THE IMPRESSION OF VIETNAM 14 DAYS
Routes: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Pu Luong – Ba Be – Cao Bang – Ha Long – HCM City – Mekong
Duration: 14 Days/ 13 Nights
Features: A trip to the major highlights of Vietnam through less travelled paths. Surround yourself with breath-taking scenery and rich cultures in the mountainous regions. Visit the coastal regions in Northern Vietnam that still remain unknown to many visitors. Visit bustling HCM city and the mighty Mekong in the South, with its beautiful sub-tropical lush landscape full of palm and fruit trees as well as rice paddy fields. End of the trip with relaxing time on the beautiful beach in Phu Quoc Island.
Day 1: Hanoi
Chao Ban! Welcome to Hanoi! We will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel room for the check-in. Today is one of your free days to rest or explore the city. Get your own first impressions of Vietnam (depending on what time you arrive). In the evening, there are chances to attend cultural shows such as the water puppet show or other cultural shows such as Ca Tru, Tuong, Cheo. If you arrive on the weekend, you can join the lively night market. Overnight in Hanoi.
Inclusion: Transfer pick up, guide pick up, hotel. (La Siesta hotel: http://www.hanoilasiestahotel.com/)
Day 2: Hanoi – Mai Chau – Pu Luong
Around 1:00 PM, we will take a short car ride for approximately one hour before we set off for our hike through the beauty of the Pu Luong nature reserve. The trek is on an intermediate level and will require some walking uphill but it will be worth your effort, as we will see many spectacular views of the villages and terraces.
Distance: 7 km
Trail Difficulty: 3/5
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, all meals, water, hotel (Pu Luong retreat: http://puluongretreat.com/ ).
Day 3: Pu Luong – Thanh Hoa – Hanoi
Wake up as early if you wish to witness the daily life of the locals before having breakfast at 7:00 AM. Inhale the fresh air and watch the mist on the mountain summit.
We will have a relaxed morning today and stroll around the village of the Thai people. We will pay a visit to some of the neighbours and learn more about their lives.
If the time allows us, we will do some more hiking before catching our van ride to the lunch spot.
We will then have a scenic drive back to Hanoi, where we will arrive in your hotel around 5:00 PM. Check in and stay overnight in Hanoi.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, water, breakfast, lunch, hotel. (La Siesta hotel: http://www.hanoilasiestahotel.com/)
Day 4: Hanoi – Cao Bang
This adventurous journey northeast begins as you depart from your Hanoi hotel around 8:00 AM. You drive up and pass through the undulating terrain of tea plantations in Thai Nguyen city. Stop to visit the tea farm and learn the process of tea making, you might want to try their work before our lunch at the local house here.
Afterwards, you continue on moving through many other villages and getting your first glimpses of rural Vietnam. Depending on the traffic conditions, you arrive at Cao Bang at around 17:00 PM. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Cao Bang town
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, water, breakfast, lunch, hotel. (Sunny Cao Bang hotel: http://caobanghotel.com.vn/ )
Day 5: Cao Bang – Ban Gioc – Babe lakes
Wake up at 8:00 AM! Head out of town and you start venturing into the most remote northern regions of Cao Bang Province. Well paved roads (about 89 km) scenically traverse TrungKhanh before arriving at the Ban Gioc Waterfall – the biggest waterfall in Vietnam (though not full of water in the dry season).
There is an enormous cave that has two main entrances and one branch reaching almost all the way to the waterfalls where the ‘secret’ entrance hides. Afternoon we drive to Babe, at around 18:00 PM. Dinner and homestay overnight
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrances fee, all meals, homestay
Day 6: Babe – Hanoi
Today, you spend the morning visiting the beauty of the Ba Be lakes on local small boat, then glide along the river and through the pretty cave. Lunch is served near a beautiful waterfall.
