Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi Full day city tour
Day 3: Hanoi - Halong
Day 4: Halong - Hanoi-Transfer to Dong Hoi by train
Day 5: Dong Hoi - Phong Nha Cave
Day 6: Phong Nha - Hue
Day 7: Hue – Danang -Hoi An
Day 8: Hoi An
Day 9: Hoi An-Danang Departure
DAY 1: HANOI - ARRIVAL (-/-/-)
Arrive in Hanoi, the capital of unified Vietnam. The city was founded in 1010 on the right bank of the Red River and was then known as ‘Thang Long’, roughly translated as "Soaring Dragon." Hanoi is one of the most charming cities in South East Asia with its authentic street scenes, large shady avenues, numerous lakes, manicured gardens and well-preserved architecture. Transfer from Noi Bai airport to your hotel. Free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel in Hanoi
DAY 2: HANOI (B/L/-)
The day is dedicated to a more in depth discovery of Hanoi beginning with a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum. This imposing monument, dedicated to the father of modern Vietnam, was constructed from marble and granite and takes the form of a stylized lotus (closed Mondays and Fridays). Located nearby is Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts and the One Pillar Pagoda, a symbol of Hanoi. Continue your tour with a visit to the ancient Taoist Temple of Quan Thanh, where lies the genie protector of the city (or Tran Quoc Pagoda located on the shores of Lake West). Next visit the Temple of Literature, or Van Mieu, a structure dedicated to Confucius. Constructed in 1070, the compound soon became first Vietnam’s university. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, where you will have the opportunity to sample some regional delicacies.
In the early afternoon visit the renowned Museum of Ethnology (closed Mondays), which houses an interesting collection of artifacts relating to the mosaic of ethnic groups that inhabit Vietnam. Alternatively, visit the Museum of History (closed Mondays) which displays an array of exhibits ranging from prehistoric times to the fight against French colonization. This afternoon’s touring will also provide the opportunity to see Hanoi’s famed old quarter from the seat of a cyclo. During your tour around the district you will see some of the areas original 36 streets which have always sold the same wares. Silver Street, Silk Street and Flower Street are just a few. During your adventure through this maze of streets you will see traditional ‘tube houses’, a style of architecture indigenous to this part of Hanoi. Next, visit Ngoc Son Temple, the Temple of Jade at the centre of atmospheric Hoan Kiem Lake, otherwise known as the lake of ‘the restored sword’.
In the evening, visit Hanoi’s water puppet theatre to attend a performance of the traditional show.
Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 3: HANOI - HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
07h45 - 8h30: Pick you up from your hotel in Hanoi then transfer to Halong city through the paddy field in the Red River Delta.
10h00: Stopover in Hai Duong city where you can experience our hand-made Vietnamese handicraft products
12h00: Arrive Halong Bay and photography time in Halong tourist waft
12h30: Boarding Royal Heritage Cruise for departure. Welcome drink will be served
13h00: Lunch is served while cruising through the Bai Tu Long bay.
15h15: Visit splendid Surprising Cave (Sung Sot Cave ) - This is one of the most beautiful grotto in Halong bay. You will feel surprise about imposing of stalagmites, stalactites and many legend stories about that.
16h15: Time for kayaking around Luon Cave area. You will have got around 45 minutes to explore halong bay and some tunnel by yourself.
17h00: Back to Royal Heritage Cruise and drop anchor in the calm water surrounded by beautiful islets for swimming.
17h30: Enjoy the complimentary sunset party on the sundeck with green Tea and fresh fruits.
19h00: Dinner is served in the restaurant.
21h00: Take some leisure time to enjoy chatting at the bar or enjoy some night fishing.
Relax and spend a romantic night on Royal Heritage Cruise
DAY 4: HALONG BAY- HANOI - DONG HOI (QUANG BINH) (B/L/-)
6h30: Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt
7h30: Have breakfast at sunrise
8h30: Continue your cruise to Titov Island
9h15: Back to cruise and exploring the Bay and visit Hoa Cuong fishing Village. Passing Ba Hang fishing village, Ga Choi island, Dinh Huong islet and more….
10h00: Join Vietnamese Cooking class.
10h30: Enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch while cruising back through Halong Bay to the pier.
11h30: Disembark at the harbor. Time to say goodbye to the crew.
12h00: Take our shuttle bus to return to Hanoi
16h30: Arrival Hanoi.
In the late afternoon transfer to Hanoi station for the SE3 night train at 23:00 to Dong Hoi (522km).
