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 Vietnam Authentic Tours (21 days/20 nights)

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Mgalekgolo
Mgalekgolo


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Registration date : 2011-05-06

PostSubject: Vietnam Authentic Tours (21 days/20 nights)   Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:00 am

Day 01: Hanoi arrival (D)

You will be welcomed by our guide by arrival at Hanoi Airport. We transfer you with a comfortable vehicle to the city center of Hanoi to check-in in your hotel. This day is scheduled to take some rest after your long flight. You have the opportunity to get some first impressions of the city by yourself and of course our tour guide is always available at your request. Tonight you have dinner in a local restaurant and you overnight in your hotel in Hanoi.

Day 02: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)

After a Vietnamese style breakfast we take you to one of the wonders of nature; Halong Bay. During our way we pass magnificent green rice paddies tended by peasant women with conical hats. The entire rice paddy strip is like a beautifully designed patchwork which leads us to the heart of the Red River Delta. In Halong City we enter our private boat for a full afternoon of cruising in the bay of the dragon, with more than 3000 limestone islands scattering up from the emerald water. An environment of sublime beauty and serenity. Ha Long Bay was recognized as Natural World Heritage by UNESCO in 1994 and is worldwide known for its unique landscape endowed by wind and water. We visit some of the most beautiful grottos and have the opportunity to get a panoramic view of the bay as we climb the Ti Top Mount. In the evening you enjoy a meal of fresh seafood, including shrimps, squids, fishes and other delicious bites prepared by our professional cooks. After watching the sun go down in this fairytale-like environment we sleep on board of our boat. By night the emerald water even glows up when you paddle through it by hand!

Day 03: Halong Bay - Cat Ba (B, L, D)

After waking up in this dreamy environment, white sandy beaches appear as the tide begins to fall. Great opportunities for swimming and sunbathing! We take a small boat to reach some fishing villages in the middle of Lan Ha bay to experience their floating life. We visit their floating schools and experience their floating mini-supermarkets! During the afternoon we visit Cat Ba Island, a former hiding place for sea pirates. Nowadays, Cat Ba has been recognized as National Park with its beautiful lush vegetation and rain forest. We will spend the night on this island in one of its hotels.

Day 04: Cat Ba - Hai Phong - Tam Coc (B, L, D)

In the early morning we leave Cat Ba by the local ferry to travel to Hai Phong. Hai Phong is one of the most important economic centers of the north. During a trip around town we will visit the impressing Communal House and the Du Hang Pagoda. Via Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, the two main provinces of the Red River Delta, we drive to Tam Coc. In Thai Binh we visit the Keo Pagoda, a beautifully designed pagoda constructed of wood, built in the 18th century. We will continue our way up to Tam Coc and overnight in a local guest-house.

Day 05: Tam Coc - Mai Chau (B, L, D)

Tam Coc is situated in a wonderful and spectacular setting of lime stone rocks rising between the magnificent green rice paddies. This place is also called the "Halong Bay on Land". While making a site-seeing tour per boat downstream the river, you will immediately recognize why this place deserves this name. By boat we will sail through stunning tunnel grottos to experience the serenity of the environment. You have the time to evaluate your experiences as we leave by vehicle towards the highland of Mai Chau. During the ride we make a stop at the top of the pass to get a panoramic view of the sublime valley. In the late afternoon we arrive in Pom Koong, a village of the White Thai people who are the main inhabitants of the area. In the evening we join a traditional dancing show and drink Ruou Can, a local made rice wine. We have dinner and spend the night in the houses of the native people, which will be without a doubt an experience for life. Be prepared that the living conditions are different from the ones you are accustomed to at home. However, mattresses, blankets and mosquito-nets are present for you.

Day 06: Mai Chau - Hanoi (B, L, D)

The chickens and cocks of the village wake you up in the early morning. After a by our host prepared breakfast we are going to walk around village to experience the true essence of daily life of the local people. After this interesting experience we will steer the course for Hanoi. During our ride we will make a few stops to visit some villages of the Muong hilltribe and the Dzao hilltribe in Hoa Binh. We also visit several interesting pagodas situated in the Ha Tay province. After arrival in Hanoi we bring you to your hotel where you will spend the night.

Day 07: Hanoi, train to Hue (B, L)

Today we have plenty of time to discover the pearl of South-East Asia; Hanoi. With charming streets, lined with dozens of old trees, beautiful lakes, colonial architecture and countless interesting monuments, this city will impress you with its lively character. We begin our city-trip at the Restored Sword Lake, famous of the legend of the tortoise and the sword of 15th century . After the bombardment of this lake by the Americans in 1968 the huge turtle was killed and the little pagoda in the water is the final resting place of this legendary animal. We will continue our way with a visit to the Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius and his disciples. This temple used to be Vietnam's first university founded in 1076. After visiting this historical sight then we invite you to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the house of the hero Ho Chi Minh, who lives in the heart of every Vietnamese. We also bring a visit to the Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Quan Thanh Temple. We finish our city-tour by participating in an one-hour ride in a traditional rickshaw (bike) around Hanoi’s old quarter. After dining in a local restaurant, we will catch the train towards Hue. We overnight in our wagon to sleep out the journey that will lasts for at least 12 hours.

