Authentic Vietnam - 16 days

Authentic Vietnam - 16 days
Day 01: Hanoi Arrival
Day 02: Hanoi /Mong Phu / Hanoi
Day 03: Hanoi / Halong
Day 04: Halong / Hanoi
Day 05: Hanoi / Ninh Binh
Day 06: Ninh Binh / Nghe An
Day 07: Nghe An / Quang Binh
Day 08: Quang Binh / Phuoc Tich / Hue
Day 09: Hue
Day 10: Hue / Danang / Hoian
Day 11: Hoian / Kontum
Day 12: Kontum
Day 13: Kontum / Pleiku / Buon Ma Thuot
Day 14: Buon Ma Thuot / Saigon
Day 15: Saigon / Ben Tre / Saigon
Day 16: Saigon Departure



DAY 01: ARRIVAL IN HANOI

Arrival in Hanoi. Transfer to your hotel. Orientation tour: The Hoan Kiem Lake, the Ngoc Son Pagoda, dedicated to the genius of Literature. Visit the Quan Thanh Pagoda, dedicated to the Tran Vu genius. Strolling in the old quarters of 36 corporations, the heart of the Old Hanoi. Visit the temple of Literature. Diner, back to your hotel.


DAY 02: HANOI / MONG PHU / HANOI

Heading to the Mong Phu Village, 60kms West of Hanoi. The Mong Phu hamlet, more than 400 years old, is classified as “cultural village”, due to its architecture of red stones and its old existence. A pedestrian walk (about 2 hours) in this nice scenery, will allow us to better understand the traditions, the custom and the belief of the inhabitants. All around Mong Phu, the fields are sprinkled with graves as many immutable vigils; The “Dinh“ or town hall, topped with curved roof panels, is being used as place for religious ritual as well as meeting space. Back to Hanoi, lunch and deeper visit of the Capital as well as discovery of the colonial and traditional atmosphere: The temple of Literature, built in 11th century, was Vietnam’s first University, the ethnographic museum, rickshaw tour through the old quarters. Water Puppet show. Dinner and back to the hotel.

DAY 03: HANOI / HA LONG

Road to Ha Long that was registered at the World Heritage by UNESCO since 1944. Boat excursion in Ha Long Bay. Sea food lunch on board – visit the marvelous caves. Dinner and overnight on board.

DAY 04: HA LONG / HANOI

Landing after lunch. Back to Hanoi - On the way, visit the beautiful But Thap Pagoda.

DAY 05: HANOI / NINH BINH

Departure to Hoa Lu, the old capital of Vietnam. Drive to visit Bai Dinh Pagoda, then have a boat trip tour through the peaceful landscapes: canals and rice fields, to reach magnificent caves in Trang An. Lunch at Hoa Lu. Bicycle rides through the country side. Dinner and night at Hoa Lu.

DAY 06: NINH BINH / NGHE AN

Drive to Nghe An, where we can find uncle’s Ho Village. This village is surrounded by ponds of lotus, also called Kim Lien or Golden Lotus. We visit the house, made of bamboo and wood, built in 1901; it is a gift from the villagers to the father of Ho Chi Minh.

DAY 07: NGHE AN / QUANG BINH

We leave Nghe An for Quang Binh, superb site, surrounded by mountains, forests and sea. In the afternoon, visit of a geological wonder: the Phong Nha Cave, also registered at the world heritage by UNESCO. Phong Nha Cave offers 40kms of underground galleries and rivers. Thousands of years have carved enormous stalactites. Overnight and dinner in Quang Binh.

DAY 08: QUANG BINH / Traditional village of PHUOC TICH / HUE

Heading to Hue, passing by the very old village of Phuoc Tich, who still keeps the serenity of a traditional village. We continue to Hue, old royal capital of Vietnam, also registered at the world heritage by UNESCO. Boat trip on the Perfume River and visit the Thien Mu Pagoda: it is the most beautiful religious construction of Hue, with its octagonal tower and seven levels, over viewing the river then we visit the Dong Ba Market.

DAY 09: HUE

Drive to the old village of Thanh Toan, 15kms from Hue, well-known for its covered bridge and its beautiful country sceneries. The people of this village made a living by baking roof tiles from clay. Back to Hue, we continue our visit: Hue still keeps his imperial charm of majesty. Visit of the Minh Mang Mausoleum, then the Imperial city, surrounded by large moats, with the South Gate, the palace of supreme Harmony, the purple Forbidden City, where the emperor used to live with his family. Dinner with local special dishes.

DAY 10: HUE / DANANG / HOI AN

Drive to Danang and visit of the CHAM Museum, gathering the best collection of CHAM sculpture. We keep go on to Hoi An. Lunch en route. Visit Hoi An, previously called Faifo, also registered at the world heritage by UNESCO. Hoi An is a perfect example of Vietnamese classic architecture, with its covered bridge, its houses of precious wood, the communal houses of the congregations of Canton and Phuc Kien and its numerous silk shops; bicycle trip through the city, dinner in town and accommodation.

DAY 11: HOI AN / KONTUM

Through the Ho Chi Minh trail, national road 14. Early morning departure through the national road 14, former Ho Chi Minh trail, testimony of the Vietnam war. This new road, called Transnational, should make more space to the national 1, famous coastal road; before people called it “Mandarin route“. We pass through Kham Duc, winding through primary forest and rapids. This is true jungle! Continuing the transnational road, by passing through the mountain pass of LOXO: nice minority villages are gathering along the road. Further, it is the boundaries of the 3 countries: Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Visit of the DAKRIPENG village (Sedang minority) and the “Phoenix “airfield. Arrival at Kontum in late afternoon. Dinner and accommodation.

DAY 12: KONTUM

Heading to the village of KONKETU, crossing the hanging bridge of KONKLOR for a pedestrian visit of the Konjuri village. Trekking in the jungle to reach the village of KONBAH. Picnic lunch and bathing in the clear, unspoiled waters of the DAKBLA River. Back to Konteku village. Unforgettable experience in a pirogue trip on the river…! Show of Banar danses and songs, we will dance with the villagers around a big wood fire. Tasting rice alcohol from a big jar, with a long bamboo straw. Overnight in the village, in the communal house.

DAY 13: KONTUM / PLEIKU / BAN ME THUOT

Continuing our visits of KONTUM: the wooden church, the very nice house of the archbishop, considered as a museum, then the village of PLEITONGHIA. Lunch at Pleiku, then continuing to Ban Me Thuot, visit of the ethnographic museum. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 14: BAN ME THUOT / SAIGON

You can find large coffee plantations in the central highland. Visit Ban Me Thuot: we go to the JUN village. Elephant ride, then we cross the river to visit another village called M’Lieng. Little walk to meet the villagers, lunch then back to Ban Me Thuot. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY 15: SAIGON / BEN TRE / SAIGON

From Saigon, we drive to Ben Tre. Visit the Turtle Islands. This island remains still original with its country houses, its little canals edged with water coconut trees. Cart trip, driven by a horse, tasting local tea with honey, and listening to typical folkloric songs of South Vietnam. Lunch at an orchard, taste the famous “Elephant Ear” fish cooking by the local people. Return to Saigon.

DAY 16: SAIGON / DEPARTURE

Visit Saigon city in the morning – the lively China town, the Binh Tay Market, full of all kind of consuming goods, the temple of the Heaven Lady Thien Hau, the Ben Thanh Market, lunch in the city – afternoon visit of the “Notre-Dame” Cathedral, the general Post Office building, the reunification Palace and finally transfer to the international airport.
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