TOUR CATEGORIES > Vietnam Eco-Tours > UNIQUE EXPERIENCES OF LIFE IN VIETNAM - 18 DAYS

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES OF LIFE IN VIETNAM - 18 DAYS

Tour schedule :
Tour code : STS - ECO 02

Special features of the tour:

+ “In Vietnam, do as the Vietnamese do.”

+ Be as local as possible, as spontaneous as possible

+ Enjoy sightseeing of popular highlights, cooking, shopping

+ Experience various local means of transportation in Vietnam (motorbike, bike, trishaw, taxi, public bus, plane, boat, train)

+ Enjoy typical cultural shows, learn to play some traditional instruments, be dancer, singer, etc.

+ Taste all kinds of local food and drinks on the streets, at simple restaurants and at fancy restaurants

+ Experience different professions: farmer, fisherman, handicraft man, artisans, etc.

+ Experience family life at home stay, night life at cities

+ Take any random visits to a private home, local school, hospital, government office, markets (flower market, fruit market, fish market), orphanage, charity house, etc.

+ Stay at nice boutique hotels or home stay, especially enjoy the facilities of 5* boutique Majestic Saigon hotel on the last days.

 

 

 

DAY 1: HA NOI – EVENING STREET FOOD TOUR

Arrival in Hanoi, meet and greet by your guide and transfer to check in a hotel (check-in time: 2:00pm). 

Free time on your own

7:00pm – 11:00pm: enjoy a great food tour in the Old Quarter, tasting Hanoi specialties: Pho, bun thang, cha ca La Vong, nem chua ran, etc. and local “bia hoi” (local beer) (excluded). This is a fun tour to observe how local people are dining as well.

Overnight in Hanoi

 

DAY 2: HANOI – EXPLORE HANOI IN YOUR OWN WAYS – NIGHT SHOW IN HANOI (B)

8:00am – 5:00pm Full day for exploring the fascinating city of Hanoi where old and new things blend together, Vietnamese, Chinese and French cultures mix together.

There is no arranged car today. We will use local means of transport such as trishaw, motorbike taxi, taxi, bike, electrical car, etc. to explore different corners of the city.

You will communicate directly with local people about how to get around. Your guide will escort you to help plan the itinerary and control the local people to make sure everything goes smoothly and safely. The guide will pay for all the transport fees.

Choose some of  the following sites to fit in your timing and interests:

- A pleasant walk around the peaceful Ho Chi Minh area, visit the HCM Mausoleum (close on Monday and Friday), HCM’s stilt house and garden, the One Pillar pagoda

- A pleasant walk at the beautiful Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam

- The Ethnology museum

- The Vietnamese Women museum

- The Hanoi Hilton prison museum

- The Fine Arts Museum

- Hoan Kiem lake and Ngoc Son temple

- The West Lake and Tran Quoc pagoda. You can bike around this beautiful lake.

- Walking around the old quarter and explore hidden communities behind the small streets.

- Take any random visits to a private home, local school, hospital, government office, markets (flower market, fruit market, fish market), orphanage, charity house, etc.

- Enjoy lunch with another Hanoi specialty: Bun cha with a family who has run this restaurant through many generations (excluded).

Have some rest at the hotel before dinner.

Enjoy dinner at the Little Hanoi restaurant with delicious Vietnamese food (excluded).

After dinner, enjoy a traditional music show (excluded):

Ca Tru at 42 Hang Bac street from 8:00pm – 9:00pm (every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) or the mixed show at the Golden Bell Theater at 72 Hang Bac street from 8:00pm – 9:00pm (every Saturday)

 

 

DAY 3: HANOI – TRADITIONAL ANCIENT VILLAGES – HANOI NIGHT LIFE (B-L)

8:00am – 6:00pm Today, you will explore very interesting traditional ancient villages around Hanoi. Each village has its own characteristics and landscapes. All villagers are very friendly.

Visit Dao Thuc village surrounded by rice fields, which is one of the cradles of the unique water puppet show in Vietnam. You will practice playing with the puppets in water, enjoy a short show performed by local villagers, walk around the village and learn how local people live, visit their homes and chat with them. 

