HIGHLIGHTS OF VIETNAM TOUR
Staying longer in each place. It is more time to visit Vietnam's most interesting places and experience the local lifestyle...
Day 1: Arrival - HANOI (-/-/-)
You are met on arrival at Noi Bai Airport, transferred to hotel for a check-in by our guide. Then, there might be a tour by cyclo within 1 hour around the old quarter streets to discover the local people life.
O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 2: HANOI - HALONG BAY (B/-/-)
Today we commence our sightseeing of Hanoi with the Ho Chi Minh Complex, containing the mausoleum of the nation's founder Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of Hanoi.
We follow this with a visit to the Temple of Literature, well known as Vietnam's first university, and the Ethnology Museum which displays an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnam's ethnic minorities with their own traditions, cultures & life-styles. The peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple and the bustling Hang Be or Dong Xuan Market are also visited before driving straight to Ha Long Bay.
O/N in Ha Long.
Day 3: HALONG BAY - HANOI (B/L/-)
The legendary Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. We board a traditional boat for a 5- hour trip around Halong Bay. This exciting cruise provides us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water.
These limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. We round off our excursion with a seafood lunch served on board
Finally, we will driver back to Hanoi.
Evening: Water puppets show, the unique Vietnam traditional art.
O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 4: FULL DAY TO HOA LU + TAM COC (B/-/-)
The country capital during the Dinh and early Le Dynasties is Hoa Lu, which however has left its legacy in the form of two small temples, each one nearly a thousand years old. Today we will depart our hotel at 8h00 for Ninh Binh to visit these two remaining structures. The first one is dedicated to the Dinh Dynasty.
The second one commemorates the Le Rulers. In front of these temples is the rugged Ma Yen mount; it involves a walk over 200 steps for a fantastic view over the surrounding areas. The following sight is Tam Coc which is surnamed "Halong Bay on land". We board a sampan for a leisurely trip through the quiet and peaceful landscape of rice fields surrounded by towering limestone cliffs to the grottoes of Tam Coc.
The trip ends after arrival in Ha Noi
O/N in Ha Noi.
Day 5: HANOI - HUE (B/-/-)
After breakfast at hotel, transfer to Noi Bai airport for flight to Hue. Upon arrival, we start our sightseeing tour with the massive citadel consisting of the Imperial Citadel including Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Purple Forbidden City.
This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. Close to this masterpiece is Hue Imperial Museum which displays an interesting collections of bronzes, Chinaware, court robes and various emperors' personal belongings.
Afterward, visit the Royal Mausoleum of Tu Duc designed in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. And then we enjoy a boat trip on the Perfumes River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda.
The rest of time, we will stroll around Dong Ba market selling a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts (if time permits) before going back hotel.
O/N in Hue.
Day 6: HUE - DA NANG - HOI AN (Center Vietnam) (B/-/-)
After breakfast at hotel, before leaving to Hoi An, you will be transferred to visit Khai Dinh Royal Mausoleum located on the slope of Chau Chu mountain just 10Km from Hue city to learn about the life & history of Emperor Khai Dinh ruling the country from 1916 until 1927.
Afterward, we will depart for Da Nang, The scenic 4-hour drive will be via Hai Van Pass known as one of Vietnam's most impressive panoramic scenes offering spectacular views of mountains, the sea, idyllic beaches and villages (we can choose the shorter way by driving through the tunnel). On the way to Hoi An, we will stop by one very famous Cham Museum.
This structure contains many exquisite limestone carvings from the vanquished Kingdom of Champa which has been the central coastal littoral prior to the march of the Vietnamese nation south. And then if you are interested in more discoveries, we will go up to see Marble Mountains with its beautiful grottoes and temples. Then continuing further south to Hoi An, which was originally one of major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century.
O/N in Hoi An.
Day 7: HOI AN (B/-/-)
In this morning, after having breakfast. We will make our way to Hoi An which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There are plenty to see in this tranquil and delightful town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant market.
We include these sights in an enchanting walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past
Afternoon: free time at leisure on the beach or shopping.
O/N in Hoi An.
Day 8: HOI AN - DA NANG - HO CHI MINH CITY (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Pick up on arrival and transfer to city center.
In this afternoon, we spend a half-day exploring the captivating Ho Chi Minh City. The most places of interest are located near the town center. We pass by the now-demolished wartime American Embassy on our way to the Reunification Palace.
This famous mansion was a former residence of the President of Southern Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office.
Upon leaving these landmarks we drive to see the crowded Saigon's Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon, which is crammed with fascinating temples as well as mysterious and narrow lanes. We follow it with a visit to the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War remnant exhibit with a wealth of images from the notorious conflicts.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 9: FULL DAY TO TAY NINH + CU CHI TUNNELS (B/-/-)
Depart for Tay Ninh, the head quarter of Cao Dai region founded on 1926. On arrival we attend the fantastic mid-day mass when the followers fill the hall wearing colored robes, a symbol of the curious combination of the Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity and Buddhism.
Afternoon, transfer about 30km north-west of Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi town. Cu Chi tunnels were used as the base from which the Vietnamese mounted their operations of the Tet Offensive in 1968. The Cu Chi tunnels consist of more than 200km of underground tunnels.
This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels, the tunnels are between 0.5 to 1m wide, just enough for a person to crawl along.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10: FULL DAY TO MEKONG DELTA - CAI BE(B/L/-)
In the morning, we will keep heading out of town by roads to Cai Be in the heart of the Mekong Delta. On arrival we embark a boat for a leisurely trip around the tributaries of the mighty Mekong River, stopping en route to explore the vibrant floating market of Cai Be where each boat usually sells one particular item such as pumpkins, pineapples, sugar canes and more.
In order that customers know where to shop, the vendors hang that item from the highest part of the boat. We continue our exciting river trip to visit some local cottage industries including rice paper makers, sweet factory and bonsai nurseries. The boat will anchor at an island, giving us a chance to see various farmers at work and enjoy a huge lunch followed by many seasonal fruits.
We weave our way through the intricate network of canals which are the lifeblood of the Mekong Delta. On reaching Vinh Long Town, we meet up with our vehicle for a return to Ho Chi Minh City.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 11: HO CHI MINH CITY - Departure (B/-/-)
At leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flight (check out hotel before 12h00).
Cost in US$ per person in the party (valid 30 Sep'13)
HIGHTLIGHTS OF VIETNAM
3 - 6 pax
7 -10 pax
11 - 14 pax
15 - 19 Paxs
20 - Upwards
Full board supplement
- Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
- Air ticket Hanoi - Hue, Danang - Ho Chi Minh City
- Accommodation in hotels (twin shared room)
- Meals as indicated: B = breakfast, L = lunch
- English or French speaking guide
- Entrance fee to indicated sights
- Water puppet show
- Boat trips
EXCLUDING: Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room, personal expenses, insurance...