Vietnam - Explorer, 14 days
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Travel Information

Trip Code :
Departure date :
Duration :
14 days

Trip Code :  VN-T-06
Destination :  VIETNAM ( Halong , Hanoi , Hoi An , Saigon )
Price :  Upon Request
Duration :  14 Days
Trip Description

Here I am standing on top of a ventilation shaft made to look like a termite mound for the Cu Chi Tunnels northwest of Saigon. I am trying to breathe after struggling through the tunnels which had been supposedly redesigned to accomodate foreign tourists. Notice how sweaty I am. I felt lucky to emerge alive! I had to fold my shoulders in order to proceed through the narrow passage ways designed to trap and kill American soldiers who dared to enter. Cu Chi was a major irritation to U.S. forces during the war. More than 150 miles of tunnels were constructed over a 10 year period on three levels (some up to 23 feet deep), creating an underground complex for 16,000 guerilla fighters just 22 miles outside Saigon. It was originally constructed for the war against the French, then later used against the United States. Initially the U.S. military sent in troops, but quickly realized it was a death trap to any American going in. Later the U.S. tried to bomb it out of existence, but these actions were quickly discovered to be futile against the well constructed tunnels. There are bomb craters all over up above which stand testament to the B-52s vain attempts.


HotelVar. AVar. BVar. C
Saigon Saigon Star Hotel
Saigon Royal Hotel
Bong Sen Annex
Chancery Hotel
Standard Room
Dai Nam Hotel
Liberty 6 Hotel
Oscar Hotel
Equatorial Hotel
New World hotel Saigon
Omni Saigon Hotel
Windsor Plaza Hotel
Phan Thiet Palmira Resort
Superior Poolview
The Beach Resort
Seahorse Resort
Bungalow Gardenview
Saigon Mui Ne
Little Muine Resort
Novotel Ocean Dunes
Standard Golfview
Pandanus Resort
Superior / Weekday
Nha Trang Vien Dong Hotel Nha Trang
1st Class Cityview Triple
Hai Yen Hotel Nha Trang
1st Class - Gardenview
Nha Trang Lodge Hotel
Yasaka Saigon Nha Trang Hotel
Que Huong Hotel
Sunrise Beach Resort
Standard Seaview
Hoi An Phu Thinh 2 Hotel
2nd Class
Huy Hoang 1
2nd Class
Vinh Hung 2
1st Class
Lotus Hotel
Ancient House Resort
Glory Hotel
Life Resort Hoi An
Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa
Hoi An Riverside Resort
VN Standard
Hue Ngoc Huong Hotel
Thuan Hoa Hotel
1st Class
Imperial Garden Hotel
Hue Heritage
Festival Hue Hotel
ROH - Festival Wing
Huong Giang Hotel
Superior Garden View
Saigon Morin Hotel
Pilgrimage Village
La Residence Hotel And Spa
Hanoi Ha Long Hotel Hanoi
Phuc Loi Hotel
Prince Hanoi Hotel
Green Park Hotel
Thien Thai Hotel Hanoi
Galaxy Hotel
Golden Key Hotel
Nikko Hotel Hanoi
Sofitel Plaza Hanoi
Melia Hotel
Hoa Binh Hoa Binh Hotel Hoa Binh
Hoa Binh Hotel Hoa Binh
V Resort
Mountain View - MON-FRI
Lac Lac Local House
Local Accomodation
Lac Local House
Local Accomodation
Lac Local House
Local Accomodation
Halong Van Hai Hotel
Sunlight Hotel
Halong Pearl Hotel
Mithrin Hotel
Halong Plaza
Heritage Halong Hotel
Tuan Chau Resort
Day 1

Arrival in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Overnight in Saigon.