Then transfer to Van Giang village surrounded by beautiful orchards and bonsai trees. Enjoy a lovely lunch with an old couple at an ancient house of 300 years (included food).

 After lunch, walk around the village to learn how local people live, visit their homes and chat with them.

Transfer to visit Bat Trang porcelain village where local artisans use their magic hands to turn clay into fortunes. Learn how the famous porcelain and ceramic are made here and practice making it yourself.

Go back to the hotel for some rest before dinner

7:00pm – 12:00pm enjoy Hanoi by night with food, drinks, dances at popular bars on certain streets: Ma May (Rockstore), Ta Hien (Fat Cat bar, Funky B), Hang Hanh (Polite Pub, Elements Bar) which are popular to both local people and expats (excluded food and drinks)

Overnight in Hanoi

 

DAY 4: HANOI – SAPA – TREKKING TO VILLAGES (B)

8:00am – 5:00pm Today you will leave the hectic city of Hanoi to a very naturally beautiful area of Lao Cai and Sapa along the new highway built through rice fields and plantations.

Arrival in Lao Cai, have lunch at a local restaurant (excluded)

After lunch, transfer to take a trek to visit Ma Tra village of H’Mong people, which is still a quite pristine village in Sapa. Trek about 2 hours to Suoi Hoa village along beautiful scenery. Then get back in the car and transfer to Sapa to check in a hotel and rest.

Enjoy dinner with Sapa specialties with Sapa wine or beer (excluded)

Overnight in Sapa

 

 

DAY 5: SAPA – TREKKING TO VILLAGES (B-L)

8:00am – 3:00pm Enjoy one of the most beautiful treks in Sapa to Lao Chai village of H’Mong people and Ta Van village of Zay people. Show your photographing talents. Visit homes of local people and share their life experiences. Enjoy a music show of Zay villagers. Learn about and practice with musical instruments of the H’Mong people.

Enjoy lunch with local food at Ta Van village (included food)

Then transfer back to Sapa by car and enjoy some happy hours in town (not included).

The day will end with a nice dinner (excluded) and some relaxation.

Overnight in Sapa

 

DAY 6: SAPA – HILL TRIBE MARKET – BACK TO HANOI (B-L)

7:00am – 6:00pm Early morning check out the hotel and transfer to visit a colorful hill tribe market depending on a certain date: Coc Ly market (Tuesday), Cao Son (Wednesday), Lung Khau Nhin, Binh Lu (Thursday), Can Cau (Saturday), Bac Ha, Muong Khuong, Muong Hum (Sunday).

Packed lunch from Sapa (included)

Transfer back to Hanoi by road.

Check in a hotel and rest.

Enjoy dinner at the Ngon restaurant with different specialties from other meals (excluded).

Overnight in Hanoi

 

 

DAY 7: HANOI – HALONG OVERNIGHT ON A JUNK (B-L-D)

8:00 Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay, a world natural heritage site.

12:00 Arrival at Hon Gai harbor, check in aboard a small junk of Indochina Junk fleet (3 cabins, 4 cabins, 5 cabins) or any other junks if these Indochina junks are full.

12.00 – 12.30  : Embark at Hon Gai International harbor.

12.30 – 13.00  : Check-in, enjoy welcome drink & cruise briefing.

13.30 – 15.00  : Have lunch while cruising to magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay; admire the fascinating formations on the way (included food)

15.15 – 15.40  : Explore the well- hidden Thien Canh Son Cave.

15.45 – 18.00  : Enjoy relaxing on a white sandy beach at Hon Co Island, swimming or kayaking.

18.00 – 19.00  : Back to junk for refreshing before having dinner on board (included food)

20.00 – 21.00  : Relax, enjoy fresh air & overnight on board.

 

DAY 8: HALONG – HANOI – DANANG – HOIAN (B-L)

07.30 – 08.00  : Morning view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the fresh air.

08.30 – 09.30  : Visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms.

