Alle geuren en kleuren van Vietnam 21d/20n


Het steeds populairder wordende Vietnam staat voor valleien met rijstvelden, de Mekongrivier en de vriendelijke en warme bevolking. Het langgerekte land grenst aan China, Laos en Cambodja en heeft een afwisselend landschap. Er zijn bergen, laagvlakten en tussen de Mekongdelta in het zuiden en de Rode Rivierdelta in het noorden liggen indrukwekkende steden en mooie zandstranden. De grootste stad van het land is Ho Chi Minh, het voormalige Saigon. De hoofdstad is Hanoi. In de steden vindt men fraaie koloniale gebouwen, kleurrijke tempels uit de boeddhistische cultuur en het verkeer is er altijd een hectische chaos van vnl. brommers. Niet ver van de hoofdstad ligt Halong Bay met zijn duizenden eilandjes en de in zee gelegen, sprookjesachtige krijtrotsen die loodrecht omhoog steken. Dit gebied is door de Unesco tot Werelderfgoed verklaard. De plaats Mui Ne staat bekend om het kite surfen, de stad Nha Trang is een populaire duikbestemming.


Day 1:
Hanoi arrival
Meals: None
On arrival in Hanoi – Noi Bai Airport, meet your guide and driver for a private transfer to your hotel. Rest of day is free at your own leisure.
Overnight at Essence Hanoi Hotel, Deluxe rooms

Day 2:
Hanoi – Explore Hanoi like a local
Meals: B L
This morning, you will meet your guide and driver around 07:00am and head towards Hoan Kiem Lake. It is a cultural thing in Vietnam to wake up very early and start the morning with some exercise. It is very interesting to see how the local people, mostly women from varying age, start their busy routine. Several groups of people can be found practicing tai chi and aerobics. Be part of Vietnam and join the locals in their morning routine!
After visiting the Ngoc Son Temple, located in the middle of the Hoan Kiem Lake, we will visit a traditional, local and charming coffee place, where you will be able to try Vietnam’s local coffee: Cà phê sữa đá (Iced coffee) and if you feel more adventurous, you can also try the ‘Egg coffee’! After our coffee, we will continue walking and we will stop in a street food place, where you will try the delicious ‘bánh mì’ –typical baguette sandwich filled in with a variety of things! Later, we will get deep into Hanoi’s Old Quarter and you will start a walking tour where you will be able to witness the French architecture in different Vietnamese buildings. Our first stop will be the St. Joseph Cathedral, a French gothic building constructed in 1886. Next, we will walk just 10 minutes until we arrive to the Hoa Lo Prison, where Vietnamese as well as American and French prisoners of war used to be imprisoned. To finish our morning, we will pay a visit to the Huu Tiep Lake, better known as ‘B-52 lake’, where US B-5 bomber wreckage can be seen.
At noon, we will return to the Old Quarter. Vietnam is very well known for its food, so we will stop at a ‘Bún Chả’ restaurant, where you will try Hanoi’s specialty. After our super local lunch, we will visit the Temple of Literature, built in 1076. Vietnam’s first university was established within this temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past.
Our last stop of the day will be in Hanoi railway tracks. This is something very particular from this city as the railway tracks are sometimes located meters away from entrance door of houses! Together with our guide, you will walk along the railway tracks and take some of the most beautiful pictures of the city. After a long day, we will finish with evening beers at the typical and well known Bia Hoi, where you will taste local draft beer; finishing the day as a local!
Along the tour, you will be trying different street specialties therefore we recommend avoiding breakfast at the hotel this day!
Overnight at Essence Hanoi Hotel, Deluxe rooms

Day 3:
Meals: B
Free day at leisure
Optional tour: Tam Coc – Bich Dong
You will be picked up at your hotel and drive south of Hanoi to Tam Coc area, where you stop at scenic cool local restaurant and start cycling around. You would be then guided through lush rice fields and rocky outcrops (rice harvesting time: May and Sep) and visit Bich Dong pagoda on the way before heading back to the restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, you will take a sampan ride along a river in Thung Nang, which is used by famers in the village nearby to access their paddy fields, an irresistible treat. Just relax and enjoy the sensation of being gently paddled by hand in a little boat, gliding through lotus fields (in summer) into the centre of the “Ha Long Bay inland”. A great break in this unique experience, along a stretch of the blue green river, and marvel at dancing water refractions under the coolness while passing a limestone cave.
When the tour finishes, you will head toward hotel for check-in and enjoy the rest of day free at leisure.
Overnight at Essence Hanoi Hotel, Deluxe rooms

