Vietnam Relaxed Tour
From Saigon, To Danang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay, - 14 Nights
- Departing from:
- Danang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay,
- 14 Nights
- Private tailormade tour runs
- Tour Operator:
- Focus Asia
- Reference Code:
Price per person
Experience Vietnam relaxed – that’s the target of this tour. No stress with any daily hotel change as we stay 2 nights in each destination, no early morning flights, some leisure in-between, several specials - you also do more than just the usual sightseeing, and of course in Ha Long Bay you will also spend 2 nights on a cruise ship!!!
DAY 1 – SAIGON
Arrival in Saigon. Meet & greet with tour guide and transfer to Saigon.
Accommodation at hotel in Saigon.
DAY 2 – SAIGON
Full day city tour in Saigon. Visit the History Museum, the Thien Hau Temple, Cholon, Fito Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral (close for renovation until 2019, but still possible to admire its beauty from outside), the Muinicipal Post Office and much more. The full day tour will take you around the city, from downtown Saigon to Cholon (Chinatown) to get a general view of a
developing city. You will get to know its history and culture with stops at the History Museum, then drive to Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street where there are many stores selling Chinese medicines and people get the chance to see how traditional medicine is made and used, visit the Thien Hau Pagoda and walk to visit Nghia An Hoi Quan Pagoda (2-minute walking from Thien Hau Pagoda, it is a very nice and active pagoda). See other places of interest such as Fito museum (closed on Monday) – specializing in traditional medicine. Back to the central to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, The Central Post Office, and the Reunification Palace. Take the rest of the time for shopping activities around Dong Khoi Street and Ben Thanh Market.
Optional for the evening: Asia-Europe Buffet Dinner on Bonsai Cruise 06:30 PM pick up with guide at the hotel. Transfer to the pier and board the Bonsai Cruise. Dinner will be served on
board. You will have the wonderful trip and enjoy the dinner with cruise along the Saigon River. Return to the hotel (or go ahead with your nice night at some Saigon night clubs – own account).
Day 3: Saigon – Mekong Delta – Saigon (B/L)
Excursion Mekong Delta: At 8.00 AM, depart for a 1.5-hour drive from Saigon to Ben Tre, one of the country’s southern provinces, situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. Take in the highway as you leave behind the busy city. Pass Rach Mieu bridge before reaching Huu Dinh hamlet. Get on a tri-motor cycle (xe loi) ride to enjoy the lush surroundings of rice paddies and fruit farms alongside the narrow village roads. Arrive at the waterfront, board the charming Mango Cruise for a glimpse at the Delta scenery while enjoying coconut juice. Make a first stop at a small brick workshop where the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand. Then you will head back to your boat to cross the An Hoa River, where you will start a Bicycle trip around Phong Nam village around 4 km, On the way stop for a visit at the local house where they live on coconuts processing, Continue the bike ride through gardens and stop at a rice noodles factory “hu tieu”, one of most popular breakfast dishes in the region.
Walk about 3 minutes to visit at Mrs. Huong’s home. Her family live on fishing, shrimp and farming. Enjoy the tropical fruits and honey tea in her garden before taking the rowing sampan, be paddled by a personalized rower trip to discover the maze of small canals. Then rowing you back to your mango boat and head to Mango home restaurant, enjoy your 5-course lunch and freshen up before switch to a bicycle and ride about 4 minutes (or 7-10 minutes’ walk) on village roads past green gardens and local houses, and stop at another local house of Mr Sau Tuong, a former Vietcong soldier who survived two years fighting the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh. Now he and his wife live on making rice paper which is the most famous specialty of My Long village. Have a chat with him and enjoy the crispy rice paper made by his wife, and see how it is made. After the visit, the boat will be waiting for you at the pier nearby to bring you back to Ben Tre city where your car will be ready to take you back to Saigon. Accommodation at hotel in Saigon.
Day 4: Saigon – Danang – Hoi An (B)
More leisure time until transfer to airport for the flight to Danang (depending on current flight schedule, late check-out in Saigon, or early check-in in Danang is requested as optional). Arrival in Danang meet & greet your tour guide and transfer to Hoi An for hotel check-in. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Accommodation at hotel in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An (B)
Half day walking tour in the morning: Visit of Hoi An’s old quarter with History Museum, Chinese Assembly Hall, Japanese covered bridge and historic old house (walking tour) We start the walking tour at the Culture and History Museum where you will learn about the history of this charming and peaceful town before you walk around the small market. Walk along the main street to the Chinese Assembly Hall of Fujien Chinese community. The hall, built in 1697, has been used as the worshipping place to dedicate to Thien Hau (the Goddess of the Sea or Holy Mother). Continue to the river bank along narrow streets – on both sides are old houses transformed into beautifully decorated shops with colorful lanterns in different shapes. Next we’ll stop to see the Japanese covered bridge built in the early 17th century by Japanese traders who settled in the town. The special pagoda-shaped bridge is now the official symbol of Hoi An. We finish with a visit to a historic old house of this UNESCOrecognized town. Afternoon is free at leisure. Accommodation at Hotel in Hoi An.
