Vietnam Culture & Landscape

17 Days, from AU $3,394

Mekong Delta

Hoi An

Saigon

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From bustling cities including Saigon, Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An, to the lively river banks of the Mekong River, this itinerary will show you the cultural aspects of Vietnam along with its stunning views. Experience the traditions of the Vietnamese, taste their delicious cuisine and feel at home with their hospitality.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Saigon

You will meet your guide on arrival Saigon airport, be transferred and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Saigon, answer any questions you have. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in southern Vietnam is a sprawling metropolis of ten million people. Formally renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam-American war, locals still refer to Saigon. With thousands of motorbikes zipping past luxury cars, French colonial buildings dwarfed by modern skyscrapers and traditionally dressed school girls riding bicycles past trendy city workers, Saigon is an exciting city of contrasts.

Day 2: Saigon

Saigon is the country’s commercial centre and, with over nine million inhabitants and five million motorbikes, a city that never sleeps. Despite the well-documented hustle and bustle, Saigon retains its connections with the past. A city tour to admire Saigon’s historic landmarks is a must. Visit the Dong Khoi Street, Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Hall, War Remnants Museum and the Ben Thanh Market.

Day 3: Saigon – Mekong Delta

Depart your hotel this morning for about 02 hours drive heading south Ben Tre where referred locally as one of the biggest coconut tree orchards in Vietnam. Take in the lush surroundings of rice paddies and fruit farms alongside the highway as you leave behind the busy city.

Arrive at the waterfront pier and embark on an enjoyable motor boat excursion, take a glimpse at the Delta scenery, houses built on stilts and local fish farms along the way. Take short bicycle ride or Xe Loi (Moto cart) or Xe Lam along country roads through the villages, tropical gardens along the way; discovering how Vietnamese farmers work their rice fields and observe daily life of the villagers in the Mekong Delta. Lunch will be served at local house, taste some local delicacies.

Continue driving south to Can Tho, the capital of Mekong delta. Check in the hotel on arrival and enjoy the peaceful night at the hotel.

Day 4: Can Tho - Saigon

Can Tho is a university town on the confluence of three rivers in the heart of the delta. The Mekong Delta was once part of the Khmer Kingdom, and today many ethnic Khmers still live here.

You make an early start this morning to visit the floating markets of Cai Rang which are in full swing at 0700. The tour also includes visit of some local workshops, walking on the countryside…. And leave Can Tho for Saigon. Stop en-route for lunch time (own expense). Arrive Saigon in the afternoon.

Day 5: Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels – Nhatrang

After breakfast at hotel, enjoy a two hour drive northwest of Saigon, through urbanized areas and typical lush southern Vietnamese countryside, to the famous Cu Chi tunnels. The incredible underground tunnel network was constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during their long struggle for independence. The tunnel complex was initially started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. Fly from Saigon to Nhatrang.

Nha Trang is located in central Vietnam and overlooks 7 kilometres of sandy beaches. The clear blue seas dotted with offshore islands provide the opportunity for diving and snorkelling, while the town itself offers interesting sightseeing, with a massive white Buddha statue and a cluster of Cham towers built between the 7th and 12th centuries. Popular with visitors are the mineral mud baths warmed by natural hot springs.

Day 6: Nhatrang

Spend your time in Nha Trang with a balance of activities and free time to relax on the beach or by your hotel pool. For those that require additional action and a surge of adrenalin, activities like jet skiing and parasailing are available on the beach.

Today’s highlight is a cruise to tropical Islands, a protected marine area in the bay of Nha Trang. The island is also known as Ebony Island due to the black rock cliffs in the south eastern part. Every year swallows flock to the area to build their nests in the black stone caves found in the cliffs. Relax on the island or snorkel and explore the coral reef where you will be able to see some of the 350 species of sea life biodiversity that Vietnam has to offer.

Day 7: Nhatrang – Danang – Hoi An

Fly from Nhatrang to Danang where you will visit the Cham Museum and Marble mountains, a cluster of five limestone and marble peaks that rise dramatically from the surrounding flat land. The local Vietnamese believe that the five peaks represent the five elements of fire, water, earth, wood and metal.

Continue on to the beautiful old merchant town of Hoi An. Built on the site of an ancient Cham village, Hoi An was a prosperous port from the 16th to 19th centuries trading with merchants from China, Japan, India, Indonesia and Europe who came to buy silk, spices and porcelain. Hoi An’s UNESCO World Heritage Old Quarter is beautifully preserved with ornate pagodas, antique trading houses and old tile-roofed shops. It is a rich architectural fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European styles.

Day 8: Hoi An

Experience an organic discovery tour with the local farmers in the rural outskirts of Hoi An ancient town. Start your morning with an optional leisurely 4km bike ride through the countryside (car transferred is back up plan), heading to Tra Que vegetable village which is named after a sweet scented herb they grow and use to flavour Hoi An specialties like Cao Lau noodles. Upon arrival, learn about the history and custom of this charming village before getting your hands dirty and venturing into the garden - you may like to borrow the farmers’ clothing provided by the villagers. Join the friendly farmers to learn the traditional gardening methods and how they cultivate vegetables, and if you like, you can join in preparing and fertilizing the garden with seaweed as well as raking, sowing, watering and picking greens etc. Bid farewell to your host family and transfer back to town.

Explore the charm of Hoi An on a walking tour with your guide. Wander along the narrow lanes and gain an insight into Hoi An’s illustrious past as you explore this heritage listed town. Take in the old merchant houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture. See the 400 year old Japanese Bridge, a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, and the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to the side. Visit the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its outstanding wood carvings and explore the colourful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk which can be turned into fashionable garments within one or two days.

