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TRAILS & TALES OF HO CHI MINH
Welcome to Hanoi - a thousand years Capital and transfer to hotel. You are then free to unwind after your flight and get settled into your new surroundings.
Transfer to hotel for check-in (Check-in time at 02.00 PM earlier time will be up on arrival).
Overnight in Hanoi.
You will have the whole day to explore Vietnam’s capital city. Your guide will take you to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (close on Monday & Friday afternoon), his modest stilt house and the museum dedicated to his memory. Then moving next step to the Military History Museum, where photos and war remain will give you a first approach of Vietnamese history through its conflicts. Visit nearby Hanoi Flag tower and learn why it is one of the most respected symbols of the country.
After lunch, visiting Hoa Lo Prison, built and used by French rulers in Vietnam for political prisoners, and then by the government of North Vietnam for war prisoners. This building is also known by the name of “Hanoi Hilton” and “hosted” some American prisoners such as Senator John McCain and Pete Peterson, United States’ first post-war ambassador to Vietnam in 1997.
Continue moving to the B-52 Victory Museum, displaying relics of B-52 Stratofortress, an aircraft that played a major role in the American war. On the way back, you also see a small lake contains wreckage of a B-52 bomber shot down over Hanoi in 1972. (now also called B-52 lake).
Overnight in Hanoi
Note: Shorts and tank tops are not allowed in Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & pagodas.
Following breakfast leave Hanoi for a 3-hour drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way. Arrive at the jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities.
After the welcome onboard, be served with lunch while cruising towards the bay.
In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.
Overnight on cruise.
Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of Halong Bay’s landscape. Continue cruising to explore more of the bay and enjoy the brunch breakfast before returning to the Jetty at noon time.
Drive transfer directly to Hanoi for enjoying the street food walking tour. Get more information about Vietnamese traditional cuisines, its culture and the eating habits of locals. Walk through the small streets of the Old Quarter, passing by road-side markets, stop at numbers of food stalls to see the sellers prepare the dishes and taste the food.
Free time before catching the night train to Quang Binh.
Overnight on train.
Welcome to Dong Hoi with an early morning arrival. Enjoy a local breakfast to relax before exploring one of the best places for the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park which is listed as a World Heritage in 2003. Covering 85,754 ha of outstanding geological and ecological value, the site will let you immerse into the sumptuous landscape of karst plateaus and rainforests by surveying its spectacular underground caves and rivers and discovering its abundance of endemic species.
Enjoy 1-hour drive uphill, passing rural countryside, and enter the national park to explore Phong Nha Cave. Discovered in 1994, this famous cave is well-known for its underground river and its system of fantastic stalactites and stalagmites.
Continue to Paradise Cave and begin to explore the glamour of Asia’s longest and largest dry cave. You pass through dense forest for about 2km, then climb about 500 rocky steps, and you’re in Paradise. Begin your journey to explore the magical Heaven – the Eden on earth with special stalagmites, stalactites system with a sparkling, mysterious beauty, out of human beings’ imagination.
Overnight in Quang Binh.
After breakfast at the hotel, travel to Hue the ancient capital of Vietnam. On the way make a visit to the famous Vinh Moc Tunnel. Local people dug in 2 years (1965 - 1967) to create the system of 1.7 km long and 10 to 23 m deep tunnel which was used as bomb shelter during the Vietnam War. The site is evidence for the heroism of the Vietnamese people.
Continue your journey to Hue stop for an excursion to the well-known 17th Parallel. According to the agreement of Geneva, this historical site was the border of the Communist in the North and the Non-Communist in the South of Vietnam. Visit the museum, flag tower, the Ben Hai River and the Hien Luong Bridge to learn more about the special history of this land.
Keep your way to Hue in the late afternoon and check in hotel. Free to leisurely stroll to visit the ancient capital at night.
Overnight in Hue.
