IMPRESSIVE VIETNAM 15D14N PACKAGE

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    IMPRESSIVE VIETNAM
     15D14N PACKAGE
    (SAIGON-CUCHI TUNNELS-MEKONG DELTA -DANANG/HOIAN -HUE - HANOI-SAPA-HALONG BAY)
     
    Day 1: Arrival Saigon
    Upon your arrival, you will be greeted at the airport by a representative of Vietnam CBT and transferred to your hotel
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Saigon
     
    Day 2: Saigon city tour & Cu Chi Tunnel (B)
    We set out this morning to explore Saigon City, providing a general overview of this fascinating city with its history and culture.
     
    We explore the historical sights of the Reunification Palace, the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, The War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral (built in 1877) and the City’s Post Office, often mistaken by tourists as a railway station.
     
    Afternoon, our drive to Cu Chi Tunnels is around 70km. The famous Cu Chi Tunnel system was created to assist the Vietnamese Revolutionists against the French in 1948. It was an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers etc and in certain areas, housed up to 10,000 people, who virtually lived underground for years.
     
    After a video introduction and a guided tour through the grounds, you will have the opportunity to take part in the unique experience of guerillas living underground during the war, with a crawl through 20/30/50 meters of the tunnel system.
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Saigon
     
    Day 3:  Cai Be Floating Market Full day / Mekong Delta (B/L)
    Before going to the central of Cai Be market, the car stops at Cai Be Cao Dai Oratories, which is the religious symbol of local uniqueness. Then we are picked up by the tourist boats to visit the floating market of rice in An Cu commune, Cai Be district – where is the rice trade largest exporter Southwest region of Vietnam, we will chat to learn more about daily life of the trader.
    The next destinations are the ancient village of Dong Hoa Hiep commune and Cai Be floating market. Leaving the floating market, tourist boats take us to Tan Phong islet and go to the Chin’s house by a rowing boat in the small canal. Here, we and homeowners drink tea together, chat and learn more about the daily life of the people Tan Phong islet and how to make lotus tea, lotus jam. Then, we will enjoy a lotus tea, lotus jam while hearing some Vietnamese traditional music performed by Mr. Chin.
    Goodbye Mr. Chin we continue visiting the orchard of Ms. Hang and enjoy the fruits in the garden picked by guests. Here, we can try to pull the fish hooves, experience the foot bridges – the unique feature of the Southern of Vietnam and take a rest on the hammock woven by banana rope. It will be certainly very interesting. Say goodbye to Ms Hang, we arrive to Mekong Ecolodge and participate in cooking and having lunch.
    After having lunch, we cycle to Ms Ba’s house to learn how to make the rice-paper used to make the sping roll dishes. Then, we continue going to Ms. Sau’s house to see the method to knit the banana hammock from the rope of dry banana leaves. After that, we will visit Ms Muoi- a very old woman- to see the method to make the nipa leaves that can be the roof of Vietnamese house. Say goodbye to Ms Muoi, we cycle to Thao’s house to know how to knit water hyacinth, we can also enjoy their first handmade lovely gift with the guidance of Ms. Thao. Finally, we come back to Mekong Ecolodge to take a rest and check out.
    At around 4:30 pm: We have an opportunity to experience the Hiep Duc ferry boat with the local people to go through Tien River and the car will pick us up in the opposite side.
    Overnight at your hotel in Saigon.
     
    Day 4: Saigon – Danang by FLIGHT – Hoi An (B)
    This morning we take a flight to Danang.
     
    The drive from Danang to Hoi An would take around 45minutes.
     
    We check into our hotel and the rest of the afternoon is free at leisure.
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Hoian.
     
    Day 5: Hoi An City Tour (B)
    This morning we stroll through the quaint streets of Hoi An, visiting the local market, an Ancient Chinese Temple, The Chinese Assembly Hall and the Japanese covered bridge.
     
    After our leisurely walk, we board for a magical cruise down the Cua Dai estuary and enjoy the scenic view of life along the river.
     
    We return by midday for you to enjoy the peaceful ambience of this quaint ancient town at leisure or spend some time with the skillful tailors, treating yourself to tailor made clothes, which Hoi An is renowned for.
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Hoian.
    Day 6: Hoi An Local for a day (B/L)
    After a relaxing morning we check out of our hotel and meet our bus.
     
