Vietnam Classic Tours

The Best of Vietnam

Number of days: 14

Price from: 1,162$

Tour type: Private Tour

Departure: Daily

Start from: Hanoi or reverse

Highlights: Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Cuchi Tunnels, Mekong Delta, Can Tho

The Best of Vietnam 14 day tour is your best choice if you want to experience the totality of Vietnam: the land, the people, the culture, and the history, as a Vietnamese person would be. In this tour, as you travel through the country you will experience all forms of transport: car, train, airplane, boat, walking and hiking. During 2 weeks traveling with Private Asia Tours, you will trace the path of the founding of Vietnam, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon. This is the ultimate tour of Vietnam-an in-depth exploration of Vietnam’s most interesting cities and countryside. Traveling across the country from North to South, you can explore the colonial elegance of Hanoi - our romantic capitol, Halong Bay - our world's natural heritage site, Sapa - with magnificent mountainous views and opportunities to meet with H'mong and Dzao hill tribes, Hue - the ancient citadel of the last King in Vietnam until 1954, Hoi An - a magical lantern-lit town for all tourist alike, our beloved Mekong Delta - the lush forests and major cultivation area for Vietnam, Can Tho - a discovery of daily life in the delta, and finally, the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon - all a major city has to offer.

  • Overview
  • Trip Itinerary
  • Accommodations
  • Travel Info
  • Trip Map
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  • DESTINATIONS 


    * Hanoi - Exploration of this charming, historical centre and its French provincial influences 

    * Halong Bay - Vietnam’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’; the stunning beauty of the 3,000 islets of the Gulf of Tonkin

    * Hoi An - Discover this charming UNESCO World Heritage listed site 

    * Hue - The country’s former imperial capital  

    * Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) - Vietnam’s most cosmopolitan and vibrant city 

    * Mekong Delta - ‘Rice basket of Vietnam’ and home to many living, working and travelling along the river 


    ACTIVITIES

    Cultural Tours / History & Archaeology Tours / Museums & Galleries / Caves / Music / Shopping / Walking Tours / Boating & Sailing


    TRIP AT A GLANCE

    Day 01: Arrive Hanoi - Transfer to Hotel

    Day 02: Hanoi City Tour & Night train to Sapa (B)

    Day 03: Explore Sapa (B)

    Day 04: Visit Sapa Villages (B/L)

    Day 05: Visit a Hill Tribe Market & Night train back to Hanoi (B)

    Day 06: Hanoi - Drive to Halong Bay & Overnight on Boat (B/L/D)

    Day 07: Halong to Hanoi Airport & Fly to Da Nang / Hoi An (B)

    Day 08: Visit Hoian Ancient TownMyson Sanctuary (B)

    Day 09: Hoian - Drive to Hue & Visit Royal Palaces (B)

    Day 10: Hue - Fly to Ho Chi Minh & City Tour (B)

    Day 11: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta Tour - Can Tho (B/L)

    Day 12: Visit Cai Rang Floating Market - Return to Ho Chi Minh (B/L)

    Day 13: Visit Cu Chi Tunnels & Caodai Great Temple (B)

    Day 14: Departure from Ho Chi Minh - Farewell to Vietnam (B)

    Include:

    - Accommodation with daily breakfast bases on twin/double share

    - Overnight boat cruise in Halong Bay (2 days/1 night)

    - Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)

    - Transportation by private vehicle with A/C

    - 2 domestic flights: Hanoi-Danang, Danang-HCM (Economy Class)

    - Return train tickets in soft berth cabin with A/C: Hanoi – Sapa – Hanoi

    - Boat trips as mentioned in the program

    - Private local English speaking tour guides

    - All entrance fees and permits where applicable


    Exclude:

    - Meals that not mentioned in the program

    - Travel insurance

    - Vietnam visa 

    - Airfare to/from the trip start/finish point

    - Tipping, drinks and other personal expenses


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dear Do Ha

    We arrived home safely from our trip to Vietnam. I want to thank you for all the great planning and tours that were offered by Private Asia Tours. You have a beautiful country and you should be proud of your heritage and national treasures. The service provided by all of the tour guides was first rate and it made us feel very  welcomed and privileged to be on this tour. Please pass on our complements and gratefulness to our three guides and thank them for the exceptional service (Jane, Juan and Thu).

    I will certainly recommend this tour to all of our friends.


    All the best.