After breakfast visits the tombs of King Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Each tomb has its own unique architecture reflecting the king's character and individual philosophy. Tu Duc was a poet, and thus there is a sweeping poetic nature to the design that blends effortlessly with the countryside. Khai Dinh was more eccentric, and his tomb is both striking and cluttered but is a true marvel to behold. Enjoy a great lunch of local Hue food.
In the afternoon, pay an important visit to the impressive abode of the 19th and 20th Century Nguyen Dynasty emperors, the grand Imperial City, and the intricate Royal Citadel.
Within the towering outer walls lies the Imperial City containing dynastic temples, stunning garden houses, and scenes of Hue’s laidback lifestyle. At the center of the Imperial City rests the Royal Palace of the Forbidden Purple City. Sadly, much of the palace was destroyed during the Tet Offensive in 1968 but it is gradually being restored and it already makes an extremely impressive place to visit, with gorgeous temples decorated with porcelain art, striking mythological imagery, and the odd French colonial architectural beauty.
Then take to the water and sail upstream to the Perfume River until reaching Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s oldest pagoda and one of the most significant places of worship in Vietnam.
Overnight in Hue.
Enjoy another breakfast at your hotel and then transfer to Hoi An by over the glorious Hai Van Pass. Translating into English as ‘the mountain pass of ocean clouds,’ this elevation affords spectacular views of Danang to one side and untouched bays to the other. We also stop at the small fishing village of Lang Co, often referred to as one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Visit My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site, located in a lush valley. My Son is considered to be in the same league as some of Southeast Asia’s greatest archaeological sites with its towers built between the 4th to 13th centuries. Then arrival in Hoi An.
Overnight in Hoi An.
In the morning, take a half day excursion to Tra Que Vegetable Village, walk around a vegetable garden, and join the farmers in preparing the land, fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake, raking, sowing, watering greens, picking greens and many more gardening activities. After gardening activities, you will be relaxed with foot massage with many kinds of herb remedies. Then spend the rest time to learn how to prepare the ‘Tam Huu' spring roll & banh xeo with your host. Ride back to your hotel.
In the afternoon, you will do an easy walking tour to visit Hoi An ancient town, recently named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Visit Tan Ky House, a late 18th-century merchant’s residence. The Fukhien Association, also known as the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation, was founded as a place where minority Fujian Chinese could hold meetings, the Japanese bridge. Later it became a temple for the worship of Thien Hau, goddess of the sea and protector of fishermen and sailors.
Overnight in Hoian.
Flight to Ho Chi Minh after breakfast at hotel. Transfer to hotel for check in (Check in time at 02.00 PM earlier time will be up on arrival).
Meet with a local guide and set off on a half day tour in Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon. Start with a visit to the city’s most iconic building: Reunification Hall. Formerly called the Presidential Palace, images of the building were seen around the world on 30 April 1975 when tanks stormed the gates as Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. Hear the echoes of time while walking through this historic downtown site.
Then take a stroll to Ho Chi Minh City’s colonial quarter, walking past scenes of everyday life on the way. Admire the beautiful architecture of the Opera House, City Hall, the old Saigon Post Office, hear about the glory days of French Indochina and how that era continues to influence aspects of modern Vietnamese culture.
Step inside the War Remnants Museum for an insightful, yet sombre, look into Vietnam’s military history. See exhibitions displaying imagery from the French and American wars, learning more about the country’s struggle for independence and hearing tales of the resilience of the Vietnamese people.
Then step off the tourist trail for one last visit on this Ho Chi Minh City tour at a Vietnamese coffee shop, sit down and taste the coffee like locals. After this insightful visit, return to the hotel.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Today’s tour will begin at 07:30. It’s an early start today on this day trip from Ho Chi Minh City, departing by 07:30 to make the most of this adventure in the countryside. Relax on the drive to Tay Ninh, watching the landscapes change from concrete buildings to rice paddies and villages dotted with wooden houses.
