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Vietnam: Classical Treasures (10 days)

VietnamExperience the hightlights of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta. 


2018 Departures & Tour Cost

Departures each Wednesday from Hanoi
Per person based on twin $ 1,535 USD
Single Supplement $ 425 USD
Maximum group size 20, average group size 12

OR
Private services – daily departures based on two or more persons
Per person based on twin $ 1,860 USD
Single Supplement $ 425 USD


ITINERARY

DAY 1 (Wednesday): HA NOI ARRIVAL
Meet your tour guide on arrival at Hanoi international airport and join your fellow travellers in a coach transfer to the city centre for hotel check-in. Located in the centre of the Northern Delta with a population of 6.2 million people and an area of 3,398 square km Hanoi is an ancient city which had been established and developed for over 1,000 years since 1010. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Historians liken the life-giving Red River with its banks crowded with green rice paddies and farms to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; a cradle of civilization.

Hotel rooms may not be ready until 14:00 hrs but an early check-in would be guaranteed with a surcharge. The rest of the day is at leisure. Subject to your arrival time, you may want to venture out to explore the city on your own or join one of our wonderful optional excursions in and around Hanoi, such as a walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter for you first impression of Vietnam’s capital city. Accommodation at hotel in Hanoi.

Halong BayDAY 2 (Thursday): HANOI – HALONG BAY WITH OVERNIGHT ON THE BOAT (B/L/D)
08:00 hrs. Pick-up at your hotel in Hanoi and transfer to Halong City. Upon arrival, embark on an overnight cruise and set sail on a cruise through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Halong Bay, taking in the spectacular scenery of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Lunch is served as you cruise by impressive rock formations with unusual names and shapes. In the afternoon you will start to discover Halong Bay, listed as a World Heritage of outstanding natural beauty, known in Vietnamese as “Dragon descending to the sea“. Depending on each cruise’s itinerary of the day, you may visit a beautiful cave, have some swimming. Kayaking is available at a surcharge. When the sun sets, your boat will drop anchor for the night. You may attend a cooking demonstration before having dinner. After dinner, you may choose to enjoy fresh air on the sundeck or playing board games or retiring to your cabin for a comfortable night in the bay. Accommodation on-board the overnight cruise in Halong Bay. Note: our tour guide will not accompany you on-board

DAY 3 (Friday): HALONG BAY – HANOI/HUE (B/L/-)
Early risers may join a Tai Chi session on the sundeck (depending on each cruise’s programme) and enjoy watching the sunrise in the Bay. Afterward your boat will weave its way back to the pier. Pick up at Tuan Chau pier and on the way back to Hanoi you will visit a peaceful village in Bac Ninh Province. Walk the village path with visit to the village church and the orphanage within the premise which is a home for severely disabled and displaced people, run by a group of very caring Catholic nuns. Back in Hanoi, enjoy an orientation tour visiting the old quarter which is known as the city’s historical centre.

Option 1: Clients have time at leisure for more discovery of Hanoi on their own and overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Option 2: Clients who opt for more experience of Vietnam rail tracks will take the SE3 Reunification Express to Hue. Have dinner (included in this option) at restaurant before transferring to Hanoi railway station. Overnight in shared 4-berth compartment (02 upper and 02 lower berths) with air-conditioning.

Notes: Our tour guide will not accompany on the train. Train schedule is subject to change (ETD: 22:00 hrs). Private compartments on request at surcharge. Train journeys are part of a great local experience. Cabins are shared with other passengers (unless private cabin is requested and all berths paid for – with supplement). Restrooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience.

DAY 4 (Saturday): HUE (B/L/-)
Option 1: Breakfast at the hotel, then check out and transfer to Hanoi airport for the morning flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Hue airport, pick up and have joint transfer to the hotel.

Option 2: Arrive at Hue railway station at around 10:35 hrs. Pick up to join the group and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the morning is at leisure.

Re-joined group have lunch at restaurant and then enjoy a half-day Hue city tour. Located in Central Vietnam, Hue is the only place in the country where many historic, cultural, architectural as well as artistic values have been recognized internationally and listed by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritages. Hue is also the site where the northern and southern ecosystems meet. You will visit the Imperial Citadel. Situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, the citadel covers an area of 500 ha and has a system of three circles of ramparts: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Continue by car to visit Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue. Situated 4 km upstream on the banks of the Perfume River, it is an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. Afterward take a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to the city pier. Accommodation at hotel in Hue.

DAY 5 (Sunday): HUE – DANANG – HOI AN (B/L/-)
In the morning, visit Tu Duc Royal Tomb. Each ruler of the Imperial City built his own tomb during his reign and today you will visit one of the most beautiful mausoleums. Construction of the tomb was meticulously carried out starting whilst the king was still alive in order to ensure his comfort in the next life. Your journey continues southbound to Danang over the famous Hai Van Pass with a green view of the stretch of Truong Son mountain range on one side and a spectacular view of the East Sea on the other. Have lunch at local restaurant.

Visit Cham Museum and have a photo stop at the Marble Mountains before driving the short distance south past the famous Non Nuoc Beach onto the enchanting town of Hoi An listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage and was once a well-known trading centre in Southeast Asia from the 16th to 18th centuries. Its sizeable community of foreign merchants resulted in a unique architectural style with Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese influences. Upon arrival in Hoi An, check in the hotel and rest of the day will be at leisure. Accommodation at hotel in Hoi An.

