Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi
When you arrive at Hanoi's Noi Bai airport, you'll be pickup up and transferred to the city. In the afternoon, drive to the Ba Dinh District to visit Ba Dinh Square, where President Ho Chi Minh read Vietnam’s Proclamation of Independence in September 1945. Then check out the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and continue to One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple supported by only one pillar. Built in the early 11th century during the reign of King Ly Thai Tong, the pagoda resembles a lotus blossom. You'll also visit Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam ('Temple of Literature'), the first imperial school in Vietnam, built in 1070.
Meals today are on your own.
Overnight in Hanoi
Please note: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays and from September 5 to November 5 for annual maintenance.
Day 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B, L, D)
The shuttle bus will pick you up at the hotel and drive you through the countryside to Halong Bay, truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive natural sights. When you arrive, embark on a 5-hour boat exploration of the bay by traditional-style junk for vantage points of the scenery, made up of some 3,000 karst limestone islands that rise out of the clear emerald water, dotted with beaches, grottoes, and caves. Along the way, anchor for a swim in a secluded cove and enjoy a visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. Stay overnight on the junk cruise.
Day 3: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L)
After breakfast, spend your morning swimming in the turquoise waters of the bay or sunbathing on the beach. Have lunch before returning to Hanoi for transfer to the Noi Bai airport and return Ho Chi Minh City.