Day 4:
Hanoi – Bai Tu Long Bay – Cong Do
Meals: B L D
After an early breakfast, you will be picked up by private transfer, and depart for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karts’ landscape.
After a 3.5 hour drive towards North East of Hanoi, you will embark at Hon Gai International harbour, on board Indochina Dragon Legend Cruise. A refreshing welcome drink will be served and you can check into your cabin. As you settle into your cabin, the boat will set sail to the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay.  Lunch will be served in the restaurant while you admire the fascinating limestone karsts on the way.
When Indochina Junk Cruise to Cap La and Tra San, you will enjoy paddling around by kayaking or swim near the cruise.
In the evening, the junk will cruise back through the bay to its overnight anchorage in Cong Do. The rest of the evening will be free at leisure.
Overnight on Indochina – Prince Junk

Day 5:
Cong Do – Cong Dam – Thien Canh Son Cave – Cap La
Meals: B L D
You will enjoy the morning view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee, and have breakfast in the fresh air. After breakfast, start cruising to Cong Dam while discovering geological values of Bai Tu Long Bay for enjoy kayaking through the hidden lagoons and geological park in Cong Dam, or go swimming in the crystal water. At noon, you will enjoy BBQ lunch on a wild beach.
Back to junk for lunch and relaxing while cruising to Cong Do area. In the afternoon, you will reach to Hon Co Island for swimming or relaxing, and explore the well-hidden Thien Canh Son cave. Have deluxe dinner at Thien Canh Son Cave.
At 17:30, return to the boat and cruise back to Cap La for overnight there and have a dinner.
Overnight on Indochina – Prince Junk

Day 6:
Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Train to Lao Cai
Meals: B L
Enjoy fresh air & gentle breeze of the bay in morning while you have breakfast on board. This morning, you will visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and fish farms.
Lunch will be served on the boat as you near the harbor. At noon, you will get back to the Hon Gai Harbor where your driver will be waiting you to take you back to your hotel in Hanoi for taking a rest.
In the evening, you will heading toward the railways station for night train to Lao Cai.
Overnight on the train

Day 7:
Lao Cai – Sapa – Nam Cang Riverside Lodge
Meals: B L D
Arrive early in the morning in Lao Cai and have a transfer to Sapa. You will enjoy breakfast in a nice local restaurant.
You then head off into the beautiful Hoang Lien National Park by car, along the road you have the chance to see big rice terraces and a hopefully the high tops of the mountain range. Soon your guide will introduce you to the biggest group of minorities in this area, the colourful Black H’mong people, famous for their indo coloured cloths and silver necklace. The walk is on a good path and will take few hours, plenty of time to learn about history and traditional customs. You will then continue the transfer deeper into the valley and cross the beautiful Muong Bo River before reaching Thanh Phu village of Tay minority. Here you will see the big difference in culture as the group wears lighter colours of silk clothing. Your lunch will be served next to the rice fields in a local restaurant. After lunch the tour continues to the small village of My Son and an interesting afternoon walk.
This remote tribe is the smallest minority group in Sapa area and home to Xa Pho people. In the afternoon we arrive in the remote and quiet Red Dao village of Nam Cang. Walking along the small roads you will soon understand that this is “off the beaten trail”, people are looking happily. Finally you will cross a private bridge and check into your private room in the comfortable Nam Cang Riverside lodge. You can now explore the village or relax in the river or at the riverside veranda.
Approx: 3 hours of easy walking.
Overnight at Nam Cang Riverside Lodge

Day 8:
Nam Cang Riverside Lodge – Sapa
Meals: B
You will wake up in the sound of nature. The day starts with a nice breakfast served just few meters from the river. The morning is for relaxing at the lodge or visiting the surroundings. Nam Cang is a small village with a quite big school, which gathers the children from other nearby villages. Play with the cute and curious children; visit a silversmith; learn how to make the Red Dao traditional writing papers, try to test your embroidery skill, which the Red Dao women are famous for; or take a swim in the river.
After saying goodbye to the friendly villagers, you have a transfer to Topas Ecolodge, where you will have lunch while enjoying amazing view of mountains and endless paddle rice terraces. The lunch expense is on your own and the restaurant offers an a la cart menu with wide choices.
The walk after lunch is easy and no less interesting. You will visit the nearby Lech village, also habited by Red Dao people. Same as in Nam Cang, the women here wear some of the most colourful and diverse costumes of all Vietnam’s ethnic groups. You then walk back to Topas Ecolodge for the transfer to Sapa town.
Overnight at H’Mong Hotel, Deluxe rooms

