Absolute Vietnam Discovery

Absolute Vietnam Discovery

Starts
Ho Chi Minh City
Destinations
+ 13
Ends
Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh City → Ben Tre → Can Tho → Da Lat → Nha Trang → Hoi An → Hue → Hanoi → Sapa → Halong → Central Highland

Highlights

  • Visit Vietnam’s colonial charm city – Hanoi, former Capital – Hue, sleepy riverside town – Hoian, modern metropolis – Saigon, heart of Mekong River city – Can Tho, City of Eternal Spring – Da Lat, and Coastal resort city – Nha Trang.
  • Trek through the rice fields in the hill tribe areas in Sapa.
  • Cast away on a traditional junk boat set sail through hundreds of limestone karsts that rise dramatically from the emerald waters of Halong Bay. Join activities such as: visiting fishing village on a bamboo boat, visiting caves, kayaking, swimming…
  • Experience the countryside life in Mekong Delta.
Age range
13 - 90 years old
Accommodation
3 / 4 / 5
Transportation

Turn your holidays in Vietnam into a memorable vacation with this eighteen-day tour of Absolute Vietnam Discovery from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, visiting Mekong Delta (Ben Tre, Can Tho), City of Love: Dalat, Nha Trang Beach City, ancient town Hoian, peaceful Hue, Vietnam’s capital: Hanoi, misty Sapa with ethnic villages and cruising on the UNESCO Heritage Site – Halong Bay…

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Itinerary

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  1. Day 1: HCMC Arrival.
    Day 1: HCMC Arrival.

    Welcome to Vietnam’s financial hub - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Arrive in the late morning and enjoy an orientation tour through Saigon’s bustling streets en route to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to recover from jet lag and explore the city on your own.
    Meals: N/A.
    Accommodation: Hotel in HCMC.

  2. Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.
    Day 2: HCMC Tour.

    Enjoy a full day to tour Saigon’s diverse attractions. Start with a visit to Saigon’s China Town including Binh Tay Market, Thien Hau Pagoda; then learn about traditional Vietnamese medicine at the FITO Museum and browse through the amazing array of goods at Ben Thanh Market. Stop for lunch then continue on the city tour with a visit to the War Remnants Museum, the former Presidential Palace, the nearby Notre Dame Cathedral and the City Post Office. You conclude the day exploring the city’s French colonial architecture, stopping at the Opera House and the City Hall on Nguyen Hue broad walking promenade in the middle of District 1.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in HCMC.

  3. Day 3: HCMC – Ben Tre – Can Tho.
    Day 3: HCMC – Ben Tre – Can Tho.
    Day 3: HCMC – Ben Tre – Can Tho.
    Day 3: HCMC – Ben Tre – Can Tho.
    Day 3: HCMC – Ben Tre – Can Tho.
    Day 3: HCMC – Ben Tre – Can Tho.
    Day 3: HCMC – Ben Tre – Can Tho.

    Today you spend a day away from the busy city of Saigon and drive to Ben Tre Province. Visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, an ancient southern architectural gem in Tien Giang en route. On arrival at Hung Vuong Pier, take a boat on Ben Tre River – one of tributaries of Mekong River.
    Experience lively activities along river as fishing, water transferring… Stop at brickwork to see how to make bricks in handy traditional style by printing and baking. Reaching a bee-keeping farm where Vietnamese traditional music can be heard and seasonal tropical fruit as well as honey tea can be tasted.
    Visit one of the plenty of coconut processing workshops where coconut candies are made and have a chance to learn the coconut candies making process located along canal. Turn on natural scissors creeks where they look smaller and smaller to go to village. Take a walk to family workshop making sleep mats.
    Afterward, being on a cart powered by a motorbike or biking and traveling through some tranquil villages where vegetables gardens to be able to touch on real life and find out about tropical culture from Peasants. Lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon, take a rowing-boat along water palm creek and boat back to Hung Vuong Pier where your car will take you to Can Tho - the largest city in the Mekong Delta.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Can Tho.

