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  • Ha Noi - HCM City
  • 13 Nights / 14 days
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Cultural Varieties of Vietnam 13nights/14 days

Overview
Experience Vietnam's rich culture and colourful traditions with this two week cultural tour. Enjoy colourful folk dances, performances and learn about the amazing culture of this region and where it differs as you travel from North to South. While exploring, you also have ample time to enjoy the main highlights of Vietnam.
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Average temperature and rainfall

29

Temperature

150

Rainfall

Tour Highlights

  • Visit the vibrant cities of Ha Noi and HCM City exploring the sites as well as the cultural shifts.
  • Embrace the uniqueness of the area of Nin Binh with its history, way of life and dramatic scenery.
  • Let the charm of Ha Long Bay speak for itself as you cruise the area.
  • See how people live in the verdant Mekong Delta, one of the lowest places on the planet
  • Explore the unique styles of life of some of the 52 ethnic groups living in Vietnam.
  • Visit villages and towns that focus on a specific ancient craft creating for locals and tourists.
Tour Route - Where you'll visit
1 Ha Noi
Vibrant and exciting Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, is a buzzing city that oozes self-assurance. Because it was bombed far less during the war, its Old Quarter remains intact - with each street devoted to different wares, from shoes to chicken's feet, conical hats and deities. Sit back in the elegant French quarter and observe the city on parade; watch traditional water puppetry, or join a  public Tai Chi session on the shores of the Hoan Kiem Lake. In the centre of the lake is a beautiful Chinese temple, reached by crossing an ornate red bridge. You may also wish to visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex and the Temple of Literature. 
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2 Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh Province is a rural area just 2 hours by road from the capital city of Ha Noi. Ninh Binh town is a local town with limited to offer the tourist except perhaps as a base for exploring the fascintating and beautiful countryside surrounding it. The most famous and most popular destination in Ninh Binh is Tam Coc. Tam Coc is famous for being the core starting point for joining a river trip. You will board a small rowing man that is propelled by a local lady. You travel through glorious countryside dotted with kimestone Karsts and travel through caves carved out by nature. 

The Province also has an intriguing Pagoda carved into the core of a karst, an ancient Palace from days of former glory, the first National Park ever designated in Vietnam and ample space to relax and revel in what nature does when left to her own devises. 
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3 Ha Long Bay
As you sail in the area of Ha Long Bay, you will pass close to enourmous limestone Karsts that explode out of the water in majestic shapes. Adjoinng Ha Long Bay is a quieter, more beautiful Bay called Bay Tu Long. We are one of a few companies that have liccense to take our travellers into this area. Here you can enjoy kayaking around the Karsts marvelling at their majesty and splendour. You can visit one of the man made beaches  or explore a natural cave situated high in one of the Karsts. Or you can simply relax onboard enjoying the peace and tranquility of Bay Tu Long. 
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4 Hue
Hue is a small town in the central area of Vietnam. It is the Imperial city of the country being where the Emperor and his entourage lived within the walled city up to the end of the French colonial rule. Meandering through the city and into the countryside is the lovely Perfume River. A trip on one of the Dragon boats will take you to visit the impressive Temples assigned to one or another revered leader of the past as well as a lovely riverside monastery where Thich Nhat Hanh lived before he had to flee the country due to his humanitarian work during the Vietnam/American war. With its history and charming relaxed way of being, Hue is a perfect stopover for 1 or 2 nights en route south to the lovely town of Hoi An. 
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5 Hoi An
Hoi An is a small ancient town that was famous on the Silk Road as being a trading centre for people from the East to meet people from the West to barter, buy and sell their goods. Today it is a busy tourist centre welcoming thousands of people every year to enjoy the charm that it exudes. 

A UNESCO supported town, the old buildings are skillfully maintained using local produce in the time honoured way that has always been done. The majority of the town centre buildings now are shops, cafes or restaurants. Wander along the river to find a spot to sit and enjoy watching the world go by as you eat and drink. And if you fancy having some clothes made to measure or even shoes made to measure to your own design, this is the place for you. 

