New Page 1Vietnam Explorer - Saigon to Ha Long Bay
FRANKO’S Short Stay TOURS
VIETNAM EXPLORER - Saigon to Ha Long Bay (14 days /13 nights)
Visiting Saigon - Mekong - Cu Chi - Da Nang - China Beach Hoi An - Ha Noi - Sa Pa - Ha Long Bay
DAY 1. SAIGON / ARRIVAL (L)
Arrive at Tan Son Nhat international airport Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) where you will be met and transferred to hotel for check in. Vietnamese beef noodles for lunch then the afternoon is free at leisure to rest up or explore the area around your hotel - the centre of Saigon! Overnight in SAIGON
DAY 2. SAIGON / CITY TOUR / CU CHI (B)
Breakfast at your hotel, before heading west out of the city to visit the Cu Chi tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through the tunnels, see traditional rice paper making and try some tapioca (manioc) sweets and maybe a rice wine. A short drive back to Saigon for a tour of the city. Visit the War Museum, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Post Office. A drive through the busy streets to Cho Lon for a look at Binh Tay wholesale market and a visit to Thien Hau temple (dedicated to the Goddess of The Sea) before returning to hotel. Overnight in SAIGON
DAY 3. SAIGON / MY THO / SAIGON (B,L)
After breakfast there’s a road trip through the rural outskirts of Saigon down to My Tho on the Mekong Delta. Take a boat trip with a local guide up river to visit Thoi Son Island (Unicorn Island) for a taste of local seasonal fruits, some folk singing and a look at a coconut candy enterprise - and of course, a taste. A sampan ride along the island’s small canal system will take you to a glorious garden lunch based on a local specialty - Elephant Ear Fish. Mid afternoon return to Saigon for more shopping or exploring. Overnight in SAIGON.
DAY 4. SAIGON (B,D)
Free to explore the city. A relaxing dinner cruise on the Saigon River is your only appointment for the day ...happy shopping!
Overnight in SAIGON.
DAY 5. SAIGON / DANANG / HOI AN (B)
Breakfast at hotel before a morning flight to Da Nang. On arrival, you will be met by your guide then taken to the Cham museum, China Beach and Marble Mountain enroute to your destination - the ancient town of Hoi An. Check into the hotel and some free time before a late afternoon guided walking tour of the Old Town; visiting a silk factory, the Museum, Japanese Bridge, riverside walk and Hoi An’s bustling market. Suggest dinner in the Old Town followed by a lazy stroll through the streets as you make your way back to your hotel Overnight in HOI AN.
DAY 6. HOI AN (B)
Breakfast at the hotel with the day free to further explore, take a cooking class, get some tailoring done or visit one of the
beautiful beaches. You’re on holidays! Overnight in HOI AN
DAY 7. HOI AN / HANOI (B)
Again, the morning is totally free before departing Da Nang on an afternoon flight to the nation’s capital - Hanoi. Check into your hotel in the bustling Old Quarter and it’s time to explore the labyrinth of streets and shops in this fantastic precinct - always a highlight on our tours. There’s time to enjoy a cyclo ride around the city centre and in the Old Quarter before resting up in preparation for this evening’s attendance at a performance of Hanoi’s celebrated Water Puppets Theatre ...cameras ready!
Overnight in HANOI.
DAY 8. HANOI / LAOCAI- SAPA (B)
Your day begins with a city tour involving visits to Hanoi’s most famed historical sites. A guided walking tour allows you to mix in with the locals visiting Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and wartime home (House on Stilts), Ba Dinh Square, French Governor General of Indochina’s Palace, and One Pole Pagoda (national icon). You will witness just how highly the Vietnamese, young and old, revere their beloved "Uncle Ho" - their greatest national figure.
Tour continues to Van Mieu, the Temple of Literature (confucian university) founded in 1070 - a serene and beautiful oasis in the midst of bustling Hanoi. The afternoon is free to further explore the Old Quarter, or visit Hoa Lo Prison ("Hanoi Hilton"), the Military Museum, the Museum of Vietnamese History, or just kick back and relax with a massage session.
