Uitgebreide reisroute van de Internationale groepsreis Highlights of Vietnam
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  • Culture
  • Cultural Wonders
  • Natural Wonders
  • Food

    • Underground rivers and caves of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Boat trip around stunning Halong Bay. In Hue visit the Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda. The historic trading town of Hoi An. Visit the Vinh Moc Vietnam war tunnels Explore the Mekong Delta by boat. Experience mouth-watering cuisine
  • 1

    Start Hanoi

    Depending on your arrival time you might like to start exploring this fascinating city by strolling amongst broad tree-lined avenues dating from the French period. There is a faded colonial charm where baguettes and good coffee are sold from doorways of grand buildings of a past era. There will be a welcome briefing this evening with your leader followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life. The delicious food provides a fitting welcome to Vietnam and chance to meet your fellow travellers.May De Ville City Centre Hotel or similar

  • 2

    To Halong Bay; cruise among limestone formations; overnight on boat

    We make an early start for the approximate 4-hour journey to Halong Bay. This is one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in South East Asia with roughly 3,000 limestone peaks rising directly from the clear emerald sea. We cruise amongst this amazing karst scenery and enjoy a seafood lunch on board. We overnight on board in twin share cabins with en suite facilities.Overnight Boat

  • 3

    Transfer back to Hanoi; overnight train to Dong Hoi

    We continue to cruise around Halong Bay this morning before returning to port. We then drive back to Hanoi where we have a bit of free time to explore this fascinating city. You might like to join the locals by pulling up a plastic stool and sampling one of the many street food offerings; the bun cha (barbecued pork with rice noodles and fresh herbs) is not to be missed! Late afternoon we transfer to the train station to board our overnight train to Dong Hoi, 500km south of Hanoi. Overnight Train 

  • 4

    Journey to underground rivers, karst mountains and verdant jungle of UNESCO site Phong Nha N.P

    Arriving into Dong Hoi at sunrise we journey to the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park and have breakfast at the farm-stay that will be our overnight spot later on. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003, the National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia. Riddled with hundreds of cave systems and spectacular underground rivers, this is an area very new to tourism but sure to impress with its scale. We will first explore Thien Duong cave, known locally as Paradise Cave. This was only discovered in 2005 by scientists from the British Cave Research Association with the help of a local man who had heard the mountains ‘whistling’ while farming.After lunch we will visit Phong Nha cave by boat before returning to the farm-stay. There will be time to relax and enjoy the peace of the countryside or for those who wish there is the option to cycle around the local villages. Chay Lap Farm or similar

  • 5

    To Hue via Vinh Moc tunnels; a key resource during the Vietnam War

    We start our journey to Hue today stopping en-route at the Vinh Moc war tunnels. Less well-known than the Cu Chi tunnels in the south, these tunnels were predominantly used as bomb shelters during the Vietnam War. During times of bombing, village life carried on underground; children went to school, hospitals were established and films were even played with a generator.We next stop at the Hien Luong bridge which crosses the Ben Hai River. This formed part of the border between North and South Vietnam from 1954 until reunification in 1975. We will arrive in Hue mid-afternoon and will have some free time before an optional group dinner. Park View Hotel or similar

  • 6

    Hue city tour; transfer to Hoi An

    It is claimed that Hue is the cultural and historical centre of Vietnam, and there is plenty to see. The most outstanding sight is the Imperial Citadel with walls six miles in length; inside are the palaces and halls of the Mandarins, and the remains of the Forbidden Purple City, where only the emperor, his eunuchs and concubines were allowed. The Forbidden Purple City was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric and the gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war. This morning we visit the Imperial Citadel and the famous Thien Mu Pagoda. The pagoda was a centre for anti-government protest in the early 1960's and it houses the Austin car that transported a monk, Thich Quang Duc, to Saigon in 1963 where he burned himself in protest against the President. The photograph of his self-immolation was printed in newspapers all around the world.After lunch we leave for Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass; 19kms of road winds up and over the fortress of mountains providing breath-taking views of the coast. Le Pavillon Paradise Hoi An Hotel & Spa or similar

  • 7

    Walking tour of Hoi An; free time for market exploration

    This morning will include a walking tour of Hoi An, the original European trading port in Vietnam dating back to the mid-16th century. It is now a living museum, with attractive wooden merchant's houses and pagoda-style temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European architectural influences. It is also a marvellous place to wander around and enjoy the thriving riverside market and great silk, clothes shopping. This afternoon is free, one popular option is to jump on a bike for a ride through the countryside past local markets, schools and villages before continuing on to Cua Dai beach (5 km).Le Pavillon Paradise Hoi An Hotel & Spa or similar

  • 8

    Fly to Saigon; visit main sites

    We drive to Da Nang and then fly to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), an exciting and absorbing city where scooters pack the streets and temples stand defiantly alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, it is now a bustling free market city where anything goes. Here, we include a visit to the Ben Thanh Market, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and War Remnants Museum. The Museum has an interesting photographic record of the Vietnam/American War. Please be aware that some images at the museum are very graphic.Huong Sen Hotel or similar

  • 9

    Day trip to Mekong Delta; return to Saigon for final evening

    Journeying out of the city we head to the lush countryside that is the Mekong Delta for a day tour. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, this region produces most of Vietnam’s fruit, sugar cane and coconuts. We take a boat trip along the many tributaries and stop to see some small cottage industries along the way. We will journey by sampan, a traditional wooden low-riding boat still used by the locals as the main form of transport. After sampling some of the local produce we head back to Saigon where your leader will organise an optional group farewell dinner.Huong Sen Hotel or similar

  • 10

    End Saigon

    For land only clients, the tour ends this morning in Saigon after breakfast.

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