HANDICRAFT JOURNEY IN VIETNAM

Tour duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights

Destinations:

Day 1: HANOI ARRIVAL – HALF DAY SIGHTSEEING

Upon arrival, proceed to the immigration counter to complete all of your immigration formalities. If you already have your Vietnam visa, the procedure usually takes 20 - 30 minutes to complete. Then, head to the exit gate and meet your guide there. Transfer to your hotel for check in (from 1300 only) and relax.

In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, the first University for the sons of mandarins. Follow this with a walking tour through the old quarter of the city. Visit a local house and take your time talking with the hosts and learn about their family’s life and history. Continue to Ngoc Son Temple nearby Hoan Kiem Lake. End the day with a leisurely ride on a rickshaw around the city and through its hidden alleyways.

Overnight in Hanoi. 

Day 2: HALF DAY SIGHTSEEING – WATER PUPPET SHOW AT AN ARTIST’S HOUSE (B)

After breakfast, spend the morning touring the other landmarks of the capital. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and his personal residence, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Tran Quoc Pagoda. End the morning with a visit to the Museum of Women.

In the afternoon, take an interesting visit to the house of a water puppet artisan – Mr. Phan Thanh Liem. Upon arrival, enjoy a welcome drink and be welcomed by the host. Spend some time exploring his house which is designed as a small museum displaying all types of traditional water puppets and listen to his sharing on the passion and how his family keeps the arts for 7 generations. Also take this chance to see how a puppet is made from the beginning and finally enjoy a private show at his own stage. Say farewell to the artisans and transfer back to your hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi. 

Day 3: HANOI – SAPA (B)

In the morning, depart from the hotel in Hanoi on take the highway to Lao Cai province (4.30 hrs drive).  Arrive at Sapa at noon, check into hotel and relax.

In the afternoon,  visit Thac Tien Waterfall (1.3km walk) and stop at Tram Ton pass to enjoy the beautiful view. Return to Sapa and take a walk around the town and visit the local market.

Overnight in Sapa.

Day 4: SAPA LIGHT TREKKING & HANDICRAFT VILLAGES (B)

Arrive at Sapa in the morning and spend the day discovering many picturesque ethnic communities located in the Sapa Valley. Drive to Lao Chai and then walk 2 km through rice fields. Pass by traditional Black Hmong houses before continuing on to Ta Van Village (2 km) to visit a Giay ethnic community and go up to Giang Ta Chai village. This part of the trip is fascinating because of its beautiful scenery and vibrant hill tribe cultures such as that of the Red Dao. Your driver will be waiting for you at Giang Ta Chai village.

In the afternoon, visit an ethnic village or spend the rest of the afternoon wandering through the local market in Sapa town. 

Overnight in Sapa. 

Day 5: SAPA – HANOI (B)

After an early breakfast, depart for the local ethnic markets where you will see members of different hill tribes, colourfully dressed, selling handicrafts and products. Depending on the day, markets can be held in different locations.  Continue your short walk to a local village nearby and learn more about the daily life of the hill tribe communities as well as their living environment. Drive back to Hanoi and arrive Hanoi in the late afternoon.

Note: Visits to the minority markets may be switched, depending on the opening days of each market (See schedule below). It might be cold and wet in winter (October – Mar), please prepare jacket and good shoes for the walk. 

Date

Market

Minorities

Tuesday

Coc Ly

H' Mong, Tu Di, Ba Di

Tay, Nung Han

Wednesday

Sin Cheng

Cao Son

H' Mông, Nùng, Tày,

Thu Lao H' Mông

Phù Lá, Dao, Black Hán

Thursday

Lung Khau Nhin

H' Mong, Phu la, Dao

Saturday

Can Cau

Pha Long

Flower H' Mong,

Red and Black Hmong

Dzay, Tay

Sunday

Bac Ha

Muong Khuong

H' Mong, Tay (Bac Ha), Dao

Phu La, Nung (Muong Khuong)

Day 6: HANOI – HALONG BAY (B – L – D)

After breakfast, depart for the stunning Halong Bay (3 ½ hour drive) located in the Gulf of Tonkin, a must see in Vietnam with over 1600 islands and islets, most of which are uninhabited.

Arrive at Halong City, check in and board a junk. Lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay.

In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and activities or just spend some time relaxing on board (Possibility to swim in the bay if weather permits). Dinner is served on board.

Overnight on Halong Bay.

Day 7: HALONG BAY – PHU LANG POTTERY VILLAGE – Flight to HUE (B – Brunch)

Breakfast on board and enjoy the fresh morning in the bay. The cruise ends around 11h00 am. Disembark and drive back to Hanoi airport. On the way, visit Phu Lang Pottery Village - one of the last remaining villages in Northern Vietnam specialized in ceramic products.

