This trip brings you to the famed and iconic spots. However we promise an individual and memorable experience by adding healthy servings of creativity and panache. So to offer you the best possible service we find the trails and hidden gems that others overlook in their haste. When you visit the 'must do' spots with Handspan, you'll do more than just see them, we'll give you a deeper understanding of these beautiful places. We'll take you to the spots you expect to see while taking you far
|1||Hanoi arrival||Hotel in Hanoi||-|
|2||Hanoi behind the scene||Hotel in Hanoi||B|
|3||Hanoi – Halong||Traditional boat||B,L,D|
|4||Halong – Tam Coc||Hotel in Tam Coc||B,L,D|
|5||Tam Coc – Hanoi – Hue||Hotel in Hue||B,L|
|6||Hue heritage, people and nature||Hotel in Hue||B,L|
|7||Hue – Hoi An||Hotel in Hoi An||B,L|
|8||The untold Hoi An||Hotel in Hoi An||B,L|
|9||Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh city||Hotel in Saigon||B|
|10||Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi tunnels||Hotel in Saigon||B,L|
|11||Ho Chi Minh city – Can Tho||Hotel in Can Tho||B,L|
|12||Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh city and departure||Not included||B|
Meal: not any | Accommodation: hotel in Hanoi
Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. Time for relaxing after the journey.
With time permits, you’d have time for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry, an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.
Meal: not any | Accommodation: hotel in Hanoi
8:00 AM - Your guide meets you at your hotel. Let's grab a taxi and drive to the Ho Chi Minh complex. We walk through it and visit the gardens of the Presidential Palace. We then walk North and across a nice green park to reach the gates of Ngoc Ha village. This is an expedition throughout a real maze of narrow streets and alleys. We enter a lively bustling atmosphere: locals, merchants, shops, pre-schools, small market, a lake and a beautiful hidden temple. Opportunities for great photos are countless. We get out of the area with a nice feeling mixed with excitement and somehow relief.
We take a short taxi drive to the Southern edge of the West Lake and take the time for a quick refreshing drink while we are waiting for our electric cart to arrive. Ready to go again, we hop on the electric cart for a 1-hour ride on small roads all around the lake. It is a very pleasant journey, with nice views on the lake and the city. A totally different atmosphere from what we have experienced earlier. We loop the loop and the guide then takes you back to hotel by taxi.
The day program includes a visit to a religious architecture; it’s advisory to wear long trousers/blouse (enough to cover your shoulders/knees)
Meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: Treasure Junk
7:45 – Pick up from hotel to Handspan office for tour check-in procedure
8:00 - Depart from Hanoi for a 3.5 hours drive to Halong City through the Red River Delta. Upon arrival, get on board of the Treasure Junk. Start cruising from Hon Gai pier to the boundaries of Halong bay while lunch with fresh seafood is served (vegetarian and kids menus available).
After lunch, just make yourself at ease and relax. We are slowly getting off the classic cruising routes, far from the usual clichés of this busy tourism spot. Limestone rock formations will parade all around us for about 2 hours before our first stop.
We reach the perfect spot, where the waters of Halong and Bai Tu Long hit and wave together. Let's get ready for serious things. Swimming suits, ok. Kayaks and tender boat, ok. Paddles and gears, ok. Let's get closer to the water and explore the bay in depth.
After one/one and a half hour kayaking, we get back on board to refresh and start the aperitif on the sundeck. The boat cruises to its anchorage area. Dinner is served either inside or outside depending on weather conditions. Overnight on board in a cozy air-conditioned cabin with en-suite bathroom facilities.
The transfer from Hanoi to Halong is by shuttle bus. On the way to Halong and back to Hanoi, we will stop at a place with food, beverages and souvenirs for sale. This is not to trick you and that will be the only times of the whole trip you may feel in the tourism mass. But that is the only place on the way, where you, your driver and your guide can use clean toilets without being forced to buy anything. Thanks for your understanding.
In line with our responsible vision of tourism, please note that we do not include the most popular caves of the bay in our program. We consider that they are an insult to heritage preservation.
Meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner | Accommodation: hotel in Tam Coc
6:30 - Coffee, tea and cakes will be served. Wake up smoothly while witnessing the silence of beautiful misty bay. A 30-minute Tai Chi session will be organized, energize your body and soul or just allow yourself some farniente time on a sunbath with a cup of coffee.
About 7.45am, we hop on bamboo boats to go visiting a secluded floating village surrounded by the mountains. We trace our way between numerous floating houses and small rowing boats that serve the everyday life as vehicle, itinerant shops, fishing utility, sometimes overnight shelter.
Back on treasure before 9am, we start cruising back to the pier. From 9.30am, a brunch will be served. Take a last glance at the rocks, standing still as the eternal guardians of a kingdom, we are about to reach the pier.
11:30 – Transfer from Halong to Ninh Binh. The driving takes around 5 hours, you’ll reach Tam Coc (known as one of the most scenic spot of the region) in the late afternoon.
Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: Night train – soft sleeper cabin
After breakfast, we then embark on traditional rowing sampan for about one hour on a less travelled canal of the region. It goes through caves and along the border with the natural site of Trang An.
Afterwards, you’ll hop on bicycles for an easy-paced ride through scenic rural landscapes in Tam Coc. There’s time for a visit to Bich Dong pagoda en-route. The site offers a nice climb up to the top building for a breathtaking view of Tam Coc area. The cycling route ends at a local house and enjoy a home-cooked lunch.
Make your way back to the lodge for collecting your luggage. We start then our drive back to Hanoi, with a stop en route to visit the temples of the ancient imperial capital in Hoa Lu.
There’s enough time in Hanoi for dinner (at your own cost) before boarding a night train to Hue.
Travelling by train should be seen as an experience rather than a mode of transport. They offer 4-berth soft sleeper in air-conditioned cabin (so you’re likely to share with others). The beds are provided with clean blanket and pillow, but not so soft. Each carriage has 2 toilets, tiny but clean and at American standard. Please discuss with our travel consultant if you’d like to take a flight option instead
Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: hotel in Hue
Upon arrival in Hue, you’ll be picked up from railway station to a local restaurant for freshmen and breakfast.
Around 9:30 AM – the day starts with a visit of the citadel and an incredible jump into the past with the introduction to Vietnam History, its emperors, mandarins, and feudal system. A past heritage that is reinvented by the person we visit next. This artist took the tradition of using bamboo for paper production to a whole new level with his innovative techniques. He will introduce his art to us in his workshop. We end the morning with an easy paced visit of the Thien Mu pagoda, one of the prettiest religious buildings in Vietnam that was built in early 1600’s.
We cross the Perfume River on a local boat and reach Thuy Bieu village to have lunch at a local house. The village is a real maze of narrow alleys giving access to ancient garden houses all more beautiful than another. But the real treasures of this village are the people, descendants of the Mandarins. We have a gentle walk around and will stop by some house to meet villagers and taste some of their fruits.
On the way back to the city center, we visit emperor Tu Duc’s tomb and climb up a little hill to have a scenic view over the Perfume River.
Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: hotel in Hoi An
9:00 AM – Pick up from your hotel, we’ll then head to Thanh Thuy village for a visit to Hue’s rural life, starting with its daily market, crossing the village roofed-bridge to a small local museum, which introduce about local farming tools and technique.
Afterwards, your car head to Danang. On the way, you'll cross the Hai Van mountain pass. The views from the top are excellent – you should be able to see Lang Co beach and village, and the lagoon far below, with Danang spread out before you to the south.
There’s time for a visit to Cham museum before lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll have a guided visit to the Marble Mountain and Hoi An ancient town before settle down at your address in Hoi An.
Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: hotel in Hoi An
9:00 AM – pick up from your hotel to An Hoi pier, where you’ll find a a traditional long-tail racing boat are waiting. Our escape to the tranquil and scenic Hoi An’s backyard can start. We hit the waters of the Thu Bon River and travel to its estuary. The waterway is pretty large but sometimes very shallow; people can pull nets to fish simply walking on the bottom of the river. We reach the freshwater coconut mangrove of Cam Thanh after about 30 minutes, turn off the boat engine and use rowing paddles. This place needs silence to be fully appreciated. Our next stop will be a bamboo workshop; where you’ll meet a talented craftsman, learn about his family daily life and amazing bamboo product, and it’s time for your own product under his guidance.
