Vietnam Culture Tour 18 Days

Hanoi - Perfume pagoda - Van Phuc Silk Village - Sapa & its surroundings - Bai Tu Long - Hoi An - Hue - Phong Nha Ke Bang - Saigon - My Tho - Can Tho - Saigon - Departure


Vietnam Culture Tour 18 Days is a program specialized for tourists who wish for an essential glimpse into the culture of Vietnam from the North to the South. Landing in Hanoi, tourists will be introduced to the city and later to other provinces and their renowned cultural destinations such as Perfume Pagoda, Cloudy Pass, the ancient town of Hoi An, Saigon, and more. This program is really an opportunity to learn more and the beautiful Vietnam and its friendly residents.

Itinerary & maps

vietnam-culture-tour-18-daysDay 01: Hanoi arrival (-/-/-)

Day 02: Hanoi City Tour (B/-/-)

Day 03: Hanoi - Perfume Pagoda - Van Phuc Silk village (B/L/-)

Day 04:  Hanoi - Trekking in Sapa (B/L/-) – by luxury car

Day 05:  Sapa - Hiking in Sapa (B/L/-)

Day 06:  Sapa - Bac Ha market - Hanoi (B/L/-) – by overnight train

Day 07: Hanoi - Bai Tu Long Bay - Overnight on boat (B/L/D)

Day 08: Bai Tu Long - Cruise - Kayaking (B/L/D)

Day 09: Vung Vieng Floating village - Hoi An (B/L/-) by flight

Day 10: Hoi An Walking Tour (B/-/-)

Day 11: Hoi An free at leisure (B/-/-)

Day 12: Hoi An - Da Nang - Hue (B/-/-)

Day 13: Hue - Vinh Moc Tunnels - Quang Binh (B/L/-)

Day 14: Phong Nha Ke Bang National parc - Saigon (B/-/-) – by flight

Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City Tour (B/-/-)

Day 16: Saigon - Vinh Trang Pagoda - My Tho - Can Tho (B/L/-)

Day 17: Can Tho - Cai Rang Floating market - Saigon (B/-/-)

Day 18: Saigon - Departure (B/-/-)

Program details

Day 01: Hanoi arrival (-/-/-)

Upon arrival at Noi Bai international airport, be warmly welcomed and picked up by our driver and then transferred to hotel in the centre for check-in. Take your first-hand exploration of city. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi. 




Day 02: Hanoi City Tour (B/-/-)

Pick up at your hotel for full day tour of Hanoi, a blend of the modern with the mystery and charm of past centuries, Hanoi offers an air of elegance and harmony with nature. Today’s sightseeing begins with a visit Ba Dinh Square to see Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum - the museum to his life and the simple cottage where he lived and worked. Then visit Presidential Palace, house on stilts and One Pillar pagoda (locally known as Chua Mot Cot) originally built in 1040 A.D. on a pillar constructed of a single large tree trunk.

Later, have a stroll along the West Lake to visit Quan Thanh and Tran Quoc temples. The former is a Taoist temple in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dated to the 11th century, the temple was dedicated to Xuan Wu, or Trấn Vũ in Vietnamese, one of the principal deities in Taoism. The latter is the oldest pagoda in the city, originally constructed in the sixth century during the reign of Emperor Lý Nam Đế (from 544 until 548), thus giving it an age of more than 1,450 years

Then also visit Van Mieu or Temple of Literature, which dates back to 1070 and is dedicated to the cult of Confucius. Continue visit National museum of Vietnam history which was built between 1925 and 1932, this architecturally impressive museum was formerly home to the École Française d’Extrême Orient. The museum is keeping bronzes from the Dong Son culture (3rd century BC to 3rd century AD), Hindu statuary from the Khmer and Champa kingdoms, jewellery from imperial Vietnam, and displays relating to the French occupation and the Communist Party.

Next, visit Hanoi Opera House nearby and beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, known as the Lake of the Restored Sword. Later, take a cyclo ride through the Hanoi’s Old Quarter, a network of narrow alleys and shop houses also known as “The 36 Streets.” This is a wonderful place to watch the local life, and peruse items from fabrics to crafts to exotic medicines. Watch water puppet show before enjoying your own dinner.


Day 03: Hanoi - its handicraft villages (B/L/-)

Depart at 08.00 am for an about 2 hours ride to Perfume Pagoda. Enjoy a 1.30 hours’ boat trip on Yen stream (Swallow Stream) and visit Trinh Temple before disembarking at Ben Duc (Duc quay). Following is a short trek to Thien Tru Pagoda. Going up to the mountain peak by electric cable to visit the pagoda inside the Huong Tich Grotto, where people often come to pray for health, luck… etc

We then return to Thien Tru Pagoda area on foot for lunch. After lunch, rowing back to Yen boat quay and we will ride back with a short break at Van Phuc – a Traditional Handicraft Silk Village. And then continue to Hanoi for Lang Toi (My Village) show which is a unique thing to do in Hanoi: Witness poetic portrait of Vietnamese village life on stage in language of breath-taking bamboo cirque). Overnight in Hanoi.




