Discover a more unique, more authentic side of Vietnam. Travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, take an insightful journey that shines a different light on Vietnamese local culture. Venture through Hoi An ancient town, visit imperial monuments in Hue, see a vibrant lifestyle in Saigon, experience a colorful floating market and much more. Vietnam local tour operator is pleased to provide you with this journey.
Duration: 21 Days/ 20 Nights
Date: No fixed dates
Tour Type: Moderate, Easy walking, trekking, and kayaking
Starts/ Ends: Hanoi/ Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Tour Route: Hanoi – Sapa – Halong Bay – Hue – Hoi An – Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels – Mekong Delta
Tour Customizable: Absolutely! (Tell us what you wish to do in the inquiry form)
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
Day 3: Hanoi – Night train to Sapa
Day 4: Sapa Village Tour
Day 5: Sapa Exploration & Homestay
Day 6: Sapa – Night Train to Hanoi
Day 7: Hanoi – Free day
Day 8: Hanoi – Halong Bay
Day 9: Halong Bay
Day 10: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Hue
Day 11: Hue Royal Experience
Day 12: Hue Sightseeing Tour
Day 13: Hue – Hoi An Ancient Town
Day 14: Hoi An Cooking Class
Day 15: Hoi An – Free day
Day 16: Hoi An – Danang – Fly to Saigon
Day 17: Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels – Cao Dai Temple
Day 18: Saigon – Mekong Delta
Day 19: Mekong Delta – Saigon
Day 20: Saigon Free Day
Day 21: Saigon Departure
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D)
Upon your arrival, you will be greeted by our tour guide and transferred to the hotel. We are free and relaxed until the time of the welcome dinner at a restaurant serving fine Vietnamese cuisine. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (B, L)
Today we will spend time discovering the capital of Vietnam which is outstanding as the heart of the North with a variety of historic sites as well as unique cuisines. Start to visit Ho Chi Minh Complex and the Temple of Literature then stop for our lunch at a local fine restaurant. This afternoon, we visit the Ethnology Museum, West Lake area (Quan Thanh Temple and Tran Quoc Pagoda), Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake.
After that, we have one hour to take a cyclo to travel around the Ancient city to see the daily Life of Hanoian and one more hour to watch the Water Puppet show in the Theater on the bank of Hoan Kiem Lake, which is one of the most typical features in Vietnamese culture.
Day 3: Hanoi Free day – Night Train to Sapa (B)
Today we have a wonderful day to relax and go shopping at the Hanoi Old Quarter. Our trip will start at around 21:00. We will meet our guide and transfer to Hanoi Railway Station to take the night train to Sapa which is well known as “heaven on the cloud”. Overnight on the 4 soft sleeper berth cabins.
Day 4: Sapa Village Tour (B, L, D)
Upon arrival at Lao Cai, we transfer the 35km to the former hill station of Sapa. In the afternoon we embark on a walk into the nearby Cat Cat valley, passing through some Hmong villages along the route. Later we drive the short distance to the Red Dao village of Ta Phin nestled in a picturesque valley. We spend tonight in Sapa town.
Day 5: Sapa Discovery (B, L, D)
Today we descend into one of the most picturesque valleys in the region. We arrive at the small village of Ta Van inhabited by the Tay minority. Here we will be their guests in a traditional homestay. (Program for 3-star categories).
Option: The Fansipan Mount in Sapa is considered heaven on the cloud, which is so beautiful with stunning nature. You can choose to visit there within the day if you want by cable car.
Day 6: Sapa – Night Train to Hanoi (B)
We continue our trek through some stunning scenery passing through several ethnic villages along the way. Going back to Sapa we have a day room for a shower and then in the afternoon, we take a van to Lao Cai to catch an overnight soft sleeper train to Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi – Free Day (B)
Upon arrival in Hanoi very early in the morning we transfer to a local restaurant for our breakfast and relax before transferring to our hotel. Relax today in Hanoi.
Day 8: Hanoi – Halong Bay (overnight on deluxe junk) (B, L, D)
We depart from the capital for Halong Bay within approximately three hours away. En route, we have a short stop at the Sao Do center running for and by handicapped children. Upon arrival at Halong Bay (approx. midday), we will be transferred to our luxury junk. Once we have settled in we can begin our cruise around majestic Halong Bay accompanied by a delicious lunch. After lunch, we have the chance to explore some of the limestone caves dotted around the bay.
Then our captain will find a secluded spot where we can swim in the clear water of the bay. After we have finished exploring for the day we retire to the junk. In the evening our cook will prepare a splendid meal including fresh seafood dishes as well as traditional Vietnamese fare as we weigh anchor in the heart of the bay.
Day 9: Halong Bay Kayaking & Caves Exploration (B, L, D)
Rising to the tranquil beauty of the bay we have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. This morning we continue to move around the bay to find more secluded areas. For those that wish to do some more kayaking, the option is to spend most of the morning with your kayaks and rendezvous with the junk for lunch. The kayaks are lightweight and easy to use and in keeping with our safety policies and all participants will be issued with water buoyancy vests.
