Explore the north and center regions of Vietnam, focusing on the four big Hs: From the unknown parts of the vibrant Hanoi to the natural beauty of Ha Long Bay then venture southward to Hue’s imposing Imperial Citadel and the charming ancient town of Hoi An. This program is specially conceived for families that wish to discover the wonders of Vietnam, but at the same time relax and unwind from that stressful work/study life.
The additional surcharge applies for bookings on Christmas, New Year & Tet (Lunar New Year).
Arrival in Hanoi. You will be welcomed by your guide at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Early check-in at the hotel and breakfast are included. The day is free for you to relax.
Optional: If you want, you can take a first taster walk with our guide and also include some culinary experiences (not included).
In the early evening a traditional Vietnamese dinner will be served in a charming restaurant nearby. You will eat together with your guide.
Today begins with a visit to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh (from the outside). Behind the mausoleum is Ho Chi Minh's house, a traditional and simple teak house on stilts. The nearby one-pillar pagoda was originally built in the 11th century in the form of a lotus flower on a wooden pole. Today, the reconstruction of the pagoda, which is also an important symbol of the former imperial dynasty, stands on a concrete base. Next, move on to the Temple of Literature, the most important temple complex in the whole country and a relic from the city's Confucian history.
Then visit Hoan Kiem Lake, a popular spot near the busy center. The Ngoc Son Temple is located on a small peninsula in the lake. If you'd like we can relax a bit in a typical café and try the famous Hanoi egg coffee. Then we start a leisurely ride in an electric vehicle. around the narrow streets of the lively old town. After this transfer back to the hotel.
In the morning drive to the ceramic village of Bat Trang, which is known for its pottery art. Here you learn more about the craft and can try pottery yourself. Around noon you return to Hanoi and visit a water puppeteer at his home and experience a private performance, where you can learn more about this art and take a look behind the scenes (subject to availability).
Visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda on the West Lake of the city (if you want to, you can take a pedal boat ride here. Not included).
You have the rest of the day free at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast drive to Hai Phong pier, where we will board your Halong cruise around noon. The traditional junk departs at noon and while lunch is being served, your will journey through the enchanting landscape of Lan Ha Bay. Lan Ha Bay is a more secluded and exclusive part of Halong that has not yet seen the masses of the most visited north of the bay. Sail across countless islands and caves often deserted practice kayak or take part in on-board activities.
In the evening dinner will be served as the ship anchors in a quiet area for the night.
Overnight on board
*Flexible junk program - subject to change.
All early risers can experience the first rays of sunshine over Halong Bay this morning. While the boat is now slowly heading for the harbor, we enjoy a delicious breakfast on board. Anyone who wants to can take another excursion. The tour leads to a wonderful cave in Cat Ba Island before we have brunch in the junk and go back to land.
Then it's on to Ninh Binh. Arrival and check-in at the hotel in Ninh Binh to rest.
Overnight in Ninh Binh
*Flexible program of each cruise - subject to change
No private guide on board.
After breakfast we drive to the neighboring Cuc Phuong National Park. The primeval forest area in the national park (40 km, approx. 1 hour) covers around 25,000 hectares and houses 1000-year-old giant trees up to 70 m high, ferns and many animal and bird species. Arriving at the park entrance, an employee will explain the work being done in the adjacent primate protection project, as well as the turtle conservation center. A light, simple lunch will be served in the park.
Then we go to the park's center to discover on foot a 1000-year-old tree and a cave where prehistoric people lived.
Transfer back to Ninh Binh and the rest of the day will be free to relax.
Overnight in Ninh Binh
After breakfast we discover the magical landscape of Ninh Binh, also known as the“ Dry Halong Bay ” for its familiar landscape of limestone cliffs.
Today we will explore the Bich Dong Temple and cycle (approx. 12km) through rice fields to the old capital of Hoa Lu. In the afternoon we drift on small boats in Trang An and enjoy the wonderful landscape of water, rice paddies, hills and grottos.
In the late evening, take the night train to Hue (late check-out until 6 p.m. incl.)
TRAIN: SE 3 @ 21.39-08.25 +, times subject to change.
Overnight on board
You arrive in Hue early in the morning and then drive to the hotel for check-in (early check-in including breakfast).
Around noon we go on a relaxed ride by cyclo through Kim Long village to the Hue Citadel. The citadel, the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty is over 200 years old. We will also visit the Dong Ba Market (you can buy foot shuttlecocks and other gifts when visiting the orphanage here). In the late afternoon we go to the dragon boat that takes us on the Perfume River to another city landmark - the Thien Mu Pagoda.
Our dinner takes place in a charming garden house in typical Hue style.
Overnight in Hue
After breakfast we drive to the village of Thuy Bieu. We wander through the village, visit a family that has been making incense sticks for generations and come into contact with the busy locals who always have a smile for us. We enjoy our lunch in the village district and then relax our feet with a foot massage.
Then we visit a nearby orphanage. Here visitors have the opportunity to exchange ideas with the carers and to play shuttlecock with the children (a small donation, e.g. for food from us, is included).
In the late afternoon we will take part in a kite workshop to learn bit about the art of making kites straight from a kite master, who will instruct us how to build your own kite. The nearby green rice field will be the perfect playground for flying kites!
In the morning we set out and first discover the imperial tomb of Khai Dinh or Minh Mang.
Then we continue south to Hoi An. The trip will take about 3 hours. On the way we stop at Lang Co Beach (lunch not included) and on the Hai Van Pass and enjoy the view of the mountain-coastal panorama. When we arrive in Hoi An, we check into our hotel and have the rest of the day free.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Today our tour guide introduces us to the history of this charming trading town on a leisurely tour.
We visit the iconic Japanese covered bridge, the 200-year-old Tan Ky merchant house and a pagoda belonging to the Chinese community. Wander along the narrow alleys, traditional yellow merchant houses and colorful shops.
The streets of the city are adorned by many colorful silk lanterns poiting to the strong Chinese and Japanese influence visible here. Our walk will end with a short workshop on how to make a silk lantern, which we can take home as a souvenir. At noon we will take you to an excellent teahouse (drink incl.).
In the late afternoon a cooking class awaits us on the Cinnamon boat. We start the journey with a refreshing drink. Afterwards, our cook will demonstrate the preparation of delicious local dishes before we prepare them ourselves. While we are tasting our creations, the boat sails back towards the harbor. Rest of the evening is free to enjoy the city. Hoi An is a spectacle of colors at night!
Today we are going on a trip to Cham Island. The journey takes about 30 minutes by car and then another half an hour by speedboat. Cham Island is 18km from the mainland and the approximately 3,000 islanders live mainly from fishing. Upon arrival on the island we will tour the coast in a wooden boat. If you want, you can snorkel and swim in the turquoise blue water on the coast. A delicious seafood lunch awaits us at lunchtime. In the afternoon return back to Hoi An.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Today we can organize our day according to our wishes. Either we relax by the hotel pool, by the sea or we visit the city on our own. The hotel offers a shuttle service.
In Hoi An you can visit one of the many tailor shops or the market. Alternatively, you can simply stroll through the lively streets and let the charm of this town work its magic on you.
In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a beautiful beach restaurant.
Overnight in Hoi An.
The day is at your disposal. The room is available until noon. We will drop you off at Danang airport in good time to start your journey home either via Hanoi or Saigon.
Interested parties can extend their adventure to Cambodia or Thailand from this airport. Programs available upon request.