Day 2

Sightseeing in Saigon and Cholon (Chinatown)
8 hrs
Saigon is the largest of Vietnamese cities, with the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life visible everywhere. There are street markets, sidewalk cafes and sleek new bars. The city churns and bubbles. Yet within this teeming metropolis are 300 years of timeless traditions and the beauty of an ancient culture. To the west of the city is District 5, the huge Chinese neighborhood called Cholon, which means 'Big Market'.
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL: built between 1877 and 1883 and set in the heart of Saigon's government quarter. It has a neo-Romanesque form and two high square towers, tipped with iron spires. In front of the cathedral is a statue of the Virgin Mary.
CENTRAL POST OFFICE: a French-style building with a glass canopy and iron frame, situated next to the Notre Dame Cathedral. The structure was built between 1886 and 1891 and is by far the largest post office in Vietnam.
CITY HALL: completed in 1908, also known as "Hotel de Ville", and located at the northern end of Nguyen Hue Boulevard. With its ornate gingerbread fa?ade, it looks like the town hall of a French town. (May be viewed from the outside only).
OPERA HOUSE: built around the turn of the century and first renovated in the 1940s, the building housed the lower division of the National Assembly. Today it is a Municipal Theatre and also known as the Saigon Concert Hall. (May be viewed from the outside only).
JADE EMPEROR PAGODA: was a key meeting place for Chinese secret societies. It has very colorful and mysterious ambience.
REUNIFICATION PALACE: this was the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president and was stormed by tanks on 30 April 1975, signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state.
WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM: collections of weapons and photographs from two Indochina wars are exhibited along with the original French 'Guillotine' brought here in the early 20th century.
BEN THANH MARKET: the central market of Saigon, its surrounding streets make up one of the city's liveliest areas. Everything commonly eaten, worn or used by the average resident of Saigon is available here.
GIAC LAM PAGODA: the oldest pagoda in Saigon, built at the end of the 17th century. Because the last reconstruction here was in 1900, the architecture, layout and ornamentation remain almost unaltered by the modernist renovations that have transformed so many other religious structures in Vietnam. Ten monks live in this pagoda, which also incorporates aspects of Taoism and Confucianism.
BINH TAY MARKET: Cholon's main marketplace, much of the business conducted here is wholesale.
THIEN HAU PAGODA: built by the Cantonese congregation in the early 19th century. The pagoda is one of the most active in Cholon and is dedicated to Thien Hau. It is said that she can travel over the oceans on a mat and ride the clouds to wherever she pleases. Overnight in Saigon.

Day 3

Excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels and Tay Ninh
CU CHI TUNNELS: Cu Chi was an important base during the American War, because of its strategic location. The Vietcong built a 200km long network of tunnels connecting command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Dug out of hard laterite by hand tools without the use of cement, this amazing network was never discovered.
TAY NINH: this town serves as the headquarters of one of Vietnam's religions, Caodism. The Caodai Great Temple at the sect's Holy See is one of the most striking structures in all of Asia and was built between 1933 and 1955. The area's dominant geographic feature is Nui Ba Den (Black Lady Mountain), which towers 850m above the surrounding plains.
Please note that shortly before and during the annual TET festival (Vietnamese New Year) the daily ceremony of the priests in Tay Ninh may be cancelled without prior notice. Overnight in Saigon.

Day 4

Phan Thiet - Nha Trang
By vehicle from Phan Thiet to Nha Trang
Journey north along the coast and Highway 1 past Phan Rang, Lam and Dien Khanh. Ninh Tuan Province, where Phan Rang is located, is home to tens of thousands of descendents of the Cham people.
PO KLONG GARAI CHAM TOWERS: the four brick towers constructed at the end of the 13th century, during the reign of the Cham monarch Jaya Simhavarman III, were built as Hindu temples and stand on the top of a crumbly granite hill. Overnight in Nha Trang.

Day 5

Phan Thiet - Nha Trang
By vehicle from Phan Thiet to Nha Trang
Journey north along the coast and Highway 1 past Phan Rang, Lam and Dien Khanh. Ninh Tuan Province, where Phan Rang is located, is home to tens of thousands of descendents of the Cham people.
PO KLONG GARAI CHAM TOWERS: the four brick towers constructed at the end of the 13th century, during the reign of the Cham monarch Jaya Simhavarman III, were built as Hindu temples and stand on the top of a crumbly granite hill. Overnight in Nha Trang.