09.30 – 10.00  : More time for swimming in the middle of the bay.

10.00 – 11.30  : Start cruising towards the harbor while an A la carte lunch is served (included food).

11.45 – 12.00  : Disembark. Fare well.

Transfer to Hanoi airport to take a flight to Danang

VN175  HAN  DAD  17:10  18:25

Upon arrival in Danang, transfer to Hoian, a world cultural heritage site. Check in a hotel

Enjoy dinner with local specialties of Hoian at Tam Tam Café (excluded)

Overnight in Hoian

 

 

DAY 9: HOIAN – MY SON – CULTURAL SHOWS (B)

8:00 Morning transfer to visit the My Son Ruins, another world cultural heritage site.

9:30am Enjoy a lovely traditional Cham music show before taking a walk among the ruins to learn about the Cham culture and history and admire the ancient architecture.

Transfer back to Hoain for lunch at Morning Glory with delicious local food (excluded).

Afternoon enjoy a city walk in the ancient town, visit the history museum or the Ceramic museum, the Fujien Assembly hall, Tan Ky old house or the Tran’s family temple, the Japanese pagoda bridge.

Visit the tailor shop to learn how they collect silk from silk worms and have your clothes made overnight. Visit a lantern shop and see how they make beautiful lanterns of different shapes and sizes.

17:30 Enjoy a cultural show of mixed typical music and dance from the region (excluded)

Enjoy dinner at Ly’s café with delicious local food (excluded)

Overnight in Hoian

 

DAY 10: HOIAN – COUNTRYSIDE TOUR – BIKING, FISHING, FARMING, COOKING (B-L)

8:00 Start a very interesting day with a nice bike ride from the hotel to Co Co river. Get on a boat and enjoy cruising through a fishing area. You can join in the fishing activities with local fishermen.

Then get on small bamboo baskets to row into a palm plantation and have fun with catching crabs.

Arrival at a fisherman’s home to enjoy some tea, sweet and talking to the hosts.

11:00 Continue to bike to Tra Que village where you will be welcome with a nice fresh drink. Take a walk around the vegetable village famous for herbs. The villages still use century-old traditional techniques to plant vegetables and herbs manually.

Then change into farmer’s clothes and pick up farmer’s tools to join farmers working in the fields.

Our farmer describes the traditional farming methods while we help fertilize the garden using seaweed from the local river, and then water it using huge tin cans strapped to our back. Then we pick vegetables and herbs, and learning how to wrap them to prevent damage.

Many of the local herbs are used by the farmers for traditional village medicines. You will have a chance to enjoy the herbal foot massage with a real farmer concept.

It's now time to try making the village specialties named “Tam Huu” spring rolls - using the local herbs and vegetables we have just picked or Xeo Cake (Banh Xeo). We then sit down and enjoy a lovely local meal (included food)

3:00pm After all these fun experiences, cycle back to the hotel and have some rest.

Dinner at a very beautiful restaurant surrounded by rice fields (excluded)

Overnight in Hoian

 

 

DAY 11: HOIAN – DANANG TO HUE BY LOCAL TRAIN – SIGHTSEEING – TRADITIONAL PROFESSIONS (B)

7:30am Morning check out and transfer to Danang railway station to take a local train TN2 to Hue.

8:35 – 12:15 This train ride takes about 3 hours 40 minutes, on soft seats, simple conditions. This is an interesting experience on how local people travel and trade by local train.

Arrival in Hue Royal city, another world cultural Heritage site.

Then visit the King Tu Duc tomb which is consider as one of the most beautiful tomb in Hue.

Observe how local people make incense sticks.

Visit a bronze casting village and learn how many relics of Hue (bells, urns, cannons) were made in Hue.

Visit a local home where a lady makes many conical hats a day with only 1 hand.

Check in a hotel and relax.

Enjoy Hue food tour with many specialties from rice cakes at small family restaurants: banh beo, banh nam, it ram, banh loc, etc. (excluded)

 

DAY 12: HUE – SIGHTSEEING – HISTORY AND CULTURE (B-L)

8:00 – 6:00pm Transfer to visit the Hue Imperial Citadel to learn about the history and architecture of Nguyen Dynasty dated back to the 19th century.

