A short week to embrace the customs of many ethnic
Are you looking for a Vietnam itinerary? Vietnam places to visit? iLOTUS TOURS is Vietnam travel agency that offer all types of tours as such Vietnam private tours and Vietnam travel package with Vietnam travel cost.
For this tour, your have opportunity to discover Vietnam from the amazing karstic peaks of Halong Bay to the floating market, from the ancient temples and houses of Hue and Hoi An to the semi-maritime life of the Mekong populations, this trip will take you not only through the most beautiful landscapes but also cultural and architectural landmarks of Vietnam.
Day 1: Hanoi arrival
Day 2: Hanoi city tour
Day 3: Ha Noi - Ha Long bay
Day 4: Ha Long Bay – NinhBinh
Day 5: Binh- Tam Coc- Phat Diem- Hanoi – night train for Hue
Day 6: Hue visit
Day 7: Hue- Da Nang- Hoi An
Day 8: Hoi An - cycling to the beach
Day 9: Hoi An – Da Nang Ho Chi Minh City
Day 10: Saigon - Ben Tre - Can Tho
Day 11: Can Tho- Ho Chi Minh City
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City tour - Cu Chi tunnel
Day 13: Last moments in Ho Chi Minh
Cultural, architectural and historical wealth
● The old quarter and ancient houses of Hanoi and Hoi An
● The temples of Ninh Binh and the imperial monuments of Hue
● Colonial buildings in Saigon
● The picturesque karst peaks of maritime and terrestrial Halong Bay
● Hue’s wilderness and the beaches of Hoi An
● The coconut jungles and the cajeput forest of Tra Su
OUR BEST OFFERS
● Excellent English speaking guide(s) : fluent, helpful and caring
● Walk to discover Hanoi’s Old Quarter as a local
● Cycling excursions in the Hoi An countryside
Arrival in Noi Bai airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in the city center. The check-in will be available at 2 pm. The rest of the day is free to rest or discover the city at your own pace.
You will be picked up at the hotel at 8:00 am, starting the day trip with a visit of the Ho Chi Minh Complex, including Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum (closed on Mondays & Fridays) and his former stilt-house residence. We will continue with the Temple of Literature constructed in 1070 to worship Confucius, which served as the first Royal National University in Vietnam. The site also honors 82 Vietnamese doctorates who passed a number of rigorous exams in the feudal ages. Their names, birthdays and birthplaces are engraved in 82 headstones perched on stone tortoises. It is widely believed that touching the heads of these tortoises will bring one luck. Its peaceful green compound and its neatly maintained lawns, gardens and lotus ponds make it a tranquil hideaway from the city’s bustle and heat. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays, the alternative being the History Museum), which offers informative and well-documented displays on the country’s 54 ethnic groups cultures, including elaborate and colorful hill tribe costumes. The display continues in the museum’s garden with fascinating examples of traditional houses of numerous minority groups, from the Kinhs to the ethnic groups of the Central Highlands. Then back to the Old Quarter for a one hour and a half walking tour to give you a deeper insight of local daily life. Head to Ngoc Son Temple set on a tiny island in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple dates back to the 13th century, and the lake itself is the picturesque heart of Hanoi, frequented by tourists and locals alike. The day ends with a stroll around the HoanKiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) before watching the traditional water puppet show.
After breakfast, depart for Halong Bay, passing through the typical peaceful countryside of Red River Delta with endless rice fields and winding rivers. We will arrive at Halong’s tourist wharf around noon and embark on an elegant wooden junk. Lunch will be served while the boat gently cruises past numerous islands and limestone structures rising from the emerald water. A fresh seafood dinner will be prepared by an experienced chef and served on deck. A peaceful night indeed in your private cabin.
Please note the program may vary a little depending on the cruise you choose & weather conditions on that day
|Car: 160km/3h||B, L, D||Night on boat|
Continuation of the cruise in Halong Bay in the middle of the countless islets. You will never tire of this magical landscape! Disembark and drive towards NinhBinh. You will pass through the province of Nam Dinh, known for its pagodas and temples dedicated to the emperors of the Tran dynasty (1225 - 1400). The road will reveal a countryside landscape where rice cultivation predominates. Arrival in NinhBinh in the late afternoon. Night at the hotel.
|Car: 170km/3h||B, L,||Hotel|
After having breakfast, let’s hit the road to Tam Coc, where we will embark on a small rowing boat to discover the outstanding karst waterscape on the Ngo Dong River. Tam Coc literally translates to « three caves» and is adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of all sizes shaped like gemstones. While rowing, enjoy the peaceful scenery of rice paddies lining the river bank. After lunch we will cycle along winding roads passing lotus ponds, temples and cottages, typical of Vietnamese countryside, to visit Bich Dong Pagoda situated on a hillside. Then, we will leave for the Phat Diem Cathedral (also called “Stone Cathedral”) which is the result of a harmonious union between the Buddhist pagoda architecture and the Catholic religion. Transfer back to Hanoi. Night train for Hue
|Car:150km/3h||B||Night on the train|
In the morning, we will take a boat trip on the poetic Perfume River. Stop to visit Thien Mu Pagoda (Celestial Lady Pagoda) built in 1601, the symbol of Hue city. Explore Minh Mang Mausoleum, one of Hue's finest royal tombs, an architectural complex comprised of 40 buildings (palaces, temples, pavilions, etc.). Disembark for lunch at a local restaurant. The afternoon will be spent visiting Hue Imperial City, the last royal city of Vietnam with various beautiful architectures including the Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Forbidden Purple City or Tu Cam Thanh. We will then visit the Tomb of Emperor TuDuc, which was built between 1864 and 1867 by 3000 soldiers and workers. It includes 50 monuments surrounded by a 1500m long wall and covers an area of 12 hectares. Take time to soak in its tranquil and relaxing setting.