    Best regards,

    Lester and Anna Chan

  • DETAILED ITINERARY


    Day 01: Arrive Hanoi - Transfer to Hotel

    Upon arrival in our thousand years Capital – Hanoi City, our guide will welcome you at Noi Bai airport and then transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Relax some time to recover somewhat from jet-lag. 

    If time permits, take an orientation walking tour of Hanoi. You will visit our legend/history about Hoan Kiem Lake (the lake of the Restored Sword), our architectural and our way of with small streets and its name (Old Quarter). Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

    Day 02: Hanoi City Tour & Night train to Sapa (B)

    Today, we will take the sightseeing of the most city's outstanding historical and cultural sites. The visit includes:
    - The complex of Ho Chi Minh historical sites, also called the political center of Vietnam including Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's House on Stilt, One Pilla Pagoda.
    - The Temple of Literature for the brief understanding about the two most popular religions in Vietnam (Buddhism and Confucianism).
    - Visit one of the museums in Hanoi (Museum of History, Museum of Ethnology, Museum of Fine Art, Hoa Lo Prison, etc). 
    - Enjoy our welcome show of northern rural of Vietnam – Water Puppet show.
    You will have time for your own dinner before the transfer to Railway station for night train to Sapa. 
    Overnight on the train in 4 soft berths cabin with A/C.

    Notes:
    - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed on Monday & Friday and closed on October and November. 
    - Museums are closed on Monday. 
    - If you want to have a private 2 person cabin on the train, the extra charge is 60 US$ Per Person for the round trip.



    Day 03: Explore Sapa (B)

    Arrive at Lao Cai train station at about 6.00am. Meet the local guide at the main entrance and take our private car for the transfer to Sapa 35km away. 

    Have breakfast and relax before exploring Sapa town and the local market in the town. 
    In the afternoon, take a 2km short trekking with the local guide to Cat Cat Village, the home of H’mong Ethnic. Meeting and talking with locals at their home to learn more about their daily life and get to know their habits. From here, you will have a chance to see the hydroelectric power station built by the French by the wonderful waterfall. Get back to the town in late afternoon. Overnight in Sapa.

    Day 04: Visit Sapa Villages (B/L)
    A whole day today is for discovering the nature as well as different culture of hill tribal people. From hotel we start our trekking up and down hills with nice rice terraces, spectacular scenery the Fansipan Mount, and through scenic Muong Hoa valley. We walk up and down the rice terraces, hills, bamboo forests and streams to Lao Chai and Ta Van Villages which are ecorated by terraced-fields and the house of H'mong, Red Zao and Zay people. You will have great opportunity for taking photos of breathtaking landscapes, meeting friendly hill-tribe people at home and work, and getting to understand their tradition, habits... We will return to our hotel in Sapa by car in afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Sapa. 

    Note: A full or half day trekking or moving by car and short walk is on your request.


    Day 05: Visit a Hill Tribe Market & Night train back to Hanoi (B)

    After breakfast we will leave for a Hill Tribe Market for about 3 hours driving to the market. Join in the colorful market of the tribal people in this region. On the fair market the H'mong, Dzao, Phu La people in their best traditional costumes go to the market for shopping and meeting friends and relatives…

    Say goodbye to the colorful market and drive to Chay River where you will get on a boat for a river adventure. You are bound to feel great and find yourselves smaller among high Rock Mountains and to be surprised at white and breathtakingly waterfalls while cruising along the river. Get off the boat to visit a village of the Tay Minority (Trung Do village) by the river. After the boat trip, we drive back to Laocai and pay a short visit to the Vietnam-Chinese border gate.

    You will have time for your own dinner at a local restaurant in the town before driving to the railways station for night train to Hanoi. Overnight on the train in an air-con soft berth cabin.
    Note: If the water level on Chay River is too low to run the boat trip, we will replace by a village visit. 

    Day 06: Hanoi to Ha Long Bay - Take the overnight Cruise (B/L/D)
    The train arrives back to Hanoi around 4:30am and walk to our  dayuse hotel by the train station for few hours relaxing and having breakfast. 
    8:00 am: After breakfast, you will leave for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karst’ landscape. There you will board your boat, a wooden junk built from the model of the old Vietnamese court vessels with sails, a wide transom and rectangular superstructure, that will take you first to the busy World Heritage area and then to some of the less well-known grottoes and caves. Weather permitting, you will be able to swim, fish, climb a hill for an overview of the Bay’s remarkable seascape, or venture into some of the sea level caves in a small sampan. All your meals will be provided on board, usually based on fresh seafood. Your overnight will be aboard.


