Treat yourself to an utmost adventure that Vietnam has to offer on this comprehensive 18-day journey. Trekking through the hidden indigenous villages and the endless ripening terraced rice fields in Sapa, wallowing yourself in the primitive Lan Ha Bay and having an insight into the former capital – Ninh Binh are the finest highlights. Continue your wanderlust steps with an exhilarating adventure from Phong Nha to Hue and Hoi An before finalizing in Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta.
Get picked up from airport and transfered to your hotel in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
6 PM: prepare to jump in the feast of Hanoi authentic traditional food from our street food walking tour and discover the beauty of Hanoi Old Quarter by night. About 4 hours on foot.
A fun motorbike taxi trip today will take you out of the hustle and bustle vibe of Hanoi downtown to the tranquil rural suburban villages.
The first stop would be set at Co Loa Ancient Citadel located 15 km on the road from the city center. Co Loa is successful in preserving all historical features dating back to the year 257 BC and considered to be a long-lasting and remarkable site in the heart of the vast and rich Red River Delta.
From there, embrace this chance to leave the hectic Hanoi behind and head straight to the peaceful countryside and live to the fullest with fresh air, pristine wilderness and the happiest villagers on planet working on their greenish farms. The trip is followed by an interesting visit into numerous heritage temples which gives you an insight into a significant historical period of ancient Vietnam.
Return to Hanoi for lunch with the tasty Bun Cha – Vietnamese kebab rice noodles with fish sauce.
The afternoon is saved for a chain of symbolic historical relics scattering throughout Hanoi such as the Temple of Literature, West Lake featuring Tran Quoc Pagoda and Phu Tay Ho Temple.
The day continues with a quick check-in at Long Bien Bridge when the sun is leaving horizon. Long Bien is known to be the very first bridge to cross the magnificent Red River, which was constructed from 1989 to 1902 during the French occupation.
After dinner, end your day with a transfer to Hanoi Railway Station for a night train to Sapa.
Arrive at Lao Cai railway station early in the morning and from which hop on a transfer to Sapa. The whole morning is saved to relax in the desirable atmosphere of this mountainous town or discover Sapa on you own.
In the afternoon, start a discovery of the stunning landscape in Sapa and the surroundings on a 30-km motorbike ride. The ride leads you toward the fascinating highest peak of O Qui Ho Pass located 2035 meters above sea level, and hence given a brilliant name – Heaven’s Gate. Don’t forget to admire the gorgeous Silver Waterfall along the way – a representative symbol of the hilly Northwestern Vietnam.
Enjoy a full-day trek today through 18 km of fun, majestic and primitive nature featuring an endless chain of poetic terraced rice fields where the tribal Black Hmong people make it their home sweet home. The trek walks you through the daily lives of the natives, to come across the schools of local kids and to be warmly welcomed by the friendly waving hands of native Hmong and Yao children in Y Linh Ho and Lao Chai.
Noontime is saved for an exotic lunch in Ta Van Village before hitting the trail again to a romantic old hanging bridge crossing Muong Hoa River.
Dinner is set early in Sapa downtown before heading back to Hanoi on a night train from Lao Cai City.
Meeting our guide at 9.30 AM in the morning for a transfer to Cat Hai Port, from which you will embark on board before an upscale lunch is well-prepared while cruising around the serene Lan Ha Bay.
Later in the afternoon, you will have a chance to sail around on a bamboo boat to pay a short visit into the Bright Cave, a serene round lake fenced by pristine and authentic flora species up above a cliff. Wallowing yourself in the fresh cool water is what you can choose to do afterwards.
Round 6 PM, get ready for a fantastic sunset party on the top deck of the cruise. You can opt for a relaxing massage and spa treatment which are always available upon request. Later on, a high-end dinner is ready for you under a northern sky full of stars while cruising around the Bay at night.
Day six begins when you join a Tai Chi session or hunt down some stunning photos under the northern sky of Lan Ha Bay. Later on, enjoy your breakfast before discovering the lovely Tra Bau Area. Over here, you will get to witness a day in the life of a local fishing village and hence get to socialize with the resident fishermen.
Later in the morning, pack your bag, check out and take part in a cooking class before jumping into an extraordinary buffet lunch. Make a farewell to the enormous Lan Ha Bay and transfer to Ninh Binh on a 3-hour drive.
Arrive Tam Coc first and start a fun 7 km ride on a serene biking path surrounding by the scenic mountains and tribal hamlets. Finish the day with a relax at your bungalow in the middle of lush rice fields.
Today you will have a truest definition of the “Inland Halong Bay” – Trang An featuring a massive gallery of karst formations. Upon arrival, take 3-hour sampan boat ride along a small river sneaking through a wide chain of tunnel-like caves before lunch at a local restaurant, which is followed by a journey to Bai Dinh Pagoda – the biggest pagoda in South-east Asia with a lot of UNESCO world records.