Day 04:  Hanoi - Lao Cai - Cat Cat and Y Linh Ho villages (B/L/-) – by Ecosapa

After your breakfast, take an early bus to Sapa. Upon arrival, be picked up by our guide and then enjoy a short car ride just 3 km out of Sa Pa to Cat Cat village inhabited by a community of Hmong ethnic minority people. The village is known as a cultural site since many traditions and customs of the Black Hmong are still preserved to date. The traditional trades of brocade making and silver and bronze smith are still practiced nowadays by villagers after numerous generations of their ancestors. You can visit the Hmong women by their looms weaving fabrics, which will be later on dyed with sap from leaves for the desired coloration.

Next, your walk through the village will take you to Tien Sa waterfall (Silver Waterfall) where a French-built hydropower station has been in service since 1920. Leave Cat Cat village and trek a 5 km winding dirt trail by mountainside along a small river in a tranquil setting of hilly land with terraced paddy fields. Arrive in Y Linh Ho village, another Hmong residence characterized by simple houses built of bamboo and clay. Slowly wander around to observe and interact with villagers dressed in elaborate silver-studded clothing and leggings. Back to center of Sapa for check-in hotel. Overnight in Sapa.


Day 05:  Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van Villages (B/L/-)

After breakfast at hotel, we head out to Lao Chai village (means "old village" in the local dialect). It is time for you to visit the local families, listen to your guide's explanation about the local culture: how they live, way of building the traditional house, and techniques of making clothes... or listen about the way of treatment for a sick person. Stop for lunch. The lunch is served in one of the local refreshment restaurants on the side of the river.

In the afternoon, we leave Lao Chai to continue to Ta Van village, the Giay people's residence. The guide to bring you into some family: listen about their life, enjoy some green tea, and learn about the differences of their culture from the other hill tribes even they leave close to each other. Finally, back to hotel for your stay. Overnight in Sapa.




Day 06:  Sapa - Bac Ha - Ban Pho - Hanoi (B/L/-) – by overnight train

Depart in the early morning for Bac Ha market, one of the most colorful markets in Northwest of Vietnam where you can meet different ethnic minorities. Not only do people attend for trading but also do enjoy rice-wine drinking, social communication, meeting, friend making in the market. Have lunch at a local restaurant and trek down to some villages of flower of the Hmong, Tays and Phu La…. Return to Lao Cai for the night train back to Hanoi. Have your own dinner at local restaurant and take an overnight on the train.


Day 07: Hanoi - Bai Tu Long - Nuit à bord (B/L/D)

  • 07h30: Pick up from your hotel in Hanoi. Drive to Ha Long City through the green fields in the Red River Delta.
  • 10h00: Stopover on the way for a refreshment break.
  • 12h00: Embark at Ha Long wharf – Break and photography time
  • 12h30: Boat Cruises on Halong, enjoy a welcoming drink and cruise briefing.
  • 13h30: Have lunch while cruising in Bai Tu Long Bay, admiring the fascinating rock formations in the bay.
  • 15h30: Transfer by tender to Thien Canh Son cave. Our tour guide will take you to a huge cave with many interesting stalactite and stalagmite in different amazing shapes …. After about half an hour visiting, you will go back to tender and return to the boat. Then return to cruise for your leisure or join sunbathing, enjoy swimming in the crystal clear water. Join with cooking class by our chef.
  • Playing chess, talking. Relax and spend time for taking photos on the beautiful place.
  • 19h00: Vietnamese style set dinner is served on board.
  • 21h00: Take some leisure time to enjoy chatting at the bar or enjoy some night fishing.
  • Stay overnight on boat.




Day 08: Discover Bai Tu Long - Cruise - Kayaking (B/L/D)

  • 08h00: Have breakfast, coffee and tea is served.
  • 08h30: After slightly breakfast transfer to day trip boat to discover more about Bai Tu Long Bay and go in to Vung Ha.
  • 09h00: Drop anchor at Vung Ha. Discovering Vung Ha geological park through kayak to see panorama view of Bai Tu Long Bay with thousands of islets around. Here you can stay on private beach for relaxing, take sunbathing and swimming at Vung Ha Beach.
  •  12h30: Have lunch on boat in a romantic area of Bai Tu Long Bay.
  • 13h30: you will come to discover Be Ong Dau area by kayak. You will explore a huge lake surrounded by mountains. Take sunbathing and swimming at Be Ong Dau Beach.
  • 15h00: Kayaking back to the boat and start cruising back to the main boat then cruising to Cong Do for stay overnight.
  • 19h00: Vietnamese style set dinner is served.
  • 21h00: Take some leisure time to enjoy chatting at the bar or enjoy some night fishing. Relax and spend a romantic night on Cruises.

