Day 1 HANOI ARRIVAL (-/-/-)
Upon arrival. Meet & Greet by Water Buffalo guide at Hanoi airport and transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Note: Rooms are available from 2pm. The day is at leisure in the Vietnamese capital. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2 HANOI, FULL DAY CITY TOUR (B/L/-).
In the morning, tour start by exploring Hanoi , including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where the remains of the national hero, the father of the nation rest (closed on Mondays and Fridays), and his former residence. Then visit the one-Pillar Pagoda, a historic Buddhist temple, built of wood on a single stone pillar, and Tran Quoc Pagoda, regarded as the most ancient pagoda of the city built in the 6th century and a cultural symbol of Vietnamese.
Transfer to the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Monday) which focuses on the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. Then, enjoy a one-hour rickshaw tour of the capital and spend some time wandering in the old quarter and its antique shops. Then visit Ngoc Son Temple beautifully situated on Hoan Kiem Lake, and which is reached by a charming wooden bridge. Overnight in Hanoi.
OPTIONAL: Water Puppet show.
Discover this Vietnamese ancestral art and witness a show composed of sketches representing the daily life and the beliefs of the rural environment. This will certainly amaze both children and adults alike !
Day 3: HANOI-HA LONG, OVERNIGHT CRUISE (B/L/D).
In the morning, meet our guide and travel by road to the majestic Ha Long Bay, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arrive in Ha Long by midday and board on a junk for a memorable cruise through the mystical Ha Long Bay.
In the afternoon, navigation between the karts, some of which display extraordinary shapes, if time and weather allow, stop for a swim in the jade-coloured waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The day concludes with a cooking demonstration and preparation of tasty spring rolls. At nightfall, fishing for squid is open, the opportunity to discover Vietnamese fishing techniques! Dinner and overnight on Boat.
Day 4 HALONG-HANOI/DA NANG-HOI AN (B/L/-)
After the breakfast, junk resumes its course. During the morning, it crosses the bay and stop to visit a natural cave. Brunch will be served on board before returning on the coast around 11h00 and transfer by road to Hanoi. Transfer to Hanoi airport for your departure to Da Nang.
Land off in Da Nang Airport, you’ll met by our guide and transferred to the port town of Hoi An, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
On arrival at Hoi An, check in at your hotel and free at leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 5 HOI AN, AGRICULTURAL VILLAGE & WALKING TOUR IN THE ANCIENT TOWN (B/L/-)
In the morning, depart by bicycle or cyclo (Vietnamese limousine) toward a small typical village in the Vietnamese countryside just a few kilometres from Hoi An.
Upon arrival, visitors will discover the ancient gardening tradition of the village – their products are known throughout the region. The visit begins with an introduction to various agricultural activities with the farmers, and continues with the preparation of lunch with the host family. This will be followed by a tasting of local specialties such as “banh xeo” (Vietnamese pancake Style), bringing together all the flavours of Tra Que.
After lunch, take a relaxing rest in the family’s house and then return back by bicycle or cyclo to Hoi An
Visit the famous Old Quarter of Hoi An. This is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Walk around Hoi An ancient town and explore its treasures. The buildings and street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site.
Then, visit a lantern making cottage and learn how to make one. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 6: HOI AN-DA NANG/HO CHI MINH CITY-CU CHI TUNNELS-HCMC (B/L)
Free at leisure until transfer to Da Nang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon, the farmer name of ho Chi Minh city) arrival at HCMC airport, met by Water Buffalo guide and transferred to Cu Chi tunnels which is around 70 km from HCMC and one of the most dramatic site in the history of the Vietnam War.(The bunker of Viet Cong from 1948-1975)
On arrival, have lunch at a local restaurant and visit the underground city, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort.
Return back to Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon, check in at your hotel and free at leisure. Overnight in HCMC.
Day 7 HO CHI MINH CITY, FULL DAY CITY TOUR (B/L/-)
After breakfast at your hotel, explore Ho Chi Minh City, the economic capital of the country. Walk through the picturesque Chinatown “Cho Lon” which houses the Thien Hau Pagoda. This Pagoda was built in honour of the protective Goddess of sailors. From there, drive to Giac Lam Pagoda, the oldest pagoda of Ho Chi Minh City. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit the old colonial residential quarter, including the City Hall, built from 1902-1908 in a French colonial style, Opera House, built in 1897 by French Architect Eugene Ferret, the contemporary Reunification Palace (inside) and the elegant 19th century Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Then, stroll around the Central Post Office built, neoclassical architectural style, built in the early 20th century by Eiffel. Overnight in HCMC.
OPTIONAL: Modern circus and acrobatic show at the Opera House.
The early evening is dedicated to an original show in the famous Opera House of Ho Chi Minh City. For almost an hour, various scenes retracing the typical Vietnamese lifestyle will be presented by a team of young artists, performing spectacular acrobatics! Absolutely a high-quality show !
Day 8 HO CHI MINH CITY, DAY TRIP TO MEKONG DELTA (B/L/-)
In the morning, meet our guide for depart towards Ben Tre province, in the Mekong Delta.
On arrival, enjoy the photogenic visit of a rice papers making village and a brick factory located on the bank of the river. Embark a boat and start cruising on the Mekong River, in the middle of its activity and the never-ending cross-cross of the sampans.
Stop on the way for the visit of a coconut candy workshop and to discover the processing of dried coconut. Boat to Cai Sơn and Nhon Thạnh creeks to see how people make mats.
Start cycling along the local route through garden, vegetable & rice fields before transfer to the restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon, take rowing-boat along water palm creek and along Cai Coi creek. Then, stop at a market gathering many regional produces. Return back in the afternoon to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in HCMC.
Day 9 HO CHI MINH CITY DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Breakfast at your hotel. Depending on your flight, transfer to HCMC international terminal for departure home sweet home or next destination. Note: Rooms will be released at 12h00 noon.