After lunch, van pick-up; then transfer back to Hanoi. Overnight in hotel
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fees, breakfast, lunch, hotel. (La Siesta hotel: http://www.hanoilasiestahotel.com/)
Day 7: Hanoi – Bai Tu Long bay
Departure for Ha Long Bay is around 8:00 AM in a private van (about 4 hours) from your hotel. Arrive at the port around noon. Welcomed on board, you are taken to your cabin before the trip briefing. You enjoy a fresh and local seafood lunch while you cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay. Stop for a swim and visit the mysterious cave. Relax at our secluded island-beach or explore by kayak. Later you return back to the boat just in time to watch the beautiful sunset from the top deck before enjoying the bay’s freshest seafood dinner.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide on boat, entrance fee, kayak, boat / junk, all meals, permit. (Dragon Legend cruise: http://www.dragonlegendcruise.com/2-day-1-night-cruise/ )
Day 8: Bai Tu Long Bay – Hanoi – HCM City
Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of Bay’s landscape with towering limestone. You have breakfast at around 8:00 AM before our short rowboat by the locals of the bay. Later, take one more swim in the middle of the bay. There is ample time for the 11:45 AM check-out from the cabin while cruising back. Have lunch on the boat as we slowly cruise back to boat pier. Hit the road to arrive back to Hanoi around airport for evening flight to HCM City. Pick up and transfer to your hotel for check in and stay overnight in HCM City.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide on boat, entrance fee, boat/junk, breakfast, lunch, flight ticket, hotel. (Avanti Saigon hotel)
Day 9: HCM City
Today is your free day in HCM City to explore the bustling city, the chaotic backstreets and the vibrant local market or the infamous Cu Chi – the tunnel systems of the Viet Cong.
Inclusion: Breakfast, hotel. (Avanti Saigon hotel)
Day 10: HCM City– Cai Be – Can Tho
After breakfast, you depart from your hotel at 8:00 AM and head south to Cai Be. Upon arrival, you take a boat for a journey through the Cai Be floating market to witness river life and watch the trading between merchant ships and local farmers. It is just lively and exciting. You cruise through the secluded canals and cross the Mighty Mekong to an island where we stop to enjoy fresh seasonal fruits before boating to Vinh Long. Back on the bus for our trip to Can Tho. Later, you wrap up your evening with delicious dinner and the enjoyable atmosphere of a homestay in Can Tho where you stay the night.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, local boat, seasonal fruit, breakfast, lunch, hotel (Victoria Can Tho resort)
Day 11: Can Tho – Flight to Phu Quoc – Emerald island
Early morning boat trip to the interesting and chaotic Cai Rang Floating Market to enjoy the beautiful Mekong Delta scenery then depending on our flight time we head to the airport to catch our one hour flight to Phu Quoc.
Airport pick up then transfer to your hotel/resort. Check in knowing that the rest of your trip will be spent on this beautiful island. Free at your own leisure to relax, explore the Emerald Island and stay the night.
Inclusion: Transfer, guide in Can Tho, entrance fees, local boat, seasonal fruit, domestic flight ticket, hotel/resort. (Mango bay resort: http://mangobayphuquoc.com/ )
Day 12: Phu Quoc – Tropical beach break
Today you have the whole day to relax on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Chill out on the sandy beach or simply stay in your room indulging in the pampering services provided at the hotel.
Inclusion: Hotel/resort, breakfast. (Mango bay resort: http://mangobayphuquoc.com/ )
Day 13: Phu Quoc – More visits
Have breakfast then free time at your own. Take part in one or more of island’s many ocean activities including: snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing.
Apart from the beautiful tropical beaches, Phu Quoc is also known for fish sauce and black pepper production. Don’t miss any opportunity to explore the other secrets (and smells) of this little island.
Inclusion: Hotel/resort, breakfast. (Mango bay resort: http://mangobayphuquoc.com/ )
Day 14: Phu Quoc – HCM City – Departure for your next destination
Breakfast at hotel. Depending on your flight you may have time for shopping or one last chill-out on the beach. Then we transfer you to the airport in time for your flight back to HCM City and your connection elsewhere.
Note: If you are connection onward out of Vietnam, it is always nice to have an extra night in HCM City. This avoids the stresses of a possible flight delay from Phu Quoc.
Inclusion: Transfer, breakfast, domestic flight ticket.