Day 9:
Sapa – Lao Cai – Train to Hanoi
Meals: B
Today is free at your own leisure. Late afternoon, your driver will pick you up at your hotel for transferring back to Lao Cai to take the night train back to Hanoi.
Overnight on train (private cabins)

Day 10:
Hanoi – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: D
You will arrive to Hanoi in very early morning (4:30 am) and drive to Noi Bai Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City: VN 233 Hanoi HAN 08:30 – Ho Chi Minh City SGN 10:40 Vietnam Airlines
On arrival, check in hotel and enjoy the rest of day free at your own leisure.

Taste of the night: Motorbike street food tour
The tour will start when your tour guide meets you at a place specified by you at 17:30pm. The first part of   the tour features three diverse street vendors where you will get to sample some of the many foods that they offer and learn about the history and cultural significance of each dish. Your guide will explain the many different sights that you will pass along the way as we travel to the different street vendors spread throughout Saigon. We will then take you to a night market where you will have a chance to sample more foods and snacks as well as the many exotic fruits found in Vietnam. Our tour ends with one the most popular Vietnamese food traditions; “The Street Barbeque.”  Here you will get a chance to gorge yourself on as many different kinds of foods as you can eat.  As long as you keep eating, we will keep ordering.  In addition, you will have the option of sampling some of Vietnam’s famous rice wine including snake wine, ginseng wine and goat   wine.  At the end of the night (around 22pm) when you have eaten your fill we will drop you back at your hotel.  Our tour is designed to give you a taste of as many different kinds of food as possible and is suitable for all travelers to Vietnam.
Overnight at Lavender Boutique Hotel, 2 Executive rooms

Day 11:
Ho Chi Minh City Sightseeing
Meals: B
A trip to Sai Gon offers you a good experience of the country‘s most dynamic city – a vital economic hub with bustling life. Sai Gon is the reconciliation between American and Chinese influence, with many dots of modernity yet without losing Vietnamese traits. Modern office skyscrapers, amidst Chinese style pagodas and food stalls, street vendors along the street, they all create a dynamic urban area in a very traditionally modern sense.
You will depart from your hotel after breakfast, around 8:30 and our first stop will be Thien Hau Temple located in China Town. Thien Hau is a deity of traditional Chinese religion, who is revered in the southern maritime provinces of China and in overseas Chinese communities.  Next, you will visit the first Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine with nearly 3,000 items relevant to traditional Vietnamese medicine dating back to the Stone Age. Then we will head towards the War Museum, one of Vietnam’s most popular museums which primarily exhibit the American phase of the Vietnam War.
After lunch on your own at noon, you will visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the most spectacularly atmospheric temples in HCMC, stuffed with statues of phantasmal divinities and grotesque heroes.  Continue on to the Reunification Palace, former residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1975. Next, you will visit two iconic architectural landmarks the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office built between 1877 and 1883 by renowned designer Gustav Eiffel. The last stop will be Ben Thanh market, one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and an important symbol of Ho Chi Minh City, and enjoy your shopping time.
Overnight at Lavender Boutique Hotel, 2 Executive rooms

Day 12:
Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels
Meals: B
At 8:30 you will meet your driver and guide. A morning drive will take you to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnels are 75 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, in an area that played an important role during Vietnam’s wars for independence and reunification. More than 200 km of tunnels were built here by the Vietnamese guerrillas and are often the highlight of South Vietnam touring. This morning you will be able to explore the bedrooms, meeting rooms, air-raid shelters, smokeless kitchens, and experience life underground in this extraordinary tunnel complex.
After visiting the tunnels, you will have free time at leisure.
Overnight at Lavender Boutique Hotel, Executive rooms

