On this journey you will get to see some of the most impressive sights of Vietnam and take time to immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of the people of Vietnam. You will also get to enjoy the pristine beauty of the magical, Halong Bay.
Best: November to April
Duration: 11 days. 10 Nights
Hotels and Junk
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Day-1: Arrival Vietnam, Hanoi airportAfter arrival to Vietnam you will be given the chance to discover some of Hanoi' s highlights. We start with the Vietnam museum of Ethnology where you can get an idea about the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam and see some typical rebuilt houses at the outdoor museum. Next we will visit the Temple of Literature. Overnight in Hanoi and attend the water puppet show in the evening.
Day-2: Hanoi- Hue (B-L)This morning, we fly to Hue where we board a boat for a trip on the Perfume River to go to Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous of all Vietnamese landmarks. Legends explain how the pagoda came to be: one has it that an old woman instructed Lord Nguyen Hoang in 1601 to walk along the river with a lit incense stick and build a city at the spot where the incense stopped burning.
Nestled in the lush valley of the river stand seven tombs built for seven Nguyen emperors. Each is an expression of the unique personality of the man who held power. Each is comprised of three elements: a temple dedicated to the worship of the deceased emperor and his queen; a stele made of stone that records the biographical and historical high points of his life; and the royal tomb itself. We will continue to two tombs of Minh Mang and Tu Duc before having lunch at a local restaurant.
This afternoon, we drive back to Hue city central. Kinh Thanh, the citadel, is perhaps the most well known site in Hue. Begun in 1805 by Emperor Gia Long, it is actually a complex comprised of the Imperial City, several museums, lakes, and lovely gardens, all laid out in a series of concentric circles. We also see the Forbidden Purple City, originally built in the early 1800s for the personal use of the emperor and staffed by eunuchs who posed no threat to the royal concubines. It was nearly destroyed in the Tet offensive. Overnight in Hue
Day-3: Hue - Hoi An (B)In the morning, you will take a 4-hour drive to Hoian, a charming old town which was recognized as a World Natural Heritage site. On the way, we will stop at Lang Co beach, Hai Van pass, Cham sculpture museum and Marble mountain. In the afternoon, we take a tour of the historic pagodas, houses and bridges of Hoi An. This is Vietnam's most enchanting town, an ancient trading port of narrow streets, historic buildings, fine food and abundant shops. The influence of many countries can be seen as you wander the streets. Great efforts are being made to preserve the town for new generations and cars have been banned from the most popular streets. There are many important sights in compact Hoi An and all can be explored on foot. The most popular destination include the Japanese covered bridge, dating from 1593, a number of historic Chinese merchant houses preserved in their original 19th century state, such as Tan Ky House and 77 Tran Phu, and several important congregation halls.
Overnight in Hoi An
Day-4: Hoi An - Hochiminh City (B)AM: Morning at your leisure.
PM: Flight to Hochiminh city. Free at your leisure.
Overnight in Hochiminh city.
Day-5: Saigon- Cu Chi (B)In the morning, we take a drive to see the Cu Chi- a fabulous tunnel. These tunnels are a symbol of Vietnam's continual fight against foreign oppression and imperialism. The tunnel system covers close to 200 km including under what was once a US air base. The tunnels once spanned an area stretching from close to the Cambodian border to the city limits of Hochiminh City. They were originally constructed to fight against the French in the 1940s, to give a peasant army a means of communication between villages whilst remaining undetected. In 1960 the Viet Cong repaired and added to the tunnels to fight against the South Vietnamese and American forces. The Commander of the American forces in the region held the opinion that the Viet Cong who were responsible for digging them were like human moles.
Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Hochiminh city.
Day-6: Saigon- Cai Be- Can Tho (B, L)In the morning we drive south to Cai Be. Upon arrival, start our private cruise excursion, departing from our own pier in Phu An hamlet at around 10.00 am. Upon embarkation, you are welcomed with fresh cotton towels. The tour will begin Cai Be colorful floating market, cruising among local barges full of fruits and vegetables... Cruising further, your sampan will bring you to see some local home factories to discover traditional rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies, and longans drying process. A delicious lunch will await you at a superb Indochinese villa, Le Longanier, located in a luxuriant garden by the river.
After lunch, your sampan will proceed the cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep. On the way, you will be able observe the typical Mekong delta rural life. These evergreen islands among the Mekong River still remain unknown to many people. Visit an ancient mandarin house dating from the 19th century where the family will welcome you with a cup a tea.
We will proceed to Vinh Long, passing beautiful landscapes along Dong Phu canal, Binh Hoa Phuoc and An Binh islands famous for their fruit orchards. After crossing the Co Chien River, the excursion will end at Vinh Long pier around 4pm.
Day-7: Can Tho - Hochiminh City - Hanoi (B, L)Breakfast followed by an early boat trip to the bustling wholesale Cai Rang & Phong Dien floating markets where the farmers exchange their products. A walk on a peaceful country road provides magnificent sceneries of local houses, orchard gardens and fields. Don't be surprised if you are invited by a local family to join them for a cup of tea! We will have lunch at a local restaurant before driving back directly to the airport for your flight from Vietnam to Cambodia, to Hanoi.
Day-8: Hanoi- Halong (B-L-D)8.00am - Depart for a 3.5 hour drive to Ha Long City through the Red River Delta with a break stop on the way. We arrive at Halong City at about 12h00. Enjoy welcome drink and cruise briefing before checking-in your cabin on Treasure Junk cruise. A lunch with fresh local seafood will be served on board (vegetarians catered for) while you embark on a cruise into the Holy bay to see the incredible karst formations. Later we explore the karst formations by tender or kayak.
Overnight in your cozy cabin
Day-9: Halong - Hanoi. Flight to Da nang then transfer to Hoi An (B-L)Early risers can enjoy fresh air and breeze before breakfast. We then start out by tender to see a secluded floating village surrounded by the mountains. We make our way between numerous floating houses and small rowing boats that serve the everyday life of the people, along with their small shops and homes. A buffet lunch is served on the way cruising back to the harbour. Next, disembark then have a drive back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Da Nang then take a 2-hour transfer to Hue. Overnight in Hue.
Day-10: Hanoi (B)Day at leisure
Day-11: Hanoi Departure - Free day (B)Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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