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 Vietnam Nature and Life (12 Days)

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Vietnam Nature and Life (12 Days)

 

This 12-day tour has been specifically designed for active travelers who love to live among nature and explore authentic local life in Vietnam.

Vietnam, with its beautiful natural attractions and typical oriental culture, is an ideal destination for active travelers. From the magnificent view of Halong Bay or the breathtaking Truong Son mountain range to the interesting floating fishing village and the lantern making tradition, this 12-day-tour has them all for you. This tour includes Vietnam's most significant natural highlights in different categories, from the sea, mountain, river to the delta, to best summarize the overall natural beauty of this pretty country. Similarly, Vietnam's interesting and diversed local life and culture are shown through the selected visitings to traditional villages and craftman houses, the tasting of delicious food and of course the communications with locals. We strive to draw you the best picture of Vietnam's wonderful natural beauty and local life - the experience like no other.

 

HANOI – PU LUONG NATURAL RESERVE – NINH BINH – HALONG BAY – HUE – HOI AN – HO CHI MINH – MEKONG DELTA

Itinerary
Day 1: HANOI - ARRIVAL

You arrive in Hanoi Capital, a city of thousand years of history. Meet and be greeted by your tour guide upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. The guide will give you the very first introduction about the destination and escort you to your hotel in the city centre for check-in. Note: Hotel check-in time is 14:00. Early check-in is not acceptable. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: HANOI CITY (Breakfast, lunch)

After a good breakfast at the hotel, we start the city exploration. The first site will be the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, a site of pilgrimage. The memorial building was constructed from materials gathered from all over Vietnam (Monday & Friday afternoon, outside visit only). Next, visit the Temple of Literature which was constructed in 1070 under Ly Thanh Tong’s dynasty, first to honor Confucius and now to celebrate the doctorates and high ranking scholars of Vietnam.

Continue to the interesting Vietnam History Museum which displays a collection of nearly 7,000 objects that vividly depict the long process of Vietnam development from early inhabitance until the August Revolution in 1945. Take a cyclo (rickshaws) ride around the Old Quarter streets which were named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about the legend of the lake and visit the Ngoc Son Temple. Next in the schedule is a Water Puppet show - a uniquely Northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. Overnight in Hanoi.

COMPLIMENTARY OFFER – dinner at local home

This evening, we invite you to one of our staff home and share dinner with their family. This is a great chance for you to learn about the Vietnamese living and to enjoy the tradition food. Here, you have an interesting time sharing stories and customs between the countries. You can come a bit earlier if you wish to join the family to cook their everyday food for dinner.

Day 3: HANOI – PU LUONG (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Pu Luong Retreat is located in Pu Luong region which offers tourists a new, unique and off the beaten track adventure. Pu Luong Region is unknown amongst most tourists and contains all the highlights of Northern Vietnam such as: stunning rice terrace fields, scenic rivers and Mai Chau’s remote traditional villages of ethnic minorities. These ethnic minorities, who retain their unique cultural heritage and way of living, will give you a very new experience. Following your delicious breakfast at the hotel, we take a 4.5 hour drive to Pu Luong. After the first 3 driving hours, the breathtaking mountain road starts appearring, giving you a panoramic view of the whole valley. You arrive at Pu Luong retreat in time for a delicious lunch. Then, you have some free time to explore the beautiful retreat with its captivating panoramic views and tranquil setting. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk in search of stunning water wheels. Come close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes. This 2.5 km walk willl take you about 1.5 hours. Arriving at a local fisherman’s house, you have a short rest to gear up for the rafting adventure (1,5 hours - 2km) with Mr. Dinh and his team. Floating along the calm river, enjoy the views as well as learning how to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts. Arriving at scenic Tan Lap Bridge, disembark and drive back to Pu Luong Retreat for dinner. Overnight in Pu Luong.