    Day 07: Halong to Hanoi Airport & Fly to Da Nang - Hoi An (B)
    Participate in Tai Chi o­n the top deck or simply watch the sunrise over the magnificent bay. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee or juice before setting out to the near- by cave by row boat, etc. Return back to the junk, where breakfast is served, while sailing around the Bay.
    Your cruise will end at noon and you will be met by your driver for the transfer to the airport in Hanoi for the late afternoon flight to Danang. Arrive in Danang, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Hoian town, around 30km away. Overnight at hotel in Hoian. 

    Day 08: Visit Myson Sanctuary & HoiAn Ancient Town (B)

    Morning, take a discovery trip to Myson, 40km from Hoi An. Located in a lush valley, My Son was a capital and religious center of Cham people, now remaining with red brick towers and sanctuaries. My Son, considered being in the same league as some of Southeast Asia's greatest archaeological sites, including Angkor in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar, Ayutthaya in Thailand and Borobudur in Indonesia. These towers and sanctuaries were built from the 7 to 13 centuries. Admiring great architectural and art works of the Cham lost Kingdom. Having a brief understanding of the history, culture for which My Son was recognized the World Cultural Heritage. Return to Hoi An at noon.

    In the afternoon, you will have a guided tour to see the interesting sights of this ancient city. Some hundreds years ago, this town thrived o­n trading with the Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. You will visit a historical Old House, Japanese Covered Bridge, Old Temple and Silk Factory. Overnight at hotel in Hoian.  



    Day 09: Hoian to Hue & Visit Royal Palaces (B)
    After breakfast in the hotel, you will have a four hour drive over the scenic Hai Van pass along the coast to the old citadel of Hue. On the way, visit Marble Mountain in Danang and you will have a short stop in spectacular Lang Co beach for a view before continue on our drive to Hue.  

    Afternoon, take the sightseeing in Hue to the Ancient Imperial Citadel, a complex of palaces and temples built by the Nguyen from early 19th Century for which Hue was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage.

    Then you will embark on a drive to Hue’s countryside to reach the Emperor Ming Mang’s tomb. It is one of the most beautiful of all Emperors tombs, in a complex of pavilions, temple, courtyards and lakes. 
    Late afternoon, visit Thien Mu pagoda and enjoy the leisure boat trip on the scenic Perfume River. Overnight at hotel in Hue.


    Day 10: Hue - Ho Chi Minh City (B)

    Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon). On arrival, you will explore this cosmopolitan city o­n a guided tour. High lights are the famed Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Reunification Palace, War Remnant Museum, Municipal Theater, Ben Thanh Market. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh.



    Day 11: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta Tour - Can Tho (B/L)

    This morning we set off for a drive through the Mekong Delta to the town of Cai Be, well-known for its floating market. Here we will board our private boat for a cruise along the maze of waterways and canals to Vinh Long. We will stop at the home of a Bonsai gardener for a sumptuous Delta lunch, including the popular dish of 'Elephant ear fish', before continuing our exploration of the tributaries and canals of the delta. Towards the end of the day we arrive in Can Tho where we stay at the hotel.



    Day 12: Visit Cai Rang floating market & Return to Ho Chi Minh (B/L)

    Rising early to the sounds of the Delta coming to life for another day, we breakfast and start our trip with a boat cruise on sparking streams along the endless waterway of Mighty Mekong River to Cai Rang floating market. There will be hundreds of boats loaded with fruits, vegetables and fish jostling for trade. Sellers advertisers their wares by crying out across the waters. We visit the lush orchards and are treated to a delicious tropical fruits. Afternoon drive back to Ho Chi Minh. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh.


    Day 13: Visit Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Great Temple (B)

    Depart hotel in the morning to visit Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, where each day at noon a prayer service is held. It is a striking structure on a very large compound. The term Cao Dai (meaning higher tower or place) is a euphemism for God. Caodaism was found in the 1920’s by Ngo Minh Chieu, using a combination of teaching from Buddism, Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and other religions into one religion to promote peace.
    Then, visit Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground tunnels begun in 1948 by the Viet Minh in their struggle against the French. These tunnels were expanded and used by the Viet Cong during the war between Vietnam and America. Americans called this the “Iron Triangle” and was a stronghold of the Vietcong for almost thirty years. You can crawl underground in the tunnels, try the raffle shooting at your own cost, etc... 
    Return to hotel in HCM in late afternoon. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh.