  4. Day 4: Can Tho – HCMC – Fly to Dalat
    Day 4: Can Tho – HCMC – Fly to Dalat
    Day 4: Can Tho – HCMC – Fly to Dalat

    Wake early and leave the hotel to visit the famous Cai Rang floating market by motorized boat. This is a great opportunity to get fantastic photos of colourful boats laden with fruit and vegetables. Boats are filled with teetering piles of fruit and vegetables, from carefully balanced watermelons, to bright flowers. Then venture deeper into the country-side, passing traditional houses made of wood and palm leaves as you observe the activities of the local people, and sample the fresh, exotic fruit. Return to Ninh Kieu quay in Can Tho around 10 A.M. Check out the hotel then drive back to Tan Son Nhat Airport to take a domestic flight to Dalat – “City of Eternal Spring”. Upon arrival, your guide and driver will pick you up at Lien Khuong Airport and transfer to your hotel in Dalat.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Dalat.

  5. Day 5: Dalat City Tour.
    Day 5: Dalat City Tour.
    Day 5: Dalat City Tour.
    Day 5: Dalat City Tour.
    Day 5: Dalat City Tour.
    Day 5: Dalat City Tour.

    After breakfast, visit Thien Vien Truc Lam – the largest Zen Monastery of Vietnam. Then take the steps down toward the Tuyen Lam Lake, enjoy sightseeing of the nicest vast lake of Dalat on boat. On the way back to the city for lunch, visit Lat village, home to a number of distinct ethnic minority groups with varying traditions and beliefs. Here you have the chance to purchase traditional handicrafts and gain a unique insight. An afternoon of sightseeing takes in the art deco former summer residence of Bao Dai – the last Emperor of Vietnam, the old Dalat Railway Station, the Central Market and famous XQ embroidery workshop. There will be the chance for a short walk around Xuan Huong Lake to get a feel for this delightful city in the evening.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Dalat.

  6. Day 6: Dalat – Nha Trang.
    Day 6: Dalat – Nha Trang.
    Day 6: Dalat – Nha Trang.

    After breakfast, embark on scenic driver from the highlands to the beautiful coastal city of Nha Trang. Nha Trang is a perfect place for travelers who loves Sun, Sand, and beautiful beaches. Besides the pre-requisite golden stretches of land and crystal clear waters, the coast is dotted with many islands, each with their own distinct character. The turquoise waters play host to a variety of marine life, and snorkeling and scuba diving are always favorites. In the afternoon, take a city tour to visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers, the Alexandre Yersin Museum, Long Son Pagoda, with its enormous white Buddha statue, and the lively, colorful Dam Market. Overnight in Nha Trang.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Nha Trang.

  7. Day 7: Nha Trang – Free at leisure.
    Day 7: Nha Trang – Free at leisure.
    Day 7: Nha Trang – Free at leisure.
    Day 7: Nha Trang – Free at leisure.
    Day 7: Nha Trang – Free at leisure.

    Today is your free day for relaxation by the beach.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Nha Trang.

  8. Day 8: Nha Trang – Fly to Danang – Hoian.
    Day 8: Nha Trang – Fly to Danang – Hoian.
    Day 8: Nha Trang – Fly to Danang – Hoian.
    Day 8: Nha Trang – Fly to Danang – Hoian.

    In the early morning, your driver will pick up and transfer you to Cam Ranh Airport to take a short flight to Danang. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in Hoi An. Rest of the day is your free time at leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.

  9. Day 9: Hoian Cooking Class & Walking Tour.
    Day 9: Hoian Cooking Class & Walking Tour.
    Day 9: Hoian Cooking Class & Walking Tour.
    Day 9: Hoian Cooking Class & Walking Tour.

    This morning take part in a cooking class at the Red Bridge Cooking School. Meet at the Hai Scout Cafe in Hoian’s Old Town. From there we will head to Hoian's colorful market. Explore the market and interact with local vendors to purchase some fresh ingredients for today’s cooking class. Next, board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely 25min cruise along the Hoian River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. Discover the school's herb and vegetable garden. Learn to cook and help prepare five traditional dishes to enjoy for lunch. You will also be entertained and taught some special techniques at the fruit and vegetable carving demonstration. Enjoy an afternoon walking tour through the narrow, winding streets of the ancient quarter, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Hall, the 200-year old Tan Ky ancestral house and the famous Japanese Bridge. Conclude the day with a relaxing sunset boat trip.
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.

