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Vietnam Culture Highlights

  • Duration: 14 days
  • Price: $938
  • Highlights: Hanoi – Dong Ngac village – Mai Hich – Halong – Hue – Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh city – Binh Tien farmstay – Mekong – Cu Chi
  • 14 days escape from the noise of bustling city, you will have deep knowledge of Vietnam local life. Join daily life and do what normal Vietnamese do, experience culture and lifestyle of different groups of people, from sea to mountainous areas, from north to south, besides enjoy the beauty of nature. Do different things and have different experience that you will never forget.

    Tour start in Hanoi and finish in Ho Chi Minh city or vice versa
    Type of tour: private tour (except Halong Bay cruise)

    Gift voucher and free cyclo tour in Hanoi

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Brief itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi arrival
Day 2: Hanoi - Dong Ngac village (B/L)
Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Hich - experience homestay and discover daily life of Ethnic people (B/L/D)
Day 4: Mai Hich - Hanoi (B/L)
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B/L/D)
Day 6: Halong - Hanoi - night train to Hue (Brunch)
Day 7: Hue city tour on cyclo (B)
Day 8: Hue - Marble mountain - Hoi An (B)
Day 9: Hoi An free day (B)
Day 10: Hoi An - fly to Ho Chi Minh city (B)
Day 11: HCMC - Mekong delta - Binh Tien farmstay - coconut pick up (B/L/D)
Day 12: Binh Tien farmstay - HCMC (B/L)
Day 13: HCMC - Cu Chi tunnels (B)
Day 14: HCMC departure (B)
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Day 1: Hanoi arrival

Welcome to Vietnam – the country of smiles and friendly people. Our car transfers you to your hotel for checking in. Overnight in Hanoi.
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Day 2: Hanoi – Dong Ngac village (B/L)

Dong Ngac village
Pick up from your hotel, we will experience local bus as a Vietnamese to visit Dong Ngac, an ancient village, the hometown of many well educated and accomplished people who rose to high ranks in the mandarin system under the kings of Vietnam.
Discover local market and challenge yourself in bargain with vendors and buy some items appropriate as offerings for the ancestral houses you will visit in the village.
Say hello (Xin Chao) to the host, enjoy welcome drink and then explore the village by bike. Visit Dong Ngac Communal house, the ceremonial center of villagers, visit ancients houses and local school built in 1921. Here you will have a chance to interact with little students or join their class (except summer time, weekends and public holidays).
Riding back to the host family’s home, it’s time to join a private Vietnamese cooking demonstration. This is not kind of professional cooking class; it brings you a real experience of local way. Hand on making the dish and then enjoy the result as a Vietnamese. After lunch, sit back and relax. A cup of green tea will offer you a different feeling while sitting under the shadow of lush garden. Say goodbye to the host, again catch local bus back to Hanoi center. Overnight in Hanoi.
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Day 3: Hanoi – Mai Hich – experience homestay (B/L/D)

Mai Hich

8 am: Depart to Mai Hich, Mai Chau. Enjoy the ride through the paddy fields of the Old Doai village and street-side village markets. Take a stop at Thung Khe Pass to observe the landscape of the valleys and hills.
11 am: Arrive in Mai Hich and be greeted by the village hosts in traditional dresses with cold drinks at Minh Tho Homestay.
Have a home-cooked local lunch with forest specialties and fresh ingredients.
Afternoon: Cycle or walk around the villages to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature and rural activities in action, including houses-on-stilt, fish ponds, low terrace paddy fields, and so on. Take part in some of the daily farming routines of local farmers. Check out a traditional weaving cooperative and have a chance to buy some hand-made souvenirs for your loved ones.
18:30 pm: Have dinner while enjoying the music and dances of Thai youth. Have a chance to learn and join the dances, and taste some local alcoholic specialty afterwards.
Have a comfortable overnight rest at Minh Tho Homestay (with privacy, coziness, and free wifi access)
Optional: Campfire with roasted corn, sweet potatoes or chicken porridge.
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Day 4: Mai Hich – Hanoi (B/L)

Rafting in Mai Hich
Waking up to the fresh and tranquil morning of North west mountainous area!
7 - 8 am: Buffet breakfast in the setting of local Thai market

Option 1:
Take a walk through the corn fields, paddy fields and enjoy the daily life of the local community. Enjoy a rafting adventure along Xia River
Pack up and prepare to leave Mai Hich, depart Mai Hich to visit a traditional craft center operated by the physically challenged artists in Lac Village. Try on traditional costumes and shop for souvenirs in Lac Village.
Have lunch at Quan Hang Homestay in Lac Village before drive back to Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi.

