Vietnam Colonial Heritage Luxury Trip 18 Days
Starts : Hanoi City , ends : Sai Gon City
Trip code: VCHLT18D
Ages: Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.
Accommodation: Hotel 4 & 5 stars
Transport: Boat, Private Van /Car, Plane
Tour Type: Private (min 2 persons)
Day 1: A Warm Welcome
Your arrival in Hanoi is met with a warm and exciting welcome with your private transfer that will soon have you relaxing within your luxurious accommodations within the city center. You feel an immediate connection to the city that has blended its tradition and evolving cityscape nicely, from skyscrapers to the cultural neighborhoods in Old Town. Even colorful greenery swaddles Hoan Kiem Lake within the historic center. Bicycles whirr with locals wearing conical hats to protect themselves from the sun while cyclos, bicycle-taxis, roam through the streets that date back a millennium. In the evening you will indulge in a taste of Vietnam with dinner and a chance to view the famous Water Puppet Theater. The show is a collection of cultural mythology; the presentation was born from farmers in flooded paddy fields during monsoon season. The jovial feeling is immediate and you know that Hanoi is a city of which you have seen no equal.
Day 2: The Past and the Present
The morning brings with it the fresh aroma of Vietnamese coffee, filled with rich dark roast that fills you with flavorful energy and has you looking forward to your exploration of the day. Your guide brings you out into the city that brims with excitement, from the floral scents of the Hang Da Market to the opulent architecture that acts as a reminder of the French Colonial past. The peaceful quarters of Hoan Kiem Lake offer you a sample of the local getaway within the dangling greenery that almost blocks the remaining city.
Constructed in the 18th century, Ngoc Son Temple stands along the lake’s edge at the center of Jade Island. Ripples form on the water stemming from the endangered soft shell turtles that swim in the lake, often making a home near the Turtle Tower’s base. The scarlet bridge that leads to the temple gracefully arches over the water. Throughout the day you will find Hanoi’s history brimming within the modern streets, from the Opera House to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, but along the water of Hoan Kiem Lake you have found the heart of the city and it beats with quiet pride.
Day 3: Another Graceful Step
The new day brings another chance to stroll along the city’s streets and to discover the beauty of Hanoi and the surrounding country for which the capital represents. With the day at your leisure you are able to expound upon the diversity whether within or outside of the city’s main streets. The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi gives you insight into the variety of ethnic groups within the country, dedicated to the heritage and preservation of socio-cultural diversity. The building is a modern construction which takes great care to keep the proud displays of traditional culture and the collection of diverse tribal material approachable.
From art to artifacts, and everyday objects, you will be able to step inside the distant and often unknown cultures that reside within the hills. Within colorful, geometric textiles and intricate jewelry, you will become connected to a heritage you may have not even known. Wander through the courtyard that is filled with a small stream and little bridges and where you will come upon traditional homes, including a stilt house of the Tay. Strong wooden pillars hold the thatched roof and open windows offer a refreshing cross breeze.
Day 4: 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 5: 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 6 : 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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 10: First Touch of Colonial Past
When morning washes over the city, and after you have delighted in your breakfast, a private transfer will take you to the airport where you will soon find yourself within the ancient Imperial City of Hue. The historic splendor of the city remains, not just within the elegance of various emperors’ tombs but also along the famous citadel that continues to house a large portion of the city’s population. Come to the moat and you can already see, not only the opulence of the historic structure, but also the beauty of the waterway that surrounds the entire complex, stretching over 90 feet across and spotted with large lily pads floating on the surface.
With 10 fortified gates and over six-miles of thick stone walls, the current state of the structure only adds to the allure of the city at its peak. Walking through the main entrance brings you to a tripartite gate where the center arch was used only for the emperor and his procession. Today you can see the flag flying over 110 feet high above the entire complex. You will also find the Nine Holy Cannons that represent the four seasons and the five elements, bringing together power and nature.
Day 11: Within the Emperor’s Splendor
Another day within the remarkable city of Hue brings you out and about to witness the grand commemorations of the past emperors. From Tu Duc to Khai Dinh, the royal tombs were created with extravagant detail and passionate dedication leaving a known legacy for the generations to come. The sublime setting and lovely architecture of the Tomb of Minh Mang has brought renown to the surrounding forestry. Located on the banks of the Perfume River, you can wander across the stone bridge that takes you over the crescent-shaped Tan Nguyet Lake, where a staircase climbs into the air flanked by dragon banisters.
The water is calm and air is cool within the lavish greenery which makes you feel like you are alone in an archeological site. At the top of the staircase is the emperor’s sepulcher; the doors open once a year on the anniversary of Minh Mang’s passing. In the evening you will find yourself within one of Hue’s famous garden houses. The traditional tile roofs slope down beneath lavish, arching trees and sprouting lily pads. Soon the aroma of ginger and fresh noodles overtakes the flora and brings you the unique flavors of the city.
