Journey Of A Lifetime

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TOUR SUMMARY

Let's make your holiday the best holivay ever with our special itinerary. The tour will not only a relaxing holiday but also a journey in a lifetime that you can observe, experiences and particapate in genuine local lifestyle and culture. We will cruise through the World Nature Wonder of Ha Long Bay, trekking to minority villages in Sapa, explore UNESCO heritage sites in Hue, Hoi an or simply cruising along the Mekong River to observe the beautyful land of Vietnam.

 Day 1: Hanoi Arrival

 Day 2: Hanoi city tour - Night train to Sapa

 Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa – Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Tavan

 Day 4: Tavan – Giang Ta Chai – Supan – Sapa - Night train to Hanoi

 Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay

 Day 6: Halong Bay - Flight to Hue

 Day 7: Hue city tour - Hai Van Pass - Hoi An

 Day 8: Hoi An Free at leisure

 Day 9: Hoi An - My Son Sanctuary

 Day 10: Hoi An - Flight to Ho Chi Minh

 Day 11: Mekong Delta - Cai Be - Ancient House

 Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City Half Day - Departure

FULL ITINERARY

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (Meals: None)
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, Our driver will welcome you and transfer you to hotel in center of Hanoi city. Check in your hotel and free at your leisure on the rest of the day.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour - Night train to Sapa (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Our private car and tour guide pick you up at your hotel. We will start your full day city tour by visiting Ho Chi Minh Complex including of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ba Dinh square, Presidential Palace (Outside Only), Uncle Ho’s House on stilt, One pillar pagoda. The tour in Ho Chi Minh complex provides tourist a clear understanding about the hero of Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam's modern history. Then visit the Temple of Literature - Vietnam's first university, built in 1076 and at first used for education of royal children only. Throughout its hundreds of years of activity in the feudal, thousands of Vietnamese scholars graduated from this university. Have lunch at local restaurant and try Vietnamese traditional food. 
You’ll visit Hoan Kiem Lake, the heart and soul of Hanoi, listen to the legend of the lake and learn more about history of the city. Finally visit Museum of Ethnology, one of four the best museum in Asia. Occupying a modern structure, the terrific collection here features well-presented tribal art, artifacts and everyday objects gathered from across the nation. In the museum, tourist exploring Vietnam’s diversity culture and life style of 54 ethnic groups, walking in houses on still of ethnic people to experience their life style or traditional ritual. Exploring the famous Hanoi Old Quarter on electric Car or Cyclo to understand more about the life style of Vietnamese people. Dinner at local restaurant. Transfer to Hanoi train Station and catch the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train.

Day 3: Lao Cai – Sapa – Y Linh Ho - Lao Chai - Tavan (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Arrive in Lao Cai station at 5:00 in the morning. You are welcomed by driver, then transfer by bus to Sapa. The bus ride uphill to Sa Pa takes a little over an hour, giving you a glimpse of the stunning vistas and impressive rice terraces. You will have breakfast at hotel before we start 12 km of trekking to visit Lao Chai villages of the H’mong minority. The trekking route offers some challenges as you balance on the rice terraces and a small trail on the steep mountainside. The vegetation is dense as the trail leads up to a peaceful village perched on the Hoang Lien mountainside. Head downhill and relax by a local stream for a picnic lunch. After lunch, we continue trekking to Ta Van village of the Dzay where we have a unique home stay experience (Home-stay or hotel are available upon request). Overnight in Sapa.

Day 4: Tavan – Giang Ta Chai – Supan – Sapa - Night train to Hanoi (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast, we start the day with an easy trek of 10 km to visit 2 villages of the red Dzao, the H’mong (Giang Ta Chai & Su Pan). The trekking will take you along local paths, up and down rice terraces and into the villages and home of local hill tribes. Enjoy a beautiful waterfall and rattan bridge with picturesqu4e landscapes… through bamboo forest on the way to the main road to get the jeep to return to Sapa. 
Around 6pm take a bus transfer to Lao Cai train station for night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on train and reach Hanoi on the next morning.

Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
In early morning, our car will pick you up from train station and take you back to your hotel for refreshment, prepare for Ha Long Bay tour.
In the morning our tour bus and guide will come to your hotel and transfer you to Ha Long Bay. After an approximate 3,5 hour drive - we  will arrive at Ha Long Bay wharf, you will be met by our crew who escort you on board and serve welcome drinks. You then check into your cabin and we begin cruising into Halong Bay. Have lunch in the restaurant while you enjoy the stunning views of the Bay. In the early afternoon we arrive at floating fishing village and drop anchor. Our guide will give you some information and interesting facts about this fascinating village and its local community. We disembark and travel on the sampans rowed by the local people. They will be your guides through their fishing village where you can meet the locals, visit the school and pearl farms. If you want private moment you can also go kayak by yourself to discover the surrounding area (Kayaking fee is included). See first-hand what life is like living on the water. Back on board we head for the island and beaches for swimming and relaxing on deck to pamper yourself. On the island you can go swimming, relax on the beach, play sport or hiking to the top of the mountain for overview image of the bay. At night, you can join in our activities like squid fishing, karaoke, movies or simply relax on quieted top deck for fresh atmosphere of the bay. Overnight on boat in Ha Long Bay.

Day 6: Halong Bay - Flight to Hue (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)
For the early risers join us for a Tai Chi session on the sun deck or take the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of a Halong Bay sunrise. After breakfast we set sail for Bo Hon Island. Disembark and visit (Sung Sot) Surprise Cave. It is one of the largest grottoes in Halong Bay with thousands of stalactites and stalagmites. An early lunch is made available to enjoy while we head back to Halong wharf on another scenic route. We arrive back at the wharf at 12 noon for our drive straight to Noi Bai international airport and take your late flight to Hue city. Upon arrival at Phu Bai airport, our car and guide will transfer you to Hue, check in your hotel and overnight in Hue.

Day 7: Hue city tour - Hai Van Pass - Hoi An (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast at your hotel, you will enjoy your city tour exploring the imperial city of Hue, the former capital of Vietnam from 17th to 19 century. We start this half-day tour with a cyclo ride from your hotel in Hue city to visit the Royal Citadel - the not-to-be-missed attraction when you travel to Hue - which has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Learn more about Vietnamese history, tradition architecture, culture and rhythms of the Vietnamese Royal life in the past. After that we'll take a boat trip along Perfume River to visit Thien Mu pagoda. Easing your mind from stresses of daily life to enjoy the fresh and peaceful atmosphere here at the pagoda is a great feeling. Relaxing trip on the boat back to the city center will also give you more photo catches. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant.

In the afternoon, you will transfer by car to Hoi An on 3.5 hour ride. The ride will going through the Hai Van pass in which you can capture breathtaking scenery from any direction. Arrive at Hoi An, checking in your hotel and overnight in Hoi An. 

Day 8: Hoi An free at leisure (Meals: Breakfast)

Today is your free at leisure day.

Tip from Mercury Travel:

With your free day you may want to spend more time for relaxing, exploring the ancient town, shopping, get some tailor-made clothes or biking to nearby beach and villages.

Day 9: Hoi An - My Son Sanctuary (Meals: Breakfast)

Around 08.00 Am your guide and car will pick you up at your hotel and transfer 40km to My Son Sanctuary.  My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site dating from the 4th to 13th centuries. With an expert guide, tour the ancient capital of the Champa Kingdom, considered one of the most stunning landmarks in the Hoi An region. When you reach the UNESCO World Heritage site, follow your guide on a walking tour around the impressive tower-temples — remains of the political and religious capital of the Champa Kingdom. By the 13th century, more than 70 similar temples had been built, establishing My Son as a sanctuary of Hinduism in the Champa Kingdom. As you marvel at sandstone bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, learn about the My Son civilization’s devotion to Hindu deities like Krishna, Vishnu and Shiva. After exploring the delights of My Son Sanctuary with fascinating commentary from your guide, we will transfer by car back to Hoi An town. Arrive back to Hoi An, we will drop you off at your hotel in Hoi an. Overnight in Hoi An.

Optional Activity: Afternoon Boat Excursion and Biking in Kim Bong Tradition Carpentry Village

On the way back to Hoi An from My Son, we will stop at Cao Lau Boat Station, the boat brings you to Kim Bong where the descendants of four gifted crafting families have been perfecting their skills since the 15th century. Hop on a bicycle for a guided tour of the village shipbuilding yard, temples, and workshops. Admire the fine craftsmanship practiced at Kim Bong such as: mats weaving & coracle boats making, and pass through scenic countryside with paddy fields and a bamboo bridge. Transfer by boat back to Bach Dang Pier in Hoi An and from here walk on foot back to your hotel.

