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Itinerary - Vietnam: from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

day 1

Hanoi

culture
100 %
Check-in
Roundtrip flights are not included in the TO Services so that you can choose where from, when and with whom you want to fly. All of that is up to you! Please note: the trip starts in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City, so book your flights accordingly. Hotel check-in in Hanoi. Ready to start this trip the best way possible? We’re talking about food, obviously. Tonight we’ll have our welcome dinner and we’ll get the chance to have a first taste of the local cuisine - maybe some pho, how does that sound?
Included: welcome dinner
day 2

Mai Chau Valley: rice fields and emerald forests

nature
80 %
culture
20 %
Our adventure begins
We rise with the sun so we can start this adventure right: our minivan is ready to take us north. The drive will be pretty long (it’s 4 hours), so we should get comfortable and enjoy the ride - and the view! We finally arrive in Mai Chau and start our tour of the valley by visiting the small villages of Lac and Pom Coong, where the Thai population lives.
Mai Chau Valley
Mai Chau is a valley that stands between the Red River and the mountains of the north. It offers some of the most beautiful natural views in Vietnam and it’s only 170 km from Hanoi: it’s not that hard then to understand why it’s so popular between travellers. It still maintains its authenticity though: here life is simple, rural, and people follow the rhythm of the natural world, that is grand and welcoming at the same time. Everyday rituals are old and important, passed on from generation to generation. Green hills are covered with rice fields as far as the eye can see. As soon as we arrive, it will be clear to all of us why we are here: to witness the real, authentic Vietnam.
Included: a private minivan with driver and local guide Money Pot: admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
day 3

Trekking in the Pu Luong Nature Reserve

nature
80 %
culture
20 %
Trekking in the rice fields
Ready for a new day here in Vietnam, surely it will be a good one! We get to the Pu Luong Nature Reserve with our minivan and there we’ll start our trekking through the rice fields. Pu Luong is a magical valley, and even though we saw a valley yesterday as well, this one will not bore us. We’ll hike the small trails that go through the fields and the vegetation until we reach the scenic village of Kho Muong - make sure you have your camera at hand, you’ll be taking quite a lot of pictures! We continue our trekking through the valley, with the view changing behind every corner. We’ll see roads crossing green fields, small villages, little ponds and calm rivers, gentle hills and mighty mountains, finally arriving in Pu Luong village in the late afternoon.
Included: private minivan with driver and local guide Money Pot: admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
day 4

On our way to Ninh Bihn

nature
100 %
On the road
We travel from Pu Luong to Ninh Binh with our private minivan and when we arrive we’ll have some free time to do some DIY exploring of the area. We’ll be able to rent bikes so it will be easy to move around and get a first idea of what Ninh Bihn looks like, which is one of the most fascinating places of Vietnam - we still have to find one that isn’t, to be honest.
Included: private minivan with driver and local guide Money Pot: bike renting and admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
day 5

Exploring Ninh Binh: from Hoa Lu to Bai Dinh pagoda

nature
50 %
history
50 %
Time is precious… the choice is ours
Today we have many different places we can go to and visit - and it’s up to us to choose which ones! We can reach the Tam Coc Caves and explore them by boat - the ones that the locals drive with their feet! This is for sure one of the best excursions here, plus the mystical Bich Dong pagoda isn’t too far away: win-win! If we’re not in the mood for the caves, we can explore the Bai Dinh pagoda, which is both the most famous place for Buddhist pilgrims to reach and the biggest pagoda of the whole of Vietnam. Or we can visit Hoa Lu, the old capital, an interesting place both historically and culturally, surrounded by mountains and many temples, such as Dinh Tien Hoang.
Included: a private minivan with driver and local guide Money Pot: admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
day 6

Halong Bay: discovering one of the 7 wonders of the natural world

nature
80 %
relax
20 %
A natural wonder
Rise and shine dear travellers, new adventures await us. With our minivan, we reach Halong Bay in a couple of hours. This bay, both magical and mystical, has more than 2.000 tiny islands covered with lush vegetation.Around lunchtime, we board on a traditional boat that will be our home for the rest of the day - and night. We start our sail by visiting Sung Sot Cave, also known as the Cave of Surprises: here we can land and hike the 150 steps that bring us to a wonderful view of the bay from above. We continue sailing through Halong Bay and we enjoy this unique place as long as the sun is up: let’s hope it’s a clear sky because sunsets here are magical.After dinner on board, we sail through the (hopefully) starry night, enjoying the silence and stillness of the bay.
Included: boat cruise in Halong Bay, transports, local guide, lunch and dinner Money Pot: admission fees if any
day 7