Overnight on the train
DAY 5: DONG HOI ARRIVAL - PHONG NHA CAVE (B/-/-)
07:49 Arrival and pick up at Dong Hoi station. Breakfast. Transfer to visit Phong Nha Cave, the complex of 14 grottoes situated in a region of limestone mountains in Ke Bang National Park. Phong Nha Cave have a total length of 7,729 m. Phong Nha Cave were listed as a World Natural Heritage Site in July of 2003 by Unesco. The Cham People has used Phong Nha Cave as Buddhist sanctuaries in the 9 and 10 centuries. Visit the cave, you will have a chance to explore the remain of Cham altars and inscriptions inside the cave. Cruising on Son River to Phong Nha Cave (wet cave) - A immortal place with some shape of the beautiful stalagmites and listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2003. On the boat, tourist will feel comfortable with fresh air and the wonderful landscape. After visiting Phong Nha cave, return to the hotel in Dong Hoi for check-in.
Overnight in Dong Hoi
DAY 6: DONG HOI – HUE (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Transfer to the hotel in Hue. Hue was the former capital of the last Dynasty of Vietnam and has an elegant setting on the banks of the Huong Giang or Perfume River surrounded by lush green hills. Founded as a Royal city in 1687, this small and quiet city is known for the magnificent architecture of its citadels, palaces, royal tombs, pagodas and temples built under the Nguyen dynasty. The city has preserved its cultural heritage including music, the arts and many other traditions and is probably the best place in Vietnam to get a sense of the past and imperial court life. Explore the Imperial City of Hue. The Hue Citadel is situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River and built by Emperor Gia Long it was designed for the exclusive use of the Emperor and his household. The Citadel is a square 2 km wall encompassing 3 walled enclosures; the Citadel, Kinh Thanh Hue, the Yellow Imperial city, Hoang Thanh and in the centre the Forbidden Purple city Tu Cam Thanh where the Emperor lived. The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Then, the cyclo will take you through the narrow lanes of old Hue, passing homes, shops, hidden cafés, bonsai gardens and parks. In the evening, enjoy a Hue folk show on a boat on the Perfume river (joining with other persons).
Overnight in Hue.
DAY 7: HUE – DANANG - HOI AN (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda with a 21-metre-high octagonal tower regarded as the symbol of Hue. Continue your tour with a visit to Tu Duc Royal Tomb, considered to be one of the three most beautiful mausoleums around Hue. The emperor Tu Duc held the longest reign during the Nguyen Dynast and his tomb is situated on Van Nien Hill, 5 km outside of Hue. His corps however is not resting inside the tomb and to this day, no one knows the actual burial site. After the emperor’s death, his remains were taken to a secret location and the 200 servants who had buried Tu Duc were beheaded to ensure that Tu Duc’s final resting place remained a secret. Tu Duc’s biography was engraved in stone by the emperor himself. The tablet is housed in the Stele Pavilion. The Stele weighs 22 tons and is the largest in Vietnam. Then visit Khai Dinh Royal Tomb, located in Chau Chu mountain near Hue in Vietnam. It was built for the Nguyễn Emperor Khải Định. It was built from 1920 to 1931 taking 11 years to complete. The tomb is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture. Though the smallest, Khai Dinh tomb is the most costly and recent compared with other Nguyen royal tombs.
In the afternoon, transfer to Danang (110km) with a stop-over on the Hai Van Pass overlooking the scenic Lang Co lagoon. In Danang, visit the Cham Museum, which houses the finest collection of Champa sculptures; some may date back to as early as 7th century. En route visit Marble Mountain, a scenic spot with caves, temples, shrines, pagodas and a great view of the surrounding area. The caves can be reached by climbing steep steps. Proceed to Hoi An Ancient Town, known to early Western merchants as one of the major trading centres of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Hoi An has a mixed Chinese-Vietnamese atmosphere with low, tile-roof houses and narrow streets. Having been through many ups and downs in the past, the original structures, however, are still virtually intact. That was the reason to persuade the UNESCO to recognize Hoi An as a World Heritage in 1999.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 8: HOI AN - MY SON HOLY LAND (B/-/-)
Breakfast. You will be picked up from your hotel at around 8 to 8:30 am then drive to My Son Holy Land. My Son is the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth century. Their religion was primarily derived from Indian Hinduism. My Son is considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham structures in Vietnam. The complex is comprised of seventy Hindu-like towers and temples dating from the second century. This site is a must-see for those people who are interested in architecture and ancient civilizations and is now one of five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam. You will go back to Hoi An for lunch.
In the afternoon you'll discover Hoi An, a quaint riverside town, popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailor shops, and numerous cafes. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century. You will enjoy a half-day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200 year old Tam Ky ancestral house, and the Japanese Bridge. You can also enjoy the hotel or resort facilities, spending you time at sea, shopping or getting some fast services tailor made clothes.
Overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 9: HOI AN - DANANG DEPARTURE (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Transfer from the hotel to Danang airport for the onward departure flight. End of the trip
• Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver
• Train ticket Hanoi-Dong Hoi (soft sleeper)
• Accommodation in hotels (twin shared room)
• Meals as indicated: B = breakfast, L = lunch & D = Dinner
• English or French speaking guide
• Entrance fee to indicated sights
• Water puppet show
• Boat trips
• Pure bottled water & wipes
Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room, personal expenses, insurance,...
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