Day 1: ARRIVE HO CHI MINH CITY (WITH GUIDE)
Upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
Day2: HO CHI MINH CITY – CU CHI TUNNEL HALF DAY TOUR
Begin your journey to the Cu Chi Tunnels by departing at around 8am from your hotel and travel through the countryside which was once a stronghold of the Viet Cong. Upon arrival, watch a short video about what life was like for soldiers who lived there during the war. The cramped tunnels were central to a few of the war’s strategic operations, including the famous 1968 Tet Offensive, and they didn’t escape damage. American B52 bombers dropped hundreds of missiles leaving huge tell-tale craters behind. The tunnels served not only as living quarters, but as supply routes and hospitals for thousands of guerilla fighters. Many died there from malaria and other diseases, and a few were also born or married. Today they are viewed by some as a testimony to the Vietnamese people’s resiliency.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City to have lunch before heading to to the city’s Central Post Office, which was designed by the renowned French architect Gustav Eiffel.
Next, stroll toward the Saigon River along Dong Khoi Street, which figured prominently in Graham Greene’s famous Vietnam novel, The Quiet American, to the Saigon Opera House, a commanding building completed in 1901. Shelled during World War II, it was used to shelter French citizens fleeing North Vietnam in 1954, the year Vietnam earned its independence from France.
The tour continues with a stop at the Reunification Palace, where a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the gates in 1975 to end a war that killed an estimated 58,000 Americans and three million Vietnamese. You will also visit the War Remnants Museum, where Vietnam’s government has assembled presentations – some of them graphic – of wartime hardships and atrocities.
Continue with a visit to Tan Dinh church and nearby Tan Dinh market. Tan Dinh church is a complete contrast to traditional Notre Dame Cathedral, but equally impressive with it’s high steeple and distinctive pink desgin. It is one of the most beautiful and unique churches in Ho Chi Minh city with its dazzling architecture and sculpture patterns and inside is just as dramatic. Wrap up your day with a wander through the vibrant Tan Dinh market next door, where you can haggle for a bargain
Day 3: HO CHI MINH CITY – MEKONG FULL DAY
Leaving the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City and start your trip to depart for My Tho, the town lies on the left side of the Mekong River. Boarding the sampan and cruising down the river around the four beautiful islands known as Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix and Tortoise islands.
Stop over at Unicorn Island, go walking around country lane and seeing orchards, enjoy tropical fruits, folk song music which performed by the local people. Visit the fruit plantation.
Riding a hand-rowed sampan through Thoi Son canal and treat yourself in the beauty of the countryside, visit the family business, visit honey-bee farm, enjoy honey tea and coconut candy workshop.
Have lunch at local restaurant. Break time.
In the afternoon, time for cycling around the Tan Thach village, meet the local villagers to experience the local daily life in the Mekong delta. Hammock relaxing and enjoy cool breeze for those can’t join the cycling trip. Return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 4: HO CHI MINH CITY – FLY TO DALAT
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight and upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel
Day 05: DALAT – FULL DAY CITY PRIVATE TOUR
Dalat was established in 1897 once French colonialists discovered its cool temperate weather as a salve for the heat of steamy Saigon. By the early 20th century the town had grown with boarding schools, military colleges, resorts and private villas all built in the French style and few of which remain today.
Visit the summer palace of Vietnams last emperor, Bao Dai, an art deco style villa was constructed in1933. At the time it was considered quite luxurious but with the wisdom of time it now looks like a movie set from the 1950s. Bao Dai was forced to abdicate in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II and spent the rest of his life in voluntary exile in France. Continue to the botanical gardens and see a vast array of flowers in bloom, sculpted into different shapes and animals. Take a cable car ride over the gardens for a birds-eye view.
Head to the Truc Lam Zen Monastery for a look into monks at work and see the daily rhythms of temple life. This is a unique form of Zen founded during the Tran dynasty where practitioners develop self-reliance and realisation through meditation. The scenery around the temple is quite breathtaking. Later in the afternoon drive to Pongour Waterfall the most beautiful in the south. The waterfall has many cascades falling from 30 metres to pools below.
Day 06: DALAT – DRIVE TO NHA TRANG – FREE TIME
This morning drive approximately 3 hours to the coastal city of Nha Trang. Upon arrival enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure – the beach is a great place to start
The town sits in a spectacular setting, surrounded by paddy fields which eventually give way to a half crescent of mountains that loom over this bustling coastal centre. Your city tours starts with a visit to the Vietnam Oceanographic Institute. Here you will find impressive exhibitions documenting Nha Trang’s marine life. Not surprisingly, the institute is a major scientific resource for Vietnamese and international marine biologists.
