Tip To Tip In Vietnam
- 17 Days
- Ha Noi | Ha Long | Sa Pa | Sa Xeng | Hue | Hoi An | Da Nang | Ho Chi Minh | Phu Quoc
- The mirrorflat waters of Hoan Kiem Lake
- The world’s largest marine limestone ‘karts’ landscape
- Kayaking at Bo Hon Island
- Remote villages of the H’mong and Dao communities
- The highest mountain of Indochina, Fansipan
- The incredible Cu Chi Tunnels
- Biking through Hoi An
- The ancient village of Thuy Bieu
Finding the right coffee house.
Looking for the most local bar in town.
Stepping into a village home.
Deciphering the cultural nuances.
These are concerns for anyone travelling to the magnificent country Vietnam. It has so much packed in that it is hard to pick the best of all experiences and seeing the country with local eyes. In this two week plan, we add everything – from the atmospheric to the outrageous. Imagine riding in a side car along a local street. This is just one of the things that we do different.
You touch all the major and local parts of Vietnam – going tip to tip wending around nice locations. From war ravaged sober parts, to vibrant nightlife and music, or countryside tours on a bike, the trip holds in store the most authentic window into the culture. There’s also a vast showcase of history and heritage along with jaw dropping natural sites. One thing is for sure, from all the places that you visit in Vietnam, it will be hard to pick the favourite one.
Overnight at Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in a luxury room.
Ha Noi : Head towards Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning. Vietnamese wake up very early so you’ll find sights of locals practicing tai chi and aerobics. We head to the Ngoc Son Temple, located in the middle of the Hoan Kiem Lake. After this, the day holds in store a traditional coffee place, where you will be able to try Vietnam’s local coffee called Cà phê sữa đá (Iced coffee). One can also try the more adventurous egg coffee! More gastronomic adventures await with the delicious ‘bánh mì’ –typical baguette sandwich.
Later, we stroll into Hanoi’s Old Quarter with French architecture dominate the buildings. Our first stop will be the St. Joseph Cathedral, a French gothic building constructed in 1886. We also see the Hoa Lo Prison, where Vietnamese as well as American and French prisoners of war used to be imprisoned. To finish our morning, we will pay a visit to the Huu Tiep Lake, better known as ‘B-52 lake’, where US B-5 bomber wreckage can be seen.
Vietnam is very well known for its food, so we will stop at a ‘Bún Chả’ restaurant, where you will try Hanoi’s specialty. After our local lunch, we will visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076. Vietnam’s first university was established within this temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
Our last stop of the day will be in Hanoi railway tracks. This is something very particular from this city as the railway tracks are sometimes located meters away from entrance door of houses. Together with our guide, you will walk along the railway tracks and take some of the most beautiful pictures of the city.
After a long day, we will finish with evening beers at the typical and well known Bia Hoi, where you will taste local draft beer; finishing the day as a local!
Ha Noi – Ha Long : After breakfast, you will be picked up and transfer to airport for your seaplane to Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karts’ landscape.
The Paradise Suites Hotel will execute the day for you with a lunch on board a cruise, while they takes us to several islands and islets of the stunning Ha Long Bay. After lunch is the time to contemplate the timeless beauty of Ha Long Bay as Paradise Peak cruises past the limestone islands, islets and towers. Then you will visit Luon Cave by bamboo boats rowed by locals. The north-eastern part of Bo Hon Island is an ideal destination for kayaking. Your next stop is the magnificent Sung Sot Cave. The cave itself is stunning but so are the views on exit, where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views across the Bay.
The Paradise Peak will anchor overnight at Coconut Tree Island. Enjoy your Paradise Royal Dinner your way – dine anywhere you want on the ship: your cabin, the sundeck or the restaurant. It really is up to you. After dinner, the rest of the evening is yours to enjoy: squid fishing, a movie in your cabin.
Ha Noi – Ha Long-Sapa : Awaken your senses with a Tai Chi session on the sundeck before breakfast. Breathe in the fresh morning air, watch the sunrise and feel your body revitalize. Paradise Peak arrives at “must see” Titov Island. Hike to the top for stunning views of Ha Long Bay, or go for a refreshing swim in the cool, emerald waters. For a more relaxing visit, you can people-watch while sipping on a coconut. Back on board, breakfast will be served in the restaurant or in your cabin as we cruise past Thien Cung and Dau Go Caves and Fighting Cocks Islet. Bill settlement and check-out before we return to Tuan Chau Island.
Your cruise will come to Tuan Chau Island between 10:30 am and 11:00 am. Disembarkation and a representative will accompany you to the sea plane area for flight back to Ha Noi. Upon arrival airport, meet your guide and driver, then proceed to Sa Pa. Arrival Sa Pa in evening, check in hotel and take the rest of day free at leisure
Overnight at Victoria Sa Pa resort, Deluxe room.
Sa Pa : You will commence the trip from Sa Pa by car uphill to Haven Gate. Here you will test your bike before start cycling downhill. Then you will stop at the view point of the Pass, the highest stretch of road in Vietnam where you will experience the stunning views across the valley. Next is a ride downhill towards Tam Duong. You will stop to visit Bo village of the Black Thai, then Na Tam and Na Hum village of the Lu minority on the way. Leave your bike then you can take a walk around the village to visit local houses and learn about their culture. Your lunch will be served in Tam Duong. After lunch time, you will be able to visit the local market. After another one hour on bikes and one hour walking from Tam Duong, you can visit a remote village inhabited by the Dao minority.