Day 13:
Ho Chi Minh City – Ben Tre – Cho Lach
Meals: B L D
After breakfast, you will head towards Ben Tre. Enjoy a boat cruise along the river which is a branch of the Mekong. We will start the day taking a short walk through various local workplaces where you will be able to picture how local people work. We will also visit the brick kiln, the fruit orchards, a coconut candy workshop and other local cottage industries. The boat will then stop at a quiet village where you may have a short walk and experience the village life, visit a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven by hand – you can even try weaving yourself.  At noon, you will take a xe loi (a kind of motorized rickshaw) to a riverside local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, it’s time to board a sampan for a relaxing trip along narrow canals. Later, you will pick up your bike and start cycling through the orchards to Mr. Khanh’s house. Khanh is a passionate antiques collector and his house is full of fascinating artifacts from Vietnam and many other places in Asia. He also has some fascinating family albums dating back to French colonial time. You will then get on your bike and cycle back to the river to board your boat and return to the dock.  When the tour finishes, you will head toward Cho Lach for overnight there!
Overnight at homestay in Cho Lach

Day 14:
Cho Lach – Soc Trang
Meals: B L
After breakfast, enjoy bicycle ride in the countryside and visit the local market of Cho Lach, where you will discover fruit garden and you will meet a local arborist. He will explain to you his work and his daily life. Lunch will take place at a local house with homemade meals.
In the afternoon, we will head towards Soc Trang, check in hotel and enjoy the rest of day free at leisure.
Overnight at Que Toi Hotel, Deluxe rooms

Day 15:
Soc Trang – Can Tho
Meals: B
In the very early morning (4:30 am), your guide and driver will pick you up and depart to Nga Nam floating market. Nga Nam market in Soc Trang province is special because it is the convergent point of five rivers which flow into five different directions: onto Ca Mau, down from Phung Hien, through to Thanh Tri, in from Vinh Quoi and across from Long My – and so it acquires its particular name “Nga Nam”. Nga Nam is not being well-known like other floating market like Cai Rang, Cai Be. This helps floating market Nga Nam retains its wild beautiful from the hundreds years.
On the way you will visit Chen Kieu pagoda (Pagoda of Decorative Bowls) with thousands of bowls of all sizes attached to its roof, walls and pillars. Next, you will head towards Mat house, a characteristic of the Khmers and the unique funeral house that was built by family with thousands of Buddha on roof grave.
After lunch on own, you will visit Ma Toc Pagoda (Bats Pagoda) which is known for its architecture, an ancient Buddha and a number of Buddhist books written on sugar palm leaves. However, its main claim to fame is the presence of a large numbers of fruit bats. These bats have wingspans of more than a meter and roost in the trees behind the pagoda, resembling large ripe pears as they hang upside down from the upper branches.
We will later drive to Can Tho after visiting the 4 faces Buddhas pagoda with handicraft villages (painting on glass) and colonial houses.
Upon arrival to Can Tho, check in hotel and enjoy your free time to relax.
Overnight at Hau Giang Hotel, Ultra Deluxe rooms

Day 16:
Can Tho – Phu Quoc
Meals: B
After an early breakfast we will board our local boats to visit the Cai Rang Floating Market, the most famous floating market of the Mekong Delta. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the bustling activity of the market. We will further venture through small canals visiting a rice husking mill and a shop where rice noodles are being produced.
When the tour finishes, you will drive to Rach Gia for speedboat to Phu Quoc. On arrival, check in hotel and enjoy the rest of day free at your own leisure.
Overnight at Sea Sense Resort, Deluxe Sea View rooms

Day 17 – 20:
Phu Quoc
Meals: B
Free day at leisure
Overnight at Sea Sense Resort, Deluxe Sea View room

Day 21:
Phu Quoc – Ho Chi Minh City departure
Meals: B
After breakfast, you will be free at your own leisure until your driver picks you up and transfer you to airport for the flight back to Ho Chi Minh City:
VN 1820 Phu Quoc PQC 15:20 – Ho Chi Minh City SGN 16:20 Vietnam Airlines
On arrival to Tan Son Nhat Airport, you will connect with your international flight to back home.

End of services


– All transfers and transport as per program
– All accommodation as per program (based on double/twin sharing room)
– Service of English speaking station guides on days 1 – 2, 4 – 8, 10 – 16
– All meals as mentioned (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
– All entrance fees on tour
– Train ticket Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi / private cabin
– Speedboat ticket Rach Gia – Phu Quoc
– Air tickets both domestic and international

– Insurance
– Personal expenses
– All drinks
– Visa fees and/or visa authorization
– Tips
– Other expenses not mentioned on the itinerary
– Any compulsory and peak season surcharge (normally New Year periods, Christmas, and lunar New Year)

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