Day 12: A More Recent History
Today you will have the opportunity for a half day tour that will take you out of Hue and into the countryside along the historic remains of the Demilitarized Zone. Within Khe Sanh Combat Base you find the open space within the surrounding lively mountains filled with swaying trees and tall grasses. The peaceful quality of the area today is a contrast to the heavily battled area of the late 1960s. A small museum located here contains old photographs of the time, along with a reconstructed bunker. Two helicopters sit on the helipads as reminders of what took place within the valley. The scent of coffee plantations drifts in from the fields that now linger along the foothills. In the afternoon you will catch your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. The city is the commercial capital of Vietnam and was once affectionately known as Saigon.
Day 13: The Remaining Colonial Shapes of Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City is full of energy which reaches from the skyline to the shores of the Saigon River. The aromatics of restaurants and the vivacious pulse of commerce seem to be never ending. At the heart of the rising cityscape you find the elegant artistry of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. In the late 19th century the material used to construct the cathedral was shipped from France creating an iconic touch of a colonial past. The towers stand 190 feet tall with the rose window as the central image. Once inside the familiar scent of myrrh enraptures you within the lofted ceilings and mesmerizing shapes of the tiled floor. The graceful structure also brings a tranquility that takes you away from the energetic pulse of the surrounding streets, giving you a moment to connect to the art, the history, and the evolving culture of Saigon.
Day 14: Heritage at Heart
Outside of the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, within the jungles that stretch down to the delta and up to the central mountains, you will come to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Containing over 170 miles of networks and just 20 miles away from Ho Chi Minh City, the tunnels continue to burrow through the countryside, constructed deep enough below ground to not have been effected by rumbling tanks or aircraft. Ben Dinh is one of the most visited tunnels and is where you can see the extent of the actual network crisscrossing the beneath the landscape. When you enter the system you notice the shift in the air, from the tropical warmth to the underground cool. At a height of around four-feet, you can walk through the narrow channels and come to the remnants of a tank sitting within a eucalyptus grove.
Day 15: French Colonial Mountains
The morning is yours to explore Ho Chi Minh City allowing you to stroll along the streets of the Old Quarter or to visit Hang Da Market once more to enjoy the scent of fresh flowers blending with the vibrancy of the new artwork. In the afternoon you will make your flight to Da Lat, where the cool mountain air sweeps through the surrounding peaks and foothills. The villa contains influences of Art Deco décor where square angles connect to the rotund entrance. The back courtyard maintains its charming shape with its manicured grass and delightful geometrics. You can visit the emperor’s office within the palace, an imposing ambiance filled with regal and military seals enhanced by the large desk and collection of spears and crossbows. The surrounding landscape is lush and lavish bringing you a sense of tranquil beauty encompassing the opulent home of a former ruler.
Day 16: The Falls of Da Lat
Outside of the charm of Da Lat, an adventure into the graceful woods will bring you to the celebrated Datanla Waterfalls. The cool climate and the lovely shaded forest offers a comfortable place where you can savor the views of the wildlife within the cedar aromatics of the easy walking trail. You can almost hear the rush of water in the distance before the falls even come into view. The roaring sound guides you to the gorgeous cascades of water careening over the cliff to the iridescent water below. A footbridge arches over the water allowing for an overhead view of the winding whitewater and the protruding rocks. For a unique panorama of the forest and falls you can take a ride along the bobsled track that weaves down the hillside with the surrounding leaves, flashing falls, and misty air all around you.
Day 17: Part of the Village
The sun washes light over the old colonial city and you can see the largest peak rising over 5,850 feet above sea level. Today you will journey on a half-day tour to visit the Lat Village at the foot of Langbian Mountain. The ethnic minority village sits at the edge of strawberry and coffee plantations which bring vibrant reds and greens to the open valley before the rising mountain. The women weave wonderful textiles with vibrant hues and intricate patterns and traditional stilt houses rise above the tall grass. Also known for remarkable flowers, the region seems to sparkle in waves of color, from reds to purples to yellows. In the afternoon you will return to Ho Chi Minh City with the evening at your leisure. For a delicious end to your day you can dine at Nha Hang Ngon, an endearing restaurant that allows you to sample a wide range of Vietnamese cuisine within a pleasant ambiance.
Day 18: Changing Course
Breakfast is accompanied by the rich flavor and scent of fresh Vietnamese coffee that lifts you up to the energetic streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Soon your private transfer will ferry you to the airport where you will catch your return flight 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
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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