The romance of history, the wonders of nature.
Vietnam is a hot and happening destination. Your Confidante has recently visited this amazingly beautiful and friendly country. If you want a destination that offers unparalled cultural and historical offerings in abundant beauty and rich with a friendly people that have no animosity about the past, get there now before the masses arrive! A remarkable destination.
Vietnam Explorer - 9 Days 8 Nights
Use the graceful former French colonial city of Saigon as a base for exploring the beauties of the Mekong Delta and astonishing reminders of the years of war. Visit the glories of Vietnam’s former Imperial capital, see the statues of the ancient kingdom of the Champa, take a boat cruise on magical Halong Bay and discover the hallowed artistic and cultural traditions of old Hanoi.
Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)
Although it’s the largest and busiest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City retains the charm of its graceful colonial French past. Check in at the hotel followed by city orientation tour with visits to the former US Embassy, the French colonial-era central post office, and the imposing cathedral completed in 1890. Dinner at Kinh Bac Vietnamese restaurant includes a traditional musical performance.
Overnight in Saigon (D)
Day 2: Saigon
Drive to the Cu Chi tunnels at Ben Dinh, the former underground village built by Vietnamese guerrillas. Upon arrival, watch a documentary film before going down into the tunnels. The tour will be led by Vietnamese veterans who used to live in the tunnels. On the way back to Saigon, stop at a rice paper-making village. Vietnamese lunch at the Ancient Town restaurant, where Bill Clinton dined during his visit to Vietnam last year. Afternoon, visit the Historical Museum and then take a one hour boat cruise on the Saigon river. Dinner in the deluxe Binh An village restaurant.
Overnight in Saigon. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Mekong Delta
Morning excursion by road to My Tho in the Mekong Delta, with a visit en route to the central market in Chinatown and stops in the rice fields and a craft village. Upon arriving in My Tho, board our private sampan for a river cruise to a fishing island, followed by visits to bonsai and fruit gardens on Unicorn island, and a wine factory and local homes with a traditional folk music performance. Lunch is at Ngoc Gia Trang in a verdant garden. Drive back to Saigon in the late afternoon. Evening, dinner at Le Camargue restaurant.
Overnight in Saigon. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Saigon – Hue (Air)
Early morning flight to Hue, one of Vietnam’s cultural, religious and educational centers. After checking in at the hotel, board a dragon boat for a ride down the Perfume River to Con Hen island to visit craft villages making hats and peanut candy. Cruise to Thien Mu, Hue’s best preserved temple. Home-hosted lunch is at the former home of an imperial princess, now the home of a well known historian, Mr. Phan ThuanAn. After lunch, Mr. An will give an introduction to Hue history and his daughter will play some Hue traditional music. Afternoon, drive around the Forbidden Purple city and visit the Imperial Citadel and the Museum of Royal Relics. We end the tour with a visit to the colorful Dong Ba market. Evening, dinner at the Palace of An Dinh (royal costumes can be worn).
Overnight in Hue. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Hue - Danang
Morning, visit the tomb of Tu Duc, one of the 13 lavish imperial tombs of the Nguyen emperors, followed by a stop at Minh Tu pagoda orphanage. After lunch at the Tropical Restaurant, depart Hue for the port city of Danang. En route, stop at a fishing village and a rural school. Drive over the inspiring Hai Van Pass, whose peak lies perpetually shrouded in clouds. Upon arrival in Danang, a visit to the Cham museum will be led by the curator, Prof. Le Ba Dat. The museum features artifacts from the Champa Kingdom, which ruled the area from the 2nd to 14th century. End the day with a swim at historic China Beach. In the evening, beach barbecue dinner (for groups above 15 people only). Overnight in Danang. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Danang – Hanoi (Air)
Morning transfer to Danang airport for the flight to Hanoi, the present capital of Vietnam. Historical emphasis on the arts and learning stipulates that buildings in Hanoi remain small, simple and in harmony with nature. Tour of Hanoi includes the Temple of Literature with a one hour lecture by Dr. Huu Ngoc, a well known Vietnamese historian. Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the One Pillar Pagoda, which emerges from the water in the form of a lotus. Lunch is at an ancient pagoda overlooking West Lake. After lunch, Ms. Suzanne Lecht, an American art consultant who has lived in Hanoi for seven years, presents a slide show about Vienamese art and then leads the group to the Fine Arts Museum and other galleries. In the late afternoon, a cocktail party at the studio home of artists Mai Hien and Anh Khanh, 30 minutes drive outside the city. Dinner at Indochine Restaurant with traditional live music.
Overnight in Hanoi. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Halong Bay
At 7am, drive 3 1/2 hours to Halong Bay, a World Heritage site recognized in 1995. On arrival in Halong City, transfer to the private Hong Ngoc deluxe junk boat (room for 40 people). Cruise among the Bay’s 3,000 limestone islands and stop to explore several islets, caves and grottos. Fresh seafood lunch served on board. After a 4 hour cruise, transfer back to Hanoi with a stop en route to visit Dong Trieu pottery village. Early evening, the group visits the Vietnam National Puppetry Theater (Truong Chinh Theater) for a special outdoor water puppets performance, followed by interactions with the puppeteers and a visit to families making water puppets in the neighborhood. This evening, dinner is at the charming French colonial Restaurant Le Tonkin.
Overnight in Hanoi.(B, L, D)
Day 8: Hanoi
Cyclo tour around the scenic old quarter, then walk to the typical old quarter home where Mrs. Le Thi Loc has lived for over 40 years for an interesting talk about daily life in the quarter. Around 10.30 am, a walking tour through the market led by the chefs of the Seasons of Hanoi restaurant to buy food before going to the restaurant for a cooking lesson followed by lunch. Free afternoon for last minute shopping. Dinner is at the hotel.
Overnight in Hanoi. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Departure
Morning transfer to the airport for departure flight.
End of services. (B)
Per person Land portion is $3,399. International flights extra. Subject to all terms and conditions of TTI Canada. Space is limited.
This tour is an example of many tours we can do that are all custom-made. Tours with culinary themes and for veterans are orchestrated with flair. In fact, most special interests and any pre and post trip requirements can be accommodated. Just ask!
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