Day 1: Ha Noi Arrival and Welcome Dinner
Welcome to Hanoi.
On arrival, You will be met by our guide and drive to Hanoi and check in hotel. You are free until Welcome Dinner.
Day 2: Hanoi City Tour
This morning, we will explore the city. We visit the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and the fascinating War Museum and Cyclo Ride through the Old Quaters of Hanoi. Late afternoon, enjoy Water Puppet Show. Stay overnight in Ha Noi. (B,L)
Day 3: Halong Bay
This morning we have 4 hour drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay. This is Vietnam’s most famous and most popular UNESCO World Heritage site! The name ‘Ha Long’ means the dragon descending into the sea and owes its origins to a Vietnamese myth. The towering limestone karsts represent the dragon’s back, surrounded by jade green water creating an unforgettable site. There are more than 1600 limestone islands and islets with different shapes jutting out from the sea.. Most of them are still intact from human activities thanks to their uninhabited and uncultivated characters.
Arrive at the Halong Bay jetty around noon and proceed with check-in formalities before boarding a boat for your unforgettable overnight cruise on Halong bay. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.
Overnight on board the boat in Halong Bay (private cabin on-board the join-in boat cruise). (B,L,D)
Day 4 : Halong Bay-Hanoi- Hue
Enjoy the morning in the middle of Halong Bay as the sun rises on Halong and breakfast is served (brunch on some boats) while the vessel cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards the port. Mid-morning the boat will return to shore. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi Airport for the mid-late afternoon onward flight to Phu Bai Airport (Hue City) in Central Vietnam.
Upon arriving, we go straight to hotel. Check in and free untill dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Hue City Tour.
In the morning, We take a relaxing cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda which is the oldest pagoda in Hue and then Tu Duc Tomb, a very romantic home for afterlife. After lunch at local restaurant, we will visit Citadel, the home of the last royal family in Vietnam which is known as the most blooding fighting place of both sides during Vietnam War. The Citadel was badly destroyed during the Tet Offensive 1968. After dinner, you are free to explore the city by your selves. Stay overnight in Hue. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Hue – Khe Sanh.
We check out hotel and drive along Highway 1 or known as Highway Of Horror about 70km north of the city to visit DMZ. We visit Hien Luong Bridge, Bridge of Peace. Then Vinh Moc Tunnel. Lunch will be at Dong Ha City. After lunch, we will drive a long Highway 9 (well-known Route 9) to visit Camp Carroll, Rockpile and Razorback. Then Visit Khe Sanh Combate base and Lang Vei Special Force Base. Stay overnight in Khe Sanh Town. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Khe Sanh-Hamburger Hill-Hue
After breakfast, we will drive along Ho Chi Minh Trails to visit Hamburger Hill. After lunch in town, we will visit AShau Combat Base and Rendez-Vous FSB. Stay in Hue. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Hue- Da Nang-Hoian
Today we will drive 140km south over Hai Van Pass (Pass of Ocean Cloud). This is the most beautiful drive in Vietnam. We will stop at the top of the pass which was the US Marine Observation Base over the High Way 1. After a break, we make our way down to Da Nang. We will visit Nam O Bridge then drive along Red Beach where US Troops first landed in Vietnam. Continue to China Beach which was the R&R Beach for US soldiers and nurses before battlefields. You can have a walk or swim if you wish so before lunch. Then we are heading to Marble mountains to climb up about 200 steps to the top and cave which VC used as emergency hospital during 1968.
After Marble Mountains, we drive straigh to Hoian for a Walking Tour. Stay overnight in Hoian. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Hoian- Chu Lai- Hoian.
Today we will visit Hill 55 (known as Camp Muir), Ky Ha, Hill 43, Crescent Beach and Americal Division HQ and Chu Lai Airbase which was operated by the US Marine Corps between 1965 and 1970.
At first, only a “short airfield for tactical support (SATS)” was installed. The SATS consisted of a 1,200 m runway with an aluminum surface of interlocking lightweight metal alloy planking, a catapult and a carrier deck-type arresting gear. It also included a tactical airfield fuel dispensing system. The base of soft sand at Chu Lai caused much difficulty with the installation of the SATS, but the first landing of an A-4 Skyhawk was made on 1 June 1965, by Colonel John D. Noble, Commanding Officer of MAG-12 from Marine All- Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 (VMA-225) landed. The aircraft took off using jet-assisted takeoff rockets on the partially completed runway as the Seabees continued lengthening the runway. By mid-October 1965, the base was home to more than 80 A-4 Skyhawks from MAG-12.
Leaving Chu Lai Airbase, we drive back to Hoi An for overnight. (B,L)
Day 10: Hoi An- My Son Holyland- An Hoa Combat Base- Hoi An
My Son Holy land is actually located in a valley which is very well defended. That is why VC used to hide here during the war. It was heavily bombed in 1969. After My Son, on the way back, we will visit Liberty Bridge, Football Island and An Hoa Combat Base. The base was first used by the Marines in January 1966 during Operation Mallard when the 1st Battalion, 12th Marines established a firebase there while the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines and a Company from the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines swept the surrounding area. 20 April 1966 the Marines returned to An Hoa on Operation Georgia, the 12th Marines reestablished a firebase while the 3rd Battalion 9th Marines provided security, the base would become permanent at this time as the Marines sought to pacify the area.
