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Vietnam: Adventure - Enlightenment - Wellness 2018

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culture

What is more important than health and wellness?  Our new group itinerary starting in 2018, Vietnam – Adventure, Enlightenment & Wellness will provide a truly remarkable journey throughout Vietnam as you learn advanced methods in establishing joyful and healthy life patterns.

Vietnam is the ultimate backdrop for the senses.  The tastes of Vietnam with a twist will highlight essential methods for retaining good health. Meals will be included that are certified and approved by the breakthrough Thinsulin program created by Dr. Charles Nguyen of University of California at Irvine. The cuisine of Vietnam is well known for being flavorful and healthy, but the traveler will have exceptional opportunities provided by local chefs and Dr. Nguyen to experience the cuisine of Vietnam specially prepared in ways to ensure insulin levels that affect our entire well being stay at healthy levels.

This is not only a journey to wellness but also cultural awareness. Eating is a necessity, often joyful and culturally interesting.   This trip will offer some unique opportunities, including an exclusive chance to dine with members of the former royal family, sampling specially prepared cuisine as they reveal their traditions and customs.  An authentic cooking class at the exciting Grain cooking school, run by Luke Nguyen will provide insight into more healthy patterns of cooking Vietnamese cuisine.   An onsite herb garden adds to this unique experience.

Health and fun will also include interesting bike rides in the countryside, working silk farm, and fishing in a bamboo basket boat.  Learn interesting farming methods from a local farmer family in Tra Que Village. Participate in morning yoga classes in Hue and Hoian and relaxing spa sessions in Hoi An.

This trip is also one of spectacular beauty.  Halong Bay offers astounding karst landscapes which appear surreal.  Historical sites in the ancient capital of Hue, and a traditional boat ride along the narrow Mekong Delta canals are just a few of many highlights along the way.

As time approaches to return home, the natural beautify of Vietnam and its people, combined with your new knowledge of Thinsulin cooking and eating techniques, will create wonderful memories and inspire a healthier and happier quality of life.

Included:

  • Private air-conditioned transportation
  • Local English-speaking guide in each city
  • All boat fees and sightseeing tours including admission fees
  • Selected deluxe accommodation
  • Meals as indicated and certified Thinsulin program approved by Dr. Charles Nguyen
  • Complimentary bottled drinking water during day tour
  • Government tax and service charges
  • Welcome gift upon arrival

Day 1 / Mar 4 Sunday Arrival Hanoi

Arrive in Hanoi airport and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 2 / Mar 5 Monday Bat Trang Pottery Village – Hanoi’s Old Quarter (B,L,D)

In the morning, we will visit the Bat Trang village, the most ancient and famous pottery village of Vietnam that is still running and developing new pieces. About 10km away from the center of Hanoi, it is situated on the left bank of the Red River. Have lunch at Ngon Villa, an authentic Vietnamese Restaurant. Afternoon, start a city tour that includes Temple of Literature, Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake, and “Hoa Lo” Prison, also called the “Hanoi Hilton”. Tour ends with a traditional cyclo ride through Hanoi's Old Quarter. Tonight we enjoy dinner at Le Tonkin Restaurant.

Day 3 / Mar 6 Tuesday Hanoi – Halong (B,L,D)

In the morning, you will take a scenic drive to Halong and transfer by tender to the deluxe junk at BaiChay/TuanChau Island. Discover treasures such as fascinating caves, pristine beaches, picturesque floating villages, and dramatic rock formations rising up out of emerald water as we sail across the Bay of the Descending Dragon. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the boat with dinner onboard.

Day 4 / Mar 7 Wednesday Halong – Hanoi – Hue (B,D)

There is a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck for early risers. Enjoy a delightful buffet breakfast while sailing across thousands of islets. The cruise ends at BaiChay/TuanChau late morning. Drive back to Hanoi. Enjoy dinner with “crystal noodles “at Dai Viet Restaurant before going to the airport for late evening flight to Hue. Arrive in Hue and transfer to hotel check-in.

