THE LONG WAY UP

18 DAY(S) TOP SELLING TOURS

Saigon - Mekong delta - Cu Chi - Mui Ne - Da Lat - Nha Trang - Danang - Hoian - Hue - Hanoi - Sapa - Halong Bay - Hanoi

Tracing through prominent historical and cultural sites along the country, relaxing at breath-taking beaches and hill resorts.

Highlights

  • Wander around the hectic hub of Saigon to visit its major historical and architectural highlights
  • Squeeze through the tunnels of Cu Chi, the remainings from the fierce Vietnam War
  • Glide through the waterways of the Mekong Delta
  • Enjoy the fresh mountain air of Dalat, the “City of Eternal Spring”
  • Indulge yourself in the sun and sea of Mui Ne - Nha Trang beaches
  • Strolling under the lantern lights through ancient streets of Hoi An Town
  • Exploring the royal architectural of Hue citadel           
  • Experience the thriving Vietnamese culture and charming vibes of Hanoi  
  • Discover Sapa - a well-known hill retreat in Northern Vietnam during French colonial period.
  • A leisure boat trip in Ha Long Bay – one of the world’s new seven wonders 

Itinerary in Brief

  • Day 1 – Day 3
    Arrive in Saigon and have an overview of the city. Visiting Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta.
  • Day 4 – Day 7
    Enjoying Vietnam's beach paradise in Mui Ne and Nha Trang. Move on to the city of the enternal spring - Da Lat.  
  • Day 8 – Day 10
    Exploring Hoian Ancient town and contemplating peaceful royal city of Hue.
  • Day 11 – Day 13
    Experience the hustle and bustle of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Side trip to the well-known Tam Coc - Bich Dong cave in Ninh BInh. 
  • Day 14 – 15
    Trekking in Sapa and joining weekly hill tribal market.  
  • Day 16 – 18 
    Crusing the World Heritage Halong Bay
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Inclusion

  • English-speaking tour guides
  • Land transportation by air-con vehicles
  • Overnight train from Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi (4-berth wooden Cabin with AC)
  • Accommodation based on Twin-shared room with breakfast
  • Private room on shared cruise in Halong Bay
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (no drinks)
  • Boat trips and admissions as mentioned in the program
  • Drinking water during the touring day (2 bottles/person/day)

Exclusion

  • Airfare (international and domestic) and airport tax
  • Visa services (Visa approval letter/Visa stamp fee/ Visa fast track)
  • Early check-in/late check-out/ room upgrade surcharge
  • Other meals, Drinks, and personal expenses (phone call, laundry, tipping etc.)
  • Any services not mentioned in the program
  • Optional Tours.

Xin Chao! Welcome to Saigon (now known as Ho Chi Minh City) – the most hectic and business city of Vietnam. Upon arrival at the airport, welcomed by the local tour guide and transfer to the city center to check in hotel.
Afternoon, we start the city tour at the Reunification Palace, the witness of the fierce Vietnam War ended in 1975. The grand building today is a Museum and Hall of official receptions. Nearby the Palace are the colonial-styled Central Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 and one of the city’s major landmarks.  Have a walking tour on Nguyen Hue street to take the photos of the Opera House and the Ho Chi Minh Committee (outside). From here, walking to Ben Thanh Market one of the most typical symbol of Saigon to experience the daily life of the locals and do shopping the hand-made goods there. Overnight in Saigon.
Please note: Standard check in time is 14:00. Early check in is subject to availability of the hotel.

After breakfast at hotel, picked up and head straight to My Tho the homeland of coconut and family factories with local products like coconut candy, rice paper,… Upon arrival, embark on the boat cruising on the mighty Mekong River viewing the life to the local people live along the banks. We stop at one of 4 island in the area for sightseeing. Enjoy the fresh tropical fruits served in the heart of the garden accompanied by traditional southern Vietnamese folk music at the plantation. Embark on the small boats rowed the the local people thru the small cannels with water coconut tree to visit the local factories. There you will taste the honey tea and see the local people produce the coconut candy milk and of course you also can try it or stroll in the garden where the locals feed honeybee. Enjoy the horse-cart trip through the tranquil road of the village. We continue getting on the big boat to visit the vast area.
Lunch at a local restaurant nearby Mekong River with the Elephant Ear fist. Afternoon, drive back to Saigon with stop to visit Vinh Trang pagoda, a famous pogoda in the area that its architecture is a mix of Chinese, Cambodian, and French culture. Overnight at hotel in Saigon. 