In the afternoon we view some more caves. As the sun begins to set it will be great to relax in the junk with a refreshing drink and gaze upon the natural splendor of the day. This evening, another tasty meal will be served on board.
Day 10: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Hue (B, L)
This morning we continue to move around the bay to find more secluded areas to either swim or kayak in. At around midday, we will return to the main harbor before transferring to our awaiting vehicle for a 3-hour journey back to Hanoi. Tonight we will take a flight to Hue. Overnight in Hue.
Day 11: Hue Royal Experience (B, L)
Upon arrival in Hue, we will transfer to our hotel. After having breakfast at the hotel, we will visit the Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City, and Dong Ba market. The rest of the day is at our leisure. Overnight in Hue.
Day 12: Hue Sightseeing Tour (B, L)
Our tour starts at 08:00 in the morning in the lobby of the hotel. We will be met and transferred to the Wharf where we will cruise along the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda. From this point, we will have a good view of the Perfume River and its surroundings. In the evening, we go to the local restaurant for our delicious dinner in the Royal city. Overnight in Hue.
Day 13: Hue – Hoi An (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, we travel by vehicle along scenic highway 1A to Hoi An which shows the ancient beauty of Vietnam. Along the way, we will stop to contemplate the stunning views from North to Lang Co Beach and South to Danang city. Danang city is famous for Cham Museum, China Beach – where the Americans named and used for their rest and relaxation; and Marble Mountain – the five elements of the Universe (water, wood, water, fire, and earth). We will arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon, then relax and take our walking tour before our dinner. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.
Day 14: Hoi An – Cooking Class (B, L)
Our tour can be started at 08:15 AM at the meeting point After taking the welcome drink, we visit Hoi An’s colorful market and experience the amazing sights, sounds, and aromas of this busy market. We will have our opportunity to interact with local sellers and purchase some of the ingredients to be used in the coming cooking lesson. After that, we board the boat for a leisurely cruise within about 25 minutes along the Thu Bon River to Cooking School.
This is a chance to view the local river life and make sure your camera is in your hands. Upon arrival, we explore the cooking school’s herb and vegetable garden before learning about some Hoi An and Vietnam’s well-known dishes. The cooking lesson runs for about 2 hours, each dish is first demonstrated by the restaurant’s Chief before we prepare the same dish ourselves. Included in the class is a brief introduction to Vietnamese food carving (plate decoration). After the lesson, we enjoy our products then. A vegetarian lunch can be provided on request. Our class finishes at approximately 1 pm. We transfer back to central Hoi An.
Day 15: Hoi An – Free day (B)
Today we relax at the beach or shop downtown.
Day 16: Hoi An – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (B, D)
Today we take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City – the heart of Southern Vietnam. Upon arrival, we transfer to the hotel. Free at our leisure today. In the evening, we will enjoy our dinner on the first night in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 17: Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels – Cao Dai Temple (B, L)
In the morning, we will leave Saigon for the Cu Chi tunnels which is one of the best highlights to sightsee the historic artifacts since the Vietnam – US war, otherwise known as the “Iron Triangle” or “Iron Land”. On our way there we will drive through the pleasant countryside; rubber plantations and rice paddies. Have an exploration of the maze of tunnels, some of which have been widened to allow tourist access. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank, as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500lb bombs, dropped by B52 bombers.
After lunch, we drive to Tay Ninh near the Cambodian border. This is home to the unique Cao Dai sect. to join Cao Dai worshippers for their daily noontide ceremony. Then return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 18: Saigon – Mekong Delta (B, L)
In the morning we depart Ho Chi Minh City for Cai Be town where we will take the boat ride through the natural canal, and view the stilt houses and the fruit plantation along the riversides. Before boating to the river island where we will enjoy our delicious lunch in the heart of the orchard we visit the Cai Be wholesale fruit market which is known as the most colorful floating market of the Mekong Delta.
After lunch, we continue cruising through the natural canal on the island, and under the shadow of the water coconut trees. We also visit the local family where we can experience the agricultural lifestyle. Walking through the fruit plantation on An Binh Island, we will take the rowing boat ride along the creeks before coming to Vinh Long by motorized boat. Then we transfer to our vehicle to drive to Can Tho city. Overnight at hotel in Can Tho.
Day 19: Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
After breakfast this morning, we will take the morning boat trip to visit the Cai Rang floating market with the busy sense right at the time. Then we keep on cruising through the small channels system, visiting the rice noodles-making village. Let’s try to experience the “Monkey Bridge” in the Mekong Delta before returning to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 20: Saigon – Free day (B)
Today you are at leisure. Tonight we will enjoy our farewell dinner on the cruise in Saigon River.
Day 21: Departure (B)
Today our awaiting vehicle will transfer you from the airport to your home. The 21-day Vietnam trip concluded. Thanks for joining this tour with Vietnam Local Tour Operator!