At 8.30PM you will transfer to GA Hanoi (Hanoi Railway Station) for your overnight train to Lao Cai in the NW mountain region alongside the China Border.
There are 4 soft sleeping berths in each compartment with air conditioning. There is no guide on the train, so we suggest that you take your own food and water onboard (catering services on the
train are very limited). Overnight onboard THE TRAIN.
DAY 9 LAOCAI/SAPA (B)
Arrive at LaoCai and meet your guide as you exit the station. A 45 minute drive up the mountains will find you in Sa Pa (mountain resort town/former hill station). Check into the hotel before breakfast then a free morning to enjoy the kaleidoscope of scenes in town and meet the friendly ethnic people who are there just to meet YOU!. An afternoon drive by Russian jeep takes you to the start of a 2-3 hour guided walk through local ethnic villages and terraced fields ...always a highlight of FRANKO’s tours in Vietnam. Overnight in SAPA.
DAY 10 SAPA/HANOI (B)
The day is free to continue your investigation of this fascinating town and it’s inhabitants before starting out on the downhill trip to Lao Cai and your rendezvous with the train taking you back to Hanoi. Before boarding the train there’s time to visit the Vietnam/China Border Post and perhaps enjoy a cold drink in a street cafe opposite the station. Overnight onboard THE TRAIN.
DAY 11 HANOI (B)
Arrive back in Hanoi and transfer to hotel for check in and breakfast. Completely free day to further explore Hanoi. Overnight in HANOI.
DAY 12 HANOI / HALONG (B,L,D)
After breakfast there’s a road trip taking you east to beautiful Ha Long Bay. Stops along the way to visit ceramic villages and browse local crafts. By lunch time you are aboard a well-appointed Chinese junk as you set sail for a cruise around the islands and grottoes of this World Hertiage attraction. Seafood for lunch & dinner, time for a nap, a swim, or just relax on a sun lounge on deck ...yep, definitely on holiday! Overnight onboard the JUNK.
DAY 13 HALONG / HANOI / (B,L)
Enjoy a light breakfast as your cruise of the bay continues. Choose a kayak and paddle yourself to some of the intruiging limestone islands or to a floating fishing village ...or relax with your book ...a lazy day! A second lunch onboard before paying your drinks bill, disembarking, and commencing your road trip back to Hanoi.
Overnight in HANOI.
DAY 14 HANOI / DEPARTURE (B)
Free time until transfer to the airport for your flight home, or to the next destination on your travels.
1. All transport as per itinerary (including hotel transfers)
2. An English speaking guide with driver on sight-seeing days.
3. All breakfasts + 4 lunches + 2 dinners (excluding dinks).
4. Boat trips on Mekong River and Ha Long Bay.
5. Cyclo ride in Hanoi’s Old Quarter
6. Performance of Vietnamese Water Puppets.
7. 24 hour cruise on Ha Long Bay.
8. All Domestic air fares (Saigon to Da Nang and Da Nang to Hanoi)
9. Russian jeep ride in Sa Pa.
10. Train travel Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi.
*Note All Meals can be included in Tour packages, prices given upon request.
Tour Exclusions: 1. International airfares to/from Vietnam
2. Vietnam Visa
Minimum Tour Size is 2 persons on tour
TOUR HOTELS Sai Gon: Continental Hotel **** (famous!) Hoi An: Hoi An Pacific**** (peaceful!) Ha Noi: Golden Silk Hotel **** (Old Quarter!) Sa Pa: Chau Long Hotel *** (position!) Ha Long Bay: Chinese Junk *** (glorious!)
TOUR PRICES:2016 Minimum 2 persons on Tour is $2470.00 pp/twin share.
Minimum 6 persons on Tour is $2370.00 pp/twin share
Minimum 10 persons on tour is $2260.00pp/twin share
Single Supplement cost is $595.00