nam cat tien national park in southern vietnamTouch the long-standing history and pristine nature in the 18-day journey from North to South in Vietnam. From unique wildlife of Nam Cat Tien national park to stunning palace in Hue Imperial City. From the peak of majestic Fansipan mountain to the small sampan at vibrant Cai Be floating market. This discovery is absolutely worthy of your time and expectation.
 

Tour Route: Hanoi – Sapa – Halong Bay – Hoi An – Danang – Hue – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Nam Cat Tien National Park – Mekong Delta
Duration: 18 Days/ 17 Nights
Date: No fixed dates
Start/ End: Hanoi/ Ho Chi Minh City
Tour Customizable: Definitely! (Tell us your specific requirements in the inquiry form)
Accommodation: Listed below or equivalent
Tour Category: Vietnam Adventure Tours
Tour Type: Nature and Landscape, History and Experience

Brief Itinerary

North Vietnam – 6 Days
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour – Night Train to Sapa
Day 3: Sapa – Villages & Rice Terraces
Day 4: Fansipan by Cable Car – Hanoi
Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay
Day 6: Halong Bay
Central Vietnam – 6 Days
Day 7: Halong – Hanoi – Fly to Danang – Hoi An
Day 8: Hoi An – Farming & Fishing Tour – Walking Tour
Day 9: Hoi An Leisure
Day 10: Hoi An -Danang – Hue
Day 11: Hue City Tour
Day 12: Hue – Fly to Saigon
South Vietnam – 6 Days
Day 13: Saigon – Nam Cat Tien National Park
Day 14: Nam Cat Tien National Park
Day 15: Nam Cat Tien National Park – Saigon
Day 16: Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels & City Tour
Day 17: Saigon – Mekong Delta
Day 18: Saigon Departure

 
  • Full Itinerary
  • Price & Inclusion
  • Accommodation
  • Photos
  •  
 

North Vietnam – 6 Days

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D)

Welcome upon arrival by local tour guide and driver then transfer to hotel in Hanoi. Relax in the rest of the day. Early arrival will give you a chance to enjoy “Pho” for lunch in a local famous restaurant without any charge. In the evening, enjoy dinner at Ngon Villa Restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi Cooking Class – Half-day City Tour – Night Train to Sapa (B, L)

After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to a cooking class (15 minutes). First of all, visit Ngoc Thuy market to interact with vendors who are the local farmers living and working in their fields near Red River. Then buy some ingredients for the cooking class. Next, visit historical relics in town such as Temples of General Ly Thuong Kiet or learn about herbs and vegetables in a family garden nearby. Later, begin the cooking class with 4 dishes of a traditional meal for Hanoians under instructions from the chef. Your lunch is exactly what you cook today.

cooking class in hanoi

In the afternoon, join in the Hanoi city tour at Ho Chi Minh complex comprising of Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh Museum and One Pillar Pagoda. Next, explore the Temple of Literature, which was the first national university and originally built as a temple to Confucius. Then discover the Museum of Ethnology, which is widely acknowledged as the best museum in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to 54 peoples of Vietnam.

temple of literature is a must see attraction in hanoi

Enjoy dinner at a nice restaurant with Cha Ca (Vietnamese turmeric fish with Dill) which is considered to be the most authentic and well-known dish in Hanoi. Afterward, move to Hanoi train station for a night train to Sapa, Lao Cai. Overnight at the night train

Vietnamese turmeric fish with Dill

Day 3: Sapa – Villages & Rice Terraces (B, L)

After Lao Cai station arrival, take a short rest and have breakfast, start the trekking tour through the breathtaking scenery of Sa Pa valley, admire the rice terraces hidden behind mist of the morning. Reach Muong Hoa River then and pass well-tended rice terraces on the way to the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai. Continue through the colorful rice terraces to travel to the village of Ta Van Giay. Cross a small suspension bridge, roughly 2km from the settlement to discover a fascinating collection of rock carvings.

local ethnic people in sapa vietnam

Enjoy lunch at a local house in the village. After lunch, walk through a bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai, a Red Dao ethnic minority village. Later get on a car to return to Sapa town.

