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Vietnam North and South Leisure Tour

Enjoy a tour that covers the expanse of Vietnam covering the key sites in Saigon and Hanoi as well as opportunities to experience life in the Mekong Delta, enjoy a homestay in rural Vietnam. This tour offers the opportunity to relax at the beach as well. There is the opportunity to see it all and enjoy it all during one tour.

Itinerary

Day 1: Sat Saigon Arrival
meals: D
Today you arrive in Saigon and upon arrival you will be welcomed at the airport and will transfer to your hotel for a rest after long flight. Known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a city of contrasts. The pace of life is frenetic, and yet the wide boulevards and parks help the city retain an air of calm. Classic French architecture competes for attention with brand new high-rise buildings. The port hosts vast tankers and cruise-liners while tiny sampans dart around them on the Saigon River. The eclectic mix of old and new in Saigon is the legacy of the many occupiers of the city since the Khmers used the area for hunting five hundred years ago. Tonight you will enjoy a welcome dinner on Indochina Junk while cruising on Saigon River. Overnight in Saigon.
Day 2: Sun Saigon city tour
meals: B,L
After breakfast, visit a lacquer-ware factory where you can see artists and craftsmen at work. You will visit Tuong Binh Hiep Lacquer Village, which has been known for many centuries as the cradle of the local lacquer industry. Or, you may have a walking tour around Dong Khoi Street, a colorful shopping district, and visit a silk shop where Vietnamese traditional garments are custom-made. You can order your own silk outfit which can be made while visiting Saigon. Have lunch at local restaurant in Saigon. Then enjoy a short city tour, which will take you around this bustling city of Vietnam, from downtown Saigon to Chinatown. You will get to know it a bit of history and culture with stops at History Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Municipal Post Office, and Thien Hau Temple in China town. You will not only learn about the past but also get a glimpse of the daily life of stall and street vendors at the Binh Tay Market and other places of interests. Have dinner at local restaurant and stay overnight in Saigon.
Day 3: Mon Saigon – Cai Be – Vinh Long – Mekong Homestay
meals: B,L,D
Today is a wonderful glimpse into the life of local people in the Delta, to understand more about their lives that live along with water with canals & river around. Travel two hours from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to Cai Be which occupies the heart of the Mekong Delta. Here we will take a boat trip to visit local handicrafts villages where you have a chance to learn how people make rice-paste; coconut candy ; pop-rice and pop-corn. As you continue the journey you will see how to make home made rice paper for spring-rolls; fish and soy sauce as well as cooking salt, and also how to sew coconut-leaves. After this productive time, you will be treated to a relaxing lunch with a local family while you enjoy many local Mekong specialties.
After lunch, enjoy your experience of taking a row boat deeper into the countryside on smaller canals. Here we will visit a nursery garden where you can meet a famous farmer – Mr Tiger & his son, who are quite sucessful in Vietnam agriculture. Here you can take a seat in his garden and enjoy seasonal fruits and taste homemade rice wine while listening to traditional music and getting to hear about about life on a farm. Later this afternoon, check-in and meet the local family for your homestay experience this evening. Then it’s time to dress in casual clothes as we have the chance to try the farmers’ daily activities. It a wonderful chance to help locals catch fish using the traditional ancestral ways of the Mekong Delta. Once you have done this you may be a bit muddy, but happy as you have the chance to catch many kinds of local fish and shrimp. This evening we can use the catch to cook for dinner. Tonight is a great chance to sit around, have a cup of tea and talk together as we learn about local culture. Stay overnight at the local homestay house. Mekong Homestay / stretchers with mosquito net.

 

Day 4: Tue Vinh Long – Mekong Homestay
meals: B,L,D
Enjoy a traditional breakfast at your homestay house and then visit Cai Be, which is a colorful floating market. It is beautiful and fascinating to cruise among local barges full of fruits and vegetables. Next we will walk and visit the Vinhlong market in town, where you will have chance to learn more about life in the countryside. Help your hostess purchase meat, fish and vegetables for your dinner this evening. Continue the boat trip where you will visit the brick kilns and see how the local people create beatiful pottery from clay. This afternoon, we will take part in a community project to help local people in building monkey-bridge or top off a roof. Local tradesmen and tour leaders will be supervising and assisting throughout the work, often identifying students with particular skills to perform the more difficult or skill orientated tasks. There are a variety of tasks and activities to choose from including: connecting water coconut leaves, cutting bamboo, assembling frames, hammering, sawing and transporting of materials. It is part of the work to build a local house or a monkey bridge. Later this afternoon return to your homestay house and you can help prepare dinner with this morning’s purchased products. You will have a chance to practice making pancakes – the specialty of the Mekong people. Stay overnight in homestay. Mekong Homestay / stretchers with mosquito net.
Day 5: Wed Vinh Long – Mekong Homestay
meals: B,L,D
This morning is free for biking or walking along the village to visit the sedge field which used to make the sleeping mats. Also, we will see the whole process to cut, slice, dry sedge (a kind of grass / weed) and weave the sleeping mats by hand. Tonight we will have a farewell countryside barbecue party to say goodbye with your homestay family. This special party will have grilled vegetables and a menu of local fish and you will also enjoy a traditional music performance. Mekong Homestay / stretchers with mosquito net.
Day 6 : Thu Vinh Long – Saigon – Hue
meals: B,L,D