Arrive at Noi Bai airport in the late afternoon and take the flight to Hue.  Welcome upon arrival at Hue airport and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight in Hue.

Note: Breakfast, lunch or brunch will be served on board depend each junk‘s service.      

Day 8: HUE SIGHTSEEING – HISTORIC & HANDICRAFT VILLAGES (B)

Pick up at your hotel in Hue, take a boat for a short cruise on the Huong river. Visit Thien Mu Pagoda which is located on the river bank and is an iconic seven-story pagoda considered the unofficial symbol of the city. After that, visit the Imperial Citadel, a complex covering an area of 520 hectares comprising three circles; the Hue Capital Citadel, the Royal Citadel and the Forbidden Citadel. Continue to Emperor Tu Duc's Mausoleum, built according to the laws of geomancy.

In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour to Hue’s historic villages. Stop at Bao La Village, meet the locals and spend time exploring 500-year old bamboo weaving arts and crafts. Continue on ton Thanh Toan Village with its ancient and unique covered bridge. Followed by a visit to Phuoc Tich Village and enjoy a leisure walk around this 50-year old village once famous for its pottery products. Explore several old temples, pagodas and communal houses. Stop at a local house to learn how to make a signature sticky rice cake called “banh it.” Time to interact with the host and understand more about the peaceful life of the villagers. Transfer back to your hotel.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 9: HUE – HOI AN – WALKING TOUR IN THE ANCIENT TOWN – LANTERN MAKING (B)

After breakfast, drive to Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass, visit the Cham Museum, probably best museum in the world focusing on the ancient kingdom of Champa. On arrival, transfer to your hotel and relax.

In the afternoon, discover the charming old town of Hoi An, an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port during the 15th to 19th centuries. Many of the buildings in the town reflect historical architectural styles and the whole town is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site.  Enjoy a walking tour in the old town. Visit Phuc Kien Pagoda and the Japanese wooden bridge. Followed by a visit to a lantern making cottage and learn how to make this handicraft yourself.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10: HOI AN – Flight to SAIGON – HALF DAY SIGHTSEEING (B)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a flight to Saigon. On arrival, be welcomed and enjoy a half day sightseeing around this hustling bustling city.

Enjoy a half day exploring the city. Visit the former Presidential Palace, or as it is known today - the Reunification Palace. Then head to the historical heart of the city and visit the Notre Dame Cathedral (outside visit only due to its renovation). The red bricks of the cathedral walls were originally from Paris, France. From there, take a short walk to the old Central Post Office. End the morning with a visit to the War Remnants Museum and discover some different perspectives on the war.

Then, visit the best-preserved buildings from the colonial era, the Opera House and the Hotel de Ville now home to Saigon’s municipal authorities. Continue to Catinat building. Built in 1927, in an art deco style, it has once again become a hub for fashion conscious Saigonese and contains many designer boutiques, galleries, restaurants and cafés. Transfer back to your hotel.

 

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 11: MEKONG HANDICRAFT VILLAGES (B)

After breakfast, head two hours southwest of Saigon to Tien Giang, a fertile province in the heart of Mekong Delta. Along the way see lush rice paddies and fruit farms. Upon arrival in Cai Be, board a charming wooden boat to get a deeper insight into local cultures and beautiful sceneries in this gorgeous region. Relax on board and taste local fresh fruits as our guide carefully explains the water commerce of the country’s largest rice basket. Make some stops at local handicrafts and workshops where you can interact with people to learn more about their daily life. Pass by the town’s trading area to see how floating vendors conduct their business over water. Relax and transfer to a small rowing sampan to get a deeper insight into the local life as it is paddled slowly along small and idyllic canals. Visit a family who make handicraft products from water hyacinth.

Enjoy a home-style lunch at an ancient local home. Opt to wander to the surrounding areas and have little chat with the host if you wish. Transfer back to Saigon.

Overnight in Saigon.

Our prices include:

  • Accommodation at selected hotels.
  • Transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle.
  • English speaking guides for tours.
  • Entry fees for sightseeing.
  • Private boat for trips in Hoalu
  • Local train Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi in sharing carriages of 4 berths with air-conditioning.
  • Meals as mentioned: (B) for breakfast, (L) for lunch, (D) for dinner.
  • Taxes: V.A.T.

 

Our prices do not include:

  • Visa for Vietnam.
  • International flights and airport taxes.
  • Drinks, tips, personal expenses and all services not note specifically mentioned in the program.

 

Note:

  • Hotel room will be available from 13h00 only.
  • Program is subject to change without prior notice due to unexpected changes in airline schedule or flight cancellations.
  • Visa to Vietnam is available upon arrival at the airport with prior arrangement for authorisation letter. 
  • In general most venues are closed throughout the period of the Lunar New Year in Vietnam.

HANDICRAFT JOURNEY IN VIETNAM, 12 Days / 11 Nights

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