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Classic Vietnam[ Print this itinerary Print this itinerary ]

The Classic Vietnam tour takes you to all the major sites Vietnam has to offer as well as some more remote locations such as Sapa with its array of colourful hill tribes and unique wildlife to the better known romantic sounding perfume river and the forbidden citadel of Hue.
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Starting at $ 3,565
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  • Sa Pa
  • H'mong Hill tribes
  • Victoria Express train Journey
  • Halong Bay Cruise
  • Hue Citadel
  • Ancient Town of Hoi An
  • Thien Mu Pagoda, Imperial Citadel and Forbidden Citadel Tour
  • The Notre Dame Cathedral at Saigon
  • Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Centre
Day 1 - Hanoi

Arrive at Hanoi and transfer to Hotel for check in

You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi to check in with the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Accommodation: Intercontinental West Lake
  • Basis: Breakfast only
Day 2 - Hanoi to Sa Pa

Hanoi City tour then Board Victoria Train to Sa pa

Vietnam’s charming capital was founded in 1010 by Emperor Ly Thai To and rests on the banks of the Red River. Soviet style buildings can be found alongside French colonial villas and make for a fascinating blend of architectural styles. Wander through the Old quarter with its winding alleys, crowded markets and traditional shop houses and take in some history with a visit to the Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda before paying your respects at the mausoleum of the man who led the country to independence, Ho Chi Minh. Then perhaps take a well-earned break and chill out in one of the many cafés beside Hoan Kiem Lake and watch the world go by.

Accommodation: Victoria Express train-Superior cabin (sharing)

  • Basis: Bed Only
  • Day 3 - Sa Pa

    Arrive Lao Cai, Trek through hill tribe villages and meet locals for lunch

    The train arrives in Lao Cai where you will be met and driven to your hotel for breakfast before setting off to visit Lao Chai village, Home of the Black Hmong hill tribe. We walk from Lao Chai to Ta Van - the only village in the Sapa valley. In Ta Van you enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by our local guide in a village house. After lunch the trek continues through the bamboo forest before reaching Giang Ta Chai, where we have the opportunity to meet the Red Dao people.

    You return to your hotel for check-in with the remainder of the day at leisure.

    • Accommodation: Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa Hotel
    • Basis: Half Board
    Day 4 - Sa Pa

    Bac Ha Market & Flower Hmong Village tour

    Rising to the sounds of a dawn chorus you take breakfast before heading out for a visit to the spectacular and very colorful markets of northern Vietnam. Here you have the opportunity to see hundreds of local people in their traditional attire busily buying and selling the local produce. This is golden opportunity to learn more about hill tribe transactions as well a great chance to grab some amazing photographs. In the Afternoon we have a pleasant walk to THE Flower H’mong village of Banpho before transferring back to Sapa. From Sapa the round trip takes between 8hrs-10 hrs.

    • Accommodation: Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa Hotel
    • Basis: Breakfast Only
    Day 5 - Sa Pa to Hanoi

    Day at leisure until you board the Express train back to Hanoi.

    Your free to explore Sapa or make full use of the facilities at the Victoria Spa resort before your taken to the station for your overnight journey back to Hanoi.

    • Accommodation: Victoria Express train-Superior cabin (Shared Cabin)
    • Basis: Breakfast Only
    Day 6 - Hanoi to Hạ Long Bay

    Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to Ha Long Bay for your cruise.

    You arrive in Hanoi early and transfer to the hotel for breakfast and to freshen up before the drive to Ha Long Bay of around 3.5 hours.

    Arriving by noon at the quayside, you board your luxury junk where a welcome drink awaits you. After settling into your room you can enjoy a delicious seafood lunch while cruising through Bai Tu Long bay. Later you have the opportunity to go trekking or swimming at Soi Sim Island. The cruise continues on to Hang Doi water tunnel which is reached by rowing boat before you dock for the night at around 18:30. Dinner is served on board in the dining room.

