Magical Fullmoon Night

Once an  important Southeast Asian trading port where they used to harbor foreign traders dating back from the 15th – 19th centuries. Nowadays Hoi An is a charming old town full of historic wonders and reflect the influences of fusion traditional architectures, narrow streets and riverside that benefits its UNESCO World Heritage in 1999. If time permits, visit Hoi An during full moon, every month on the fourteenth day of the lunar calendar, the town switches off its street lights as glowing silk lanterns, performers and food stalls fill the cobbled streets and the Thu Bon River is lit up with beautiful floats and enjoy the traditional dance and music shows throughout the old town.

 

full of lanterns during full moon festival - Xpats Travel
full of lanterns during full moon festival
Young girls in Full moon night  - Xpats Travel
Young girls in Full moon night
Hoi An boat - Xpats Travel
Hoi An
Ben Tanh Market
Ben Tanh Market
Town Hall Ho Chi Minh
Town Hall Ho Chi Minh
Quan Am Pagoda Cholon
Quan Am Pagoda Cholon
Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Hue Imperial City
Hue Imperial City
Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta
One Pillar Pagoda
One Pillar Pagoda
Tinh Tam Lake
Tinh Tam Lake

Become immersed in one of the most captivating and mysterious places in the Eastern world : Vietnam. In this captivating nine-day journey takes you from the powerful waters of the Mekong Delta to the bustling capital of Hanoi. This unique tour will give take you on and adventure that provides insight into the country’s culture, landscape, the European influenced architecture and the people of Vietnam. Whether you are relaxing on the shores of Halong Bay or getting lost in the wonders of the metropolis of Hanoi, the Essential Vietnam tour is full of unforgettable experiences.

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
Land  in Ho Chi Minh City and take a shuttle to hotel. Spend the remainder of your night in leisure.   

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City   (B)
Depart your hotel for an all-inclusive tour Ho Chi Minh City. You will first make your way to Cholon, Vietnam’s “Chinatown” district, to discover the area’s unique markets, shops, and the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda - dedicated to the goddess of the Sea. You will then head to Vietnam's first traditional medicine museum, the FITO Museum, with a collection of a staggering 3,000 items used in the development of traditional Vietnamese medicine.

Head back to the city center to visit Ben Thanh Market, where you can stroll through the market and puruse the enormous selection of fresh produce at the city market.  

This afternoon visit the War Remnants or History Museum and the former Presidential Palace, travel to the sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City including: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. At the end of the afternoon return to your hotel. 

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Note: History Museum is closed on Mondays. 

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City  (B, L)
Today, take a break from vibrant clamber of the city and experience the serenity of rural Vietnam.  You will travel about 2 outside of Ho Chi Minh City to the small town of Cai. On arrival,  board a boat for a private tour of the Delta’s waterways. 

Start your journey by passing the world famous “Be’s floating market”, then, continue to a cottage factory where ‘pop-rice’, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Return to the boat for a ride to Dong Hoa Hiep Island. As you coast along the placid waters of the Mekong Delta, admire the scenery and the daily life of the local villagers. Lunch will be served in the local Mekong style. After this, return back to the bustle of the city. 

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City – Danang – Hoi An    (B)
After breakfast, take a shuttle to Tan Son Nhat Airport for a short flight to the port city of Danang. Once you arrive in Danang you will be transferred to the city of Hoi An, a key trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries. You will see how well both the architecture and culture has been preserved since then. You will then have the opportunity to take a walking tour of the historic town centre where you can see the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and the colourful market of Hoi An. 
Rest of the day at leisure. 

Overnight in Hoi An.

 

Day 5: Hoi An – Hue (B)
Depart from Hoi An in the morning for the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue. Here, you will have the opportunity to see the ancient tombs and mausoleums of the last emperors of Vietnam. Witness firsthand the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers in the “Royal Citadel.”

After you are finished at the Citadel, you will drive to Danang, where you will visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world. You will conclude your day exploring the fishing village of Lang Co before your shuttle takes to you back to Hue. 

Overnight in Hue. 

Day 6: Hue – Hanoi        (B)
Today, you will start your morning with a visit to the city’s lively Dong Ba Market.  After exploring the market, take a “cyclo” through the ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to spend their days in leisure. Feel like royalty as your lay amongst the hundreds of lotus flowers that sit on the peaceful lake. 

Next, you will go to the former emperor Minh Mang’s tomb located in a tranquil setting of gardens and ponds. Spend the rest of the afternoon paying your respects at the exquisite royal tombs of Hue.  

Finally, take a 30-minute shuttle to Hue Airport for the 1-hour flight to Hanoi. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. 

Overnight in Hanoi. 

Day 7: Hanoi – Halong Bay   (B, L, D)
Following breakfast, you will depart from Hanoi on a 3-hour and 30-minute drive to Halong Bay. Arrive at your jetty in Halong City around noon and check-in. After your welcome aboard, a lunch will be served while en route to the bay.

In the afternoon, enjoy some activities provided by the crew, or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat will anchor for the night among the karst formations, giving you a wonderful view while you eat dinner. 

Overnight on Halong Bay 

Day 8: Halong Bay – Hanoi   (B)
Enjoy the fresh morning air as you watch the sunrise along Halong Bay. Today will be full of relaxation as you will slowly cruise through through the magnificent rock formations and back towards port. 

After you return to port, you will travel back to Hanoi by shuttle. In the afternoon, visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum, a research centre and public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. 

Next, visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as the ‘36 streets’. You will be given walking tour through the world famous Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to thousands of small businesses and shops. 

If time permits, finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely north Vietnamese art form depicts scenes from rural life and episodes of their proud national history.   

Overnight in Hanoi. 

Day 9: Hanoi  (B)
After breakfast, depart from your hotel and travel to the Temple of Literature. Here, you can visit  Vietnam's first university Quoc Tu Giam which was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. 

Next, visit one of Vietnam’s most recognizable temples, “The One Pillar Pagoda,” founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. After admiring this, you will travel to the modest home and mausoleum of historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. 

Continue to picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here you can stroll to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism. 

End your journey shopping and taking in the sights one last time before departing to Noi Bai Airport for your onward flight. 

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