Vietnam Insight with Sapa

Description

There are some great tours of Vietnam available these days, but this 15 day trip takes some beating. Beginning in Hanoi, in the north of the country, and ending in the amazing city of Saigon in the south, you see so many of the highlights of this fascinating country, delve in to its history, and get a wonderful insight into the lives of the people. Along the way you visit colourful Sapa, the beautiful rugged islands of Halong Bay, historic Hue, enchanting Hoi An and the Mekong Delta and have the benefit of a tour leader and experienced guides throughout.

Day 1
Arrive Hanoi

On arrival at Hanoi you will be met at the airport and taken straight to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own seeing some of the sights. Tonight meet your fellow travellers and tour leader for welcome drinks and a briefing about all the exciting things you will be seeing and doing over the coming days. This is a great chance to get to know your fellow travellers and talk about the adventure that awaits. You will also be given a welcome pack with all the tour details included.

Day 2
Hanoi to Sapa

This morning you drive through beautiful Hanoi to the outskirts of the city to visit the excellent Ethnology Museum. Here you learn more about the diverse ethnic minorities you will meet on your journey to Sapa. See examples of traditional dress and housing of many of the 53 different ethnic minority groups that inhabit Vietnam and learn more about their customs and way of life. Then begin the five hour journey to Sapa, passing Vietnam's most spectacular mountain scenery. End today with a drink in this charming town.

Day 3
Sapa

After breakfast, your morning begins with a brief guided tour of Sapa town and the colourful market. Then drive the short distance south towards Ta Van Hoa Valley, and begin your walk through the terraced rice paddy fields. This takes you through the village of Hau Thao, home to the Black Hmong minority, then onto the village of Saseng. You will have a great opportunity to observe the daily life and traditional hospitality of these people, and to take in the stunning vistas and terraced rice fields that are synonomous with this area. Overnight Sapa.

Day 4
Topas Ecolodge & Lech Village

Drive south from Sapa towards Topas Ecolodge and then descend on foot into the valley below, to visit the ethnic minorities of Lech Village, which is situated in a picturesque area not often visited by tourists, and is home to one of the area’s best-known and most colourful minorities, the Red Dzao. Here women shave their heads and eyebrows, and wear bright scarlet turbans and some of the most colourful and diverse costumes of all Vietnam’s ethnic groups. Check in to the remote Topas Ecolodge in Supan and enjoy a memorable dinner.

Day 5
Sapa to Hanoi

After breakfast enjoy some free time at the Ecolodge, where you might like to try a spa treatment or take a short walk into the surrounding area. Later check out of the lodge before journeying back to Hanoi, which will take around five hours. Tonight meet other fellow travellers for drinks and a tour briefing for your journey through Vietnam. This is a great chance to get to know some new faces and talk about all the further adventures that await you.

Day 6
Hanoi

Begin your discovery of the city with a walking tour through the bustling Old Quarter - 36 ancient streets where you can see the daily bustle of life around the markets. Continue to the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, starting at Ba Dinh Square, and visit the humble house on stilts from which ‘Uncle Ho’, ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. You can also view the Presidential Palace, and intriguing One Pillar Pagoda. Finally stop at the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ - the former prison famous for holding US Air force pilots shot down during the Vietnam war.

Day 7
Hanoi to Halong Bay

This morning you journey east to Halong City, the gateway to Halong Bay. En route pass fields of busy workers farming their rice using traditional methods. Halong Bay has assumed an important position in Vietnamese legend for many centuries and continues to capture the imagination. On arrival transfer to the port and board your deluxe boat for the cruise out to the Bay, enjoying a fresh seafood lunch. Considered Vietnam’s greatest natural wonder, Halong Bay has more than 3,000 islands that rise out of the sea. Overnight on the boat.

Day 8
Halong Bay to Hanoi

Today, rise early to make the most of Halong Bay’s stunning scenery. After breakfast, continue your exploration and discover what makes this area so unique. On the cruise back to Halong City, enjoy another tasty lunch. This afternoon travel to Hanoi where you take a walking tour of the backstreets to visit some markets and specialty food stores. You will have the opportunity to try some local dishes and in the process learn more about daily life and culinary customs and habits of the Vietnamese people.

Day 9
Hanoi to Hue

Today you fly to Hue, located on the banks of the Perfume River. Hue was a former capital of Vietnam and is a centre of Buddhism and scholarship. It was also the setting for some of the Vietnam War’s most bloody fighting, and provides a unique window into the country's complex past. Begin your exploration by visiting the elaborate tomb of the former emperor Tu Duc and learn something of the history of this colourful period. Next visit the imposing Citadel and Imperial Palace, then the tranquil Thien Mu Pagoda.

Day 10
Hue to Hoi An

This morning take a train journey along the coast-clinging route, winding across rugged cliffs. Rub shoulders with the locals, and enjoy the scenery. The World Heritage Listed old town of Hoi An was Vietnam’s most active trading centre over many centuries and has been well preserved. Take a local market and backstreets tour with students from ‘Streets cafe’ then enjoy a small tasting menu of some of the products. This afternoon you will also see an old merchant house, a Chinese assembly hall and the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Day 11
Hoi An

Today is free for you to explore this enchanting and beautiful town with its many clothing shops, colourful fish market and river life. Return to some of the places you visited yesterday, have lunch in one of the local restaurants and see more of the sights. Alternatively you may wish to head to the nearby beach and chill out or just relax by the pool at your resort. After all the travelling across Vietnam and organised tours, this is a great chance to simply do nothing!