Evening optional: Vespa tour Hoi An foodie night (dinner included) Time: 17:30 – 20:30
Includes: Vespa, gas, tour guide, food, drinks (including alcoholic drinks) and driver.
Description: Starting out at our central Hoi An café, sample the delicious local street food delight that is Banh Can while watching the streets & stalls come to life and sipping a cocktail. After the first taster, head out on the Vespa’s to try the famous ‘White Rose’ in town. We then head to lantern lit An Hoi Islet and jump in a local boat for a slow ride alongside the ancient town to Cam Nam Island where we join the locals for a seafood starter overlooking the Thu Bon River as the sun sets on Hoi An & enjoy a few cold beers. A leisurely drive along the banks of the river and through the alleyways & streets takes us to a lively local restaurant where we cook a hot pot at the table and learn the art of wrap ‘n’ roll – Vietnamese style! A short ride through the busy streets and alleys takes us to our last port of call, and a recent addition to Hoi An’s vibrant dining scene, a modern Vietnamese restaurant nestled in the rice paddy fields,
where we tuck into some awesome BBQ specialties, char grilled DIY style at our table! As is customary, cold beers are consumed, and we finish with the delicious dessert of “banh flan”, a light version of crème caramel.
Stops include: Café Zoom, street food snack, Hoi An speciality dishes, local boat ride, and many local seafood
Day 6: Hoi An (B/L)
Half day trip to My Son: Located 40 km from Hoi An, My Son is the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled central Vietnam from the 2nd to 15th century. The Cham religion was primarily derived from Indian Hinduism. My Son is considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham structures in Vietnam. The complex is comprised of 70 Hindulike towers and temples dating from the second century. This site is one of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam, which was heavily damaged by American bombing. Of the once 90 buildings of different sizes, 60 are still visible today, which are in different stages of restoration. Afternoon at leisure and for shopping.
Accommodation at hotel in Hoi An.
Day 7: Hoi An – Danang – Phu Loc of Hue (B)
At your own peace, we check out after a relaxed breakfast in your hotel and head to Phu Loc Town of Hue. On the way it goes via Hai Van Pass with stopover to visit Cham Museum. The Cham Museum, housed in a classical French colonial building in Danang, has the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. Accommodation at hotel in Phu Loc town (only for Relaxed Category) or in Hue (for Leisure Category)
Day 8: Phu Loc town of Hue (B)
In the morning you have the opportunity to participate in a Tai Chi or Yoga Class and then choose from the special Spa menu a spa treatment (at Vedana Lagoon only) of your choice (the spa menu optional is paid by your own). Afternoon free time at leisure. Accommodation at hotel in Phu Loc town (for Relaxed Category) or in Hue (for Leisure
Day 9: Phu Loc town (Hue) – Hue (B)
Morning drive to Hue. Visit the Imperial Palace It was began in 1802 and completed in 1833 and from here the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty ruled Vietnam till 1945. Entering the citadel via a stone bridge you can see the Thai Hoa Palace, an important venue for official receptions and other important court ceremonies. The ostentatious columns supporting the roof are lacquered and inlaid with gold. There is a pair of smaller halls behind the Thai Hoa Palace used by mandarins to prepare for court ceremonies. Cyclo tour in Citadel. This one-hour pedicab ride gives you a chance to assess the size of the citadel and to watch the daily life of people living in its boundaries. Visit Tu Duc Tomb – one of the most beautiful works of royal architecture of the Nguyen dynasty. In a sprawling lush pine forest 8km (5 miles) from Hue, this tomb is the final resting place of Emperor Tu Duc (1847-83) who enjoyed the longest reign of any monarch of the Nguyen dynasty. The construction of the tomb started in December 1864 and was completed in 1867. Accommodation at hotel in Hue.
Day 10: Hue (B)
Boat trip to visit Thien Mu pagoda and Minh Mang Tomb You will board a traditional “Dragon Boat” for a 40 minutes ride on the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda, which overlooks the river. The Thien Mu Pagoda or the Heavenly Lady pagoda has two sections. The front of the Pagoda houses the seven-storey octagonal Phuoc Duyen tower, which has become the symbol of Hue. The other section of the pagoda is its rear portion, where the monks of the temple live and practice Buddhism. The Pagoda was the center of Buddhism in central Vietnam. In 1963, in an act of defiance against the Diem regime, Thich Quang Duc torched himself in downtown Saigon. Today, pagoda visitors can see the car that took him to Saigon kept in the rear of Thien Mu Pagoda. Then, proceed to visit the tomb of Minh Mang. Visit Minh Mang Tomb – one of the most interesting emperor tombs in Hue. Its architecture harmonizes perfectly with the surrounding scenery. Like in other tombs of this period, the general elements of the tomb architecture are: outerwalls, triple gate (Tam Quan Gate), Salutation Court, Stele House, temples, lakes, pavilions, gardens and the tomb itself.
