Vietnam Express Train Southbound 11 Days
Day 1: Greets and Meeting:
Welcome to Hanoi, the Gateway to Adventure! Get ready for an unforgettable journey that begins with a vibrant welcome meeting at 6 p.m. in our hotel, followed by a delicious group dinner at KOTO restaurant. Not only will you enjoy a fantastic meal, but you’ll also support a worthy cause as KOTO is dedicated to empowering disadvantaged youth in the hospitality industry.
Before the tour officially starts, take the opportunity to explore Hanoi’s wonders. Consider booking the Hanoi Morning Highlights Urban Adventure, a comprehensive tour led by a knowledgeable local guide. Visit the Temple of Literature, experience a traditional tea house, delve into the history of Hoa Lo Prison Memorial, and marvel at the beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake. Alternatively, wander through the enchanting Old Quarter, admiring the city’s captivating French-colonial architecture at your own pace.
Day 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay
From Hanoi, we’ll venture to the mesmerizing Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, aboard a private minibus (approximately 4 hours). Prepare to be spellbound by the scenic beauty of sandy coves, grottoes, and 1600 limestone islands shaped over centuries by natural forces. Hop on a private boat and cruise through the bay, exploring the captivating Surprise Cave and, if weather permits, enjoy a refreshing swim at Ti Top Island Beach. As we end the day, immerse yourself in the magic of a night spent aboard the boat, forging connections with your fellow travelers in an unforgettable setting.
Day 3: Halong Bay -Hanoi – Hue ( Night Train)
Awake to the breathtaking scenery of Halong Bay, but before bidding it farewell, we have one last stop. Visit the Green Life Centre, where discarded items are transformed into beautiful handicrafts, breathing new life into Halong Bay’s trash. Witness the incredible work being done here and learn how to create a reusable bag from recycled materials. After this inspiring visit, we’ll return to Hanoi by bus (approximately 3.5 hours). Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to savor a bowl of delicious pho or relax by the serene Hoan Kiem Lake before embarking on an overnight train journey to Hue later in the evening.
Day 4: Hue Imperial City
Arrive in Hue around 11 a.m. and transfer to your hotel. As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds a treasure trove of the country’s royal heritage. Take the morning to rest or venture out to explore. If you choose the latter, head to the bustling Dong Ba Market, where you can sample exquisite delicacies once savored by the Nguyen emperors, such as the royal rice cake known as banh khoai. Later, reunite with the group to visit the war-damaged ruins of the Imperial Citadel, an expansive complex housing temples, state houses, and the emperor’s palace.
Day 5: Hue Imperial City – Hoi An
Experience Hue like a local – from the back of a motorbike! Hop on and zip around town with a knowledgeable guide, discovering both historical and contemporary sights along the way. Stop at Thanh Toan to admire the 18th-century covered bridge and observe villagers shopping at the local market. Visit Thien Mu Pagoda, an active Buddhist monastery dating back to the 17th century, and see the car once belonging to Thích Quang Duc, the courageous monk who self-immolated in 1963 to protest the mistreatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime. Indulge in a delectable vegetarian feast at a nunnery for lunch. Conclude the motorbike adventure at the serene royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc before driving to Hoi An. we’ll travel by bus through picturesque coastal rice paddies and the stunning Hai Van Pass (approximately 3 hours) before arriving in Hoi An.
Day 6: Hoi An town:
Recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hoi An was once a bustling international trading port during the 17th to 19th centuries. Today, its well-preserved architecture and captivating charm transport you to a bygone era. Your leader will take you on a sightseeing walk through the enchanting Old Town, visiting some of the city’s major attractions. You’ll also receive a sightseeing pass, allowing you to further explore select attractions at your leisure.
Day 7: Hoi An town:
Enjoy a full day at your own pace to explore Hoi An’s wonders. Stroll along the cobbled streets, browse art galleries, or rent a bike to pedal through the idyllic rice paddies to Cua Dai Beach. Lose yourself in the vibrant markets and preserved Chinese shophouses, where you can find exquisite paintings, ceramics, and colorful cloth lanterns. If you’re looking for a unique style, visit one of the many talented tailors who can create a personalized garment just for you. Don’t forget to treat yourself to mouthwatering regional cuisine at a riverside restaurant or even participate in a cooking class.
