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Vietnam Culture and Food 14 Days

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  • 14 Days

Mr. Phan Duc Son

Haivenu Tours

A Tailor-made specialist offering private tours and travel throughout Vietnam

  • Local time:01:39

Vietnam Culture and Food 14 Days

With a full two weeks, this Vietnam Culture and Food tour is packed with activities and flavours you won’t soon forget. From the morning coffee and ‘banh mi’ to the late-day local draft beer, try all the flavours of Hanoi as you view the city centre’s temples and historical sites. Enjoy hiking and boating near Ninh Binh, in an area of rugged karst mountains laced with placid streams. Cruising through the dramatic scenery of Halong and Bai Tu Long bay, swim, kayak, stop by a beach, or simply relax and enjoy the considerable amenities available on your cruise. In the mountain town of Sapa, hike through picturesque valleys and visit colourful ethnic minority communities. Visit the Royal Citadel in Hue, and enjoy a real taste of history with a meal of classic Hue cuisine in a garden house. In Hoi An, get your hands dirty on a ‘Farmer to Fisherman’ tour, riding bicycle among the rice fields and joining local fishermen on traditional ‘basket boats’. Take a cooking class featuring traditional Hoi An cuisine, including a market visit, then head for the beach or stroll the town’s quiet streets, before returning home, refreshed.

Arrival at Hanoi

Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.

Hanoi for 2 nights

“Hanoi: Like a Local”

Today, meet your guide and driver in the early morning at 6.00am and head towards Hoan Kiem Lake. It is a popular practice in Vietnam to awake very early and start the morning with some exercise. You’ll see several groups of people here practicing tai chi and aerobics. Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and join the locals in their morning routine. Passing Ngoc Son Temple, you will visit a traditional coffee shop for a taste of Vietnam’s local iced coffee, ‘Ca phe sua da’. If you're up for it, you can also try the ‘Egg coffee’. Continue from here to find some street food; we recommend the delicious ‘banh mi’, a typical baguette sandwich filled with a variety of fresh local ingredients. Later, proceed farther into Hanoi’s Old Quarter for glimpses of French architectural influence as seen in different Vietnamese buildings. The first stop will be the St. Joseph Cathedral, a French gothic building constructed in 1886. Next, you’ll arrive at Hoa Lo Prison, where Vietnamese, American and French prisoners were kept in different periods. Vietnam is justifiably well known for its food, and you will now stop by a ‘Bun Cha’ restaurant to try this specialty of Hanoi. After lunch, you will visit the Temple of Literature. Built in 1076, this temple was the site of Vietnam’s first university, established to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The day’s final sightseeing stop will be at the railway line cutting through urban Hanoi, sometimes running just meters away from the front doors of houses! Walking along a stretch of the railway with your guide offers some incredible photo opportunities. The tour will finish, in true local style, at a Bia Hoi where you can enjoy some local draft beer. Note that innumerable street food specialties will be available throughout the day; to best appreciate them you may wish to skip your hotel breakfast before this tour. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for Tu Phu show and you will spend the night in Hanoi. Read more

Hanoi for 2 nights

Hanoi/Hoa Lu/Tam Coc

, G) In the morning, you’ll be picked up to travel to Hoa Lu – the former capital of Vietnam, about a two-hour drive from Hanoi. On arrival, you’ll visit two temples, one dedicated to Emperor Dinh and the other in memory of Emperor Le, followed by a brief visit to the remains of the Old Palace. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll have a short hike to the top of Hang Mua where you can see the panorama view of Tam Coc and Trang An. Later, you will visit Tam Coc (three caves), a peaceful valley among limestone ‘karst’ hills by rowed boat, along a gentle river between paddy fields and through the caves. On the way back, you’ll disembark for a pleasant stroll (about 2km) through the rural scenery to Thai Vi temple. You’ll spend the night in a small garden hotel in Tam Coc. Read more

