined with decorative turtle backs inscribed with the names of university graduates. Five impressive courtyards with paths once reserved for the Emperor are now open to the public. Check out the statue of Confucius in one of the courtyards and marvel at the bronze storks standing atop resting turtles meant to guard the academic. Because Ho Chi Minh Moausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays, travelers will tour the Hoa Lo Prison instead.

Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch in comfort and style before touring the Museum of Ethnology. Championed as the top museum in the country, this impressive hub of culture and history offers up plenty of information about the 54 ethnic minorities that make up this nation. From there, travelers will head to Ngoc Son Temple, located on a small island in the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. This striking architectural masterpiece dates back to the 13th century.

Visitors will end the day on an hour-long cyclo tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where an expert driver will navigate the narrow streets and back alley passes. Travelers can comb through the wares at tiny shops and quiet storefronts before returning to the hotel.

Day 9: Hanoi to Sapa by private car

Our adventure starts with the drive to the mountain town of Sapa. The journey to Sapa will take the best part of the day. The drive is worthwhile though, as the scenery on your northward journey into the highlands is both dramatic and breathtaking.
Using a private car  is more convenient and more flexible. The travel time is  shorter because you don’t have to wait for others as by train , and it allows you some breaks for photographs, refreshments or a toilet stop along the way.
The road connecting from Hanoi to Lao Cai is Highway and take 3hours driving
From Lao Cai to Sapa. The car ride uphill takes a bit more than an half hour, giving you a glimpse of the region’s stunning vistas and impressive rice terraces along the way. When you reach Sapa, Check in Hotel and have a lunch at local restaurant
Your today trek departs from Sapa to Ta Phin valley. Walk with your experienced guide through the town for about 20 minutes before turning down a dirt road to Ma Tra, a Black Hmong village defined by its traditional clothing and customs. The moderate hiking route through this rural community offers more picturesque vistas of vegetable gardens and rice terraces flanked by green mountains rising in the background. You have time to visit with local families and learn about traditional fiber processing before continuing your trek to Ta Phin village, located in one of the most scenic valleys in Vietnam. Exploring the village, admiring the embroidered clothing and red headscarves worn by the tribal women of this ethnic group called the Red Dao. you’ll return to Sapa by private, air-conditioned car to check in to your hotel and eat dinner. You’re free to explore the charming town’s sloping streets or the market with many colorful handicrafts, or head up to Ham Rong peak for a fantastic photo op over Sapa .

 

Day 10: Sapa

Following a hotel breakfast, meet your guide in the morning and depart on a second trek from the town of Sapa to Golden Stream valley. Today’s hike offers more stunning views of rice terraces and gardens as well as Mt Fansipan, whose summit rises 10,312 feet (3,143 meters) above sea level. After crossing a suspension bridge, marvel at the breathtaking scenery as you continue through the Golden Stream valley, stopping at Lao Chai village for lunch. After your meal, follow your guide on a walk through this village where Black Hmong people reside, and continue on to Ta Van village, home to the Dzay tribe. This part of the hike is relatively easy, though the trail can be quite slippery if it rains, so good footwear is recommended. You’ll visit with some local families and learn about their daily lifestyle and fascinating culture, before departing to the main road to meet up with your driver and return to Sapa.
Stay overnight at hotel in Sapa

 

Day 11 : Sapa sightseeing > Drive back to Hanoi

Today We begin our Sapa experience with an orientation walk along the town ’s historic boulevards, passing some of its most interesting sights as Stone Church, Flower Park and smile of little red Dzao girls follow your step with their innocent eyes.
Stop at the Market to see the busy of trade of tribes fresh produce as fruits, vegetables, domestic animal.
Continuity with a steep and very beautiful hike down to Cat Cat Village ; if you’re too exhausted or unfit to hike back up, our car ready and willing to car you back to your hotel.
Cat Cat Vilage is Black Mong Vilage, Traditionally, they were the poorest of the poor, hut have rapidly learnt the spirit of free enterprise. Most of the Montagnards have had little formal education and are illiterate. Take a change to communicate with Black Mong by your guide’ s help to experience the Montagnards nature life.  ” Dragon water fall ” is the best to stop for ” Kodak at moment” before we hike through the Green Rice field before back to Sapa.
Say Goodbye Sapa and we take our private car for 4hours driving back to Hanoi
Stay overnight at hotel in Hanoi

 

Day 12: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Explore one of Vietnam’s most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites on a 2-day cruise of Halong Bay. Marvel at the spectacular sight of more than a thousand limestone peaks rising from the emerald waters of the ocean as your junk boat sails past mysterious caves and blissful bays. Soak up the soothing sunshine on the tanning deck; plunge into the crystal clear waters during a refreshing dip or kayak ride; and pleasure your palate with delicious Vietnamese cuisine throughout the 2-day expedition. Enjoy the luxurious facilities of the junk boat, which include: hot and cold running water; en-suite bathrooms with powerful showers; an elegant dining room and licensed bar serving an extensive selection of wines; a courteous crew; and a sun-tanning area and relaxation deck.

