Big Vietnam Tour 14d/13n

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Big Vietnam Tour 14d/13n

The best Vietnam has to offer in 14 excitement-filled days, from south to north (or the other way round if you prefer), including Saigon, the Mekong Delta, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi & Halong Bay.
 
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Day 1: Arrive in Saigon
Arrive Saigon: Private car and guide will pick up at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at hotel in Saigon


 
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Day 2: Full-day City Tour:
 
Breakfast at the hotel then begin your tour of charming Saigon. This 300 year-old city is filled with unique sights and sounds; the energy is palpable. You’ll experience the warmth of its friendly, enthusiastic people. The French influence, which is apparent in much of the architecture and atmosphere, also adds to the city’s incomparable feel.
 
Apart from that, Saigon is a city rich in history. You can see the war relics from Viet Nam’s many wars: with the Chinese (1000 years), the French( 100 years) and 10 years with America.

 
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Visit the Reunification Palace (old presidential palace during the American war), China Town, Binh Tay market, Central Post Office( a fine, elegant French building), and North Dame Catheral (Symbol of the City).
 
Lunch at a local restaurant.
 
In the afternoon, hea d to Cholon (Chinatown) to visit enormous Binh Tay market and some of the area's charming pagodas.

Overnight at hotel in Saigon
 
Day 3: Cu Chi Tunnels
 
Breafast at the hotel then depart (around 8:30) to the North west of Saigon to Tay Ninh where you will visit the colourful Cao Dai temple and attend the spectacular midday service. 
 
After lunch, head to Cu Chi to visit the tunnel complex. You will view a short film on the history of Cu Chi tunnels before walking in to the forest where the Tunnels are located. There are several choices for distance of tunnel in which you can crawl (NB don’t wear your best clothes for this as you will get hot & dirty!). The shortest one is 30 meters and longest one is 100 meters. In total the system measures 250 km, connecting several villages together.

 
 
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The tunnels will give you a realistic feel for life during the war. Soldiers and their families fought and lived in the tunnels. There were even schools, health care rooms, special hidden smoke kitchens, meeting rooms and bedrooms underground.
 
After experiencing the tunnels, take a break with some hot green tea boiled in pandan leaves and try some steamed tapioca in the forest.

 
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Have a short walk to get back to the car and drive to Saigon.

Overnight at hotel in Saigon
 
Day 4: Saigon- Ben Tre (homestay)
 
At 8.00am, depart for a 1.5 hour drive from Saigon to Ben Tre, one of the country's southern provinces, situated in the Delta of the Mekong River.  Take in the highway as you leave behind the busy city. Pass Rach Mieu bridge before reaching Huu Dinh hamlet. Get on a tri-motor cycle (xe loi) ride to enjoy the lush surroundings of rice paddies and fruit farms alongside the narrow village roads. Arrive at the waterfront, board the charming Mango Cruise for a glimpse at the Delta scenery while enjoying coconut juice.

 
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First stop for a visit at the coconut processing, then back to your cruise and the cruise will stop at a brick making shop, where the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand where you will start a Bicycle trip around Phong Nam village around 4km, through gardens and stop at the a rice noodles factory “hu tieu”, one of most popular breakfast dishes in the region .Walk about 3 minutes to visit at Mrs. Huong’s home. Her family live on fishing, shrimp and farming. Enjoy the tropical fruits and honey tea in her garden before taking the rowing  sampan , be paddled by a personalized rower trip to discover the maze of small canals.
 
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Then rowing you back to your mango boat and head to Mango home restaurant, enjoy your 5 course lunch and freshen up before switch to a bicycle and ride  500m About 4 minutes( or 7-10 minutes walk) on village roads past green gardens and local houses, and stop at another local house of Mr Sau Tuong, a former Vietcong soldier who survived two years fighting the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh. Now he and his wife live on making rice paper which is the most famous specialty of My Long village. Have a chat with him and enjoy the crispy rice paper made by his wife, and see how it is made and then continue cycling around 500 m (4 minutes by bike or 7- 10 minutes on foot) to visit the nearby house of Mr Hung, who is a famous sticky rice maker in the village. You can also feed his stock of catfish and walk through his fruit garden.
 
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Walk back the local house to catch fish in the pond & pick your own vegetables, and then in the early evening prepare to join the cooking demonstration with the family.

Overnight will be spent in the Mango Home Riverside – Deluxe Double Room
 
Day 5: Ben Tre - Saigon - fly to Danang - Hoian
 
After breakfast, take a boat trip 30 minutes then get off the boat to ride the bicycle to a local market of My Long, stroll around the market,then continue the cycling tour to Phong Nam village stop for a Cao Dai religious temple visit,after that you will go biking back to Mango Home.

 
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Return the Mango Home.Have a rest and enjoy a 5 course lunch 

Check out and you will be transfered  to the meeting point, where your car is waiting for you 

Stop at My Tho town to visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the finest and ancient Buddhist temples of the area. Head back to Sai Gon and go straight to the airport for the afternoon flight to Danang.
 
Driver and guide will pick-up and drive from Danang to Hoi An. Check-in at your hotel.

Overnight at hotel in Hoian
 
Day 6: Hoi An ancient tour and Boat trip.
 
Breakfast at the hotel then the guide will pick you up to start the city tour by cyclo (about 3 hours) You will see all the points of interest in the ancient town including Chinese Fukien Assembly hall, Janpanese covered bridge, Phung Hung old house and a ride along the river side.

 
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Lunch at a local restaurant. Try Cao Lau noodle which is a special dish of Hoi An. Have a short break and take the boat trip afterwards
 
The boat trip on Thu Bon river to the Cua Dai estuary is about 2 hours, it will take you to an island call Cam Kim where you can visit a family know for their traditional work of wooden furniture and sculpture.Have an easy walk around the village to meet local farmers and school kids.