Day 5 / Mar 8 Thursday Hue – Thanh Toan Village (B,L,SD)

Early morning, join the Yoga and Tai Chi class at hotel. After breakfast, drive to the outskirts of Hue visiting the surrounding countryside, passing peaceful streams and verdant rice paddies until you arrive at the small village of Thanh Toan – home to a legendary market. Learn more about the role of agriculture and spend time exploring the small town. Stop by the beautiful Thanh Toan covered bridge or simply soak up the atmosphere while sipping Vietnamese coffee at the village café. Then, drive to visit Thien Mu Pagoda. Lunch will be served at Ancient Space Restaurant. After lunch, we visit the former Imperial Citadel, UNESCO World Heritage site. Tonight, enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and authentic Vietnamese dinner with the Tuyet Nguyen family, a distant branch of royal lineage. This special engagement is an opportunity to learn more about Vietnamese culture and traditional customs.

Day 6 / Mar 9 Friday Hue – Danang – Hoi An (B,L,D)

Early morning, join the Yoga and Tai Chi class at hotel. Don’t forget to make an appointment for your 90-minute complimentary spa session. After breakfast, we depart for Hoi An. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as we travel over the spectacular Hai Van Pass. Visit the silk village and discover the art of ancient silk weaving techniques perfected by the Cham ethnic people in Quang Nam province. Witness the full cycle of silk making from silkworms to finished product and learn the difference between natural silk and synthetic silk. Lunch will be served in this charming village with an authentic Hoian cuisine menu. After lunch, we will take a silk lantern class and you can bring home your own creation. Check into the hotel. Afternoon, take a walking tour along Hoi An’s waterfront from the Japanese Covered Bridge to the main market, stop at the Ancient house Tan Ky, the ornate Fu Kien Chinese temple and continue down to Hoi An local market. Tonight we enjoy dinner at a fabulous restaurant set in a lovely garden right by the river located in the heart of Hoi An, Brother Café.

Day 7 / Mar 10 Saturday Hoi An – Cam Thanh village – Tra Que Village (B,SL)

In the morning, join the 30-minute yoga class to refresh your body and soul. Don’t forget to make an appointment for your 90-minute complimentary spa session. After breakfast, we take a biking tour to Cam Thanh village; we will pass rice paddy fields and will have the experience to learn methods of rice production. We will be amazed by the attractive characteristics of a coconut house as well as water coconut and bamboo handcrafted furniture. You will also experience the friendliness of the local people greeting you along the way. Later you will board the boat for a river cruise to meet and engage with local fishermen and enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. You will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat; it will be an unforgettable experience. Then visit and experience the daily activities of local farmers in Tra Que village. Lunch will be served at Tra Que Garden. The chef of the restaurant will warmly welcome us. He will introduce all dishes prepared specifically for the “Thinsulin program”. The rest of day is at leisure.

Day 8 / Mar 11 Sunday Hoi An – Danang – Saigon (B,D)

In the morning transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon. Arrive in Saigon. Receive a warm welcome from our guide and transfer to hotel check in. Afternoon, we have a walking tour including: the Opera House, City Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office and visit Ben Thanh market. Today enjoy dinner at Hoa Tuc Restaurant, a famous authentic Vietnamese restaurant in town. The rest of evening is free for your own activities.

Day 9 / Mar 12 Monday Saigon – Mekong Delta (B,L)

Today, we drive to the rural town of Cai Be. Upon arrival, take a small boat and visit nearby villages, stopping at local workshops where you will see how pop-rice, rice paper, coconut candy and popcorn are made. Then the boat takes us deeper into the countryside on smaller canals to Binh Hoa Phuoc Island to visit the nursery garden. We have lunch at a local house and enjoy Southern Vietnamese folk music. After lunch, boat ride to Vinh Long town and take a walking tour at the market before driving back to Saigon late afternoon. The rest of evening is free for your own activities.

Day 10 / Mar 13 Tuesday Saigon Culinary tour (B,L,D)

Today, we will join “Grain, by Luke Nguyen cooking class”. Grain studio has its own fresh market on site. You will take a hands-on cooking class, preparing a 4-course meal. Vietnamese cuisine will be demystified so you will gain a new-found confidence that will inspire you to cook more at home. Lunch will be your own creation, prepared and served at the cooking class. It will be a great Vietnamese cultural and culinary experience. Tonight we have a farewell dinner at Gánh restaurant.

Day 11 / Mar 14 Wednesday Saigon – Departure (B)

Morning is at leisure until transfer to the airport.

Have a safe trip!

Accommodations

Accommodations

Hanoi: Silk Path Hotel / Premium Deluxe room

Halong: La Vela Premium Cruise / Premium cabin

Hue: Pilgrimage Village Resort / Deluxe room

Hoian: Almanity Hotel/ My Mind Town view

Saigon: Grand Hotel / Premium Deluxe room