Next up is the Long Son Pagoda, destroyed by a cyclone in 1900 and rebuilt in its current location in 1940. It’s huge 24 metre white Buddha is a landmark of the town and visible from afar. There were several important buildings built during Vietnam’s French colonial period, one of which, is the Nha Trang Cathedral built in 1933 in French Gothic style with its stained-glass windows. Head to the seaside and the Chong Promontory Rocks, where boulders are piled high on top of each other. Legends and fables abound and the large boulder at the tip of the promontory is said to bear the hand-print of a fisher giant who fell from the cliff!
Then it’s off to Po Nagar Temple a remaining symbol of Champa culture with bas-reliefs and terra-cotta statues similar to its larger neighbouring cousin, Angkor. End the tour with a walk through Dam Market, a downtown landmark where vendors sell everything from books to peanuts to jackfruit!
Day 07: NHA TRANG – FULL DAY BOAT PRIVATE TOUR
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.
Day 08: NHA TRANG – FLY TO DANANG
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight and upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
Day 09: DANANG – BA NA DAY TRIP
After breakfast, the car and tour guide will pick up from your hotel and start to visit Ba Na Hills – King Mountain, also known as the second DaLat/ Sapa in Central. The beautiful weather here is always cool.
Upon arrival, you will admire the height by the most modem cable car system in Southeast Asia. You will visit Dream Stream Cable car Station. After finishing the first cable car, visit tp France wine cellar, Linh Ung pagoda and the Golden Bridge. Enjoy the panorama of Danang City.
Next visit and play game at the Fantasy Park.
Have a lunch and rest at the restaurant before exploring King Peak at an altitude 1.487m, you can see panorama view of the Hana Hills and Quang Nam – Da Nang on high. On the top of mountain have Linh Tu Pagoda that is a special temple construction.
Return to your hotel in Danang in the afternoon.
Day 10: DANANG TO HOI AN
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to Hoi An to relax.
Begin your tour of Hoi An in the afternoon, a former trading port that welcomed Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants between the 16th to 18th centuries. Today Hoi An is famous for its restored architecture, homemade silk, expert tailors and delicious noodles and seafood. Its relaxed vibe and pedestrian streets make this town a pleasure to walk around and discover new things.
The tour includes stops at several famous landmarks. The first is Chua Ong Pagoda, dating back to 1653 and built in honor of the Chinese general Quan Cong, who is worshipped by many as a symbol of loyalty and justice.
Next, pop into Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, to see the Jinshang Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea and the protector of sailors. From there it’s a short walk to Tan Ky House, a 200 year old ancestral house and finally, stroll across the often photographed 17th century covered bridge built by Japanese craftsmen. The beautifully built bridge doubles as a temple and is a major landmark of Hoi An. End your afternoon with a boat trip along Thu Bon river.
Day 11: HOI AN FREE DAY
Today you have free time to relax or explore Hoi An quaint Town by your own arrangements or join on below optional tours if you are interested in:
Option 1: Hoi An Fisherman half day tour
Spend the day getting to know rural Vietnam. Start with a bike ride along green rice paddies to a nearby village where you will roll up your sleeves and help out the farmers. Head back to Hoi An and take a short river cruise to meet some fisherman for a hands-on lesson in net fishing. Then the fun begins as you try to paddle a bamboo basket boat
Option 2: Hoi An Fishing Village
Begin the day by cycling (shuttle bus or bike are options to choose to go) past green rice paddies to the village of Tra Que. This charming little settlement, on the edge of Hoi An, is famous for its sweet scented green vegetables that spice up Hoi An’s famous delicacies such as Cao Lau and Mi Quang. Join them in the fields and learn about their planting and harvesting techniques.
Head back to Hoi An for a cruise along the river and to meet a fisherman who will show you the secrets of throwing the large nets. If you’re lucky you might catch some fish! Next up is a lesson in seamanship as you hop into a basket boat. These unusual round vessels are locally known as a coracle and are used widely. Have a go at paddling your basket across the water – it’s not as hard as it looks!
Day 12: HOI AN – HANOI – FLY
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight and upon arrival, your guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
Start your afternoon with a visit to an 11th century relic, the Temple of Literature, which was built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius. At almost 1,000 years old, it’s one of the few remaining examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture still standing in Hanoi. Next, is the Ngoc Son temple set on a tiny island on the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. The temple is reached by crossing the Huc Bridge which literally means the ‘Place Touched by Morning Sunbeams. Hear the legend of an emperor, a magic sword and a giant turtle, and how the lake took its name.
Take a breezy cyclo ride through the Old Quarter’s 36 streets, a place where Hanoians buy everything from noodles to light fixtures to Buddha statues. The quarter’s 36 streets were named for the products that were sold from their shops. Today, vendors on Tin and Bamboo Streets still sell the same wares. End you day with a delightful water puppet show, a traditional art that is still being performed today.
Day 13: HANOI – HALONG – 1 NIGHT CRUISE
Leave the noise of the city behind as you board your traditional junk boat and set sail through UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay. Let the vacation begin with a buffet lunch while the boat cruises towards the southwest of Halong Bay.
