Vietnam Tour: itinerary overview
First stop: Saigon, Southern Vietnam | 2 nights
Our adventure starts from Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh, that's where we meet Vietnam for the first time: a huge vibrant asian metropolis with high and colourful skyscrapers and small coffe shops, noisy markets and funny conical hats everywhere.
10 million people live here and almost the same number of motorcycles spread across the streets: that's insane.
We meet our first guide (we'll have 3, one for each Country area) and we visit the main attractions of the city such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, Opera House and Chinatown with its Binh Tay central market. You can't miss a day trip to Mekong delta, one of the longest rivers in the world coming from Himalaya through 8 different countries; the channels net on the river hosts a quarter of Vietnamese people and we sail on them by a motorboat first and a typical wooden Sampan later to reach a local village.
We will be a local family guests, they'll cook for us a delicious traditional lunch and teach us how to make vietnamese rolls; we'll have a walk in the orchads and a tuk tuk ride in the afternoon, stopping by at a local family producing coconut candies.
We recommend to have dinner at Bui Vien Walking Street and try the delicious spicy pork rolls @ Bun Cha 145 (145 Bui Vien Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1).
Hoi An: central Vietnam | 1 night
It's time to take a plane again to reach central Vietnam with a national flight: we meet the second guide who will bring us to Hoi An, the city of lanterns with a Unesco world heritage historical centre.
After visiting some interesting temples and a silk factory, we learn how to make lanterns; at night, thousands of colorful lanterns make the town magical and unique under the moonlight.
Da Nang & Hue | 2 nights
We move to Da Nang and visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture, ancient indigenous people close to Khmer empire and then we get to Hue through the "Ocean Cloud Pass", one of the most scenic rides of this trip along the Annamite mountains.
Hue is the second big city we come across, it was the ancient imperial capital of the Nguyen dynasty and former national one: the night street food tour on a cyclo between traffic and lights has been one of the most funny experiences of this tour.
We had the chance to get in touch with the locals, see a glimpse of real life and taste delicious food in small authentic restaurants among vietnamese people, not tourists. We'll stay in Hue for 2 nights and visit the ancient imperial city, Tu Duc royal tumb and to attend a real Vietnamese cuisine lesson in a typical house: a local family will welcome us with a huge smile and tell us their stories.
Hanoi: Northern Vietnam | 1 night
We took our second and last national flight to reach the capital, Hanoi. We meet our last guide here who will tell us the story of this big city and show us the main attractions.
And that's where we get sucked into the streets, we get lost among the smells and colors of local shops, we join a group of people dancing in the main square (with poor results) and we play with kids in the park.
Another cyclo ride gives us the chance to completely immerge ourselves into this city, before leaving it to the next stop, maybe the most craved one, the Eighth Wonder of the World: Halong Bay.
Halong Bay | 1 night
One of the reasons why we have chosen to visit Vietnam was get to this magical, timeless and unique place - Halong Bay Cruise keep reading
Ninh Binh | 1 night
After spending an unforgettable night in the Halong Bay, our tour brings us to our last stop on a private bus till the Ninh Binh province. From the bus window the landscape is hypnotic: endless rice fields, small villages, nice view. We'll stop along the way at the colonial church of Nam Am dating back to 1689 where we'll meet lovely elderly women praying.
But we have come so far to visit Trang An Nature Park, the so-called 'Halong Bay of land': this is a natural gem you can explore with a boat tour by sailing under caves and watching temples built into the water, such a beautiful and unique place that it has been chosen as the King Kong movie set.
This wonderful tour comes to an end and our last experience will be fishing crabs into rice fields and eating spicy noodles at a local village, hosted again by a friendly Vietnamese family.