And as a bonus to all of this, Hoi An has a very lovely beachfront within a short taxi or bicycle ride. 

The nearest airport is Da Nang, just a short 30/40 minute drive. 
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6 HCM City
Prior to reunification of the country, Ho Chi Minh was previously known as Saigon and was the capital of South Vietnam. It is now the largest city in Vietnam and the commercial centre. The influence of the Americans is easy to see in the central area wth the wide streets and tall buildings. The city has some great restaurants and is the place to be if shopping is your thing. And when you have had your fill of shopping and eating, you can head for the historical sites. The most famous place to visit are the Cu Chi Tunnels where the Viet Cong from the North sprang surprise attacks on the southern troops. The tunnels were also used as a place to store things and to live for months at a time. 

You can also visit the Re-Unification Palace, the Cathedral and the Central Post Office that was built by Mr Eiffel of Paris and is still operating today. And if the Vietnam/ American war is an interest, you might choose to visit the Museum where there are many evokative photographs and memorabilia on display. 
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7 Can Tho
Can Tho is the largest town in the Mekong Delta in the south of Vietnam. It sits around 3.5 hours by road  to the West of HCM City and is the perfect place to use as a base to explore the amazing and intriguing Delta area. The town itself has a few hotels and restaurants catering for the visitor and lots of local Vietnamese charactor and culture. 

You can travel by river on the Mekong and the various tributaries to explore how the local people live in, on and by the river. Farming and fishing are the main activities in this area. Small villages will specialise in producing a specific product be that sweet treats or basket work. As in most of Vietnam, locals are friendly and open and freely invite you to watch and even engage in what they are doing. 
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Detailed Itinerary

Day ONE +-
  • DAY 1 – Arrival in Hanoi
You will be welcomed at the Airport by a Vietnam Travel Centre representative and transferred to your hotel where you can check in and unwind on arrival. Vietnam’s second largest city, Hanoi is a fascinating blend of the West and the East combining traditional Vietnamese motifs with French flair. It remained largely unscathed by the decades of war and is now a rapidly developing city and a wonderful place to start your Vietnam tour. Spend your first day in Vietnam at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day TWO +-
  • DAY 2 –Hanoi
Embark on a city tour of Hanoi this morning. Begin your day by visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where President Ho Chi Minh read the manifesto in 1945. The next stop is the Temple of Literature, possibly Vietnam’s oldest and finest University. Founded in 1070, in honour of the Chinese philosopher Confucious, the temple of literature served as a centre for higher learning which educated future mandarins for seven centuries to come. Enjoy a traditional music performance at the Temple of literature. After your morning excursions, enjoy an authentic Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant where you can taste the authentic Hanoi Pho (noodle soup). In the afternoon, you will cross the Red river to the Dong Ho village and visit some families who have been practicing traditional wood-engraving painting for generations. Our next stop will be the Bat Trang pottery village. You will be able to stroll down the small alleys of this old village to watch local people at work on their products. Visit some of the houses used as workshops and showrooms. Join in the local crafts and make your own products – a lovely souvenir to take home. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day THREE +-
  • DAY 3 – Hanoi – Ninh Binh Province
This morning, after breakfast you will leave Hanoi for Ninh Binh which is an ideal base from which to explore the southern part of the Red River Delta. After a 2.5 hour drive through picturesque countryside, you will arrive at the historic site of Hoa Lu which was the Royal capital of Vietnam in 968 AD. In Hoa Lu you can explore the famous ancient temples of the Le and Dinh dynasties. Here you will explore temples dedicated to King Dinh and King Le, the founders of the capital in the 10th century. You will then head for the village of Tam Coc to book into your hotel for the night.  Overnight in Tam Coc
Day FOUR +-
  • Ninh Binh

After breakfast we all head out on bicycles to explore the village of Van Lam . Don't worry, if you are not a cyclist, we can make alternative arrangements for you. As well as being an interesting old village in terms of culture and historical traditions, Van Lam Village is the centre for traditional embroidery. The craft dates back to the 13th Century to the Tran Dynasty.  At the gate of the village there is an ancient temple dedicated to the founder of the craft. 