At Tay Ninh visit the Cao Dai Great Temple, with architecture that could have come straight from a Walt Disney fantasy. Admire the whimsical statues and colorful paintings covering this remote temple building. Learn about the origins and beliefs of this unusual religion, which blends the world’s major faiths into a unique mosaic.
Following a lunch break, drive further through the countryside to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Spend the afternoon exploring this incredible network of 200 km of underground tunnels. Learn how the Vietnamese resistance fighters constructed the tunnels during the French and American wars. Crawl underground and get a better sense of what life was like living and fighting in the labyrinth of caves and tunnels. Hear remarkable stories of the residents’ resilience and see relics of wartime weapons.
This insightful day in the countryside concludes in the late afternoon with a drive back to the city.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
Leave bustling Saigon behind, head out to untouched areas not well-known by tourists in Ben Tre. Board the Cruise, featuring open on all sides to allow the river breezes to flow freely. From the comfort of your Cruise, meander down the Mekong observing local life play out along the river banks. Stop at some local families and see how local traditional methods utilize every bit of the coconut. Learn how to make local cakes, and why you don’t let a local fortune-teller tell you what is supposed to happen in the future.
It is a full day of interesting experiences: boat rowing through winding water-coconut canals, bike riding along lush rural roads, sampling tasty local cakes, and tea with honey, and enjoying lunch served with Mekong specialties at Apricot Riverside Restaurant. Relax, enjoy the tour, and have memorable experiences.
After the visit, the boat will be waiting for you at the pier nearby to bring you back to Ben Tre city where your car is ready to take you deeper into the Mekong delta to Can Tho City. The evening is your free time to explore the night market.
Spend a night in Can Tho city.
Early morning cruising along the picturesque tributaries by motorboat, you will visit the Cai Rang Floating Market – the busiest but nicest one with heaps of boats. See the beautiful scenery and daily activities of the locals. Walk around a village and visit a rice husking mill. Disembark at Ninh Kieu quay, and continue visit to Binh Thuy Ancient House. Then transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Free time for last minute shopping or optional visit before transferring to Tan Son Nhat airport for departure flight.
End of tour!
1. Cancellation policy:
– Any cancellation 35 days prior to arrival date: NO charge (except in case of deposit or issuing the flight tickets to guarantee the seats)
– Any cancellation between 35 days to 20 days prior to arrival date: 25% charge
– Any cancellation between 20 days to 10 days prior to arrival date: 50% charge
– Any cancellation less than 10 days: 100% charge
2. Payment policy:
– Full payment is required soonest possible & at the latest by 35 days prior to the arrival date (except in case we have a credit agreement)
– The deposit will be required in case we need to deposit to hotels or airlines
– The bank fees (transfer fees and correspondence fees are on the sender)
Method of payment:
• By credit card
• By bank transfer
Please note for any kind of payment: the bank fee is on the sender
Payment due: The special payment deadline will be applied and indicated in specific bookings in the tour confirmation. Generally, we request payment at 2 weeks in advance for FIT & 30 days in advance for GIT. In case, we have to deposit to the suppliers to guarantee the service availability, we will request you to settle the deposit to us accordingly
4. Booking process notes:
– Upon receipt of your request or booking, we will immediately send a short notice to acknowledge the receipt
– We will deal with your requests or bookings and send out our detailed proposal or tour confirmation within 24 hours (or soonest possible) with details of specific terms & conditions
5. Cancellation/ No show
The specific cancellation fee will be indicated in the tour confirmation for specific bookings. This is due to the fact that each hotel and each supplier apply a different cancellation policy.
Any cancellation due to irresistible reasons such as war, strikes, earthquakes, etc. will be subject to no charge.
Tripadvisor Traveler Rating
#15 of 12365 Vietnam Tours
Recent travel review
It was a pleasure to have Mr. John Nguyen of Connek Trip organize our private trip to Vietnam. We had the best time at Ninh Binh, Halong Bay, and Hoi An. He organized everything and was accessible to help with certain concerns yet after business. He handled everything quickly and professionally. This company is highly recommended. – Mr. Gabriel