Morning visit Cu Chi Tunnels, one of the few remaining monuments to the Vietnam War. Beneath the ground lie 200 km of tunnels, dug by hand and inhabited by the forces of the Vietnamese guerillas during the conflict. At its peak, prior to the Tet Offensive in 1968, the tunnel complex was base to almost 10,000 troops. To this day, it remains one of the most impressive examples of how fierce the war used to be.  You even can try to crawl some dozens of meters on the tunnel underground to have the real experience. 
Afternoon, drive landover to Mui Ne – Phan Thiet. The scenic 220km drive north on Highway One passes through the bustling city of Bien Hoa before cutting through dense rubber plantations. Nearer to Phan Thiet the terrain changes to arid semi-desert with cactus plants and strange-looking dragon fruit trees. Arrive in Mui ne in the late afternoon or early evening. Check in hotel. Free at leisure. Overnight in Mui Ne.

At your own leisure today to relax on beach of Mui Ne. 
*** Optional tour: Discover Phu Hai Cham Tower and Dunes
Pick up at the hotel and transfer to visit Poshanu Cham Temple (Phu Hai Cham Tower). Then transfer a wheel Jeep to visit Mui Ne Beach. The first stop is Fairy stream where you can not miss in Mui Ne because of the really nice place. Then customer will have a chance to visit Yellow sand dune. From the top of the Yellow one, you can see all of the scenery of Mui Ne when you can discover the daily activities of the fishing farm. Not only visiting white sand dune, you will be fulfilled by the beautiful white sand dune. It is more romantic time for seeing the sunset, slip on the sand. Moreover, in the middle of the white sand dune there is a lotus lake – lotus is one of the famous flowers in Viet Nam. Transfer back to Hotel. End of services

Early morning, we will transfer to Dalat, the jewel of Vietnam's Central Highlands. This city is featured by a park-like environment, with lovely temperature 15°-24°C and sunlight all year round which make the city a haunt of honeymoon couples.
Before reaching Dalat City, we will bend the route to visit the Elephant Waterfall and the Chicken Village of the K’Ho ethnic people residing at the base of Elephant Mountain where indigenous gong culture has been maintained by generations. Walk around the village to see their vegetable, flower farms, traditional wooden houses and beautiful weaving products. Arrive in Da Lat at the late afternoon, check-in hotel.

Morning visit Dalat including the Summer Palace of Bao Dai - the last King of Vietnam, Tuyen Lam Reservoir, Truc Lam grandiose temple and Dalat Flower Garden (or the Crazy House of architect Hang Nga). After lunch (lunch by your own account), we head to Nha Trang. The landway from Dalat to Nha Trang (more than 200km) is very sight-worthy and photogenic with pinewoods, waterfalls; farms of tea and coffee, and “Picturesque” mountain pass (“Bellevue Pass” as named by the French early 20th century!). We can have a break overlooking the magnificent Danhim Reservoir and spectacular view of the ancient tower Po Klong Garai built by the Cham nation in Phan Rang - Thap Cham, 101km from Dalat. Arriving in Nha Trang late afternoon, if time permits we will visit Thap Ba Ponaga (Po Nagar Cham Tower). Check in hotel. At leisure for relax with crystal plages of Nha Trang.

At your own leisure today to relax on the beach of Nha Trang. 
*** Optional tour: ISLANDS AND SNORKELING TOUR   
Tri Nguyen Aquarium - Tranh Beach - Mun Marine Park - Fishing Village - Con Se Tre Village  
Timing: Full day. 8.30 am – 4.00 pm.  
Start from your hotel to Cau Da port. Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island is the first place to visit, many sea  species of  Nha Trang/Khanh Hoa  province  make  a  small ocean  world there. Mun  Island is the  best  island for snorkeling where you can see lots of lives colorful corals and fish. You will also be able to see caves in which the sea swallows make their nest . Then relaxing, swimming & doing water sports or other activities at Mot Island, Tranh Beach Island or on a small island calling “Mini beach”. Taking a fresh lunch at the island. On the way back you will visit a fishing village before going to the shore.

Early morning, transfer to the airport for the flight to Da Nang. 
Arrive Danang, picked up by the local tour guide and proceed to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. Your tour takes you through Hoi An, once a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hoi An’s architecture and relaxed lifestyle have changed little over the years. Take a leisurely walking tour of the ancient town center and visit the sites of former merchants’ homes like Tan Ky House, a 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and a Chinese Communal Hall. Before you return to your hotel enjoy browsing and shopping in the one of the most colourful local market places in all of SE Asia. 
After dinner, your own time to join the traditional performance named HAT BAI CHOI on the street.

