Vietnam Essence Crafts
14 Days

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Vietnam is full of traditions surrounding handcrafted products and foods; this two week tour has you meeting the artisans and getting a taste of their daily lives. By cyclo, bicycle, motorbike and boat, you will see stone carvers, fishermen and fruit farmers amidst the natural grandeur of Halong Bay, Sapa and the Mekong Delta. Test some of Hanoi’s famous street food and equally remarkable craft beers, and try your hand at Vietnamese cooking. From classic Vietnamese stage performance to imperial historic sites to the creatively quirky Mekong Delta coconut handicrafts; this is a wide-ranging encounter with the imaginative and industrious people throughout Vietnam.

Sample travel plan only: for a 'no obligation' comprehensive itinerary within 24 hours, click here.

HANOI AND THE RED RIVER DELTA

Day 1: Arrival at Hanoi Airport: chauffeured transfer to your hotel, and welcome dinner plus a performance of traditional Vietnamese tuong theatre or ca tru music.

Day 2: Tour Hanoi by cyclo, visit the Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, try some street food, circle scenic West Lake and imbibe in a Hanoi microbrewery tour.

Day 3: Chauffeured transfer to Ninh Binh for a sampan tour past scenic limestone karst in Tam Coc, ride bike to two craft villages specializing in embroidery and stone carving.

Day 4: Transfer to Thai Binh Province and tour Dong Xam silver craft village, continue to Halong Bay to board your private cruise vessel and head out into the bay, overnight on board.

HALONG BAY / SAPA

Day 5: Stop by a floating fishing village and a pearl farm on the bay, and back on land, visit a traditional pottery village enroute to Hanoi to board a sleeper train to Lao Cai/Sapa.

Day 6: After breakfast in Sapa, drive on to the ethnic minority village of Ta Phin and learn about local embroidery techniques, overnight at homestay in Ta Phin.

Day 7: Drive through rugged mountains to visit an authentic ethnic minority market and return to Lao Cai, on the border with China, to board sleeper train back to Hanoi.

DANANG / HOIAN

Day 8: Breakfast and time to refresh in Hanoi, chauffeured transfer to airport for flight to Danang, chauffeured transfer to Hoi An, remainder of day free.

Day 9: Motorbike tour around Hoi An, visit local market, fishing village, grass mat weaving village or carpentry village, and try making your own craft souvenir, overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10: Free time until your transfer to Danang Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City, chauffeured transfer to hotel, free time to explore District 1.

HO CHI MINH CITY / MEKONG DELTA

Day 11: Drive to Ben Tre, take a boat cruise on the river to visit a grapefruit orchard, rice and vegetable farms, brick kiln and salt production area, overnight at homestay.

Day 12: Visit an area specialized in producing Ben Tre’s trademark craft items, made from the wood, shell and all parts of coconut trees, return to Ho Chi Minh City for overnight.

Day 13: Join a cooking class with a visit to a local market and a hands-on experience with Vietnamese cuisine, afternoon free, overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

DEPARTURE

Day 14: Free time until pickup for transfer to airport for your departure flight.

The prices for this sample tour are per person in US dollars

These prices are valid until 31 October, 2015. Please note that bank transfer fees are not included.

Number in group
2
3-4
5-6
7-8
Supplement for single hotel room occupancy*
Tour price
2,484
2,267
1,956
1,780
769

* ‘Single room occupancy’ refers to the accommodation element of the programme only, and applies to someone who is travelling with others but requires an additional room for him or herself. Single traveller prices are available on request.

Inclusions in brief:

  • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
  • Ten lunches and six dinners
  • Experienced English-speaking guides
  • Private chauffeur-driven air conditioned cars as appropriate
  • Two domestic flights, two rail trips, private cruise vessel on Ha Long Bay
  • Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.

Exclusions in brief

  • Visas
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
  • Insurance

ACCOMMODATION LIST:

  • Hanoi: Golden Lotus Luxury Hotel (*** boutique hotel conveniently located in the city centre, a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake – Lotus Deluxe room)
  • Ninh Binh: The Long Hotel (** local standard – Executive Suite room )
  • Ha Long Bay: Princess Junk (Traditional Junk [Unique] (Deluxe quality wooden junks modelled on Imperial Court vessels – Chartered)
  • Ta Phin (Sapa): Home-stay at local house
  • Hoi An: Ancient House Resort [Featured Hotel] (*** special resort – hotel with traditional architecture and authentic ancient house inside the complex - Special room)
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Nhat Ha 3 Hotel (*** city centre – Superior room)
  • Ben Tre: Home-stay at local house

Please note that Vietnam hotels do not recognise provisional reservations, so specific hotels cannot be guaranteed until you have booked your chosen tour. As many of the better hotels are often full during the October to April peak season, early booking is advisable.

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