Back to Hanoi

culture
100 %
Hanoi
We land around 11am - but we suggest you not to sleep until late, the sunrise in Halong Bay is as magical as the sunset. Plus, we could have some time to practice some yoga and meditation on the deck! We get back to Hanoi with our private minivan and then we have some free time to discover the oldest neighbourhood of the capital. Hanoi is both old and new - we’ll see that with our own eyes. During the afternoon, we can visit some pagodas, such as Tran Quoc, or ancient temples, like the Literature one that became the first National University of Vietnam. During our strolling, why not try some street food?
A night on the train
After all these days in our minivan, it’s time to go back to the real WeRoad vibe: tonight we’ll have a very local experience! In the evening we board a night train that will allow us to travel for almost 600 km without even noticing. In South-East Asia, night trains are the preferred transportation when it comes to long distances - so it’s a highlight we simply couldn’t miss!
Included: a private minivan with driver, local guide, and night train. Money pot: admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
day 8

Hue: the old royal capital of Vietnam and Purple Forbidden City

history
50 %
culture
50 %
An ancient culture
A stop in Hue is mandatory: here there are royal palaces, pagodas and royal tombs. The old royal capital of Vietnam is way different than the modern Hanoi, so loud and hectic: Hue is quiet and calm and the rhythms are peaceful and slow. It seems like things are the same as centuries ago and nothing ever changed.Must see here are the Purple Forbidden City, the Emperors’ Mausoleums, Museum of Royal Arts, the pagoda of the Heavenly Lady and Bach Ma Monastery, that are all part of the UNESCO cultural heritage. It's the history of Vietnam at its best!
Money Pot: local transports and admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
days 9, 10

Food, lanterns and beaches

nature
40 %
history
30 %
culture
30 %
Food, lanterns and beaches
We reach Hoi An, one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam. We can stroll around Old Town and get lost in the local Lantern Market, where we can also find some souvenirs to bring home with us. Here the most special time is the nighttime when the lanterns are lit and create an evocative atmosphere. We’ll try local food or even better, maybe take a Vietnamese cooking class!Hoi An is a coastal city, meaning we are close to... the beach! And since we’ll be here for two days, we have enough time to enjoy the Vietnamese sea. We could even reach the near Cu Lao Cham island and have an amazing one-day trip. How does that sound?
Money Pot: local transports and admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
day 11

Ho Chi Minh City: walking tour of Saigon

history
20 %
culture
60 %
party
20 %
The big city of the south
Good morning Vietnam! After two well-spent days in Hoi An, we’re ready to continue our journey: this morning we fly to Ho Chi Minh City! We are back in a modern and hectic city, with crowded streets, traffic jams, way-too-fast scooters and many local markets where we can try some street food. We start our walking tour of Saigon (the old name of the city) at the Independence Palace, also known as Reunification Convention Hall, and the Jade Emperor Pagoda; we continue with Notre Dame Cathedral, which is a little piece of Europe in the middle of a Vietnamese city, and then we can choose if we want to visit the War Remnants Museum to find out more about one of the darkest times of the country. To end this day the right way, we can jump on a boat and do a sunset tour of Saigon River - otherwise, we can have a drink in one of the many sky bars of the city.
Included: domestic flight from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City Money Pot: local transports and admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
day 12

Mekong Delta and our last night in Ho Chi Minh City

history
50 %
culture
50 %
To the Mekong Delta
Time to go even southern: we’ll spend our last day (so sad!) in Vietnam sailing through the placid waters of the Mekong Delta. This is one of the most characteristic places to see in this country, with floating markets and boats everywhere with merchants that will try to sell you anything. How they know where to go and sail without getting lost… still one of the greatest Vietnamese secrets!
Farewell dinner
We spend our last night in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, where we’ll have our farewell dinner. After an adventure like this, it will be hard to say goodbye, so let’s try to make the most out of these last hours together!
Included: Mekong Delta boat tour and farewell dinner Money Pot: local transports and admission fees if any Not included: food and beverages
day 13

Time to say goodbye

Check out
Time to go back home: see you again on your next WeRoad adventure! Please note: make sure you book your return flight from Ho Chi Minh City where the trip ends.
End of services. The itinerary may undergo some variations that differ from what stated above. These variations may not be predictable nor depend on WeRoad’s will, i.e. climate conditions, national holidays, strikes, etc.
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