Duration: 9 Days 8 Nights

Destination: Saigon – Mekong – Hue – DMZ – Hoian  

1

DAY 1: SAI GON HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

Saigon is the country’s commercial center and, with over eight million inhabitants and four million motorbikes, a city that never sleeps. Despite the well-documented hustle and bustle, Saigon retains its connections with the past.

A city tour to admire Saigon’s historic landmark including the US Embassy, located on Le Duan street-one of the busiest street of Saigon in the morning. Next stop is Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires based on the original construction from Paris (it is only  possible to visit inside when no service is being performed). Then cross the square to the Central Post Office, designed by the French architect, Gustave Eiffel, before he had risen to fame for the Eiffel Tower. Continue your visit with the Reunification Palace (former Presidential Palace), the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war, revealing the history of Saigon during its turbulent recent past. Then sit down at at a street coffee shop for a break to observe the daily life of the locals, and have a little personal chat with your guide over a cup of coffee. Your guide will give you some interesting tips such as how to cross the road without breaking a sweat or say a few simple words in Vietnamese as well as offer an insight of the local’s daily lives. After lunch, drive to the War Relics Museum for a vivid glimpse of the American war through the local’s eyes (Please note that some of the photos are very graphic). Stop at the Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the five most important pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Tortoise Pagoda. Finish the trip at Ben Thanh Market for a stroll before driving back to your hotel.

Dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Saigon.

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DAY 2: SAI GON - TAY NINH - CU CHI TUNNELS

After breakfast at your hotel, picked up at the hotel’s lobby for a transfer to the North-West of Saigon.

Embark on 1.5-hours drive to Tay Ninh to visit the Cao Dai Great Temple. Indigenous to Vietnam and founded in the early 20th century, Cao Dai is a fusion of the best from Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, with Christianity and Islam thrown in for good measure. The elaborate temple’s architecture reflects the combination of religions. Visitors are welcomed inside the temple to observe the colorful service at mid-day. There is a viewing balcony which affords excellent views and photography is permitted. Have your lunch en route.

In the afternoon, enjoy your 2-hours drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnel complex was initially started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. The tunnels also served as communication routes, storage facilities for food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the American War. A visit to the underground villages will provide a better understanding of the tunnels’ history, the hardship of life underground and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. Then spend your time to interact with Viet veteran (s) before ending the trip.

Transfer back to Saigon for dinner.

Overnight in Saigon.

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DAY 3: SAI GON - MEKONG DELTA

After breakfast at your hotel, depart for a 1.5-hour drive from Saigon to Ben Tre, one of the country’s southern provinces, situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. Take in the lush surroundings of rice paddies and fruit farms alongside the highway as you leave behind the busy city. Arrive at the waterfront pier and hop on an enjoyable motor boat excursion. Along the way, catch a glimpse of the Delta scenery, houses built on stilts and local fish farms. Upon arrival at Turtle Island, enjoy a leisurely walk through the village observing tropical gardens. You will have the chance to see a family run-business where they make coconut candy directly in front of the pier. Continue on your journey by sampan and be paddled by a personalized rower while you take the time to discover the maze of small canals. Bid farewell to your friendly boat rower and take a short stroll through a shaded area of coconut gardens before reaching a rest-stop to enjoy a cup of honey tea and a traditional folk song performance. End of the trip, transfer back to Saigon in mid-afternoon.

Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Saigon.

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DAY 4: SAI GON - HUE

After breakfast at your hotel then check out, you are picked up and transferred to the airport for your 1 flight to Hue. Upon arrival, driven to your hotel.

In the afternoon, set out on a tour to visit Hue’s landmarks. Hue served as an imperial capital to the Nguyen Lords, a feudal dynasty which reigned from the 17th to the 19th century. With splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of the Citadel, the city retains its royal charm. Drive from your hotel to visit the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO listed site. Enter through the towering main gate and you will appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while your guide explains the events and the intrigue of the former royal court. Despite being bombed heavily, there are some incredibly well preserved sections still intact and others which are being lovingly restored.