Option 2:
Trek through the villages, bamboo forests, visit a local brick factory, visit Thai, Mai Ha, Chieng Chau villages on the way from Mai Hich to Lac Village.
Have some souvenir shopping time at the center of Lac Village. Lunch at Quan Hang Homestay in Lac Village.
Drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
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Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)

Halong Bay cruise

8:30am. be ready at the lobby, our car will pick you up and drive from Hanoi to one of the most magnificent scenic environments in the world, Halong Bay. Covering 577 square miles, this vast bay is filled with more than 3,000 limestone “peaks” or karsts that jut from the deep blue water as far as the eye can see. We’ll spend a day and a half, including an overnight with dinner and breakfast on board, exploring this overwhelming sea scape from the decks of a traditional Vietnamese boat. Comfortable and intimate, your boat features hand-crafted wooden interiors including a dining room and pleasant air-conditioned cabins with private baths. Since we’re overnight on the water, we’ll be able to explore Ha Long Bay’s most beautiful spots with time to swim, kayak and even visit some of the largest rock formations and caves. This promises to be one of your most memorable travel experiences in Asia. Stay overnight on Boat.
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Day 6: Halong – Hanoi – night train to Hue (Brunch)

Rising to the sound of lapping bay waters, we have time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Sitting on the upper deck, you can relax while taking in the breath-taking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the emerald water of the bay or join Taichi exercise on sundeck.
After breakfast, explore Sung Sot cave, swim, kayaking and relax. Cruises back to the jetty while brunch is served while you are cruising through the bay, along the way seeing more of the fascinating formations. Cruise check-out. Rejoin car drive back to Hanoi. Free until our guide transfer to Hanoi train station for the night train to Hue.
Overnight on train.
Option for flight ticket available
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Day 7: Hue city tour (B)

Hue citadel
Up on arrival, transfer to your hotel. Leave your luggage at the hotel, then discover Imperial city of Hue by cyclo. Visit Tinh Tam lake and Imperial Citadel, including Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh); Hue museum of Royal Fine Arts. Overnight in Hue.
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Day 8: Hue – Marble mountain – Hoi An (B/)

Morning drive to Hoi An, stopover in Marble Mountains, a cluster of five marble and limestone hills. Five peaks of Marble Mountains stand for five elements: Metal (Kim Son), Wood (Moc Son), Water (Thuy Son), Fire (Hoa Son), Earth (Tho Son). Continue drive to Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.
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Day 9: Hoi An free day (B)

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Day 10: Hoi An – flight to Ho Chi Minh city (B)

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh city. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
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Day 11: Ho Chi Minh city – Mekong delta – Binh Tien farmstay (B/L/D)