Tam Coc for 1 night

Tam Coc/Ninh Binh/Ha Long Bay

After breakfast, the time will be yours to enjoy the natural sightseeing before leaving for Ha Long Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas and the world’s largest marine limestone ‘karst’ landscape. There you’ll board a wooden junk to take you through Bai Tu Long Bay area. You’ll explore Lom Bo are and be charmed by the outstanding masterpiece of the Mother Nature. You’ll dock to visit one of the less visited caves in the Bay – Me Cung cave, climb up and see the panoramic view of the bay from above then enjoy swimming in the crystal water of the peaceful Bay (weather permitted). You’ll spend the night on boat. For your Ha Long excursion, you'll board the deluxe La Fairy Cruise - a newly wooden boat in Ha Long Bay. It’s based on the model of the old Chinese court vessels with two barge sails, a wide transom and a rectangular superstructure. The boat has 11 cabins with 7 twin/double bedded cabins, 2 triple cabins and 2 connecting cabin which is available for maximum 26 people. All cabins are air-conditioned and have windows overlooking the bay. The floor area of each cabin is from 15m2 (Deluxe cabins) to 22m2 (Premium Balcony cabins). The cabins are furnished with two twin beds or a double queen size bed. The interior panelling, floor and furniture are made of natural hardwood. The cabin has a wardrobe, pillows, white cotton sheets, and an en-suite toilet and shower with a good selection of toiletries. All meals, usually based on fresh seafood, will be provided on board. Kayaking is available and included in the price. Read more

Halong Bay for 1 night

Ha Long Bay/Hanoi

You’ll wake in the fresh air of the bay with a Tai Chi session on the large sundeck (beginner welcome!). Spend the early morning relaxing while cruising to Halong Bay. After a light breakfast of pastries and tea or coffee, you’ll leave the boat for a walking tour on Titov Beach Island. If weather permits, you can swim or climb the hill (not a mountain) for a panoramic view over the bay’s remarkable seascape. Enjoy kayaking through the hidden beauty of the bay. After that, you’ll return to the junk and check out. You will join a cooking demonstration before enjoying an exeptional buffet lunch on boat, while cruising back to the main dock. Read more

Hanoi for 1 night

Hanoi/Lao Cai by car/Sapa

In the morning, you’ll be met by your driver and driven to Sapa on the new highway through Yen Bai and Lao Cai provinces. The highway takes you up the Red River Delta to where the river enters Vietnam at Lao Cai City on the border with China. After some breaks en-route, you will reach Sapa, a small town perched on the mountainside opposite Mt. Fan Si Pan, Vietnam’s highest peak. Sapa is in a scenic mountain area where high peaks surround river valleys, hillside rice terraces and innumerable small ethnic minority communities. These villages are traditional, typically tucked away on the lower slopes of the valleys, and many villagers wear authentic traditional costumes. After lunch in Sapa town and checking in at your hotel for a short rest, you will walk to an ethnic H’mong village in the scenic valley, taking some time to explore the area, then hike back up to Sapa. The evening is your leisure time to shop and talk to local vendors, most of whom are ethnic H’mong or Dzao, selling handmade craft items. You will stay overnight in Sapa. Read more

Sapa for 2 nights

Sapa/Sa Seng/Hau Thao/Sapa

The trip today will begin with a 15 minute drive to the start of your one hour hike up a long dirt trail to the Sa Seng village. As soon as you arrive, you’ll be able to have a great view of the Ma Tra and Ta Phin village, home to the Black H’mong people. Another one hour ‘rolling hill’ before downwards hike towards Ta Van and Hau Thao village will enable you to have a panoramic view over the Fansipan Mountain. After plenty of photo opportunities, you’ll stop for a picnic lunch in the church of the Black H’mong village. In the afternoon, you will continue your 2 hour walk through rice paddy fields and spectacular views over a valley in the Lao Chai village. When you meet the main road, your vehicle will be waiting to take you to Sapa for your overnight accommodation. Note: You should bring your own bottles of water in Sapa as it’s not available for sale during the journey. Approx: Grade 2 of 5/ 30 minute driving/1 hour for lunch/ 4 hour hiking. Read more

Sapa for 2 nights

Sapa/Hanoi/Hue

The morning will be free at your leisure in Sapa. After checking-out at 11.00am, you will be picked up by your driver to drive you along the new highway again back to Hanoi then to Noi Bai airport for the afternoon flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Hue airport your driver will welcome and transfer you to hotel in Hoi An for overnight accommodation. Read more

