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                                   VIET NAM IN 11 DAYS 

 

DAY 1: SAIGON ARRIVAL

Upon arrival, you are met and driven to the hotel for check in.

DAY 2: SAIGON CITY TOUR & CU CHI TUNNEL   (MEAL: B, L)

After breakfast, embark on 2 hour drive to northwest of Saigon to the famous Cu Chi tunnels. The tunnel complex was initially started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as communication routes, storage facilities for food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the American war. A visit to the underground villages will provide a better understanding of the tunnels’ history, the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. Return to Saigon for lunch.

Saigon is the country’s commercial center and, with over eight million inhabitants and four million motorbikes, a city that never sleeps. Despite the well-documented hustle and bustle, Saigon retains its connections with the past. This afternoon, enjoy a city tour to admire Saigon’s historic landmarks including the Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires based on the original construction from Paris (it is only possible to visit inside when no service is being performed). Then head across the square to the Central Post Office, designed by the French architect, Gustave Eiffel. Continue your visit with the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war, revealing the history of Saigon during its turbulent recent past. Further, drive to visit the War Remnants Museum for a vivid insight of the American war through the local’s eyes (Please note that some of the photos are very graphic). Then we head to famous Ben Thanh market for short visit with some souvenir shopping before our driver take you back to the hotel.

Balance of the day is your relaxing time.

 

DAY 3: MEKONG DELTA – BEN TRE ON CRUISE   (MEAL: B, L)

Depart from Saigon around 8:00am and head south to My Tho situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. Board the charming Cruise along An Hoa river for a glimpse at the Delta scenery while enjoying coconut juice. Make the first stop to learn how the coconuts are processed. Then cruise further to a small brick kiln where the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand.

Enjoy a 4km ride on a tri-motor cycle along the narrow village roads and stop at the rice noodles factory “hu tieu”, one of the most popular breakfast dishes in the region. Be paddled by a personalized rower trip to discover the maze of small canals until you reach the boat and cruise to restaurant for a lunch with Mekong Delta specialties. Then walk along the shady village roads to Mr. Sau Tuong’s house. He is a former soldier who survived after 4 years fighting the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh. Now he and his wife live on making rice paper. Have a chat with him and enjoy the crispy rice paper made by his wife, and see how it is made. After the visit, walk back to the restaurant where the boat will be waiting to bring you to Hung Vuong pier in Ben Tre City.

Your driver will drive you back to Saigon.

DAY 4: SAIGON – DANANG – HALF DAY CITY TOUR  (MEAL: B)

After breakfast, take morning flight to Danang. Meet up with your guide on arrival and drive to your hotel. This afternoon, start with a visit to the Dragon Bridge- Danang's fiery new success symbol then head to Cao Dai Temple which was built in 1956 and is Vietnam’s second most important Cao Dai temple after the one in Tay Ninh. Located in a quiet neighbourhood of Danang city, the temple is a serene and peaceful place, dominated inside by the all-seeing eye of the Supreme Being and paintings of Cao Dai’s principal saints, Lao-tzu, Confucius, Jesus Christ and Buddha. Next, make a stop at the informative Cham Museum which houses the best collection of Champa Kingdom ruins in Asia. The artifacts here date from the 2nd to 15th centuries. Finally, head a few miles south to the Marble Mountains - a cluster of 5 marble and limestone mountains which rise dramatically from the flat land along the coast of the Eastern Sea. The mountains contain numerous caves and tunnels and it is possible to reach one of the summits. After your summit, heading back to your hotel.

DAY 5: HOIAN ANCIENT TOWN WALKING TOUR   (MEAL: B)

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was a prosperous trading port. Today, this World Heritage-listed ancient town boasts well-preserved buildings, pedestrianized streets and unique cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. The narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour this afternoon. There is plenty to visit including the old merchant’s houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with outstanding wood carvings; and the colorful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two.

This evening, explore Hoian night life activities on your own.

