Spirit of the Vietnamese Coast- 18 Days
Starts : Hanoi City , ends : Sai Gon City
Trip code: SOTVC18D
Ages: Minimum age for children on this trip is 8 years old.
Accommodation: Hotel 4 & 5 stars
Transport: Boat, Private Van /Car, Plane
Tour Type: Private (min 2 persons)
Day 1: The Sounds of Hanoi
Welcome to the eclectic city of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. You are met at the airport by your private transfer and taken to your luxurious accommodations located within the center of the city. The variance of the city is felt within its streets. The sound of bustling motorbikes brings a sense of the modern world to the traditional neighborhoods where the whir of bicycles and jovial conversation in small restaurants is also heard. In the evening you will delight in your first taste of Vietnam at a charming restaurant within a French Colonial building before arriving at the famous Water Puppet Theater. The traditional entertainment stems from the 11th century paddy fields which flooded during the monsoon season. You watch the history and mythology of the countryside come to life over a series of stories that dance on the water’s surface with intense interest from the players and the crowd alike.
Day 2 : 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 3: 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 4: 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 5 : 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: Present Capital to Past Capital
The morning is yours to stroll along the walkways beside Hoan Kiem Lake or linger in the cafes situated within the French Colonial architecture of Ba Dinh Square. In the afternoon you will make your flight to Hue, the classic imperial city in central Vietnam. You will be collected upon your arrival at the airport, and soon settled into your comfortable accommodation, and then taken out to experience the first part of the history that brims over with wonder. A large number of the current population of the city resides within the citadel.
Walls that are over six-feet thick spanning over six-miles wrap around the entire area, encircled by a moat. Here you will find what remains of the elegant former city dating back to the 19th century. The energy is both resigned and exciting. The courtyard at the center of the complex once held the Forbidden Purple City which was accessible only to royalty, but was destroyed during the Tet Offensive in the 1960s. However, the citadel remains impressive, displaying the essence of the city’s and the country’s past within the large stone walls and impressive moat, where the Nine Holy Cannons still act as protectorates of the palace and the kingdom.
Day 10: More than Regal Walls
Today you will tour the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh, where minarets are shaped like stupas and symbolize the stability and splendor of the old dynasty. In the Honor Courtyard you can view the sculptures of Mandarin soldiers, elephants, and horses standing proud before the Stele Pavilion. The strong stone and tremendous detail which overtakes the entire complex, including the tripartite staircase, creates an ethereal ambiance within the site.
In the evening you will have an intimate dinner at one of the city’s famous garden houses, known for their illustrious dynastic past. Each house is constructed of traditional timber and feature brick roofs, the entirety of which is surrounded by manicured gardens. The calm rustle of greenery strewn along the lily pond fills the soothing quiet of the early night. The scent of coriander and chili begins to overtake the floral aromas of the garden, and you taste the essential passionate and historic flavors of Hue.
Day 11: A Higher Pass and Further Past
The day begins with a delicate breakfast which highlights the energizing taste and aroma of Vietnamese coffee. Soon you will venture outside of Hue and find yourself on the Hai Van Pass, one of the most fabulous roadways in the country. The jade of the lush trees and grass rises and falls along the landscape of the mountains, sloping downward towards the South China Sea, and brings the emerald land to the edge of the sapphire water.
You will arrive in Danang in time for a tour of the Cham Museum. The Champa Empire dates back to the 2nd century evolving from its Indian roots. The museum houses over 300 terracotta and stone works that have been found all over the country and date back as far as the 7th century. The building that houses the relics combines French Colonial architecture with Cham styling, and simple, elegant lines. Touring through the artifacts will lead you through what feels like an outdoor museum with large pillared spaces open to the garden outside. After browsing the stone lions and garuda-style statues you will arrive in Hoi An with the flickering light of paper lanterns twinkling along the streets.
Day 12: The Impeccable Character of Hoi An
Set beside and over the Thu Bon River, Hoi An is a city that feels like a town and is always described with one word: charming. Its eclectic culture is due to its rich history as a popular trade town beginning in the 16th century. The architecture mirrors the diversity of the people and the past. Tradition is alive and well in Old Town where you can see shallow bottom boats skimming through the water, and the Japanese Covered Bridge gives an elegant touch to the waterway.