Afternoon, free time at leisure. Accommodation at hotel in Hue.
Day 11: Hue – Hanoi (B)
After breakfast, transfer to airport for the flight to Hanoi. Arrival in Hanoi, meet and greet your tour guide and transfer to Hanoi. Half day city tour in Hanoi. Visit Ba Dinh Square, Presidential Palace, One-Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple. With a millennium-long history, Hanoi is a city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks dotted with French-style buildings and historical monuments. During the half-day city tour, you’ll see cultural and historical highlights, comprising Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh’s former residence, Presidential Palace (for outside photo taken), One-pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, and Ngoc Son Temple. The tour gives you time for shopping and socializing with local people. The One-Pillar Pagoda was originally built by Emperor Ly Thai Thong around 1049. It was destroyed by the French just before they quit Hanoi in 1954. The structure you can see today is a reconstruction. The legend goes that the Emperor built the pagoda in gratitude to the Goddess of Mercy after he had a dream of her seated on a lotus and presenting him with a baby boy. The once childless Emperor met and married a peasant girl who bore him a son soon after. Hence the pagoda is built in the shape of a lotus flower. Visit the Old Quarter: As over a-thousand-year history, 36 streets with each taking a different name after its product. It remains one of Vietnam’s most lively and unusual places, where visitors can buy anything from precious stones to silk kimonos. Some of the specialized streets here include Hang Bac with a trip of snazzy jewelry shops or Hang Ngang with a row of clothing shops and tailors’. Moreover, a stroll through this historic Old Quarter with a stop at Dong Xuan Market is highly recommended for visitors who can get a good dose of Vietnamese culture and some insight into the country’s long history. Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi.
Day 12: Hanoi (B/L)
Pick up at our hotel in Hanoi to drive to Hoa Sua School in Linh Nam. On arrival, we will have a cooking course. Our teacher will show us how to prepare the ingredients to make the food and follow the recipes. After that, we will return to Hoa Sua School and start our cooking lesion. The cooking teachers bring their excellent skills to you in a fun environment! They have often practised themselves abroad and thus have numerous experiences and are able to speak good English. They will be teaching and introduce how to make the food follow our set menu. We will then do again follow the teacher’s help. Our menu normally includes: Fresh Spring roll with shrimp and pork, Fried spring roll, Vermicelli with dried beef salad and Sweet black sticky rice porridge (specific menu will be confirmed in advance). After class, we will sit down and enjoy the food that we’ve just prepared. We will then get in our car and back to the hotel. Afternoon for leisure to enjoy the old quarter on your own, do some souvenir shopping or relax at your hotel or at a café with a cup of typical Vietnamese Coffee.
Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi.
Day 13: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Halong. Arrival in Halong around noon. Embark to check-in the cruise and begin 3-day cruise through the marvellous Halong Bay. Visit some magical grottoes and relax in the best scenic beauty of Vietnam. Plenty of activities available on board such as a guided kayaking, cooking demonstration or simple go for a swim. Accommodation on board.
Day 14: Halong Bay (B/L/D)
Early risers can start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck or enjoy the breath-taking views of the bay as the boat starts cruising quietly. Visit Vung Vieng floating fishing village by traditional bamboo boat. Lunch is served on the board restaurant. Continue to explore the Ha Long Bay in the afternoon. Accommodation on board.
Day 15: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure (B)
More cruise in Halong Bay. A farewell brunch is served and disembark the boat to return back to Hanoi. On the way, you will visit a pottery village with a 500-year history where thousands of kilns still burn day and night. Escorted by a local potter guide, you will thrill to the sights and sounds of the kilns, explore pottery techniques handed down from generation to generation and become familiar with the potters’ daily life.
Transfer to airport for departure flight home.
– All described sightseeing as in program above
– Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle
– Accommodation in hotels with daily breakfast
– English-speaking local guides
– (your Focus Asia tour guide is not on cruise with you – cruise provide their own guides)
– Admission fees to indicated sights
– Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
– Domestic gov’t tax and service charge
– Domestic flights Saigon – Danang, Hue – Hanoi (economy class, included airport tax – airfares are subject to change without notice)
– International air tickets
– Visa fee
– Travel Insurance in all kinds
– Meals: if not mentioned in itinerary
– Drinks during Meals
– Drinks, personal expenses and others not stated
– Early Check-In and Late Check-Out