ESSENCE OF VIETNAM II - NORTH TO SOUTH

ESSENCE OF VIETNAM II - NORTH TO SOUTH

Get a taste of Vietnam’s history, culture and landscapes. Start in the colourful capital of Hanoi then cruise to UNESCO-Heritage Halong Bay. Walk through Hoi An’s old town before flying to vibrant Ho Chi Minh City. A boat trip through the Mekong Delta caps off this compact yet insightful holiday.

Destination included: Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh city - Ben Tre

Duration: 8 Days

Why you will love tris trip:

  • Discover Vietnamese culture: Explore morning markets, learn about Vietnamese traditions and meet with locals for a better understanding of the country’s culture.
  • Explore historic monuments: Ho Chi Minh City’s Reunification Palace, Hanoi’s Temple of Literature and other important vestiges to understand Vietnam’s history. 
  • Cruise Vietnam’s waterways: Take an overnight trip to Halong Bay’s landscape of limestone karsts and boat through the Mekong Delta’s maze of canals

DETAILS ITINERARY

Day 1: Ha Noi arrival

Upon arrival to Hanoi, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: not available

Day 2: Ha Noi - City Tour - Water Puppet Show (B,L)

Depart from the hotel in the morning for the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university. Established In 1076, Quoc Tu Giam was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. After the Temple of Literature, pay a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, built in 1049 under the rule of King Ly Thai To.

Nearby the pagoda is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and his modest house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. (View the mausoleum from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from Oct-Nov).

In the afternoon, visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum (closed Mondays), a research centre and public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam.

Conclude the tour with a visit to Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake, a bustling area home to thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Wrap up the experience with a traditional Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely north Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.   

Overnight: Hanoi.
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 3: Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay (B,L,D)

Following breakfast, depart from the hotel in Hanoi for the 4hour drive to Halong Bay. Arrive to the Halong City around noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After a welcome on board, lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay. In the afternoon, enjoy some sightseeing, on-board activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing. Towards the end of the day, the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.

Overnight: Halong Bay on cruise
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi - Hoi An (B,L)

Enjoy a memorable morning in the middle of Halong Bay. Early risers can catch a stunning sunrise and breakfast will be served (brunch on some boats) while the vessels cruises slowly back towards port. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi for the onward flight to Danang International airport.

Upon arrival to Danang, transfer about 30 minutes to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture has changed little over the years. Enjoy the remainder of the day free at leisure.

Overnight: Hoi An.
Meals: breakfast, brunch

Day 5: Hoi An (B,L)

Explore the breezy Hoi An Ancient Town, a former trading port that welcomed Chinese, Ditch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants from the 16th to the 18th Centuries. Now one of coastal Vietnam’s most charming towns, Hoi An is home to some of the country’s most beautiful ancient architecture inspired by Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese culture.

Start your walking journey through the breezy walking streets lined with honey-yellow buildings, and arrive first at Chua Ong Pagoda. This Chinese inspired structure dates back to 1653, and its interior still wafts the sweet smell of incense during the day. From here, walk onward to nearby Phuc Kien Assembly Hall and Jinshang Temple, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea.

After passing by the 200-year old Tan Ky House, take a short break at the Japanese Covered Bridge - one of Hoi An’s most iconic structures. At Reaching Out Tea House - an establishment that aids locals with disabilities - sit down for a rejuvenating cup of tea before having a tasty lunch accompanied by a cooking demonstration at a restaurant specialising in traditional Hoi An delicacies.

Afterwards, hop on a cyclo and heading out toward Cam Thanh Village, a small community located in the outskirts of central Hoi An. Your destination is a small village home to meet a local family, and the opportunity to interact with the locals that call this village home. On the nearby river, hop in a bamboo basket boat to visit a water coconut forest and then on board a boat bound for central Hoi An. After taking in the stunning riverside scenery along the Thu Bon River, wrap up your journey with a sunset cocktail at a rooftop bar.

Overnight: Hoi An
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 6: Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh  City Tour (B,L)

After breakfast transfer to Danang Airport for the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, our driver and guide will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel.

In the afternoon, visit of the Reunification Palace, here on April 30th 1975 the war officially ended when tank number 843 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of what was, at the time the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam. The journey continues with the visit of the War Remnants Museum, this popular museum gathers a comprehensive collection of the war machinery, weapons, artifacts, documentation as well as a touching photographs exhibition dedicated to both foreign and Vietnamese journalists.  Later in the morning you will stop by Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Central Post Office, two of the best examples of classical old Saigon architecture. At the end of the afternoon head back to the hotel.

Overnight: Ho Chi Minh City.
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 7: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh (B,L)

Depart from your hotel in the morning and drive approximately two hours to Ben Tre, and the gateway to the delta. Here, you will board a small boat to start your sightseeing around the waterways of Mekong Delta. Known also as the rice bowl of Vietnam because of its large rice production, the area has also diversified into activities related to aquaculture, rearing of animals, cash crops and fruit trees.

Visit a brick factory and board a small boat to meander through the canals and waterways in the area. Then, stop at a small homemade coconut processing plant to see how coconuts have been turned into oil, candy and woven mats that are later sold in the market. After the boat trip you will have a short walk to a local village to see mat weavers at work, before jumping on the Delta’s version of a tuk tuk ( xe-lôi ) and travelling down country roads to reach a nice local riverside restaurant for lunch. After lunch, take a short cycling tour to explore the surrounding fields before boarding a sampan for a tranquil trip along the picturesque canals. Come back to the port and continue to visit Ben Tre Local Market before heading back to Ho Chi Minh city, arriving late in the afternoon.

Overnight: Ho Chi Minh city
Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 8: Ho Chi Minh Departure (B)

Free at leisure. Check out at 12:00PM.

Enjoy some time shopping at leisure until transport (provided) to Tan Son Nhat Airport for the departing flight.


Price is included:

  • Accommodation as mentioned in the program based on twin/double share. In case of unavailability another equivalent option will be replaced.
  • Ground transportation in private air condition vehicle.
  • Meals as mentioned in the program  (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • English speaking guide at each destination except contrary indications
  • All admissions fees according to itinerary.
  • All logistical services necessary for the organization of the program
  • Taxes

Price is not included:

  • Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
  • Drinks during meals, and expenses of personal nature
  • Tips & gratuities ( Tips is recommended around 3 USD/person/day and a half for driver if you satisfy with their services )   

Ginkgo Voyage’s plus:

  • 1 complimentary minelral water and 1 cold towel per person per day tour
  • 24/24 service hotline, from office in Ho Chi Minh city
  • Live Chat on website
Price from
Tour code GPK008
Duration 6-12 days
Departure Vietnam
Travel styles CLASSIC JOURNEYS

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