DAY 1: HA NOI ARRIVAL
Upon arrival in Hanoi, you are warmly greeted and transferred to your hotel. Remainder of the day is your free time to delve into bustling Hanoi capital on your own.
Begin in Hanoi, Vietnam, our gateway to the Southeast Asian peninsula. Vietnam surprises most American visitors. Whatever the expectations, the reality is something else, indeed. This is a country that has survived decades of conflict, both with outsiders and internally. Today, the streets are thick with crowds and bicycles as well as a warm, welcoming population; besides, Hanoi is famous for its street food cuisine, as well as walking/cycling tour through the Old Quarter’s 36Street to discover the bustling local life.
Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 2: HA NOI HIGHLIGHTS TOUR (B/L)
After breakfast at your hotel, picked up at the hotel’s lobby for a full day visit.
With ochre-colored colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes, Hanoi is full of charm. Start the tour at the historic Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite, and where the preserved body of “Uncle Ho” resides. (Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed every Monday & Friday, all afternoons and from early September until mid-November). After that, you can visit One Pillar Pagoda which is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is regarded alongside the Perfume Temple, as one of Vietnam’s two most iconic temples. Behind the Mausoleum, you can see Ho Chi Minh’s House. The simple house where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked is made of wood and enjoys a tranquil setting, with a view of a lotus pond. Ho Chi Minh’s belongings are on display and you can walk up the steps of his house to see his bedroom. Wind your way afterwards to the Temple of Literature, the first University for the sons of mandarins, for an overview about Hanoi an culture and appreciation for ancient Vietnamese architecture. In the afternoon, visit the serene Museum of Ethnology, a 20-minute drive out of town that offers a fascinating insight into Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups.
Drive back to central Hanoi for an hour cyclo tour through the Old Quarter to enjoy the bustling local life, then cap off the day with a show at the water puppet theatre – a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes of rural life and episodes of national history.
Then transfer back to hotel in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 3: TRANG AN COMPLEX - HOA LU - TAM COC (B/L)
After breakfast at your hotel, picked up at the hotel’s lobby for a transfer to Ninh Binh Province.
From Hanoi, depart early for a 1-hour 45-minute drive to Ninh Binh province – Trang An Landscape Complex recognized as the World Heritage Site in June 2014. It is a spectacular landscape of limestone karts peaks permeated with valleys, some of which are submerged, and surrounded by vertical cliffs. Hoa Lu was the former capital of Vietnam more than one thousand years ago. Although the ancient temples have become time worn, the natural beauty of this area and some precious antiques still remain. Nearby Tam Coc is referred to as “Halong Bay on land” due to its dramatic limestone karst scenery punctuating the lush rice paddies. Here you will be rowed in a sampan along a peaceful stream while having time to admire views of majestic limestone cliffs, mysterious caves and immense rice fields. On the way back, enjoy a leisured walk to Thai Vi temple.
Lunch is at a local restaurant (the best available in this remote area). Then return by road to Hanoi late evening. Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 4: HA LONG BAY'S HIGHLIGHT (B/L/D)
After breakfast & check out at your hotel, depart for a 4 hours drive to Ha Long Bay, recognized as a natural site of World Heritage by UNESCO in 1994. The Bay is dominated by more than 1,600 limestone karsts and islets which rise out of the waters of the bay to heights of up to 100 meters.
On arrival at Tuan Chau Marina, check-in to your elegant cabin and enjoy a welcome drink followed by a brief cruise introduction. Afterwards, the vacation begins with a sumptuous lunch on board. Then visit Tien Ong cave – one of the most beautiful cave in the Bay. Getting back on board for refreshing before attending a cooking demonstration instructed by our Head Chef. An elegant dinner is served afterwards.
This evening, retire to your cabin for leisure time or join the squid fishing program. Overnight on board.
DAY 5: HA LONG BAY - HA NOI - DEPARTURE (B/L)
Wake up early and partake in a Tai Chi demonstration which is held on the upper deck.
Free at leisure on board or join the cruise’s activities before arriving at the jetty late morning.
Transfer back to Hanoi airport for your onward flight.
END OF SERVICE.
- Accommodation with buffet breakfast
- Private transportation on tours
- Tour guide
- Cruise in Ha Long Bay
- Entrance fees
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (food only, no beverages)
- Travel Insurance
- International airfare
- Overweight luggage
- Vietnam Visa
- Personal expenses
- Tip & gratuities
- Services are not listed in “Inclusions” section