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SEE ALL EAT WELL: Vietnam - 12 days

Vietnam has always been Sens Asia Travel dearest destination. This land of surprises never fails to enchant us, especially when it comes to food. One of the selected packages in the Eat Well series, Best of Vietnam will take in the country’s most highlighted destinations with the ultimate goal of promoting the best local flavours at each stop along the travel route. Taste dishes that you won’t find outside of Vietnam and see areas that most tourists may never get to see!

A great 12 day tour which takes in much of the best Vietnam has to offer. Starting in the capital, Hanoi you get to see and experience both the old and new, a highlight being a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s house and an early morning experience of being Hanoian in taste and in sound.

Continue to the Neverland of Ninh Binh, where they film Kong in 2017, enjoy a slow life among endless ricefield and Clearwater stream, try its local delicious and relax before continue to Halong Bay. Cruise among limestone Karsts, one of the worlds treasures and you get to spend time on a traditional junk exploring the area.

There are several other days spent in Hue, the historical city and Hoi An with its old architecture and world renowned tailors. The trip continues to Ho Chi Minh City with imposing Notre Dame Cathedral. The iconic Mekong Delta is a must visit for any visitor to Vietnam, overnight at homestay to experience the breath of locals. In all, a wonderful tour of discovery!

Tour Price Includes:

  • 09 nights’ accommodation in twin or double hotel room (check in and check out around noon)
  • 02 Days/1 Night on shared cruise in twin or double cabin in Halong Bay
  • 01 night at homestay in Vinh Long (simple facilities with standard services)
  • Major meals (11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners, 1 brunch) included at our signature “Eat well” standard
  • All transfers with air-conditioned vehicles
  • Local English speaking guide
  • All entrance fees according to tour program
  • 02 bottles of mineral water per person per day (for days with private excursions/ sightseeing)
  • Complimentary visa approval letter to Vietnam (for specific citizens eligible for visa on arrival)
  • Domestic airfares of Hanoi – Hue, Danang – Ho Chi Minh for ‘Package with Domestic airfares’

Tour Price Excludes:

  • International airfares and domestic airfares for ‘Package without Domestic airfares’
  • Extra charge for one traveler to stay in a single room
  • Visa stamping fee at Vietnam airports (for visa on arrival application)
  • Any optional arrangements or services before, during, or after tour
  • Drinks and mineral water beyond that supplied
  • Tipping etiquette for tour guides and drivers, which is an entirely personal gesture, however we recommend you allow US$ 3 – US$ 6 per day per traveller
  • Early check in or late check out
  • Insurances
  • Additional services required due to any emergency situation
  • Items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, beverages…)
  • All services not clearly mentioned as ‘Included’

Itinerary

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DAY 1
HANOI ARRIVAL

Xin chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam! You are greeted at Noi Bai Airport for your transfer to the hotel.

Hanoi is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities, full of culture, history and the engaging contradictions of a rapidly developing and deeply traditional society.

This evening, our guide will give you brief as well as some advices about safety precaution when you are on tours. This will be chance for you to know other members in group.

Meals: Nils

Accommodation: La Belle Vie Hotel – Deluxe Room 

DAY 2
HANOI: CITY EXPLORER

After breakfast at hotel, head out to Ba Dinh Square and start the day with President Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and house-on-stilts plus the nearby One Pillar Pagoda.

Next is a visit to the Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius, built in the 11th century. It was the first university in Vietnam and students still come here to burn incense. You will find a peaceful atmosphere tinged with incense smoke, and sunken lotus ponds populated by fish and turtles.

Lunch at at KOTO, a well-trained restaurant, with the slogan “Know One, Teach One”. KOTO is a non-profit center where disadvantaged youths are given job training.

Drive through the busy city to visit Ethnology Museum, the place gives an excellent overview of the country’s ethnic groups. The large outdoor area features genuine houses and compounds as built by the many different ethnic group.

Back to the Old Quarter in the mid afternoon, a place you must experience while in Hanoi. You will find shopping and cultural / historical sites all wrapped into one. Walk to the central lake, located at the heart of the city, Hoan Kiem Lake is a historical site and one of the symbols of Hanoi, with Tortoise Tower and Ngoc Son Temple on the lake’s two islands. Back to Hotel for refreshment before heading out for a cozy dinner at Lý Club.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: La Belle Vie Hotel – Deluxe Room

DAY 3
HANOI DRIVE TO NINH BINH , TRANG AN SAMPAN RIDE

Continue with your journey to Ninh Binh.