    Day 14: Departure from Ho Chi Minh - Farewell to Vietnam (B)
    You will be free until the departure time until the transfer you to the airport in Ho Chi Minh for your departure flight home or to next destination. Say farewell to Ho Chi Minh & Vietnam. 

  • Categories of Accommodation


    Value:

    With basic hotels and simple accommodation, this is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel. We would normally accommodate your in these in remote areas.


    Standard:

    Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant. Sometimes these are a good affordable choice in cities where accommodation is very expensive, but where being centrally located is a prime consideration.


    Superior:

    Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre. This is the 'classic' hotel standard we use on most of our group based tours.


    Deluxe:

    Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care. India and Southeast Asia have a fabulous array of top notch 5-star properties.


    Luxury:

    Luxury accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!


  • VIETNAM

    Visa and Passport
    Except for a number of ASEAN countries a visa is required to visit Vietnam. If your itinerary requires two
    entries into Vietnam then a double entry visa must be obtained. If your trip is postponed or delayed it may be necessary to obtain another visa if your original visa is not valid for your new dates of travel.

    Tourist Visa
    A Vietnam Tourist Visa is valid for the period of 30-days and for a single entry (unless endorsed for a double entry at additional cost). Your passport must be sent to the embassy along with payment with prepaid shipping arrangements with Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, FedEx, etc., two completed visa applications and two passport photos. Allow five-business days for processing.

    Visa-on-Arrival
    A Visa-on-Arrival is available if you are pre-approved for the visa. In lieu of a stamped visa in your passport prior to departure a fax from the Department of Immigration is issued and used as your travel document for boarding your international flight to Vietnam. This system has been working for a number of years now and is extremely reliable. Visa-on-Arrival processing charges are normally $25 and a $45 fee is payable directly to Vietnamese Immigration upon arrival.

    Double Entry Visa
    A Double Entry Visa is a Tourist Visa endorsed for a double entry. If your itinerary requires a double entry be sure and obtain the Double Entry Visa.

    Re-Entry Visa
    Re-entry Visas, prior to departing Vietnam, are possible to obtain in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City through authorized agencies for a fee of approximately $25, however it requires one-to-two days and the deposit of your passport. This is not advisable unless your itinerary allows ample time and you remain in the city where the application was filed until the visa is issued. It is strongly advised to obtain a Double Entry Visa prior entering Vietnam.

    Passport Validity Dates
    Your passport must have a validity date of at least six-months remaining after your visit to Vietnam is completed.

    Travel Document Companies
    Unless you live nearby a Vietnamese embassy or consulate or are experienced in dealing with embassies by mail or telephone, it is advised that you use a travel document company to obtain your visa.
    Notes: You can email us at info@privateasiatours.com for more advice on Vietnam Visa information. The service is free of charge. All the emails will be replied within 24h.

    Entry Procedures
    Arrival and Departure Cards are required to be completed upon entry into Vietnam; they will be provided by the airline or at the border gate. The yellow copy of the card will be returned to you and must be submitted when you depart Vietnam; keep it in a safe place. Making a photocopy of it is a good idea and keeping it with your other photocopies.
    If you have been pre-approved for a Visa-on-Arrival simply process though the Visa-on-Arrival lane at immigration.
    Once your visa formalities have been completed claim your baggage and process through customs.


    Duty Free
    One-carton of cigarettes and one bottle of liquor.

    Exit Procedures
    Complete the customs declaration and process through customs then complete the immigration processing where you will be required to return the yellow copy of your Arrival and Departure Card.

    Tendering Passports
    Vietnamese law requires that passports be tendered to the hotel each evening. This may appear odd to Western travelers but until the 1960's a number of European countries required that passports be tendered to the hotel each evening.

    Travel Insurance
    Traveler's Insurance is strongly recommended. A number of companies sell competing policies and it is a good idea to read the fine print and ask questions if you are in doubt.
    Note: some insurance companies cover travel insurance in their existing policies; check, you may already be covered. Policies have differing benefits for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical and dental coverage, and emergency medical transportation, lost baggage, missed connections, and accidents.
    Of special note is the emergency medical transportation. This is extremely costly; if you any health condition which may require medical evacuation you should check to see if you are currently covered and if not purchase the insurance. Medical treatment, if required, can be costly and the pay is usually in cash.

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