Bask in sun and culture while exploring one of Asia’s prettiest coaslines in Vietnam. This eleven-day adventure includes visits to Vietnam’s premier coastal destinations of Halong Bay, Hoi An, and Mui Ne. Enjoy highlights of each destination in this exciting country while perfecting your tan in tropical leisure!
Upon arrival in Hanoi, welcome guests at airport and transfer to hotel for check in and relax.
Hanoi is full of charm with colonial buildings and scenic lakes. Start the day by visiting President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his Stilt house and One Pillar Pagoda.
Next stop is Temple of Literature – the first university for mandarins and noble.
After lunch, visit the serene Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, then walking through the Old Quarter (36 ancient streets) for shopping and enjoying the bustling local life.
The rest of the day is free at your own leisure.
Depart for the famous Ha Long Bay (about 3h30’ drive). Along the way, you’ll stop at the Hong Ngoc Humanity Centre, which provides vocational training and employment to Vietnamese people who experience a disability.
Halong Bay is famous for its scenic ocean karst topography. It was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and World New Natural Wonders in 2011.
You’ll board your boat for your cruise on the bay. Sail around the stunning natural wonders of Halong Bay with thousands of gorgeous limestone cliffs jutting from its calm jade water. While on board, you’ll have a sumptuous seafood lunch. Stop for a visit to Sung Sot Cave, and perhaps take a swim at Ti Top Beach or opt for a kayaking trip. Spend a night onboard your boat, with gentle waves rocking you to sleep.
Wake up early in the morning to watch the sun paint the entire bay in pink and gold as it rises above the horizon. After a tranquil Tai-chi lesson on the ship’s deck, spend the rest of your morning marveling at the natural majesty of the bay as you weave between its rocky islands. At the end of your trip, relish a buffet brunch before cruising back to the marina, where your transfer to Noi Bai International Airport awaits you. A short flight of one hour will take you to Da Nang International Airport. Then transfer to your hotel in Hoi An.
Hoi An Town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage with beautiful temples, French colonial homes and some of the best tailors in Vietnam. Hoi An Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Visit Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, join a lantern-making class.
Japanese covered bridge
One of Vietnam’s most iconic attractions, Hoi An’s Japanese covered bridge dates back to the 18th century and is a beautiful historical piece of Japanese architecture. It is claimed that it was created by the Japanese then living in Hoi An as a way to reach the Chinese quarter across the water. Today, the bridge stands as a symbol of Hoi An and remains as aesthetically pleasing as it was when it first opened.
Phuc Kien Assembly Hall in Hoi An
The photogenic Phuc Kien (Fujian) assembly hall was created as a place in which residents from Phuc Kien in China could meet up and socialize whilst living or visiting Hoi An. Built around 1690 with the main gate added much later, the assembly hall is also a World Cultural Heritage Site and is much visited today by those seeking a glimpse of this superb piece of architecture.
Hoi An people believe that hanging lanterns in front of their house brings luck, happiness, and wealth to the family. Join a lantern making class to make your own awesome handmade souvenir lanterns. Once completed, these lanterns are easy to fold, carry, or put in your luggage. Take an original, enjoyable, hand-made souvenir home from your visit to Hoi An.
In the morning, you’ll join a cooking class to discover flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. The chef and guide will take you to the market to find fresh, flavorful ingredients at the local market. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with the sellers, get to know about their daily lives in Hoi An, and learn more about the Vietnamese ingredients you will use for cooking.
Afterward, discover Vietnamese culinary arts and culture as you prepare each dish yourself, after watching your chef make each dish first.
After the lesson, sample your own cooking for lunch, and enjoy a special extra-dish as well.
In the afternoon, you’ll have free time to explore Hoi An or Cua Dai Beach.
Cua Dai Beach
Cua Dai is one of just five Vietnamese UNESCO World Heritage Sites offering an unrivalled seaside escape from the ancient streets of Hoi An. This 3km stretch of fine white powdery sands positioned just north-east of Hoi An make Cua Dai Beach the perfect place to easily find your own patch of paradise. The water is very clear with tropically blue waves that are gentle enough for swimming and floating around. There are even changing huts on the beach along with a few bungalows here and there.
Transfer to Da Nang City then a short flight will take you to Ho Chi Minh City.
Also known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the business and financial hub of Vietnam with a colorful history going back hundreds of years, resulting in a myriad of attractions, restaurants, and hotels as well as a vibrant nightlife and shopping scene.
In the afternoon, visit War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City.
War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City first opened to the public in 1975. Once known as the “Museum of American War Crimes”, it’s a shocking reminder of the long and brutal Vietnam War. You’ll see many graphic photographs and American military equipments that American troops had used against the Vietnamese during the war.
Reunification Palace was the Base of Vietnamese Republic President until the reunification in 1975. It made its name in global history in 1975. A tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its main gate, ending the Vietnam War against the America. Today, it’s a must visit for tourists in Ho Chi Minh City.
Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 1880s by French colonists, is one of the few remaining strongholds of Catholicism in the largely Buddhist Vietnam. Located in Paris Square, the name Notre Dame was given after the installation of the statue “Peaceful Notre Dame” in 1959.
Ho Chi Minh City’s Post Office
The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City is a beautiful preserved remnant of French colonial times and perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia. Located next door to Notre Dame Cathedral, the two cultural sites can be visited together and offers visitors a chance to imagine life in Vietnam during the times of the Indochinese Union (French Indochina). The building was designed by Alfred Foulhoux and features arched windows and wooden shutters, just as it would have in its heyday in the late 19th Century.
Depart from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi Tunnels, just 60 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City. Cu Chi is now considered a heroic district for its role in the anti-American war in Vietnam. It is legendary for its 220 kilometers-long tunnel system and is a popular spot for both Vietnamese and foreigners to visit.
The peacefully rural rice paddy scenery is home to ducks and water buffalos swimming in the rivers along the side of road. You will find it hard to imagine the destruction and damage all over the area caused by bombing and mines when Cu Chi was a “Free Target Zone”. The remnants in Cu Chi are evidence of the fierce battle that took place. You will even have chance to fire an AK-47.
In the afternoon, you will come back to Ho Chi Minh City. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.
In the morning, depart for Mui Ne, located about 200km north of Ho Chi Minh City. This traditional fishing village is fast becoming a popular leisure destination. Resort-style developments have been rising along the coastline, though so far the lives of the fishing communities remain unchanged and Mui Ne’s long beach is quiet and serene, great for walks, jogging and spectacular sunsets.
You’ll have free time to explore Mui Ne Beach, to go swimming or sunbathing.
Spend your free time to explore Mui Ne Beach and Phan Thiet City.
Mui Ne Fishing Village
Mui Ne fishing village boasts a splendid view of an expansive coastline lined with swaying palm trees and colorful fishing boats moored on the water. Set at the northern end of Mui Ne Bay, make sure you visit the fishing harbor in the early morning as local fishermen sort out their catch of the day such as crabs, scallops, groupers, and stingrays.
Red Sand Dunes:
In the afternoon, visit the Red Sand Dunes – one of Mui Ne’s most unique natural formations, where you can take gorgeous snapshots and enjoy an array of activities. Located three kilometers north of Mui Ne, it features reddish-brown sand with gentle slopes that’s reminiscent of a miniature Middle Eastern desert. If you get to the highest peak, you’ll be greeted with a great sunset view of the ocean. Sand-sledding is a common and fun activity here, with plastic sleds available for about VND 10.000 to VND 20.000.
After breakfast, depart for Tan Son Nhat International Airport, from where you fly back home. The service ends here. Thank you and good bye.