Hue for 2 nights

Hue Orientation

After breakfast, your guide will arrive to take you on a tour of Hue’s ancient citadel, once the seat of the Emperors of the powerful Nguyen Dynasty that ruled Vietnam from approximately 1800 to 1945. You’ll begin with a stroll around the area between the Citadel’s massive walls and the defensive moat, now filled with lotus flowers. You’ll then enter via the Noon Gate to wander around the Thai Hoa Palace, the Pavilion housing the Nine Urns of the Nguyen rulers, and the remains of the Royal Palaces. Then, your guide will take you round the Museum of Antiquities. In the afternoon, you’ll visit Huyen Khong Son Thuong pagoda, followed with the Emperor Tu Duc’s Tomb, and one of Hue’s ‘garden houses’. After returning to your hotel to freshen up, you’ll return to sit down for dinner in the pleasant surroundings and a comfortable atmosphere of another of the garden houses. The owner will prepare and serve a traditional meal based on the distinctive characteristics of classic Hue cuisine. Read more

Hue for 2 nights

Hue/Monkey Mountain/Danang/Hoi An

After breakfast, you will depart from your hotel in the morning and drive along the coastline to Danang passing the top of Hai Van Pass, where military bunkers remaining from the war are prominent and easily explored. After coming down off of the pass, we’ll turn inland and continue your drive to Danang. You will travel up to Monkey Mountain where the road twists and climbs its way around the rugged Son Tra Peninsula, and stop by a few of the route’s scenic vistas to admire the views. Lunch will be had at the top of one of the peaks, where you can enjoy a 360 degree view and a cool breeze. We may spot monkeys as we drive down the back of the mountain, taking in the sweeping views offered by this coastal road and pausing at Linh Ung Pagoda to marvel at the 67m statue of the Bodhisattva of Mercy, followed by a brief visit to Dong Dinh Museum nearby which houses ancient pottery dating from 100 to 2,500 years ago from Sa Huynh, Cham and Dai Viet cultures. The tour continues along the coast to Hoi An. Check-in your hotel and spend the night in Hoi An. Read more

Hoi An for 4 nights

Walking arround Hoi An with local food

After breakfast, your guide will meet you to take you for a combination food-tasting and walking tour around the town. All food stalls or restaurants use sanitary cooking practices and fresh ingredients. You will be shown the Ancient Town and explain its considerable significance in the history of Vietnam, while having also experienced it’s rich culture, mouth-watering cuisine, and wonderful people. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An. Read more

Hoi An for 4 nights

Hoi An – From Farmer to Fisherman Tour ½

The day starts with cycling the narrow roads through the countryside, passing by rice paddy fields, water buffalos, bamboo bridges and local farmers on their daily work. You’ll then board a boat to the mouth of the Thu Bon estuary where the river meets the Cua Dai Sea and cruise along the coastline observing the lives of the local fishermen. After joining the fisherman to try your hand at catching fish in a traditional ‘Thung Chai’ basket boat, you will meander through the water palm coconut canal. During the American War, Viet Cong soldiers made use of this area as a highly effective hiding place from enemy attacks through their long struggle. Following an insightful visit to a local fishing village, you’ll be free to relax and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch before cycling back to your hotel. You will spend the night in Hoi An. Thung Chai Basket boats, similar in style to coracles in use throughout the ancient world, are widely used throughout Central Vietnam, and are highly suited to the local terrain and lifestyles of local fishermen due to their relative light weight and portability, often doubling as a carrier for various handy items. Circular and constructed of bamboo and tarred for waterproofing, these small boats can typically carry up to five people, and represent a fun-filled opportunity to touch the authentic rural soul of Vietnam. As a precaution, life jackets are provided for your safety during this excursion. Please note that the clothing and footwear used for activities is likely to get wet and or dirty out on the water, in the mud and basket boats. Travellers are suggested to bring sufficient spare clothes in case it rains or you get wet or dirty during the morning activity sessions. Please wear shoes that are comfortable, and can be worn in the mud (or you will need to take your shoes out). Read more