In the afternoon, discover the mysterious Tien Ong Cave which is not only a beauty spot but also an archaeological site. Covering an area of 1,000 m2 with stunning stalactites and stalagmites, the cave is one of the finest caves in Halong Bay.
There is plenty of time to relax on the junk’s sun deck, before a cooking demonstration, learning to create traditional Vietnamese dishes with the boat’s own chef and try more delicacies at dinner. Later, take the opportunity to try your hand at squid fishing before the day is done!
Day 14: HALONG – HANOI
Wake early to start your day with Tai Chi on the sundeck, as the sun rises over the bay. After a light breakfast, the boat weighs anchor to sail to Cua Van floating fishing village. Take your time to visit the village which is voted as one of the 11 insanely beautiful small towns around the world by huffingtonpost.com. You can choose either kayak or traditional rowing boat to go around discovering local life on the waters. Enjoy a final extravagant brunch before sailing back to the harbour, where you will continue to on Hanoi.
Day 15: DEPART HANOI (WITH GUIDE)
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight
* The itinerary of cruises can change a little bit, depends on the route of each boat.
*Itinerary subject to change or cancellation due to local weather conditions.
* In Asia, check-in time is usually 2pm and check-out time is 12pm. This is subject to individual hotel regulations. early or late service is subject to availability, often with a surcharge
- Accommodation at selected hotels with daily breakfast
- Check-in time is 2.00PM and check-out time is 12.00PM. Early or late service is subject to availability with surcharge.
- Meals as mentioned
- English speaking guide (Halong, Mekong package as group join-in guide)
- Tours and transfers as mentioned by air-conditioned vehicle
- Sightseeing fees and permits during guided time
- Boat cruises mentioned (group join-in for Halong and Mekong)
- Flights as program
- Service charge and current government VAT tax
- VISA – Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam visa must be arranged for non-ASEAN citizens
- Please make sure you have 6 months passport validity. We can help for visa on arrival if request.
- VISA stamp fee at the arrival airport (US$45.00 pay at custom check-in)
- Early/late check in/out service at hotels (surcharge if request)
- Tips and gratuities
- Services and meals if not mentioned in itinerary
- All drinks, including water, soft drink and alcohol on all included or optional excursion
- Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
- Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
IMPORTANT NOTES (please read carefully):
- For domestic flights, please arrive 2 hours prior to the flight departure time. For international flights, please arrive 3 hours prior to the flight departure time.
- This pricing and availability of services is subject to change and cannot be confirmed until booked.
- Please note that the majority of 3 star hotels in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are not of the same standard as 3 star hotels in the West. We use the best 3 star hotels where possible but with last minute bookings and bookings during peak season we cannot guarantee the availability of international 3 star hotels. We therefore encourage you to upgrade to 4 star hotels where possible. For this reason we refer to hotels as standard, superior and deluxe.
- Please bear in mind that you will have to carry your luggage when you are trekking so we recommend that you bring a small rucksack. For accommodation in homestays please bring your own towel and note that some homestays do not have western style toilets and shower facilities. Accommodation is ‘dorm’ style with mattresses and mosquito nets.
- The traveling times mentioned within this dossier are approximations only. These times will vary according to weather, road, traffic or any other prevailing conditions.
- This itinerary and supplementary information has been complied in good faith and was accurate at time of writing. However it DOES NOT form part of a contract between the client and Mercare Travel
- We are not responsible if you enter a country and do not have the correct visa. Mercare Travel can organize your visa for Vietnam, please ask us for more information.
* Surcharge for Language Speaking Guide US$15/day
**Above rates are not applied during peak season from 20 Dec 2018/19 to 31 Dec 2018/19
Peak season surcharge and compulsory dinner advised at booking stage
WHAT IS INCLUDED: Accommodation in a twin or double room with daily breakfast, meals as specified in the itinerary, Services of a driver and private air-conditioned vehicle during all tours and transfers, Experienced English speaking guide during all tours and transfers, Vietnam visa approval letter on arrival as complementary (for foreigners who need visa), Entrance fees for all visits as mentioned in the itinerary, Mineral water is available as complementary
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: International & Domestic flight tickets, Meals if not specified in the itinerary, Gratuities for guides and drivers, Visa stamping fee at the airport, Travel insurance (we highly recommend that you purchase adequate insurance), Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc. All other services not specified in the itinerary
TOUR POLICY & NOTES :
- Infant below 2 years old sharing same room with parents is free of charge.
- Child below 12 yrs old sharing same room with 1 ADL is charged for 90%.
- Child above 2 years old to 12 yrs old with a own bed is charged for 70%.
- Tipping for guide and driver (suggestion):
- Group from 2 – 4 pax: USD 5/ pax/ day
- Group from 5 – 9 pax: USD 4/ pax/ day
- Group from 10 – 15 pax: USD 3/ pax/ day
- Group above 15 pax: USD 2/ pax/ day