Authentic Vietnam 20 Days, 19 Nights
Once known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City was re-named to honor what Ho Chi Minh has done for the country. It sure will welcome you with a big smile.
Arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, collect your luggage process through custom. Your private tour guide and driver from Asia Dream Tours will be waiting for you outside the baggage claim/ custom area to transfer you in a private vehicle to the hotel in downtown.
Transfer to your hotel. Free time to adjust yourself from jet lag.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
(Check in time is 14.00 – Early check in is upon availability)
In the morning, you are free at your own leisure to relax yourself after the flight to Vietnam.
This afternoon, we will start visiting the most famous attractions of Saigon including the Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon post Office. We will also visit the Reunification Palace, this fascinated is filled with Vietnamese historical stories then discover War Remnant Museum where the impacts of Vietnamese war will be displayed.
After that, we will visit the Opera House and immerse yourself in the compelling creatures and colorful contraptions of the A O Show during an incredible cultural experience at Ho Chi Minh City’s opulent Saigon Opera House. Take your seat amid the elegance of the esteemed venue and prepare yourself for an extravagant spectacle of precise choreography and hypnotic optical illusions.
Return to your hotel after the visit. Rest of day is for relaxing at your own leisure in Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Today your private guide and driver will take you out of Saigon in a private vehicle and onto some beautiful country roads to Ben Tre Town, the heart of the Mekong Delta, popularly known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, and is famous for its vast rice fields, orchard farms, coconut trees, numerous waterways and beautiful landscapes.
After appox 2 hour driving through the lush farming land we arrive at Ben Tre town where we will embark on a motorized boat trip around the scenic Ben Tre River, viewing various local industries along the way. During the boat ride we will stop to visit the small local factories where bricks and sleeping mats are made. Take a leisure walk along the village lanes visiting the local homes to try dry fruits, taste honey tea while enjoying a local Tai Tu music show. Continue to visit a coconut mill workshop where the local delicacy of coconut candy is produced and a range of coconut husk and fiber products are skillfully handcrafted.
We next take a small sampan through palm-fringed back canals, gliding peacefully along the hidden waterways surrounded by immense variety of tropical plants. The quiet, rural setting is a welcome and restorative retreat to the frenetic buzz of Saigon which seems far, far away.
Enjoy sitting in the back a Motor Cart (xelôi) passing rice and vegetable orchard farms while meeting with local people. Then we head to a local restaurant for a simple lunch, after which we will be driven back toward Can Tho.
On arrival, check in your hotel and relax at your own leisure in Can Tho.
Overnight in Can Tho.
Rise early for a boat trip to the Cai Rang market, the biggest floating whole-sale market of the Mekong region. Here you will have a chance to practice your bartering skills! The market is filled with small boats darting through the water as vendors sell their wares.
Continue along narrow canals, stopping at a fruit orchard to taste some of the succulent fruit in season before making a short walk to Ba Bo Bridge (water level allowing).
Get back to the City where you continue to visit BinhThuy old house and then head back to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, check in and relax at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
After breakfast, your driver will wait for you at the hotel lobby to take youto the airport for your next flight to Da Nang.
Being welcomed at the airport by our driver and tour guide, you will head to your hotel in Hoi An. Check in and relax at your own leisure in Hoi An.
Overnight in Hoi An.
We start the day (8am) then travel by van to Tra Que Organic Village, and walk through the market gardens where local farmers work their fields using the traditional methods of hundreds of years ago – no electrical machinery here. We pick fresh saw-tooth coriander and Vietnamese mint for our cooking lesson later, before trying a special herbal drink at a local home.
To the local village market and with shopping list in hand we purchase a range of local ingredients, including star anise, cardamom, sesame rice paper, water spinach and banana flower.
Arriving at the Cooking School we have a chance to freshen up before beginning our class (joining class). Working together with our Chef we learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food from scratch. Using the freshest ingredients and traditional Vietnamese utensils (still in use today) we cook 4 famous dishes, including the national dish ‘Pho’.
After the class we sit down and a chance to savor the dishes we have prepared.
Leisurely cruise (25 minutes) along the Hoi An River back to central Hoi An.
Bring your swimsuit and after the cooking tour has finished relax and enjoy free use of our 20 metre swimming pool.
Return to your hotel after the excursion.
In the afternoon, balance your leisure time between lounging at the beach or happily emptying your wallet while browsing the world of handicrafts and souvenirs that Hoian has to offer or simply stroll along the riverside to get a feel for the olden days of the busy Faifo merchant port.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Free at your own leisure in Hoi An.