Hoi An for 4 nights

Cooking Class at Green Bamboo Restaurant

This morning, you’ll be picked up at arround 8.30 from your hotel and go to the local market to purchase ingredients. Local restaurateur Mrs. Van, owner of Green Bamboo Cooking School, will teach you how to cook some of Hoi An’s traditional cuisine. You will select a dish in advance from her menu and will learn to prepare and cook your chosen dish, so the group as a whole will have the chance to learn up to 10 dishes in the day. The class will end around 3.30pm and you will return to your hotel. For the rest of the afternoon, you’ll be free to stroll around the Ancient Town or travel to Cua Dai Beach. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An. Read more

Hoi An for 4 nights

Hoi An/ Danang departure

Your morning will be free until your car and driver arrives to take you to the airport for your departure flight.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Hanoi
Day 3
Location Ninh Binh
Day 4
Location Halong Bay
Day 6
Location Sapa
Day 10
Location Hoi An
Hotel Ha An Hotel

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Local guides
  • Information services
  • Entrance fee
  • Internal flight tickets: Hanoi – Hue, economy class, including domestic airport taxes.
  • Boat cruises as specified in the programme.
  • Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants
  • VAT and other taxes

Package excludes

  • International flight tickets and airport tax.
  • Visas
  • Dinners, except as specified above.
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Peak season surcharge (if any)
  • Insurance.
  • Additional journeys and transfers

REVIEWS

6 Reviews

Tina, United States

Was awesome. Our tour guides were very knowledgeable and definitely made sure things ran smoothly. The travel agents were especially helpful for getting my friends and I approved for our updated visas on such a short notice. Overall great trip and will def recommend it.

Seth, United States

The trip went smoothly and the women who organized the trip, was extremely responsive by email and was able to make numerous changes to the proposed itinerary without issue. Overall the trip was moderately priced and there were no major snags. I have two main complaints. First was that we spent two nights sleeping on a train. I have spent many nights on a train and do not have issue with this in itself. However, when my brother and I arrived to the train, I was surprised to see that instead of having a private cabin, we were booked into a small cabin that slept 4 people and we had both an upper and lower bunk. This is a mode of travel usually reserved for back-packers and that constituted the other 98% of people on the train. Fortunately, the people who we shared the train with on both legs of the trip were nice but this does not constitute "luxury" travel which is what I expect when booking on this site and is what I specified to our agent when I set up the trip with her. Although my brother and I are in our early 40s and can easily hop up and down from the top bunk in the middle of the night, this may be a major issue with many people. In retrospect, this information was buried in the fine print, but I would have been more than happy to spend the extra $75-$100 each way for a private cabin if I was given that option. In addition, when were arriving to Lo Cai, we were told that we had an area to shower and refresh. To do so, we were directed to a room just above the restaurant in which we were having breakfast. The room that we were sent to was filthy and dingy. I have travelled to many parts of the world and have showered in many places but this was truly nasty. In addition, the towels that we were provided were little more than falling apart rags, but at least they were dry. My brother, who is relatively adventurous, refused to use the facilities. Again, this would have been fine when I was 20 and backpacking, but when I book a luxury vacation, this is not acceptable. The kicker is that Hanoi to Sapa is only 3.5 hours by car and I would have been much happier to sleep in a nice hotel and drive instead of taking the train. Other than that, the tour was fine. I was happy that I booked my own hotel rooms. Read more

Amy, United States

Our tour operator was very responsive and accommodating throughout the entire planning process. She incorporated our requests flawlessly into the itinerary and worked with us on changes until we were satisfied with the final itinerary. She was also available to assist us with last minute flight changes/delays/cancellations by contacting our tour guide to inform of changes and make sure that we had someone waiting for us at the airport when we arrived. She made sure we had all the information needed before the trip including the names and contact numbers of the tour guides assigned to our trip and the names and addresses of the hotel we would be staying. Our tour operator also contacted us after the trip to inquire about our trip and to make sure that everything went as expected and planned. She was very responsive to our comments and suggestions and worked expeditiously to resolve our concerns. We look forward to working with her again to plan our next trip. Read more

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