GRAND TOUR VIETNAM

Length

14 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURE/NATURE

Type of service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

   Vietnam is an extraordinary and very extensive country able to offer multiple types of travel of different duration. We have carefully developed the itinerary Grand Tour Vietnam to ensure an authentic and comprehensive experience including the remote provinces in the far north, the most important historical cities, Halong Bay, and Mekong Delta.

Stroll through the charming Hanoi and the Vietnam’s first university Temple of Literature, the imposing mausoleum erected in honor of Ho Chi Minh, the lovely Old town where you can enjoy the delicious street food, and the renowned water-puppetry performance.

Experience the astonishing landscapes of Ninh Binh, Sapa, the incredibly picturesque town located at 1500 meters a.s.l. in Vietnam’s remote northwest mountains, famous for rugged scenery and rich cultural diversity, and its surrounding region home to many hill tribes, rice terraces and lush vegetation

Immerse yourself in the beautiful nature of Ha Long Bay while sailing surrounded by the incredible karst peaks.

Visit the ancient capital Hue, the trading city Hoi An and the more cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City.

Explore the magic of the Mekong Deltaknown as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, while gliding in a traditional wooden sampan boat past floating villages and visit colourful markets on the river.

This example itinerary can be customised according to actual travel needs and can be combined with other routes.

Itineraries-Gran-tour-in-Uzbekistan © In Asia Travel

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Length : 14D 13N
From : HANOI
To : SAIGON
Destinations  : Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Halong Bay, Huè, Danang, Hoi An, Saigon, Can Tho, Cai Rang, Saigon

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVE IN HANOI

Arrive in Hanoi city, the charming capital of Vietnam. 

Welcome by our staff and transfer to the hotel.

Included : Tour guide, private transportation and hotel 

02. HANOI

Old HanoiOld Hanoi

We begin to explore the capital from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a symbolic building that preserves the remains of the Vietnamese President, built in the center of Ba Dinh square where the country’s Declaration of Independence was read in 1945.

We continue to the colonial style Presidential House and to “One pillar pagoda”, whose name derives from the singular structure that rests on a single pillar to represent the purity of the lotus flower. It was erected by Emperor LyThai Tong as a good omen for the birth of a son who could inherit the throne.

We proceed to West Lake, the largest natural lake in Hanoi which extends over an area of 4 sqkm, Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldestBuddhist temple in Hanoi built in the 6th century, and to the first national university Temple of Literature, built in 1070 in honor of Confucius with the function of Imperial Academy.

In the afternoon we visit the old Hanoi by a traditional cyclò  through the narrow streets that intersect the town and which take their name from the type of goods sold. Stop at Haon Kiem Lake or “The Lake of the Restored Sword”, which houses an ancient pagoda, and continue on the red wooden bridge The Huc towards the temple of the “mountain of jada” Ngoc Son. We end the day with the show of the famous water puppet show.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

03. NINH BINH, HOA LU AND TRANG AN

Ninh Binh - VietnamNinh Binh

After breakfast we drive to Ninh Binh, about 100 km south of Hanoi, in the southern Delta The Red River. Notably known for its hundreds of limestone cliffs that emerge from the ground in the vast rice fields, this region is aptly nicknamed “Halong Bay on land“. In addition to the incredible scenery, the excursion represents a great opportunity to learn about the rural lifestyle typical of Vietnam. Visit Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam until 1010 AD, a place with a remarkable past, witness to numerous events that have changed the course of the history of the nation. Continue to the temple Bai Dinh and Le.

In the afternoon we visit Trang An complex, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, famous for its caves system, valleys and historical relics. Boat trip on the river to relax while admiring the natural wonders of the natural park. At the end, return to Hanoi and transfer to the train station in time for the night train to Lao Cai.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets, boat, private transportation, train ticket 

04. LAO CAI - BAC HA MARKET

Bac Ha market - Vietnam © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelBac Ha market

Upon arrival at Lao Cai train station we continue to Bac Ha, the small town in North East Vietnam particularly known for the tribal market, “Bac Ha Sunday Market“, which takes place only on Sunday mornings. The bazaar is undoubtedly one of the most exciting part of the trip to North Vietnam as it will allow us to immerse ourselves in the colourful traditions of the ethnic minorities Nung, Mong Flower and Black Dzao, who meet in the market to exchange their goods.