Day 8: Hoi An – Saigon (Afternoon train)
Enjoy a leisurely morning of free time to explore at your own pace. We recommend visiting tailor and shoe shops or any other places of interest to take care of your shopping needs. Lunch will be on your own, giving you the flexibility to choose your preferred dining options.
At 12:30, there will be a convenient transfer to Da Nang Station for our train journey to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Get ready for a memorable experience as we board the day train, offering breathtaking views of the central coast of Vietnam. Marvel at the stunning scenery as we pass by Nha Trang, and as night falls, we’ll settle in for a comfortable sleep on the train.
The train ride is a highlight in itself, allowing you to witness the beauty of the coastal landscapes. We’ll arrive in Ho Chi Minh City around 5 am the following day, ready to embark on the next chapter of our adventure.
Day 9: Saigon City tour:
Early in the morning: After your arrival, we’ll provide a seamless transfer to your hotel where you can freshen up and make any necessary changes. We have additional rooms available specifically for you to shower and prepare before embarking on an exciting day ahead. Once you’re ready, we’ll kick-start the morning with a delightful breakfast experience at a charming sidewalk café, where you can savor the flavors of Saigon.
Following breakfast, we’ll embark on an immersive Saigon City Tour. Formerly known as Saigon, this captivating city boasts a rich history and is considered the cultural and commercial capital of Vietnam. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city by bus. Passed by iconic landmarks such as the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Opera House. Make a poignant stop at the War Remnants Museum, where you’ll learn about the sobering stories of the Vietnam/American War, spanning two decades.
Throughout the tour, our knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the city’s history, traditions, and hidden gems. You’ll get a taste of the local way of life as you navigate the bustling streets, visit historical sites, and engage with the local community.
In the Afternoon we take on an incredible Cu Chi Tunnel tour and witness the ingenuity of the Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War. Explore the historic tunnels, discover hidden trapdoors, and learn about the tactics employed by the soldiers. Join us for an unforgettable journey into the heart of history.
Day 10: Saigon – Mekong Delta
Prepare for an exciting day trip to the Mekong Delta, an enchanting region of Vietnam. Hop on a private boat that will take you to Ben Tre, where you’ll explore coconut gardens and visit a local home to savor tropical fruits and coconut jams. Glide along the Mekong Delta in traditional sampans, admiring the lush coconut trees lining the waterways. Embark on a tuk-tuk tour through the villages, gaining insights into rural life and the thriving coconut industry, which produces items like brooms and coconut fiber mats. Indulge in a delightful lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the Delta, savoring regional specialties such as the famous elephant earfish. Cruise back to the Ben Tre boat pier and return to Ho Chi Minh City by bus. In the evening, why not venture out to sample some of the city’s delectable local cuisine as a final farewell with your newfound friends and knowledgeable leader?
Day 11: Farewell and Departs Saigon
As your journey comes to an end, depart from Ho Chi Minh City with cherished memories of the vibrant cities, breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality that Vietnam has shared with you. It’s been an incredible adventure, filled with unforgettable experiences and connections that will last a lifetime.
- Accommodation: Hotel (7 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (2 night)
- Meals: 9 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 2 Dinners
- Transport: Boat, Motorbike, Overnight sleeper train, Private Minibus, Taxi, Sampan, Xich lo
- Guide: An expert Senior tour leader
- Included Activities:
- Halong Bay: Overnight Boat Cruise
- Halong Bay: Cave entry
- Halong Bay: The Green Life Visit
- Hue: Imperial City entrance and guided visit
- Hue: Royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc
- Hue: Highlights & back streets by motorbike
- Hue: Thien Mu Pagoda
- Hue: Motorbike Tour Lunch
- Hoi An: Old Town walking tour
- Ho Chi Minh City: War Remnants Museum
- Ho Chi Minh City: City tour
- Mekong Delta: Mekong Delta Day Trip & Village Tuk-Tuk Tour
- International flights: Any international flights to Hanoi and from Ho Chi Minh City are not included in this price. We recommend arriving one or two days prior to the tour starting date.
- Travel insurance: Travel insurance is not included in this Vietnam Express Southbound tour but is mandatory.