 
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Continue the boat trip to the estuary where river meets the sea which has an amazing view and beautiful fishing nets.
 
Back to the hotel and have free time.

Overnight hotel in Hoian
 
Day 7: Free time in the morning and cooking class in the evening.
 
Breakfast at the hotel and relax by the beach.
 
In the evening the guide will take you back to town for a cooking class at alocal home.

 
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Overnight at hotel in Hoian

Day 8: Hoi An–Hue
 
Depart from your hotel by car to Hue which is about 2.5 hours to the North.
 
You will enjoy the beautiful scenery during your journey including Cloudy pass and Lang Co Beach.

Arrive Hue check-in at the hotel La Residence. Have a short rest before taking a cyclo tour to the citadel and visit the complex on foot.

The tour includes Ngo Mon Gate, Supreme Royal Court Palace, 12 Nguyen Kings alters, Forbidden City, Royal Theatre, Royal Library.

 
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Back to hotel for a rest, then have dinner at home of local family (dinner will be cooked by local family with special Hue cuisine.)

Overnight at hotel in Hue.
 
Day 9: Hue city tour
 
At around 7:30 am, the guide will take you to the Perfume River for the boat trip. Stop at Thien Mu pagoda for a visit. Its beautiful landscape and holy atsmophere will give you a pleasant feeling for the rest of the day.

 
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Get back the boat to the King Tombs Of Tu Duc, who was a famous poet of the Nguyen dynasty in early 19 century. The Tombs were well designed with green hills, lotus ponds and ornate type of buildings together.The King used this tomb before he died as his second home where most of his great works were composed.
 
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After that, Take a car drive to a local Buddhist temple to try a vegetarian meal prepared by monks. Pratise meditation lesson before the meals to experience more of the Buddhism theory.
 
After lunch have a visit at the Orphanage nearby.

 
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Continue your xe om ride to Hue outskirts, visit more contry-side villages and green paddies. You’ll have the oppotunity to chat with the local people on the way to learn more of their daily life.

Overnight at hotel in Hue.

Day 10: Hue- Hanoi
 
Breakfast at the hotel then the car and driver will take you to the airport for the flight to Ha Noi.

 
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Arrive Hanoi. Our driver and guide will pick you up at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Check-in hotel and free time to explore the city .

Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Day 11:Hanoi- The Old Quarter
 
In the morning the guide will pick you up and start the city tour of old Hanoi capital.
 
Take a cyclo tour around the Old Quarter of Hanoi where you will experience the bustling heart of the city. Enjoy the crazy traffic and thousands of locals in the street.

 
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Enjoy a ride around Hoan Kiem lake with its beautiful old temple in the middle and great views of The Huc bridge. Continue the cyclo ride to visit the Temple of Literature which was Vietnam’s first university and is now a Confucian temple and an artistic fine ancient Vietnamese architecture complex in a well designed and peaceful garden.
 
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The next visit is the Fine Art museum which displays all sorts of classical and modern paintings from different periods of Vietnamese art.
 
Take a cyclo ride back to your hotel and have free evening.

Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

Day 12:Hanoi-Halong Bay
 
Depart from the hotel around 8:00 to the north east of Hanoi to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site and arguably the most spectacular location in Southeast Asia – a huge bay with blue water and over 3,000 limestone outcrops. The journey will take around 3.5 hours.

 
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Arrive Halong bay, check-in for your cruise with full board service (lunch, dinner and brunch).
 
After a welcome drink, enjoy your lunch buffet and the stunning landscape of the bay around you.
 
After lunch you will have a short boat trip to a fishing village with around 100 floating houses, few shops and a primary school.

 
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Back to the cruise. Enjoy sunbathing on the deck until the sunset. A free mocktail will be served and then it is time for a cooking lesson with the boat’s executive chef. Then it’s time for a delicious a la carte dinner followed by a film, or you can choose to relax on deck and enjoy the cool night air.

Overnight at cruise in Halong Bay

 
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Day 13Halong-Hanoi
 
A morning tai chi class on the roof deck will start at 6 am and an early light breakfast will be served from 7:00. After that you will be transferred by a small speed boat to Sung Sot (“Amazing”) cave with its beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations

 
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After 1-hour visit to the cave go back to the boat for brunch, then prepare to check-out and drive back to Hanoi, arriving late afternoon. Free evening.
 
Overnight at hotel in Hanoi
 
Day 14: Depart Hanoi
 
Breakfast at the hotel and the private car and driver will transfer you to the aiport for your onward flight.
 
From US$2492.00 per person (low season price based on 2 people)
 
INCLUDES
 · Private transportaion with A/C
 · Shared transfer between Hanoi & Halong Bay
 · Visa on Arrival Application
 · Accommodation (
2 people travelling together & sharing a room):  
   + Saigon: Asian Ruby Hotel( Deluxe room)
   + Ben Tre: Homestay
   + Hoi An: Hoi An Trails Hotel ( Deluxe room)
   + Hue: Mercure Hue (Standard River View room)
   + Hanoi: HE Sapphire Hotel( Deluxe room)
 · Meals: 10 lunches, 1 cooking at Homestay, 1 private cooking class dinner, 1 dinner on boat and daily breakfast
 · English Speaking Guide as mentioned in the tour programme
 · Air ticket from Saigon - Da Nang and Hue – Ha Noi
 · Entrance fee as mentioned in the tour programme
 · Water & Tissue

EXCLUDES
 · International Air arrive Saigon and departure from Ha Noi
 · English Speaking Guide in Ha Long
 · Travel Insurance
 · Personal Expenses & Tips
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