 

DAY 6: DANANG – HUE – CITY TOUR   (MEAL: B, L)

Savor a breakfast at your hotel then we embark 2.5 hour drive from Danang city through the Hai Van tunnel to Hue which once served as an imperial capital to the Nguyen Lords from the 17th to the 19th century. With splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of the Citadel, the city retains its royal charm. First, pay a visit to the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO listed site. Enter through the towering main gate and you will appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while your guide explains about the events and the intrigue of the former royal court. Despite being bombed heavily during the war years, there are some incredibly well preserved sections still intact and others which are being lovingly restored.

After lunch at local restaurant, we continue visiting the serene Tu Duc Royal Tomb, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and built on principles of Feng-Shui. Finish the trip at the elaborate Khai Dinh Royal Tomb. Its architecture showcases elements of both eastern and western design. Transfer to your hotel.

DAY 7: HUE – HANOI BY FLIGHT- CITY TOUR    (MEAL: B)

This morning, we fly to Hanoi, our gateway to the Southeast Asian peninsula. Vietnam surprises most American visitors. Whatever the expectations, the reality is something else, indeed. This is a country that has survived decades of conflict, both with outsiders and internally. Today, the streets are thick with crowds and bicycles as well as a warm, welcoming population.

DAY 8:  HANOI  CITY TOUR    (MEAL: B)

On arrival to Hanoi airport, you are warmly greeted and met by our guide who will escort you to the hotel for check in.

With ochre-colored colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes, Hanoi is full of charm. This afternoon, we start the tour at the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite, and where the preserved body of “Uncle Ho” resides. (Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed every Monday & Friday, all afternoons and from early September until mid November). After that, you can visit One Pillar Pagoda which is a historic Buddhist temple in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is regarded alongside the Perfume Temple, as one of Vietnam's two most iconic temples. Behind the Mausoleum, you can see Ho Chi Minh's House where he lived and worked. It is made of wood and enjoys a tranquil setting, with a view of a lotus pond. Ho Chi Minh’s belongings are on display and you can walk up the steps of his house to see his bedroom. Then enjoy an hour cyclo tour through the Old Quarter to enjoy the bustling local life. We will cyclo along the busy streets to the Old Quarter, one of Vietnam’s most lively and unusual places, where you can buy anything from a gravestone to silk pajamas. The maze of back streets is fascinating, and the area is known for its “tunnel” or “tube houses.” They were developed to avoid taxes based on the width of their frontage onto the street, so their small frontages hide very long rooms. A cyclo tour of the Old Quarter provides us a good first dose of Vietnamese culture, and insight into the country’s long history.

DAY 9: HANOI – HALONG BAY (4 HOUR OVERLAND TRANSFER)  (MEAL: B, L, D)

Depart for a 4 hour drive to Halong Bay with a quick rest stop - the best place to stop and stretch your legs en route. On arrival in Halong Bay, let the vacation begin with lunch on board while cruising and exploring Halong Bay while passing by Soi Sim Beach and Coconut Tree Island, two iconic attractions in the bay. Soi Sim Beach is where you can find a lot of ancient trees in Ha Long Bay.

The vessels will continue cruising in Halong Bay, passing by famous attractions such as Tien Ong Cave, a favorite attraction for archaeologists because of its rich history, Trong Cave, a cave in a shape of a drum, Ho Dong Tien, a cave that has a lake inside and is believed to have fairies descending in the lakes, Luon Cave, where the golden hair monkeys can be found, Ti Top Island, where you can find the most stunning 360° view of Halong Bay and Coconut Tree Island for the overnight stay.

Enjoy the spa at your leisure on-board.

DAY 10: HALONG  BAY– HANOI   (MEAL: Br)

Wake up early and partake in a Tai Chi demonstration which is held on the upper deck. Then visit Surprise cave - one of the most beautiful cave in the Bay. Return to your boat where buffet brunch is waiting. Arrive at the jetty late morning and transfer back to Hanoi airport for your onward flight to Danang (Opt to visit a traditional pottery workshop en route).

Notice: Please note the Cruise Itinerary may be subject to change without prior notice.

On arrival, you are met and driven to your hotel for check-in.

DAY 11: HANOI DEPARTURE   (MEAL: B)

Today, enjoy your free time until you are picked up at hotel lobby and transferred to the airport transfer for your onward flight.

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