Day 6

Nha Trang - Cam Ranh Bay - Danang - Hoi An Transfer from Nha Trang to Cam Ranh Airport Flight from Cam Ranh Bay / Nha Trang to Danang Sightseeing in Danang, China Beach and the Marble Mountains Vietnam's fourth largest city marks the northern limits of Vietnam's tropical zone, boasting a pleasant year-round climate.CHAM MUSEUM: founded in 1915 by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, the open-air collection of Cham sculpture is the finest in the world. Many of the sandstone carvings are breathtaking.CHINA BEACH: made famous in the American TV series of the same name, it stretches for many kilometers north and south of the Marble Mountains. During the war, American soldiers were airlifted here for 'rest and relaxation'.MARBLE MOUNTAINS: five stone hillocks, once islands, made of marble. Each is said to represent one of the five elements of the universe. The largest and most famous, Thuy Son, has a number of natural caves in which Buddhist sanctuaries have been built over the centuries. When the Champas ruled this area, these same caves were used as Hindu shrines.By vehicle from Danang to Hoi An Journey south past the Marble Mountains and small villages.Sightseeing Hoi An by cyclo Hoi An is a picturesque riverside town south of Danang. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It is best to visit some of the following sites of Hoi An by walking around and/or by cyclo.QUAN CONG TEMPLE: founded in 1653, the main altar is dedicated to Quan Cong, whose partially gilded statue is in the central altar at the back of the sanctuary. Stone plaques on the walls list contributors to the contruction and repair of the temple. The temple was open to all Chinese traders or seamen and is dedicated to Thien Hau – it's a small chinese style temple with a lintel gate, a rockery courtyard and lucky animals depicted in statuary.PHUOC KIEN PAGODA: Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and then restored and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese 'clans' that were established in the Hoi An area. The temple is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau (Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Sailors and Fishermen).JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE: the first bridge on this site was constructed in 1593. It was built by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream. The bridge was provided with a roof so it could be used as a shelter from rain and sun.TRAN FAMILY CHAPEL: this house for worshipping ancestors was built about 200 years ago with donations from the family members. The Tran family traces its origins to China and moved to Vietnam around 1700. The architecture of the building reflects the influence of Chinese and Japanese styles.SA HUYNH MUSEUM: located near the Japanese covered Bridge, it contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history. PHUNG HUNG HOUSE: one family has been living here for already 8 generations. The house is a combination of Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese style. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 7

Hoi An - Hue
By vehicle from Hoi An to Hue
Journey north along Highway 1 past Danang, Lang Co and the Hai Van Pass.
HAI VAN PASS: the pass crosses over a spur of the Truong Son Mountain Range that juts into the South China Sea. It is an incredible mountainous stretch of highway with spectacular views.
LANG CO: a pretty, island-like stretch of palm-shaded sand with a crystal-clear lagoon on one side and many kilometers of beachfront facing the South China Sea.Sightseeing Old Imperial City
IMPERIAL CITY: located in the Citadel, it was built in the early 19th century and modeled after the Forbidden City in Peking. There are numerous palaces and temples within these walls, as well as towers, a library and a museum.
NGO MON GATE: the principal entrance to the Imperial Enclosure, facing the Flag Tower. The central passageway with its yellow doors was reserved for use by the emperor, as was the bridge across the lotus pond.
THAI HOA PALACE: built in 1803 and moved to its present site in 1833, Thai Hoa Palace is a spacious hall with an ornate roof of huge timbers supported by 80 carved and lacquered columns.
HALLS OF THE MANDARINS: these buildings, in which the mandarins prepared for court ceremonies held in the Can Chanh Reception Hall, were restored in 1977.
NINE DYNASTIC URNS: these were cast in 1835-36. Traditional ornamentation was then chiseled into the sides of the urns, each dedicated to a different Nguyen sovereign.
FORBIDDEN PURPLE CITY: this was reserved for the personal use of the emperor. The only servants allowed into the compound were eunuchs, who would pose no threat to the royal concubines. (Today the site is in ruins).Visit Dong Ba Market
DONG BA MARKET: a local market near the Imperial City Overnight in Hue.

Day 8

Sightseeing Thien Mu Pagoda and Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang with boat trip
THIEN MU PAGODA: just outside of Hue, on the bank of the Perfume River, this was a hotbed of anti-government protest during the early 1960s. Behind the main sanctuary of the pagoda is the Austin motorcar which transported the monk Thich Quang Duc to the site of his 1963 self-immolation.
TOMB OF EMPEROR MINH MANG: a complex built in 1840 by King Minh Mang, known for its magnificent architecture, military statuaries and elaborate decorations. It is perhaps the most beautiful of Hue's pagodas and tombs.Sightseeing Imperial Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh
TU DUC TOMB: Emperor Tu Duc, who ruled Hue more than 100 years ago, built his tomb when he was still alive and used it for meditation, reading and theater performances. There are pavilions in a tranquil setting of forested hills and lakes. The tomb was constructed between 1864 and 1867. Tu Duc, who was the longest reigning Emperor, lived a luxurious life.
KHAI DINH: this was the last monument of the Nguyen dynasty and was constructed between 1920 and 1931. It sits magnificently on the slopes of Chau E Mountain in Chau Chau Village. It has a long staircase flanked by dragons. There are ceiling murals and ceramic frescoes. Overnight in Hue.

