Mai Chau Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 629

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Our rep awaits your arrival to assist with transfer to your hotel. The remains of the day offer free time for you to explore the wide tree lined avenues, beautiful lakes, ancient pagoda’s and thriving, historic old city, all easily navigated on foot.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi - Halong Bay

A highlight of your visit to Vietnam is sure to be your overnight cruise on Halong Bay. In the morning take the cruise company’s group transfer, without-guide, to Halong, and on arrival board your wooden junk for a cruise among the rocky limestone islands in the emerald waters of Halong Bay. Enjoy some kayaking this afternoon. Seafood lunch and dinner are served on board.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 3: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Further cruising around Halong Bay. Disembark at Halong and take the cruise company’s group transfer, without-guide, back to hotel in Hanoi for the night.

Vietnamese Water Puppets

Day 4: Hanoi

Take a short orientation tour of Hanoi by cyclo. Continue by minivan to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Compound viewed from the outside, the Army Museum and Hanoi Hilton Prison. Remainder of the day at leisure.

The Huc Bridge

Day 5: Hanoi - Mai Chau

Located in Hoa Binh Province and a scenic four hour drive southwest of Hanoi, Mai Chau offers a splendid vista of mountains and valleys surrounded by lush landscape and stilt houses, inhabited mainly by the White Thai ethnic group. In the afternoon take a leisurely two hour cycling tour through the beautiful valley of Mai Chau. Through your guide, engage in a chat with local hill tribe people to learn about their daily lives such as rice planting, herding buffalos and building traditional houses.

Ladies enjoying a bike ride in Mai Chau

Day 6: Mai Chau - Hoi An

Drive to nearby Xalinh village inhabited by the H’mong hill tribe. Enjoy the cool mountain breezes on a two hour trail walk. If it’s a school day, there’s an optional visit to Pa Co primary school. This is followed by a direct private guided transfer to Hanoi airport for a flight to Danang. On arrival at Danang airport we will transfer you to the hotel.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 7: Hoi An

A free day to enjoy the beach and soak up the village life.

A local man in front of an ancient building in Hoi An

Day 8: Hoi An - Saigon

We will transfer you to Danang airport for your flight to Saigon. On arrival direct transfer, with a guide, to Cu Chi Tunnels. Visit the incredible underground tunnel network built by Vietnamese guerrilla fighters. Also visit a rice paper making factory at Tan Phu Trung village before returning to Saigon in the afternoon.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 9: Saigon

A morning tour of Saigon includes Notre Dame Cathedral viewed from the outside, the Old Post Office, the former Presidential Palace and the War Museum. Rest of the day at leisure.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 10: Saigon - The Mekong Delta

Drive for 2.5 hours to Cai Thia in the Mekong Delta. Cycle along some of the quiet paths of this pretty village. After a lunch, take a 15 minute cruise to visit the rustic workshop of Viet Artisans. Visit a brick kiln then transfer to row boats to go deeper inside the maze of small and quiet canals.

Day 11: The Mekong Delta - Saigon

Start early for the boat trip to colourful Cai Be floating market. Visit some local workshops to see production of roof thatching, fish sauce and soya sauce. Cruise again to visit an ancient Mandarin household of where four generations live together. Lunch will be served in the home then you may wish to stretch your legs around the tropical fruit orchard. Walk along the shady village path to your vehicle waiting for a 2.5 hour drive back to Saigon.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 12: Saigon

Sadly your time with us has come to an end. Today you will be transferred to the airport in time for your departure flight.