Back to Hoi An for overnight. (B,L)
Day 11: Hoi An Cycling and Fishing Touring
Today is a non-battlefield day.
We will do cycling through the country to fishing village, where you will a chance to interact with local people and they will show you the traditional way to catch fish. You will also learn how to row a round boat to palm paradise. Lunch at one of fishermen’s house by the river. After lunch riding back Hoi An town for a walking tour. (B,L)
Day 12: Da Nang-Saigon
This morning we will take flight from Danang to Saigon. On arrival, you will be met by our guide for city tour. We will visit Independence Palace, War Museum, Noth Dame Church, Central Post Office and Ben Thanh Market. Stay overnight in Saigon. (B,L,D)
Day 13: Saigon-Tay Ninh-Saigon
This morning we drive west to Tay Ninh to visit Cao Dai Temple. We will see Nui Ba Den (Black Virgin Mountain) from the distance. Lunch on the way. Then we visit Cu Chi Tunnels. On the way back to Saigon, we will pass the Iron Triangle and the Hobo Woods.
The Iron Triangle was The three points at the perimeter of this area were Ben Cat to the northeast, Ben Suc to the west, and the line made by the Saigon River (Song Sai Gon) terminating directly south of the village of Xom Ben Co. This area was laced with tunnels that were interconnected with large underground base complexes housing the local VC and NVA that had infiltrated down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. One of the largest tunnel complexes was inadvetently discovered when a tank from C Co. 1st 69th Armor caused a tunnel roof to collapse, causing the tank to fall into the complex.
Ho Bo Woods was another French owned rubber plantation. It was used by the VC as a base area and was laced with tunnels and underground complexes. The Ho Bo Woods area consisted of rubber plantations, sparse to dense woods, and open rice paddies with some extremely large dikes in the area. Some were approximately four feet high and four feet wide but did not present an obstacle to tracked movement. Observation in this area was good to excellent and fields of fire were excellent. There were no obstacles to tracked movement in the plantation area. The central area of the Ho Bo consisted of rubber trees and dense woods. However, secondary growth throughout the area varied from light to thick with the center being the lightest area. The dense woods and areas of thick undergrowth in the center section did restrict movement of track vehicles to an extent.
Back to Saigon and you have free dinner. (B,L)
DAY 14 – HO CHI MINH CITY – SADEC – CAI BE
Depart your hotel early this morning for the 3.5-hour drive to Sa Dec, deep in the Mekong Delta.
Sa Dec is a charming, authentic Mekong Delta town that seems to have escaped the modernization that has swept much of Vietnam. On arrival in Sa Dec, visit the charming Kien An Cung Pagoda before having lunch in the former home of Huynh Thuy Le who is the main character in Marguerite Duras’ novel “The Lover”.
After lunch, board your boat for the cruise to Cai Be. Sit back and enjoy the lush landscape and tropical life of the Mekong Delta. En route visit a flower garden as well as floating houses along a branch of the Mekong River where fish are raised in submerged cages. Make a stop at a traditional mat making workshop where river grasses are woven by hand.
Reach the river town of Vinh Long to visit one of the biggest brick factories in the Mekong Delta. In this traditional factory the process of making bricks is done by hand and the imagery seems timeless.
Back on the boat cross the Co Chien River, one of the two branches of the Mekong towards An Binh, Binh Hoa Phuc Islands and finally the Dong Phu canal and your final destination of Cai Be.
Continue down river to The Mekong Riverside resort & spa perfectly situated overlooking a branch of the Mekong River.
Rest of the evening at leisure. Overnight in Cái Bè. (B,L)
DAY 15 – CAI BE – HO CHI MINH CITY
Early this morning take a sunrise boat cruise to the quiet but quaint Cai Be floating market. Produce at the market is hung on a pole in front of boats to attract customers and make it easier for people to see from afar what is on offer. Traders work the river and some have been living on these waters for generations, however like elsewhere in the delta the floating market here has become much smaller in recent years due to development and improvements in infrastructure.
Mid-morning arrive at a family run orchard where diverse tropical fruits are grown. The owner, a former war veteran, will share with you stories from his life as well as taking you into his garden to sample some fresh tropical fruits.
Continue to a stunning 100-year old house which is architecturally a mixture between Vietnamese and European designs. Here a Vietnamese lunch will be served consisting of dishes only found in the Mekong Delta. After your meal, bid farewell to the family before returning to Saigon where you will arrive in the late afternoon.
The rest of the afternoon is your free time at leisure until Farewell Dinner.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (B,L,D)
Day 16: Departure Home.
In the morning, you are free until our driver pick you up to transfer to airport.