Day 4: PU LUONG – NINH BINH (Breakfast, lunch)

Get up early to hear the sound of nature and breathe the fresh air. After breakfast at the Lodge, we continue to descend into the beautiful valley facing the Retreat where you will walk around tumbling rice terraces. Trek through small paths shrouded in vegetation that slowly reveal a picturesque village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. Your camera will not be able to sit still! Continuing to the base of the valley, weave between roads and farmland, villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open lands. Savoir the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot and have numerous chances to interact with the locals. Then you will be transferred back to Puluong Retreat for lunch. This enthralling trekking will be around 4 km and take 3 hours. In the afternoon, after 3 driving hours, you will arrive in Ninh Binh province. This province represents typical rural villages of Northern region with rich culture, vast green paddy fields, expanding mountains and Poetic rivers that flow to the horizon. Arrive in Ninh Binh city in late afternoon. Overnight in Ninh Binh City

Day 5: NINH BINH (Breakfast, lunch)

Located remotedly among the amazing Karst Mountains of Ninh Binh province, Nham valley & Bird Valley have always been a good place for nature lovers. Rowing boat through caves and riding on ox cart are the highlights of this excursion. Breakfast at the hotel before starting our journey with a 2-kilometer ox cart ride from Bich Dong to Nham Valley, through the countryside, rice fields and green mountain scenery. Get off the ox cart and take a rowing boat along crystal-green canals. Explore Fairy (Hang Bụt) and Fish caves (hang Cá) along the way. This one hour rowing boat will bring you closer to the nature. After such interesting time, enjoy lunch with Vietnamese food at a local restaurant. Relax for a while before visiting Hoa Lu and the remains of Dinh & Le Kings’ Temples. Hoa Lu is Vietnam’s former capital before it was moved to Thang Long (now is Hanoi) in 1010. Return to Hanoi and arrive at your hotel at around 6.00PM. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 6: HANOI – HALONG BAY (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Depart from your hotel for a 3.5 hours drive to Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO World Natural Heritage – where thousands of spectacular limestone islets and grottoes rise from the clear emerald Gulf of Tonkin. Upon arrival, have a welcome drink on board prior to your check-in. Lunch with fresh seafood will be served while boat is cruising through many stone islets, floating villages, small beaches. Visit a floating fishing village, talk and meet with local villagers prior to your swimming or free time at your own on the sundeck. Dinner will be ready at the time the boat anchors off at a quiet designated overnight area. Overnight on board in Halong Bay. Note: Itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions or local administration regulations.

Day 7: HALONG BAY – HUE (Breakfast, brunch)

Breakfast is served while the junk boat cruises around Ha Long Bay, passing by many islets named by their shapes such as Dog, Incense Urn, Fighting Cock, Finger, etc. Stop for a while to explore the Surprise Cave - one of the most beautiful caves of the bay. The junk boat then continues cruising towards the wharf. Ready to disembark at about 11.00AM at when our driver is ready to bring you back to Ha Noi. En-route, we stop to visit Chi Ngai snake village. The village is some 80km from Halong City and is famous for its farming snakes for over 20 years. This is a dangerous job but thanks for that, villager life was much improved. We walk in a local family to visit their snake farms and listen to the stories about the village and their experiences of taking care of the snakes. Continue our drive to Noi Bai airport in Hanoi to board a short flight to Hue city. Upon arrival, our local driver meets and transfers you to your hotel in city central. Overnight in Hue City

Day 8: HUE (Breakfast, lunch)

If you are a history lover, Hue will easily be on the top of your Vietnam must-see list. This capital of Nguyen emperors is packed with temples, tombs, palaces, pagodas or their remains (survived the damage of the successive armies). Leave your hotel at 8.00AM. Visit Thien Mu Pagoda on the bank of scenic Perfume River. Continue by road to the Tombs of King Khai Dinh & King Minh Mang. The tomb of Tu Duc, the ‘poet Emperor’, is set in an elegant garden with a magnificent lake and pavilion complex. In complete contrast to Emperor Tu Duc's stylish creation, the tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh appears at first to be an unprepossessing concrete construction. Its interest lies within in an uneasy combination of Vietnamese and European features and the use of fragments of ceramics and glass for decoration. Come back to Hue for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, visit the Imperial Citadel where Kings of Vietnam’s last feudal dynasty ruled from 1802 to 1945, including the Flag Tower, Nine Holy Cannons, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Nine Dynastic Urns, Forbidden Purple City, etc. The tour ends at your hotel at about 5.00PM. Overnight in Hue City.

Day 9: HUE – HOI AN (Breakfast, lunch)

Today we travel to Hoi An via Da Nang where we visit the Cham Museum which houses the largest display of Cham art anywhere in the world. 2 hours after departure from Hue, we will pass through the Truong Son Mountains, the former border between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Hai Van Pass, which translated as "Pass of the Ocean Clouds," offers spectacular scenery. Hoi An retains a sense of charm and history that have largely survived the destruction of successive wars. Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptional well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street designs reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site. Sample central Vietnam dishes in local restaurant.