Day 12
Hoi An to Saigon

This morning enjoy some more time in Hoi An before being taken to the airport for your flight to Saigon - Vietnam’s commercial capital and a city of extraordinary energy. Despite its rush to modernity, Saigon, as it is still known, is a friendly and welcoming place with many reminders of its turbulent past and a palpable momentum towards the future. You end today with a drink at a roof top bar with beautiful views of this historic city as the sun sets. The remainder of your evening is free to explore on your own.

Day 13
Cu Chi Tunnels & Saigon Tour

Start your day as the locals do with a delicious, steaming hot bowl of noodle soup at a local eatery, before travelling to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Established as a means of waging guerrilla war, the tunnel network stretched over 155 miles and extended to three levels. Back to Saigon for lunch and in the afternoon, spend some time at the War Remnants Museum, walk through the heart of the city seeing the Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office and nearby Rue Catinat. Walk past the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh Square, and Municipal Theatre.

Day 14
Mekong Delta

Explore the Mekong Delta’s canals, markets and villages by comfortable speedboat. Depart from downtown Saigon on this specially designed trip and avoid the tourist crowds. Known as the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam, the Delta is the most fertile region in the country. Stop at a market, visit a Buddhist temple and see an unusual Cao Dai pagoda. Gain a real insight into the lives of the locals by visiting a workshop and villages and have lunch at a family home. Return to Saigon and spend your last night enjoying a group dinner at a top restaurant.

Day 15
Depart Vietnam

It’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers, but just think of all the wonderful stories you will take home. Possibly time for some more sightseeing or last minute shopping for souvenirs before you are picked up from your hotel by one of our tour representatives and driven to the airport to catch an onward flight and continue your south east Asia adventure or begin your journey back home. This comprehensive tour will give you a great insight into this fascinating country and its peoples.

Tour details 15 days

Classic fr £1311pp

Tour Highlights

  • Hanoi
  • Sapa
  • Topas Ecolodge
  • Lech Village
  • Halong Bay
  • Hue
  • Hoi An
  • Cu Chi tunnels and city tour
  • Mekong Delta

Included:

  • 13 nights hotel accommodation
  • 1 night cruise accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Transport by AC vehicle
  • Western Tour leader with minimum 7 passengers
  • Local English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees

Not included:

  • International Flights & Visas

What 126 customers thought of Hanoi

Very good service can't fault it. Like to thank Trevor for his great service

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Everything worked out perfectly. Many thanks.

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Very helpful guy I spoke to on the phone

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Flew to Hanoi

Martin was brilliant! He offered good suggestions for our trip as I was planning an independent tour. I really appreciated his call just before we left to check we had all the documentation we needed.

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Wonderful service from Teddy as always

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Excellent service, happy to recommend my family and friends, will be in touch again.

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Great service, thank you

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Flew to Hanoi

Thanks Ted, it all went like clockwork. We even got a free upgrade on the 14 hour flight from KL and we loved the hotel you chose for us in Bangkok

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Sally always produces the goods

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Very informative service and a competitive price on the flight.

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Flew to Hanoi

Great service.

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Flew to Hanoi

I was very impressed with the service and the value for money of our flights, all of which were booked through DialAFlight.

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Flew to Hanoi

Some advice on visa requirements would have helped. But staff were all very friendly and professional.

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Another great trip organised by DialAFlight!

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Everthing perfect

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Adrian was brilliant

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Sean was a superstar. Thanks

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Always very happy with the service. Will continue to recommend you

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Flew to Hanoi

Excellent service all round. Karina was really helpful when we initially booked the flights and the after sales service was exceptional with plenty of reminders and updates. I tell everyone in the office to try dial a flight before booking elsewhere!

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Superb customer service

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Flew to Hanoi

I have used Sophie Larforge to book my holidays for the last 10 years I believe. I would never use anybody else as she now caters for our individual needs and is always very helpful to us. Also she gives us plenty of information on the places we are going to and if she hasn't been there herself, she usually finds somebody that has to answer any questions we may have. Thank you Sophie for coming up trumps again!

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Flew to Hanoi

You are the best! Thanks for an excellent customer service.

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Jim has been excellent in helping to put our trip together.

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Excellent and helpful service - thank you

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All went seamlessly.

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Flew to Hanoi

Really impressed by your service

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Flew to Hanoi

Issues with some transfers which was rectified after phonecalls and emails. Everything else was excellent. Great choice of hotels. We had a marvellous holiday.

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Flew to Hanoi

A fantastic service from the minute I made contact many months ago. I wanted to fly to Hong Kong , on to Vietnam and back to London from Cambodia. The team looked at the best options for me and advised me all the way through with regular e mails and phone calls. I am very impressed and will definitely use your services again.

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Tony was very helpful

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This was the second time we've used you. Whole experience could not have been better. Hugo and the team were brilliant every step of the way. I already rave about DialAFlight to anyone who will listen.

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