All tours are not created equal. If you are searching for great value on an excellent tour that includes top rated boutique lodging, we strongly recommend that you take the time to read the detailed itinerary below.
Day 0: Depart from the United States. You can make your own International flight reservations, in which case arrival and departure transfers can be reserved with your guest relations manager, who is assigned to you after you book your tour - no surcharge applies. You can also choose to use flights booked through Easy Tours as part of your complete package.
We strongly recommend that our guests consider arriving a day earlier, as this allows you to recuperate from jetlag, and serves as insurance against international flight delays and cancellations. Even if your flight is not delayed, and jetlag does not affect you, this allows you to explore fascinating Hanoi on your own.
An additional night hotel stay at Hanoi can be added as part of the process as you reserve your tour. If you are arriving a day earlier, your airport to hotel transfer will be provided a day earlier.
Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi. You are greeted at the airport and ushered to a vehicle. You are then driven to your iconic luxury hotel where you will check-in.
Located on the banks of the Red River, Vietnam's capital is a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old-world charm and has some of Asia’s most striking colonial architecture. Hanoi is one of the world’s most fascinating cities to explore on foot, and the street food scene is vibrant and extremely diverse.
Your historic luxury hotel is the only such lodging in this city. It has an enviable location in the iconic Old Quarter of Hanoi, and major attractions, great restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as the vibrant street scene, are just a few steps away, but not in any way intrusive. Hanoi’s Old Quarter is always abuzz with activity, and has an amazing energy that is near impossible to resist.
Day 2: Hanoi. Start your exploration of Vietnam’s capital with a visit to the Temple of Literature. Built in 1070 as a Confucian temple, this complex became Vietnam’s first university six years later. Among other things, on display are many large stones carved in the shape of a turtle bearing inscriptions of the names of all of the graduates of the university over many centuries. It is common to see local students here in school groups throughout the year, and large groups of them are here dressed in their finest during graduation periods. Walk around the complex and its gardens and explore several temples housing beautiful statues of the university’s founders and greatest scholars.
Next up is the impressive Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex. This site is highly revered by the North Vietnamese, and consists of several structures, including Uncle Ho’s (Ho Chi Minh) modest house on stilts, and of course the iconic mausoleum itself. This granite structure stands prominently above the parade area and grandstand at a height of 70 feet and is surrounded by meticulously maintained lawns and gardens. Please note that we do not view the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh, housed inside, as this requires a 45 minute (minimum) wait in line, and no photos are allowed. Next to the mausoleum is the breathtakingly beautiful Presidential Palace, built between 1900 and 1906 as the French Governor General of Indochina’s residence. The Palace is not open to the public, but you can stop here for a photo opportunity of the front left profile of the structure, as well as its beautiful gardens. Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the palace and had a simple home on stilts built in the gardens, which you will walk through to admire its simplicity and austerity.
Return to your boutique hotel for an afternoon at leisure.
Day 3: Hanoi. Start your day in the mid-morning and you will now see parts of Hanoi as very few others do. You will visit a real Hanoi district, seldom experienced by foreigners. You will feel like you have steeped back in time, into the 1960’s when Hanoi was a quaint capital populated mostly by modest workers. Wander around these narrow alleys covered in colorful market stalls, observe the locals as they go about their daily lives – you will experience Hanoi as only the locals do.
After lunch you will enjoy a cyclo (pedi-cab) ride around the Old Quarter. These ancient narrow streets are bustling with people and shops. Just like in ancient times, each street has its own specialty, including jewelry, shoes, clothes, leather, lacquerware, and much more.
Your ride ends at Hoan Kiem Lake in the city center. The small urban lake is also known as The Lake of the Restored Sword, and the area surrounding it is Hanoi’s cultural center. Visit Ngoc Son Temple, situated on a small island in the photogenic lake, and observe the fascinating rituals that take place here - the devout visit it throughout the day.
In the early evening comes a fascinating performance of Water Puppetry, where Easy Tours guests will enjoy preferred seating. The Thang Long Puppet Theatre is Hanoi’s most famous because of the quality of the performers, and it is located on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake, across from Ngoc Son Temple. This art form, which is unique to North Vietnam, originated in the 11th century. The combination of indigenous music, small fireworks and the colorful wooden performers, as well as the accomplished musicians visible in the gallery, makes this spectacle a great introduction to North Vietnamese culture.
