Travel Vietnam alone, or if you do not mind joining a group tour, this "Grand Vietnam Tour on a budget" will be a great way to experience Vietnam's top attractions.
Grand Vietnam tour on a bufget in brief:
Day 1: Sai Gon arrival
Day 2: Cao Dai Temple - Cu Chi tunnels
Day 3: Sai Gon - City tour
Day 4: Sai Gon - Cai Be floating market
Day 5: Sai Gon - Flight to Da Nang - Hoi An
Day 6: Hoi An - My Son half day tour
Day 7: Hoi an - Da Nang - Drive to Hue
Day 8: Hue city tour
Day 9: Hue - Flight to Hanoi
Day 10: Hanoi - City tour - Train to Lao Cai
Day 11: Lao Cai - Sapa
Day 12: Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van village - Sapa
Day 13: Sapa - Free day - Train to Hanoi
Day 14: Hanoi - Halong Bay
Day 15: Halong Bay- Hanoi
Day 16: Hanoi - Departure
Vietnam tops list of the most attractive destinations and tours of Vietnam are diversified. Moreover, your travel in Vietnam organised by Indochinavalue, will definitely be the best holiday ever.
Arrive at Tan Son Nhat airport, welcome by our private Vietnam tour guide and driver and transfer to you hotel for check in. Ho Chi Minh, the most exciting city of Vietnam, a mecca of commerce, also a city with a chequered history and a rich culture, its pagodas, museums, public buildings, parks and boulevards make it one of the most delightful Vietnam Toursand cities to visit in Vietnam.
Free time at leisure.
Overnight in a Ho Chi Minh hotel.
You might have wonderd if VN has a religion of its own. The answer is yes, and its name is Cao Dai. CaoDaiists believe that, before God existed, there was the Tao which was nameless, formless, and unchanging. Then, a Big Bang occurred, out of which God was born. The universe could not yet be formed and to do so, God created yin and yang....
08:15 - 08:30 Our driver will pick you up at your hotel, take our tour to Tay Ninh - a province 95 kms South East of HCMC, close to Cambodia border. The Cao Dai Temple is like a Walt Disney fantasia of the East. Its exterior is decorated with multi-colored dragons of all shapes and sizes competing for space with a number of swastikas. Above the main entrance is the all-seeing holy eye, the symbol of the Cao Dai sect. The interior is just as engaging as statues of Jesus Christ, Buddha and the Hindu god, Brahma, stand side by side.
At about 13.00 pm, after lunch, will leave Tay Ninh and travel to Cu Chi. Once in Vietnam, you must visit this spot. This is where guerilla warfare optimized and exemplified. You’ll learn the clever design of the tunnels and the strategic use of trap doors. Even with B-52 bombers dropping 30-ton loads of explosive, turning the jungle into a pockmarked moonscape, 30 thousand American troops failed to conquered the area! You’ll have a chance to crawl around a portion of the 121 km long, multiple-layered tunnel. You’ll learn how thousands of guerillas managed to stay underground many days at a time, also their great technique to conceal smoke from their cooking. There’re a lot more to enjoy, even a chance to fire real AK bullets…
Tour will be end at around 17:30 in De Tham str or Pham Ngu Lao str.
08:00-08:30AM. Pick up at your hotel. We will visit War Crime Museum (This museum tells the story of war from the Vietnamese perspective. Exhibits include photographs, machinery, and weapons that depict the harsh realities of war). Continue Thien Hau Temple (One of the most important pagodas in the city, this richly decorated temple is dedicated to Thien Hau, the Goddess of the Sea and patron of sailors. She is said to travel over the oceans on a mat and ride the clouds to wherever she desires). China town (Settled in the late 18th century, this labyrinthine section of Ho Chi Minh City bustles with restaurants, temples, exotic stores, and markets) and Binh Tay market (This is the main marketplace in China Town, where a great deal of wholesale trading occurs. Experience the commotion of this integral part of the city's daily business). Then we have a lunch at restaurant.
