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Vietnam – Unspoiled Beauty 2018

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Tour ID:

  • VN-NVE 012

Duration:

  • 12 days / 11 nights

Interests:

[simple_tooltip content=”Journeys with particular attention to the rich cultural heritage and diversity of life in the region. ” heading=”Culture“]culture[/simple_tooltip]

Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Lan Ha Bay  – Dong Hoi – Saigon – Mekong Delta

Small Group – 10 guests

 

Tour Departure Dates 2018:

February 19, March 19, October 08, and November 05

 

As described by the Hollywood director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts of the movie “Kong- Skull Island”, the terrain of Vietnam is like nowhere else on earth.  After traveling around the world to Iceland, Australia, Hawaii and Thailand, he was overwhelmed by the sensational natural beauty, people, culture and cuisine of Vietnam and chose it as the location of his film.

One of our newest itineraries “Vietnam-Unspoiled Beauty, offers the chance to experience the same unspoiled regions and islets highlighted in the movie.

A rowboat ride along the river in the Red River Delta offers a spellbinding landscape of ancient limestone karsts and mesmerizing grottos to explore, permeated by valleys and surrounded by steep cliffs. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Trang An Landscape Complex and its natural cave system featured in the film provides a surreal atmosphere, unimagined.

Another occasion to explore presents itself in a cruise through pristine areas of Halong Bay few tourists have experienced. The paradise of Lan Ha Bay gives the feeling of other worldly splendor amid crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and remote forested islets.

A visit to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Dong Hoi challenges the senses with the oldest karst mountains in Asia and a world breaking cave system. Explore one of the most wondrous Phong Nha caves and the magnitude Thien Duong Cave at 20miles is mind-boggling.  To visitors, it resembles a magnificent landscape painting.

This trip also offers opportunities for biking to quaint country villages and local markets. Visiting the Mekong Delta provides an exciting encounter to explore the vast maze of canals, going deeper in the countryside by small boat to visit local villages, nurseries, and workshops making specialty snacks, and visiting a local home to enjoy Southern Vietnamese folk music. Take in the authentic bustling river life and immense floating market.   The iconic cities of Hanoi and Saigon provide the excitement of ancient temples, street food cuisine, delicious restaurants and captivating historical sites.

Returning home, you will ponder the surprising variety of breathtaking natural wonders throughout this beautiful country, the variety of delectable regional cuisines, and the joy of having gained new skills and cultural perspectives.  Unforgettable memories!”

 

Prices:

Land tour from $2738.00* per person

Domestic air ticket from $265.00** per person (HANOI/DONG HOI/SAIGON)

*Prices above are per person based on double occupancy, and group size of 10 guests. Offers are subject to availability at the time of booking.  Prices do not include international air ticket, fuel charges, taxes, and airline baggage fees. Other date departure and private journey is available, please call us for pricing.

** Above airfares are current estimates. Actual airfares will be advised at the time of the booking; determined at the time of ticketing.

Included:

  • Private air-conditioned transportation
  • Local English-speaking guide in each city
  • All boat fees and sightseeing tours including admission fees
  • Selected deluxe accommodation: 3 nights in Hanoi, 2 nights in Ninh Binh, 1 night Halong cruise, 1 night in Dong Hoi, 1 night in Can Tho and 3 nights in Saigon
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (excluding drinks)
  • Complimentary bottled drinking water during day tour
  • Government tax and service charges
  • Welcome gift upon arrival

Excluded:

  • Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

Day 1/ Hanoi Arrival

Arrive in Hanoi airport, you will be warm welcomed by our guide and private transfer to hotel check in.

Day 2 / Hanoi – Full day city tour (B,L)

The morning tour begins at Tran Quoc Pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist pagodas in Hanoi, next the Toaist temple of Quan Thanh, which dates from the Ly Dynasty. We drive back to the Old Quarter in Hanoi to visit theTemple of Literature, the oldest university of Vietnam. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Hanoi. After lunch, head to Hoan Kiem Lake, and take the traditional cyclo ride through Hanoi's Old Quarter. The tour ends at Highland Coffee Shop. You will have the best view of the city while enjoying sips of coffee dripping from the filter. Late afternoon, enjoy the Water Puppet Show, a traditional and unique Vietnamese art. Return to hotel. The rest of evening is at leisure.

Day 3 / Hanoi – Ninh Bình – Trang An Landscape Complex (B,L)

After breakfast, you will leave Hanoi and head south to the Red River Delta and Ninh Binh. Visit Trang An Landscape Complex, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Arriving in Ninh Binh, we stop at Dinh and Le temples of the Ancient Capital Hoa Lu. Hoa Lu is a small region, which served as the country’s capital for 41 years. Check into hotel. Lunch will be served at Van Long stilt house restaurant.

We take a boat trip to explore Trang An Grottos and enjoy beautiful landscape. Exploration of natural caves at different altitudes has revealed archaeological traces of human activity over a continuous period of more than 30,000 years. They illustrate the occupation of these mountains by seasonal hunter-gatherers and how they adapted to major climatic and environmental changes, especially the repeated inundation of the landscape by the sea after the last ice age. The story of human occupation continues through the Neolithic and Bronze Ages to the historical era. Back to your hotel and the rest of day is at leisure.

Day 4 / Ninh Binh – Phat Diem Cathedral – Biking to local village (B)

Morning, visit Phat Diem Cathedral constructed from 1875 to 1899 and located approximately 28 km east of Ninh Binh. Known as one the most famous and beautiful churches in Vietnam, Phat Diem Stone Cathedral was uniquely designed, combining the architecture of Vietnamese religious buildings and Western church building styles. Back to hotel for relaxing. Afternoon, we take a leisure bicycle ride to visit the local village, temples, pagodas and local market. Back to your hotel and the rest of day is at leisure.