  10. Day 10: Hoian – Ecotour.
    Day 10: Hoian – Ecotour.
    Day 10: Hoian – Ecotour.

    8:00 AM: Pick up at hotel by bicycle. Take a leisurely bike ride to a local farm, passing through rice paddies and breathing in the fresh air. Meet the local farmer and learn about daily farm life. Enjoy a break while sipping a cup of tea in the rice fields before changing into your farming clothes! Change into farm clothes before getting into muddy rice fields: Authentic Vietnamese traditional farmer clothes, conical hat, boots (provided). Learn the traditional process of growing wet rice and what it entails including the agricultural water system and farming techniques such as using a water buffalo plough! Return to the hotel enjoy the free afternoon and evening at your leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.

  11. Day 11: Hoian – Danang – Hue.
    Day 11: Hoian – Danang – Hue.
    Day 11: Hoian – Danang – Hue.
    Day 11: Hoian – Danang – Hue.
    Day 11: Hoian – Danang – Hue.

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel then check-out and drive over the 500m-high Hai Van pass to Hue. Enjoy a stop at the scenic Lang Co Beach for a drink before continuing on to Hue - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Vietnam’s former capital. Spend the afternoon on a leisurely walking tour through the ancient city. Visit the Royal Citadel, the Imperial Museum, as well as the Mausoleum of King Tu Duc (a replica of the king’s palace built for the next reincarnation of the king).
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hue.

  12. Day 12: Hue City Tour – Fly to Hanoi.
    Day 12: Hue City Tour – Fly to Hanoi.
    Day 12: Hue City Tour – Fly to Hanoi.

    Spend the morning on a private boat cruise down the romantic Perfume River to visit the Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda), Dong Ba Market and the ornate Minh Mang's tomb. Drive to the airport in the afternoon to catch your short flight to Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi. Upon arrival, get transferred to your hotel in the city centre. Free at your leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

  13. Day 13: Hanoi City Tour.
    Day 13: Hanoi City Tour.
    Day 13: Hanoi City Tour.
    Day 13: Hanoi City Tour.

    Today is a full day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. Start with a visit to the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam. Follow it with one of the city's museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum) before your lunch (on your own account).
    In the afternoon, transfer to the Ba Dinh Square where stands the Mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh who led Vietnam to independence from French colonial rule. This site has become an important city landmark and a perfect place to learn more about Vietnam’s rich history. From there, wander through the beautiful surrounding gardens toward the One Pillar Pagoda and Presidential Palace, where a replica of Ho Chi Minh’s simple working space is on display. Later, hop on a cyclo, one of the most typical vehicles in Hanoi, is a human-powered transport with a seat at the front for passengers and the driver at the back. With this an hour leisurely ride, which is perfect chance for photos and slow-moving sightseeing, you will have a great chance to have the local closer touch.
    Disembark at the ancient city gate of O Quan Chuong, then continue walking to Thanh Ha local market and through bustling streets& alleys before ending at Ta Hien Street where you will enjoy a glass of local beer at its corner with all the locals around. Conclude the day with a traditional Water Puppet Performance – a unique Vietnamese Art form hailing from Southeast Asia’s wet-rice culture.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

  14. Day 14: Hanoi – Sapa.
    Day 14: Hanoi – Sapa.
    Day 14: Hanoi – Sapa.

    After breakfast, hop on a car for 5.5 hour scenic ride from Hanoi to Sapa on the Vietnam’s longest and modern highway with a comfort stop at the half way. Upon arrival, check in the hotel followed by your lunch (your own account). In the afternoon, walk down streets for the orientation guided tour to get acquainted with the town. The tour includes all the key sites such as the Old Church, local market and the dining& shopping streets… Then, continue to Sau Chua ethnic Black Hmong village. This village has been recently discovered and much less visited. It is located on the mountain summit, therefore you can take the best photos of panorama Sapa town down there at sunset. Besides, you will have lots of interactions with the villagers who show their great hospitality and want to share their life so you’ll learn more about how they live. Back to the hotel then and have the rest of day at your leisure.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa.

