Deluxe Asia Tour
Vietnam Discovery - 10 Days / 9 Nights
TOUR CODE TV 2014
Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City
Day 1 Hanoi
Arrive at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, where we will transfer you to your hotel located in the heart of the city.
Day 2 Hanoi - Halong (B, L, D)
Today, you will depart for Halong
and start with a visit to Halong Bay
, a UNESCO world heritage site of outstanding natural beauty. According to local legend, when Vietnam had just started to develop into a country, they had to fight against invaders. The gods sent dragons as protectors to assist in fighting the enemies and they defended their countrymen by spitting out jewels and jade. These jewels turned into the islands and islets dotting the bay and linking together to form a great wall against the invaders. With the help of the dragons and their magic rock formations emerging within the bay, the invading ships struck the rocks and each other. After winning the battle, the dragons were interested in peaceful sightseeing of the Earth and decided to live in this bay. The place where the mother dragon descended was named Ha Long, or "descending dragon", in her honor.
Cruise around Halong bay, passing by Dog Island, Incense Urn Island
and Ga Cho.
A delicious local seafood lunch and dinner will be served on the Junk Boat.
Day 3 Halong Bay - Hanoi (Brunch)
In the morning, cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay, Fire Island, Bo Nau Island, and a fishing village. Bai Tu Long Bay
, along with Halong Bay, has become one of the natural wonders of the world. It is imprinted with thousands of years of Halong culture and has also preserved quite intact the definition of its primitive islands with pristine beaches. With these beautiful islands and white sandy beaches, Bai Tu Long Bay is starting to attract more and more people to visit each year. The stilted houses built there are close to the sea so its inhabitants can leave the noisy, bustling modern world behind and blend into the immense sea. Breakfast will be served on the boat prior to your arrival at Halong Wharf
On the way back to Hanoi, you will either visit Dong Trieu or Phu Lang Ceramic Village. Dong Trieu
has a beautiful hilly and mountainous landscape. Nice, peaceful villages and rice fields are situated around the foot of the splendid mountain range of Yen Tu, and the majority of people here make a living by rice cultivation. Phu Lang Ceramic Village
is situated at the poetic Cau River. The village impresses tourists with its simplicity and is well known for its many ceramic artisans. Here you can study how the local people make their ceramic products and know why these products are so quickly found in both domestic and foreign markets. Enjoy the atmosphere and local activities.
Day 4 Hanoi - Hue (B, L)
Begin your day by visiting the Tran Quoc Pagoda and One Pillar Pagoda. Tran Quoc Pagoda
is a Buddhist temple located on a small island near the southeastern shore of Hanoi's West Lake. It is the oldest pagoda in the city, with more than 1,400 years of history. With its harmonious architecture taking advantage of the watery landscape, the pagoda is a picturesque attraction. The sunset views from the temple grounds are said to be renowned. One Pillar Pagoda
is regarded alongside the perfume Temple, as one of Vietnam's two most iconic temples. Its construction dates back to the 11th century when the heirless Emperor Ly Thai Tong dreamt that a goddess bore him a son. In gratitude for his dream coming true shortly after upon meeting and marrying a peasant girl and conceiving a son, he constructed this temple in her honor. The temple is built of wood on a single stone pillar 1.25 m in diameter, and it is designed to resemble a lotus blossom, which is a Buddhist symbol of purity since a lotus blossoms in a muddy pond. In 1954, the French Union forces destroyed the pagoda before withdrawing from Vietnam after the First IndoChina War, but it was later rebuilt.
Next, we move on to Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House. Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum
houses the embalmed body of the former leader and Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam. His body is preserved in the cooled, central hall of the mausoleum, which is protected by a military honor guard during all visiting hours. The body lies in a dimly lit glass case so the lines of visitors, including visiting foreign dignitaries, can pay their respects. Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House
is located nearby and is where the leader lived after refusing to live in his Presidential Palace for symbolic purposes.
In the afternoon, visit Van Mieu
(the first National University) and Hoan Kiem Lake
. In the evening, take a flight to Hue. Upon arrival, you will be picked up by our guide and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy an overnight stay in Hue.
Day 5 Hue City (B, L)
Today, you will start with a visit to the Imperial Citadel of Hue
. The citadel palace complex is located on the North bank of Huong River (Perfume River). It is a huge complex comprising three circles of ramparts, Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). It was said to be protected by the two sand dunes: The Con Hen and Con Da Vien on the Perfume River, as "dragon on the left, tiger on the right". Explore the beautiful feudal palace, which has been an inspiration for many artists who've stepped inside. King Tu Duc's Tomb
and King Minh Mang's Tomb
(which has a typical formal oriental style design) are also on our sightseeing route today. Learn a little history about these Nguyen Dynasty emperors and scholars. Later, we make one last stop along our journey today with the Thien Mu Pagoda
. This pagoda has seven stories and is the tallest in Vietnam. The temple is often the subject of folk rhymes and ca dao (or Vietnamese literature) about Hu , highlighting its iconic status and association with the city. It is regarded as the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital. You can also enjoy an optional dinner at Royal Park Restaurant
with Hue royal formality and Hue folk songs performed by ladies in traditional Hue long dresses.