Afternoon: We visit Reunification Hall which was the residence of the President Ngo Dinh Diem of the former South Vietnam until 1975 (1960s - Apr 1975s). You will see many interesting things: formal meeting rooms, private bedrooms, war situation rooms 10 meter beneath earth’s level. This address today still holds many important functions in HCMC. We have guide who speaks your language (English speaking tour guide) to tell you important historical facts about this building and some French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral (Located in the heart of the city, this cathedral was built by the French in the late 1877s. A large statue of the Virgin Mary greets you as you walk into this neo-Romanesque cathedral, adorned by two tall spires flanking either side).
General Post Office ( Designed by Gustav Eiffel, the Post Office is a testament to the French presence in the late 1800s. The look and feel of this grand building is like an elegant railway station).
City Hall (Find out why this is one of the most photographed buildings in Ho Chi Minh City. Constructed in the early 1900s, City Hall is a beautiful example of French colonial architecture).
Tour will end around at 17:00 in De Tham str - Pham Ngu Lao Str.
7:30 AM: Depart for Cai Be around 3 hrs driving. On our dedicated bus you can see the green paddy fields stretching towards the horizontal. When you arrive Cai Be, you’ll board a motorized boat that takes you to the floating market and spend 1 hr there for an interaction that you’ll see no where else in the world.
Next, your row boat will zigzag thru a maze of shadow canals to arrive at a great orchard where you can freely taste many famous tropical fruits of Vietnam and watch locals’ daily chores.
Then we’ll see how coconut candy, crispy rice cake and cereamic are made here (served free with premium hot tea.)
After this, we will ride bicycles and roaming through a village to check out several rural shops or we can relax on a hammock for a short rest. We will land on a marketplace and walk around to see how and what the poor rural people of Vietnam sell. You are encouraged to interact with the vendors and see how friendly and respectful they are. You might also buy many interesting things for very little amount of money. We spend about ½ hr here and then board our bus, arriving to De Tham str - Pham Ngu Lao str at around 7 PM.
Free at leisure until we pick you up and transfer to the airport for flight to Danang. Pick up upon your arrival and transfer to hotel in Hoi An for checking in.
Overnight in Hoi An.
07:50 - 08:10 Pick up at HOTEL. Transfer to My Son Holy Land
09:15: Arrive at My Son forest. Take a walking tour to visit the legendary complex of Champa royal worshipping towers and temples. Enjoy Champa musical performance.
12:30: Have lunch with local food
15:00: Send-off guest at HOTEL.
08:00 Pick up you at your hotel and then take a full day to discover Hue: visit Emperor Khai Dinh stomb, Performing Programs Of VO KINH VAN AN - Vietnam Traditional cungfu and Emperor Tu Duc ’s stomb. Stop on the way to see how conical hats and incense sticks are made. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit Imperial capital during Nguyen Dynasty, An Hien Garden House and the seven – storey Thien Mu Pagoda on the riverbank. Return by boat on the gentle Perfume River .
17:00 Arrive in your hotel.
Free at leisure until we pick you up and transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi. Pick up upon your arrival at Noi Bai airport and transfer to hotel for checking in.
Overnight in Hanoi.
AM: 08:00-08:30 Our guide & driver will pick you up at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter. Then visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum. Enjoy the architectural and historical aspects of Uncle Ho's final resting-place. Just next door is Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. Lying to one side of the Mausoleum is the One Pillar Pagoda; founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049 the structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Continue to visit the Quan Thanh Temple (Taoist - dating from the Ly Dynasty) and Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda on West lake (One of the oldest in Vietnam). Lunch.
PM: After lunch proceed to visit the Literature Temple and Quoc Tu Giam. Vietnam’s first university constructed in 1070, it’s gardens and well-preserved architecture offers a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Then visit Bat Trang pottery village. After that, we will take you past Hoan Kiem Lake to see the peaceful waters and visit Ngoc Son temple. For the end of the tour, visit by coach trip along the Hanoi Old Quarter and enjoy water puppet show.
+ On Monday and Friday morning~ Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ethnic museums are closed – Bat Trang pottery village will be arranged as substitution.