Enjoy included late lunch at local restaurant.

Day 9: Hoi An

Go to the My Son Holyland or participate in a cooking class with the local house wife. My Son is one of the foremost Hindu temple sites in South East Asia. For the Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the 2nd to the 13th century, My Son was an important religious centre and place of worship. An approximate 40kms (1.5-hour) southwest drive from Hoi An will bring you to My Son where there are 20 monuments still standing today.

Day 10: Hoi An - Hue

You will depart Hoi An for Hue via Danang, the guide and driver will take you 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. We enjoy a classic Hue light lunch with local special dishes like “Bánh Bèo” - steamed rice cakes; “Bánh Khoái” - a smaller, thicker version of the banh xeo – pan cake; “Bún bò Huế” - a popular Vietnamese soup containing rice vermicelli (bún) and beef (bò)….

In the afternoon, you can choose 01 tomb either Khai Dinh or Tu Duc to visit. Visit the elaborate Khai Dinh Royal Tomb from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Its architecture and atmosphere showcase elements of eastern art and western designs.

Or Tu Duc Royal Tomb, a burial grounds of the longest reigning Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty; Emperor Tu Duc,, The tombs was designed to blend in with the natural setting of the landscape.

Day 11: Hue

Depart from your hotel to enjoy the historic visit of Hue including the Imperial Citadel, Truc Chi, Thien Mu Pagoda, Emperor Minh Mang’s tomb and the traditional garden houses of Hue.

Day 12: Hue - Hanoi

After breakfast at hotel, transfer to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital city and home to seven million people. Traditional and refined, with French colonial architecture, tree-lined boulevards, scenic lakes and a bustling Old Quarter, Hanoi has a sophisticated charm. Observe elderly people practicing Tai Chi by the lake, with barbers and food vendors plying their sidewalk trade.

In the afternoon, enjoy a one hour tour by cyclo, a chauggeur-pedalled tricycle, through Hanoi's Old Quarter after which you are welcomed in the famous Theatre for a Water Puppet Performance including dinner.

Day 13: Hanoi

With ochre-coloured colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes, Hanoi is full of charm.

Meet your guide at your hotel lobby and depart on tour to visit Hanoi including the Long Bien Market, Long Bien Bridge, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s House, One Pillar Pagoda, Museum of Etnologoy and the Temple of Literature.

Day 14: Hanoi

Depart your hotel and travel west (1.5 hours drive) of Hanoi to Duong Lam village, a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River Delta which still preserves many hundred-year-old houses.

Wandering along the village and explore rural life and Vietnam’s ancient architecture. An optional as clients’ desire and ability is to take a bike. Visit Mong Phu temple in Mong Phu commune - the only hamlet whose original village entrance remains intact.

On the way back to Hanoi stop at Tay Phuong Pagoda. The pagoda offers beautiful architecture and ancient and unique sculptures.

Day 15: Hanoi – Halong Bay Overnight Cruise

Your morning departure from your hotel in Hanoi to Halong Bay takes you on a journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta. Observe everyday life of Vietnamese Villages as you see the villagers work the local rice fields, take live pigs to market on bicycles and plough the fields with their large water buffaloes. Defined to be one of the highlights of your stay, a highly refined, innovative and varied cuisine will be presented for Lunch and Dinner in the elegant dining-room, accompanied by a wide selection of wines and beverages (with extra charge applied) for drink).

Day 16: Halong Bay – Hanoi

Early birds can attend a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck at the break of dawn. Start the day enjoying some delights with a light breakfast and follow by a colorful brunch. . Continue exploring Halong Bay sailing across its 2000 islets and visiting some of its major highlights. Your cruise will come to an end at the pier in Halong late morning and you will be met and transferred back to Hanoi. The drive will take around 2.5-3 hours with technical stop en-route. You will arrive in Hanoi around mid afternoon.

Day 17: Departure Hanoi

You will be picked up from your hotel lobby and transferred to the airport for your departure flight.

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

:from AU $3,394
Superior:from AU $3,899
Deluxe:from AU $4,850

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us.

Inclusions:
  • All accommodations as mentioned with daily breakfast
  • All meals as noted in the itinerary (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Airport transfers and ground transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with skillful & experienced Drivers
  • Bottled water on vehicle for included transfer & sightseeing
  • All entrance fees, boat rides, service charges, and taxes as mentioned in tour program
  • Services of English-speaking local Guide (one place – one guide)
  • Halong bay with private cabin on join-in boat cruise
  • Cyclo/ Rickshaw ride
  • Water puppet show tickets.
  • Domestic/ Internal flights as mentioned:
  • Saigon – Nhatrang/ Economy class
  • Nhatrang – Danang/ Economy class
  • Hue - Saigon/ Economy class

Info Exclusions:

  • Visa Fees
  • International airfares to start & from finish locations.
  • Other domestic/ internal air transportation
  • Other meals not noted in the itinerary
  • Camera/video entrance fees
  • Items  of  a  personal  nature  such  as  liquor,  laundry and phone  calls
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Tips & gratuities (suggestion for local services as restaurants, boat ride, driver and tour guide)
  • Trip cancellation, travel delay or baggage insurance. 
  • Travel insurance (***)
  • Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of our tour companies
  • All other services which are not mentioned in INCLUSIONS
Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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"The far north Vietnam tour has been very good. Great guide and driver – now our new friends…. We loved the food and remote villages for interaction. We found Sapa too touristy and preferred the authentic north local places, waterfalls, homestay ! Thank you for a wonderful trip. " — Bruce and Sue, Adelaide, September 2019

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