Day 1: Hanoi Arrival (Meals: N/A)
You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive activities can be arranged for the rest of the day.
Day 2: Hanoi – Sapa (Meals: B, L)
Enjoy a guided city tour of Hanoi. Having celebrated its 1000- year anniversary in 2010, the city has a rich and fascinating history. A traditional cyclo tour through the narrow, ancient streets of the exotic Old Quarter is a great way to soak up the sights and sounds. In the evening, board an overnight sleeper train to Lao Cai and the mountainous region near the Chinese border.
Day 3: Sapa (Meals: B, L)
Arrive at Lao Cai station early in the morning and transfer to Sapa. Depending on your fitness level, you can arrange anything from gentle walks to challenging hikes to explore the lush valleys and mountains that surround the town. With an expert local guide, you can navigate small paths through verdant, terraced fields of rice and corn, passing farmers and their water buffalo ploughing the land as they have for centuries. The ethnic-minority groups still maintain their traditions and way of life, including their own language and intricatelyembroidered, colorful clothing. In the evening, you can stay overnight with a local family in Ta Van village or return to the comfort of your hotel in Sapa.
Day 4: Sapa – Hanoi (Meals: B, L)
Start your morning with a hike to a beautiful waterfall before continuing on to a picturesque Red Dao village. Red Dao women wear giant red scarves around their heads, and their clothing is embellished with colourful red embroidery and coins. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Sapa before returning to Lao Cai to board the overnight train back to Hanoi.
Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay (Meals: B, L, D)
Arrive in Hanoi at around 5 am. A day room will be available, so you can shower and freshen up before breakfast. At around 8 am start your journey to Halong Bay and arrive at around midday to board a traditional junk for an overnight cruise. Halong Bay is widely considered to be one of the natural wonders of the world. Thousands of towering pillars of sea and wind-carved limestone karst make the bay an unforgettable sight. After lunch, explore some of the huge limestone caves dotted around the bay and visit a floating fishing village. Then the captain will find a secluded spot where you can swim, soak up the sun on the top deck, or try your hand at kayaking. In the evening enjoy a seafood feast for dinner.
Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi (Meals: B, L)
Enjoy an early morning swim (during the summer), followed by breakfast as you cruise through more spectacular scenery. In the afternoon drive back to Hanoi, where you will have one more evening to sample its fabulous cuisine and explore the Old Quarter.
Day 7: Hanoi – Hue (Meals: B, L)
In the morning, fly to the former Imperial Capital of Hue. This beautiful city is rich in history, culture and ancient temples. Spend the day exploring the Citadel, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, before relaxing on a sunset cruise on the Perfume River.
Day 8: Hue – Hoi An (Meals: B, L)
Drive south along a beautiful stretch of coastline and over the scenic Hai Van Pass, to the picturesque riverside community of Hoi An. On arrival, enjoy a walking tour of this charming traditional town now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 9: Hoi An (Meals: B, L)
Spend the day at leisure on the beach or having clothes made by one of the expert, inexpensive tailors Hoi An is famous for. If you like to cook, you can spend a fabulous day exploring the local produce market with an expert chef who will teach you the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine.
Day 10: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City (Meals: B, L)
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and spend the afternoon on a guided tour of the highlights of this bustling, cosmopolitan city. In the evening, you may like to enjoy a fun cooking class or take a cruise down the Saigon River, complete with local entertainment and a fantastic traditional and international buffet dinner.
Day 11: Mekong Delta (Meals: B, L)
Explore the heart of the Mekong Delta on a traditional sampan cruise in Cai Be. Visit floating markets and get a feel for a way of life that has changed little for centuries. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a superb restaurant on the banks of the river before returning back to Ho Chi Minh City for some free time.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City (Meals: B, L)
You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.