Day 9

Hue - Hanoi
Flight from Hue to Hanoi
Sightseeing Old Quarter by cyclo
Discover the old quarter of Hanoi by cyclo. It is also called "36 streets," most of which are named after the crafts or merchandise traditionally sold there. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 10

Hanoi - Hoa Binh
Sightseeing in Hanoi (full day)
Hanoi, a city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks, is the capital of Vietnam. It is a very attractive city with French style buildings and less traffic than other cities in Asia.
ONE PILLAR PAGODA: built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who ruled from 1028 to 1054. Constructed of wood on a single stone pillar, it is designed to resemble a lotus blossom.
TEMPLE OF LITERATURE: founded in 1070 by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong, who dedicated it to Confucius in order to honor scholars and men of literary accomplishment.
HOAN KIEM LAKE: right in the heart of Hanoi, this lake contains an islet with the tiny Tortoise Pagoda, topped with a red star.
HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM: in the tradition of Lenin and Stalin before him and Mao after him, the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh is a glass sarcophagus set deep in the bowels of a monumental edifice that has become a site of pilgrimage. The Mausoleum is open only in the mornings, and is closed on Mondays and Fridays. Every year, it closes in October and November for renovation and maintenance.
OPERA HOUSE: a magnificent 900-seat opera house built in 1911. (May be viewed from the outside only).
ST JOSEPH CATHEDRAL: a neo-Gothic cathedral finished in 1886, it is noteworthy for its square towers, elaborate altar and stained-glass windows.
BAO TANG LICH: once the museum of the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, is a building constructed of reinforced concrete completed in 1930. Exhibits include artefacts from Vietnam's turbulent history including some from prehistory, proto-Vietnamese civilisations, the Dong Son culture, the Oc-Eo culture and the Khmer Kingdoms.By vehicle from Hanoi to Hoa Binh
Journey west along Highway 6 across Ha Tay and Hoa Binh Province. Son Tay Province is 45 km northwest of Hanoi.
Visit the Sugarcane Pagoda in the village of Dong Sang (Son Tay Province). This is a beautiful pagoda, it is also called: Mia pagoda. The Pagoda is situated on a latrine hill, covering a large area, and is divided into 3 separated parts. Following the main area of the pagoda, it consists of kowtow house, Ha pagoda, Trong pagoda, Thuong Dien.
Va Temple (Son Tay Province) - It belongs to the Trung Hung village where the local people pray the cult of Tan Vien - Son Tinh. Va temple also has another name Dong Cung (Eastern palace). That was built in 17 century in Le Trung Hung dynasty. In front of temple has a column notice "To get down from a horse". Overnight in Hoa Binh.

Day 11

Hoa Binh - Mai Chau - Lac
Sightseeing Hoa Binh
HOA BINH: capital of Hoa Binh Province, the area is home to many hill tribe people, including H'mong and Tai. It is possible to taste the rice wine produced here and visit the Muong villages of Ban Dam and Giang.By boat from Hoa Binh to Mai Chau. Sightseeing enroute
Depart from Hoa Binh to Bang Sang pier by boat (approximately 2.5 hours). When arrive Mai Chau travel by bus to visit Lac village, as well as various other minority villages.
MAI CHAU: the closest authenic Montagnard village to Hanoi. Mai Chau is very rural and most of the people here are ethnic White Tai, distantly related to tribes in Thailand, Laos and China.By vehicle from Mai Chau to Lac Village
Overnight in Lac.

Day 12

Lac - Mai Chau - Hoa Binh - Hanoi - Halong
By vehicle from Lac to Mai Chau
By boat from Mai Chau to Hoa Binh
By vehicle from Hoa Binh to Hanoi
Journey east along Highway 6 across Ha Tay and Hoa Binh Province.By vehicle from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Journey east along Highway 5 across Hai Hung Province and around Halong Bay. Overnight in Halong.

Day 13

Boat trip Halong Bay (8 hours)
Cruise on a traditional wooden boat among the emerald waters and craggy limestone cliffs of Halong Bay, stopping at different islands to explore some of the many caves in this area. Sail past floating villages, fishermen casting their nets and pearl fisheries and observe the rhythms of daily life on the bay. Overnight in Halong.

Day 14

By vehicle from Halong to Hanoi
Journey around Halong Bay to Hai Phong and west along Highway 5, across Hai Hung Province.Transfer

Meal : B = Breakfast / L = lunch / D = Dinner
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