A long day of activity, adventure, and of course a fantastic nature experience is almost over. It is now time for the drive back to Sa Pa.
Note: 1.5 hours driving/ 3 hours cycling/ 45minute walking/ 1hour for lunch.
Note: In case of fog or poor weather the bike start can be moved to lower point of the Pass.
Sapa – Black H’Mong village of Sa Xeng and Sa Pa : Today you will take trip to visit Black H’Mong village of Sa Xeng and Sa Pa. You will commence your trip with driving for 6km from Sa Pa town to Hang Da village, inhabited by Black H’mong ethnic group. Marvelous views over the Muong Hoa valley and Fansipan Mountain, which is 3,143m – the highest mountain of Indochina, are the highlight.
Leave the vehicle for an easy walk through a nice path leading through hilly mountains. The path continues gradually downhill through the stunning valley of Sa Seng, passing through several Hmong hamlets along the way. A typical Hmong village comprises wooden roofed houses surrounded by rock walls where pot-bellied pigs, chickens and water buffaloes run here and there, and children playing with makeshift toys. You might have the chance to see Hmong women making fibre from hemp, which they spin and weave to make traditional costumes. After visiting local houses you will continue your walk to Sa Pả, another hamlet of the Hmong people. From here, the car will transfer you back to town.
Approx: 10 km driving/ 30 minutes; 6,7km hiking/ 2.5 hours.
Upon arrival, meet your guide and driver, then transfer to your accommodation for check in and take the rest of day free at leisure
Overnight at La Residence resort, Deluxe River view.
Hue : Bridging the strictness of the artistically structured Citadel and the grandeur of the richly endowed countryside, Thuy Bieu is an ancient village long known as a symbol of transition and harmony. Beside the multiple well-preserved communal houses, the nostalgic beauty of the garden-houses, their aesthetic wooden architectures and Fengshui-based gardens, suggest a mingling of royal legacy and rustic lifestyle. In a close proximity, you will explore some original monuments closely attached to the rise and fall of the Nguyen dynasties: the Roman Colosseum styled Tiger Arena, the unique temple-cemetery dedicated to the Kings’ loyal elephants, and the long-established bronze casting village.
You will cruise on the poetic Perfume River to visit the characteristic Thien Mu Pagoda. Then, you will visit the Forbidden Purple City, constructed under the Emperor Gia Long’s, in the early 19th century. It is located in the Citadel of Hue, which was badly damaged during the Tet offensive of 1968. Established as the capital of unified Viet Nam in 1802, Hue was not only the political but also the cultural and religious center under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. Hue was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1993.
Overnight at La Residence resort, Deluxe River view .
Hue – Hoi An : After breakfast, you will depart from Hue in direction to Hoi An. Ride through rice paddies and villages until you get to Elephant Springs Rock Pool where you can swim and relax for a little while. We will also visit Lang Co Lagoon & Beach.
Later, you will continue the ride encountering with the Hai Van Pass, a 21 km long mountain pass on National Route 1A in Vietnam. The pass, which once formed the boundary between the kingdoms of Dai Viet and Champa, also forms a boundary between the climates of northern and southern Vietnam.
Upon arrival to Da Nang, we will stop at the famous China Beach with fine white sand. Our last stop before reaching Hoi An will be the Marble Mountains, a cluster of five marble and limestone hills. The five ‘mountains’ are named after the five elements; Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth).
Later, we will reach to your accommodation and the day will be free at leisure.
Overnight at Four Season resort The Nam Hai, One bedroom Villa.
Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh – Saigon : Free at leisure until transfer to airport for your flight back to Ho Chi Minh and then flight Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh.
In the afternoon, depart from your hotel for a first stop at Café Zoom to “watch the world go by” and enjoy a cocktail and appetizer. We adventure into a favorite local eating spot. You can experience the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. Start with a ride to Chinatown and then head to District 4 through busy streets and alleys for nightlife and street seafood; places that foreigners won’t find. Leave District 4 to District 3, passing through downtown District 1 to take in the sights on the way to Banh Xeo, a specialty of Saigon. Then the tour will continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop to taste a bit of Vietnamese music. After this the tour will bring you to a lively bar to enjoy drinks and some live music.
Overnight at Park Hyatt hotel, Deluxe room
Ho Chi Minh : We will take you to the most beautiful place in Saigon – Notre dame Cathedral, Post office center, and others – all in a sidecar. Other places that we wend through are the Saigon river, floating market in Saigon (district 4- D4). Back to the center, have an experience at the local coffee in the small alley.
After that, continue the adventure by sidecar to the whole sale flower market (D10) which supplies all the flowers to our market in Saigon and the neighboring provinces. Next up is China town with the bird market, rooster market, second hand spare parts of motorbike market, tobacco market, plastic market, fruit market, and the biggest whole sale market in China town – Binh Tay. After walking through the market, hop back in the sidecar to ride along the Tofu canal – Vo Van Kiet boulevard and to the War Museum.
Overnight at La Veranda resort, Premier Ocean View.
|October – March :||Winter months, recommended to travel.|
|Mid April – June :||Summer months, when it is moderately hot in April, but May and June are avoidable.|
|July – September :||Monsoon months where trips are doable.|