Day 09: Vung Vieng floating village - Hanoi - Hoi An (B/L/-) by flight

  • 07h30: Have breakfast and enjoy sunrise on the bay.
  • 08h00: Visit ancient Vung Vieng floating village you are not only be immersed in the quiet and peaceful atmosphere, but also be surrounded by the rocky mountains by small bamboo boat for an hour in to the ancient village, then return to cruise for relaxing.
  • 10h00: After an hour around floating village, you back to the boat and packing your luggage and check out the room.
  • 10h30: Have lunch while cruising back through Ha Long Bay to the pier
  • 11h30: Disembark at Ha long wharf, time to say goodbye to the crew.
  • 12h00: Return from Ha Long to Hanoi.
  • 14h00: Stopover on the way for a refreshment break.
  • 16h00: Arrive in Hanoi, be picked up by our driver then tranfer to Noi Bai airport for flight to Danang. Be welcomed and met by our guide and then depart to hotel in Hoi An. Check in hotel and overnight in Hoi An.


Day 10: Hoi An walking tour (B/-/-)

Enjoy your breakfast at hotel and then explore the beautiful town of Hoi An which was recognized by UNESCO as being World Cultural Heritage in 1999. Hoi An was used to serve as an active port of trade with the Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese people during the 17th and 18th centuries. Start your tour by visiting the Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese temple and the Tan Ky ancient house.

Have your own lunch at local restaurant. Then, visit the Thanh Ha ceramic village to admire its intricate pottery. Also, explore the life of the local people. Take free walk in the small street of Hoi An which is famous for its numerous tailor-made clothing shops. You may also enjoy relaxing under the sun on the beaches of Cua Dai or An Bang. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.


Day 11: Hoi An exploration (B/-/-)

Enjoy your free time in Hoi An by strolling around the old town to explore further the local life. Especially, in the evening, enjoy the colorful light of lanterns and local traditional activities. Overnight in Hoi An.



Enjoy your free time in Hoian before travelling to Hue ancient capital through small villages and emerald green rivers in the blue water of Lang Co Beach. We will conquer the 10-km long, 500 meters high Hai Van Pass (pass of the Clouds). At the summit, explore French and American forts, while enjoying panoramic views of the coast. Start Hue city tour today by exploring the Imperial Citadel of Hue (the home of Vietnam’s last royal dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945). Then, have boat ride along the Perfume River and the countryside through rarely visited villages to Thien Mu Pagoda (one of the most atmospheric and picturesque places in the former imperial capital, listen legend story about Thien Mu pagoda). If time permitted, we will visit the tombs of Minh Mang (is impressed by the majesty and symmetry of the architectural constructions. Learn more about the Royal’s life, and Vietnam’s conception of death) Or Khai Dinh (a blend of Western and Eastern architecture). Finally, check in hotel and overnight at hotel in Hue.


Day 13: Hue - Vinh Moc tunnels - Phong Nha Ke Bang (B/L/-)

Early Pick up from your hotels in Hue for a 4-hour driving on Ho Chi Minh Trail East heading to Phong Nha in Quang Binh province. On the way, you will visit Vinh Moc Tunnels which is the extensive tunnels used by the communist Viet Cong to conduct guerrilla warfare up and down the country are famous all over the world, and you can visit them at Cu Chi near Ho Chi Minh City. These tunnels, however, are rather different. Whereas the Viet Cong Tunnels spanned thousands of miles and were used for transporting personnel, storing weapons, and sheltering from enemy forces, the tunnels at Vinh Moc were built as a semi-permanent underground home for the people of Son Trung and Son Ha.

Continue to Phong Nha – Ke Bang where you will explore the most impressive Phong Nha caves. After 25 minutes on boat, visitors will arrive Phong Nha cave, take a couple hours to see the cave. This cave is called as water cave, is famous for its rock formation which has been given names such as the “Lion”, the “Fairy Caves”, the “Royal Court”, and the “Buddha”. Transfer to hotel/resort/homestay in Phong Nha.