Overnight in Hoi An..
Free at your own leisure by the crystal beach of Hoi An.
Overnight in Hoi An.
After breakfast we drive approximately 4 hours to Hue, via the scenic Hai Van Pass. En-route we stop to visit the Cham Museum in Da Nang, Marble Mountain with the carving village at the foot of the mountain and My Khe Beach which was home to American GIs during the war.
Before reaching Hue, we will travel to Thuan An Beach where we will board a wooden boat to the Tam Giang Lagoon, then switch to a traditional sampan after 30 minutes on the water. Go deeper in to the lagoon by sampan, which can navigate even the shallow parts of the tidal lagoon. Watch for fishermen who use handmade, conical traps to catch fish, beating the water with long, wooden poles, then pull up alongside their boats and try the traditional technique yourself. You’ll see the sun set over mainland Vietnam as you continue across the lagoon—sunsets here are particularly scenic, as they illuminate the rolling terrain around Hue, which make the perfect backdrop for photography. After the sun goes down, head to shore, then meet a car for the return trip to your Hue hotel, where this tour concludes.
Overnight in Hue
Breakfast in hotel and meet up with our local guide again to start a day exploring the charms of The Citadel in this former Imperial City with many well-preserved royal monuments in Hue. Board a dragon boat cruising the Huong River. Stop at Thien Mu Pagoda and then back to the car to visit the most famous Tu Duc’s tomb. In the afternoon, visit the Citadel, Forbidden Purple City and the Dong Ba Market. Overnight in Hue. Excellent vegetarian lunch will be served at a local Buddhist Monastery, prepared and served by the nuns. Return to your hotel after the visit. Rest of day is for relaxing at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Today, you are free at your own leisure to refresh yourself after the flight to Hanoi. This afternoon, at around 17.00, we start our excellent street food walking tour in old quarter of Hanoi along the perimeter of the local market where dozens of street hawkers sell a staggering variety of produce from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices. Your expert English-speaking local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. We eat as we go, trying seasonal fruits…
Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we tempt the famous dishes of Hanoi such as Bun Cha Hanoi , Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, we wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago. Our next stop is at a local draft beer restaurant.
We sit down with the Hanoi locals and sample various meats, vegetable together with some glass of cold beer. Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets to taste top ten street foods in Hanoi is Banh My Hanoi.
At the end of the tour, we will sample the famous Egg Coffee. This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the narrow street inside the old quarter of Hanoi. Return to your hotel after the excursion or free at your own leisure to continue exploring the city.
Overnight in Hanoi.
The full day tour takes you around Hanoi’s highlights sites including the Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and his stilt house, Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda. You also have chance to visit historic University – The Temple of Literature, that dates back to the 11th century; learn about Buddhist practices in a serene lakeside pagoda. Visit the famous Ethnology Museum. Back to the Old Quarter to walk through the narrow streets that were famous for its specialized craft making guilds, the guild streets are named for their product or location and still bear such names nowadays. Return to your hotel after the visit.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Set in an idyllic valley, hemmed in by hills, the Mai Chau area is a world away from Hanoi’s hustle. The small town of Mai Chau itself is unappealing, but just outside the patchwork of rice fields rolls out, speckled by tiny Thai villages where visitors doss down for the night in traditional stilt houses and wake up to a rural soundtrack defined by gurgling irrigation streams and birdsong. After breakfast you will be picked up again by your tour guide and driver, and taken on a four-hour scenic drive to Mai Chau through a spectacular mountain range. This is an authentic hill tribe region and a fantastic base for treks, local markets and villages.
Arrive after mid-day, we check in and free for lunch.
Later in the afternoon, we will explore the surrounding villages on foot, meeting local people and learning about their lives raising crops and livestock. Tonight we enjoy dinner cooked and served by the local family. You can join a local traditional dance show performed by the White Thai people (optional). Return to the lodge for the night.
Overnight in Mai Chau
After breakfast you will be met by your local guide and then head to Pu Luong. You enter Pu Luong Nature Reserve by road via a breath taking mountain pass giving you a panoramic view of the whole valley. You 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 stunning water wheels. Get up close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes.
Arriving at a local fisherman’s house, you have a short rest to gear up for the rafting adventure with Dinh and his team. Float along the calm river and enjoy the views, in between learning how to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts. Arriving at scenic Tan Lap bridge, you disembark to be transferred back to Pu Luong Retreat for dinner.
Overnight in Pu Luong.
