Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
Welcome to Vietnam! Your local guide and chauffeur take you to town. We leave the rest of the day for your leisure to while off the jetlag and acclimatize yourself. If you arrive in the morning, we have some interesting optional activities in the afternoon or evening ready upon your request.
Day 2: Sightseeing Hanoi
Early hours we visit the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex where we have an insight of interesting episodes of his life. We also visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda nearby.
On foot we explore the colorful Old Quarter with 36 streets of different craftsman guilds and go to an unusual rail street.
For lunch let’s have the Vietnam’s signature dish “bun cha Obama” at a shop which became famous after the visit of the US President.
We all know the pictures from the scenic Halong Bay. Seeing them with their own eyes amazes us and we understand why UNESCO has declared the bay a World Heritage Site. With a junk we make our way through the emerald green water, past countless islands and karst cliffs and visit a fishing village with smaller boats. For happy hour we are back on board and enjoy a cocktail before we have dinner.
Day 4: Halong to Dong Hoi
Wake up to the exceptionally tranquil settings of the bay. Don't miss your morning coffee because it will be among the best ones you have. Visit one of the karst caves and marvel at the magical stalactite formation. We then sail back to the harbor and arrive around noon. Drive back to Hanoi for the night train to Dong Hoi.
Upon arrival in Dong Hoi we recharge our energy with a good breakfast. Now, start our trip to Phong Nha National Park. We visit the beautiful the Paradise Cave. We spend the night at a lodge around Phong Nha.
Day 6: Phong Nha to Dong Ha
The Ho Chi Minh Trail is as famous as the Vietnam War. It started from the north of the 17th Parallel and hid itself in the thick jungle west of the Truong Son range. Today we follow the former trail through unspoiled vegetation, and later go down to the lowland to cross the 17th Parallel at the historical Hien Luong Bridge. We stop over in Dong Ha.
For the next few days we discover the cultural highlights in Central Vietnam with a number of UNESCO sites. Short drive to Hue. We visit the Citadel of Hue with the majestic architecture of the Imperial City. Then towards the suburb we visit Thien Mu Pagoda and the tombs of King Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. Overnight in Hue.
Drive south towards Hoi An on a scenic route. Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its well-preseverd architecture and traditions. In the morning we take a leisure walking tour in the Old Town and visit several landmarks including the Japanese Bridge, Fujian Temple, the tradional house of Phung Hung.
Day 9: Hoi An to Kham Duc.
Drive out of Hoi An to visit the archaeology site of My Son, another UNESCO site relating the glorious past of the Champa Kingdom. Continue our way up the mountain towards Kham Duc. We return to the Ho Chi Minh Trail but at the southern part.
Day 10: Kham Duc to Kon Tum
Continue our expedition through the Central Highlands towards Kon Tum. En route we pass the site of the fierce Battle for Dak To. Kon Tum on the side of Dakbla River is home to various minorities. We visit the Bahnar village with traditional wooden houses on stilts and we learn some music and dance from our hosts.
Day 11: Kon Tum to Buon Ma Thuot
Drive south toward Ban Me Thuot. En route we visit Yok Don National Park where we hike through a broad-leave forest and take a boat ride on the mighty Serepok River. In Buon Ma Thuot we treat ourselves to a good cup of coffee and learn about coffee cultivation - after all, Vietnam is among the largest coffee exporters worldwide.
Day 12: Buon Ma Thuot to Saigon
Today we fly to Saigon. On arrival we visit Cu Chi Tunnels and find out how the Viet Cong managed life in the underground. The ingenious tunnel and bunker system existed for a long time undiscovered by the Americans. In Saigon, we visit the War Museum and see a small, secret bunker hidden in a crowded market lane.
The trip to Ben Tre in the fertile Mekong Delta is a special experience, because the province around the Mekong is famous for its fruit and vegetable gardens, rice fields and fish farms. A boat trip on the waterways and canals opens up to us the scenic beauty and we take every opportunity to taste the fruit grown here.
You are at leisure till transfer time. If you have late flight we will arrange extra activities or accommodation upon your request. We wish you a good journey home.