Return to Hanoi for an early dinner before a night train to Dong Hoi.
Arrive in Dong Hoi early in the morning and transfer to the iconic Dark Cave on a 1 hour drive located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Enjoy this interesting discovery through a chain of fun and exciting outdoor activities such as zip line, mud bathing, swimming,… etc. An authentic Vietnamese lunch is prepared at a local restaurant.
After lunch, depart for exploration of the impressive Phong Nha Cave. Join a 25-minute ride to the cave on a traditional dragon boat. The cave is also known as Wet cave due to the fact that the entire system is filled with water taking root from an underground river. After boating, start exploring the cave on foot. This cave is famous for its spectacular rock formations and hence has been given various legendary names such as “Lion”, “Fairy Caves”, “Royal Court” or “Buddha”.
Transfer back to Phong Nha later in the afternoon.
Move to Hue on a 4 hour drive and pay a visit to Vinh Moc, a tunnel complex in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The tunnels were built to shelter Vietnamese families from the intense bombings down the area during the infamous Vietnam War. Over 600 people were recorded to call it home while 17 babies were born in these tunnels between the years 1965 and 1972.
After lunch, visit the Mine Action Visitors Center in Dong Ha. This is where you learn about the after-effects even when the war was long gone.
Return to Hue early in the afternoon and discover Thien Mu Pagoda which rests on the bank of the reputed Perfume River. Thien Mu is known to be the highest Buddhist shrine in Vietnam with 7 tiers imposingly cutting through the Central Vietnam sky, each storey represents a step during the process of enlightenment.
Covering 40,000 pristine hectares just a 2 hour drive from Hue, Bach Ma National Park is one of the finest natural presserves across Central Vietnam.
Born as a hill station by the French administration in 1932, the Park later became a protected area and shelter more than 1.400 species of plants and over 130 types of mammals, some of which have only been freshly discovered.
The day continues with an excursion led by a local forest expert as he unlocks Bach Ma’s natural treasures on a 3 hour trek sneaking through sub-tropical jungle. Take this chance to admire the 400-meter-high Do Quyen Waterfall and the cascading falls at Ngu Ho Lake.
Enjoy a breathtaking panorama at the summit of Bach Ma Mountain at 1450 meters above sea level viewing towards the coast featuring Tam Giang Lagoon and Lang Co Beach lying along the horizon.
Hop on a full-day motorbike ride from Hue to Da Nang starting with a visit to the Imperial Citadel. This majestic architecture was built by Emperor Gia Long and has faced destruction over time during a fierce civil conflicts which can be told by the scars on the relics.
Say goodbye to Hue and head for Da Nang later in the afternoon. Along the way, stop en route to admire the scenic beaches, coastline as well as the breathtaking Elephant Springs. Make sure you have packed your swimming gear as this is a great place to relax, swim and enjoy lunch for a couple of hours.
The journey unfolds more breathtaking surroundings as we ascend the famous Hai Van Pass where we stop at the peak for a short sightseeing of the French and American bunkers, the remnants of long-gone warfare. This road has been brought to reputation by the popular Top Gear motoring show.
Jutting out into the turquoise waters of the East sea within only 10 km outside Da Nang downtown lies Son Tra Peninsula. The heavily forested 4370 hectares of land protects Da Nang from the intense gusts of winds, waves and storms, all under the benevolent eye of the Goddess of Compassion – an impressive 69-meter-high statue that has become Da Nang’s most recognisable landmark.
Start a 10 km trek along the steep and forested trails upward to Son Tra Mountain for an expansive view towards the scenic Da Nang coastline. Keep an eye out for the rare and valuable Red-shanked doucs, a primate species which led American soldiers to dub the area “Monkey Mountain”.
At the summit located 696 meters above sea level, spot out the radar domes and the old helicopter pad that once belonged to the American Air Base in Da Nang.
Welcome to Hoi An – a phenomenal UNESCO’s listed site which costs you only 3 hours on a road trip from Da Nang.
Get your discovery started by bike in the afternoon, which begins at the heart of the ancient town and to Tra Que herbal village, where you get to see how the freshest and best organic veggies are planted along a tranquil Faifo River, plus an interesting mystic story behind the birth of this village.
Over here, don’t forget to capture the best angles of coconut trees and mangroves or take a traditional basket boat ride with crab fishing experience.
Get back to Hoi An and wander off around this oriental town for a visit into some souvenir shops, art galleries and riverside market.
Take a domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City from Da Nang. Formerly known as the capital of Republic of Vietnam, Saigon – currently known as Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest city and a dynamic, rapidly developing metropolis.