After breakfast, drive on the Mandarin road, a scenic journey from Hue to Hoi An, which allows you to see a picturesque Vietnam with stunning beaches and lush tropical forest. On the way, take some pictures atDanang Beach and visit Marble Mountains and the Cham Museum. In Hoi An, check-in at your hotel and have lunch at a restaurant. In the afternoon, explore Hoi An’s ancient town visiting the Japanese Pagoda Bridge, Chinese streets, old Phung Hung houses, Hoi An’s market and ancient port. On the 1st and 15th of every lunar month, Hoi An’s ancient town is lit up by hundreds of colorful lanterns, ever more sparkling. Following the tour, you will stop over at Reaching Out tea house, a tranquil oasis in the center of bustling Hoi An.
After breakfast, cycle to PhuThinh beach, passing through lush paddy fields. On the way, stop at the Precious Art Gallery Museum to discover Vietnam ethnic minorities. Upon arrival, go for a swim and have an enjoyable massage facing the sea. Seafood lunch will be served on the beach. After that, ride the bike back to your hotel.
Free time then transfer to Da Nang for a flight to Ho Ch Minh City. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Departure from the hotel at 8:00 am to Ben Tre province in the Mekong Delta. Arrive at Hung Vuong Pier, 90km far from Ho Chi Minh city, where you’ll cruise along the Ben Tre River and visit an artisanal brick factory and its imposing ovens. Stop for tea time, a sweet break in a coconut candy manufacture and discover how coconut flesh is used and processed. A short bike ride or a tuk-tuk drive (a motorcycle allowing to transport 6 passengers) will allow you to explore the countryside and to visit a family braiding mats. Lunch in a local restaurant offering typical dishes. Then, board a rowing boat to join the canal through a maze of arroyos and return to the landing stage. Transfer and overnight at the hotel in Can Tho.
|Car: 180km||B, L||Hotel|
In the early morning, go on an excursion to the floating market of Cai Rang, the largest one in the region, where boats full of fruits and vegetables gather every day. Then take a walk in one of the orchards of Mr. Tu Dung, where you will be able to enjoy fresh tropical fruits and visit a vermicelli factory.
The day will continue with a visit to BinhThuy's ancien house, scenery where the movie “L'amant” was shot in 1992, an adaptation of the famous novel of Marguerite Duras. Return to Ho Chi Minh in the late afternoon. Overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, head to an authentic place where the elders exhibit collectible birds. We will enjoy the atmosphere of the green park of Tao Dan around a good coffee. Then we will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office. Finally, stop at The Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Presidential Palace, which was the residence of the president of South Vietnam until the end of April 1975. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels situated 70km from Saigon. The Cu Chi Tunnel system was created around 1948 to assist the Viet-Minh in their fight against the French occupiers. Construction and enlargement continued during American bombings and it was turned into an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapon factories and field hospitals. The Cu Chi Tunnels could house up to 10,000 people who lived underground for years, got married and raised children there. During the Vietnam-American War, the entire area of Cu Chi was designated as a fire free zone yet was heavily bombarded. Since 1988, two sections of the tunnels are open to the public so people could crawl through and have a better understanding of this war. Overnight at the hotel in Ho Chi Minh city.
Depending on the schedule of your return flight, take advantage of your free time to shop in the bustling streets of Saigon: Le Loi, Ton DucThang, Nguyen Hue, Pasteur, or rest at the hotel (room available until 'at 12). Transfer to the airport. End of our services.
This trip is privately organized by iLOTUS TOURS. The price of the trip varies according to the size of the group, the level of services, the season and your reservation deadlines. The price published above is applied for a group of 6 participants, based on double/twin rooms in hotels. Click "Personalize this trip" to get the exact price for your group.
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
• Accommodation and breakfasts in hotels on the accommodation list
• Meals clearly mentioned in the program: B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner
• The entrance fee to the sites
• Competent English-speaking guides throughout the trip except the free days when it is mentioned clearly: without a guide
• Private air-conditioned car for all land transport except free days when it is mentioned clearly: without driver
• One litre of drinking water per person per day
• All logistic services necessary of the program.
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• International flights and airport taxes from/to your country
• Visa fees
• Means of transport not mentioned in the program
• Meals not mentioned in the program
• Tipping for services: local guides, crew member, drivers, porters…
• Drink, telephone, linen or all personal expenses not mentioned in the "price includes" section.
ON THE MANDARIN ROAD 13 DAYS
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