Vietnam, the “s” shaped strip of land in the Indochina peninsula, is still seen by many westerns as a war-torn country. More than two decades have passed since the reunification of Vietnam and time has done a fantastic job healing its wounds.
Today, this graceful and elegant country, with a heady mix of cultures and traditions is one of the most amazing destinations on the planet! Blessed with a stunning coastline, mountains, forests, dynamic cities and outstanding cultural interest, Vietnam was the last dragon to wake up!
Its people spread smiles and hallo´s and you’ll have countless opportunities to engage with them and hear their stories. Vietnam’s cuisine is probably one of the best that you’ll find all over the world.
- Engage in the chaos of the big cities
- Delight with the vietnamese cuisine
- Discover a haven, situated near the lush tribal villages
- Admire ancient royal relics in Hué
- Cycle through rural areas of Hoi An
Day 1 - Arrival in Hanoisee
Xin Chao! Welcome to Vietnam!
Your adventure starts by landing in the oldest capital of the Southeast Asia. Once checked in at the hotel, you can rest from the long hours of the flight or choose to take the first steps in discovering Hanoi, the “City of Meando River”or Thang Long (The Rising Dragon) as it’s known by the vietnamese. Be careful when crossing the street!
Day 2 - Hanoisee
Have you ever heard about the traffic in Vietnam? What about a motorcycle ride? Well, in the morning we’ll go by motorcycle, with driver, to the Temple of Literature (the oldest university of Vietnam). We’ll pass by the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and we’ll finish at the Ho Tay Lake, with time for a short hop to the Tran Quoc Pagoda.
The afternoon begins near the heart of Hanoi’s people at the Hoan Kiem Lake or, “Lake of the Restored Sword”. In a relaxed walk, we’ll begin to explore the fascinating Old Quarter, or “36 streets”, the busiest commercial area of the city that dates back to the 13th century. This area is full of all sorts of products: shoes, silks, candles, incense and paper articles. There’s even a street which is specialized in marble gravestones! Meanwhile, we’ll have time to taste Bia Hoi, the world’s cheapest craft beer and have an introduction to the vietnamese way of toasting. We’ll have dinner here giving the first steps in the outstanding gastronomy of the country.
At night we’ll watch the ancient Water Puppet Theater, one of the most authentic expressions of the Vietnamese culture.
Day 3 - Mai Chausee
Early in the morning we set off towards the scenic valley of Mai Chau, a journey of about 4 hours.
In an idyllic valley, Mai Chau contrasts with the bustle of Hanoi. In its vicinity, there are Thai villages surrounded by rice paddies and lush soundtrack made of bird songs. This is precisely where we will dedicate our time.
After the well-deserved lunch, we will discover by bike the villages and local people.
After, we will be transported until our accommodation in Hidden Buoc village, where you'll have time to swim in the swimming in the pool, cycling or walking around the village or just relax.
Accommodation: homestay (dorm)
Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - Mai Chau, Ninh Binhsee
Today we'll trek for about 7.5 km accompanied by a local guide along the wonderful surrounding villages and breathtaking rice paddies.
After lunch, we return to the city of Hanoi, ready to catch the train that will take us to Ninh Binh.
Meals: breakfast and lunch
Day 5 - Ninh Binhsee
Good morning! We’re in Ninh Binh, a city in the countryside.
Amidst a sea of paddy fields, nón lá, water buffalos, smiles, churches and karst outcrops, we’ll go for a ride in a rowing boat and visit Buddhist temples.
After dinner we’ll head to Hué by train where we’ll be arriving the next morning.
Accommodation: overnight sleeper train
Meals: breakfast and lunch (except drinks)
Day 6 - Huésee
Hué is one of the most important cultural and historic centres of Vietnam. Classified as World Heritage in 1993, it was the capital of the Nguyen Empire. Today we will visit some of the city’s most iconic temples. The Citadel, home of the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty, is a must see! Built by Emperor Gia Long in 1805, consists of three concentric enclosures: the Imperial, Civil and Purple Forbidden cities. Nowadays, much of the Citadel is destroyed by the wars of Indochina and Vietnam. However, recent restoration works, have brought back some of the ancient greatness of this place.
