Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City airport, you will meet your driver and local guide who will transport you to your hotel. The day is at your leisure to explore the city at your own pace. In the early evening, you'll be picked up at the hotel by your vintage Vespa driver and comfortably seated in the back of your Vespa, starting your discovery of Saigon after dark. Your first stop will be a stylish rooftop venue to watch the sunset while enjoying some snacks and drinks. Then, continue your journey through the busy streets of Saigon and savor some authentic seafood and delicious Banh Xeo the way locals do. Next, continue your ride into the night with a stop in a softly lit coffee shop, featuring amazing live music. The tour will end with a final stop at a lively bar where you can have a drink and listen to some more contemporary music, or even enjoy a dance! You will finally be escorted back to your hotel at the end of this exciting night tour.
Ho Chi Minh City
In the morning, head to District 5, and start your stroll down a small alley to discover the life of the locals. Continue along the streets of Cho Lon (Chinatown), and enjoy the living, breathing, authentic traditions of this former Chinese village. Zigzagging between small streets and local businesses, you will arrive at a traditional medicine shop. Then, pass by a stunning Chinese pagoda, and make your way to the local market before heading to a local cafe to wrap up the activity.
After your walking tour, drive to an organic vegetable village, where you will be introduced to Southern cuisine in a beautiful house with a large garden that grows a wide variety of vegetables and mushrooms. After lunch, continue your day with the discovery of Cu Chi. Visit the impressive network of tunnels dug by the Viet Minh (Resistance Force) during the French Indochina War and expanded during the Vietnam War. At its peak, the tunnel system was 200 kilometers long and 3 to 4 meters deep, and it was equipped with meeting rooms and medical and sanitary posts. Today, it is one of the largest historical sites of the Vietnam War.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City at the end of the day.
Ho Chi Minh City - Danang - Hoi An
Your discovery would not be complete without a visit to the city's main historical sites — the central post office, whose metal structure was designed by Gustave Eiffel; Notre-Dame Cathedral, constructed from red bricks and resembling Notre-Dame in Paris; the Reunification Palace; and Dong Khoi Street. At the end of the walk, you will have time to enjoy one of our favorite local experiences — Coffee Stop at The Apartment. Travel through the city to reach Nguyen Hue Street, and discover a famous nine-story apartment block mainly occupied by cafes, fashion boutiques, and co-working spaces. Climb the twisting staircase, and stop in one of the coffee shops to enjoy a drink with a scenic view of Ho Chi Minh City's District 1. Then, return to your hotel around noon.
After checking out, travel to Ho Chi Minh City airport for your flight to Danang airport, where another driver and local guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in Hoi An.
In the morning, enjoy an up-close and authentic experience of Vietnamese life in the countryside with an excursion in an open-air Jeep. The car has no air conditioning, but the open air is always pleasantly fresh. You will have a chance to get an insider's glimpse of the local life in Central Vietnam when visiting a fishing village and a bustling market abundant with a plethora of local products. The landscape along the way is as stunningly beautiful as it is charming and peaceful, with lush fields of rice and corn and magnificent mountains in the background. If you wish, you will be able to take a break under the shade of coconut trees, sip fruit juice, and enjoy the country's fresh air.
In the afternoon, take a walk to explore Hoi An ancient town, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site for its well-preserved, century-old streets and houses. The town features a harmony of Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and French architectural elements, which can be seen from the famous Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Tan Ky trading house.
Hoi An - Bach Ma - Hue
Depart from your hotel in the morning, and head to the Hai Van Pass. You will reach Bach Ma National Park, which is situated 1,450 meters above sea level. After two kilometers of trekking to reach Hai Vong Dai, stop to enjoy a stunning panoramic view of majestic mountains, lagoons, and quaint local villages. Continue onwards, and have a light lunch at a local restaurant before trekking into the jungle to explore the Five Lakes.
Stop at lake number five, immerse yourself in the serene nature, and dip into the cool water. Continue on to the beautiful Do Quyen Waterfall, where the famous Do Quyen flowers bloom in spring. From the top of the waterfall, you will have a bird's eye view of water gushing down to the rocks and the dense, evergreen forest.
Finally, head back to the parking lot, and continue your trip to Hue.
This morning, start your trip with a visit to the Imperial Citadel, built in 1804 and located along the Perfume River. Remarkable for its fortress-like look and entrenched in the heart of the city, the Citadel occupies a perimeter of more than 10 kilometers. Inspired by the fortifications of Vauban, it is composed of three parts: the Capital City (Kinh Thanh), the Imperial City (Hoang Thanh), and the Forbidden City (Cam Thanh). Although it was largely destroyed in 1968 during the Vietnam War, many endowments have been used to restore and revive this invaluable heritage site. Then, travel to Tha Om Garden House — a beautiful place to explore the city's architectural heritage. Learn about the precinct of four sections with typical architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty, which is more than 100 years old. You will be hosted by the owner who is a descendant of the Minister of Justice during the reign of King Khai Dinh.
