We'll travel from North to the Central to visit the key cultural and historical locations of Vietnam. You'll see the sights, placed in context by experienced professional guides, and interact with local people in cities, towns and hamlets throughout the tour. If you wish, the tour can easily be extended to include the South of Vietnam and/or Laos and Cambodia.
A guide and a driver from Asia Senses Travel will be waiting to greet you when you arrive at Hanoi's Noi Bai airport. They will help with your luggage and accompany you to your hotel where you'll have time to relax after your journey. Depend on your arrival time, our guide will suggest you with the sightseeing program for this day. In the evening, you'll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Viet Nam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture). Your overnight stay will be in Ha Noi.
- Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel
- Essence Palace Hotel
Hanoi's tangible and intangible heritage. An all-day tour of Vietnam's thousand-year-old capital city, possibly including the Ethnology Museum, the Fine Arts Museum and the centre of Hanoi, including the Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son temple. You'll also visit the bustling Old Quarter. Apart from its maze of small streets, it's an architectural pot-pourri - traditional tube houses, religious buildings, colonial houses, artisans' dwellings and modern concrete constructions.
In the afternoon, you'll visit the stilt house of a famous Vietnamese artist to view his antique collection and restoration work. Next, you'll meet another talented painter who will enjoy showing you his lacquer and oil painting artwork. Finally, you'll drop in on another artist who brush-paints traditional Vietnamese calligraphy in a tiny house tucked away down an alley. Overnight in Hanoi.
After breakfast, you'll be driven to Ha Long Bay (one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas, and the world's largest marine 'karst' landscape), possibly visiting Bach Dang (a famous 13th century battle site set in attractive north Viet Nam rural scenery) en route. On arrival, you'll board a traditional-style wooden junk to travel beyond the busy tourist area to some of its less visited grottoes and caves. There will be opportunities for you to swim, fish, climb one of the hills (not a mountain!) for a spectacular overview of the Bay, or venture into some of the sea level caves in a small sampan, all weather permitting, of course. All your meals will be provided on board, usually based on fresh seafood, and you'll sleep in a twin cabin with an en suite toilet and shower.
- Red Dragon Junk
- Bhaya Legend 2 Cruise
You'll spend the morning cruising around Halong Bay, followed by lunch and the return journey to Hanoi. Your overnight stay will be in Hanoi.
You'll have a free morning before we pick you up for a noon flight to Hue. When you arrive, you'll be met by our Asia Senses Travel guide and driven to visit the Imperial Citadel of Hue and the local Dong Ba market.Your overnight stay will be in Hue.
- Le Parfum
- Ancient Hue
Your morning will be taken up by a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, and a cruise along the Perfume River to King Minh Mang's tomb (exotic, and designed in a typically formal oriental style). In the afternoon, you'll visit the tombs of King Tu Duc (the poet King, the simplest Royal tomb set in a beautiful garden). Next, you'll visit and wander around Ms. Diem Phung Thi's sculpture garden (she's a well-regarded local artist famous for her paintings and stone sculpture). In the evening, you'll visit some of Hue's 'garden houses and sit down to eat dinner in one of them. Their pleasant surroundings and comfortable atmosphere are relaxing. As well as preparing and serving a traditional meal, the owner will also explain the distinctive characteristics of classic Hue cuisine. Your overnight stay will be in Hue.
Thien Mu Pagoda, King Ming Mang Tomb, Hue's Garden House
In the morning, you'll drive to Da Nang (the views from top of Hai Van Pass are excellent – you'll be able to see Lang Co beach and the lagoon far below, and Da Nang spread out before you to the south). Upon arriving in Da Nang, you'll have a brief look at the remarkable Hindu statuary in the Cham Museum before leaving for Hoi An. After lunch, you'll have a guided visit to the Ancient Town. Your overnight stay will be in Hoi An.
- Vinh Hung Emerald Resort
- Hoi An Chic Hotel
After breakfast, you'll be driven to My Son Sanctuary, once the spiritual capital of the Cham Kingdom that dominated SE Asia for nearly a thousand years, and now a World Heritage Area. Its remarkable brick towers were badly bombed by the Americans, but are still impressive as is its remote valley setting. Your afternoon will be free to relax on the beach or wander around Hoi An. Your overnight stay will be in Hoi An or Da Nang.
You'll be picked up in good time to board either the morning or afternoon flight to Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh City for your departure flight.
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