Nature & Culture of Vietnam for 15 Days
Itinerary in brief
Day1: Hanoi Arrival (D; G)
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (D; G)
Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel in Hanoi. You’ll have time to relax after your journey.
18:00: You’ll have a ‘Welcome’ dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant in a restored French colonial building.
19:00: You will enjoy a performance of traditional Water Puppetry, an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture.
You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi – Pu Luong (B,L,D; G)
3km easy walking – 1.5 hours; 1km rafting – 1 hour
You enter Pu Luong Nature Reserve by road via a breathtaking mountain pass giving you a panoramic view of the whole valley.
Arrive at your accommodation in time for a delicious lunch, followed by free time to explore the beautiful retreat, with its captivating panoramic views and tranquil setting.
You will be transferred to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk in search of the stunning water wheels. Get up close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from the river to handmade bamboo aqueducts.
Stop by a local fisherman’s house to rest and then gear up for the bamboo river rafting with Dinh and his team. Float along the calm river and enjoy the views.
Arriving at the scenic Tan Lap bridge, you disembark to be transferred back to Pu Luong Retreat for dinner.
Day 3: Pu Luong (B,L,D; G)
Enthralling trekking routes | 19 km easy walking – 6 hours
- Morning: Start early to descend into the beautiful valley facing the Retreat where you walk around tumbling rice terraces. Trek through small paths shrouded in vegetation to slowly reveal a picturesque village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. Your camera will not be able to sit still!
Continuing to the base of the valley, you weave between roads and farmland, villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open land. Savor the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot to enjoy a simple picnic lunch.
- Afternoon: After enjoying delicious food, you have free time to explore the refreshing water to the nearby river, before moving to our pick up point to be transferred back to the Retreat.
Day 4: Pu Luong – Ninh Binh (B,L; G)
Village life and the community | 4,5 km easy walk – 2 hours
- Morning: You have the chance to get close to village life and interact with locals living in the hills above the Retreat. Glimpse at daily life, walk around working farmland and rice fields, and learn about making weaving colorful textiles, followed by lunch at the Lodge.
- Afternoon: Check out the Lodge. Then get pick up for the transfer to Ninh Binh (150km – 3,5 hours for transferring). Arrival Ninh Binh, check in hotel and relax.
Overnight at Hotel in Ninh Binh.
Day 5: Ninh Bình (B,L,D; G)
07:15 – 07:45 Tour guide and bus pick up from your hotel or private address and departure to Ninh Binh.
10:00 Arrive Tam Coc start your first visit on a sampan boat rowed by a local for about 1.5 hours. Known
as “Halong Bay on land”, the boat trip is a nice journey along the river with the peaceful scenery of
limestone mountains, rice paddy if traveling during harvest season.
12:00 Enjoy a delicious lunch served at the restaurant with Vietnamese cuisine.
14:00 Check-In Bungalow or Hotel
15:00 Visit a local family in Tam Coc. They are a traditional Vietnamese family with three generations
living together. Here you will get the chance to see the house architecture and their daily life and their
handicraft job of making traditional embroidery.
15:30 Leaving the family, you will take a bike and start riding to explore the rice fields and limestone
mountains with a unique route.
16:30 Get on a small sampan to visit Thung Nham bird reserve, discover the most features of this area
with more than 50.000 birds of 40 species flying to inhabit every day.
17:30 Cycling back to the host family for free time relax with afternoon tea break.
19:00 Dinner served with Vietnamese, then stay overnight at the bungalow or the hotel.
Day 6: Ninh Bình – Hạ Long (B,L; G)
07:00 Our private van will pick you up from Hotel in Ninh Binh to Sun Group harbour.
12:00 Arrive to the cruise check in Lounge
12:45 Boarding. Welcome drinks and a quick briefing of the itinerary and safety information by our Cruise Manager.
13: 15 Enjoy your Lunch while cruising to magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay, admire the fascinating formations on the way.
15:30 Visit Vung Vieng floating village by rowing boat or kayak.
16:45 Back to boat, enjoy Spa, drink at bar counter or relax on sundeck.