Afternoon, take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese assembly hall, a typical Vietnamese merchant’s house, an interesting museum and a local market. There are numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes. The next visit is to a lantern craftsman's home in the old streets. Here you will have a brief introduction to the history, shape and color of the lanterns as well as stages of making them. You can then try to make and decorate one on your own, and keep it as a souvenir of your time in Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10: HOI AN – HO CHI MINH (Breakfast, lunch)

After breakfast, you will be free until boarding a domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam’s undisputedly commercial headquarters. Located on the bank of the Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, is Vietnam's major port and the largest city which still retains the wide downtown avenues flanked by pristine colonials. Welcomed by our guide at Tan Son Nhat Airport and depart for city tour to visit Cholon market, lose yourselves walking the narrow streets of China town, the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Centre Post Office. Your tour guide can drop you off at Ben Thanh Market for shopping as your request. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 11: HO CHI MINH – MEKONG DELTA/BEN TRE PROVINCE – HO CHI MINH (Breakfast, lunch)

This morning we will take you on a journey to many Mekong Delta's significant destinations. Mekong Delta is Vietnam's biggest rice bowls with three rice crops per years and is the major contributor to Vietnam and other countries' food basket. Arrive at Ben Tre and board our boat. Here we get a tour around the small islands of lush orchards to run on small channels and watch how daily life slowly passes. Leave the boat and walk along the river bank, you have a chance to witness local people's peaceful life. Stop by one of the many family businesses that produce a wide range of coconut products such as candy, juice, oil and souvenirs, mostly handmade with in simple, but skillful, methods. Next, take a local tuk-tuk (or bicycle) ride around the remote village, learn about local rural life and stop to sample tropical fruits.

Have lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the delta and have a taste of several regional specialties such as the famous Elephant Ear fish. Afterwards, paddle in sampans (small rowing boats) through the Mekong, passing by the water coconut trees. Then, return to the boat to cruise in the delta’s major waterways to Ben Tre pier. A coach picks you up and for returning to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 12: HO CHI MINH – DEPARTURE (Breakfast)

After breakfast, you will have some free time before being taken to the airport for the departure flight.

OUR HOTELS

Accommodation bases on lowest room category of each hotel. Higher room grade can be arranged subject to availability and additional charges.

Notes on hotel categories:

Superior category refers to local or international 4 star hotels where applicable
Deluxe category refers to international reasonable 5 star hotels where applicable

Destinations Superior Deluxe
Hanoi La Belle Vie Hotel Hotel Nikko Ha Noi
Pu Luong Puluong Retreat – Valley View Bungalow
Halong Huong Hai Sealife Cruise Athena Cruise
Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Emeralda resort
Hue Moonlight Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa
Hoi An Hoian Silk Marina Palm Garden Resort
Ho Chi Minh City Paragon hotel Pullman Hotel Saigon
 
Services Included:

Accommodation with daily breakfast as mention or similar
Two-day-one-night cruise package in Ha Long Bay as description
Private transfers  & transports services, air conditioned vehicle
Entrance fees to the indicated sites where applicable
Bamboo rafting in Pu Luong
Private sampan boat trip
Private boat trip in Mekong delta
Cyclo ride in Old Quarter – Hanoi
Meals as listed in the program B= Breakfast; L= Lunch & D = Dinner: pre-arranged at local restaurants based on local food with set menu 
To Tours with local English speaking guide as indication (Supplemental charges apply for other language)
Bottled mineral waters and wet wipes in car on touring days
Government taxes

Services Excluded:

-       International and domestic airfares and its airport taxes
-       Drinks and meals not clearly mentioned
-       Travel Insurance
-       Personal expenses & Tips
-       Surcharge for Public Holidays (if any)
-       Compulsory gala dinner on 24 & 31 Dec 2018 (to be advised)
-       Surcharge on Peak Season (to be advised)
-       Visa processing fee, visa stamping fee
-       All other services not stated in the program
 

  Price:- From $1,462 per person using Superior Accommdation. Please contact us for trip dates and availability 

  Price:- From $1,769 per person using DeLuxe Accommdation. Please contact us for trip dates and availability 

 

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