This 9-day itinerary covers 5 Heritage sites in Vietnam, they’re Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi, Halong Bay in Halong, Royal Tombs in Hue, Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary in Hoi An. Students will have chance to understand more about Vietnam culture as well as its history from past to present.
Day 1: Arrival at Hanoi (D)
Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, teacher and students will be greeted then transferred to hotel. After a short rest, we enjoy a 1-hour cycle tour of the French inspired “old quarter”. We will then sit down to enjoy a performance of the city’s famous Water Puppets. After the show, we will have welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant in town.
Day 2: Explore the Capital Hanoi (B, L, D)
Today we will venture out to explore Hanoi. First up we will visit the famous Hoang Thanh Thang Long (Imperial Citadel of Thang Long) – a cultural complex comprising the Royal enclosure, which was first built in the Ly Dynasty in the 19th century. We will then visit the nearly Flag Tower of Hanoi – a symbols of the city with 33.4 height. The flag tower was used as a military post during French war and now located in the Military History Museum. After visiting the museum, we will visit the Temple of Literature, which originally built as a temple to Confucius.
After lunch, we visit the Museum of Ethnology, which is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. We will finish our day with a visit to the St. Joseph’s Cathedral – European neo-Gothic with plenty of up-market shops and restaurants nearby. We will spend the night in Hanoi.
• Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is not opened on every Monday & Friday.
• Museum of Ethnology is closed on every Monday.
• The Museum can be moved to your favorite museum in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi – Duong Lam Ancient Village (B, L, D)
Duong Lam Ancient Village is the first ancient village recognized as a national relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information in Vietnam. It has a history of about 1,200 years with many houses dating back up to 400 years. One special thing about the village is that most of the buildings here are made of literate and mud, two materials that are abundant in the area. Literate is used on house walls, gates, wells, temple walls, and so forth. The mud is taken from ponds. Apart from its historical and tourism values, Duong Lam ancient village is an important place for scientists to study resident communities in ancient agriculture. The village gate, banyan, well, communal house are important factors in classifying Duong Lam ancient village.
This morning, we meet tour guide and driver at the lobby of the hotel and transfer 60km to the west of Hanoi to visit Duong Lam Ancient village. On arrival, we will walk along the tine ancient alleys, meet and talk over a cup of green tea with the local in the ancient house. We will then visit Mong Phu Temple, the only hamlet whose original village entrance gate remains intact.
After lunch in a local house with traditional Vietnamese food, we will cycle to Mia Pagoda which was built in 15th Century containing 287 statues of different sizes; Ngo Quyen& Phung Hung Temples the two National Heroes of Vietnam. In the late afternoon, we will transfer back to our hotel in Hanoi where we will spend the night.
Day 4: Hanoi – Halong (B, L, D)
Today we set off to the ‘Jewel in the Crown of Vietnam’; Halong Bay. Arriving before lunch we will board our boat and then set sail, cruising among thousands of extraordinary limestone karst formations. Halong Bay was voted one of ‘The New 7 Wonders of Nature’ in 2011, and once here you will know why it was included in this group.
On arrival in Halong, we will embark on V’Spirit Classic Cruise followed by a short cruise briefing. We will then savor a delectable lunch while V’Spirit Classic cruises among the limestone islands. In the mid-afternoon, we will kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Bo Nau Cave area before going back to the V’Spirit Classic and continue cruising to Soi Sim Island. Go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Soi Sim or climb up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay.
In the evening, we will cruise back to the main boat for a shower before having dinner and spend the night on board.
Day 5: Halong – Hanoi – Hue (B, L, D)
Wake up early in the morning and start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt before having breakfast. After that, we will explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave – the nicest cave in Halong Bay. After that, we will return to the boat, freshen up and check out of your cabin. Continue your cruise exploring the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, and more. While heading back to the harbor, watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch. We will disembark at round noon and find your car is waiting and take you back to Noi Bai airport in Hanoi for an evening flight to Hue. On arrival, students and teachers will be welcomed by our guide and transfer to the hotel in Hue where we will spend the night.
Day 6: Hue’s Riverboat and Royal Tombs (B, L, D)
Hue is known as an ancient Capital city of many original historical vestiges. There are more than 100 architectural works to be extremely reflected the life of Emperors and Mandarins under Nguyen’s reign. Situated in the middle of hills on the Southern Bank of Perfume River are very beautiful tombs of Nguyen Kings.
After breakfast at hotel, students and teach will board the Dragon Boat on the romantic Perfume River heading out for the countryside. Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded with ancient tombs of emperors past, and a visit to the most beautiful tombs will be on the itinerary for today. The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop of the day. We will enjoy a great view on the Perfume River and surrounding area. Thien Mu Pagoda is considered the symbol of Hue, and of Buddhism in Vietnam. From here, we rejoin our van and go visit King Khai Dinh’s Tomb.
In the afternoon, we visit the Imperial Citadel and one of city’s ‘garden houses’ and then return to our hotel to freshen-up. In the evening, we will have dinner in the pleasant surroundings and a comfortable atmosphere of another of the garden houses. We spend the night in Hue.
Day 7: Hue – Danang – Hoi An – Walking tour (B, L, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we travel by vehicle to Hoi An along scenic highway 1A. Along the way, we will stop to contemplate the stunning views North, to Lang Co Beach and South to Danang city.
On arrival in Danang, we will have a brief visit at Cham Museum – the houses of the most complete collection if Cham Artifacts anywhere in the world; China Beach – where the American named and used to have their Rest and Relaxation; and the Marble Mountain – the five elements of the Universe (water, wood, air, fire and earth). We will arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon and check in our hotel.
In the afternoon, we will start our walking tour around the ancient town to visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Pottery Museum, Tan Ky old house, the Cantonese congregation, the silk street of Hoi An, the temples and pagodas of Chinese appearance. We will spend the night in Hoi An.
Day 8: Hoi An – My Son Sanctuary (B, L)
My Son, located 69 km southwest of Danang, was an imperial city during the Cham dynasty, and 75km far from Hoi An. My Son is the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth century. Their religion was primarily derived from Indian Hinduism. My Son is considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham structures in Vietnam. The complex is comprised of seventy Hindu-like towers and temples dating from the second century. My Son Sanctuary is a large complex of religious relics that comprises more than 70 architectural works. They include temples and towers that connect to each other with complicated red brick designs. The main component of the Cham architectural design is the tower, built to reflect the divinity of the king.
We are picked-up at hotel at 8AM by local tour guide and driver then depart for the ancient Cham ruins of My Son. Once there, we visit the Tra Kieu capital which was the former administration center of Champa Kingdom. Discover the majestic ancient ruins at My Son including ancient towers which were built from the fourth century. In the afternoon, we will return to Hoi An and have the rest of the day free at leisure. We can laze on the beach, wander around the street or shopping. We stay another night in Hoi An.
Day 9: Hoi An – Danang – Hanoi (or Ho Chi Minh City) departure (B)
Time will be free until our car and guides arrives at the hotel to take us to the airport in Danang for a domestic flight to Hanoi (or Ho Chi Minh City) in good time to connect your departure flight. Tour ends.