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. Savour the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot. Then you will be transferred back to Puluong Retreat for lunch. Check out the Lodge and we will head to NinhBinh. On arrival, check in the hotel and relax at your leisure for the rest of day.
Overnight in NinhBinh.
After breakfast, join a “countryside leisure excursion” ride on bicycles (or you can take the ride alternatively if you are not familiar to cycle), between the lush green fields and through the narrow lanes, seeing the locals going about their daily lives.
Then, we will join an authentic “local cooking” demonstration learning how to make some local specialties. You will have the opportunity to prepare and cook some food of your own. At around 12:00, enjoy a delicious lunch which you have prepared.
After lunchtime, we will take a relaxing sampan boat (4 people in each sampan) down a small canal to visit Thien Ha caves, enjoying the natural scenery along the way. This is a newly discovered eco-tourism attraction and said to be the most beautiful cave in NinhBinh by tourists, offering endless photo opportunities. After discovering Thien Ha Caves you continue your leisurely boat trip. You are rowed for 2,5 hours more on an untouched water route toward ThungNham a pristine and untouched area surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs and stunning rice paddies. Along the way you can enjoy the fresh air, clean and clear water with under water grass while having plenty of Kodak moments. Also the absolute absence of crowds will be a big bonus.
Arrival Thung Nang you are picked up by your awaiting driver and then transfer to Hoa Lu, The Ancient Capital where you will visit the remaining two temples of Dinh King and Le King. Return to Hanoi after the tour. Rest of day is for relaxing at your own leisure.
Overnight in NinhBinh.
We depart Ninh Binh in the morning and drive for 3 hours to Xuan Thuy National Park in the Nam Dinh Province, 150 km south-west of Hanoi in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta. On the way we will stop to visit the Ancient Co Le Pagoda dating back to the 10th century. This is one of biggest and nicest pagodas in North Vietnam. Besides its special architecture, Co Le pagoda has the largest bell in Vietnam. We then continue on to Xuan Thuy National Park, formally known as a Nature Reserve of the area and later became Vietnam’s first Ramsar site, for the conservation of wetlands.
Xuan Thuy National Park is located in the GiaoThuy district forming part of the UNESCO Red River Biosphere Reserve. It is a rich, bio-diverse, coastal wetland that houses about 220 species of birds, 110 aquatic plants and 500 other aquatic organisms. Many highly valuable types of seafood such as shellfish, shrimps, fish, crabs and oysters are also found in this area. It is also a critically important staging area for migratory birds visiting and passing through Vietnam from northeast Asia and Siberia to Australia.
Around mid-day we will arrive at the Xuan Giao Commune near the National Park. Here we will embark on a boat trip to discover the wetland. After a one hour boat trip through the National Park we arrive at a Clam Hut where we will be served a delicious seafood lunch. We can rest and relax in the Hut for a while before transferring back to the mainland. From here we will be picked up and driven to a local homestay where we will spend the night with our host family.
Alternatively, if you are not keen on the homestay we can always replace it by the hotel in the City without any surcharge. After a short rest we will commence a leisure sightseeing tour around the Giao Xuan Commune and through the villages.
Walk along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life and pause to see farmers toiling in their rice fields using centuries of farming practices. We will stop to visit the local fish-sauce and rice wine workshops. Our guide will tell us about the traditional methods of making this delicious sauce and rice wine. We will also visit the ancient houses, catholic churches and the Agriculture Museum.
If time permits we will visit the salt fields to watch the locals making salt, here you can try to become a salt-farmer! Continue on to the Bird Station in Xuan Thuy National Park for bird watching. Here thousands of birds return home for the night after spending their day out. Finish the tour we return to our homestay viewing the amazing landscape, while watching the sunset.
Tonight we will enjoy dinner and spend the night with the local family.
At 08:00, you will leave Nam Dinh for Halong Bay after 3.5 hours drive and board a boat, enjoying lunch while cruise through the bay. The magical bay is home to thousands of limestone islands rising from the waves like dragons’ teeth. Later in the afternoon, you will visit an interesting fishing village with opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. Back on board, you will enjoy cocktails or cooking classes while watching the sunset, before indulging in a lavish dinner onshore. Afterwards, you can choose to do anything from joining movie night, playing board games, or relaxing at the beauty spa before retiring for the night.
Overnight onboard with the cruise
*** Itinerary varies depending on which cruise you are going to take
Wake up on the bay to the sounds of waves, fresh air, and breeze welcoming the new day. After breakfast, visit a beautiful limestone grotto then walk back to the boat for a final glimpse of Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. The boat arrives at the harbor by 11.30am and your driver is waiting to take youback to Hanoi.