Day 10: Hoi An - Danang - Flight to Ho Chi Minh (Meals: Breakfast)
Breakfast at your hotel. Free at your leisure until our guide and car transfer you to Danang international airport taking your morning flight to Tan Son Nhat airport. Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh, you will check in your hotel and overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.

Day 11: Mekong Delta - Cai Be - Ancient House (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)

Discovery what it is that makes Mekong Delta so special with our daily Cai Be Floating Market Tour. This tour gives you a fantastic opportunity of seeing how the Mekong Delta people get on with their busy life. For people living in Mekong, their lives are attached to rivers, water. Almost activities could be organized on river as living, working, market gathering… You will be introduced to their beautiful lifestyle when cruising among the local boats, biking around the village and interact with locals here.

Around 07.30 Am in the morning, our guide and minivan tour bus will pick you up from your hotel in Center Ho Chi Minh City and start drive to Vinh Long town. When arrival, board on a local motorboat and star cruising on Mekong River. Our guide will introduce to you the floating market, trading culture and floating houses of local here. Since Mekong Delta land is split by huge cannel systems, you will then take a rowing sampan and explore the area by sampan boat that locals use to transfer around. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and green fruit garden on two sides. We will stop to visit local some workshops including pop-rice, rice-paper, coconut candy producing, honey tea, snake wine… to see how local people here utilize rice, coconut and other agriculture materials and turn them into delicious products.

The boat will then transfer you to a beautiful ancient house that still well preserved after many generations. You will be welcome by family members and the host will prepare the lunch for you. The host will also teach you how to cook “Banh Xeo” dish so you can join in cooking and make your own dish. Enjoy your lunch with authentic Vietnamese southern meals and learn more about Vietnamese family lifestyle and culture from the host. 

After the lunch, we will then take your bike and start cycling around the village. The bicycle ride will take you around the village, introduce to you the genuine beautiful Vietnamese houses and community. It will be a great opportunity to take photos of this beautiful water land. If time permit, we will stop by a drying fruit factory and a local pagoda. The bike ride under peaceful canopy of this water lands will bring you a peaceful experience, shake off the busy lifestyle of city. Start driving back to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at Ho Chi Minh city around 06.00 PM. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City Half Day - Departure (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)

Around 08.00 Am, our guide will pick you up at your hotel for the half day city tour. You'll discover the Reunification Palace - a blend of traditional ritual and modern architecture, served as the presidential palace of South Vietnam until reunification in 1975. The building now functions as a museum, offering tours of the former state rooms, presidential office and library, living quarters of the president's family, and underground war rooms. Then, you'll also visit the War Remnants Museum - one of the most sobering, yet popular, museums in the city. It highlights the suffering of the Vietnamese people at the hands of the French and American forces up to 1975, and while its perspective is less than perfectly balanced, its exhibits nonetheless are well designed and ably document the folly of war. You’ll find a collection of weapons, machinery, aircraft, tanks, artifacts and horrific photographs illustrating the devastating affects of napalm, Agent Orange and other weapons of mass destruction.

Our car will then transfer you to Tan Son Nhat international airport, take your flight leaving Vietnam. End of services.

tour map

INCLUSIONS

  • Transfer with private A/C vehicle in tour
  • Airport Transfer with private A/C vehicle
  • Accommodation with breakfast
  • Two domestic flights Hanoi - Hue/ Danang - Ho Chi Minh
  • English Speaking Guide
  • All entrance fees as per program
  • Shuttle bus to/from Ha Long Bay
  • Water and Tissues in car
  • Kayaking in Ha Long Bay
  • Boat trip in Mekong Delta
  • 2 Domestic flights: Hanoi - Hue and Danang Ho Chi Minh with eco seats

EXCLUSIONS

  • Personal travel insurance
  • Early check-in, late check-out
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Alcoholic, and other beverages
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Services not mentioned in itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

Following hotels are your accommodations arranged accordingly for each standard. Our travel experts have inspected hundred hotels but only choose the best for you.
City Economic Group Private Deluxe Primary Luxury
Hanoi Hanoi Legacy Hotel Essence Hanoi Sofitel Legend Metropole
Ha Long Rosa Cruise Paloma Cruise Signature Cruise
Ho Chi Minh Beautiful Saigon Hotel Paragon Saigon Hotel Lottle Legend
Hoi An Hoi An Lantern Vinh Hung Emerald Almanity Hoian
Hue Cherish Hotel Eldora Hotel La Residence

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