Vietnam Classic 2

Visit the main cities and towns of Vietnam along with day cruises around the magnificent Halong Bay and the tranquil Mekong Delta.

HANOI - HALONG - HUE - HOI AN - SAIGON

Day 1     Hanoi
     
Arrival in Hanoi
Transfer
Sightseeing in Hanoi
Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, HANOI still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. Narrow lanes and traditional shop houses invite an exciting exploration by walking, while its many beautiful public spaces; lakes, parks, tree-lined boulevards and monuments; give the city an air of elegance and harmony with nature unique among Asian capitals.
Visit the Temple of Literature
TEMPLE OF LITERATURE: a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, this monument is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam's first university. In one courtyard, giant stone tortoises bear stele on their backs, listing the accomplishments of graduating scholars.
Visit Ho Chi Minh Stilt House and One Pillar Pagoda
Stroll through the park to HO CHI MINH STILT HOUSE, the simple two-room dwelling where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Visit the miniature ONE PILLAR PAGODA. Also dating from the 11th century, this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1958. Today it stands near the vast HO CHI MINH MEMORIAL COMPLEX, a lovely park setting which is home to Ho Chi Minh's final resting place, as well as a museum and other memorials.
Sightseeing in Hanoi with Electric car (possible to make some stops en route)
Capital of Vietnam, HANOI is a blend of long established traditions and modern imprints of Western colonization. Tree-lined boulevards and colonial buildings give the city a touch of Western elegance, while crowded blocks of tiny old houses and narrow lanes full of daily life bear the charms of the past centuries. Take 60 minute ride on an electric car to explore the Old Quarter famous for 36 streets of craftsmen. The tour passes by well-known landmarks including HOAN KIEM LAKE and DONG XUAN MARKET.
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2     Hanoi - Halong (Breakfast: Hotel )
     
By vehicle from Hanoi (city) to Halong with sightseeing at Phat Tich pagoda and Do temple
Phat Tich pagoda was built between 7th and 10th century.The pagoda was built in the shaped interior, shaped exterior' model with over one hundred compartments.The pagoda offers the typical architecture of Vietnam and brings the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere for the visitors and pilgrims.
Do Temple was built during the Le Dynasty and has been altered several times since.The Do Temple was famous for its architecture, highly praised through the verses: the architecture of the Do Temple is marvelous, worthy to the thousand-year-old history of ancient Thang Long capital.
Overnight in Halong.
Day 3     Halong - Hanoi (Breakfast: Hotel / Lunch: Seafood Lunch on Boat Trip )
     
Excursion by boat through Halong Bay including lunch (4 hours, private)
Board your charming traditional wooden junk for cruising through the Bay. En-route lunch will be served. Following cruise by rock formations with such names as Stone Dog, Incense Burner ( Dinh Huong), Fighting Cock (Ga Choi). At the core of the islets, there are two wonderful caves and grottoes to visit as Thien Cung (Heavenly Residence Grotto), Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto) before returning to Halong pier.
By vehicle from Halong to Hanoi (city)
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 4     Hanoi - Hue (Breakfast: Hotel )
     
Transfer
Flight from Hanoi to Hue.
Transfer
Sightseeing in Hue
Hue served as the capital of Vietnam for more than 140 years. It houses ancient temples, imperial buildings and French-style edifices. It was established in the 17th century.
Visit the Imperial Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh
KHAI DINH: this was the last monument of the Nguyen dynasty and was constructed between 1920 and 1931. It sits magnificently on the slopes of Chau E Mountain in Chau Chau Village. It has a long staircase flanked by dragons. There are ceiling murals and ceramic frescoes.
Visit the Old Imperial City
Located in the heart of Hue is the IMPERIAL CITADEL, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modeled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Today, most of the buildings have been destroyed due to bombing during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking FLAG TOWER, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing NGO MON GATE, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit DIEN THO Residence (Dien Tho palace) is where the Queen mother lived, visit THAI HOA PALACE, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the HALLS OF THE MANDARINS, and the original NINE DYNASTIC URNS, among other sites.
Overnight in Hue.
Day 5     Hue - Danang - Hoi An (Breakfast: Hotel )
     
