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Vietnam In Depth

Vietnam In Depth

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Best Season: Oct to March
Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.

14 Nights / 15 Days

    Tour Plan

    1

    Day 01: Hanoi arrival

    Welcome to Hanoi
    Take the evening to relax and feel out your new surroundings
    Overnight in Hanoi
    2

    Day 02: Hanoi city’s highlights

    Wake up early, grab your cameras and head out to Hanoi’s biggest flower market in Quang Ba
    On your way back to the old centre, visit the banks of Truc Bach Lake filled with locals practicing Tai Chi or plaing badminton as a daily routine
    Continue to a local market to capture a lively buying and selling scene
    Skip breakfast at the hotel this morning and join the locals in the streets for a bowl of Pho
    Visit the Presidential Palace (formerly Palace of the Governor-General of French Indochina), Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilt and nearby One Pillar Pagoda.
    Afternoon visit to the Temple of Literature – dedicated to Confucius, was built in the 11th century. It was the first university in Vietnam and students still come here to burn incense
    Drive to Hanoi Center to explore the lively Old Quarter of Hanoi. This is a place you must see to experience Hanoi, where you will find shopping and cultural/historical sites all wrapped into one
    Transfer to the Hanoi Railway Station for the overnight train to Lao Cai
    Overnight on train.
    3

    Day 03: Lao Cai – Weekly ethnic market – Sa Pa

    Arrive at Lao Cai Railway Station in the early morning.
    Take a drive along the winding mountainous road to visit a weekly ethnic market where Flower H’mong, Dzao, Tay and other ethnic people come from surrounding regions in their colorful traditional costumes to sell their farming products and buy necessities.
    Continue on to Sa Pa town to overnight
    4

    Day 04: Sa Pa

    Drive to Muong Hoa Valley and take a full day walk between villages of H’mong and Dzay ethnic minorities.
    Capture the beautiful mountainous landscape, terrace rice fields and local life
    Back to Sa Pa and climb up Ham Rong Mountain to have beautiful panoramic view of Sa Pa town
    Overnight in Sa Pa
    5

    Day 05: Sa Pa – Hanoi

    Today we’ll take the drive and walk to village of Red Dzao ethnic minority for more photos.
    After lunch take the drive back to Hanoi via Lao Cai Expressway.
    Overnight in Hanoi
    6

    Day 06: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay

    Head out in the morning to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Board a luxury Vietnamese sampan for an overnight boat cruise amongst the limestone islands rising majestically out of the turquoise bay. End the day with a BBQ dinner aboard the boat
    Overnight on board
    7

    Day 07: Ha Long Bay – Da Nang – Hoi An

    Start your day with calming Tai Chi, often accompanied by an amazing sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of Bay’s landscape.
    Pass beautiful spots such as Trong, Trinh Nu and the Me Cung Caves, and get a chance to explore the Surprise Cave
    Transfer back to Hanoi and on to the Noi Bai Airport for a short flight to Da Nang, a busy seaport in Central Vietnam.
    Transfer to Hoi An, a World Heritage site designated by UNESCO in 1999
    Overnight in Hoi An.
    8

    Day 08: Hoi An

    Start the day with a tour of a local farm and fishing community
    Jump on a bike to take in the local scenes
    Head back to town to epxplore ancient streets of Hoi An, lined with Chinese traders’ homes and wooden houses reincarnated as restaurants, cafés, and outlets for local artists, craftsmen and tailors. Hoi An's
    unique fusion of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture is well displayed here, in what is arguably Vietnam's most tourist-friendly town
    Experience the old town as its streets come alive at night
    Overnight in Hoi An
    9

    Day 09: Hoi An – Hue

    Depart Hoi An for Hue in the morning
    En-route, stop at Cham Museum – houses a collection of stone scultures from the Hindu-practing Cham Civilization
    Capture beautiful shots of Lang Co Lagoon and view of Da Nang from the top of Hai Van Pass
    Continue to Tu Duc Tomb. Tu Duc began planning his tomb long before his death in 1883. The major portions of the tomb complex were completed from 1864-67, along with future temple buildings that served as a palatial retreat for Tu Duc and his many wives during his lifetime
    Overnight in Hue
    10

    Day 10: Hue

    Take a tour of the Hue Imperial Citadel, recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993. Explore the Imperial Citadel, closely modeled along the lines of the Forbidden City in Beijing
    In the afternoon, head out to Thien Mu Pagoda, a nicely located pagoda overlooking the Perfume River and the beautiful landscape beyond. If you are lucky, you could observe the Pagoda’s praying ceremony and experience local religious life. Also, do not miss the stunning sunset on Perfume River
    Overnight in Hue
    11

    Day 11: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City

    Take the morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon – the most dynamic city of Vietnam where modern high-rise buildings sit next to ancient temples
    In the afternoon, follow in the footsteps of the novelists Graham Greene and see the sites in Saigon’s fabled District 1.
    Start at the Reunification Palace, the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883, most materials for Saigon's Notre Dame Cathedral were imported from France. Neo-Romanesque in form, it is a major centre of Catholicism in modern Vietnam, and one of the city’s major landmarks. Next to the cathedral stands the Saigon Post Office, a classic French colonial structure, is still a functioning post office today and features huge ceilings, a giant portrait of Uncle Ho, and many beautiful details. Continue along the former Rue Catinat to the Hotel Continental – famous from the ‘Quiet American’ novel and film – and on to the Caravelle Hotel, home to many foreign reporters and secret agents during the Vietnam War
    Take in remarkable panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City from its highest building. At 68 floors, the Bitexco Building was opened in 2011and rises 262 meters into the sky. The eye-opening view from the Skydeck gives you a sense of the vibrant city you will be exploring during your stay
    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
    12

    DAY 12: Cu Chi Tunnels & Ho Chi Minh City

    Depart Ho Chi Minh City and head out to Cu Chi Tunnels. After an introductory video, viewing various mantraps, the remains of an American tank and numerous bomb craters, you will spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels to see how the Viet Cong survived in this underground network Back in Ho Chi Minh City, check out the Jade Emperor Temple. The Jade Emperor, heaven's gatekeeper, sits in the centre of this pagoda in an incense-filled room. Hidden chambers hold woodcarvings and altars depicting scenes from Taoist and Buddhist myths. The pagoda is a photographer's paradise, with ribbons of aromatic incense smoke, robed monks, artfully carved figures, Buddha sculptures and a turtle pond.
    Continue to the Chinatown of Cho Lon. Among the oldest and most interesting parts of Saigon, this is where the large Chinese community has been settled for centuries
    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
    13

    Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta

    Transfer to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta. Set out on a boat trip on channels winding through coconut forest
    Walk on village path and visit a farmer’s house and ride bicycles through village roads past rice fields, coconut groves and local houses.
    Visit a tapioca cake workshop and a local Cao Dai temple, then cycle along riverside and back to your waiting vehicle for the drive to Can Tho.
    Overnight in Can Tho
    14

    Day 14: Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)

    Step onboard a boat to visit Cai Rang floating market. Take in the daily activities of the locals who live along the Mekong canals
    Visit the Binh Thuy Ancient House, a rare and well-preserved example in Can Tho City of a characteristic
    Mekong Delta house
    Return to Ho Chi Minh City for a night out on the town and overnight stay .
    15

    Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City departure

    Spend the morning capturing the photos of the city in the early light
    End your trip here and on to your next adventure
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