Essential Cities and Sites to visit in Vietnam
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  Duration: 10 DAYS/9 NIGHTS STYLE: Classic Travel

Essential Cities and Sites to visit in Vietnam

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Essential Cities and Sites to Visit in Vietnam

This 10-day visit will take you to the essential cities and sites to visit in Vietnam. You will go from the economic and trendsetting centre of HCM in the south to the Capital City of Hanoi in the north and the essential ‘must see’ places in between. You will experience the river life of the people of the Mekong Delta before travelling to the central region to visit the developing town of  Da Nang, ancient Hue and the charming town of Hoi An.

Travelling north, your next stop is to enjoy the splendor and beauty of the Ninh Binh area with its rivers, spectacular landscapes and ancient histories. On to Ha Long Bay where you will see mystical and breath taking mountains rising in spectacular fashion out of the sea. For good reason, Ha Long Bay has been acknowledged as one of the great natural wonders of the world and you will doubtless be charmed by the vista and atmosphere of this unique area.

And finally, no trip to essential, 'must see' places could be complete without a visit to the vibrant city of Hanoi, where you can wander around the Old Quarter, meander down the avenues of the French Quarter or enjoy the lovely Hoan Kiem Lake and the lively street unique to Hanoi. If your time is limited and you want to experience as much as possible in Vietnam, this is the ideal opportunity for you. 

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  • Personal attention to detail by all HGH from the time of your initial enquiry through to the end of your tour
  • 24 hour support available during the tour
  • Enjoy the degree of historical and cultural information throughout your tour from our local and knowledgeable tour hosts to the degree that you and your group are interested.
  • We focus on sustainable tourism by creating the very best experience for you as the tourist while supporting our local environment and local people
Itinerary Highlights
Day 1: Arrival Ho Chi Minh City

Your arrival at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport marks the start of your tour. The heart and soul of South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is a bustling, dynamic and industrious city. It is not only the largest city in Viet Nam, it is also the economic capital and trendsetter of Vietnam.

After you are booked into the hotel, the HCM City tour starts with a visit to the imposing Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat). The next stop is the Notre Dame Cathedral, the most famous landmark in HCM as the twin bell towers is visible from afar. In the same square is the famous Saigon Post Office, the largest functioning post office in Vietnam. What makes this Post Office so extraordinary is that it was designed and built by Gustave Eiffel who also designed and built the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty. It is a building not to be missed!

After some history and culture, we take you to do some shopping at the Cho Lon Market in China town.Dinner will be at one of the local restaurants after which the rest of the night is yours to venture out on your own or take it easy and just relax.

Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – Vinh Long – Ho Chi Minh City

A scenic drive takes us through the Mekong River Delta, home to the richest agricultural lands in Vietnam that offers a view into a different world and lifestyle as yet unseen. Enjoy a boat trip to an island that houses orchard gardens and then to the fascinating Cai Be floating market. It is a magnificent site as hundreds of small merchant boats anchor alongside the banks of the river trading their commodities as they have done for centuries. We continue with our cruise through the maze of canals that crisscross around An Binh island.

Lunch is at Mr. Muoi Huong old house where we get to enjoy the delicious fresh tropical fruits of the Delta. The cruise meanders through islands on the Mekong River to Vinh Long (2km). On our way back to Ho Chi Minh City, we stop at the bonsai garden. Back in HCM, enjoy dinner with delicious dishes and elegant music.

Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Hue

After breakfast, a half-day tour takes you around the city and to the Thien Hau Temple. This is a 16th century Chinese temple in Cholon dedicated to Thien Hau or the goddess of the sea, who is said to protect fishermen and sailors. The last stop is at the War Remnants Museum, a museum established as a tribute to the Vietnam War. Lunch is at Chateau 1 Restaurant.

Early in the afternoon, you transfer back to Tan Son Nhat Airport to catch the flight to Hue City in the Central region of Vietnam. Hue was the political, economic and cultural capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945) and was the home of past emperors.

The tour of Hue starts at the beautiful Imperial Citadel, a World Cultural Heritage Site since 1993. This is the home of previous Emperors, includes the Imperial City and Forbidden City with various palaces, ornate halls, libraries, residences, colleges, Flag Tower and Noon Gate.

After the Citadel, we have a change of atmosphere and energy to go to the Truong Tien Bridge and traditional Dong Ba Market, where vendors sprawl their goods out for you. You can walk or select the items you want much as they have done for centuries. Dinner is at Y Thao Garden Restaurant.

Hotel in Hue

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Day 4: Hue

Our second day in Hue takes us on the romantically named Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda, which is one of the oldest and most beautiful pagodas in Hue. Next stop is the Minh Mang Tomb. Ming Mang was emperor of Vietnam from 1820 to 1841. Enjoy a vegetarian lunch and take the chance to chat with the nuns to learn more about Buddhism, gain insight into their daily lives and their calligraphy art.

In the afternoon, we head to the outskirts of Hue to explore the Tu Duc Tomb. On the way back to Hue, we stop at the village where they make traditional conical hats and incense. Enjoy dinner and relax to traditional folk music on the mystic dragon boats down the Perfume River.