Day 7 - Huésee
After a walk through the busy Dong Ba market, at north of the Perfume River, the morning will be spent exploring the south countryside of Hué, namely the tombs of the Nguyen emperors. They are the most fascinating attractions in the region! Although the imperial throne was occupied by 13 governors from 1802 to 1945, only 7 had the honor to be devoted to them his own tomb, or hang.
The afternoon is free to explore the city by yourself or to relax.
After dinner, let’s go out?
Day 8 - Hoi Ansee
Early in the morning we’ll go to Hoi An, the wonderland of Vietnam, in a journey of about 5 hours.
Situated in the bank of Thu Bom River, the city of Hoi An, with its impressive historical and cultural legacy, is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, classified in 1999.
After lunch, we'll get in touch with Reaching Out Vietnam project and end up drinking tea or coffee in its quaint tea house.
At night, after dinner, we will roam the streets of this magnificent city, which will stay in your heart. Do you want to know why? Let the night fall!
Day 9 - Hoi Ansee
Prepared to deal with traffic as drivers? In the afternoon we’ll take a bike ride along the river that will take us to the Cao Dai beach. Sunbathing and many dives await us this afternoon as well as and tasty grilled fish by the beach!
Day 10 - Hoi Ansee
We will begin the day with the traditional and bustling central market, from which we’ll be wandering freely along the streets of Hoi An, enjoying its fusion of cultures. Through tubular houses, Chinese pagodas, community rooms, family altars and a Japanese Covered Bridge, we’ll have enough time to relax. How about a cà phê in a great terrace overlooking the river?
Today the day is free! You can rent a bike for riding around the town, going to the beach or enjoy the numerous activities that the city and its surroundings have to offer.
Day 11 - Hoi An, Can Thosee
Last day in Hoi An, it's time to do last minute shopping and feel the energy of this wonderful city.
In the early afternoon, we will go to the city of Danang, where we will catch the flight to Can Tho. We will arrive on time for to take a walk on the waterfront and visit one or another pagoda.
Day 12 - Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh Citysee
Born in the highlands of Tibet, the Mekong River extends for nearly 4500 km, dragging sediments from China, through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia before dividing into tributaries that give the region the name of Song Cuu Lang, or “River of Nine Dragons”. These channels make southern Vietnam conducive to the cultivation of rice and fruits such as coconuts, longans and mangoes.
In Can Tho, the biggest city of Mekong, trading take place on the river, being a highlight in the city. By boat we’ll visit the two floating markets in Can Tho, Cai Rang and Phong Dien and get lost between rice fields, and small canals.
At evening we’ll catch up the bus that will take us to Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 13 - Ho Chi Minh Citysee
We’re in Saigon, renamed as Ho Chi Minh City after the reunification of Vietnam, is a dynamic and exciting city, considered the heart of this country.
After a stop at the Ben Thanh market, we get in the most recent and dramatic history of this country, the war with the United States of America. The War Remnants Museum is of mandatory visit!
After lunch in a very particular restaurant, we head to the core centre of the city. It lies around the Dong Khoi Street, famous during the French colonial Era, at the time called Rue Catinat. In a relaxed walk we find museums, trendy shops, fine restaurants, grand hotels, cozy cafes and emblematic French colonial buildings such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office Station, from where we'll send some postcards to our beloved ones.
The evening, in farewell mode, will take us to one of the best roof tops of the city for a dance accompanied by a cocktail.
Day 14 - Return from Ho Chi Minh Citysee
It’s time to say goodbye. You’ll be transferred to the Airport of Ho Chi Minh City from where you’ll return to your city of origin.
Have a nice flight and cám o’n!
What is included?
- Days: 14
- Accommodation: 11 nights in hotel, 1 nigh in homestay (dorm), 1 overnight sleeper train
- Transports: 1 internal flight, 3 bus journeys, 2 train journeys, 1 bicycle ride and all the transfers on the dates of the program
- 15 Meals: 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
- Activities: All the activities mentioned on the itinerary
- Travel insurance on the dates of the program
- Monitoring and guidance throughout the whole trip by Fábio Inácio
- Group size: 5 (minimum); 11 (maximum)
What is not included?
- International airfare
- Visa: 45USD
- Single supplement: 180€
- Unspecified meals
- Extra activities
- Unspecified visits
- Expenses of personal nature