Welcome to Vietnam! Your local guide and chauffeur take you to town. We leave the rest of the day for your leisure to while off the jet lag and acclimatize yourself. If you arrive in the morning, we have some interesting optional activities in the afternoon or evening ready upon your request.
Early hours we visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoeum and have an insights of some interesting episodes of his life. The Museum of Vietnamese History is our next visit with thousands of artifacts reflecting the origin and the entire length of the country’s evolution. It is not difficult to see the influence of Confucius in the way the Vietnamese think and behave. Let’s figure out what’s behind and visit the Temple of Literature from the 11th century in honor of Confucius. Afternoon we visit the Old Quarter. Follow our guide on foot passing through the quaint old streets, yet colorful and charming, with arrays of little houses and centuries old craft shops. Evening our curiosity will be given to the lively figurines in the famous water puppet performance.
Day 3: Day trip to Halong Bay
A day trip to the mystical Halong Bay. A dragon is said to have created the bizarre world of 2,000 limestone cliffs and islets. That sounds like a good story and we see the result as we cruise through a unique landscape on a comfortable junk.
Morning Red River Delta is the habitat of a civilization contributed by many ancient villages specialized for distinct crafts or productions. We visit Bat Trang, a famous village with 600 years old tradition of making pottery and finest ceramic wares in Vietnam. A short drive to the Dong Ho village where is known for making block paintings, once most popular arts for decoration at every household of medieval Vietnam. Back to the city and visit the archaeology highlight, the Citadel of Thang Long, the former center of power of the empire now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the end of the day we will visit the the Ethnological Museum we are impressed by the colorful diversity of ethnic groups in Vietnam.
Hue is the former monarchy’s capital city under Nguyen Emperors from 1802. We visit the Citadel of Hue and the Imperial Tomb of Ming Mang marvelling at majestic architecture and decors. Later we take a boat trip on Hue river to visit the sacred Thien Mu Pagoda.
On the Pass of Cloud we enjoy in beautiful weather a fantastic panoramic view of the most beautiful coastline of Vietnam. In Danang, we take in the culture and history of the Champa Empire through a superb collection of sculptures at the Cham Museum. Our destination for the day is Hoi An with a walking tour in this quaint centuries-old port town that has been awarded the World Heritage title by UNESCO. We visit a craft business and learn how to make the ubiquitous lanterns.
Already the drive to the ancient temple city My Son gives an idea of the former greatness of the sunken Champa Empire. The ruins are considered one of the archaeologically important buildings in Vietnam. Afternoon free, we deliberately leave this afternoon at your leisure. You may like to take in a bit of sun and tropical ocean air at one of the beaches around town.
Day 8: Hoi An to Saigon
We fly to Saigon, the leading commercial and economic metropolis of the country. Despite the rapid development, the city in many parts of the city still shows its traditional side. The Notre Dame Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Opera House are the witnesses of the history of this city. We also visit Saigon Fine Art Museum and explore the legacy and the evolutions of different Vietnamese art styles.
Day 9: A Day in the Mekong Delta
One unforgettable experience is the full-day optional trip to the Mekong Delta. A boat trip into nypa shaded and canals opens up to us the beauty of the region. Now, the biggest draw, a UNESCO protected “don ca tai tu”, a form of folk musical art native to this land handed down through oral teachings from master to student. You will be amazed when finding out what happen to the Western guitar!
Day 10: Saigon to Phnom Penh
Today we fly to Phnom Penh. We visit the Royal Palace of successions of Khmer Kings since its establishment as the capital of Khmer Empire around 15th century. We visit the famous Silver Pagoda sitting within the Royal Palace complex and earn about the difference between 2 Buddhism schools, Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, and their diffusion on Indochina territories. and the National Museum, whose exhibition introduces us to the development of Khmer art.
Day 11: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
With a seat on Giant Ibus bus we go through the scenic countryside towards Siem Reap. Visit the floating village Chong Kneas and also on the waterway we visit the old Psa Chah market. Enjoy the atmosphere of daily life at this great lake.
Day 12: Angkor Complex
Let’s have an overview of this mankind’s engineering masterpiece at the Angkor National Museum before we plunge into the sites. We visit most significant highlights of the complex including the famous mysterious faces of the Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm temple which is the set of 2013 Tomb Raider movie, and the majestic architecture of the Angkor Wat. We will review our fabulous trip in the evening at the farewell dinner.
You are at leisure till transfer time. If you have late flight we will arrange extra activities or accommodation upon your request. We wish you a good journey home.