Day 1: Ho Chi Minh Arrival
Our representative/tour guide will meet and greet you at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City, which is formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a sprawling metropolis that is home to over 5 million people and a fast-paced city full of contrasts as street vendors selling fruit and vegetables can be seen next to glitzy western-style bars and boutiques. Saigon’s history is only 300 years old. Overnight at hotel in Saigon.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh city and Street Food Eat (B,L)
Today our tour guide pick you up at the hotel by motorbike and we take a half-day city excursion to see the best of Saigon including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office built between 1877 and 1883 by renowned designer Gustav Eiffel. The cathedral still remains an active church with services each day and is favoured backdrop for Vietnamese wedding photographs.
From the cathedral, take a short stroll along Dong Khoi Street to the Opera House. From a bomb shelter to housing the parliamentary Lower House, the Opera House has had an interesting history. Restored in 1995 the Opera House has returned to its roots and is once again a theatre.
Head to Cholon the city’s Chinatown and Thien Hau Pagoda which is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. With intricate friezes, carved tableaus and impressive incense coils make for some great photos. Then observe street life with a cyclo ride through the narrow streets to Binh Tay market that sells everything from hats to dried squid!
During this excursion, gastronomic adventure around Saigon’s streets and back alleys, we’ll show you what the locals eat as we leave the tourist area behind and experience the real Vietnam. Eating on the streets of Saigon is a truly rewarding experience. Not only will your taste buds be jumping with joy but you will also experience the heart and soul of food culture whilst eating and laughing along with the locals. As we sit down at any of the countless street food stalls we will be met with delicious food and friendly smiles. Some of the more popular street food dishes in Saigon include Banh xeo (large rice pancake filled with vegetables, shrimps and pork), Com Tam (broken rice), Hu Tiu Nam Vang (pork and crab noodle soup), and Banh Mi (Vietnamese-style sandwiches). Of course a street food tour is not complete without sampling some of the refreshing local draught beer known as Bia Hoi which is mostly found in small bars and on street corners. This light and tasty beer is brewed daily as local vendor receive a fresh batch delivered every day in plastic jugs. You’ll quickly learn how to drink bia hoi like the locals as soon as you hear their friendly local cheer – Mot, Hai, Ba – YO!! Transfer back to your hotel in the evening.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh – Fly to Danang – Hoi An (B)
At leisure and then you will be taken to the airport to take 1 hour flight to Danang City. Pick up upon arrival and transfer to Hoi An, which is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Enjoy a walking tour through the Old Quarters to see the town's landmarks of Japanese Covered Bridge, ancient Assembly Hall, Phuc Kien Temple and then we take a river trip and you will enjoy the scenery along the Thu Bon River and the general view of Hoi An Ancient Town. Hoi An is also famous for its large number of tailor shops, so if you want to have a new wardrobe made up, this is the time to do it. Dinner at local restaurant in Hoi An. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.
Day 4: Hoi An cooking tour (B,L)
We start the day (8:45am) with a drink at Hai Scout Cafe as our meeting point. Visit Hoi An's colourful market, and experience the amazing sights, sounds and aromas of this busy market. We will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later. We board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. This is a chance to view local river life, so make sure your camera is handy. On arrival, we have a chance to explore the cooking school's herb and vegetable garden, before learning about some of Hoi An's and Vietnam's well-known dishes. The cooking class is an interesting and fun way to learn about the local cuisine - the class runs for about an hour and 15 minutes, and includes demonstrations from the school's chefs as well as the chance for us to help prepare some dishes. Included in the demonstration is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). Free at leisure by your own to explore the ancient town of Hoi An or shopping at tailor shops. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An – Hue (B)
This morning we drive to Hue, we will cross Hai Van Pass where you will have magnificent view of the Eastern Sea. Arrive in Hue at around 11:00 am. Check-in hotel and relax for a while.
In the afternoon. we will tour the ancient Imperial Citadel and visit Thien Mu, a beautiful pagoda located right on the bank of Perfume River. Then we will drive through countryside to visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh Royal tombs. Back to Hotel and the rest of time at your own leisure. Overnight in Hue.
Day 6: Hue – Fly to Hanoi - Street Food Eat (B,D)
Free time in the morning and fly to Hanoi in the early afternoon.
On arrival at Noi Bai airport, get transfered to the hotel for a short rest.
In the late afternoon, take a 3-hour Street Food tour (06.00 – 09.00 PM). With food stalls on every corner, Hanoi is famous for its street food cuisine. This local street eats walking tour has been designed to enable you to enjoy some of the very best of Vietnam’s street food. You’ll be guided through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter stopping along the way to sample some of the many local delicacies on offer. Spend overnight in Hanoi.
Day 7: Good morning Hanoi excursion (B)
In the early morning (04.30 AM), from the hotel we will travel by car to where all the life is in Hanoi. First we travel to the famous flower market where hundreds of different kinds of flowers are being sold in bulk to the flower shop keepers. From there we transfer to Long Bien bridge where, underneath is one of the biggest and busiest fruit markets in the country. Both these markets are only seen in the early morning!
Next we will travel on foot and see the Old Quarter begin to wake up. You will see street side markets preparing for the morning. We’ll also make our way to Hoan Kiem Lake to witness, and maybe even take part in, people, young and old, exercising, doing tai chi, and jogging. As the sun rises, and the light becomes perfect, take every opportunity to snap some of the best photos of your trip!
A short break for a traditional Hanoi breakfast of Pho Bo or Banh Cuon.
After that, we visit the Temple of Literature, peaceful West Lake with lovers street Thanh Nien, the sedate Tran Quoc Pagoda.
Head back to your hotel to rest for the day ahead around 10:00 AM.
Balance of the day is free time.
Spend overnight in Hanoi.
Day 8: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D)
Have breakfast in the hotel before starting the trip.
Around 08.00 AM, drive to Ha Long Bay with 4 hours travelling for the overnight cruise on a deluxe junk. Begin with a seafood lunch then explore some limestone caves. In the afternoon enjoy a swim or relax in the sun on the top deck or try your hand at some kayaking.
Overnight on board.
Day 9: Halong Bay – Hanoi (B,L)
This morning continue to move around the bay to find more secluded areas to either swim or kayak. At around midday, the boat will return to the main harbour before transferring to an awaiting vehicle for the journey back to Hanoi. Arrival at Hanoi around 16:30 – 17:00 PM. Check in the hotel. Free time in the evening. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 10: Hanoi departure (B)
Upon your flight ticket, our driver will take you to the airport.
End of services.