The capital Ha Noi is the second most populous city in the country. Despite recent rapid development, the city has retained many of its cultural traditions. The city is traditional and refined, with its ochre-colored colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes. Ha Noi has a vibrant “street culture” where daily activities take place on cramped sidewalks.
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our guide then transfer to your hotel in town, relax after the long journey on the airplane.
Overnight in Ha Noi.
The city of Ha Noi is a fascinating blend of Asian vibrancy and French colonial elegance. Enjoy a guided tour today that covers of the city’s highlights.
Explore one of peaceful villages admit the bustle city, hang around its narrow road, market and meet the villagers, a great way to start knowing about a country. We come to visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite situated where he read the declaration of Independence in 1945 and now holding the embalmed body of "Uncle Ho", also visit his “House on stilts” located in the grounds of the Presidential Palace. A short walking from the Mausoleum, we will visit the One Pillar Pagoda, a 11th century wooden temple built resting on a single stone pillar emerging from the water, it is designed to resemble a lotus bloom. A prayer here is said to bring fertility and good health.
Your lunch today is with “Pho”, the soup is considered a national dish and voted in the World’s 50 best dishes. Ha Noi is the best place to taste this dish due to the balance of ingredients and broth.
Following by an exploration of the narrow, chaotic streets of Ha Noi's Old Quarter on foot. Also known as 36 Streets, this maze of streets dates to the 13th century and the street names, such as Tinsmith Street, Silk Street and Dried Fish Street, are indicative of the original trades that flourished here. There are opportunities to have street vendors of Ha Noi talk about their lifestyle. Another exciting and thrilling experience is to visit the unique Train street, walking on the railway track, sit down in a rail-road café, enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee or local beer while waiting for the train hurling in narrow passage.
Overnight in Ha Noi.
Note: In order to save time from long lining up, we won’t be visiting inside the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum.
After breakfast, we drive to Ha Long Bay, one of the World Natural Heritages recognized by UNESCO with thousands of spectacular limestone islands rising from the clear, emerald sea in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Upon arrival in Tuan Chau island, get ready to board the seaplane for 20’ scenic flight above the bay by helicopter. This seems to be the one and only way to admire the maleficent seascape of Halong.
Boarding the overnight cruise. Enjoy a welcome drink while crew team give you a brief information about the itinerary and security. Having a delicious lunch in the dining room while enjoying the view and rocks formation pass by the window as cruising. There are several activities to join after lunch such as rowing boat trip, swimming on the bay; or just enjoy the rest of the afternoon on the cruise’s sundeck for sun-bathing with one of your favorite books. After the cooking demonstration, the dinner is served with either set menu or buffet.
The rest of evening is at leisure. Overnight on board.
Note: Due to weather & operation condition, the boat cruise’s itinerary subject to change without prior notice.
On a clear day, get up a bit early today to find out the answer of why Halong has been known as one of the best spots for sunrise. Enjoy this peaceful moment of the day before joining the Tai Chi session on the sundeck.
There is an excursion to explore a cave after a light breakfast. Getting ready to check-out your cabin later in this morning. Enjoy a brunch on board while cruising toward the pier for disembarking around noon.
Disembarkation, private transfer to the airport for your short flight to Da Nang city.
On arrival, greeting and private transfer to Hoian, a well-preserved ancient town, cut through with canals and beach.
Checking into the hotel. Leisure and overnight in Hoi An.
Set off for a walking tour of this charming ancient town this morning. Visit its fascinating architecture, old Japanese covered bridge, Chinese assembly hall and local market, where you will meet and chat with stallholders about their food. The walking tour continues along both high streets and back streets, discovering out-of-the-way producers and street vendors making and selling a wide variety of exotic foods and tasty local special dishes. We will have the famous baguette – Banh Mi Phuong as a light lunch. Anthony Bourdain, an American celebrity chef described Banh my Phuong ‘with the lot’ as a "symphony in a sandwich". A perfect arrangement of crisp bread filled with homemade pork liver pâté mixed with fat and ground pork, thinly sliced roast pork loin, pork meatloaf, sprout-sized coriander, a healthy dose of mint, Vietnamese coriander, thinly sliced green onions, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, julienned pickled carrots, and the sauces which remain closely guarded secrets. Taste it and find out why it has become so widely known over the last few years.