In the afternoon, continue your journey to the tomb of Minh Mang, which began in 1840 during the reign of Minh Mang and was completed by Emperor Thieu Tri, who succeeded him on the throne after his death. Admire its very particular architecture in a charming landscape, with 40 buildings arranged along a 700-meter long axis surrounded by hills, fragrant pines, and lakes. Finally, return to Hue in the late afternoon.
Hue - Hanoi
Late in the morning, your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to Hue airport for your flight to Hanoi city. Upon arrival, your local driver will drive you to your hotel in Hanoi. You'll have the rest of the afternoon free.
This evening, you'll have a chance to understand what makes Hanoi's Old Quarter such a captivating place. Taste a wide variety of Vietnamese specialties, such as banh cuon (steamed rolled rice pancake) and banh mi (the famous Vietnamese sandwich). Then, stop at a bia hoi (beer club) on Ta Hien Street, and taste the fresh Vietnamese beer that is incredibly popular with locals and travelers alike. After that, you will head to a pho shop, where you will be able to choose between regular pho or pho tron (pho noodles mixed with chicken without soup). Then, make your way along Hoan Kiem Lake for one of the tastiest ice creams in Hanoi. You will then say goodbye to your guide and go on to explore Hanoi by night on your own.
Hanoi - Overnight train to Sapa
In the morning, explore the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature, also known as the first university of Vietnam. The university was built in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong and opened in 1076 as a school exclusively for princes and children of the nobility and mandarins. In 1802, Emperor Gia Long transferred the National University to Hue, which had by then become the capital city of Vietnam.
You will have time to stroll through the shaded paths of Van Mieu Park to appreciate the architecture of this historical site. Later on, you will visit the Ethnology Museum. Created in November 1997 at the Francophonie Summit, it is both a research center and a public museum featuring the 54 ethnic groups found across Vietnam. It is home to an impressive collection of traditional costumes, musical instruments, jewelry, weapons, and illustrations of various customs of the 54 minorities, providing an interesting introduction to Vietnamese culture.
Balance the day at leisure to explore the city on your own. In the evening, get on the night train to Lao Cai (Estimated time of departure 22:00 - arrives at 06:05 on the next day).
Sapa - Ta Giang Phin Village - Topas Ecolodge
Arrival at Lao Cai station at approximately 6:10 AM, then transfer to Sapa for breakfast and refreshment. At 08:30, you will leave Sapa for Ta Giang Phin, a land of H'mong ethnic people. Hiking from village to village will give you a chance to see the daily life of local people around their houses, in their fields, or sometimes on the side of the road where they stop to -chat. The rice terraces and mountains around the villages will also provide you with a great view of the landscape and atmosphere. After the hike, have lunch in Ta Giang Phin. Following lunch, travel for approximately 1.5 hours to Topas Ecolodge, where you can spend the afternoon at leisure and enjoy the beautiful mountainous landscape surrounding the resort.
At 09:00, head to Su Pan village, populated by two of the larger ethnic groups in Northern Vietnam — the Black H'mong and the Red Dao. From here, begin a walk to discover another minority, the Tay, renowned for their wooden houses and the skillfulness of their crafts. Then, continue your way on foot to Nam Tong village, where you will have the opportunity to discover the daily life of this many-generations-old ethnic group.
Sapa - Hanoi
At 08:30, you will travel by car to the starting point of the hiking route in Ta Van Village. Start your hike through Ta Van - Lao Chai Community to visit Dzay and H'mong people. Pass through impressive rice terraces and beautiful villages, and make quick stops in small huts. The itinerary winds through different valleys with changes in the landscape, from steep and narrow rice terraces to large and long paddy fields.
After finishing the hike, you will be transferred back to Topas Ecolodge. Have lunch on your own. In the afternoon, at 14:30, travel back to Hanoi via a mountain road, arriving in Hanoi at around 20:30/21:00.
Hanoi - Lan Ha Bay
In the morning, travel to Halong and arrive around noon. Embark on a cruise in the must-see Halong Bay. This world-famous bay is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Vietnam, with its giant rock islets covered in luxuriant vegetation overlooking the waters. Halong Bay includes some 1,900 islands and islets of rocky peaks, often uninhabited and unvisited. This scene creates a spectacular marine landscape, which earned it UNESCO World Heritage status in 1994.
You will be served lunch and dinner aboard, with excellent and freshly caught seafood from the bay. At the end of the day, you will have the chance to enjoy a night-fishing session on the boat.
Halong - Departure
Early in the morning and depending on the season, wake up to enjoy sunrise over the aquamarine waters of the bay. The cruise will tour around the bay until you disembark at the end of the morning.
Afterwards, return to Hanoi. Depending on your departure flight's schedule, your guide and driver will meet you again and transfer you to the airport for your outbound flight.