Enjoy a leisurely Dragon boat ride on Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Standing on the riverbank with its seven-storey tower, the pagoda is a sight to behold.

Return to the city by bus. Dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Hue.

5

DAY 5: HUE HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

After breakfast at your hotel, picked up at the hotel’s lobby for a day visiting Hue’s signature structures.

Drive to the elaborate Khai Dinh Royal Tomb. Its architecture showcases elements of eastern art and western design. Contunue to serene Tu Duc Royal Tomb, designed to blend in with its natural surroundings and built on principles of Feng-Shui.

After lunch, make your way to Tu Hieu Pagoda, built in 1843 by eunuchs from the citadel. This pagoda nestled in a pine forest, and is associated with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the most renowned Buddhists in the world. Stop at an incence-making village en route before visiting An Hien Garden which bears the Hue’s gardening arts.

Drive back to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Dinner & overnight in Hue.

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DAY 6: DEMILITARIZED ZONE FULL DAY TOUR

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel then depart for the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the early morning. The area south of the DMZ was the scene of some of the bloodiest battles during the American War. The zone was established after the first Indochina War and functioned as the division line between North and South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Places of military significance in the area include Quang Tri, the Rock pile, Dakrong Bridge, Ho Chi Minh Trails, Khe Sanh, Lang Vay, Hien Luong Bridge at the 17th Parallel and the Vinh Moc Tunnels. War remnants from the past are still apparent at these sites. Enjoy a simple packed lunch before transferring back to Hue late afternoon.

Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Hue.

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DAY 7: HUE - DA NANG - HOI AN

After breakfast at your hotel then check out. Leave Hue for Hoian via Hai Van Pass. Stop at Red Beach then visit Cham Museum which houses the best collection of Champa Kingdom ruins in Asia. The artifacts here date from the 2nd to 15th centuries. Head to Military Museum in Danang.

Lunch at local restaurant.

After lunch, drive to Non Nuoc Beach then head a few miles south to the Marble Mountains, a cluster of 5 marble and limestone mountains which rise dramatically from the flat land along the coast of the East Sea. The mountains contain numerous caves and tunnels and it is possible to reach one of the summits. Continue your trip to Hoian then heading to your hotel for the check in and a break.

Free at leisure. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Hoian.

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DAY 8: MY SON HOLY LAND

Savior your breakfast at the hotel then drive to My Son Holy Land for a visit to one of the well-known World Heritage Site in Vietnam.

MY SON TEMPLES TOUR

My Son is one of the foremost Hindu temple sites in South East Asia and a UNESCO listed site. For the Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the 2nd to the 13th century, My Son was an important place of worship given its location in the center of a ring of mountains. Stroll around the temple complex to learn about the Cham culture, architecture and civilization before returning to Hoi An for lunch.

HOIAN ANCIENT TOWN

Between the 17th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was a prosperous trading port. Today, this World Heritage-listed ancient town boasts well-preserved buildings, pedestrianized streets and unique cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. The narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour. There is plenty to visit including the old merchant’s houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with outstanding wood carvings; and the colorful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two. After dinner at local restaurant, transfer back to your hotel.

Overnight in Hoian.

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DAY 9: HOI AN - DA NANG - DEPARTURE

Enjoy your leisure time this morning until you are picked up and transferred to the airport for your flight to Saigon then connect your home flight afterwards.

END OF SERVICE.

INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Private transportation on tours (except where indicates as join-in or SIC)
  • Throughout English-speaking Tour guide (Mr. Cong)
  • Meals at local restaurants (Beverages are not included)
  • Interaction with Viet veteran (to be confirmed ) in Cu Chi
  • Entrance fees
  • Domestic travel Insurance

EXCLUSIONS

  • International flights’ airfare
  • Overweight luggage
  • Vietnam Visa
  • Personal expenses
  • Tip & gratuities
  • Services are not listed in “Inclusions” section
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