DAY 6 (Monday): HOI AN – DANANG – HO CHI MINH CITY (B/L/-)
In the morning, your guide will take you on a stroll through the ancient town with visit to the old houses, Chinese community house and Japanese covered bridge. Hoi An has been known for the exceptionally well preserved ancient town with the complex of old wooden frame buildings including the historical monuments and the fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures. Besides that, projects for preservation and promotion of local handicrafts have also been implemented. Hoi An Silk Village is one of those.

Hoi An Silk Village is just one kilometre away from the centre of Hoi An ancient town. The combination of eco-tourism and traditional handicraft product development has helped to preserve the cultural life of people in Quang Nam. In feature are the traditional house of Quang Nam, a mulberry garden, silk worm breeding and feeding techniques, including processing of silk worm cocoons in traditional way, the handicraft textile by Cham ethnic people and the show room. Have lunch at Hoi An Silk Village. Afterwards drive to Danang airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Flight VN 117 14:05 – 15:35)

Formerly known as Saigon, todays Ho Chi Minh City is the bustling and vibrating economic centre of the South. Over the past few centuries, Saigon was called the “Pearl of the Far East” and was an important trading centre for Chinese, Japanese and Western merchants who travelled along the Saigon River. Check in your hotel and have free time in the evening to explore the city. Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY 7 (Tuesday): HO CHI MINH CITY – CU CHI TUNNELS – HO CHI MINH CITY (B/L/-)
This morning you will drive 55 km out of Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi District famous for the amazing complex of underground tunnels. There are more than 200 km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for lunch.

In the afternoon, gain an insight into the city’s development through a walking tour to the most significant landmarks including the Opera House, the Town Hall, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the old Post Office (all magnificent sights from the French colonial period). Afterwards experience a fantastic 360 degree view of Saigon city and its surroundings from the observation deck atop the 262 m high Bitexco Financial Tower which has a shape of a lotus, Vietnam’s national flower. Your next stop will be the famous Ben Thanh Market, where you can purchase souvenirs for your beloved ones. Wrap up your tour day with a foot massage that will surely give you a great feel of relief and indulgence. The evening is free at leisure. You are welcome to join our optional dinner cruise on the Saigon River. Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY 8 (Wednesday): HO CHI MINH CITY – MY THO – CAN THO (B/L/-)
VietnamThe mighty Mekong empties to the Eastern Sea through nine estuaries with two biggest ones called as Tien River and Hau River that form the fertile land known as the Mekong River Delta. Visiting the region you will be amazed by the view of endless paddy fields, the waterway system and the lush green fruit orchards.

Your journey will take you to My Tho for a day exploring the Mekong Delta. Activities of the day include a scenic boat trip on Mekong River to an island where local handicraft and coconut candy are being produced, a short ride on a horse carriage, visit to a typical local house, tasting some local produce such as homemade honey-tea, fresh seasonal fruits and enjoying traditional music performed by local artists. One of the highlights of the tour is a ride by small sampan boat through the small canals and side-arms of the “Mighty Mekong” to observe the daily life along the river banks. Enjoy lunch with local delicacies before driving further south to Can Tho, the commercial hub often dubbed as the “Capital of the Delta.” Accommodation at hotel in Can Tho.

DAY 9 (Thursday): CAN THO – HO CHI MINH CITY (B/L/-)
Floating markets are the highlights of the Mekong Delta and the one in Cai Rang is the biggest. From very early morning hundreds of boats gather to trade agricultural produce brought in from all over the region. So as not to miss the chance to see the market in full swing, an early start is recommended. From your boat you will see the local farmers trading their products directly on the water as they have done for many centuries. Back to the hotel for breakfast and then return to Ho Chi Minh City with lunch at local restaurant en route. Accommodation at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY 10 (Friday): HO CHI MINH CITY - DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Have leisure time before your departure. You are welcome to join our interesting optional excursions in and around Ho Chi Minh City, such as our Good Morning Saigon Tour (surcharge applies). Please note that hotel check-out time is at 12:00 hrs. A late check-out can be arranged subject to room availability and a surcharge will apply.


Addiitonal Information

Hotels used in this package tour:
Envisioned Hotel Category 4*

HA NOI: Hilton Garden Inn (Standard room)
HALONG BAY: Emeraude Classic Cruise (Superior cabin)
HUE: Moonlight Hotel (ROH room with city view)
HOI AN: Hoi An Trails Resort (Superior room)
HO CHI MINH CITY: Eden Star Hotel (Deluxe room)
CAN THO: Fortuneland Hotel (Deluxe room)

TOUR PRICES ARE INCLUSIVE OF
•    Accommodation in shared twin – bedded room with daily breakfast
•    Meal as specified in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
•    Tours & transfers with English-speaking locally stationed guides in air-conditioned vehicle
•    Entrance fee and boat fees as mentioned
•    Service charges and room tax
•    Mineral water and cold towers available on the vehicles

NOT INCLUDED
•    International Air tickets
•    Beauty/ Spa service on-board the cruises in Halong Bay
•    Optional Kayaking
•    Vietnamese Visa (applied for prior to departure)
•    Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
•    Drink with meals
•    Early check-in ad late check-out
•    Personal travel insurance