Country of the Dragon… by Train
Discover the long dragon “Vietnam” by train passing by 3 main cities: Saigon, Hue, and Hanoi. This trip make you discover its ancient culture and modern life in harmony following its length; Veritable experience from the central coastline to the mountainous region in the North of Vietnam; Meeting with local people.
Day 01: Arrival in Saigon (D)
Upon arrival in Sai Gon, welcome by our guide and driver, then you’ll be driven into town to hotel. A rickshaw trip will help you to discover Saigon, now named Hochiminh city: Notre Dame Cathedral and General Post office, build by Gustave Eiffel, Catinat Street (now Dong Khoi Street), discover the frenzied merchants and buyers of Cho Lon market and visit Thien Hau Pagoda. Welcome dinner and overnight in Saigon.
Day 02: Saigon – My Tho – Saigon (B,L,D)
After breakfast at hotel, we drive to My Tho meaning perfumed herb, upon arrival, embark at our private boat then discover 4 islands called as 4 saint animals of Vietnam: dragon, unicorn, tortoise and phoenix. You are in a green nature surrounded by coconut-palms, bananas and mangos… by passing through the small canals. You have an occasion to taste many tropical fruits. The lunch will be served up on an island and then walking around the village. Return to Saigon. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Sai Gon.
Day 03: Saigon – Tay Ninh – Cu Chi – Da Nang by train (B,L,D)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Tay Ninh, at good time, you will discover a new unique religion existed only in Vietnam: Caodaism. Caodaism is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. In this religion, Buddha and the Christian God are believed to both exist as deities, but Cao Dai is the third, highest deity. Return to Saigon in the afternoon with a stopover at Cu Chi, visit of Cu Chi tunnels, build in American war period. Arrive in Saigon. Transfer to the train station then take the night train to destination of Da Nang. (Train SE2/19h00-11h50).
Note: This day, you will have 01 room for washing before transfer to Saigon Station. Breakfast of tomorrow morning will be prepared before your departure.
Day 4: Da Nang – Hoi An (B,L,D)
You arrive around noon then welcome by our guide, transfer to the hotel in Hoi An (30 km). Afternoon, you’ll explore the old port town’s narrow cobblestone streets and visit historic sites including a traditional Chinese trading house (Phung Hung), Phuc Kien Pagoda and the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. You cycle toward the beach in the end of afternoon. Free at own leisure. Stay overnight in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An (B,L,D)
This morning, we drive to My Son sanctuary and visit this set of ruins from the ancient Cham Empire, build between 4th and 14th centuries AD. My Son is recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1999. Return to Hoi An by boat cruise on Thu Bon River. Free at own leisure in the afternoon. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 6: Hoi An – Da Nang – Hue (B,L,D)
The trip will continue towards Hue, we will pass by scenic Hai Van Pass, where we enjoy the spectacular panorama of the central coastline from the summit. Stop at Lang Co to stretch your legs and enjoy the white sands of this peaceful beach.
You will bike around the countryside of Hue on the 2 sides of Perfume River and visit Dong Ba market. Overnight in Hue.
Day 7: Hue (B,L,D)
In the morning, you will take a boat trip on the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu pagoda. Then visit the elaborate tombs of Emperor Tu Duc & Khai Dinh. You have a lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon, the visit continues at the majestic Imperial Citadel of Hue. Overnight in Hue.
Day 8: Hue – Hanoi by train (B,L,D)
Free at own leisure then you’ll be transferred to the train station for a night train to Hanoi (train SE6/13h25-04h45). Dinner of this day will be prepared and you will take this on train.
We do not advise this transport to someone who doesn’t use frequently the train. The trip is long and sometimes not very comfortable. But it gives you a good chance being in contact with local people and discover fantastic scenery from the Center to Hanoi.
The dinner will be prepared before the train departure and you will bring it up this on board.
Day 9: Arrival in Hanoi (B,L,D)
Early arrival in Hanoi, picked up by our guide then transfer to hotel for breakfast. A rickshaw trip around with 36 streets of Ha Noi ancient town gives you a chance to explore the different local way of life. Check in to hotel around noon. Afternoon, free at own leisure for your relaxation and visit. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 10: Hanoi city tour – Lao Cai (B,L,D)
The morning stars by an excursion to Bat Trang ceramic village with a stopover to visit Doumer Bridge, build by Gustave Eiffel (Long Bien Bridge now). Discover traditional ceramic techniques of Viet Nam on arrival. Return to Hanoi for lunch.
After that, you will visit a complex of the Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple (Jade mountain Temple), But Tower (Pen – shaped tower), Dai Nghien (Ink Stand), the Red – painted wooden The Huc Bridge…
Transfer to the station for overnight train to Sapa (Train SP1/21h15-05h30). Overnight on train.
Day 11: Lao Cai – Sa Pa (B,L,D)
You arrive in Lao Cai early morning. Welcome by our guide then transfer to a hotel near the station for breakfast and a shower. We then drive to the old French hill station of Sapa in the morning. Upon arrival, visit local market of Sa Pa. Transfer to Cat Cat village, walking through the magnificent landscape, where we have the opportunity to meet the H’mong minority people. Come back to Sa Pa. Overnight in Sa Pa.
Day 12: Sa Pa – Lao Cai – Hanoi (B,L,D)
After breakfast, drive to Giang Ta Chai village, which is inhabited by the Red Dzao hill tribe. We trek through terraced rice field and meet many local people with colorful costumes. After picnic lunch, we continue to trek in the afternoon. Then we come back to Lao Cai Station, washing and dinner before take a night train, back to Hanoi. Overnight on train.
Day 13: Hanoi – Ha Long (B,L,D)
Arrive in Hanoi early morning. After breakfast at a local restaurant, you’ll be driven about 3hrs to famous and magnificent Ha Long Bay. Here you’ll board a charming Junk where you’ll have lunch as you set sail for Titop Island. Spend the afternoon sailing through the 3,000 limestone pinnacles piercing the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s most incredible natural wonders and was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You’ll anchor at Titop this evening before an on-deck candlelight dinner featuring gourmet cuisine. Overnight on a Junk
Note: The cabins on board are simples, comfortable, clean, air-conditioned, and outfitted with their own and hot shower. This is a join-in cruise (possibility to take a private junk).
Day 14: Ha Long – Hanoi (B,L,D)
You will begin this morning with a sunrise breakfast before your exploration of Luon Cave (Tunnel cave) by small bamboo boat paddle. Then continue to visit another part of Bay (Bai Tu Long Bay). Lunch on board. Then drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 15: Hanoi departure (B)
Free at leisure until transfer to Hanoi airport for your international flight.