Classic Culture Viet Nam 10 Days
Day 01: Arrival in Ha Noi (-)
Welcome to Ha Noi - the historic capital and cultural heart of Vietnam. Set on the banks of the Red River, Ha Noi is brimming with French colonial architecture, historic and religious sights. There and plenty of beautiful lakes, exquisitely arranged to make it one of the most graceful and charming cities in South East Asia. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
(Note: normal check-in time for hotels is 14:00. Please advise us if you require an early check-in)
Overnight in Ha Noi
Day 02: Ha Noi – City Tour & Water Puppet Show Full Day (B)
08:30 This morning, depart on a sightseeing tour of the charming capital city. We begin at the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (view from outside), an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite. It is where the preserved body of “Uncle Ho” resides. Next it is the nearby One-Pillar Pagoda, dating back to 1049, and then Ho Chi Minh's stilt house, which is just a few steps away. Then it is on to the sixth century Tran Quoc Pagoda –with architecture that is harmonized with nature. The pagoda complements the beautiful scenery around the lake. Finally, we visit the Temple of Literature - the first University in Vietnam, founded in 1070.
In the afternoon, we visit the Museum of Ethnology (closed Monday) that offers extensive exhibits from Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities. Then we drive to Hoan Kiem Lake for a relaxing rickshaw ride (cyclo) through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - known as the ‘36 Streets’. The Old Quarter is a labyrinth of roads, alleyways and marketplaces, bustling with local activities. End the day with a traditional water-puppet performance – a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes of rural life and episodes of national history. Once finished, we return to hotel.
Overnight in Ha Noi.
Day 03: Ha Noi – Ha Long – Overnight Cruise (B/L/D)
This morning a scenic drive takes us to the magnificent Halong Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. On arrival, board our deluxe cruise for an overnight journey into the Bay. As the boat sets sail on the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin, prepare your appetite for an enjoyable lunch on deck. Stop to visit the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng - where you'll gain a fascinating insight into the daily life of the floating communities in the bay. During the cruise, there will be swimming and a chance to explore the area by kayak (extra cost involved). Enjoy the sunset over the bay from the sundeck while our boat weighs anchor for the night. Dine tonight on a scrumptious seafood dinner onboard.
Overnight on board
Day 04: Ha Long – Ha Noi – Fly to Hue (B)
Rise early to enjoy the gentle breezes of the bay. Enjoy the fresh air and greet the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck. As our boat weaves slowly through strange-shaped limestone rock formations making its way back towards the port, enjoy a wholesome brunch. There's time to explore a hidden grotto, famed for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites of all kinds before our disembarking at noon. Meet your guide and driver then transfer to Ha Noi Airport for the flight to Hue. Opt to visit a traditional pottery workshop en route (extra cost involved) or return to Ha Noi for a light dinner if your flight schedules late in the evening
Overnight in Hue
Day 05: Hue – City Tour Full Day (B)
Established as the capital of unified Viet Nam in 1802, Hue was not only the political but also the cultural and religious centre under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. 08:30 Begin the day with a quick stop at Dong Ba market - a great example of a local Vietnamese market. Stroll around to see the daily marketing activities and. Then we depart for the Imperial Citadel and spend time exploring the monument complex. The buildings inside the enclosure were heavily damaged by carpet bombings and bullets during the Tet Offensive in 1969, especially the Forbidden Purple City. Many of them have been recently renovated but not yet finished. Continue your journey on to Khai Dinh and Tu Duc tombs for an insight into the final resting places of the Nguyen Emperors. We stop to make visits to Incense & Conical Hat making workshops en-route. As the sun slowly sets over the horizon, enjoy the view (weather permitting) from a boat cruising the Perfume River towards the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda. Hop off the boat and finish the day with a last visit through the pagoda. Return hotel.
Overnight in Hue
Day 06: Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An – Walking Tour Half Day (B)
08:30 Take a scenic drive to Hoi An this morning, climbing up to the Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the Ocean Clouds”). Stop en-route to witness the spectacular panorama of the fishing village of Lang Co on the way down. Continue our drive on to Hoi An, passing Da Nang City and stop again to visit the Marble Mountain. Arrive in Hoi An at noon, transfer you for lunch at a local restaurant (your own account).
14:00, We take a walking tour through the narrow streets of the ancient town visiting the Chinese Assembly Hall, the 200-year-old Tan Ky house, and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. The tour will give you a glimpse of Hoi An’s prosperous past - a bustling international trading port dating back to 16th century. Today, Hoi An is a quiet riverside town, renowned for its quaint architecture, delicious fusion cuisine and excellent 24h tailor-made service. It is a world heritage site listed by UNESCO.
Overnight in Hoi An
Day 07: Hoi An – Cycling to Tra Que Herb Village – Gardening & Cooking Tour (B/L)
08:30 A delightful cycling and cooking tour on the rural outskirts of Hoi An town will reveal the secrets of Hoi An’s cuisine and its traditional gardening methods. This morning, we hop on our bikes and travel to the organic village of Tra Que which is named after a widely used sweet scented herb. Walk through the herb gardens, where we'll have the opportunity to interact with local farmers and join them in their daily gardening activities. Rest and enjoy a special herbal drink before we get to know how to make "Cao Lau" and "Tam Huu" for today lunch. Finish the cooking session, sit and enjoy your own creations, then a leisurely cycle back to hotel.
(Note: None-biking program can be arranged if required)
Overnight in Hoi An
Day 08: Hoi An – Da Nang – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnel (B)
The morning we leave Hoi An behind and fly to the bustling and dynamic city of Ho Chi Minh. The locals still prefer to call it Saigon. It is the economic hub of the country with a huge variety of things to see and do. Upon arrival, transfer you to visit the extraordinary network of Cu Chi Tunnels. This 250km underground maze was not only a secret hide-out of local guerillas to escape from American attacks, but also a strategic place to launch sudden ambushes. Arrive in Cu Chi, we’ll watch a short document film of the whole construction before go seeing various weapons and mantraps on display. There'll be chance for us to actually crawl through the tunnels and get a thrill. We return to Saigon late in the afternoon.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh
Day 09: Ho Chi Minh – Cai Be – Vinh Long Boat Trip Full Day (Mekong Delta) (B/L)
Leaving the city behind, we journey two hours to the Mekong Delta town of Cai Be where we embark on a traditional wooden boat for an enchanting cruise. The tour begin with a visit to the local floating market where you'll see local products hung on offering poles in front of boats. Then our boat continues the cruise through a large network of lush back waterways, pausing en-route to visit some local home factories. We'll disembark and watch the process of making traditional rice paper, pop rice and coconut candy. Then we will enjoy a leisurely rowing boat trip along small creeks before heading to a local ancient house for lunch of specialties of the area. After lunch we cruise back to the pier where we catch our transfer back to Saigon.
(Note: The program includes a short cycling through remote hamlets around 5-8km. None-biking program can be arranged if required)
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh – City Tour Half Day – Departure (B)
08:30, This morning, enjoy a half day orientation tour of the city‘s fascinating sights, including the sobering War Remnants Museum, the historic Reunification Palace, once the symbol of the South Vietnamese government until a tank crashed through the main gate and put an end to Vietnam War, and some of the colonial-era landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Post Office. Finally we visit the iconic Ben Thanh market - one of the city's oldest landmarks. This bustling market is a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs.
The rest of the day is free for leisure. Perhaps a last minutes walk along the chic shops of Dong Khoi’s street until transferring to airport for onward flight. We wish you a pleasant journey ahead and hope to see you soon.
END OF PROGRAM