15 Days / 14 Nights
Hochiminh City - Cuchi - Tayninh - Mekong Delta - Dalat - Nhatrang - Hoian - Hue - Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hoalu - Hanoi
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DAY 1 - VIETNAM TOURS OF WONDERS: ARRIVAL – HO CHI MINH CITY TOURS (-/-/-)
On arrival at Tan San Nhat Airport, you are met by our guide and transferred to hotel. The bustling Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, is a center of commerce, finance, culture and tourism in Vietnam. This metropolis, contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping areas and sidewalk cafes. (If time permits) we stroll around the down town to explore the different local ways of life.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh.
DAY 2: HO CHI MINH SIGHTSEEING TOURS + CU CHI TUNNELS (B/-/-)
Morning: A half-day city tour of dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, includes the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Sai Gon Post Office, the Chinatown, the former Presidential Palace.
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.
Transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh City.
DAY 3: HO CHI MINH CITY - BOAT TRIP TO MY THO & BEN TRE - CAN THO (B/L/-)
In the morning, heading out of town, we travel by roads to the Mekong Delta. This plain region boasts the largest rice bowl of Vietnam. On arrival in My Tho we board a boat navigating around the intricate small canals, which is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up and catch a view dotted by many islands. The exciting river trip will pass by the lush green vegetation towards the famous Unicorn Island where we have a chance to stroll around an orchard, taste many seasonal fruits and see farmers at work. We navigate some narrower canals using small rowing boats to Ben Tre Province for an interesting visit to some local industries. The extra enjoyment is a lunch at one of the famous local eating spots.
After lunch at a local restaurant, proceed to Can Tho - The Delta's Can Tho province sprawls westwards from the eponymous provincial capital along the southern bank of the Bassac (Hau) River -- the larger of the two branches of the Mekong River. Bordered to the west by An Giang and Tien Giang provinces, to the south by Hau Giang and to the north, on the other side of the river, by Vinh Long and Dong Thap, Can Tho province is one of the most popular Delta destinations among travellers and tourists alike.
Arrive in Can Tho, the city located on Mekong Delta bank.
O/N in Can Tho.
The lively floating market is a major part of sightseeing tour in Mekong Delta. Upon leaving Can Tho we set off on a short drive to Vinh Long and board a boat for an exciting excursion around the tributaries of the mighty Mekong River. Along the way we explore various local industry cottages including rice paper makers and bonsai nurseries. The next stop is Cai Be floating market, whose trading way is unique since each boat usually sells one particular item such as pumpkins, pineapples, sugar canes. In order that the customer knows where to can_thoshop, they hang that item from the highest part of the boat. On arrival in Cai Be Town we meet up with our waiting vehicle and drive back to Ho Chi Minh, stopping off en route to see the beautiful Vinh Trang Pagoda and the Saigon’s Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon. This bustling area is crammed with fascinating temples and mysterious, narrow lanes.
O/N in Ho Chi Minh.
DAY 5: HOCHIMINH - DALAT SIGHTSEEING VACATION (B/-/-)
The journey northwards begins as we depart Ho Chi Minh and pass through the many tea and coffee plantations to the hill station of Da Lat, sometimes known as the "City of Eternal Spring". The drive is long but views are fantastic all along the way. Once arriving in Da Lat we can soak up the cool climate as much as we want by spending our time to wander around and catch our first glimpse of this town. The influence of the French is evident in local culture and architecture since Da Lat was founded as a hill retreat for the colonials to escape the oppressive heat in the coastal plains and the chaos of Saigon. This charming town is set around a lake and surrounded by forests, waterfalls and rolling countryside.
O/N in Da Lat.
DAY 6: DALAT TRAVEL PACKAGES TO NHATRANG (B/-/-)
Today we enjoy a drive through the charming pine hill to the summer residence of Vietnam's last Emperor Bao Dai. He was forced to abdicate in 1945, shortly after the end of the World War II. This mansion displays a lovely collection of Vietnam treasures. We follow it with a trip to the sacred Lam Ty Ni Pagoda and the Hang Nga Guesthouse. This construction is well known as the Crazy House because of its bizarre architecture. The lively central market and the old rail station are also visited before we travel by roads passing through the undulating terrains to the picturesque coastal town of Nha Trang. En route we make stopover at the scenic Ngoan Muc Pass and the Po Klong Jarai Cham Towers. These amazing structures represent an interesting culture and a colorful history of the Cham people in central coast areas.