Approx: 1-hour driving/ 4 hours trekking/ 1-hour lunch.

Day 4: Fansipan by Cable Car – Limousine Van back to Hanoi (B, L)

After breakfast, take a Mountain Train through valleys, viaducts, and tunnels offering beautiful views of surrounding villages as well as nature. Reach the Cable Car station, enjoy 20 minutes cable car ride up to the top. After that, challenge yourself with 636 high steps up to Fansipan Summit – which is considered ‘The Roof of Indochina’ with 3,143-meter height. Enjoy spectacular sceneries of Hoang Lien Mountain and lush forest. Walk down to the cable car station and ride back and take the Mountain Train back to town and have lunch in a restaurant. Get back hotel for leisure until mid-afternoon then get on limousine van to return Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi

at the peak of mount Fansipan

Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay  (B, L, D)

In the morning, transfer to Halong Bay from Hanoi then arrive at Cai Hai Port. Upon arrival, get on the cruise ship and enjoy a welcome drink. Lunch is served on cruising into the splendid Lan Ha Bay. In the afternoon, experience kayaking through the poetically beautiful Tra Bau area then swim in the emerald water. After that, visit a fish farm and socialize with the resident fishermen to learn more about local life and how the people work every day.

lan ha bay vietnam

Return to the ship and enjoy “Happy Hour” drink time while taking part in the cooking demonstration. Delight in the shimmering atmosphere of thousands of stars while eating a fantastic, expertly prepared dinner on the top deck of your boat, all while floating in the center of the serene Lan Ha Bay. Dinner with fresh seafood on boat and overnight at the Bay.

Day 6: 15 August 2019: Halong Bay (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Begin your second day in Halong Bay with a Tai Chi session or a photo hunt. After breakfast, transfer to a day-boat for a cruise to explore Lan Ha Bay. Join in a trekking and cycling tour to Viet Hai village before returning to the cruise ship for lunch.

kayaking in halong bay

In the afternoon, swim and kayak in Ba Ham Lake, a mystical wild lagoon on the bay and enjoy the dinner on the top deck, squid fishing or just laze around. Back to the main back in the late afternoon, freshen up and sit down for dinner. Overnight on cruise

Central Vietnam – 6 Days

Day 7: Halong – Hanoi – Fly to Hoi An  (B, L)

After breakfast at the restaurant, on a bamboo boat, explore Bright Cave and a serene round lake surrounded by rich forest and precipitous stone cliffs before come back.  After that, return to the cruise to pack your luggage and check out of your cabin while cruising towards the port. Enjoy an extraordinary buffet lunch before getting back to the mainland and get on our bus back to Hanoi.

cave of surprises in halong bay

Drop off at the hotel. Relax until being picked up and transferred to the airport for a flight to Danang. Next, travel by vehicle to reach Hoi An ancient town. Upon arrival, our local guide and driver will welcome you and transfer you to hotel for check-in. Overnight in Hoi An

Day 8: Hoi An – Farming – Fishing – Walking Tour  (B, L)

This morning, cycle to a local farming village to join daily work life of local farmers – hoeing the land, watering veggie at an organic herb garden, riding water buffalo in the field and enjoying the freshest air of the countryside beauty. After that, board a boat and cruise to the river where it meets the Cua Dai Sea. Later, you also have a chance to learn and try our hand at local traditional fishing techniques using round and cast nets, learn to paddle the strange and unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats. Explore the now tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war and hear of the extreme conditions endured by soldiers on both sides.

sit on basket boat in hoi an

After that, visit a local water coconut palm village then take a walk around the village and have some tea and snack with local talks…Back on-board our Hoi An Eco-tour boat, enjoy our lunch and cold beer or soft drink on the boat, then back to resort. In the afternoon, begin a walking tour around the ancient town to visit iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, the Pottery Museum, 200- year-old Tan Ky old house, the Cantonese congregation, the silk street of Hoi An, the temples and pagodas of Chinese appearance. Overnight in Hoi An.