+ On Saturday and Sunday~ enjoy the water puppet show in Museum of Ethnology and 01 hour visiting the Old Quarter by Cyclo.
In the evening, pick up and transfer to Hanoi railway station for overnight on train.
Arrive in the early morning in the border town of Lao Cai where it's a short transfer to Sapa by shuttle bus (Vivutravel arranges in advance). In the terraced hills and mountains of this area, the monotony of the expansive green landscape is enlivened by the colours of its hill tribe population. It is here you will find hands stained with colour from fabric dyes and shades of blue, red and green intricately embroidered and stitched into jackets, waistcoats, pants, skirts, caps, purses and leggings.
Upon your arrival, have breakfast at your hotel (Check in if the room is available,a nd early check in on request, you pay extra). Today is free for you to explore Sapa on your own. Within walking distance, you can visit Sapa market market where Red Dao, Black & Flower H'Mong, Tay and other ethnic minority people converge from the surrounding countryside to sell their silverware and handicrafts, and to buy provisions, or walk to Cat Cat village, Ham Rong Mountain.
Overnight in Sapa.
After breakfast, you will join a group tour (with unknow tourists) to trek down the most beautiful valley of Sapa (Muong Hoa Valley) and visit to Lao Chai and Ta Van village of the Black H'mong and the Day people. It is here where you can enjoy fresh air, amazing scenery of the imposing Hoang Lien Son mountain range, enjoy the world's most beautiful terraced rice fields, visit some local family on the way and learn unique culture and lifestyles of these ethnic groups. Back to Sapa by joined bus, free at leisure for the rest of the day.
Overnight in Sapa.
Free day at leisure. At around 05 pm, we arrange the shuttle bus for your trip back to Lao Cai and wait for the overnight train to Hanoi.
Note: If It is Sunday, Bac Ha Market tour is on request: US$ 20 per person (Joined tour).
Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning, hotel taxi pick you up and transfer to a mini-hotel for having breakfast and taking a short rest.
08h00 – 08h30 Pick-up at hotel and start the 3 hour-and-a-half drive to Halong Bay
12h00 – 12h30 Embark on Oriental Sails followed by cruise briefing
13h00 – 15h30 Savor a delectable lunch as Oriental Sails cruise further along the limestone islands of Fighting Cock, Turtle Island …
15h30 – 17h30 Visit Amazing Cave(Sung Sot Cave) and kayak along the hidden parts of the bay
17h30 – 19h00 Go swimming, snap photos or just relax as the sun starts to set
19h00 Dinner is served. Socialize with other guests or just laze around.
Overnight on board.
06h30 – 07h00 Start your day with swimming, exercise or photo
07h00 – 11h00 Have breakfast at sunrise. Visit Ti Top Island, cruise to Ba Hang Fishing Village, pass Dog Rock and Incense Burner, and then head back to the Harbor
Have lunch around 11h00
12h00 – 16h30 Transfer back to Hanoi and trip finishes at the hotel around 16h30.
Tour guides who worK with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our cultures and lifestyles ... with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch. In some parts such as Sapa, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic hilltribes like H'Mong or Red Dao as they know about their land much better than anyone else and this is also the way that Indochinavalue helps the local people a better life.
Tour guide is one of the most inportant factors to a successful holiday. Indochinavalue understands that a good tour guide needs not only good knowledge on history, culture, good English, French... but also needs to have general requirements and follow our guidelines as below:
1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with work experience.
2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.
3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.
4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.
5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
6 - Clear speech and good hearing.
7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.
8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer because Indochinavalue's clients want to be entertained in extend, a friend...
9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.
10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.
11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.
Kind of vehicle (offered on tour) depends on the size of your group size or your requirements.To ensure your comfort, all cars feature air conditioning and enough room inside. Drivers are local, with years of experience, taking you to your destination quickly and safely.
1 - Our drivers are professional and reliable with at least 5 years of experience, driving safely.
2 - Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.
3 - Our drivers must be friendly, helpful with good behavior and attitude.
4 - Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.
