Day 1: Arrive Hanoi (-/-/D)
A warm welcome awaits upon your arrival in Hanoi. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the Hanoi downtown. Your guide’s welcome speech will give you overall information about the city of Hanoi. After check in you will have free time to relax, then your guide will see you again for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Your first day will be completed by a water puppet show – a unique art performance in Vietnam – before you return to your hotel for overnight stay in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi (B/L/-)
This full day private tour takes you around Hanoi’s most interesting sights, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex and Mausoleum, House-on-Stilts, the Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda. After that you will visit the Quan Thanh Temple and the Tran Quoc pagoda, the oldest pagoda originally constructed in the sixth century. For lunch you have two options: enjoy a Hanoi special dish “Cha Ca” at Cha Ca La Vong restaurant, one of the most unique (over a hundred years old) restaurants located in the Hanoi Old Quarter. Or you can taste a “Pho”, another worldwide famous dish from Hanoi. Afternoon you can choose to visit one of the city’s Museums: Vietnam History Museum, Vietnam Ethnology Museum, Vietnam Military History Museum, and the Temple of Literature, before having a walk around the Lake of the Restored Sword, visit the Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a street-pub. Overnight stay in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Traditional Junk (B/L/D)
In the morning you leave Hanoi for Halong Bay via the Red River Delta. Upon arrival you will have a short break at the Café Lounge. Welcome on board. You will set out on a junk cruise on the bay while a seafood lunch is served. After lunch, you will take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay, swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck. In the late afternoon, you will take a bamboo row boat to visit an interesting fishing village with an opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. You also take a kayak to discover a water tunnel with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon. Back on board to enjoy watching the peaceful sunset, joining a Vietnamese cooking demonstration and later unwind at a restaurant. Tonight you stay overnight onboard.
Day 4: Halong Bay – Ceramic village – Hanoi (Brunch)
Early birds will have a chance to join in the Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck and view the sunrise over the bay with a cup of coffee or tea. After brunch you will take a tender to visit one of the most beautiful limestone grottos – Sung Sot cave. Your junk sets sail to cruise back to the dock while you enjoy a final glimpse of Halong Bay. On the journey back to Hanoi you will have a stop at the Phu Lang ceramic village – one of the most famous ceramic brands dated from 17th – 19th century in the North of Vietnam. Then you will drive back to Hanoi for overnight stay.
Day 5: Departure (B/-/-)
Enjoy your free time at your hotel or you can do your last minute souvenir shopping before meeting with your guide for a transfer to airport for your flight home.