Mekong farm stay
Morning drive to Long An, our local guide will meet you at the cycling point (Mai Ba Huong Street, Le Minh Xuan Commune).
We will do different things while biking along quiet back roads, passing sugar cane fields, rice fields, small canals, ect. En route visit a family run incense making workshop where you can observe the making process. We continue cycling passing Vam Co Tay River – the largest & most important river system of Long An Province. Take a rest, enjoy some fruits & relax your leg at a local pagoda along the way.
Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a motorboat ride through a canal to a wide lotus field grown by local farmers for living. What do you think if you can hand at picked up coconut on spot by the boat rower. You can even try to collect lotus flower, seeds and roots yourself. The roots you pick up will be used to prepare for a delicious Vietnamese salad.
Return to land, we continue cycling and there you’ll have a chance to challenge yourself up over a high bridge. Pass the bridge, we will stop to visit a local primary school (we encourage to view from outside only to avoid distracting the kids from their lesson in class). Finish cycling, we continue take a transfer straight to Binh Tien Farmstay. You’ll arrive the farm at around 11:30 where the Host Family greets you with hospitality, lovely smiles and a homemade herbal drink! One of special things here is that you are the only guests of honor today.
(Note: Cycling option can be replaced with motor-biking option. For cycling lovers, 25km cycling route straight to Binh Tien can be arranged)
After getting to know the Host Family, you can take a rest by the pond, watching ducks swinging and surfing over the water lily or go discover the luxuriant garden with many types of tropical fruit trees, vegetable and flowers before lunch. Your hostess will treat you with special dishes made of local fresh ingredients grew at the farm (you can even join the family preparing the food if you like.) After meal, simply relax or take a nap on one of the hammocks that scattered around the farm or go fishing in peaceful atmosphere. You will see many cultural differences between two regions of Vietnam: north and south.
Late this afternoon, we’ll cycle around the village. On the way, we’ll visit some vegetable farms to buy some fresh ingredients for dinner and a fish pole making workshop. Return to the farm, we’ll help the hostess prepare for dinner. She will also show you how to cook the local dishes. Dinner is one of the best opportunities you’ll have to sit down with local people and talk about their lives over cups of rice wine. Before going to bed, soak your tired feet into hot herbal water, relax and enjoy the moment!
 Overnight in Binh Tien Farmstay
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Day 12: Binh Tien farmstay – Ho Chi Minh city (B/L)

This morning, wake up early as a real local; join your hostess with her daily gardening & farming such as feed the duck with water lily, watering the orchids, etc. She will reveal you the family gardening techniques that passed on from generations. Finish the work, we take a rest, enjoy breakfast and a cup of Vietnamese coffee. Afterwards, you can either go fishing, collecting cassava, corn, grapefruit, guava, lotus seed and leaf or try planting/harvesting the rice crops (seasonal activities).
10:00 we check-out and say farewell to your friendly host family and head back to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
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Day 13: Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi tunnels (B)

Cu Chi tunnels
Located 60km from HCMC, Cu Chi is now a popular spot for both Vietnamese & foreign tourists - the network of over 200km of tunnels became legendary when they played a vital role in the War. In their heyday, the tunnels were functioning underground cities including numerous trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers & kitchens.
Today, ducks and water buffalos happily co-exist in the rivers along the side of the road. However, the peaceful rural rice paddy scenery belies the area’s violent history. Visitors will find it hard to imagine the destruction, damage & defoliation over this whole area, caused by bombing and mines. There is plenty of evidence of the fierce battle that took place here during the 1960s when Cu Chi was a "Free Target Zone".
Start our tour in the morning, before entering the tunnels visitors can watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. You will spend the next hour exploring the tunnels. Afterwards, enjoy tea, cassava (guerrilla’s food during the war). Return to Saigon.
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Day 14: Ho Chi Minh departure (B)

Free until our car transfer you to the airport for departure flight. See you next trip in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Hotels in use:

Standard

Hanoi

Halong

Hue

Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh city

3*

Viet View, Quoc Hoa or similar

Huong Hai, Marguerite, Legacy or similar

Ngoc Huong or similar

Thuy Duong 3, Kim An or similar

Sun Flower or similar

4*

Boss Legend or similar

Syrena or similar

Romance, Asia Hue or similar

Vinh Hung riverside resort or similar

Golden central, Palace Saigon or similar

5*

Hanoi L’Opera or similar

Starlight or similar

Imperial or similar

Anantara Hoi An or similar

Rex, Sheraton Saigon or similar

Include:

  • Vietnam visa approval letter (one month single entry)
  • Airports pick up and drop off
  • Transportation with A/C during the tour
  • English speaking local guides in each destination. Other languages up on request
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (B: breakfast, L: lunch, D: dinner)
  • Entrance fees and sightseeing fees
  • Accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Cruise and boat trip in Halong, boat trip in Mekong
  • Bike in Mekong (Binh Tien farmstay)
  • Train ticket from Hanoi to Hue
  • Air ticket Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh city
  • Daily water and tissue

Exclude:
  • Personal expenses
  • Tip and gratitude
  • Option flight ticket from Hanoi to Hue
  • International air ticket
  • Vietnam stamping fee
  • Surcharge on peak season: Christmas, New Year, Vietnam public holidays
  • Others not clearly mentioned in the program

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