After the performance, you will enjoy a short walk by the charming lake to your hotel, walking around the locals as they dine on street food, an activity that is omnipresent at night all over the Old Quarter. The Vietnamese take street food to a whole new level, even by Southeast Asia standards. – locals are everywhere, in Hanoi and in Saigon, occupying sections of the pedestrian walkways, parks, and all other areas, enjoying the wares of small street stalls - it has to be experienced to be believed.
Day 4: Hanoi - Da Nang - Hoi An. You are assisted with your check-out in the mid-morning and driven to Hanoi airport to board your flight to Da Nang. Arrive at Da Nang and you are greeted at the airport and now you will enjoy the hour-long drive to Hoi An.
Arrive in Hoi An in the early afternoon and you will check-in at your top-rated boutique hotel. There is a break for a late lunch.
Please note that the Hoi An hotels located anywhere near the ancient seaport do not match the luxury of the big cities, but your hotel and your rooms are upscale enough, and you are located a short walk from the ancient town, so that you can choose to walk there in the evenings and experience the lights and activity on your own. We are perplexed by tour operators who lodge their guests at ocean front resorts far away from Hoi An – the small ancient seaport is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its reputation as the best-preserved ancient seaport in Southeast Asia. Our resorts location allows you to walk back to the UNESCO seaport at any time that you want, including to dine in one of the boutique riverfront restaurants, bars, and café’s. For those wanting the highest level of luxury in their lodging, we can quote an upgrade to the Four Season’s Nam Hai, an ultra-luxury ocean front resort that is a 10 to 15 minute drive to the ancient seaport.
Unlike other tour operators, Easy Tours does not like to have its guests in the ancient town during the late morning and early afternoon as it gets really crowded and noisy due to a large influx of tourist bus groups from Da Nang during this time.
In the late afternoon you will begin your discovery of the ancient seaport with a guided walk through the Japanese and Chinese Quarters of the tiny town. One of the highlights is the much adorned and photographed Japanese Bridge, after which you will visit a number of temples, pagodas, communal houses, traditional shops and other places of interest in the small town. You will be escorted to your nearby hotel after this exploration. Those who want to continue exploring the ancient town Hoi An on their own this evening can choose to stay in the town. You can also return to the ancient town to dine there after freshening up; it is an enjoyable the short walk through the interesting Vietnamese town that surrounds Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An. My Son Sanctuary Excursion OR Jack Tran Farming & Fishing Tour. You have three options for the first part of this day.
Option 1: Stay in Hoi An. You can enjoy your lodging and return to charming Hoi An town with your guide at a time of your choosing.
Option 2: My Son Excursion. Join your guide for an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of My Son Sanctuary. These remarkable structures lie about an hour away from Hoi An, and the structures go back as far as the 4th Century. It is one of the most important examples of Hindu influence in Southeast Asia. Although largely in a state of ruin today, My Son is often compared with other historical temple complexes in Southeast Asia, such as Angkor Wat of Cambodia or Ayutthaya of Thailand. You'll be given a brief introduction to Cham history and culture, and its Hindu influence, and then will visit the remains of the carefully-crafted red brick temples replete with beautiful monuments and epitaphs.
Return to the Hoi An area and you will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, after which you are at leisure for a couple of hours at your resort.
Option 3. Jack Tran's Ecotours / Farming & Fishing Life.
Location: Local Farming & Fishing Villages
Departure Time: 8:00am
Duration: 6 hours - bicycle (or scooter "XE OM") and Jack Tran's boat
This is a join-up tour that provides you with a close-up and intimate exposure to both the local farming and fishing communities. Accompanied by a Jack Tran tour guide, you commence the day leisurely cycling along country roads witnessing local Vietnamese rural life first hand, discovering all manner of photo opportunities - coming and visiting a beautiful organic vegetable village, watering and planting vegetable, hoeing a soil with local farmer, riding a water buffalo in a rice paddy field; seeing ducks swimming along the rice farm or farmers tending their crops. The photo opportunities are endless. As well you will experience the friendliness of the local people greeting you along the way. Later you will board our Jack Tran's boat for a river cruise to meet and engage with local fishermen and enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. You will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat while the waterways of coconut palm paradise. This tour provides you with a cultural window into the ways of life of both our farming and fishing communities.