Excursion to Thuy Bieu village with cooking class
Around 09 am, embark on boat and start a cruise on Perfume River. Stop at Dong Ba market where you can buy necessary foods for cooking class with our chef. Visit a THIEN MU PAGODA, back to the boat for a scenic cruise to Thuy Bieu Village. Arrive in Thuy Bieu, an authentically village representing the countryside of Hue with the clear notion "garden-home". Start the cooking class and you will prepare the lunch by yourself with the coaching given by our chef. Have lunch with dishes clients have just cooked. A nice biking or walking around the quiet Thuy Bieu village, one of villages are still kept culture of Hue. Visit the garden-home and contact with local people, past many ancestral temples as cultural features of Hue. Visit homemade incense production household and discover the life of the farmers while they are working strenuously with joys and enthusiasm. Back to our local house at Perfume River border and relaxing by steeping your foot in with medicinal herbs water -a traditional therapeutically practices. Enjoy excellent massage by blind people. End of this tour at Thuy Bieu village.
By vehicle from Hue to Hoi An
Journey from Hue over scenic mountainous roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Halfway between Danang and Hue lies the dramatic HAI VAN PASS, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and south Vietnam. Continue southwards passing LANG CO, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the East Vietnam Sea, and the large coastal city of DANANG before arriving in Hoi An.
Visit Cham Museum
CHAM MUSEUM: this houses probably the best collection of Cham art to be found anywhere in the world. There are more than 300 artifacts in the museum, many dating to the 4th century. There are beautiful sculptures reflecting the 1000 year Cham period.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 6     Hoi An (Breakfast: Hotel )
     
Sightseeing in Hoi An with a boat trip on the Thu Bon River
The exquisitely preserved merchant town of HOI AN was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Its colorful shophouses and temples reflect a diverse heritage, dating back to the 16th and 17th century, when it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. Today it is a thriving center of traditional crafts and a shoppers paradise, best explored on foot. Wander through the cobbled streets, past low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central MARKET and the small HARBOUR where colorfully painted boats are moored. The walking tour will include visits to a PRIVATE HOUSE, where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting; to one of the FAMILY CHAPELS built by prominent merchant or official families as centers for ancestor worship; and to a typical CHINESE-STYLE PAGODA or ASSEMBLY HALL. Continue to SA HUYNH MUSEUM, located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, it contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history. Visit a handicraft workshop in Hoi An where local products are being made by the industry itself. Finally, continue to the famous JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE PAGODA, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream.
In the afternoon, board a local boat and cruise down the THU BON RIVER, enjoying the unspoiled countryside and stopping to visit a POTTERY VILLAGE and a WOODCARVING VILLAGE before returning to Hoi An harbour.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 7     Hoi An - Danang - Saigon (Breakfast: Hotel )
     
Transfer to Danang airport
Flight from Danang to Saigon.
Transfer
Excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels
Never discovered by American forces, the CU CHI TUNNELS were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Today, you can walk through the area and learn about the day-to-day life of the VC, see the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists.
Overnight in Saigon.
Day 8     Saigon (Breakfast: Hotel )
     
Excursion to Cai Be Floating Market with a boat trip to Vinh Long
From Saigon, drive into the heart of the Mekong Delta to Cai Be, and embark on one of the local boats to explore CAI BE FLOATING MARKET, a lively market of fruit and vegetable barges with a picturesque Catholic cathedral on the riverside. Continue along smaller waterways and canals, stopping at the MEKONG RIVER ISLANDS to visit orchards and local cottage industries. Enjoy watching how the delta residents make traditional treats such as dried longyans, rice pancakes and puffed rice candies, with the chance to sample the local delicacies. Disembark at Vinh Long and return to Saigon.
Overnight in Saigon.
Day 9     Saigon (Breakfast: Hotel )
     
Sightseeing in Saigon
A vibrant metropolis, SAIGON teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere you look, you see the meeting of traditional and modern life. The emerging modern skyline stands cheek by jowl with colonial buildings and traditional temples. Outside on the streets, young professionals zip by on motorbikes, chatting on cellphones; inside the quiet temple courtyards, worshippers pray amidst clouds of incense.
Begin your tour into modern history with a tour of the REUNIFICATION PALACE. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style building was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates.
Afterwards driving to the historic center to visit EMPEROR OF JADE PAGODA, one of Saigon's most interesting pagoda. Proceed to pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL and the CENTRAL POST OFFICE. Pass by the classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate CITY HALL (HOTEL DE VILLE), the old OPERA HOUSE (both may only be viewed from the outside). Finally, end up at the central BEN THANH MARKET, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Transfer

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