In the afternoon we embark on an excursion on Chay River in the most scenic stretch surrounded by an incredible scenery of sheer mountains.

Continue with a short trek to Ban Pho village to admire the astonishing rice terraces from above and to meet the welcome H’Mong tribe.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

05. TREKKING LAO CHAI, TA VAN, SAPA

Sapa © Gabriele Stoia - In Asia TravelRice terrace at Sapa

We spend the day exploring the surroundings of SaPa on foot, crossing rice terraces and visiting the most scenic and interesting points in the area. 

We begin the excursion in Muong valley, towards Muong Hoà river. The area is among the most scenic in the region. Following the small paths we stop to visit some local houses to learn about the authentic life style life of the local tribes known for their great hospitality. Passing Lao Chai, inhabited by Black H’Mong tribe, we reach Ta Van, the picturesque village of about 1000 inhabitants populated by different ethnic groups including Zday and Red Dao.

In the afternoon we return to SaPa and transfer to Hanoi.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide and private transportation 

06. HALONG CRUISE

Halong Bay © Gabriele StoiaHalong Bay

In the morning transfer the port in Ha Long (about 4h). Upon arrival we embark on the junk to begin the wonderful cruise in Ha Long Bay

Extending over an area greater than 1500 sq km and includes thousands of small monolithic limestone islands and fantastic karst caves. Since 1994 it has become part of the world heritage of humanity and since 2008 it has been one of the seven wonders of the world.

The cruise follows the program established by the shipping company considered for your trip. At your discretion you can simply relax surrounded by the beautiful scenery or join optional excursions including kayaking, snorkelling and a visit to a limestone cave.

Lunch and dinner are served on board with seafood tasting. Overnight in a private cabin with air conditioning.

Included : Junk in Halong, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour guide 

07. HALONG CRUISE - HUE

Halong Bay - Vietnam © Gabriele StoiaHalong Bay

The cruise experience definitely has the unique opportunity to watch the sunrise in Halong BayIf you wish you can take part in the course of Tai Chi on deck at 6 am.

After breakfast, the cruise proceeds towards the pier in Ha Long, giving you the latest images of this fantastic experience. Lunch will be served to be followed by the disembark.

Transfer to Hanoi International Airport in time for the domestic flight to Hue. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, lunch, tour guide and private transportation 

08. HUE

Citadel of HueCitadel of Hue

We spend the day in Hue, the ancient capital of southern Vietnam in 1744 and from 1802 to 1945 during the reign of Nguyen Dynasty. It was founded in 1687 initially under the name of Phu Xuan along the banks of the Perfume River which divides the city into two parts: the “Old Town” on the left bank with the Citadel and the imperial residence, and “New Town” on the right bank, with the tombs of the emperors, once inhabited by the Europeans. In 1802 it was renamed Hue by Emperor Nguyen Anh. Is know not only as the nation’s ancient political and cultural capital, but also for the spectacular imperial tombs, pagodas, temples, and is considered the refined gastronomic capital of the country.

We embark on a boat trip on Huong River, better known as the Perfume River for the poetic view and for fragrant aroma of the orchids that fall into the river in autumn. Visit Thien Mu Pagoda, or “Pagoda of the Celestial Lady”, built in the 17th century during the Le dynasty and symbol of Huè. We proceed the visits to the Imperial City, the fortified palace inside the Citadel built in 1623.

In the afternoon we visit the tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, the second of the Nguyen dynasty, and Tu Hieu Pagoda, considered one of the most fascinating places of worship.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, boat, tickets and private transportation 

09. HOI AN

Hoi AnHoi An

In the morning transfer to Hoi An, the ancient trading center immersed in a variety of spectacular landscapes, home to several buildings with Chinese and Japanese architectural influence that testify to a past as a lively trading port since the 2nd century AD. During the transfer we pass Danang, the third largest city in Vietnam, Hai Van Pass, better known as the Ocean Cloud Pass for the incredible view of the South China Sea, Lang Co, which offers beautiful landscapes of rice fields and the view of one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. Further south the “Marble Mountains“, the five hills originated from mythological stories of ancient dragons and turtles, and each of them refers to the 5 natural elements, and home to many Buddhist and Hindu caves.