Day 5 / Ninh Binh – Halong Bay – Lan Ha Bay (B,L,D)

Early morning, join the Yoga and Tai Chi class at hotel.

Morning, leave your hotel and drive to Halong Bay, UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site. Upon arrival, transfer by tender to the Orchid Cruise. On the way, you will have a chance to see Cai Trap Canal.

Onboard the Orchid Cruise with a refreshing welcome drink, cruise briefing and safety instructions. Start cruising and explore Halong Bay.

The Orchid Cruise proceeds to Da Chong Islet, where you can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. We have lunch before continuing our journey via the islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan. These amazing limestone karst formations rise up out of the sea in an impressive manner. This area is untouched, as not many cruise ships use the route via the Cat Ba Island - Thoi Quyt area - Coc Ngoi islet - through Cua Van to Ba Trai Dao area.

We progress to the Ba Trai Dao beach area of Lan Ha Bay- a separate part of Halong Bay. The region is known for its pristine beaches, spectacular beauty, and approximately 400 fascinating islands. Unlike the main Ha Long Bay, the islands of Lan Ha Bay are forested, and most are small in stature. You can kayaking or simply just enjoy swimming. This is a great experience, immersed in the crystal clear waters of the bay, in the Ba Trai Dao area.

Returning to the Orchid Cruise you can watch the spectacular sunset view over the Gulf of Tonkin. You may join a traditional cooking class. Our chef will instruct you in the making of some Vietnamese specialty dishes.

Dinner is served at 19:30. Enjoy delicious local food prepared and served by our wonderful onboard catering staff. This is a delightful meal in an intimate romantic setting. After dinner, enjoy the landscape of the bay up on the top deck. Relax while enjoying drinks from the bar. Join squid fishing at night or watching movie..

Day 6 / Halong Bay – Hanoi (B)

Why not rise early to witness the bay at its very best while enjoying an invigorating Tai Chi session on the sundeck; after which a light breakfast is served. After breakfast continue our journey by canoe to explore the bay in the area where the Sang Toi Cave is situated.

9:30 return to Orchid Cruise boat for checkout procedures. While cruising back you can enjoy a delightful brunch. Disembark at 11:35 at Dinh Vu port. Farewell, transfer back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi late afternoon, check in hotel and the rest of evening is free at leisure.

Day 7 / Hanoi – Dong Hoi – Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (B,L)

Early morning, transfer to the airport for flight to Dong Hoi (7:45am – 9:15am). Arrive at Dong Hoi airport, meet with our guide and transfer to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Centre (approximately 45km – 1.5 hour drive). Upon arrival, have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, take a boat trip along the Son River to Phong Nha Cave. The deeper one penetrates, the more magical are the natural aspects of the cave. After 700 metres, a large dry passage appears, allowing you to discover the cave on foot for a further 500 metres. You will also have a chance to explore the remains of Cham Altars and the inscriptions inside. Transfer to Chay Lap Farmstay and check in. The rest of day is free at leisure.

Day 8 / Thien Duong Cave – Saigon (B,L)

This morning we visit Thien Duong Cave, the largest and most beautiful cave among many that were discovered in 2005. With natural primitive features the cave looks like a landscape painting, making it very attractive to visitors. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Then back to your Chay Lap Famstay to relax or enjoy other complimentary activities, such as biking, swimming, kayaking….

Check out hotel around 5:00PM. Transfer to the airport for flight to Saigon. Arrive in Saigon. You have warm welcome from our guide, transfer to your hotel and check in.

Note: Flight schedule Dong Hoi – Saigon by Vietnam Airlines operates on Monday – Wednesday – Thursday and Saturday only. Departs at 8:25PM and arrive at 10:00PM.

Day 9 / Saigon, Pearl of the Far East (B)

Morning, take a city tour to visit Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Ben Thanh market, Hotel de Ville (City Hall), the colonial quarter Opera House. Return to hotel. The rest of day is free at leisure.

Day 10 /Saigon – Cai Be – Vinh Long – CanTho (B,L)

Morning, we drive to the rural town of Cai Be. Upon arrival, take a small boat to visit small villages, stopping at local workshops where you will see how pop-rice, rice-paper, coconut candy and pop-corn 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 our drive to Can Tho. The rest of day is at leisure. Overnight in Can Tho.

Day 11 / CanTho – Saigon (B,L)

Early morning, visit Cai Rang floating market, the biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta. All shops and stalls at the market are actually boats and barges of different sizes. You will have an interesting opportunity to experience the abundant, colorful, and bustling river life in the Delta. Transfer back to your hotel for breakfast. Check out of hotel. We will have a short city tour in Can Tho, featuring the Binh Thuy Ancient House and Binh Thuy Temple before transfer back to Saigon.

Day 12 / Saigon departure (B)

Morning is free at leisure. Check out of hotel by noon. Transfer to the airport for flight home.

Have a safe trip!

B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner

Accommodations

Hanoi: Hotel de L’Opera / Deluxe room

Ninh Binh: Emeralda Resort/ Superior room

Halong: Orchid Cruise / Suite cabin

Dong Hoi: Chay Lap Farmstay / Deluxe room

Can Tho: Victoria Resort/ Deluxe room

Saigon: Grand Hotel / Premium Deluxe room

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