Saigon to Hanoi Highlights 11 Days

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Saigon to Hanoi Highlights 11 Days

Visit: Saigon - Mui Ne - Nha Trang - Da Nang - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi - Halong

We take you to discover the very best of Vietnam has to offer in 11 days. You discover Vietnam World Heritages listed Sites, the magnificent Halong Bay in Tonkin Gulf, the historical and cultural depth of Hoi An, and the ancient Capital Hue. This trip starts from  vibrant Saigon - Ho Chi Minh city and ends in colonial Hanoi.

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  • Accommodation at hotels in places as indicated in program
  • Meals as indicated in program (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner)
  • Private transportation at places as indicated in program
  • Air tickets: Economy class - Vietnam Airlines
    • Nha Trang to Da Nang
    • Hue to Hanoi
  • All admission cost at places mentioned in itinerary
  • Tour guide at places (Language upon inquiry)
  • Boat trip at places


  • Other meals and drinks/ personal expenses
  • International air fares/ airport taxes
  • Visas application fees to Vietnam.
  • Insurances

Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Arrive at Ho Chi Minh Airport on your own flight arrangements. Your entry visa may be secured upon arrival (fee is not included). Meet your driver (No Guide) after customs, transfer to your hotel.
Two nights’ accommodations in Saigon at the Windsor Plaza Hotel or similar.


Day 2: Saigon Sightseeing (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Today enjoy a sightseeing tour around Saigon and Cholon (Chinatown). Begin your tour of this exciting city with a tour of the historic center, strolling along Dong Khoi street, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon.

Drive pass the classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate City Hall and the old Opera House (both may only be viewed from the outside), and pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.
Continue on to the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style building was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates.

Also visit the War Remnants Museum, which documents the Vietnam War. Afterwards driving to the historic center to visit Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon's most interesting pagoda.

In the afternoon, explore Cholon (Chinatown). After a brief visit to Binh Tay Market, continue on to Thien Hau Pagoda then on to Ben Thanh Market, the busiest market in the city.

Day 3: Saigon to Phan Thiet to Nha Trang (B)

Breakfast at hotel. This morning, meet your guide and travel overland to Nha Trang. En route you will pass through Phan Thiet and visit the dramatic red sand dunes at Mui Ne Beach. Continue north along the coast and stop at Po Klong Garai Cham Towers, four brick monuments from the Cham civilization, dating back to the 13th century. Arrive in Nha Trang in the late afternoon.
Two nights’ accommodations in Nha Trang at the Sunrise Beach Resort or similar.

Day 4: Nha Trang Sightseeing (B)

Breakfast at hotel. This morning enjoy a boat trip to various nearby islands. Highlights include a visit to the seawater aquarium at Mieu Island. The aquarium is actually an important fish-breeding farm where over forty species of fish, crustaceans and other marine life are raised in three separate compartments. Visit a local fishing village and nearby islands. Return to Nha Trang and your hotel.

Day 5: Nha Trang to Da Nang to Hoi An (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport for a short flight to Da Nang. After baggage claim, meet your local guide, overland transfer to Hoi An.

This afternoon enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An Old Quarter. Highlights will include the Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall, a Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and then restored and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese clans that were established in the Hoi An area.

Walk across the Japanese Covered Bridge, the first bridge on this site was constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream.

Also visit the Tran Family Chapel, this house for worshipping ancestors was built about 200 years ago with donations from family members. The Tran family traces its origins to China and moved to Vietnam around 1700. The architecture of the building reflects the influence of Chinese and Japanese styles.

Overnight accommodations in Hoi An at the Life Heritage Resort Hoi An or similar.

Day 6: Hoi An to Hue (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Meet your guide this morning and transfer to the city pier where you will board one of the colorful local boats. Enjoy a short cruse on the Thu Bon River. Along the way stop at a pottery village for a demonstration on pottery making. Also stop at Kim Bong village, famous for woodcarving and boat building.