You first visit Hoa Lu, the capital under the Dinh and Early Le dynasties in Vietnam in the 10th and 11th century. Its palaces, pagodas, tombs and pavilions, built by different dynasties, still carry the features of an ancient imperial capital.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon, board a sampan for an extended journey along the winding river lined with trees and Trang An’s limestone mountains. You will stop at several small, historic temples which are the pride of the area’s inhabitants. The lush forests, clear river water, fresh air, magical caves and dramatic mountains will charm you from first glance.

Back to your hotel and spend your leisure time to explore the surrounding.

Dinner on your own at Buffalo Restaurant, time is from 19.00 to 22.00.The restaurant is located in the middle of garden and lake which is divided into indoor and outdoor spaces. The restaurant a la carte menus offer tasty European and authentic oriented dishes which you can feel the cozy and home-like ambiance. If you don’t feel convenient to go out for the meal, the Restaurant of the hotel offers room service as a comfortable alternative.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Buffalo Eco Garden – Deluxe Garden View Room

DAY 4
NINH BINH - HALONG BAY: CRUISING DAY

After breakfast, depart for Halong Bay, one of the most stunning natural wonders of the world, a picturesque blend of harmonious transition between the mountains and the sea.

On arrival, board a traditional junk and head out into the Gulf of Tonkin amongst the huge limestone outcrops and emerald waters. You spend the rest of the day cruising the myriad of tiny islands and many grottoes created by wind and the waves over the centuries.

You will get to visit a cave and participates several activities on board such as “Master Chef Competition” and fruit carving demonstration.

Lunch and dinner on board.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Bhaya Classic Cruise – Deluxe Cabin 

DAY 5
HALONG – EVENING FLIGHT TO HUE

Start off your day with a Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck with complimentary tea and coffee being served. Rejuvenate your body and mind with the slow movement of Tai Chi and enjoy the dawn on the bay.

Light breakfast is served onboard. The boat weighs anchor to sail to Cua Van floating village, you will take your time to visit the village which is voted as one of the 11 insanely beautiful small towns around the world by huffingtonpost.com. You can choose either kayak or traditional rowing boat to go around discovering local life on the waters.

Return to your boat and relax. Enjoy the brunch before checking out.

Back at the dock at around 11 am, you will be met and transferred to a village where you will enjoy the water puppet show by local artist, a traditional art form springing from rural society of the Red River Delta. Performed in a pool of water, the water surface is the stage, while the puppeteers stand behind a screen and manipulate the lacquered wooden puppets using bamboo rods and strings beneath the water surface. Enjoy the show, straight your legs and get to know the local life.

After the show, you will straight transfer to Noi Bai airport where you will take a flight and continue your trip to Hue.

Upon arrival, you are greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Brunch

Accommodation: Eldora Hotel – Deluxe City View Room

DAY 6
HUE HIGHLIGHTS

This morning, you will take a boat ride up the romantic Perfume River, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the river. The boat takes you to Thien Mu Pagoda, this 7-storey octagonal tower is a symbol of Hue. Behind the pagoda are peaceful gardens and, somewhat incongruously, the old Austin car which transported Thich Quang Duc to Saigon in 1963 for his self-immolation.

Next, you visit King Tu Duc’s Tomb which is a sprawling compound centred around a lake and including numerous separate memorials connected by pleasant walkways. The major portions of the tomb complex were completed from 1864-67, along with future temple buildings that served as a retreat for Tu Duc and his many wives during his lifetime.

Lunch at the restaurant that located near the ancient citadel in a peaceful suburb of Hue and surrounding by beautiful garden.

This afternoon, visit the Imperial City at Hue is the remnant of a vast citadel. Here you can see the ravages of time and war on what was the carefully designed capital of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Before coming back to the hotel, you will visit the only-in-Vietnam Royal arena names Ho Quyen. This is the only Royal Arena in Asia where fights between tigers and elephants were organized during the Nguyen Dynasty. A visit to the Elephant Shrine will tell you about the legends of the honored Elephants.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Eldora Hotel – Deluxe City View Room

DAY 7
HUE – HOI AN: EXPLORE THE ANCIENT TOWN

After breakfast, check out Hue hotel and head out to Hoi An. The route south from Hue hugs the coast before climbing Hai Van Pass. Stop to admire stunning views over Lang Co Beach and Da Nang City and continue along My Khe Beach to Hoi An.

Lunch at a restaurant by the river side.