O/N in Nha Trang.
DAY 7: NHATRANG BEACH AND CITY TOUR (B/L/-)
The turquoise water surrounding a string of islands and the white sandy beach stretching the whole length of Nha Trang City make it one of Vietnam's premier beach resorts. We board a boat to explore the coastal islands. The aquarium lake is our first stop before we head out to Hon Mun Island. Today we have plenty of time to enjoy swimming and snorkeling on the blue and clear water or simply lazing on a beach. The thrilling boat trip continues towards Hon Tam Island, giving us a choice of various water sports and good restaurant for lunch. By mid afternoon we cruise back to Nha Trang Pier and complete our day with a short city tour. The impressive Ponagar Cham Towers overlooking the colourful fishing port and the famous Long Son Pagoda with its huge Buddha image are a major part of our sightseeing.
O/N in Nha Trang.
DAY 8: NHATRANG - DANANG - HOI AN SIGHTSEEING TOUR (B/-/-)
The following destination of our trip is Danang via a short flight from Nha Trang. On arrival we are greeted by our guide and driven to Danang Center for an interesting visit to the famous Cham Museum, formerly the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient. This museum 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. We continue driving 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 sites 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.
O/N in Hoi An.
DAY 9: HOIAN - HUE SIGHTSEEING TOURS (B/-/-)
Heading out of town we drive towards Hue, which was once the feudal capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945. Along the way we visit the China Beach and the sensational Marble Mountains, whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe. The winding road Hoi An ancient townbegins as we make our way up the spectacular Hai Van pass. A view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam’s most impressive panoramic scenes. On arrival in Lang Co, we make a break by the beach for a leisurely swim. The impressive drive will deliver us to Hue by early afternoon. We start our sightseeing tour with the massive citadel, containing the Imperial City 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 collection of bronzes, Chinaware, court robes and various emperors’ personal belongings.
O/N in Hue.
DAY 10: HUE SIGHTSEEING VACATION (B/-/-)
The beautiful riverside Thien Mu Pagoda is one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious work ship in Hue. We include this in a half day cruise on the Perfume River which also gives us a taste of the scenic countryside and an enjoyable visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. This impressive landmark reflects the beautiful architecture, intricate decor and mysterious statues. Afterwards we take a short drive though the rolling hill to see the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and the famous Tu Hieu Pagoda. The sightseeing tour of Hue also includes with a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market that sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass many fantastic eating spots, all ideal for visitors to sample some local delicacies.
O/N in Hue.
DAY 11: HUE - HANOI CITY TOUR (B/-/-)
Upon leaving Hue we set off on a short drive to airport for flight to Hanoi. On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met by our guide and transferred to hotel. The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia's most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere.
Later on, we follow it with a visit to the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam and the History Museum with an excellent collection of artifacts illustrating the Vietnamese history. Later on, we will take a short visit at Hilton Prison where Vietnamese soldiers did captured & detained American pilots from 1967 till 1973 to learn more about the history of Vietnam War against American Imperialists.
Afterwards we drive to the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple. They are some major highlights set by the beautiful West Lake. We also visit the old quarters and the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple. In front of this lake is the famous water puppet theatre where we will see a fantastic performance.
If time permits we enjoy a short cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places.
O/N in Ha Noi.
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. By then, we will have a visit to the outlaying Ethnologic Museum that is also a major part of our sightseeing. This gleaming mansion is dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups before we depart for Halong Bay past the scenic countryside. En route we make stopover at Dong Trieu pottery village to stretch our legs and admire the craftsmen at work.
O/N in Ha Long.
DAY 13: HALONG CRUISING TOURS - HANOI (B/L/-)
The legendary Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. We board a traditional boat for a five 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 and travel by roads back to Ha Noi, arriving in time to see an evening performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets.
O/N in Ha Noi.
DAY 14: FULL DAY TOUR TO HOALU – TAMCOC (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 15: HANOI - DEPARTURE
There is a free time to relax or further explore Ha Noi. The tour ends after your transfer to Noi Bai Airport for departure. (B)
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