Today, we will visit the religious centre of the former Champa Kingdom. My Son, 60km southwest of Hoi An, sits in a lush green valley with dozens of red brick towers and sanctuaries dating from the seventh through the thirteenth centuries. Your guide will take you through the museum and the holiest of sites before returning to your hotel. We also have chance to enjoy Cham dances in this Holy Land (at 09.30). Back to Hoian. Free at leisure in the afternoon. Overnight in Hoi An.

Today we will depart from Hoian for Hue via Danang with stop to visit the Marble Mountains, five sacred hills containing dozens of Buddhist shrines, seeing the view and cave from Thuy Son and the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world.
Heading to Hue, we will pass over the beautiful Hai  Van Pass -Vietnam's geographical and psychological boundary between north and south. The peak of  the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds. Once an outpost of the Hinduized Cham Empire, the area around Hue was conquered in the 14th century by the Viets from the north. In 1687 the Viets made Hue their capital, and continued their expansion into Cham territory. It remained the capital under the Nguyen dynasty, which had thirteen emperors, the last of whom ruled until 1945. Hue is still the intellectual capital of Vietnam with 12 schools of higher learning.  It maintained its cultural identity while other cities were accumulating foreign influences. The Nguyen dynasty left an Imperial city of citadels, palaces, tombs and temples set in the peaceful countryside bordering the Perfume River. Hue today has regained its royal demeanor and is a calm, peaceful and relaxed place to visit. The remaining French colonial garden houses and villas, quiet streets, riverbanks, and outlying tombs and pagodas that escaped damage - all give Hue a unique atmosphere of tranquillity. Upon arrival, check in hotel.

Start your day with visit King Khai Dinh’s Tomb, then the mausoleum of former emperor Minh Mang. Continue with a boat trip up (from the Tombs up toward the city) on the romantically named Perfume River visits Hue’s best-known religious site, Thien Mu Pagoda.
Afternoon, we continue visiting the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945.  After exploring the ruins of this wonderful monument, we will have a cyclo tour around the old town to experience the real life of the local people. After that, transfer to the airport for the flight to Hanoi.
Upon arrival, meet your local tour guide and transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Hanoi.

This morning meet your guide at your hotel and depart on your tour after breakfast. Your first stop will be Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, as well as his private residence from 1954 until 1969. The wooden ethnic minority style house, which was built on stilts, is surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens. In the same complex you will see the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Your next stop will be the History Museum. Free time for own lunch.
The afternoon sightseeing also includes Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. Constructed in 1070, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Then we have a tour around the Sword Lake with the stop at Ngoc Son temple. Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. Overnight in Hanoi.
Note: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closed on Monday &  Friday so we can only see outside.

After breakfast, drive through rural northern Vietnam to the site of the most important old capital cities of Vietnam,  Hoa Lu. Your first visit is to the two remaining sanctuaries of the ancient citadel (temples of King Dinh and King Le) before boarding a sampan which takes you through rice paddies to grottoes of the sacred Tam Coc Caves. As the sampan gently slices through the water, notice the enormous limestone karsts jutting out from the green rice fields giving rise to Hoa Lu’s other name, “Halong on Land”. Should you feel adventurous, climb up to Bich Dong Pagoda, which offers a beautiful scenic view of the surrounding countryside. Late afternoon, transfer back to Hanoi. Free time until transfer to Hanoi railway station for the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on the train (4-berth cabin with AC).

Arrive at Lao Cai Station at 06.00. Picked-up and transferred to Sapa by car (40km mountain road from Lao Cai). The mountain landscape of Sapa is magnificent and so different from what we have experienced in the South and Central Vietnam. Don't miss to stop to enjoy its misty pinewoods, graceful terraced paddy fields and get lovely pictures of charming Hmong or Dzao girls you see on the mountainside. 
After arrive in Sapa, we will have breakfast before leaving luggage at the hotel and hang around with our guide to Sapa market street, where we can meet the montagnards and admire their handicrafts made of wood, silver, or dyed and embroidered fabrics and clothes and visit Cat Cat village of the Hmong people. After lunch, drive to Lao Chai (10km from Sapa) and trek 5km to Tavan with stops at the villages of the tribal people Hmong, Tay and Dzay en route. Back to Sapa for overnight.

Option 1: If today is Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday, nothing will be better than driving overland to a market of the hill tribal people, mainly from Flower Hmong ethnical group. Depending on the day, you can choose either Can Cau (Sat), Bac Ha (Sun) or Coc Ly (Tues).