Visit the amazingly full Dong Ba market.

Transfer to the beautiful Thuy Bieu village which is very famous for grape fruits. Enjoy a delicious lunch at the garden (included food)

Enjoy soaking your feet in warm herbal water and some traditional massage by blind masseurs.

After that, enjoy a nice bike ride around the villages and fruit gardens to see how local people live.

Finally take a boat ride on the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, the symbol of Hue and cruise back to Hue city with the sunset on the famous Perfume River (sunset is not guaranteed).

Enjoy Hue food tour with other specialties at small family restaurants: com hen (rice with small river clams), hen xao (fried river clams served with crackers), bun bo Hue (noodle soup with Hue style) (included food and drinks) (included food and drinks), nem lui (grilled pork wrapped in rice paper with vegetable), banh khoai (Hue pancake) (excluded)

 

 

DAY 13: HUE – HCMC – THE CU CHI TUNNELS (B)

9:00 Check out and transfer to Hue airport to take a flight to HCMC

VN 1373  HUI  SGN  11:10  12:30

Arrival in HCMC

Then transfer to visit the Cu Chi tunnels where you will learn about the Vietnamese characteristics.

Transfer back to HCMC, check in a hotel and rest.

Enjoy dinner at the Ben Thanh night market with delicious local food (excluded)

Enjoy A O show (excluded)

Overnight in HCMC

 

DAY 14: HCMC – EXPLORE HCMC IN YOUR OWN WAYS – EVENING FOOD TOUR (B)

8:00am – 5:00pm Full day for exploring the fascinating city of HCMC, the biggest and most crowded city in Vietnam. 

There is no arranged car today. We will use local means of transport such as trishaw, motorbike taxi, taxi, public bus etc. to explore different corners of the city.

You will communicate directly with local people about how to get around. Your guide will escort you to help plan the itinerary and control the local people to make sure everything goes smoothly and safely. The guide will pay for all the transport fees.

Choose the following sites to fit in your timing and interests:

- The China town, Binh Tay Market, Thien Hau Temple

- Giac Lam Pagoda – the oldest and most serene pagoda in town, the Jade Emperor Pagoda with a mixture of Buddhism and Taoism.

- The Fito museum of traditional medicines and herbs

- The War Remnants museum, the Reunification Hall – the former head quarter of Saigon Regime during the Vietnam war.

- A lacquer ware factory where you can practice making a product

- Duc Minh private museum, Le Cong Kieu antique street, art galleries, Ben Thanh market  etc.

- Take any random visits to a private home, local school, hospital, government office, markets (flower market, fruit market, fish market), orphanage, charity house, etc.

Lunch at the Ngon restaurant with many specialties (excluded)

Back to the hotel for some rest.

6:00pm – 11:00pm: Enjoy Saigon by night and food tour that you will enjoy popular local food and dining areas where normal tourists do not often come to (excluded)

Overnight in HCMC

 

 

DAY 15: HCMC – MEKONG DELTA – BIKING – HOME STAY – FARMING ACTIVITIES (B-L-D)

8:00 start from Saigon

10:30 arrive in Cai Thia, get on a boat to cross the river in a few minutes only. It’s a simple local boat station. There is a WC on the boat for the people to use.

10:40 When arrival on the other side of the river, get off the boat, view of a local Cai Thia church.

Then walk about 15 minutes, view of My Luong temple dated back to the 19th century, and some local brick kilns.

11:00 Get back on the boat to cross another river for a few minutes.

11:05 When arrival on the other side of the river, get off the boat, visit a local family of making rice paper, taste some sweet rice paper cake. This visit can take about 15 – 30 minutes.

11:30 Then start a nice biking tour for 30 minutes. Photo stops are available.

12:00 Arrive at another family making “banh tieu”, seeing how it is made, tasting the nice cake with green tea.

12:30 Continue the bike for a short ride.

