A firm favourite on our Vietnam calendar, it’s not hard to understand why Authentic Vietnam holds special appeal. The ancient alleyways, shady colonial avenues and cluttered highways provide a perfect window on the lives and landscapes of this dynamic country. With so many of Vietnam’s daily rituals carried out along the country’s roadsides – from market shopping to rice harvesting, coffee drinking to colourful funeral processions – cycling the country’s roads gets you right amongst the fascinating rhythms and charming people of Vietnam.
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
On arrival, welcome by your guide at the airport and transfer to your selected hotel
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi (B/L)
After breakfast, spend a full day touring the capital and visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed on Mondays), its former residence, One Pillar Pagoda, Quanh Thanh and Tran Quoc Pagodas, Temple of Literature and Ethnology Museum.
Afternoon, visit the History Museum and discover Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy a rickshaw tour in the old quarter with its antique shop. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi / Hoalu (Thung Nang) / Hanoi (B/L)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer through the countryside to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam during the 10th century. On arrival, bicycle ride or buffalo cart through the traditional village to Bich Dong Pagoda and then continue to Thung Nang pier. Board a small sampan for a spectacular 2-hour cruise through numerous waterways and beautiful rural landscape of limestone cliffs and rice paddies and visit one cave. Return by have lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon, visit Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh Dynastic temples before transfer by road back to Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Note: If the clients can not ride on bicycle, transfers will be by car or van.
Day 4: Hanoi/ Halong (B/L/D)
After breakfast transfer by road to the famous Halong Bay. Arrive around 12h30 and board a junk for a memorable cruise through the mystical Halong Bay. Be delighted by food on board and spend your day admiring one of the natural marvels of Vietnam: Visit islets, natural caves and, if weather permits, enjoy a swim in the clear waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Dinner and overnight on the junk.
Day 5: Halong / Hanoi (B/L)
Breakfast at 7h00 then discover man’s head Island, Tortoise Island, Luon cave, Bai Tu Long bay, Ton Island and Bai Tho Mountain.
Enjoy an early lunch on board at 11h00.
End of the cruise at 12h, then drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 6: Hanoi / Hue (B)
Transfer to the airport for morning flight to Hue
In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel, Emperor Tu Duc and Emperor Khai Dinh’s mausoleums.
Overnight in Hue.
Day 7: Hue / Danang / Hoi An (B/L)
After breakfast, take a boat for a cruise on the gentle Perfume River. Visit Dong Ba market, Thien Mu Pagoda on the river bank. Transfer to Danang via the Hai Van Pass and through the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co. On arrival visit the Cham Museum and Marble Mountain and continue the trip to Hoian. Overnight in Hoian.
Day 8: Hoian (B/L)
Morning visit the riverside town of Hoi An which was an important trading port during the 17th and 18th centuries and which, nowadays, is officially listed as a world heritage site. Take a walking tour round Hoi An ancient town and explore its treasures: the Japanese Bridge, PhucKien Pagoda, PhungHung Old Merchant House, Quang Dong Assembly Hall.
Afternoon, free time at leisure for own visits.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoian/Danang / Saigon (B/L)
Transfer to Danang Airport for your morning flight to Saigon. On arrival, transfer to your selected hotel. In the same morning, discover bustling Saigon: Enjoy a tour in the Old Colonial Residential Quarter and discover the old Hotel de Ville, the Opera House, Notre-Dame Cathedral (built in the 19th century), the dazzling French-style post office and the Reunification Palace (outside). In the afternoon visit the War Remnants Museum, then continue to Cho Lon and stop at Binh Tay Market. Finally, end the day with a visit to Vinh Nghiem Pagoda . Overnight in Saigon.
Day 10: Saigon / Cai Be / Vinh Long / Can Tho (B/L)
Morning departure from Ho Chi Minh City and drive overland to Cai Be, in the heart of the Mekong Delta.
On arrival board a sampan for a cruise on the Mekong River and its multiple canals to Vinh Long.
Visit an old colonial house, a rice corn factory and enjoy the lunch with special elephant ear fish from Mekong River in a garden restaurant.
In the afternoon, continue the cruise up to Vinh Long and then drive to Can Tho, the main town of the Mekong Delta Region.
Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 11: Cantho / My Tho / Saigon (B/L)
After breakfast, board a sampan to visit Cai Rang floating market, a family run noodle – making factory and witness the rural life and the beautiful vegetation along the riverbanks. Discover Can Tho’s market, and then drive back to Saigon. Lunch at local restaurant.
Back to Saigon in the late afternoon.
Day 12: Saigon Departure (B)
Free time until transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for your departure flight.