2 Stars from: US$35 -> US$40
The 2 star hotels are good for budget travelers and sometimes, we have no choice but stay in a guesthouse, mini hotel, 2 star hotel in the remote and mountainous areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms
3 Stars from: US$40 -> US$80
The 3 star hotels are good for many travelers because they offer basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.
4 Stars from: US$80 -> US$130
Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining andentertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.
5 Stars from: US$130 -> US$200 –> US$ 300
Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent experience. Multiple restaurants on siteand a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
Note: If you have any special dietary needs, just let your travel consultant know when booking.
Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.
Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.
Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay with a local family, on cruise inHalong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but our tour guides will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.
If allergic to some food
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
Do our guide and driver join the meal with us?
The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join themeal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.
Street food tour:
Street foods in Vietnam are very delicious and should you want to taste the specialities of each Vietnam holiday destination, we can arrange a street food tour for you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a detailed tour itinerary and quotation.
How to request a tour package?
To request for a free tour itinerary and quotation, you can just fill out the tour inquiry form at www.indochinavalue.com or send us an email at email@example.com then give us as much information as possible. One of our experienced travel consultants will get back to you shortly. All changes will be made (free of charge) until the your tour package meets your needs and personal interests.
How to book a tour package?
As soon as you agree on our proposal, please send us your full name, international flightinformation (if you have) and your special requirements. We will make reservations and arrange everything then confirm back to you when all done.
- Deposit is a "must". We request 30% of the tour cost. You can pay by wire transfer, creditcards, western union, onepay (online)
- Balance can be made before your arrival or on arrival in cash or by credit cards.
Changes are possible at the last minutes. However, if changes caused extra costs, you willhave to pay for. (For examples, hotels, flights, cruises...)
In case of cancellation, we will not apply any charge if we are not charged by the third partiessuch as hotels, cruises, flights, trains...We will recalculate the costs and resend you the money as soon as possible.
Thanks you Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected inTipping is not mandatory but it is expected in many circumstances for service. You can tip your driver/tour guide more or less or nothing. All depends on the services you receive.
- US$10 – US$ 15 per day for tour guide
- US$7 – US$ 10 per day for driver
- US$1 – US$ 3 per meal for waiter or waitress
- US$2 – US$ 5 for short boat trips/ cyclo/ tuktuk (1 – 2) hours
Note: Please check with your travel consultant before coming and your tour guide if you are to tip someone on tour.
What you get when booking a private tour with Indochinavalue?
1. Private guide, driver and vehicle are for your exclusive use; no matter you are individually,or in a family or friends group. The tour is run exclusively for you without strangers.
2. Every itinerary can be customized to meet your specific interests/ wishes, that is, you can choose your favored hotels, sightseeing spots, the tour length, means of transportation, budget, etc. All are free of charge.
3. Start the tour on any date you want.
4. Escort you from start to finish. All private transfers during the tour are offered, including airport/ train station transfer, hotel-attractions round trip transfer.
5. The sightseeing during the tour could be based on your own timetable and pace. Flexible to change at your short notice.
6. Considerate care and assistance, such as the old, the disabled or families with small kids and children.
7. You can save time and money when traveling with us or your wants meet you budget.
How do I get a visa?
Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the VietnameseImmigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/ border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.
Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa:
2) Passport number
3) Date of birth
5) Date of arrival
6) Date of issue
7) Date of expire
8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months.
Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?
Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can beused to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.
- You can use US dollar, Euro in all big cities or at major tourist sites, airports.
- If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.
Do I need to bring my medical record with me?
Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event ofan emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.
Note: You can buy medicines everywhere in Vietnam so do not need to bring medicines from home.
When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?
Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.
What should we bring along on our trip to Vietnam?
It is best to travel light in Vietnam. Onemedium sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything you'll need, and enough space for the things you'll buy in Vietnam.
There are lots of consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so do not worry about running out of something. If you do forget something you can easily find it here. Before you leave home complete the following checklist:
- Lightweight and quick dry clothing is most appropriate for the summer months, and warmer clothing for the winter months. As well, sun hat, swim suit, ultra lightweight rain jacket.
