Vietnam is a country with a rich past, containing romantic legends, heroic struggles and deep cultural traditions. Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups, most of whom live in remote areas, follow age-old customs. These diverse, fascinating cultures dwell within a stunning countryside of spectacular natural scenery and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Vietnam extends along the eastern coast of the Indochina Peninsula from the fertile southern Mekong Delta and the northern Red River Delta, to vast rubber plantations, rolling hills covered with thick forest, and stretches of white sand beaches on nearly two thousand miles of coastline. Many say that Vietnam’s greatest resource is its friendly, welcoming people. Long closed to the outside world, Vietnam retains a charming innocence. Yet in the decade since the country opened its doors to visitors, it has built world-class hotels and tourism facilities with both international standards and traditional Vietnamese hospitality. Travcoa is ready to take you on an unforgettable discovery of Vietnam.
DAYS 1 & 2
A blend of the modern with the mystery and charm of past centuries, Hanoi offers an air of elegance and harmony with nature. Today’s sightseeing begins with a visit to the Temple of Literature. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, it is one of the best surviving examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Next, see the miniature One Pillar Pagoda, and the nearby Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex, containing a museum and Ho Chi Minh’s final resting place. Stroll through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, a network of narrow alleys and shophouses also known as The 36 Streets. This is a wonderful place to watch the local life and peruse items from fabrics to crafts to exotic medicines. Later enjoy a delightful water puppet show, a fascinating art form that originated in northern Vietnam.(B)
Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake, Hanoi
Ha Long Bay
Today drive to Ha Long Bay, an area of picturesque islands, floating villages and pearl fisheries. Take a relaxing private boat excursion on a traditional wooden boat and cruise on the emerald waters between craggy limestone cliffs.(B, L)
Novotel Ha Long Bay, Ha Long Bay
DAYS 4 & 5
Drive to Hanoi for your flight to Hué. Sightsee in the Old Imperial City and visit the Imperial Citadel, a vast complex built in the 1800s. With a six-mile wall and a surrounding moat, it was modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing. See the Flag Tower and the imposing Ngo Mon Gate entrance to the complex. In the spacious courtyard area visit the Dien Tho Palace, Thai Hoa Palace, Hall of Mandarins, and the original Nine Dynastic Urns. Travel into the countryside to see the Tomb of Tu Duc. The longest reigning Vietnamese emperor, Tu Duc designed and built this elegant tomb during his lifetime, using it as a retreat for meditation, reading and theater performances. Explore a local incense-making village before embarking on a boat excursion down the Perfume River to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower that has become Hué’s most widely recognizable monument.(2B)
La Residence Hotel Spa, Hué
DAYS 6 & 7
Hoi An Da Nang
Drive south over scenic mountainous roads to Da Nang. Stop at the dramatic Hai Van Pass and admire the spectacular views. Just south of Da Nang stop to explore Hoi An, a picturesque riverside town. Your walking tour of Hoi An includes visits to the Japanese Covered Bridge, constructed in 1593, and the nearby Sa Huynh Museum. Stop at a lantern-making workshop to observe locals making the silk cloth for the lanterns. The next morning, explore the Hoi An Market to mingle with the local vendors and shop for ingredients for today’s cooking class. Take a boat ride on the Thu Bon River to the Red Bridge Restaurant and Cooking School. Learn to cook and help prepare five traditional dishes to enjoy for lunch. You will also be entertained and taught some special techniques at the fruit and vegetable carving demonstration.(2B, L)
Furama Resort, Da Nang
DAYS 8 & 9
Ho Chi Minh City the Mekong Delta
Fly from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City, where colonial buildings and traditional temples stand beside the emerging modern skyline. Learn about Vietnam’s recent history at Reunification Palace. Visit the War Remnants Museum featuring a detailed photographic exhibition and vast collection of planes, tanks and weapons. See the Emperor of Jade Pagoda and Notre Dame Cathedral before ending the day at the Ben Thanh Market. Drive into the heart of the Mekong Delta to Cai Be, and embark on one of the local boats to explore Cai Be Floating Market, with its lively market of fruit and vegetable barges. Continue along smaller waterways and canals, stopping at the Mekong River Islands to visit the local orchards and cottage industries, with the chance to sample the local delicacies. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.(2B)
Sheraton Saigon Hotel Towers, Ho Chi Minh City
Depart for Home
Today you are taken to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination. (B)
December 31, 2011
From $2,595.00 per person double occupancy.
From $1,120.00 single room supplement.
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- All transfers and fully guided daily sightseeing provided by a private deluxe A/C vehicle
- Local English-speaking guide for sightseeing in each city
- Entrance fees per final scheduled itinerary
- Airport porterage, where available (2 bags per person)
- Local taxes
- TravcoAssist (Medical Travel Assistance Plan)
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.