After early morning pickup from your hotel, depart from the capital for Halong Bay – an approximate four-hour drive by comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Upon arrival at Halong Bay around midday, you’ll be greeted by a tour representative and transferred to the traditional junk boat. Settle in with a complimentary welcome drink as you begin your cruise around majestic Halong Bay. Meet the expert crew and get acquainted with your small group while you dine on a delicious seafood lunch, including tea and coffee. After lunch, unwind and soak up the sun on the top deck – a great spot for photographing the natural wonders of the bay – as your captain finds a secluded area, perfect for swimming in the clear waters. You’ll have the chance to try your hand at kayaking and explore some of the ancient limestone caves dotting the bay. As you glide along the most secluded lagoons, admire the surrounding limestone karsts amid unforgettable scenery only accessible by kayak! The modern kayaks are lightweight and easy to maneuver, and all participants will be issued water buoyancy vests. The junk boat will be nearby at all times, serving as a back-up vessel for those who need it. After exploring, retire to the boat for more relaxation on the deck and enjoy a refreshing drink from the bar if you’d like. In the evening, your cook will prepare a splendid meal comprised of fresh seafood dishes as well as traditional Vietnamese fare as your crew weighs anchor in the heart of the bay. Afterward, you’ll have the opportunity to try some night fishing from the boat.
Overnight: Ensuite twin cabin aboard traditional junk boat in Halong Bay

 

Day 13: Halong Bay – Ninh Binh

Rising to the tranquil beauty of the bay, there’s time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Then, head to the Cave of Surprises – the biggest cave in Halong Bay – where you’ll discover magnificent stalagmites and stalactites as you walk along the lit paths on a guided tour. After another delectable lunch around midday, start your cruise back to the main harbor before transferring to your awaiting vehicle for the four-hour journey  to Ninh Binh. Explore the stunningly lush scenery of Ninh Binh Province, a region many consider to be an inland version of the world-famous Ha Long Bay
Arrive at Ninh Binh, check-in to your hotel and enjoy free time.
Have dinner and stay overnight at hotel in Ninh Binh.

 

Day 14:  Ninh Binh Cruise – Hanoi

Today, We learn about the important role the area played in Vietnam’s history. This city was the ancient capital of the country in the 10th and 11th centuries and was built by the Dinh and Le dynasties. Hoa Lu is surrounded by limestone mountains and the Hoang Long River, naturally protecting it and making for an incredibly picturesque setting. At 11am, head for the ruins of the temples left by the Dinh and Le dynasties. Explore the excavation area at the Le Dai Hanh temple and the remains of the 10th-Century Royal Palaces.

We then have a 40-minute bike ride from Trang An to the to Tam Coc, known for its resemblance to famous Ha Long Bay and gorgeous rise paddies. Meaning ‘three caves,’ Tam Coc is the perfect place for countryside exploring, a total of 5km cycling that passes along a country road through lush rice paddies.
Get in 2-person sampan boats and drive up the river to three different caves. Explore their natural wonders and then return to the dock, where our private car will be waiting to drive back to Hanoi. The guide will return you to your hotel and enjoy free time.

Stay overnight at hotel in Hanoi

Day 15 : Hanoi Departure

Your morning is free to explore City once more and to try to retain as much of the natural and fresh flavors of the city as you can. Soon you have a private transfer to the airport where you will begin your journey home


 

Trip includes:

All accommodations (with Twin/Double rooms) while on tour
The tour price includes all hotel accommodations with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available accommodations without sacrificing value. Although the quality may vary slightly from one hotel to another, our commitment to your comfort is unwavering. Two-bedded rooms and One-beded with Queen size rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are accommodated in two-bedded rooms plus a rollaway cot where available, and are not recommended for comfort.

All transfers and road transport in modern, air-conditioned vehicles
– For a private smaller groups (2pax -10pax), modern sedan cars and minibuses are used.
– For tour groups of 11pax or more travelers, air-conditioned Hyundai with 19- 25-35 seats are used on all road journeys. These vehicles are designed with excellent viewing windows and a high roof. All our vehicles are modern, spacious, comfortable, well-maintained, and safe
•Complimentary airport transfer on arrival and on departure days

All Breakfasts & Lunches on tour
• Breakfast – Is always included on all Vietnam Royal Tourism – European Continental breakfasts are supplied at the hotels where you stay. The Continental style usually consists of rolls, butter, jams, tea or coffee and juices.
• Lunch – Your Lunch meals are included and generally served at a local restaurant
• Dinner – is not included and is always up to you – allows you the freedom to eat what you want and enjoy the local flavors.
Please note: If you have special dietary requirements (eg Vegetarian), let us know so we can notify restaurants and prepare appropriate food for you.

Experienced, friendly and knowledgeable guides.
Your tour guide is a professional, fully trained employee of Vietnam Royal Tourism

Entrance fees
All sightseeing as specified including entrance fees

Airfare While on Tour
– All on-tour flights must be purchased through Vietnam Royal Tourism as part of your tour package . From the moment you land in the starting city to the moment you are transferred to the airport in the end city, all transport arrangements are taken care of by us.
– The cost of international flights from your country to Asia (starting city) is not included in our prices. We believe we are giving all our customers, wherever you live, the flexibility to travel from regional airports, in any class of travel and include a stopover en route if you so wish. It also allows you the opportunity to use your frequent flyer points if you so wish

Visa Approval Code or Visa on Arrival
– After approval, we will fax or email you a copy of the Approval letter as an attachment
– Our Service do not include the Stamping Fee of about US$25-165/ 1pax to be submitted directly to the Embassy or Consulate (the stamping fee vary from Embassy to Embassy) or pay at Airport for Stamping Fee with Visa on Arrival

TRIP EXCLUDES:

+ International airfare& airport taxes
+ Travel insurance
+ Surcharges for compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges (which will be advised at time of booking) ,
+ Personal expenses
+ Tips & gratuities

Photos

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Hanoi

Halong Bay

Sapa

Ninh Binh

Ho Chi Minh

Mekong Delta

Price

 

Please inquire for a booking form . The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.

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