- Travel Documents: Passport, Visa, Travel Insurance, Air Tickets (you should scan them and email them to yourself in case you loose them).
- Health requirements, medications, and travel insurance arranged.
- Flashlight, alarm clock, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, small personal first aid kit, personal toiletries.
- Money: US dollars or travelers cheques and/ or credit card(s).
- Raincoat or umbrella, good hiking shoes are needed for all Footprint trekking trips.
- Camera with charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.
Are there any restrictions on the type of luggage that we bring? Domestic airlines have their weight restrictions. On most domestic and low-cost airlines You may only have one suitcase or backpack, with a maximum weight of 20kg, and one piece of hand luggage, with a maximum weight of (5 – 7)kg. An extra charge for overweight is applied.
There is no actual limit on our trips, but we would suggest you travel light with one suitcase or backpack and one small daypack or small bag which you can access during the day and carry items like your camera, drinking water, toilet paper, hat, sunscreen, etc.
It is essential that you have a lock for each piece of luggage. Without one, railway and airline staff and some hotels may refuse to handle it.
What is the best type of clothing we should bring?
Here is a short checklist of best type of clothing you should bring:
- Shorts and comfortable pants;
- Shirts, t-shirts and maybe some long sleeves shirts (for regions with mosquitos like the Mekong delta);
- Swim suits (for the beaches and Halong Bay);
- Good sandles as well as good shoes if trekking.
Nevertheless, it will really depend on where you travel to, when you plan on travelling, and what you plan on doing. Please note that the weather can be very cold during the winter in the Northern Vietnam (Nov to Mar) and quite cool in the central highlands (Dalat). You will need to bring a good jacket along for this time of the year, the avarage temperature is about 15 oC, but can get as cold as 3 oC.
Tip: Do not worry if you do not pack enough clothes or forget something because you can buy in Vietnam.
Shopping in Vietnam
Shopping in VietnamMany tourists can’t help but throw themselves head-first into shopping while in Vietnam. Why? Probably the variety of quality goods and the tempting prices have a lot to do with it. Many low-budget travelers considered Vietnam a heavenly place because in many shopping situations they can bargain the prices down to as much as a third of the original cost.
The list of Vietnamese bargains is seemingly endless and features bespoke tailoring and the national dress, the 'ao dai' from high-quality silk and many other types of material and textiles while many shoppers cannot get enough of the local handicraft, art and jewelry.
How to bargain?
Bargain is not common in some countries, but in Vietnam it really is. In Vietnam, bargaining isalways worthwhile. Yet, it is not always due to the fact that the local have a great deal of time and very little money. Bargaining is part of Vietnamese culture as through bargaining people communicate with others, create and build up their relationship, not to mention a form of entertainment.
Rule - 1: It's like the monster ride at the amusement park. If you're not having fun, get off.
Rule - 2: Don't bargain with the first person who approaches you (i.e., when looking for a taxi at the airport.) In general the further you go from the center of action, the cheaper the price.
Rule - 3: Don't be afraid to use walking away as a bargaining tool. You can always come back.
Rule - 4: Don't let pride get in the way of coming back (or Rule #3 is useless).
Rule - 5: If you really want something and the price isn't coming down, give in gracefully. (It's that pride thing again.)
Rule - 6: Don't always assume you're getting ripped off just because you're in a third-world country. Sometimes the price they're asking is the real one.
Rule - 7: Bargaining is a time/ money tradeoff. If you're in a hurry, be prepared to pay for it.
Rule - 8: Ask (Vietnamese) fellow shoppers the price of an item before you begin bargaining.
Rule - 9: Always carry small bills. Otherwise all that work is likely to be for nothing.
Rule - 10: Always bargain in native currency. Conventional wisdom says anyone who has dollars can afford to spend them.
Rule - 11: If possible, keep going back to the same person until you've gotten to know him/ her. Most third world countries have a name for this kind of relationship. The deal is that you offer your business on a regular basis and the seller responds by saving you their best tomatoes
Rule - 12: No matter what your parents told you, when you're bargaining it's perfectly okay to lie