    • Accommodation: Halong Jasmine Cruise (Join-in junk/ private premium cabin)
    • Basis: Full Board
    Day 7 - Hạ Long Bay to Huế

    Arrive Back at Halong Bay at 11am and transfer to Hanoi airport for flight to Hue

    Wake early to catch the sunrise over the bay and enjoy a Tai Chi demonstration on the sun deck with a cup of coffee or tea in hand. You set sail for the splendid Sung Sot grotto and a glimpse’s of a nearby fishing village before heading back to Halong bay with brunch served on route.
    You arrive at the pier around 11am and drive back to Hanoi with a stop en route in the ceramic-making village of Phu Lang to observe the centuries old method of ceramic production (Time Permitting). Then you’re transferred back to the Hanoi airport for the evening flight to Hue. On arrival, meet and transfer to your hotel for check in.

    • Accommodation: La Residence Hotel
    • Basis: Breakfast Only
    Day 8 - Huế

    Boat to Thien Mu Pagoda, Imperial Citadel and Forbidden Citadel Tour

    After breakfast you take a boat upstream to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s most preserved religious monument standing on the riverbank at seven-floors tall. Then you’re driven to the Imperial Citadel with its high pitched roofs of red & gold and the Forbidden Citadel. Afterwards you enjoy a home cooked lunch at the restored Royal home of Ms. Vinh Tu. The afternoon gives you the chance to visit the elaborate Tu Duc Royal Tomb which was designed to blend in with the natural surroundings and the Khai Dinh Royal Tomb with a very different architectural atmosphere that has elements of eastern art mixed with western designs. At the end of your day’s tour you are driven back to the hotel in time for dinner and the rest of the evening at leisure.

    • Accommodation: La Residence Hotel
    • Basis: Half Board
    Day 9 - Huế to Hội An

    Drive to Hoi Na via Bach Ma National Park (subject to availability) through the Hai Van Pass

    After breakfast you’re taken to visit Bach Ma National Park before departing for Hoi An on a 3 to 4 hr journey. On route you stop at the Lang Co fishing village located on a sand dune which is a great photo opportunity. We continue your scenic drive over the Hai Van Cloudy Pass with its spectacular panoramic views of the coastline before continuing on to the ancient town of Hoi An and its eccentric mix of western and eastern-influenced architecture.

    You will be transferred to your hotel on arrival and have the Rest of the day at leisure.

    • Accommodation: Victoria Hoi An Resort
    • Basis: Breakfast Only
    Day 10 - Hội An

    Ancient City of Hoi An tour

    Your day starts with a walking tour through the ancient streets of Hoi An followed by a cooking class at Ms Vy’s restaurant. Ms Vy’s is a family run restaurant in Hoi An, called “The White Lantern” and her dishes have been handed down from generation to generation and are quite famous among the locals in Hoi An.

    In the afternoon you enjoy a walk through the Ancient Town of Hoi An with its former merchant houses that are a combination of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese style; the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge constructed in 1593 and the Sa Huynh Museum located near the Japanese covered Bridge. In the afternoon you enjoy a two hour boat ride on the Thu Bon River where you’ll see the ship building village of Kim Bong before heading off to visit Thanh Ha to see skilled locals at work producing beautiful pottery.

    • Accommodation: Victoria Hoi An Resort
    • Basis: Half Board
    Day 11 - Hội An to Ho Chi Minh City

    Transfer to Da Nang Airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh city

    After breakfast you will be transferred to airport for the flight to Saigon. Arrive Saigon meet your guide at the airport for transferring to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore Saigon.

    • Accommodation: Park Hyatt Hotel
    • Basis: Breakfast Only
    Day 12 - Ho Chi Minh City

    Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Centre & City tour

    You start the day with a visit to the Cu chi Wildlife rescue centre. This is the first multi-species wildlife hospital and holding facility in southern Viet Nam. Its main purpose is to help FPD staff to enforce the law by providing accommodation and care for wild animals that have been confiscated from illegal traders while raising public awareness of the importance of conserving Vietnamese endangered wildlife.