After lunch, we go to the river to board a small rowing boat propelled by a local lady. You travel down the river that demonstrates why this area is known as 'Ha Long Bay on land' with the limestone Karsts evident in the river itself as well as in the surrounding rice paddies. Ovenight in Tam Coc 

Day FIVE +-
  • DAY 4 –Ninh Binh – Ha Long (Bai Tu Long Bay)
Depart for Halong Bay this morning. The four hour drive to the bay passes through Vietnamese countryside and lush rice paddy fields. Arriving at the port around noon, you will be met by the boat’s crew who will welcome you with a drink and offer you a cruise briefing. Embark on your cruise along the fascinating bay that features thousands of limestone karts and isles in various sizes and shapes. Savour a fresh, local seafood lunch while cruising on to Bai Tu Long Bay. Stop in between for a swim, visit the mysterious Thien Canh cave and relax on a secluded beach. You will also get the opportunity to kayak and explore the bay up close. Return to the boat to enjoy a relaxing sunset and more culinary delights that your chef prepares for you. Overnight on board.
Day SIX +-
  • DAY 5 - Ha LongBay - Ha Noi (FL:IGHT)
Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of the karst landscape. Enjoy breakfast in the fresh morning air of the bay and then visit the Vong Vieng fishing village on a rustic row-boat. This hundred year old village is set in the most tranquil settings and you will be awe inspired by the simple ways of the villagers. Meet the locals, visit a floating school and discover how oysters are farmed here. Later you can go for a swim in the middle of the bay. Enjoy lunch on the boat as we slowly cruise back to port. On arrival back at the Port, transfer back to Ha Noi Airport to connect with your flight to Hue. Overnight In Hue.
Day SEVEN +-
  • DAY 7 – Hue

Hue was the home of the Emperors of Vietnam until the end of the French domination of the country in 1954. Although the last Emperor was very much a figure head and puppet of the French, pre French domination, the dynasty ruled the country with the Royal family and entourage living in the Citadel behind high walls and closed doors.

Today you will take a boat trip down the lovely Perfume River on one of the Dragon Boats. The tour will take you to a number of Royal Temples and Tombs (Tu Doc Royal and Khai Dinh) and the Thien Mu Buddhist Monastery. The sites were all designed to show the splendour and glory of days when Hue was a very important town in Vietnam.

The boat ride itself offers a time to relax and enjoy the countryside as it passes by at a slow pace.

In the afternoon a tour of the Citadel is planned. This is a walled city within the city of Hue where the last Emperor of Vietnam lived with his family and entourage in splendid isolation from the 'real' world.  It was sadly badly damaged during the war with America but some very sensitive re construction brings more of the buildings back to life. Where this has not happened, it is interested to walk around the extensive land where you will come across parts of buildings or gates that avoided the damage and show their previous glory in a more natural light. Overnight in Hue

Day EIGHT +-
  • DAY 8 –Hue - Hoi An

After a leisurely breakfast, you will start the drive to Hoi An. This is a 4 hour drive with various stops to include Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass, Cham Museum, and the Marble Mountains.

Hoi An was voted by Wanderlust readers as the favourite most city on earth, and not without reason. This historic city situated on the banks of the Thu Bon River is a fascinating mix of ancient town houses, bridges, food markets and lush paddy fields. Just on the edge of town are some lovely sandy beaches. It is also famous for its tailors who are adept at creating what you want from patterns or just photographs.

Overnight in Hoi An

Note: This is the place that is famous for getting great tailor-made clothes at reasonable prices.