At 7 o’clock we will drive toward Bac Ha, about 110km from Sapa. With a dozen of tribes living in the surroundings, including Flower Hmong, Chinese, Nhang, Dzao, Nung, Phu La, Thai and King (or Viet), the market is extremely exciting esp. in the early morning. The winding road to Bac Ha helps maintain the colours (in both literal and figurative sense) of the area. The distance to Can Cau and Coc Ly from Bac Ha is 30 – 50km. In all these markets, we can meet hundreds of beautiful women from Flower Hmong tribe, who are famous for their wonderful craft and hand-made flowering clothes and textile fabrics, or intermingle with people from Black Hmong, Dzay, Dzao and other ethnic groups coming to the market not for purchasing stuffs, but for meeting and chatting – just once a week - like in a real cultural center. After lunchtime, we can hike around or take our car heading to further hamlets in Ban Pho, Trieu Cai, or Na Hoi. Back to Lao Cai Station later afternoon to take the night train from Lao Cai to Hanoi. (Lunch in Bac Ha, Dinner Lao Cai). Overnight on the train.

Option 2: If today is not Tuesday, Saturday or Sunday, we will take a pleasant drive to Taphin village (12km from Sapa) of Red Dzao ethnic people, then hike thru paddy fields and pass an old seminary in Taphin Valley, reach the villages of the Hmong and the Red Dzao, who are skillful in making clothes and embroidery by traditional, old silk thread ... Here you have a good choices to buy woven and textile brocades made by the locals. Visit Taphin Cave and small hamlet of Black Hmong people. Return to Sapa and be transferred to Lao Cai Station for the night train to Hanoi. (Picnic Lunch. Dinner in Lao Cai). Overnight on the train.

Picked-up by car at Hanoi Station around 05.00. Before having breakfast, we can join the Hanoians in their early exercises, esp. nearby the lakes, diversified from jogging, yoga, sword dance, fan dance, and taichi-quan. After breakfast and a short relax, drive for more than 3 hours to Halong Bay, the pride of the Gulf of Tonkin, a Natural World Heritage as designated by UNESCO in 1994. The road will pass by the Red River delta with green paddyfields and rural villages, where hard-work farmers are busy with their farming jobs, ploughing buffaloes or planting seedling. Upon arrival in Halong, we’ll take a big boat to cruise the Bay to discover the magnificent beauty of this “Descending-dragon” bay, created by thousands odd-shaped limestone rocks and karst grottoes. After a lunch of fresh seafood on board, we can visit the Surprising Grotto, stop for swimming or kayaking, passing floating villages and approach islets to enjoy their beauty in close distance. Back to the boat for dinner late afternoon. Evening attend activities on the boat or relax at your own leisure. Overnight on the boat near Titov Beach. 
Please note: The program may be little varied upon the cruise you choose. Only Vietnamese & International food available on the boat. Depending on the cruise, kayak will be included or not.

You should wake up early to enjoy the dawn on the sea in the early morning. The Vietnamese call the "East Sea" by a point-oriented name "Eastern Sea", so you may guess how miraculous seeing the sunrise over the islets of the Bay. After breakfast our boat will continue to cruise in marvelous areas, where almost each islet has its own name, adopting its shape or reminiscent like Sail Island, Fisherman’s head rock, Butterfly rock or Turtle islet etc. Take our car back to Hanoi. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Breakfast at hotel.
If your flight is in the  afternoon, you will have a half day more for the sightseeing and shopping before the departure till check out time and transfer to the airport for the departure flight back to your sweet home. End of our services.
Please note: Hotel Check-out time is around 12.00.

# Destination Standard Superior/First Class Deluxe
1 Dalat - Ngoc Phat hotel
- Du Parc hotel
- Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort
2 Halong Cruise - Oriental Sails Cruise
- Gray Line Halong Cruise
- Paradise Cruises
3 Hanoi - Super Hotel
- Sunway Hotel
- Melia Hotel
4 Ho Chi Minh City - Liberty Park View
- Aristo Hotel
- Pullman Hotel
5 Hoian - Lotus Hoian Boutique Hotel & Spa
- The Beach Little Boutique
- Allegro Hotel
6 Hue - Emm Hotel
- Moonlight hotel
- Indochine Palace
7 Mui Ne - The Cliff
- Anantara Resort
8 Nha Trang - Palm Beach
- Liberty Central
- InterContinental
9 Sapa - Sapa Dragon Hotel
- Sapa Highland Resort & Spa
- Silk Path Grand Resort & Spa Sapa

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