The Flavors of Vietnam
9 Nights/ 10 Days 
Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Hue - Hoi An - Danang - Hanoi - Halong Bay  
Detailed Tour Itinerary

Day 01:

Ho Chi Minh City arrival

You will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to the city and to your hotel. The room is at your disposal from 2.00pm. The balance of day is free at your leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02:

Ho Chi Minh City (B,L)

The morning is devoted to discover the culinary delights of Ho Chi Minh City. The cooking class begins with a stroll to the market to select your ingredients. Going to the market is also a good chance for you to experience the daily life of the Vietnamese people. After that you will learn to cook some local dishes with the assistance of the chef. Lunch will give you the opportunity to taste what you have just made and to sample additional dishes prepared by the cooks. In the afternoon, visit some of the historic sites of the city: including Cho Lon and Thien Hau Pagoda, the former Saigon Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 03:

Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City - Hue (B,L)

Today, you will be taken from Saigon to Cai Thia Canal in Cai Be District, a journey of about 2.5 hours, where you will start your excursion deep into the Mekong Delta area. Feel the daily rhythm of life as well as the peaceful atmosphere by experiencing the many activities which the locals are used to doing, such as taking local ferries to cross small canals and rivers. We will then begin cycling for about 2 hours on small lanes passing by a local church, local market, a brick kiln and lush orchard gardens, We will make a stop en-route at a local house where you can sample seasonal fruit along with tea and honey and even local wine. By the end of morning, take a boat trip to another local house to enjoy lunch. Following lunch, experience a leisurely rowboat trip along the small Cay Da canal and further explore the area. Later by today, transfer back to Ho Chi Minh Airport (3 hour driving) for a brief 1-hour flight to Hue.

On arrival in Hue you will be transferred to the hotel for check in. Dinner on your own. Night at the hotel.

Day 04:

Hue (B,L)

This morning, pay a visit to the impressive Imperial Citadel of Hue. Following the visit, we will start riding towards Phu Mong village - the ancient village 2 km from the Citadel. This village was the Mandarin's with ancient and charming architecture. The guides will briefly explain to you about the history of the village and the design of the houses there. After that, you will continue the ride in the shady and cool atmosphere towards an ancient garden house called Xuan Vien Tieu Cung which is located about 4km from Hue city. It was built in 1894; however it is preserved intact with a venerable design.  This house was originally the residence of Pham Huu Dien (a minister of Rite under the Nguyen dynasty), and has now been passed down to his granddaughter - Mrs Pham Thi Tuy. She is woman who reflects the spirit of the house with her simple beauty, just like that of the Hue women in ancient times. With a cup of green tea, fresh fruits from the garden and stories that are full of humour, clients will feel an invisible thread pulling them back from leaving the house and continuing on their bike journey. However, once back on their bikes, you will continue your tour to the Thien Mu Pagoda.

Transfer to a nice local restaurant and enjoy your lunch.

In the afternoon, visit Minh Mang tomb - one of the most beautiful tomb in Hue. Finish your day with a walking tour around Dong Ba Market. Our guide will introduce you some typical local foods of Hue people. It will be a great chance for you to explore and taste the local foods.

Back to your hotel in the late afternoon and free at your leisure. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.   

Day 05:

Hue - Hoi An (B)

In the morning, transfer to the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda. Afterwards depart for Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van Pass to view one of the most beautiful panoramas in Vietnam as you look out over the central coastline. You will also stop at the quiet, white sandy beach of Lang Co. We will arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon. Check in at the hotel. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 06:

Hoi An Ancient Town (B)

The small streets of Hoi An are ideal to wander through the shops on foot or on a bike. Cars and motorbikes are forbidden in the entire area, which allows you to peacefully enjoy some of most important sightseeing’s of Hoi An such as  Chinese temples, traditional houses, the Japanese bridge and daily active life of local people. Wake up in the early morning with a guided tour will allow you to further appreciate the true value of this legacy of over 800 historical monuments. The city itself has been listed UNESCO World Heritage. Try some of local food along the way.

The tour ends by a cup of coffee or tea at Reaching Out – a special teashop where all the waiters and waitresses are deaf staff who is given a chance to have a self – reliant life and integrate into the community by well trained to be able to work here professionally. A peaceful time for you to enjoy the silence and taste of coffee. Back to the hotel and the balance of day is free at your leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at hotel.

Day 07:

Hoi An - Danang - Hanoi (B)

In the morning, take a boat trip to Cua Dai (approximately 30 minutes). Upon arrival, you can join the daily activities of the local fishermen. Afterwards, take a coracle (round basket boat) for a tour to the mangrove forest of coconut trees. Disembark at around 10 am and spend the rest of exploring the town. Meet up with your guide again for a transfer to Danang Airport and then take a brief flight to Hanoi. Here you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08:

Hanoi (B)

Full-day tour of Vietnam’s capital city, including Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (closed on Monday and Friday, outside visit will be arranged), his traditional stilt house, the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature also known as the First University of Vietnam.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to Museum of Ethnology to learn about Vietnam's diverse culture (54 ethnic groups in all) - (closed on Monday, other museum could be suggested to alter). After that make a walking tour to explore the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Afterwards, you will have a chance to discover the street food of Hanoi under guidance of our local guide. This tour takes 3.5 hours and start in the late afternoon for dinner. We start walking tour at Hanoi’s largest covered market, Dong Xuan. Along the perimeter of the market, dozens of street hawkers sell a staggering variety of produce from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices. Your local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. We eat as we go, trying seasonal fruits and sampling a tasty French-inspired snack from a street cart. Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we tempt our taste buds with the famed Hanoi dish Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how this tasty dish is put together. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, we wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago. Our next two snack stops are at outdoor barbeque stalls. We sit down with the Hanoi locals and sample various meat, vegetable and bread specialties that are flame grille over hot coals for extra flavour.  It’s then time for dessert as we venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced and condensed milk – this speciality is one not to be missed! Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets, a hidden café with stunning views over the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake.  This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the city that still serves egg coffee, a scrumptious local delicacy that we will sample whilst admiring the hustle and bustle of the city centre below. Or, if coffee is not your style, a cold beer awaits! At the end of the trip you are free to continue exploring Hanoi Old Quarter. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Note: After street food, dinner might not be necessary since the food is served enough.

Day 09:

Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)

Leave Hanoi this morning and head straight to Halong bay a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay and Gulf of Tonkin (180km – 3.5 - 4 hour driving). After arriving at noon, you will board a beautiful boat for an overnight cruise on Halong Bay with an excellent menu of fresh seafood. Lunch and dinner are served on boat. Overnight on board.

Day 10:

Halong Bay – Hanoi Departure (B)

Wake up early in the morning to enjoy aquamarine water of the bay at its best. After tea break, the boat continue to cruise quietly through spectacular limestone formations of Halong Bay. Enjoy this more isolated bay’s spectacular and unique islands of the bay. Return to Halong harbour after a brunch for a transfer back to Hanoi.

Free time until transfer to Hanoi Airport for your flight. The room is at your disposal until noon time. Meals on your own. End of our services.

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