In the afternoon we visit the ancient town, UNESCO world heritage site since 1999. The district still retains the classic style and characteristics of merchant cities between the 15th and 19th centuries, mixing Chinese, Japanese and European architectural styles. Among the most symbolic icons we visit the Japanese bridge and the annexed Cau Chua Pagoda, built at the end of the 16th century by the Japanese community.

We continue to the ancient Phung Hung house, built in 1780, one of the finest examples of the city’s architecture, and to Fukien Temple, built at the end of the 17th century by the Fujian Chinese congregation.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

10. HOI AN

The day is free at your disposal to stroll in the pleasant Hoi An or relax by the sea.

Included : Hotel, breakfast 

11. Flight TO SAIGON

Free morning at your disposal. 

Transfer to Danang airport in time for the domestic flight to Saigon. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, private transportation 

12. VISIT CU CHI TUNNEL AND SAIGON

Notre Dame CathedralNotre Dame Cathedral

After breakfast, transfer to Cu Chi, the district most devastated, deforested, razed, bombed and poisoned with various chemical agents, including the agent Napalm orange during the Vietnam war.

We visit the Cu Chi tunnels, the underground tunnel network that has played a crucial role in the survival of many people. The first works date back to the 1940s when the Vietnamese began digging underground tunnels to escape compulsory conscription, French attacks and to keep in touch between villages. In the 1960s the Viet Cong extended it to more than 250 km, and it has since become legendary during the American war.

In the afternoon we visit Saigon, the ancient Royal city Prey Nokor at the time of the Khmer Kingdom, later the capital of the French Colony, or Cochinchina, and subsequently of the Independent Republic of South Vietnam until 1976 when it was renamed Ho Chi Minh City by the homonymous leader revolutionary. Among the most symbolic icons we visit the Post Office, built in the late 19th century with Renaissance and Gothic influences, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Catholic church built during the French colony, and Thien Hau Pagoda, an excellent example of Chinese architecture dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea.

We conclude the visits to the War Museum, an explicit exhibition of the atrocities during the Vietnam War.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation 

13. MEKONG DELTA - BEN TRE

Delta MekongDelta Mekong

Our journey proceeds in the southern part of Vietnam: the Mekong DeltaUpon arrival at Ben Tre we visit rural areas to learn about the activities that still take place in a traditional way. Among all there are undoubtedly fishing and agriculture, which represent the key sectors in this area. We make some stops to observe some production process that tell us a lot about how the population lives on the Mekong, including a kiln used for traditional brick firing, a coconut processing workshop and other derived products, and a weaving house where straw mats are still hand loomed.

We continue sailing on a sampan, the traditional wooden boat, in the small natural coves of the Delta and moor in a village to visit a local house where we will taste the exquisite southern cuisine.

In the afternoon the navigation continues in the canals for a special visit to Mr. Khanh house, an avid collector of antiques and very particular artifacts relating to Vietnam history as well as original family photos taken during the French colonial period. At the end transfer to Can Tho.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, tickets, boats, lunch and private transportation 

14. CAI RANG FLOATING MARKET - DEPARTURE

floating marketFloating Market

Early morning we visit the famous Cai Rang floating market, one of the most picturesque in the Mekong Delta. Local markets are traditionally held at dawn and are certainly an unmissable appointment to admire the industriousness of Vietnamese traders in amazement.

We embark at Can Tho pier very early in the morning and enter the crowded bazaar on the water between boats of different sizes on which mainly agricultural products are traded. Exotic fruits, vegetables and flowers in exorbitant quantities help to enhance this lively colourful scenery. Later we visit some local houses.

At the end transfer to Saigon airport in time for your outbound flight.

Included : Hotel, breakfast, tour guide, boat and private transportation 

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