Return to Hoi An, journey overland from Hoi An over scenic mountainous roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Halfway between Danang and Hue lies the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and south Vietnam.

This afternoon your sightseeing tour includes a visit the Imperial Citadel, located in the heart of Hue, the Imperial Citadel is a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modelled after the Forbidden City of Peking. Most of it was destroyed during the war, what remains give a small glimpse into this once imperial city.

Two nights’ accommodations in Hue at the Saigon Morin Hotel or similar.

Day 7: Hue Sightseeing (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Your sightseeing today includes a boat trip on the Perfume River, visit Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower which has become Hue's most widely recognizable monument. Continue on to Tu Duc Tomb, Emperor Tu Duc, who ruled Hue more than 100 years ago, built his tomb when he was still alive and used it for meditation, reading and theater performances. There are pavilions in a tranquil setting of forested hills and lakes. The tomb was constructed between 1864 and 1867. Continue cruising into the countryside to the Imperial Tomb of Minh Mang, a majestic complex of courtyards, pavilions and temples in a beautiful natural setting.

This afternoon visit the Imperial Tomb of Tu Duc, Tu Duc was the longest reigning Vietnamese emperor. He designed and built this elegant tomb during his lifetime, using it as a retreat for meditation, reading and theater performances. Take some time to soak in the tranquil atmosphere, wandering among the gracefully proportioned pavilions, courtyards and lotus ponds. Afterwards visit the Imperial Tomb of Khai Dinh, dramatically located on a hillside. The last of the monumental tombs of the Nguyen dynasty, completed in 1931, this tomb incorporates distinct European elements into the traditional Vietnamese architecture. Finally, visit the bustling Dong Ba Market, the largest market in Hue.

Day 8: Hue to Hanoi - Overland Transfer to Halong (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Morning flight to Hanoi. Overland transfer Hanoi to Halong Bay. Enroute visit Chua But Thap Pagoda, known for its four storey stone stupa dedicated to the monk Chuyet Cong. The pagoda was rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Overnight accommodations in Halong Bay at the Novotel Halong Bay or similar.

Day 9: Halong Bay Cruise - Overland Transfer to Hanoi (B,L)

Breakfast at hotel. This morning cruise on a traditional wooden boat among the emerald waters and craggy limestone cliffs of Halong Bay, stopping to explore one of the many caves in this area. Sail past picturesque islands, floating villages, fishermen casting their nets and pearl fisheries and observe the rhythms of daily life on the bay. Enjoy a seafood lunch on board. Return to Halong pier, overland transfer to your hotel in Hanoi.

Two nights’ accommodations in Hanoi at the Nikko Hotel or similar.

Day 10: Hanoi Sightseeing (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Enjoy a day of sightseeing in and around Hanoi, begin the day visiting the Temple of Literature, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam's first university.

Continue to the miniature One Pillar Pagoda, dating from the 11th century, this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. Today it stands near the vast Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex. When open to the public, you will visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where visitors can pay respects to the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. The Mausoleum is closed in the afternoons, on Mondays and Fridays, and closes annually in October and November for restoration.

Continue through the park to Ho Chi Minh stilt house, the simple two-room dwelling where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1948 until his final days. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows.

Also visit Hoan Kiem Lake, located in heart of Hanoi, which contains an islet with the tiny Tortoise Pagoda. En route, pass other colonial landmarks such as the magnificent Opera House (may be seen from the outside only) and St. Joseph’s Cathedral. From the lake, enjoy a cyclo tour (man-powered taxi) through the Old Quarter. This fascinating network of narrow alleys and shophouses is also known as The 36 Streets, each street being named after the merchandise traditionally sold there, ranging from fabrics to tombstones. A handicraft-lover's paradise and a endlessly interesting place to explore local life.

This afternoon, also visit one of Hanoi's famous museums, either the History Museum or the Museum of Ethnology. Return to your hotel.

This evening enjoy a Waterpuppet performance at a local theater.

Day 11: Depart Hanoi (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight (driver, No Guide).

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