Day 14: Paradise cave - Moc Stream - Saigon (B/-/-) – by flight

After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Paradise cave – the Cave was labeled the World’s most beautiful and magnificent. It has the length of 31.4 kms and is the longest dry cave in Asia. With naturally primitive features, Paradise Cave looks like a landscape painting, making it very attractive to visitors.

After that, transfer to Mooc Stream from Phong Nha, heading west to the foot of the grandiose Truong Son mountain range, our car rode on quiet Ho CHi Minh road, the west branch which is winding through the peaceful villages of only about 20km. To this area, you will have opportunity to discover the diversity of precious species in natural heritage of the world after following a narrow trail that led down into the woods. Whether on sweltering summer days, Nuoc Mooc stream is always filled with laughter as well as cheerful frolic makes the stream becomes closer and more appealing.

Finally, transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon. Upon arrival be picked up by our guide and then depart to hotel in center. Overnight in Saigon.


Day 15: Ho Chi Minh city tour (B/-/-)

Enjoy your breakfast at your hotel, then start city tour by walking along Dong Khoi St, which used to be known as the Rue Catinat, the first street built by French. Next visit European style architectures including City hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.

Later, dip into the modern history at Reunification Palace which is also called Independence Palace or Doc Lap Palace in Vietnamese. The Palace was stormed by tanks of the liberation army on April 30 1975. Nowadays, Reunification Palace has been a historic and cultural relic. Continue the trip to War Remnants Museum which preserves the items and documents in the Vietnam – American War.

In the afternoon, drive to Cho Lon (China town) and then Thien Hau Pagoda built by Cantonese congregation and this is the biggest pagoda of Chinese Vietnamese.

Finally, enjoy the Mist show at the Saigon Opera House in which you experience stories of rice, farmers' life in Vietnam told elegantly on stage by beautiful melody. Overnight in Saigon.


Day 16: Saigon - Vinh Trang pagoda - My Tho - Can Tho (B/L/-)

In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in the central city by our guide and then depart for My Tho Town in Tien Giang Province; dip into the beauty of rice fields along the way. Visit Vinh Trang pagoda which is the “must visit” site in Tien Giang. The pagoda is an ancient Southern gem with the combination of Asian and European architecture including Renaissance period and Romanesque style.

Next, arrive in My Tho, take a boat trip on Mekong River to visit farmer’s house and garden. View the fishing port, the traditional stilt houses and boat building workshops, and four islands including Dragon, Phoenix, Unicorn and Tortoise. The boat continues to Tan Thach (Ben Tre), ride horse and carriage around villages to see the local life and taste tropical fruits and honey tea at bee-keeping farm; listen to traditional music and visit coconut candy manufacturer. After that, roam around villages to get deeper understanding of local life.

Later, transfer visit beautiful and historical places in Can Tho. For instance, Ong Pagoda which is one of the most important religious sites of Chinese community in Can Tho. It is built in the late 19th century to worship Kuang Kung, a deity symbolizing loyalty, justice, reason, intelligence, honor and courage among other merits. Then, visit Binh Thuy ancient house. Binh Thuy ancient house was built in 1870 with French style in architecture but still remained traditional features of Southern style. This is the private property of Duong’s family, it however has been acknowledged as a valuable construction of the city and nation for its architectural and historical values. Check-in hotel and overnight in Can Tho.


Day 17: Can Tho - Cai Rang floating market - Saigon (B/-/-)

You are going to visit Cai Rang floating market in the morning. The landscape is very beautiful: hundred sampans with full of rice, fruits and handicraft products…they are here to exchange their products. We will then visit the central market and explore the local activities. After leaving the market, we are going to visit a luxuriant orchard of Little Hien Farm and enjoy fruits. To get deeper understanding of local life, you may join the farming such as, fishing, planting… (at your own cost).

Later, transfer back to Saigon. On the way, stop over at Cao Dai temple which is also the name of a religion. Cao Dai is a very strange religion in Vietnam that combines Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Confucianism and Islam. Arrive at hotel in Saigon. Check in hotel and overnight in Saigon.


Day 18: Saigon - Departure (B/-/-)

Breakfast at hotel and then check-out from hotel to start your city tour today by visiting Fito museum which is a couple of first private museums in Vietnam and devoted to the Traditional Vietnamese Medicine & Pharmacy. Later, transfer to Fine art museum, which is one of the largest fine arts centers of Vietnam. The museum focuses on collecting, keeping, preserving and displaying fine artworks typical of Vietnamese people, especially Ho Chi Minh City and the South.

Continue to visit The Mariamman Temple in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Mariamman.

Finish your tour at Ben Thanh market which is located in the very city center. The good nowadays in the market are abundant consisting of almost domestic products especially those from Mekong Delta. Finally, transfer to Saigon International Airport for your departure.

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