This morning, say farewell to your family homestay and transfer back to Saigon for a flight to Hue. HUÉ is a small, peaceful city, full of lakes, canals and lush vegetation and some magnificent historical sights – including the nineteenth-century walled citadel, the remnants of its once-magnificent Imperial City and seven palatial Royal Mausoleums. In 1802 the Emperor Gia Long who was the founder of the Nguyen dynasty, moved the capital from Hanoi and built his Imperial City in Hué. On arrival in Hue you will be picked-up at the airport and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Have dinner at local restaurant in Hue.

Day 7: Fri Hue City
meals: B,L

This morning you will visit the former Imperial Citadel of Vietnam (1802-1945) which houses the Forbidden Purple City complex where emperors and families lived and now is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then you will visit Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. The Mausoleum was constructed between 1864 and 1867 and is set amidst frangipani trees and a grove of pines. According to the king, to die is to begin a new life in a new empire, so that he designed an exquisitely harmonious tomb to resemble a royal palace in miniature. Visitors to the tomb will be impressed by its majesty and serenity. This afternoon, take a boat trip on Perfume Rive to visit Thien Mu Pagoda, built in 1601 by Lords Nguyen Hoang on the left bank of the Perfume River. It is one of the most ancient and famous pagodas in Vietnam. The symbolic feature of the pagoda is its seven-story octagonal Phuoc Duyen Tower, built by Emperor Thieu Tri in 1844. Each of the seven stories represents a different reincarnation of Buddha. Stay overnight in Hue. Optional: A stop at Tea shop “Tra That and Tra Cung Dinh”, an ancient place for a cup of royal tea and a moment of peace and tranquility: US$ 5.00 PERSON

Day 8: Sat Hue – Hoi An
meals: B,L,D

Early morning depart for Danang – Hoi An. We will stop in Danang to visit Cham Museum, where more than 300 interesting sculptural statues and bas-reliefs have been collected from different sites of the ancient Champa Kingdom and preserved in this special museum. The antique objects for display are dated from the 4th to 12th century. Then visit Marble Mountains, which lie among five beautiful marble hills, and which were once the offshore islands. When Emperor Gia Long paid a visit to this site, he named them according to the five elements of the universe: Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (wood), Hoa Son (fire), Kim Son (metal) and Tho Son (earth). Thuy Son is the biggest and famous for its spectacular caves which shelter Buddhist sanctuaries and shrines. After lunch in Danang, continue your journey to Hoi An, a UNESCO Heritage Site and a charming and colorful village. Hoi An’s Old Town will enchant you with its streets lined with traditional architectures, shops, tailors and art galleries. Later this afternoon cycle to the ancient village and meet with local students, as you enjoy the romantic path of areca nut trees along the village path. Stop over and visit a local family to study how to make the bamboo frame of Hoi An style lantern. You can wrap silk around the lantern and admire the lantern you have created.

