Classic Vietnam: Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City 7 Days

Classic Vietnam: Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City
Highlights: Explore Hanoi's Old Quarter by cyclo Stay a night on a traditional junk on Halong Bay Visit Ho Chi Minh City - once also called "the Pearl of the Far East" Explore the engrossing underground network of Cu Chi Tunnels Cruise the waterway of the Mekong Delta, through authentic villages

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Hanoi

When you arrive at Noi Bai International airport in Hanoi, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in the downtown. The remainder of the day will be your own.

Day 2: A Day in Vietnam's Capital City (B, L)

The city tour of Hanoi takes in essential sites which will commence from your hotel lobby at 08.30 am. In the morning, you'll visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum; The Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070.

After lunch at a local Vietnamese restaurant, you'll continue visiting the Museum of Ethnology, widely acknowledged as the best in the country, containing an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples; Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake - the Ngoc Son Temple is set on a tiny island on Hoan Kiem Lake, its history dating back to the 13th century; a cyclo ride for 1 hour touring through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi! The day finishes with a traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets. Overnight in
 Hanoi. 

Note: the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed all day on Monday and Fridays, as well as from 1st October to 30th November (approx.) for annual conservation.

Day 3: Off to Halong Bay [Join with other travelers on the cruise]  (B, L, D)

After breakfast, you'll leave for Halong Bay with a refreshment break en route. Meet the crew upon boarding the traditional wooden junk, then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads towards the secluded islands. Visit ancient limestone caves and go sea kayaking and swimming if the weather permits. Return to the junk refreshed and invigorated and relax on deck with a drink to watch the sunset. Enjoy a freshly prepared seafood dinner under the stars. Overnight on a traditional junk in Halong Bay. 

Day 4: Continue Cruising Halong Bay - Afternoon Flight to Ho Chi Minh City  (B, L)

Enjoy an early morning swim (if weather permits) followed by breakfast. The tour then visit one of the famous caves in the middle of the bay before cruising back to the main harbor for the 4 hour drive straight to Noi Bai airport in Hanoi for a late afternoon flight to Ho Chi Minh City (at extra cost for flight ticket). On arrival, pick up and transfer to your downtown hotel. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City Tour & Cu Chi Tunnels Explorations (B, L)

Embark on a half day guided city tour starting with the War Remnants Museum - a real eye-opener to a part of  Vietnam's proud history, followed by the Reunification Palace, the former Presidential Palace for the president of the South of Vietnam, the Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post office to get good shots for our memory of the big, modern city of Vietnam.

After lunch at a local restaurant, a 1,5-hour will take you to Cu Chi Tunnels where you will visit the amazing network of underground tunnels was used during the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong. This huge construction was a habitation for villagers in the war time. With 3 levels of depth, it was never discovered by the US during the Vietnam War despite its proximity to Saigon. Visit the fighting tunnel system with your local guide. Returns to Saigon, arriving at around 18.00. 
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 6: Introduction to the Mekong Delta  (B, L)

At 8.00 AM, depart for a 2 hour drive to Ben Tre, one of the country's southern provinces, situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. Take in the highway as you leave behind the busy city. On arrival, take a boat on Ben Tre River – one of tributaries of Mekong River to witness lively activities along river such as fishing, water transferring. Stop at brickwork to see how to make bricks in traditional style by printing and baking. You will visit one of plenty of coconut processing workshops 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 and enjoying some fruits. Later, take a motor-cart on shady village paths, passing by green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch on real life and find out about tropical culture from Peasants. After lunch at a riverside restaurant, enjoy rowing-boat along water palm creek, and boat back to pier where you will be taken to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving at around 17.00. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 7: Depart Ho Chi Minh City (B)

Your time will be your own until being picked up to Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City for your onward journey or departure flight.

Prices & Hotels

Price is from~US$ 403 per person
All prices are per person, valid till December 31, 2016. 
10% discount on total cost will be applied during summer time (July 1 - August 30, 2016)
Prices Include:
- All pick-ups and transfers by private vehicles with experienced drivers except transfer between Hanoi - Halong Bay by shuttle bus
- 5-night accommodation in Twin/Double share basis with daily breakfast, and 1 night on a traditional wooden junk/cruise ship in Halong Bay.

- Experienced local English speaking guide and guide on board in Halong Bay
- Meals as indicated in the programme
- All entrance fee as mentioned in the programme
- VAT and all other taxes
Prices Exclude:
- Entry visa to Vietnam (can be arranged at extra cost)
- International flights and airport taxes
- Domestic flight ticket: Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City (airfare is quoted upon request)
- Travel Insurances
- Drinks, tips and other personal expenses or services not mentioned on the program