After check in hotel and have refreshment, you spend the afternoon to walk the ancient streets of Hoi An, lined with Chinese traders’ homes and wooden houses reincarnated as restaurants, cafés, and outlets for local artists, craftsmen and tailors. Explore the beautiful 16th century Japanese Bridge. Hoi An’s unique fusion of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture is well displayed here, in what is arguably Vietnam’s most tourist-friendly town.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Vinh Hung Riverside Resort – Superior Garden View Room

DAY 8
HOI AN FREE DAY AT YOUR OWN LEISURE

Today will be free at your own leisure to discover the town. You can cycle to the beach and relax or wander around the town with many choices of shopping and spa. Hoi An is a paradise for custom made silk, fashionable clothing and accessories.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Vinh Hung Riverside Resort – Superior Garden View Room

Note:

Some tips for the day: Hoi An has so many nice spot to spend your time

  • Have a Tea break at Reaching out tea house at the ancient town, 131 Trần Phú
  • Ancient Faifo is the Coffee and restaurant with best town view. Recommended for dinner as well
  • Spend time at Precious Heritage Art Gallery – Museum, 26 Phan Boi Chau
  • Enjoy a cocktail or lunch by the beach at Soul kitchen or The Deck at An Bang Beach
  • The Original Taste Of Hoi An Food Tour with Neville Dean
DAY 9
FLY OUT HOI AN - HO CHI MINH CITY HIGHLIGHTS

Have early breakfast this morning then check out, transfer to Da Nang airport for your onward flight to Ho Chi minh city. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by local guide and driver.

Transfer to your hotel for check in.

This afternoon, you will visit the Reunification Palace, the former residence of the President of South Vietnam. You can visit the “War Room” from where the South Vietnamese forces were controlled, and where the North Vietnamese army finally took control in the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

Walk to the central square where you will see all Saigon iconic buildings. Built between 1877 and 1883, Saigon’s Neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral is a centre of Catholicism in modern Vietnam, and one of the city’s major landmarks.

The Saigon Post Office, a classic French colonial structure, is still a functioning post office today and features huge ceilings, a giant portrait of Uncle Ho, and many beautiful details.

The rest of the day is free at leisure. You may wish to visit various shopping centers or some of the many nightime entertainment venues.

Enjoy a special dinner – a feast for senses. Take away your sight senses, and experience a culinary journey through taste, smell, touch and sound. This is not simply dining, but rather a uniquely mind-altering experience.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Silverland Yen Hotel – Premier Deluxe Room

DAY 10
O CHI MINH CITY – VINH LONG - HOMESTAY

This morning, drive to the land of rivers, the Mekong Delta.

The program will start with a visit of Vinh Long market. This is the best choice for you to take pictures of fish, shrimps, prawns, crabs, snakes, rice-field rats, tropical fruits, vegetable… Next stop will be the brick kilns where you can see how the local people create beautiful potteries. Your boat will go along the floating village, there you will learn how to farm catfish on Mekong river.

Lunch will be served at local house, have a cup of tea when enjoying the traditional music.

Check in your homestay for the night.

In the afternoon, walk along the village to the local workshops where you can see how to make rice paper, coconut candy and pop-rice, pop-corn…

Come back homestay for a fresh shower and cooking some dishes with the owners. You enjoy diner & overnight at local house.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Homestay

DAY 11
HOMESTAY – CAI BE - HO CHI MINH CITY

Bid farewell to your host after breakfast, get on board to cruise to Cai Be floating market. Get on land at Tan Phong island for a biking / walking on village paths where you are surrounded by local farms, houses, fruit farm, the daily life of Mekong Delta habitants just lively and peacefully as it is for you to encount. You can learnt how they make rice-net for spring-rolls, sew coconut-leaves for cottage roof and specially see how they wave the dried water-hyacinth to make many products: baskets, bags, hats, wallets, shoes…

The rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals and to enjoy the peaceful time. Your boat journey ends at Cai Be town where you transfer back to Ho Chi Minh city, lunch en route at local restaurant.

Farewell dinner will be a cozy restaurant lococated in a lane of Saigon which was a French villa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Silverland Yen Hotel – Premier Deluxe Room

DAY 12
HO CHI MINH CITY DEPARTURE

The day is free at leisure in Ho Chi Minh City for some last minute shopping

Check out time at hotel by noon.

Airport transfer will be arranged depending on your departure time. We wish you an enjoyable time in Vietnam.

Meal: Breakfast

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