Japanese Covered Bridge in hoi an ancient town

Day 9: Hoi An Leisure (B)

This day will be free for shopping, strolling in the town, lazing on the beach, or whatever takes your fancy. Overnight in Hoi An

Day 10: Hoi An – Golden Bridge – Hue  (B, L)

After breakfast, travel to Sun World Ba Na Hills in Danang and have a half-day of sightseeing and entertainment here. Firstly, take a cable car up to the mountains, enjoy the specular of Truong Son Mountains and most especially, the Golden Bridge – the new symbol of Danang thanks to its unique design and magical settings.

golden bridge in danang vietnam

Next, it is your free time to wander through the Le Jardin Garden with various kinds of flowers or admire the architecture buildings at French village. After lunch, take the cable car down and transfer to Hue. Check in your hotel and spend the night in Hue.

Day 11: Hue City Tour (B, L)

In the morning, board the Dragon Boat on the romantic Perfume River heading out for the rural scenes. Stop to visit the charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) which is considered the symbol of Hue as well as Buddhism in Vietnam. Next, continue to visit King Khai Dinh’s Tomb and King Tu Duc’s Tomb – the rest in peace of two emperors of the last Feudal dynasty in Vietnam

khai dinh royal tomb in hue

In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled Vietnam in the 19th and 20th century with a lot of stunning palaces and unique architecture. Then depart to the Hue Royal Fine Art Museum as well as the former Dien Long An Royal Palace to gain a deeper understanding of long-standing Vietnamese history and tradition. Finish the day with the local Dong Ba Market to see the daily life of local people and find some specialties to satisfy your hungry stomach. Overnight in Hue.

dong ba local market in hue

Day 12: Hue – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (B)

After breakfast, you will be free until being transferred to the airport for a flight to Saigon. On arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport, you will be greeted and taken to a hotel in the city center. After check-in, feel free to wander around the hustle and bustle city with amazing street foods such as banh mi and noodle soup. Overnight in Saigon

banh mi saigon

South Vietnam – 6 Days

Day 13: Saigon – Nam Cat Tien National Park (B, L, D)

After breakfast, travel 170km to Nam Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai Province. Check-in at the guesthouse on arrival. At the national park, see an incredible diversity of birds and mammals living in the forest and wetland habitats of Cat Tien, comprising of about 230 species of birds, especially some endangered birds such as Germains Peacock-Pheasant, Green Peafowl, and Orange-necked Partridge. Some mammals like wild boar, Samba Deer, the rare Black-shanked Duoc Langur, Yellow-cheeked and Crested Gibbon are also found in the park. The afternoon is free for bird watching and photo shooting along the road or trails. Overnight in the park

Day 14: Nam Cat Tien National Park (B, L, D)

After breakfast, spend a full day of birding along the road and forest trails at Cat Tien national park. Hire a jeep at the park headquarters and visit some areas such as Bird Lake to see waders or Crocodile Lake where Lesser Adjutant, Green Peafowl, and Purple Heron can be found. During the walk through the forest to Crocodile Lake look out for Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pitta, Red, and Black and Banded Broadbill and Orange-breasted Trogon amongst others. Overnight in the Park

Day 15: Nam Cat Tien National Park – Back to Saigon (B, L, D)

In this final morning, explore the national park along the trails or perhaps the headquarters road to behold Green-eared, Blue-eared, Lineated, and Red-vented Barbet. Check out of the park guesthouse and meet up with the driver before leaving for the 150km drive to Dalat. It is a scenic drive through tea and coffee plantations to the cooler climes of the former colonial hill station. Transfer back to Ho Chi Minh city and have the rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight in Saigon.