    In the afternoon you visit Saigon and the Notre Dame Cathedral before visiting the Former Presidential Palace and War Remnant Museum to get a feel of Vietnamese history and people. We end the day by visiting the Saigon’s Binh Tay market and Thien Hau temple built by Cantonese Buddhists at the end of 18th century before heading back to your hotel.

    • Accommodation: Park Hyatt Hotel
    • Basis: Breakfast Only
    Day 13 - Ho Chi Minh City

    Transfer to SGN Airport for flight to Bangkok & Home

    Today you’ll be taken to Saigon airport for your return flight to Bangkok. Whereupon you may connect with your onward flight home.

    What's Included

    • Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary
    • Ground transportation with an English speaking driver/guide
    • Sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Park or reserve entry fees
    • Game drives /activities as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Information Kit

    What's Excluded

    • Gratuities and Tips
    • Visas and Insurance
    • Vaccinations
    • Optional activities (if any)
    • Souvenirs
    • All items of personal nature
    High - Fitness is vital at this level, as the environment traversed may be remote and challenging. These rugged experiences include long walks, trekking, cycling or rafting in isolated areas through variable weather conditions for up to eight to ten hours a day. These trips are usually 13 to 19 days in duration.

    The ‘Ultimate Nepal Trekker’, is a good example of this trip activity level as it involves hiking and trekking for up to eight hours a day. Maximum altitude will be 4000m and you need to be very fit in order to withstand the weather conditions. Also, ‘Kilimanjaro Trek- Rongai route’ is another example that applies to this this activity level. Good physical condition is essential and previous hill-walking experience or preparation is advisable.
    Other Activity Levels
    Basic - Designed for travellers who enjoy the outdoors, are in good health, and want an interesting yet relaxing wildlife experience. These trips may involve walking, trekking, hiking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking at a very slow pace. Certain trips involve safari drives for a maximum of five hours a day. Most of these trips are usually a week long in duration.

    The ‘Classic Yala Tour’, ‘Kenya Luxury’ and ‘Luxury in Botswana’ itineraries are the best examples of this activity level as you’ll have a relaxed holiday. These trips are mostly about culture and sightseeing. There will be exploring on foot and safaris drives involved as well. Most travellers will find themselves comfortable with the basic activity level trips.
    Moderate - Requires a spirit of adventure and some degree of fitness, as the trip might consist of many activities or long journeys. These adventures involve walking, trekking, hiking, cycling, rafting, sea kayaking, or driving for long hours, at times for up to six to eight hours a day at a steady pace. The maximum altitude is 3000m, so it requires you to be reasonably physically fit. The trips are usually 6 to 12 days in duration.

    The ‘Only Tigers’, a 11 day itinerary, is a perfect example of this activity level as it involves long journeys for up to eight hours a day and a bit of walking. Also, ‘Around Spitsbergen - Kvitøya and Beyond ’, a 10 day itinerary is another example of this trip activity level.

    You should be reasonably fit because you will be travelling in extreme weather conditions.
    Advanced - At this level, PlanetWildlife recommends previous experience of the activity involved. These are our most challenging and advanced expeditions. They include long walks, cycling, trekking, hiking or rafting in variable weather conditions for more than ten hours a day. These trips may often be over 3 weeks in duration.

    The ‘South Atlantic Odyssey’, a 31-day itinerary, is a perfect example of this trip activity level as it involves sailing for long hours in extreme weather conditions. Also, the ‘Snow Leopard Experience’ itinerary is another example which best suits this activity level. Ascents and descents are over 1000m at altitudes up to 6000m and the climate can be rigorous and challenging. Excellent physical condition and previous mountain trekking experience or appropriate preparation is essential.
    This trip can be tailor made to suit your travel dates and preferences. The itinerary is designed to give you an overview of what you can do in this destination and is only a recommendation. All aspects of the trip – such as accommodation, activities etc., can be altered as per your own requirements.

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