The Mekong Delta Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 634

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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 - Sapa

This morning head to Hoan Kiem Lake which is the very heart of the city. Residents of Hanoi congregate around the lake early each morning to partake in Tai chi, aerobics and other light exercise. Enjoy a Tai Chi lesson with the locals and take a stroll around the lake before tucking into a traditional Vietnamese breakfast (Pho) at a café. After breakfast prepare yourself for a truly unique cooking experience! Vietnamese food is healthy, simple to cook and downright delicious this half day tour includes shopping, preparing, cooking and of course eating what you cooked. Tonight around 9 pm you transfer to the station for the overnight train to Sapa.

A lady from one of the hill tribes near Sapa

Day 3: Sapa

The train pulls into Lao Cai at approximately 06:00am this morning, transfer to Sapa for breakfast. Located 1500m above sea level, Sapa is a former French hill station, nestled in the rugged Tonkinese Alps and surrounded by lush valleys and verdant rice paddy fields. This morning take a light trek to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, Ta Van and Cau May. Walking to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, you meet some of the local ethnic minority people on their way to and from Sapa. These minority people, including the Red Zao, Hmong and Tay people, walk to Sapa to trade at the markets. Tonight you spend the night at the hotel in Sapa town.

A local child in Sapa

Day 4: Sapa - Hanoi

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.

The Huc Bridge

Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Upon arrival in Hanoi, freshen up before driving to Halong City (approx 4 hours), stopping for refreshments en route. At UNESCO Listed Halong Bay limestone peaks and forest clad islets, hidden coves and beautiful beaches await discovery! Board your Junk boat and cruise to the famous islands of Halong Bay and onto Bai Tu Long Bay, stopping to visit a cave and swim in the warm waters. There is a chance to explore more this stunning area by sea kayak. Return to the Junk boat for a tasty dinner and a memorable night in beautiful surrounds.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 6: Halong Bay - Hue

Wake up to see a spectacular sunrise over the bay! This morning cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng - where you'll gain a fascinating insight into local life. Cruising back to the dock arrive into Halong City around noon then transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at the Villa Hue Hotel.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 7: Hue

Hue was the Vietnamese capital during the Nguyen Dynasty and ruins of the city’s regal past can still be seen inside the Citadel and the Imperial City, modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing. Many of the buildings were damaged by French aerial bombing and the Tet Offensive in 1968. Now it is slowly being restored thanks to generous funding by UNESCO. Your tour begins after breakfast with the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. Spend the morning wandering through the enclosure before lunch and a trip into the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place of the Emperors at two of the most impressive Royal Tombs. This evening, take a scenic boat cruise along the Perfume River.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 8: Hue - Hoi An

This morning, continue south to the riverside town of Hoi An. The five hour trip hugs the coastline along the South China Sea with breathtaking views. From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants. Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, renowned for its silk and popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops and numerous cafes. In the afternoon, enjoy a half day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house and the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 9: Hoi An - The Mekong Delta

Take the morning flight from Da Nang to Saigon. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to Cai Be. Take a boat trip to your overnight home-stay. Explore the lively Cai Be floating market and enjoy a walking tour of the handicraft village. At around midday take a boat trip to Mekong Lodge with a spot of lunch at a nearby restaurant. This afternoon enjoy a walking or biking visit to the home factories of candy and handicraft in the village with sightseeing of the old houses and a chance to sample various tropical fruits. Late afternoon participate in a cooking class and enjoy dinner with what you’ve cooked.

Day 10: The Mekong Delta - Saigon

After breakfast enjoy a walking or cycling tour around the island. Go to one of the orchards to see fruits being picked including mango, rambutan and longan. Later take a boat transfer to Cai Be harbor and catch your bus back to Ho Chi Minh for a short city tour.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 11: Saigon - Phu Quoc

Departing Vietnam's capital this morning we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Phu Quoc where a shuttle transfer awaits to take you to your hotel. Overnight at the Eden Resort.

Days 12-13: Phu Quoc

The next two days are completely at your leisure to enjoy the beaches.

Day 14: Phu Quoc

Today marks the end of your adventure with On the Go Tours. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Saigon where you will connect with your onward departure transfer.