    We make a short drive out of Hoi An town to a local farming family’s home where we have the great privilege to be spending lunch eating lunch within their home.
     
    Upon arrival we are welcomed by the family and enjoy a traditional herbal drink, before setting out on a stroll through the local farmland. We learn about the history of the village, observe the processes of harvesting, and discover the many traditional uses, in both cooking and Vietnamese medicines, with the herbs and vegetables grown.
     
    We relax back at the home, before sitting down for a delicious lunch of local delicacies, using the fresh herbs and vegetables from the garden.
     
    The family also love showing off their skills in whipping up your lunch, giving you a very creative cooking demonstration. Back to Hoi An town in late afternoon and free at your leisure
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Hoian
     
    Day 7: Hoi An – Hue (B/L)
    This morning we drive to Hue.
    En route we visit Cham Museum, built in 1915, which contains intricate ancient Champa sculptures.
    We continue driving to the stunning Marble Mountains, where we climb the marble stairs to reach the peak of the largest mountains of the 5 elements, Thuy Son or more commonly known as ‘Water Mountain’.
    We pass through Lang Co fishing village, set within beautiful blue lagoons, before heading up and over the spectacular Hai Van Pass, where we stop at the highest point to immerse ourselves and gaze at the spectacular scenery at 980 meters above sea level.

    We admire the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, countryside and China Beach and continue on to ‘Huyen Khong’, an underground cave, which was a former hospital through the War.
     
    After stopping for lunch at Da Nang Beach, where you have the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the ocean
     
    Afternoon, continue our drive to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, transfer to hotel for check in
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Hue.
     
    Day 8: Hue City tour – Hanoi by FLIGHT (B)
    Today we have a full day to explore Hue, the former capital of Vietnam. We commence our exploration and head to one of the most serene and tranquil tombs in Hue, Minh Mang’s Tomb. Set back from the river bank and hidden within the luscious forest area, surrounded by a beautiful lake, this tomb has a peaceful ambience like no other.
     
    A 20 minute drive takes us to the beautiful construction of Khai Dinh’s Tomb, where we see the intricate workmanship of the mosaic architecture within and gaze at the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
     
    On route we make a stop at a small workshop to see the interesting process of making traditional Hue Conical hats and incense sticks. 
    We return to town and visit Hues oldest 19th Century Pagoda, ‘Thien Mu (Heavenly Lady) Pagoda, which is famous for it’s Buddhist Centre teachings.
    Boarding our dragon boat from the base of the Pagoda, we cruise down the Perfume River, watching local fisherman, whilst passing through the banks of Hue’s town.
    After disembarking our boat we enjoy a delicious lunch at a nearby Garden Restaurant
     
    After lunch we visit the Citadel (Forbidden Purple City), located in Hues town. The Citadel is the former living place of the Royal family during the Nguyen dynasty, from 19th century to mid 20th century.
     
    Here you will discover the history of Vietnam during this period of time, as well as the daily life of the Royal family and the typical architecture of this Imperial construction.
     
    This late afternoon, we take flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will get welcomed by our team and transfer to hotel for check in.
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Hanoi.
     
    Day 9: Hanoi - City Tour - Lao Cai by TRAIN (B)
    This morning we embark on a an exhilarating and unforgettable ‘Xich Lo’ ride through the charming, yet bustling, 36 Street Old Quarter to Ba Dinh Square where we disembark to explore Ho Chi Minh’s Quarter.
     
    We visit the Mausoleum, Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh Museum.
     
    We meet our bus for a short journey to visit the infamous Hanoi Hilton Prison and the 11th century Temple of Literature, Hanoi’s first University.
    After our exciting adventures we’ve all worked up a hunger!
    We head to a quaint hidden little treasure for lunch (pay yourself), where we relax and rest our feet, enjoying the beautiful ambience, where you can enjoy tasting some of Hanoi’s Specialties including the traditional northern fish dish ‘Cha Ca’.
    After lunch we drive around 25 minutes to the Ethnology Museum.
     
