North to South Vietnam

Itinerary

Upon arrival in Hanoi, in the morning, you will be met outside the airport by the guide, a welcome signboard and flowers. All group members are provided with cold towels and mineral water. Transfer to your hotel for check in. Hanoi’s history is tied to French colonialism; its architecture, cuisine and local culture still bear evidence of the French influence. Around 4 pm, the program orientation is carried out in the Conference room of the hotel. Welcome dinner is served at the charming French colonial restaurant of Le Tonkin

Meal: Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Ha Noi
After breakfast, enjoy the first lecture about “Overview of the History, Culture, Religion, and Psychology of Vietnam”, specially delivered by well-known Vietnamese historian/ psychologist, Dr. Huu Ngoc, which is followed by a tour around the charming capital city to visit the Temple of Literature. Vegetarian lunch is at one of the most ancient pagodas in Hanoi, providing an opportunity to interact with nuns living in the pagoda about their lives. Afternoon, another lecture is presented at the hotel, “The People of Vietnam- Cultural Diversity”, specially delivered by Mr. Mark Rapport, whose major is in Vietnamese Ethnology. This is followed by the site visit to the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology. Evening, visit the neighbourhood of the Truong Chinh local theatre where families make puppets. Learn from these family members about the art of making puppets and add the last paint to the water puppet face. Then, enjoy a private water puppet performance in a real pond of the Truong Chinh theater; opportunity to interact with water puppeteers about their experience after show.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Ha Noi
After breakfast, enjoy a morning lecture: “The Education System of Vietnam & Its Role for Ethnic minorities”. The lecture is specially delivered by Mr. Xuan Anh, Director of Hanoi Educational Department. The lecture is also given by Mr. Greg Booth, CARE International. A coffee/ tea break is offered before attending another lecture and discussion with Mr. Chuck Searcy about: “Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation”. Lunch is at the beautiful Indochine Restaurant. At 2 pm, drive to visit to the Fine Arts Museum and some well known artists studios of Dao Hai Phong and Le Quan. Later afternoon, take a rickshaw ride through the French colonial quarter and the Old quarter of Hanoi for an hour. Dinner at the hotel

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Ha Noi
Drive around three and a half hours to Halong City, taking a break en route at a local coffee shop. Arrive by noon at the quay, and board our private junk to begin a 4-hour cruise through spectacular Halong Bay, stopping along the way to explore the limestone caves or just lazing about on the upper deck. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most spectacular natural wonders. The tiny limestone islands are dotted with many beaches and grottoes created by the wind and the waves, and provide an excellent backdrop for swimming. Back on board indulge in a delicious seafood lunch. Drop off at the pier and transfer back to Hanoi.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Overnight in Ha Noi
Visit to tour of Hanoi to visit to Ho Chi Minh’s House, Mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh’s body lies in state, followed by the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Lunch is at KOTO restaurant, where street children are training / have been trained to be professional hospitality staff. Around 2 pm, meet and interact with a U.S. Ambassador. Around 4 pm, a lecture about: “Family Structure, Traditional Values and Age-Dependent Roles, Responsibilities and Privileges” is again delivered by Dr. Huu Ngoc. Evening, dinner is at a local restaurant with traditional music

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Ha Noi
Transfer to the airport for late morning flight to Hue. On arrival, transfer to hotel and check in. Late lunch is at the restaurant of La Residence hotel. Start the Hue city tour with visit to the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden City. Evening, royal dinner is at a Restored royal home

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Hue
At 7.45 am, enjoy a lecture at hotel: “Architecture of the Ancient City of Hue and the Influence of the French”. The lecture is delivered by Dr. Dac Xuan, who is Director of Hue restoration center, a member of UNESCO. Following the lecture is video about Hue architecture and Hue Royal music and dance. At 10 am, drive to visit to the Truong Quoc Hoc Hue, a well-known National High School in Vietnam. Lunch is at the home of well-known Hue historian, Mr. Phan Thuan An, formerly the home of the former princess of the Emperor Dong Khanh during the Nguyen Dynasty – providing some opportunity to interact with the historian himself about Hue history. His daughter also joins us to play some traditional Hue music. Afternoon, boat cruise on the Perfume River upstream to visit the Thien Mu pagoda, the most religious monument of Hue. Continue to visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh tombs, the most elaborate royal tombs of Nguyen dynasty. A lecture at Tu Duc tomb delivered by the historian Phan Thuan An is about: “Reign of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh”. On return to the hotel, en route visit the Minh Tu pagoda, which houses an orphanage, providing opportunity to see the full operations of the orphanage and interact with the head nun Minh Tu, the founder. Evening, home hosted dinner is at the home of an interesting woman - Mrs. Tung Chi, a member of the former Royal family.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Hue
Early morning drive for 3 hours from Hue to Da Nang with a stop at the Phu Thanh elementary school to visit a rural school, opportunity to interact with students and teachers before passing the beautiful passes of Phu Gia, Phuoc Tuong, and Hai Van providing us with many photo opportunities. On arrival in Hoi An around noon, check-in to hotel. Lunch is at Cargo Club restaurant. After lunch, attend a talk on the Hoi An ancient town made by Mr. Tran Van Nhan, a member of UNESCO in Hoi An, followed by a walking tour through the Ancient Town of Hoi An. Evening, dinner at the Brothers Café Restaurant