  15. Day 15: Sapa Tour.
    Day 15: Sapa Tour.
    Day 15: Sapa Tour.
    Day 15: Sapa Tour.

    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, before setting out on a full day’s trek to explore Sapa’s cultural diversity and haunting natural beauty. Take a guided hike through yawning valleys decorated with terraced rice fields and pass through remote hill tribe villages. You have three trekking options to choose from: Soft trek (~ 3 km), medium trek (~ 6km) and long trek (~ 12km). Trekking is an excellent way to explore the daily life and familiarize yourself with the cultures of the H’mong, Dzao and Dzay people who populate the region. Drive back to Sapa in the afternoon.
    Meals: Breakfast, Pinic Lunch.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa.

  16. Day 16: Sapa – Hanoi.
    Day 16: Sapa – Hanoi.

    Early morning your driver and guide will take you to one of the local markets (Coc Ly on Tue/ Sin Cheng on Wed/ Can Cau on Sat and Bac Ha on Sun). Wander through the stalls packed with hand-crafted goods peddled by the various hill tribe peoples who come here to buy and sell their wares. The specific details will be proposed by your travel consultant based on the travel date. After lunch, farewell the Vietnam’s Northwest area for a journey back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi around 9.00 PM.
    Meals: Breakfast.
    Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

  17. Day 17: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise.
    Day 17: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise.
    Day 17: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise.
    Day 17: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise.

    (The itinerary is a sample and it will be different between cruises. Our travel consultants will provide the exact schedule and program if you book other cruise such as Hera Cruise, Halong President Cruise, Emperor Cruise, Halong Violet, Halong Jasmine, Paradise Luxury Cruises, Orchid Cruise, Indochina Sails, Au Co Cruise, Starlight Cruise etc.) After breakfast at the hotel, your driver will take you on a 2.5 hour drive passing the countryside of the Red River Delta to Halong Bay. Spend nearly 24 hours on a traditional junk cruise in the amazing bay: a natural wonderland composed of jutting limestone islands and sparkling turquoise waters.
    Arrive at the dock around noon and board your junk. Savor a gourmet lunch of fresh seafood onboard as we sail out into the mystical bay. In the afternoon, cruise around some of Halong’s many islands, including Dinh Huong and Ga Choi. Along the way visit one of the bay’s 3 largest caves (Thien Cung, Dau Go or Sung Sot). Stop at an island cove with a sheltered white-sand beach and take a dip in the warm waters of the Tonkin Gulf (weather permitting). Pass the night on your junk, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of calm waters. Optional: Vietnam Travel recommends the 25-minute scenic flight on the seaplane to those book an overnight cruise departing from Tuan Chau Habour. It will be a "love at first sight" as you admire Halong Bay's magnificent beauty from the top of view. Flights are scheduled at the most suitable and most beautiful time of the day for sightseeing above more than 1,900 magnificent islands and limestone pillars. Excitement like never before! (excluded in the tour package, contact your travel consultant to book with best offer!)
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
    Accommodation: on cruise.

  18. Day 18: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure.
    Day 18: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure.

    Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea and light breakfast, before setting out to explore nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk and check-out of your cabin as you navigate back to Halong City. It’s time for you to take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of the bay. Have brunch on board the boat before returning to Halong pier. Your driver will meet you at the dock and take you to Noi Bai Airport of Hanoi for your departure flight home which departs no earlier than 5:00 PM. Trip ends.
    Meals: Brunch.
    Accommodation: N/A.

Detailed services

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  • Accommodation

    Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Note:
      All the hotels/ cruise are subject to availability and can be changed. In case any of the listed hotels are fully booked, alternatives of equivalence will be taken.
    1. Guide

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      English Speaking Tour Guide (other language on request)

    2. Meals

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      As mentioned in the itinerary: Daily breakfast at hotel, 3 lunches.

    3. Transport

      Rated Excellent by past passengers

      Private Car/Van with Air-Conditioning.

    • Flights

      Saigon - Dalat by Vietnam Airlines
      Nha Trang - Danang by Vietnam Airlines
      Hue - Hanoi by Vietnam Airlines

      Note:
      Please note that airfares are subject to availability and to change without notice

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    Price Includes

    • Accommodations
    • Services of private drivers and air-conditioned vehicles
    • Service of English speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
    • 3 domestic flights
    • Two day/ 1 night cruise package on Halong Bay
    • Entrance fees, boat trip for all mentioned sights visited
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.

    Price Excludes

    • Travel insurance
    • Flights into and out Vietnam
    • Visa Stamp fee
    • Tipping and other personal expenses.


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