Being welcomed at the airport by our driver and tour guide, you will head to your hotel in Hanoi.
Check in and relax at your own leisure in Ha Noi.
Today you are free at your own leisure in Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
Free at your own leisure until our driver transfers you to the airport for your departure flight home.
- You choose the date of departure
- Private tour with experienced English speaking guide
- Private door-to-door pick-up & drop-off services.
- All private transportation with water
- Accommodation shared in Double/Twin room with daily breakfast
- Meals as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast ; L: Lunch ; D: Dinner)
- All sightseeing tickets
- All domestic flights
- Vietnam Visa On Arrival pre-approved letter
- Services charges and government tax
- Exclusive and personalized single agent/single customer service
- No extra charge after confirmation
- Guaranteed 24/7 hotline support
- International flights & departures taxes
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
- Vietnam visa stamp fee (US$ 25 & 01 passport photo each person)
- Peak season or Public holidays surcharge if any
- Compulsory Gala dinner on X-Mas or New Year if any
- Early Check in or Late Check Out
- Other services not mentioned above
Useful InformationWhat you are reading here is just a sample itinerary. Your interest decides how your trip will look like. All of our tour is private so you can always adjust any details until it matches your wish...
Seasonal information:Designed for all year round, however, this tour still has its favorite traveling time. Traveling from May to September, gets you to places where you see more landscape than tourist crowds but June, July, and August being the rainiest months typically. Biggest rush-in of tourists comes from October till the end of April, with a national break of the Tet Festival in January or February, when streets will be deserted. While in Vietnam, public transportation before the Tet Festival can be chaotic and tight, which means you better plan at least 3 months ahead if you would like a taste of traditional Vietnamese Tet New Year. However, everything can be tailor-made, remember? If your plan doesn’t fall in the “best time to Vietnam”, our travel consultants can still make it possible by adjusting activities, destinations and etc. Specify your travel time and let us work the magic.
Vietnam visa:Most nationalities are required to obtain tourist visa for Vietnam ahead of the travel time. Holders of British, German, French, Spanish and Italian passports are exempt from visas for a stay of a maximum of 15 days for all purposes. We suggest you get your Vietnam visa at least one month ahead of your travel, which can be done either by application at your nearest embassy or online. Or we can offer you a Visa Aprroval letter for free (please contact our travel consultant for more information).
MealsMost nationalities are required to obtain tourist visa for Vietnam ahead of the travel time. Holders of British, German, French, Spanish and Italian passports are exempt from visas for a stay of a maximum of 15 days for all purposes. We suggest you get your Vietnam visa at least one month ahead of your travel, which can be done either by application at your nearest embassy or online. Or we can offer you a Visa Aprroval letter for free (please contact our travel consultant for more information).
TransportationYou will have a private car in each destination; our cars are within 5 years of usage and your private drivers will be polite and drive with strong regard for safety. All of vehicles are in good maintenance and with A/C.
Tour arrangementsSightseeing, activities and accommodations that are mentioned in this tour you are looking at are just for your inspiration. If you would like walking to find street food in Hanoi, instead of cyclo, change it; if you would like a junior suite in Ho Chi Minh City, change it; if you want to spend more time in Hoi An, change it; it is always up to you to make the trip just the right way you want. If you are looking for experiences that are not done by others we encourage you to talk with our travel advisor and set your own pace.
Responsible travelTravel avails you with special experiences. Somehow its impact on the local community can be more beyond imagination and what Asia Dream Tours wishes to do is lead the impact onto a good path, a path that helps the local people (not only your tour guides) broaden their outlook and the local communities develop. During your trip, you will eat at a training restaurant where underprivileged youngsters get trained as a chef, ride on local cyclo to reduce your carbon footprints and most commonly learn about the country’s cultures with respect. Taking baby steps one at a time, we highly appreciate you would like to be part of it. With that being said, detours to so-called factories or specialty workshops are strictly prohibited. We make sure your tour guides earn enough to support their families without squeezing commissions out of you.
- Your itinerary is 100% tailor-made for you.
- Your entire journey is made at your own pace.
- Unique experiences are designed to match your interests.
- Our Asia-based specialists maintain current first-hand knowledge.
- Well-trained professional local guides.
- Our reliable travel consultant supports you 24/7.
- We prioritize your safety above anything else.
- We pride ourselves in our honesty and commitment to your travel.
- We are a 100% fully registered and privately-owned Vietnamese company.