Day 6 Da Nang - Hoi An (B, L)
Along the way to Hoi An, we will drive through Hai Van Pass and stop by Lang Co. Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. The sloping, white sand Lang Co. Beach
is the home to various kinds of shrimp, lobster, crab, butter-fish, mackerel fish, and oysters. You will continue on to Da Nang
for a visit to the Cham Museum
where you will see the open air collection of the breathtaking sandstone Cham sculptures. Champa was an Indic civilization that flourished along the coasts of what is now central and southern Vietnam for roughly a one thousand year period between 500 and 1500 AD. At present, the museum displays approximately 300 sculptures, some of which are made from terracotta. The artistic legacy of Champa consists primarily of sandstone sculptures and brick buildings. Much of the remaining art expresses religious themes, and though some pieces would have been purely decorative, others would have served important functions in the religious life of the Chams, which synthesized elements of Hinduism, Buddhism and indigenous cults.
Day 7 Hoi An Town (B)
In the morning, take a walking tour of the ancient tiny town of Hoi An
. This visit includes the Japanese covered bridge, the Chinese Assembly Halls
, and some typical Vietnamese houses of the 18th century. The Hoi An Japanese Bridge
remains a symbol of the significant impact that the Japanese had in the region. With a close proximity to the South China Sea, Hoi An was an important trading port for Chinese, Dutch, Indian, and Japanese merchants up until the 17th century. The Japanese traders were the dominant force at the time so the bridge was originally constructed to connect the Japanese community with the Chinese quarter - separated by a small stream of water - as a symbolic gesture of peace. Although this work has been appreciated for centuries, the builder of the bridge still remains anonymous
Enjoy the rest of your day by either shopping in town or relaxing on the beach. If you'd like, you can enjoy an optional visit to My Son
, a World Heritage Site in Hoi An, at an additional cost.
Day 8 Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi (B, L)
In the morning, we will board a flight to Ho Chi Minh
. You will first visit the Reunification Palace
, a must-see in Ho Chi Minh City. Known as Independence Palace before the fall of Saigon to communists, the Reunification Palace was home and command center of General Nguyen Van Thieu, the head of a military junta who came to power after the first President of South Vietnam was assassinated in 1963. The Reunification Palace was the site of a dramatic finish to the Vietnam War
as tanks crashed through the main gate one morning in April, 1975. Today, the Reunification Palace is a time capsule unchanged since the 1970s.
Next, you will visit the Post office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Jade Emperor Pagoda
. The Jade Emperor Pagoda, or Chua Phuoc Hai, was built by the city's Cantonese community at the beginning of the twentieth century. With its exquisite panels of carved gilt woodwork and its panoply of weird and wonderful deities, both Taoist and Buddhist, resting beneath a roof that groans under the weight of dragons, birds and animals, it is among the most exquisite pagodas in the country. To the right of the tree-lined courtyard out front is a grubby pond whose occupants have earned the temple its alternative moniker of Tortoise Pagoda. Once over the threshold, look up and you'll see Chinese characters announcing:
"the only enlightenment is in Heaven" - though only after your eyes have adjusted to the fog of joss-stick smoke. A statue of the Jade Emperor lords it over at the main hall's central altar, sporting an impressive moustache, and he's surrounded by a retinue of similarly moustached followers.
After lunch, the trip continues to Cu Chi
, where you will visit the incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence.
Day 9 Mekong Delta - My Tho (B, L)
Ride along the rice fields to My Tho, of the Mekong Delta Province
, where we cruise to the My Tho fruit market
and Tien River
. My Tho (pronounced mee-toh) is known for its huge district of exotic fruits. The Mekong River Delta is the richest and most fertile area in Vietnam. The river itself has its source as far north as Tibet and passes through more countries in Asia than any other river. The name signifies the river "of nine dragons".
The cruise continues to Unicorn Island
, where you can taste many more seasonal fruits and enjoy the local traditional music performed by the islanders. Have lunch at a traditional garden house. Next, visit the Coconut Candy Mill
and some other local industries in the Ben Tre Province. Drive back for an overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh. Then, enjoy an optional Euro-Asia buffet dinner on the Bonsai Cruise over Saigon River at an additional cost.
Day 10 Ho Chi Minh (B)
Enjoy a free day at your leisure before we transfer you to the airport to catch your flight back home.