    Here you will learn of the traditional cultures of 54 different ethnic minority groups in Vietnam through articles, stories, displays of traditional houses, costumes, hunting equipment and much more wares used in day to day life. Enjoy traditional water puppets show before dinner at local restaurant
    After dinner, transfer to train station for train trip to Sapa
     
    Overnight on train
     
    Day 10: Lao Cai - Sapa (B)
    We arrive in Lao Cai around 5 am, where we are met by our transport for a spectacular hour’s journey up the impressive mountains to Sapa.
     
    Seeing is believing! The imagination could not visualize, nor appreciate the beauty of the stunning vistas and breathtaking mountainous rice terraces until you observe in true form.
     
    Upon arrival at our hotel, we have some breakfast, freshen up and some free time of leisure before our exciting exploration.
     
    We start our trek visiting Ta Van villages, continuing down the valley, along local trails and across rice paddies to visit Dzay ethnic minorities and Black H’mong communities, experiencing the contrasts of culture and daily life between the groups.
     
    The interaction and closeness we experience with the local minority groups is an absolutely incredible experience.
     
    We return to the hotel for some free time at leisure to enjoy this beautiful place.
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Sapa.
     
    Day 11: Sapa Villages (B)
    After a relaxing morning we check out of our hotel and commence our exciting journey from Sapa Township.
     
    We trek downhill from Sapa town to Cat Cat Village. Our 2 hours trek takes us through rice paddies passing by different ethnic minority villages hard at work and flower and vegetable gardens until we reach a magnificent waterfall set within the lush mountains.
     
    We take a rest and continue to Cat Cat village where the village is eagerly awaiting our arrival. With the children’s glee and excitement and a village full of big smiling faces, we are welcomed by a local Black Hmong people.
     
    After a welcoming and a rest, we stroll around the village, learning about the traditional way of life of the Black Hmong. We return to Sapa and free at your leisure
    Overnight at your hotel in Sapa.
     
    Day 12: Sapa – Lao Cai Train Station – Hanoi Overnight on train (B)
    Whole free morning for exploring Sapa on your own
    Afternoon time, transfer back to Lao Cai for the train trip back to Hanoi
    Overnight on train
     
    Day 13: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay Overnight (B/L/D)
    This morning we arrive to Hanoi around 5:30 AM. Welcomed by our team and transfer to City centre for breakfast and refreshment. After breakfast we transfer to Ha Long. Ha Long Bay is one of the most enchanting and memorable experiences in Vietnam. The postcard pictures you so often see of Ha Long Bay, will become a memory to last a lifetime.
     
    We leave the city behind and drive through the Red River Delta to Halong Bay, taking around 3.5 hours. The beautiful countryside that awaits your imagination, takes us through local farming life and villages, providing us plenty of opportunities to stop and capture some spectacular photographs. Be sure to keep an eye out for the amazing things the locals load onto their motorbikes!!
     
    Arriving in Ha Long Bay, we board our boat and enjoy a spectacular seafood lunch as we sail off into Dragon Bay, gazing at the breathtaking karst formations within the bay.
     
    After lunch have some free time to relax and admire the beauty of the Bay as we cruise through hundreds of formations.
     
    Throughout our cruise today, you will have the opportunity to disembark the boat and explore Sung Sot cave, where you will learn how karsts were formed in this area millions of years ago.
     
    For beach lovers and swimmers, we make a stop at one of the sandy beaches for swimming or just relaxing.
     
    We continue cruising the bay until the late afternoon, before setting anchor for the night.
     
    Once anchored, there’s plenty of time for swimming or just relaxing to admire the scenery before settling into another scrumptious meal.
     
    After dinner, why not head to the top deck and enjoy a relaxing drink whilst admiring the peaceful ambience and gazing at the millions of stars.
     
    Overnight on Boat
     
    Day 14: Ha Long – Hanoi (B/BRUNCH)
    This morning we take a small bamboo boat to visit Luon, a beautiful tunnel cave set within a lagoon.
    We re-board our boat and continue cruising the bay, through the old part of Halong City, known as the fishing town and the new built harbor bridge, whilst we enjoy our seafood brunch before heading back to the pier for our return to Hanoi.
    Visit the famous Ceramic village at Dong Trieu town
     
    Overnight at your hotel in Hanoi.
     
    Day 15: Hanoi Departure (B)
    Free at leisure until transfer to Airport for your departure flight. Trip ends.

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