12:40 Get back on the boat at Hoa Loc market and enjoy lunch on the boat (included food)

Cruise for about 60 minutes across the Mighty Mekong River, small river, along fruit orchards. Visit Mr. Tam Ho’s (Mr. Tiger) fruit orchard.

14:00 Get on small sampan and enjoy a nice row along small Luc Cu canals and fruit orchard.

14:15 Walk on small paths through gardens and villages to Ut Trinh home stay.

14:30 Check in Ut Trinh home stay

Have fun of being farmers: catching fish from a pond, picking up fruits from trees (subject to season), planting vegetables etc.

18:00 Cooking lesson at the home stay

19:00 Enjoy what you have cooked for dinner (included food)

Overnight at the home stay.

 

DAY 16: HOME STAY – BIKING – FAMILY WORKSHOPS – HCMC (B-D)

Breakfast at the home stay

8:00 Get on the bikes and enjoy a nice cycling tour around the villages to Hoa Ninh market and back to Ut Trinh home stay. During the bike ride, make stops to talk with local villagers to learn about their lives and traditions.

9:30 Back to the home stay to have some rest and get your luggage. 

* Another option for those who do not like biking: they can walk around the villages and back to the home stay to meet with the others. 

10:00 Get on the boat and cruise to Cai Be

11:00 arrive in Cai Be, visit the Cai Be floating market, many workshops of making rice paper, soy sauce and salt, pop rice, pop corn, coconut candies, etc.

12:30 Drop off at Cai Be boat station. Transfer back to HCMC.

Enjoy lunch with local food in My Tho (hu tieu My Tho (another kind of noodle soup), snake meat, frog, hot pot, clay pot, etc.) (excluded)

Arrival in HCMC, check in the hotel and rest

7:00pm – 10:00pm Enjoy a beautiful Saigon River dinner cruise on the Bonsai cruise (including food)

Overnight in HCMC

 

DAY 17: HCMC – FREE DAY FOR RELAXATION AND SHOPPING – FAREWELL VIETNAM WITH A MEMORABLE SAIGON BY NIGHT TOUR (B)

Today you will have a free and easy day to regain your energy, take it easy, go shopping, lunch on your own.

7:00pm – 12:00pm Enjoy Saigon by night tour, enjoy food, drinks, dances at popular bars: Chill Sky Bar, Red Drum Bar, Carmen bar, Hard Rock Café Saigon (excluded food and drinks)

 

DAY 18: HCMC – DEPARTURE (B)

Transfer to the airport for flight back home with great memories of “Life in Vietnam” trip.

End of tour.

 

 

Accommodation list:

 

Place

Boutique hotels / cruise/ home stay

Hanoi

 Essence Hanoi Boutique hotels (deluxe)

http://www.essencehanoihotel.com/

Halong

 Indochina Junk or other junks available for similar price and services (sharing or chartered)

www.indochina-Junk.com

Sapa

Boutique Sapa hotel (deluxe)

http://www.boutiquesapahotel.com/  

Hue

 Eldora Hue hotel (deluxe city view)

www.eldorahotel.com

Hoian

Little Hoian Boutique Hotel & Spa (deluxe)

www.littlehoian.com

HCMC

Majestic Saigon Boutique hotel (colonial city deluxe)

http://www.majesticsaigon.com.vn/

Cai Be

HOME STAY

 

 

or similar hotels

 

Inclusions:

  • Hotel accommodation (based on double sharing), with breakfast, service charge and taxes
  • All meals as indicated in the program (B= breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All ground transport on tour with A/C modern cars, taxi, boats, bikes, motorbike, train from Danang to Hue (soft seats), 2 domestic flights
  • All entrance fees for sightseeing and water puppet show
  • Local English speaking guides.
  • 2 bottles of water/ day/ person
  • Tipping for all services

 

Exclusions:

  • International flight tickets to and from Vietnam
  • Visa
  • Personal Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as other meals, drinks, tips  
  • Other musical shows

All other accounts not mentioned in the above inclusions.

 

 



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