Day 08: Hue, a full day of trekking (B,L)

In the early morning we arrive in Hue, where we check-in in the hotel. Hue, the former capital of Vietnam (1802 -1945 under Nguyen Dynasty), is known as ‘the city of peace and poetry’. The city is charming and has a romantic atmosphere. With a small sampan we make a cruise upstream the Perfume River to visit the famous Thien Mu Pagoda and the Hon Chen Temple. From here, we will start a trek towards the remote area of small imperial tombs. Impressive and mysterious, because many of these imperial tombs seem to be forgotten by many. We will finalize our excursion at one of the most romantic places of the area; the complex of Tu Duc Emperor's tomb. Located in lush vegetation, the tomb combines majesty with oriental charm. Afterwards we visit the Forbidden Citadel, which seems to be untouched despite turbulent history like the wars. The rest of the day you will be free to visit the Dong Ba Market, to search for nice souvenirs for the loved-ones at home. We overnight in Hue.

Day 09: Hue - Danang – Hoian (B, L)

We leave for Hoi An in the morning by the well-known and stunning Mandarin Road. On the top of the Ocean Cloud Pass, we have a panoramic view over Danang and the surrounding areas. In Danang city we visit the Cham Museum, exposing countless antique articles of the former Cham Kingdom which lasted until the 16th century. Afterwards we climb the Marble Mountains, a set of 5 mountains which represent the 5 factors that constitute our universe. From here, the view upon China Beach is in one word breathtaking. We continue our trip by arriving in Hoian. Also this ancient town was recognized by UNESCO as being World Cultural Heritage in 1999. Hoian used to serve as an active port of trade with the Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese people during the 17th and 18th centuries. The streets, houses and architecture are remained ‘untouched’, despite turbulent history. We also visit the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Tan Ky ancient house before checking-in at the hotel in Hoi An .

Day 10: Hoi An - My Son (B, L)

After having a nice breakfast in our hotel we continue our trip towards My Son holly land. Located just 60 km from Danang, My Son includes a complex of impressive temples and sanctuaries of the former capital of the Cham's Kingdom. This area used to be a glorious empire between the 5th and the 13th century. Today, most of the temples are nothing more than a mysterious impression of what the bright period of the Indian culture of the Cham people could be like. In the afternoon, we take a boat trip on the Thu Bon River where we will sail towards Ceramic and Carpenter Villages. During our cruise we will witness the life of the local people. Worthwhile telling is that Hoi An is famous about its numerous tailor-made clothing establishments. If you wish you can order some tailor-made clothes upon request, which will be ready to wear in just a few hours!!

Day 11: Hoi An - Danang - Pleiku- Kontum (B, L, D)

We drive to Danang to take off for a short flight to Pleiku. There we enter the Central Highlands, which borders Laos and spreads along the Truong Son Mountain range. This area was discovered by Doctor Yersin in the early 19th century. It is the home of countless hill tribes whose origin comes from India and Malaysia. Nowadays, most of these minorities are being pushed to the remote forestry areas because of the development of coffee and rubber tree plantations. In Pleiku town we visit the T'Nung Lake situated in a huge crater created by a vulcano. Afterwards we bring a visit to the Dektu village, home of the Gia Rai minority. We continue our way to Kontum where we will spend the night in a hotel .

Day 12: Kontum - Pleiku

After breakfast in hotel, we continue our way up to Tan Canh to visit the village of the Sedang minority. The people here cope with poverty but are rich enough to offer you their warm friendly smiles. We return to Kontum, where we visit the Banar village and a protestant church constructed of wood. Over 80% of the Banar minority in the Central Highlands are protestants (this religion started in the region during the American War). We continue our trip towards Pleiku where we will stay for the night in a hotel.

Day 13: Pleiku - DakLak

On a road situated between coffee plantations and rubber trees we drive towards Lak lake. On the way we pass Buon Ma Thuot, an interesting city in which we visit the Ethnographic Museum. Afterwards we make some time free to visit the village of the M'Nong minority, situated beside this beautiful lake. The M'Nong population possesses the majority of the Central Highlands, and the people living here have the gift to train elephants. In the afternoon we experience an exciting excursion on the back of an elephant, which leads us all the way through the rain forest. We overnight in the houses on stilts of the M'nong people.