old tree at nam cat tien national park

Day 16: Saigon – City Tour & Cu Chi Tunnels (B, L)

In the afternoon, visit the Reunification Palace, the former Presidential Palace for the president of the puppet South of Vietnam government. After that, explore the War Remnant Museum to see countless artifacts, photographs, and pictures documenting the Vietnam War. Next, discover Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post office to get good shots for our memory of the most fascinating city in Vietnam. In the evening, stroll around Ben Thanh market to buy some souvenirs (if you want) and taste some local specialties for dinner. Overnight in Saigon

After lunch, visit Cu Chi tunnels a.k.a the “Iron Triangle” or “Iron Land”. Before exploring inside the tunnels, see a short video showing how they were constructed. Followed by an explorer, discover every hidden corner of the tunnels and see incredible underground life in the past. You also have a chance to see numerous mantraps, American tanks, and bombs left in the Vietnam War. Transfer back to Saigon for lunch.

underground tunnels in cu chi

Note: Cu Chi Tunnels can be visited in the morning due to weather condition

Day 17: Saigon – Mekong Delta (B, L)

Wake up early this morning and pay a visit to colorful and vibrant Cai Be floating market. Then reach Tan Phong island for a biking or walking tour around the village to see the local daily life in fruit orchard, local school, church, pagoda, ancient houses. On the way, stop to see how they make rice-net for spring-rolls, sewing coconut-leaves for cottage roof and especially see how they wave the dried water-hyacinth to make many products: baskets, bags, hats, wallets, shoes…Next, sit on a rowing boat to get deeper into the countryside on smaller canals to enjoy peaceful sceneries. Travel to An Bình Island. Lunch at a local house.

floating market in mekong delta vietnam

After lunch, enjoy some cups of tea while listening to traditional music in the ancient house. Then visit the local workshop to see how to make rice paper, coconut candy, pop-rice… and stroll around the orchard where you can enjoy ripen fruits picked directly from the trees. Before ending the cruise trip at Vinh Long, visit the brick kilns where you can see how the local people create beautiful potteries from clay. Return to Saigon for overnight.

rice paper making in mekong delta

Day 18: Saigon Departure (B)

After breakfast, feel free until our vehicle takes you to the airport for your departure flight. Tour ends.

What’s Included?

  • Private transfer and transportation with A/C (16 seats, new with good air-condition)
  • Accommodation as mentioned & shared in triple Sharing room with daily breakfast
  • Private Experienced local English speaking guide
  • 1 Junior Suite Balcony on Perla Dawn Cruise 5* on Halong Bay
  • Boat excursion in Hue
  • Cooking class Hanoi
  • Farming & Fishing Tour by Jack Tran Tour in Hoi An
  • Nam Cat Tien National Park 3 Days 2 nights
  • Night train: Hanoi – Sapa by Chapa Express. (Private cabin with 4 soft sleepers)
  • Limousine Van: Sapa – Hanoi
  • Domestic flights: Hanoi – Hue, Danang – Ho Chi Minh City
  • Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing tickets
  • Water and tissues on coach
  • Complimentary approval document for Vietnam visa.
  • Services charges and government tax

What’s Excluded?

  • International flights & departures taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, tips, and gratuities
  • Vietnam visa stamping fees ($45/ person)
  • Others not mentioned above

Special Note

  • Check in time: 02.00pm
  • Check out time: 12.00pm

Recommended Hotel List:

City/Places Hotels
HanoiMay De Ville Hanoi Old Quarter (Junior Suite Room)
HalongPerla Dawn Cruise (Junior Suite Balcony)
SapaSapa Horizon Hotel (Premier deluxe room with balcony)
HueEmm Hotel (Deluxe Triple)
Hoi AnAira Boutique Hoi An Resort (Family Terrace)
Ho Chi Minh CitySilverland Central Hotel and Spa (Suite)
Nam Cat Tien National ParkGuest House