Day 9: Sun Hoian – Tra Que village – biking
meals: B,L

Tra Que is a charming little village on the edge of Hoi An and is named after the sweet scented vegetables that spice up the everyday meals of the Pho Hoi people. Here a new spirit for traditional Hoi An dishes like Cao Lau, Quang noodles, the local ‘Tam huu’ spring roll (made from Tra Que vegetables) and cake with meat (Banh xeo) has been enlivened. Enjoy a cooking class with your host. This morning, bike to Tra Que village and after arrival, we will listen to the introduction of the history of the village. Then learn about the cultivation of the vegetables as well as discovering about the use of vegetables in traditional Vietnamese medicine. You will take a trip around the vegetable garden and join the farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake. Continue doing activities such as: raking, sowing, watering greens, picking greens and many more gardening activities. Then spend the rest of the morning working the land in the time honored way, before breaking to prepare lunch with a local family. Your lunch will consist of many local delicacies including ‘tam huu’ spring roll, Banh xeo or the local pancake of the people from the middle region. After your lunch and the exertion of the morning, take an even more traditional Vietnamese post-prandial nap before learning how to harvest and wrap the vegetables. Then you will return to Hoi An town and have a city tour which includes Phung Hung Ancient House, Hoian Museum, Kwan Kung Temple, Japanese Covered Bridge and traditional workshops. Have dinner at local restaurant in Hoian. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10: Mon Beach Resort
meals:B
Today, you will have full day to enjoy and relax on the beach. The beach resort is equipped with pools, lounge chair and other amenities. You can enjoy beach volleyball, tai chi, kite flying and water sports like wind surfing, kayaking sailing, snorkeling, jet-skiing parasailing and others activities.
Day 11: Tue Beach Resort
meals:B
Today, you will have another full day to enjoy and relax on the beach while you absorb local culture as well as the resort’s fun activity options.
Day 12 : Wed Hoian – Danang – Hanoi
meals:B,L,D

Today transfer to Danang airport for a morning flight to Hanoi. Hanoi is the bustling capital of Vietnam which has a fusion of Asian and French influences. You will be picked up at the airport and transfer to hotel for check-in. This late afternoon, you will enjoy a cyclo ride tour through Hanoi Old Quarters, followed by a water puppet show, a traditional and unique Vietnamese art. Tonight enjoy dinner at a well-chosen local restaurant.

Day 13 : Thu Hanoi city tour
meals:B,L

Optional: Early this morning you may practice Tai Chi section with experienced teachers.
The morning city tour in Hanoi is comprised of: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which is located in the historical Ba Dinh Square. This is followed by visiting the One-Pillared Pagoda (Mot Cot Pagoda) which was built in 1049 in the shape of a lotus flower. According to a legend, King Ly Thai To, who had no male offspring, once saw in a dream the goddess of compassion (Avalokitesvara) sitting on a lotus who handed a boy to him. The King later married a young peasant woman he had met by chance and a son was born to them. As a token of gratitude, he had the pagoda built. You will also visit the Temple of Literature, a famous historical and cultural relic which became Vietnam’s first university. Have lunch at local restaurant. This afternoon, allow for leisure, exploring and shopping as you wish. Dinner at local restaurant in Hanoi.

Day 14 : Fri Departure Hanoi
meals:B
After breakfast, you have a little time in the morning for last minute shopping (embroidery, silk, lacquer ware,...) or resting before check-out and transferring to Noi Bai airport for your flight home or other destinations. Enjoy your trip!
Tour Prices:

price

Travel Time 

2 Persons

3-5 Persons

6-9 Persons

10-15 Persons

Hotel Single
Supplement

Deluxe Class

APR-SEP,2017

$2,210

$1,810

$1,810

$1,690

$615

OCT-DEC,2017

$2,250

$2,080

$1,850

$1,740

$640

Superior Class

APR-SEP,2017

$2,450

$2,280

$2,060

$1,950

$850

OCT-DEC,2017

$2,499

$2,340

$2,110

$1,990

$890

Inclusions

  • Private air-conditioned vehicle as per program
  • Local English speaking guide in each city
  • Accommodations based on Twin/Double share with daily breakfast
  • Mekong Homestay
  • Meals (excluding drinks) as specified in program
  • Boat fee & sightseeing fee as specified, on a private basis
  • Government tax and services charges
  • Water puppet show ticket & pedal cab fee in Hanoi
  • Home stay activities fee
  • Tra Que Village tour
  • Complimentary bottled drinking water
  • Economy air tickets Saigon – Hue & Danang – Hanoi

Exclusions

  • Private expenses
  • Optional tour
  • Visa to Vietnam
  • Local insurance / tips & gratuities
  • Vietnamese airport tax
  • Fuel Surcharge

ACCOMODATION DETAILS

Deluxe : COMBINE GOOD 3 AND  4 STAR HOTEL

  1. Saigon :
    LE DUY HOTEL / 3 star
  2. Hue :
    ROMANCE HOTEL/ 3 star +
  3. Hoi An :
    HOIAN BEACH RESORT/ 4 star
  4. Hanoi :
    MEDALLION HOTEL/ 3 STAR

Superior : COMBINE GOOD 4 AND 5 STAR HOTEL

  1. Saigon :
    GRAND  HOTEL/ 4 star
  2. Hue :
    IMPERIAL HOTEL/ 5 star
  3. Hoi An :
    SUNRISE HOI AN RESORT / 5 star
  4. Hanoi:
    NIKKO HOTEL /5 STAR
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