The Tan Ky House dates back 200 years and is a model of an old merchant town residence, with a ceiling supported by three successively shorter beams which add a Japanese flair to the décor. The inner courtyard allows for light and ventilation while also adding a delicate touch of nature to the home. The edge of the house that touches the river was rented to merchants. As you continue your tour through the endless charisma of Hoi An, the whirring bicycles and flowing paper lanterns add to the mixture of beauty.
Day 13: The Artistry of History
Outside of Hoi An you venture through the opulent jungle green until it reaches an opening overrun with large red karsts. However, you realize that those aren’t karsts but temples within the My Son complex, a series of sandstone stupas from the Champa Empire that date back as far back as the fourth century. Constructed throughout the powerful reign of the Champa, the complex pays homage to many of the Hindu beliefs intricately carved along the stone structures. Vast mountains fill the horizon and bring majesty to the skyline. The main tower is a symbol of sacred Mount Meru and is considered to be at the center of the universe. You can find the delicate display of gods like Vishnu and Shiva carved over doors and along reliefs bringing splendored history to light through this devotion.
Day 14: The Sounds of the South
Today you will find yourself soaring over the stunning central mountains on your way from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City, once the capital of South Vietnam and now the country’s commercial capital. The city is in constant motion with the vibrancy of life buzzing around the modern skyscrapers that cast shadows along the banks of the Saigon River. Once you settle into your accommodation your guide will meet you and take you to visit the sensational sites of the city.
The Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the five most important shrines within the city’s limits. The crimson façade of the building adds to the vibrant colors of the leaves from the trees that encompass the outer courtyards. Continuing on, you will find the main hall, constructed at the turn of the 20th century, and decorated with an icon along the front dais and images of the Buddhist afterlife adorning the walls. The scent of incense adds spice to the ambience within one of the most active working shrines in Saigon.
Day 15: The River’s Calm Journey
Today you will venture away from the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City and come to the vivacious waterways of the Mekong Delta. Once at My Tho you can see the region rich in agriculture, from terraced rice paddy fields to shallow skimming boats driven by women in conical hats paddling their way elegantly down the water. Come to the Vinh Trang Pagoda known as a haven for children with disabilities, orphans, and children in need. The façade is an opulent mixture of Vietnamese tradition. A stone pathway sifts through the manicured gardens that are decorated with a collection of large Buddha statues. Along the water you surround yourself with large fringed palms that block the riverbanks and showcase the essence of the delta,; displaying the unique communities that have flourished on and beside the water for centuries, stretching from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea.
Day 16: Colorful Morning
The morning takes on a different shade as the light peaks over the shallow banks and dances on the water. You find yourself in Cai Be early in the day, when the waterways of the town become filled with boats and activity. The shallow skimmers are almost overflowing with goods, from pineapples to bananas, oranges to rambutans, piled high and all for sale. The morning Floating Market is filled with vendors and customers all enraptured with the jovial spirit and stunning nature of the sale. Voices are loud, the aromas are a mixture of sweet fruit and freshly grilled fish, and vibrantly colorful images stretch before you as far as you can see. Soon the market rush will dissipate; you will stroll through the wonderful hues, scents, and flavors of a traditional fruit orchard, and return to the comforts of Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 17: The Calls of the Dai
Today you will once again find yourself outside of the bustling streets of Saigon discovering the unique experience of witnessing the Cao Dai Holy See. Founded in the 1920s the religion blends elements of Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Confucianism attempting to create a perfect peaceful religion. The bright colors of the church shine along the carved ornaments. Once inside you find the vaulted interior and pillars standing beside animated pagodas. The atmosphere is diverse and welcoming, from the colorful scenery to the friendly people.
You can stand along the upper balcony overlooking the temple to see the procession beginning with a vibrantly dressed priest. When the congregation begins to sing you notice the blending rhythms and hums that combine eastern and western influences, culminating in an eclectic sound of the followers’ devotion, and that is unlike anything you have ever heard. In the early afternoon you will venture to the Cu Chi Tunnels to discover the vast expanse of networks within the earth before returning to Saigon for the night.
Day 18: The Sound of Satisfaction
The morning calls of Saigon begin and you awaken to aroma of fresh Vietnamese coffee once more. The delicate aroma of French pastries blends with the rich dark roast as you enjoy your final breakfast in Vietnam. The morning is at your leisure allowing you the opportunity to venture back into the city for once last visit to the Old City and even to venture into Khaisilk, a fabulous boutique store known for its silk scarves, ties, shirts and more. Soon your private transfer will have you at the airport and ready for your journey home.
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
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
+ 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
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Ho Chi Minh
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