Lunch will be served at a local house in a quiet Cam Thanh village. In the afternoon, we’ll get on about an hour cycling to a village which is famous across the country for its herbs and plants cultures. We are welcomed by a farmer who will take us around and introduce the different plants. At about 4 pm, we get back on the waters and head to the town again. We end the day in style, entering the old quarter through its waterway while the sun sets.
Meal: breakfast | Accommodation: hotel in Ho Chi Minh city
Time will be on your own until our driver arrives and takes you to Danang airport for boarding a flight to Ho Chi Minh city.
Upon your arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh city, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel in the city centre. After checking in, you’ll be free for a preliminary wander around District 1. Your overnight will be in Ho Chi Minh City.
Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: hotel in Ho Chi Minh city
8:00 AM - We depart from your hotel to visit Cu Chi - a byzantine maze of underground passages, chambers, rooms and booby traps used during the war. You'll be able to get an idea of what it would have been like to live, sleep and eat in the underground passages and bunkers during the fierce battles above and below the surface. Return to the city for lunch at a tasty restaurant in the city centre.
In the afternoon, you'll discover the Reunification Palace - a blend of traditional ritual and modern architecture, served as the presidential palace of South Vietnam until reunification in 1975. The building now functions as a museum, offering tours of the former state rooms, presidential office and library, living quarters of the president's family, and underground war rooms.
Our next destination is Binh Tay market and its surrounding area – known as Cholon or China town. The market is always busy, crowded and messy with small aisles selling all manner of goods, our main point is not for shopping but to enjoy the authentic Chinese atmosphere that has existed here for hundreds of years. There’s also time to visit Thien Hau pagoda before heading back to your hotel.
Meal: breakfast, lunch | Accommodation: hotel in Can Tho
8:00 – pick up from your hotel for an approximate 2.5 hour drive to our exploration area. We let the touristy spots behind and travel beyond, where very few other visitors have the chance to go.
We arrive at Cai Thia pier at about 10h30. Boat hits the waterways bring you to the village of Hoa Loc. We will cycle through the villages on the winding countryside roads. The first stop is the local house where they produce the typical rice paper, there will be lots of opportunities to interact with locals as you cycle through the villages. We also visit another family for a cup of tea and taste some local cakes.
We go back to our boat heading to further remote region of Mekong. We reach the canals, we’ll take a rowing boat that takes us deeper into the countryside of the Delta through the networks of small canals with traditional houses on both sides and lots of daily life.
Lunch will be served at a local homestay with featured local dishes. After lunch, we may leisure walk around lush garden or learn a bit history of traditional house by its owner.
In the afternoon, we cruise toward Vinh Long with more stops at local workshops. 16:00 – a quick transfer from Vinh Long pier to Can Tho, where you check-in your hotel and enjoy the night in this “mega city” of the Mekong Delta.
Meal: breakfast | Accommodation: not included
After an early breakfast, we start a boat cruise to head to the bustling Cai Rang floating market – the largest and most colorful in the Mekong delta. Feel free to take photographs, talk or bargain while our boat glides slowly through the market mayhem. There are fantastic photo opportunities amidst the huge variety of agricultural bounty on sale here. Farming boats big and small trade seasonal fruits and an array of other goods in a chorus of sights and smells that you won't soon forget.
We then take a leisurely stroll through the farms and houses of a nearby village to see fragrant tropical fruit orchards, cross over quiet streams on monkey bridges, pass by local market and pagoda.
A short drive takes you back to Can Tho for a relaxing lunch, and we then start the drive back to Saigon airport, in a good time for boarding your departure flight. End of our services.
PRICE PER GROUP based on group of 2 pax
|Accommodation||Price per person||Single sup.|
|Standard||USD 1244||USD 269|
|Superior||USD 1295||USD 320|
|Boutique||USD 1649||USD 525|
Single supplement applies for those who travels with others but requires single room for her/himself