Day NINE +-
  • DAY 9 – Hoian – My Son
Travel to My Son this morning. Pronounced (Mee Son) My Son is the crowning glory of the once powerful Cham dynasty that ruled southern Vietnam. Similar to Angkor Wat, this amazing destination has exquisitely decorated Hindu temples set among verdant jungles, built between the fourth and thirteenth centuries. In the late 1960’s American bomber pilots destroyed large parts of the Cham ruins. Today only 25 of the 70 brick towered temples survive among the American bomb craters at the foot of an auspicious mountain. In 1999, UNESCO labelled the Cham architecture in My Son a World Cultural Heritage Site. Here you will have the opportunity to study the architecture of the Cham people. You can see a large complex of religious relics that comprises of more than 65 architectural works.. Return to your hotel in Hoi An in the afternoon. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day TEN +-
  • DAY 10 – Hoian - Saigon
Spend your morning at leisure. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the Danang airport for your afternoon flight to Saigon. Overnight in Saigon.
Day ELEVEN +-
  • DAY 11 – HCM City
This morning, we have organised for you to visit the Cu Chi war tunnels which is a network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. The tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War and besides being used as hiding spots, were also used as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. Experience what life was like for the guerillas by crawling through 50 meters of the 200 km long tunnel. Later this morning you will also have the opportunity to visit a rice paper workshop. In the afternoon, visit the Reunification Palace. Discover real Saigon through the eyes of a local. Visit the bustling ChoLon market, a hidden Chinese pagoda, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Central Post Office, and the City Hall. Return to your hotel and spend your evening at leisure
Day TWELVE +-
  • DAY 12 – Saigon – Can Tho
You will leave Saigon at 8:00 am and head south to Cai Be. Upon arrival, board a boat for a journey through the Mekong's floating markets. Experience life on the river and watch trading between merchant ships and local farmers. Cruise through the secluded canals and cross the mighty Mekong to an island where you will stop to enjoy fresh seasonal fruits before taking a boat to Vinh Long. After this you will be transferred to Can Tho, the largest town in the Mekong Delta.
Day THIRTEEN +-
  • Day 13- Can Tho – Saigon
This morning take a boat trip to visit the Cai Rang floating markets and explore the region first by way of a cruise and then by a walk along quiet country roads taking in the magnificent scenery. Get up and close to the life of the locals here Later in the afternoon we will head back to Saigon and check into your hotel for an evening of relaxation. Overnight in Saigon.
Day FOURTEEN +-
  • Day 14 – Saigon
Departure transfer to Saigon Airport for your return flight.
Select a Destination
  • 2nts
Resort Ratting
Select a hotel for more information
Destination Nights Standard Superior Deluxe
Ha Noi 2 Hong Ngoc Dynastie La Siesta La Siesta
Ninh Binh 2 Limestone Homestay Emeralda Emeralda
Ninh Binh 2 Limestone Homestay Tam Coc Gardens Tam Coc Gardens
Ha Long Bay 1 Asia Hotel Saigon Morin La Residence
Hue 2 Asia Hotel Saigon Morin La Residence
Hoi An 2 Vinh Hung Emerald Essence Palm Garden Resort
HCM City 3 Ma Maison Boutique Saigon Grand Silverland Rex
Can Tho 1 Victoria Can Tho Victoria Can Tho Victoria Can Tho

Hong Ngoc Dynastie

Established in 1994, Hong Ngoc Dynastie was the first hotel of the Hong Ngoc hotels group and has quickly become known for an excellent record of service and hospitality. The hotel is in a central location on one of the 36 famous old streets – ‘Hang Manh’ street and within easy acce of many of the biggest attractions in Ha Noi Centre. 
 With an enchanting and authentic  Indochine concept, our hotel is where you can enjoy an exclusive experience of the old Hanoian lifestyle. Each room blends Vietnamese traditional architecture and modern facilities. 

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    Rajeev helped us to provide sponsorship for a child at an orphanage we support for an entire year.

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