18:30 Anchor at Cong Do area for overnight
18:40 Cooking demonstration with traditional Vietnamese food on the sundeck (or in the restaurant if weather does not allow).
19:30 A special dinner will be served in the restaurant.
21:00 Free time for Relax on deck, Beauty Spa services, drink service available or night time fishing.
Day 7: Halong – Hanoi (B,L; G)
06:30 Early start for a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck
07:00 Take in the morning view of the Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy light breakfast
08:00 Explore the well-hidden Thien Canh Son cave
09:00 Check out: please put your baggage out and settle your bill
09:30 Brunch will be served in the restaurant while the boat heads back to harbour.
11:15 Disembark and farewell. You will be transferred to Noi Bai airport for the flight to Hue.
Day 8: Hue (B,L; G)
This morning you explore Hue, including the Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City. You embark on a boat for cruise on the Perfume River and visit The beautiful pagoda of Thien Mu. Disembark the board for a visit the elaborate mausoleum of former emperor Tu Duc, Emperor Khai Dinh. By the way to the city, you will take a walk to the bustling Dong Ba market and pass many fantastic eating spots.
Day 9: Hue – Danang – Hoi An (B,L; G)
This morning you will continue your trip to the old trading town of Hoi An. Along the way you will stop at Lang Co beach for coffee and refreshments. From here you head up to the Hai Van pass, stopping at the top to take in the stunning views north over Lang Co beach and south over Danang city. Continuing on your way down to Da nang, you will stop at the Cham Museum, the famed China Beach, and the Marble Mountains. Arriving in Hoi An, you will take a walk to visit famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tanky House, Chua Ong Pagoda, the vibrant market. You will be able to go shopping in this town, which is also famous for it’s shops in particular and it’s large number of tailors.
Day 10: Hoi An (B,L; G)
Today is a free day for you to relax and discover Hoian by yourself. You can book a driving tour to Cua Dai beach, about 4 km away. There’s even the chance to improve your culinary skills with a Vietnamese cooking lesson! Overnight at hotel in Hoian.
Day 11: Hoi An (B,L; G)
Free and Easy.
Day 12: Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh city (B,L; G)
After breakfast you will transfer to airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh city. Pick up at Tan Son Nhat airport, transfer to city center, check in, relax. Afternoon you will discover dynamic city with the Reunification Palace and some French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Sai Gon Post Office. After seeing the Jade Emperor Pagoda, you continue your trip on to Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh city – Ben Tre – Can Tho (B,L; G)
Pick up at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh city and start the trip to My Tho. Upon arrival, visit Vinh Trang pagoda which sated back to the late 19th century. Then boarding the sampan and cruising around four beautiful islands known as Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix and Tortoise islands.
Stop over at Unicorn Island, go walking in the village paths to contemplate orchards, enjoy tropical fruits, and Vietnamese folk music performed by the local people. Visit the fruit plantation. Be rowed in a small sampan through the Thoi Son canal and treat yourself to the beauty of the countryside, visit the family business & bee-keeping farm, enjoy honey tea and coconut candy workshop. Have lunch at the local restaurant. Break time.
The afternoon is time for cycling around the Tan Thach village, meeting the local people to experience their daily life in the Mekong delta. Relaxing on hammocks to enjoy the cool breeze is for those do not want to join the cycling trip. Proceed to Can Tho. Your leisure. Overnight in Can Tho (centrally located hotel/countryside-homestay)
Day 14: Can Tho – Floating market – Ho Chi Minh city (B,L; G)
Breakfast at the hotel/homestay in early morning. Take a leisure boat trip to explore the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong River (Bassac River) then visit to Cai Rang floating market which is the liveliest one in the whole of region.
Walking trip to visit the fruit plantation and local noodle factory.
Visit Binh Thuy communal house and Munir Ansay Pagoda - a Khmer pagoda, renowned for its unique structure.
Have lunch and return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh city departure (B;G)
Today you’ll have free time until being picked up to the airport for your departure flight. Say goodbye to Vietnam and see you next time!
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