Day 14: Lak - Nha Trang

We leave the Highlands and continue our way to Nha Trang in the coastal area. On arrival in Nha Trang we check-in in our hotel which offers us a beautiful view upon the seaside. This afternoon we visit the Ponagar Tower and the Long Son Pagoda with its great status and charm. We bring an interesting visit to the Oceanographic Institute where we will learn about various maritime beings in the sea. The rest of the day is planned for leisure, you will have plenty of time for swimming and sunbathing on the white sandy beach of Nha Trang, the most beautiful beach of the country with guaranteed warm weather year round. Meals are fresh sea-food oriented prepared by our professional cooks. We will spend the night in our lovely hotel on the beach.

Day 15: Nha Trang - Train to Ho Chi Minh City

In the early morning we come aboard from a little boat which brings us to Tri Nguyen Aquarium, situated in the heart of Tri Nguyen Island in Nha Trang Bay. This experience will be a great adventure of discovery for those interested in the mysteries of the sea. The afternoon is scheduled for leisure time. A perfect opportunity to work on your tan! In the late afternoon, we catch the train towards Ho Chi Minh City. We will spend the night in our wagon to sleep during the journey that will lasts for at least 12 hours.

Day 16: HCM City - Mekong Delta - Vinh Long

In HCMC (Saigon) you will be welcomed by our tour guide. In a comfortable vehicle you will be transported towards the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is formed by nine tributaries of the Mekong River and is often referred as the ‘rice bowl’ or the ‘garden from heaven’ of Vietnam. Because the soil is very rich you will find here countless green rice paddies and dozens of tropical fruits, which only grow in this certain area. A visit to this region allows us to explore the ‘life on the water’ of the local people. Because of periodical floods the local people adapted their lives to he water. Experience their floating houses, floating schools, floating mini-supermarkets and even their complete floating markets! You will be overwhelmed by the wet rice civilization. We arrive in Cai Be where we enter a cruise on the Mekong River towards An Phuoc island. The scenery here is completely different from all the settings we saw before, but nevertheless it is as magnificent and breathtaking as all the other ones before. Tonight, we are invited to stay in the house of a local family where a delicious ‘Mekong River’ style meal will be prepared for us.

Day 17: Vinh Long - Cai Be – Can Tho (B, L)

We wake up in the early morning by the sounds of the local boats. We exchange our local house to a local boat which will take us in the direction of the Cai Be floating market. The sightseeing is extremely exciting with hundreds of people participating in the market by boat. Rice, fresh fruits, fish, handicrafts, everything is for sale!! After our visit to the market we continue our trip to the Khmer pagoda and join some workshops of how to make pop-rice (like popcorn), rice crape and dry longane (fruit). Afterwards we return to Cai Be and continue our drive to Can Tho, the metropolis of the Mekong Delta.

Day 18: Can Tho – HCM City (B, L)

Today we travel southwards to Soc Trang, about 60 km from the town Can Tho. Soc Trang is known as being the home of the Khmer people as it used to belong to the Funan Kingdom (before the Nguyen dynasty in the 17th century). Here we explore the spectacular ‘Bats Pagoda’ which is the home of thousands of bats. We continue our trip by bringing a visit to the ‘Clay Pagoda’ which is 100% constructed of clay. After this legendary visit we continue our way up till Ho Chi Minh City and spend the night here in a hotel.
Day 19: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel and Cao Dai Temple (B, L)

Today an interesting visit to the Cu Chi Tunnel is planned, situated 30 km northwest from HCM City. This complex of underground tunnels stretching over more than 250 km and was made by the Viet Cong guerillas during the war against the Americans. The cleverly constructed tunnel was the key to victory over the modern American forces and Southern Vietnamese fantoccini. During our excursion we also learn more about what ‘Viet Cong life’ looked like during these times. We continue our trip to the village of Tay Ninh where we visit the Cao Dai Temple, the center of Caodaism in Vietnam. Caodaism is a bizarre and unique sect in Vietnam, which represents a mix of Taoism, Christianity and Confucianism. Saints who are praised here are Jesus, Buddha and legendary people like Victor Hugor, Churchill and Nguyen Binh Khiem! Their religious ceremony is celebrated everyday and we will have the chance to get to know more about this mysterious sect. Afterwards we return to HCMC where we will spend the night in our hotel.

Day 20: Ho Chi Minh City tour (B, L)

After breakfast we are going to explore the vivid economic capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. We bring a visit to the Central Post Office of Saigon and the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is the symbol of semi-colonial architecture of the French occupation in Vietnam. We continue our trip with an interesting visit to the Thien Hau Pagoda, situated in the heart of China Town. The afternoon is scheduled for some leisure time. We meet again in the evening where we will enjoy our last dinner in Vietnam (our farewell diner) in one of the most famous HCMC restaurant. Our last night is spend in our hotel.

Day 21: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure (B)

You will have free time until we transfer you to Saigon Airport for your departure
Source : Viet nam tour | HUE – DA NANG - HOI AN | HUE - DANANG - HOIAN | HUẾ - ÐÀ NẴNG - HỘI AN | DU LỊCH HUẾ | DU LICH HUE
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