- You will be picked up at hotel by Jack Tran's guide and Jack Tran's driver on a mini-van and then you will be transferred to Jack Tran's bike station in the countryside to start your biking route
- Cycle to a local farming village traveling along picturesque country roads. If you don't wish to ride bicycles, please use our scooter "XE OM" services (a chauffeur driven scooter!) for an extra $6, payable on the spot
- Share in the daily work life of local farmers - hoeing and a soil, watering veggie at an organic herb garden, riding water buffalo in the field and enjoy the freshest air of the countryside beauty.
- Board the Jack Tran's boat and cruise to the mouth of the river where it meets the Cua Dai Sea
- Learn and try your hand at local traditional fishing techniques using round and cast nets
- Learn to paddle the strange and unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats.
- Explore the now tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war and hear of the extreme conditions endured by soldiers on both sides
- Back on-board our Jack Tran's boat, enjoy lunch and a cold beer or soft drink
Return to hotel by Jack Tran's mini-van
Bamboo Platform Dining Experience: At 4:30 PM your guide will escort you to the banks of the river. You will be assisted in boarding the Hoi An regions iconic basket boats for a short cruise. After a few minutes you will arrive at your destination - a large floating bamboo raft, situated on a beautiful secluded part of the river, far from the crowds of the historic city, and surrounded by tropical nature. Butlers and other staff will feed you unique local cuisine and fresh vegetables. At the end of the evening, you will return to your hotel, at about 8 PM.
Day 6: Hoi An - Da Nang - International Flight. You are at leisure in the morning to return to the ancient town on your own, or to enjoy the facilities at your resort.Check-out of your resort at noon and there is a break for lunch. This day’s itinerary description is based on an international flight out of Da Nang (a number of top rated Asian airlines offer flights out of Da Nang) in the late evening or at night. If your international flight is at an earlier time, or if you are taking an earlier flight to another Southeast Asian city (Easy Tours can include this flight as part of your tour upon request) to connect with your international flight, the activities will be changed to accommodate your flight from Da Nang’s departure. Your Guest Relation Manager will coordinate this with you once you have booked.
After lunch you are driven towards Da Nang airport. On the way, with a very short detour, you will visit the Marble Mountains. These are a photographer’s delight - a group of 4 hillocks (Wood, Earth, Fire, and Water) that are a popular pilgrimage site, with many Buddhist shrines and temples that have been built into ancient pre-existing caves in the hillocks. You will explore one series of caves, where the main cavern is 70 feet high with large holes in the ceiling, allowing the sunlight to illuminate a large Buddha statue sitting in a nook 30 feet off the ground. The Marble Mountains, though somewhat under-billed, are a true highlight of any visit to Vietnam. They were the scene of a lot of fighting during the war, and when you explore the area, you can visualize just how difficult battles on this type of terrain must have been. There are still many bullet holes present in several of the gates and other structures. You will then proceed to the Da Nang airport and be assisted in boarding your flight.
Our services end at the Da Nang airport.
* Breakfast daily
* Lunch on Day 6
* Unique Floating Dinner on Bamboo Platforms on the river in Hoi An
* Flexible Activity Choices in Hoi An
* Top Rated water Puppet Show in Hanoi
* Ground transportation via upscale private vehicles
* Representative for assistance on departure / arrival transfers per the itinerary
* Services of the best guides as per the itinerary
* Applicable monument entrance fees as per the itinerary
* Bottled water during sightseeing
* Hotel accommodation as listed above
* All Boat Fees/Fares per the itinerary
* International travel unless you opt for the flight as part of your tour
* Any expenses of a personal nature, such as tips, laundry, phone calls, drinks etc.
* Meals other than those specified on itinerary
* Travel insurance, visas, etc.