In the mid-afternoon, we proceed to the kayak station in Cam Thanh. After a briefing on paddle safety and the area you will be kayaking, we will set off to paddle along the coco palm forest and local villages and up to the Ancient Town. Connect with nature, immerse ourselves in life on the river and enjoy amazing landscapes as we paddle into the sunset and capture a stunning view of ancient architecture in golden rays. Time for refreshment at a local café before driving back to your hotel.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Having a vacation inside the vacation as you will enjoy these two days at your own pace.
You might want to sit down at a boutique coffee shop in the old town or on the river bank; having some tailor-made dresses, enjoy the ocean breeze as it’s quite convenient to get to the beach; or joining a hand-on cooking class... This small town has a lot to offer.
Hoian has been well-known for spa since when we never notice but having a spa treatment is an absolute thing to do while in Hoian for many visitors. In this holiday, we do cater an hour treatment for double in a famous local spa. The schedule is opened for you to decide within these two days.
A romantic dinner should never be missed on such a trip. In one of the evenings, take a short drive to the countryside area, surrounded by peaceful villages, idyllic rivers and lush water coconut palms. Board a basket boat on the Co Co River to reach the floating stationary bamboo raft where you will dine privately. Indulge yourself in a relaxing BBQ meal while enjoying sparkling river with glassy surface under sunset and lush water coconut palms.
Overnight in Hoian.
We transfer to Danang airport for a short morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as “Saigon” before 1975, Ho Chi Minh City today is Vietnam’s commercial center that never sleeps. Although the city is a dynamic metropolis undergoing dramatic change, the remnants of its past are still discoverable in the historic landmarks and beautiful French colonial buildings dotted throughout the city.
Upon arrival, greetings and private transfer to our hotel in town for rest.
The afternoon city tour will acquaint us with a visit the city highlights including the Presidential Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office. Wind your way to a peaceful Buddhist pagoda in City and participate in a traditional blessing by local monks for new married couple. Sitting in front of the Buddhist altar and the monks, with hands clasped together, hear the monks chanting prayers seeking Buddha’s blessing for you the peace, contentment, well-being and harmonious life.
Leisure and overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
This morning, we set off for a pleasant drive southward to Cai Be town of the Mekong Delta.
Upon arrival, embark on your private Song Xanh Sampan and begin the cruise. From the sampan, observe life as it plays out on shore - people going about their daily activities against picturesque landscapes - while your attentive crew serves tea and seasonal fruit. Before arriving at Sa Dec, stop at various points along the river for a look into some of the cottage industries of the region including a brick factory where everything is made by hand, pass monkey bridges and tiny villages to visit a Cao Dai temple.
Arrive in Sa Dec and stroll to the outdoor market. Visit one of the highlights of the charming town, the ancient house of Huynh Thuy Le, a real-life character in the celebrated novel and film “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras. Private lunch is served on board while cruising towards Can Tho along a narrow canal teeming with life. Explore the countryside surroundings by local rowboat.
Your last stopover before sunset is at an ancient house (a “Nha Co” in Vietnamese), dating back to the 19th century. The owner will welcome you and a candlelit dinner is served in this authentic countryside setting. After dinner return on board while the Song Xanh continues its cruise towards the Hau River. Overnight on board.
Wake up early for a visit to the famous Cai Rang Floating Market which operates daily starting from 5:00 am.
Breakfast is served on board while the Song Xanh navigates towards the market among local barges loaded down with fruits and vegetables from the Delta, making for some stunning photos. Continue cruising towards Victoria Can Tho and disembark at the hotel’s private jetty, where the driver is waiting to drive you back to Ho Chi Minh city.
Tonight, meet with the Vespa crew and be ready for a fun ride around some busiest streets corners of Saigon, see the city in a different way from what a normal city day tour can offer. Stop at a boutique cocktail bar and kitchen tucked away in an old apartment, meet up with the passionate mixologists who are delighted to prepare unique menu courses paired in flavors with some uniquely mixed cocktails. Savor the tasty dinner of local Vietnamese food while observing the skillful bartender performing his talent in blending the best ingredients for your signature drinks. Engage in a casual talk with the bartender to understand what inspires him to create these special drinks.
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.----------- End of service ----------