Essence Of Vietnam

Essence Of Vietnam

Day 1: Arrival Transfer and Welcome Dinner

Welcome to Hanoi.

Upon arrival, you will be welcome by our local guide and drive to hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free until Welcome Dinner.

Stay overnight in Hanoi. (D)

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

After breakfast, we will have a cyclo tour through the Old Streets of Hanoi. Then visiting Hanoi Hilton (Hoa Lo Prison), Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and the Ethnology Museum where we learn about Vietnam’s many diverse ethnic groups then lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon we visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first 11th century university. Next we head to the oldest pagoda in Vietnam, Tran Quoc Pagoda before driving to the centre of Hanoi. We finish the day with a stroll across the red bridge over Sword Lake to the beautiful Ngoc Son Temple. This evening you will enjoy the Water Puppet Show. Stay overnight in Hanoi. (B,L)

Day 3: Halong Bay

This morning we have 4 hour drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay. This is Vietnam’s most famous and most popular UNESCO World Heritage site! The name ‘Ha Long’ means the dragon descending into the sea and owes its origins to a Vietnamese myth. The towering limestone karsts represent the dragon’s back, surrounded by jade green water creating an unforgettable site. There are more than 1600 limestone islands and islets with different shapes jutting out from the sea.. Most of them are still intact from human activities thanks to their uninhabited and uncultivated characters.

Arrive at the Halong Bay jetty around noon and proceed with check-in formalities before boarding a boat for your unforgettable overnight cruise on Halong bay. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.

Overnight on board the boat in Halong Bay (private cabin on-board the join-in boat cruise). (B,L,D)

Day 4 : Halong Bay-Hanoi- Hue

Enjoy the morning in the middle of Halong Bay as the sun rises on Halong and breakfast is served (brunch on some boats) while the vessel cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards the port. Mid-morning the boat will return to shore. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi Airport for the mid-late afternoon onward flight to Phu Bai Airport (Hue City) in Central Vietnam.

Upon arriving,  we go straight to hotel. Check in and free until dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Hue City Tour.

In the morning, We take a relaxing cruise up the beautiful Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda which is the oldest pagoda in Hue and then Tu Duc Tomb, a very romantic home for afterlife.  After lunch at local restaurant, we will visit Citadel, the home of the last royal family in Vietnam which is known as the most blooding fighting place of both sides during Vietnam War. The Citadel was badly destroyed during the Tet Offensive 1968. After dinner, you are free to explore the city by your selves. Stay overnight in Hue. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Hue-Hoian Old Town

Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other. En route we stop for a walk along My Khe Beach formerly well known as China beach, the R&R Beach for US GIs during the war. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey south to Hoi An.

Hội An at night

On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.  (B,L,D)

Day 7: Cycling Tour and Fishing Tour.

This morning we take a bicycle ride into the countryside, leads us to Tra Que village. Here, we discover age old farming practices and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens. After that continue our bike ride through the country to the fishing village. At the fishing village, we will have chance to interact with local fishermen and they will teach us the traditional ways of fishing and how to row the basket boat.

Lunch will be at the fisherman home.

After lunch we will ride back to Hoian. Rest of the day you are free. (B,L)

Day 8: Hoian-Saigon-Mekong

Early morning flight to Saigon. Drive to the Mekong Delta. Often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as it fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise downstream from  Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island. Stay overnight in Can Tho. (B,L)

Cái Răng Floating Market

Day 10: Mekong-Saigon- Walking Tour

Early today we visit the ever lively Cai Rang floating market and drive to Saigon. Once called the Pearl of the Orient, modern Saigon is a thriving metropolis on the move. Sleek sky scrapers, gourmet restaurants, designer malls and swanky bars and spas are scattered between ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and lively street markets. Our walking tour of Saigon includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure. (B,L)

Day 11: Cu Chi Tunnels

This morning we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Viet-Cong in their struggle to keep control of the region during the 1960’s. After a short video presentation we take an exciting walk around the many bush trails and see trapdoors, booby traps, living areas, weapon factories and kitchens that were used and lived in during the war. We can also safely crawl through sections of the tunnels, that have been widened for the tourists and stand in the middle of bomb craters that are still just as defined as the day they were created. At the end of the visit you can opt to fire weapons of the era (including the M16 ‘s and AK47) on the firing range. (B,L)

Day 12: Saigon City Tour and Farewell Dinner.

Today we head out to explore sizzling Saigon. Starting off with the Reunification Palace – former residence of the President of South Vietnam until the fall of Saigon on April 30th 1975. The building is now a museum and a popular wedding venue. We’ll take a look in the famous ‘War Room’ where the North Vietnamese army took control in 1975. Next we explore Giac Lam Pagoda, Saigon’s oldest and one of its most beautiful temples.

Later on we take a journey through Vietnam’s medical history at the FITO Museum. This is Vietnam’s first traditional medicine museum with an amazing collection of over 3000 items. Our last stop of the day is Ben Thanh Market, where you can shop till you drop and master the art of haggling for just about anything!

Back to hotel and you are free until Farewell Dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 13: Departure

Today marks the end of our tour and after breakfast we will transfer you to the airport for your onward departure flight. (B)

Tour End.

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