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Hoi An
Early morning, drive about 20 km to visit the Marble Mountains with an option to climb up the Mountain and a visit to marble stone workshop making sculptures. Continue to visit Cham Museum with an on-site lecture: “The Cham Empire in Vietnam”. The tour of the Cham museum is led by Professor Tran Ky Phuong, who teaches Cham civilization at Danang general University. Lunch is at Apsara restaurant in Danang. After lunch, drive to visit the beach for a swimming opportunity before driving back to Hoi An. Evening, dinner at Full Moon restaurant.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Hoi An
After breakfast, travel by coach for 45 km to My Son, UNESCO World Heritage site. On arrival, hear an on-site lecture: “Hindu Influence on Cham Architecture”. Explore different sites in My Son holy land to visit different groups of structures. Drive back to Hoi An for lunch at the Pho Hoi Garden restaurant. Afternoon is free at leisure for your own shopping. Evening, dinner served at hotel.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Hoi An
Early morning, check out and transfer to Danang airport for the morning flight to Saigon. On arrival, transfer to hotel for check in. Remainder of the morning is free at leisure. Although the largest and busiest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City retains the old charm of its graceful colonial French style and structures. Lunch is at the Ancient Town restaurant, where Bill Clinton ate during his visit in early 2001. After lunch, an orientation tour around Saigon city with visit to the former US Embassy to South Vietnam pre 1975, the French-built Saigon Central Post Office, and the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral with its two high spires. Evening, dinner at your hotel

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Sai Gon
Early breakfast before departing at 7.00am for Vinh Long in the Mekong River delta, with a stop at Trung Luong bonsai garden for a short break. On arrival in Cai Be Town, board motorized boat to visit local puffed rice/ snack-making family business. Continue by boat to pass & visit Cai Be floating market. The cruise will later take us through tiny winding canals for a close up view of lively Mekong river life. We will have many photo opportunities of the fish traps and fruit gardens along the canals. An on-site lecture: “Mekong Commerce” is presented by the son of Mr. Hai Hoang. Lunch is at the classic Bonsai garden of Mr. Sau Giao, and is served with elephant ear fish, a Mekong specialty, and an opportunity to sample local wine. After lunch, re-board our boat to cruise towards Vinh Long town. Drive back to Saigon and arrive early evening. Dinner is at Indochine restaurant.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Sai Gon
Morning breakfast is followed by a lecture at 8am: “The Economy and politics of Vietnam / Saigon”, delivered by Mr. Fred Burke, an American lawyer who has lived in Vietnam for 9 years. At 9 am, tour to Saigon South to visit Phu My Hung Corporation and an on-site lecture at 9.30am: “An Example of Foreign Investment in HCMC” by the Corporation. After that, continue tour of Saigon South to visit an American company, Nike or American Standard, to learn how Americans do business in Vietnam. Lunch is at An Vien restaurant. About 2pm, transfer to Ky Long Art Gallery for a visit and lecture: “Chinese influence on Vietnamese Art”. Dinner is at Hoi An restaurant, featuring a traditional music performance.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Sai Gon
Receive the 7.30am lecture: “Cao Dai religion” delivered by Duong Ngoc Dung, PhD in religion from Harvard University. Following this, embark on a field trip to Tay Ninh, the birthplace of this unique religion to visit Cao Dai great temple. This modern sect, founded in the 1920’s, is a synthesis of Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, and Christian beliefs, with a dash of Islam thrown in. Opportunity to observe a very colourful service at midday. Lunch at a local restaurant is served with Tay Ninh specialty of raw spring roll in fogged rice paper and Trang Bang noodles soup. After lunch, leave for Cu Chi district to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, specially led by VC veterans, who used to live under the tunnels. There are opportunities to interact with the VC and hear some of their experiences. Return to Saigon early in the evening. Dinner is on the Saigon River Cruise.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Sai Gon
Morning breakfast is followed by a walking tour to visit the Reunification Hall (Presidential Palace), specially led by a Palace specialist. As soon as the tour is completed, there is a final group discussion through an on-site lecture at the Presidential Palace about “Debriefing: Pulling it all together”. Lunch at Buffalo Boy restaurant. The afternoon is free at leisure for shopping on own. Evening, farewell dinner is at Mandarin restaurant.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Overnight in Sai Gon
Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for departure flight. End of services

Meal: Breakfast
Hotel: Not include
Inclusive of: Non-inclusive of:
Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast

Function rooms for lectures

Private airport transfers and transportation on tour

Sightseeing with English speaking guides

Special arrangements with professors/ curators/ historians, etc

Admission fees and permits as per the itinerary

Private boat cruises

Private water puppet show

Domestic airfare HAN-HUI, DAD-SGN with airport taxes

Meals as indicated (meals only without drinks)

Mineral water and cold towel on car/van/bus

Vietnam visa

Other meals with drinks

International departure airport tax

Travel insurance

Others items not mentioned in the Inclusive of: column

Local Map

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Tour type: Daily Tour
Duration: 16 days
Maximum number of people: 40
Location: Vietnam
Rate:
Adults:
Children (Age 7-10):
(charge 70% )
Children (Age 3-6):
(charge 50% )

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