Hotel in Hue.

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Day 5: Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An

We say goodbye to ancient Hue and travel to the more modern setting of Da Nang then onto the exotic and charming Hoi An. During the drive, you will have the opportunity to stop en route to take pictures at the summit of Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass and to visit the Cham Museum located in Da Nang City. The museum offers the most extensive collections of Cham art sculptures throughout the world. The sculptures date from the 7th to the 15th century.

The end of the day brings you to Hoi An, another World Cultural Heritage Site. Dinner is at Sakura Restaurant, a beautiful Japanese – Vietnamese restaurant on the banks of the Thu Bon River.

Hotel in Hoi An.

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Day 6: Hoi An

Enjoy a walking tour through the narrow and ancient streets of this charming town. Perhaps more than any other places in Vietnam, Hoi An retains the feel of centuries past. Once known as Faifo, it was an influential port along the Silk Road. For over 500 years, merchants from China, Japan, France and Portugal settled in the prosperous town World Heritage Site listed for having the most unique architecture in Southeast Asia including the Chinese Assembly Halls, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the numerous old family houses. It has been restored and protected by both the UNESCO funding and proud locals. Lunch is served at a local restaurant.

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Day 7: Hoi An – Da Nang - Ha Noi – Hoa Lu

We say goodbye to Hoi An and head back to Da Nang to get the flight to Ha Noi where your host guide will meet you and take you 80 km south of Ha Noi to the beautiful area of Ninh Binh. This area is described as “Ha Long Bay on land” the area boasts an abundance of remarkable landscape, ancient cultures and historical sites.

On arrival, we take a relaxing sampan ride through the gentle and elegant landscape of plains and mountains leading to the mysterious Tam Coc Grottoes followed by a gentle cycle ride (4km) to Bich Dong Cave. A second boat ride then allows you to bask in the typical scenery of this area with rice fields surrounded by imposing mountains as we head for the Bich Dong Pagoda and the Thai Vy Temple. Built in the 13th century, the Temple offers magnificent insights, depth into the ancient Vietnamese culture and architecture... The next stop is at Hoa Lu, the former capital of the Dinh and early Le dynasties between the 10th and 11th centuries.

After a spectacular day, we head back to Ha Noi. Later in the evening, we have dinner at one of the local restaurants before going to see the unique and intriguing Water Puppet Show,a traditional folk performance held on the Red River Delta.

Hotel in Ha Noi

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Day 8: Ha Noi – Ha Long

Saying goodbye to Hanoi, we travel to the astonishing and mystical World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. The Bay is in the Gulf of Tonkin, boasts a spectacular collection of 2,000 islands covering an area in excess of 1,500km forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars and cliff faces.

The crew welcomes you on board the luxury boat where you can settle into your cabin and then enjoy drinks with a fresh seafood lunch. The boat weaves majestically around the gigantic rock formations (karsts) as you cruise towards Bai Tu Long Bay, passing the towns of Hon Gai and Cam Pha, Oan Lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets and Vung Vieng fishing village.

Explore the mystery and beauty of Sung Sot Cave leaving you plenty of time for swimming and kayaking to the Tunnel Cave. The evening offers a casual and comfortable atmosphere with an elegant dining experience.

Make sure your cameras are charged and ready to record a spectacular sunset, which transforms into a clear, star filled sky that makes your heart sing.

The night is spent onboard.

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Day 9: Ha Long – Ha Noi

After breakfast, we continue to cruise through the karsts some of which display fantastic and mystical shapes that lead rise to many legends about dragons and by gone days. We have a visit to the Luon Cave before an early lunch on board and a sad farewell to the boat with crew. On the road back to Hanoi, we stop at the Bat Trang ceramics and pottery village where they sell many kinds of ceramics, embroidery and marble statues. Dinner is at the “Rung” Restaurant.

Hotel in Ha Noi.

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Day 10: Ha Noi – Departure

Ha Noi is the 1000 years old capital city of Vietnam and the commercial, political, and cultural heart of the country.

The city tour takes you on a drive around the city while visiting the main tourist hotspots. After the One-Pillar Pagoda, we go to the Temple of Literature. Built in October 1071, this temple is in honor of Confucius and is the first university built in Vietnam. If Ha Noi is the heart of the country, Hoan Kiem Lake is the heart of Ha Noi. In the centre of the lake is the Ngoc Son Temple, which is ournext stop. Later in the afternoon, you will be able to take a 1-hour cyclo ride around the 36 streets of the Old Quarter and Ho Guom (Sword Lake).

Marvel at the contrast between the Old Quarter and the wide tree lined elegant boulevards and splendid buildings of the French quarter including the Opera House, the State Bank, the former Governor's palace, and the Hanoi Cathedral (Saint Joseph’s built in the late 19th century); all within easy walking distance.

You are then free to shop, relax and do whatever you would like at your leisure until it is time for your transfer to Noi Bai Airport for your departure flight.

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