Join a peaceful cyclo trip to discover the slow yet vibrant atmosphere and bustling streets of this legendary city featuring a look at the most iconic sites such as Ben Thanh Market, Reunification Palace, Tao Dan Park and the list goes on.
Explore the rich cultural cuisine of the city on foot when darkness falls and witness the night activities in this dreamy city.
Leave the busy Saigon behind and head straight to Cat Tien National Park, one of the most talked-about national preserves across the country, home to the largest remaining areas of the lowland tropical rainforests in Vietnam.
The trip begins at 8 AM and takes you to the iconic Highway No. 1 and branches off Highway No. 20 that leads to a former volcanic crater, known as Lava Tubes. Cross the massive Dong Nai River to enter Cat Tien National Park where you kick start your wildlife experience.
Arrive at the South Cat Tien National Park Center after 3.5 hours. Meet a local nature expert then check in and freshen up with an authentic lunch.
In the afternoon, get ready for a 8 km excursion along the ecologic route which features a wide array of special flora special. Some of them can be listed as Lagerstroemia Ovalfolia, Tetrameles Nudiflora, Cycas Rumphii, Ancistrolandus Tectorius and Afzelia Cyclocarpa.
Dinner awaits for you before exploring Ta Lai Buffer Zone by jeep for an exciting animal observation at night.
Hit the jeep again in the next morning to the junction where we go off-road for the main thoroughfare for a 5 km trek to Bau Sau – Crocodile Lake Station. Take a short rest at the lake-watching tower, then trek to the main road again. Head back to the core of the park on jeep for check-out time. Enjoy lunch before returning to Saigon later in the afternoon.
Leave Saigon for Mekong Delta at 8 AM. Enjoy the exotic lanscape along the way bordered with lush green rice fields.
On arrival in My Tho, visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, take a leisurely boat ride along the river and discover the stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank. Proceed to Tortoise islet, have lunch in the orchard garden. Then take a boat ride to An Khanh – a less touristy attraction in Ben Tre, enjoy cruising on a hand-rowed sampan under the shadow of the coconut trees along natural canals, then have a try at seasonal fruit, honey tea and the sound of “Southern Vietnamese folk music”, performed by locals.
Visit a family which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle, taste the delicious coconut candy and observe the pastoral life as you roam through the fruit plantation and village. Return Ho Chi Minh City after a full day exhilarating adventure.
Enjoy your last morning time in this Southern metropolis before saying goodbye to Vietnam. Your significant adventure officially ends!
This rate is based on double/twin occupancy. Valid from 01 Jan 2023 - 30 December 2024. If you have any special requests, please contact us to customize your trip.
Domestic Flight Tickets (Danang – HCMC): + from $70 USD / Person (this rate is estimated and will be officially informed at booking time)
|1||Hanoi||Quoc Hoa Hotel|
|2||Hanoi - Lao Cai||Night Train To Lao Cai|
|3||Sapa||Chapa Dew Boutique Hotel|
|4||Lao Cai - Hanoi||Night Train To Hanoi|
|5||Lan Ha Bay||Peony Cruise|
|6||Tam Coc, Ninh Binh||Tam Coc Bungalow|
|7||Hanoi/Ninh Binh - Dong Hoi||Night Train To Dong Hoi|
|8||Phong Nha, Quang Binh||Phong Nha Riverside Homestay|
|9||Hue||Hue Midtown Hotel|
|10||Hue||Hue Midtown Hotel|
|11||Da Nang||Sofia Boutique Hotel|
|12||Da Nang||Sofia Boutique Hotel|
|13||Hoi An||Thuy Duong 3 Hotel|
|14||Ho Chi Minh City||GK Central Hotel|
|15||Cat Tien National Park||Camping | Homestay|
|16||Ho Chi Minh City||Gk Central Hotel|
|17||Ho Chi Minh City||GK Central Hotel|
Five of us travelled in Vietnam with Conical Travel for a month beginning in early March. Windy, our personal consellor who set up an amazing full tour, was with us all the way via email. Arrangements were made from private luxury vans with excellent drivers and guides to all details related to accommodations and activities wherever we went. If you would like an amazingly rich experience with no stress, there is no better company than Conical Travel for you to choose for your holiday.
Once we had established contact with Windy, we were able to flesh out a travel itinerary together. Windy did a super job of revising her suggestions for our tour with alternate requests from us in order to tailor make this adventure in a personal way. All of our guides were well English speaking and very passionate about their country. The landscapes are breathtaking of course. The food was fantastic. We were most impressed and rewarded by the friendliness of the locals in each destination we visited.
We would highly recommend Conical Travel for your travel adventure in Vietnam.