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Vietnam: Nature & Lifestyle Immersion—From Past to Present

Vietnam: Nature & Lifestyle Immersion—From Past to Present

$1490 per person

The people of Vietnam have a way of letting inner beauty be the prettiest thing they wear. Explore the charming city of Hanoi, often referred to as the ‘Paris of the East,’ with its yellow-ochre colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes. People watching is a way of life here.

Located only five miles from Hue’s center, Thanh Toan village is located in the peaceful countryside where the scenes of an ancient 16th century village are still very much visible via the landscape, temples and way of life.

The UNESCO World Heritage Center of My Son is the site of Vietnam’s most extensive Cham structural remains. My Son is the former capital of the ancient Champa civilization which ruled Central Vietnam from the 2nd to the 13th centuries.

Yes, you can do it all!


  • Enjoy a complete immersion into the Hanoi lifestyle experience
  • Take boat trip through local villages dotted among stunning limestone karst peaks and caves
  • Get a further taste of Vietnamese rural life exploring the countryside by rickshaw
  • Explore old and new Hoi An
  • Visit Hue’s splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas, and the remains of the Citadel (undeniable royal charm at its best)
  • Enjoy the best of Saigon’s history and wildness
  • Join a fascinating river excursion to undiscovered parts of the Mekong Delta

9 Nights, 10 days
  • Destination
  • Included
    Activities as Specified
    English Speaking Guide
    Government taxes
    Meals as Specified
  • Not Included
    Domestic Airfare
    International Airfare
    Tips For Tour Guides
    Travel Insurance
    Visa Processing

Hanoi Arrival

  • Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, after clearing customs, proceed to exit gate and look for your guide who'll be waiting in the lobby for your hotel transfer.




A Day In The Life of a Hanoian & Hanoi City Tour Including Thang Long Citadel

  • Today's guided tour starts with a visit to a “standing newspaper,” which reflects the soul of Hanoi in the old days when most local people could not afford a newspaper, thus standing at a public hanged-on newspaper was the only way to get the news.
  • Then stop at a local coffee shop to watch and listen to the sounds of daily life in the Old Quarter before transferring to Gioi Market, the corner where thousands of trade goods are sold, from the smallest such as nails and batteries to large items such as motors, electronic goods and refrigeration equipment. You'll be surprised at how many little stores are in the middle of the street, and the difficulty motorbikes experience while winding through the tiny streets.
  • Continue your exploration by driving to the rail station in a Hanoi suburb to catch a local train back to the city center.
  • Disembark from the train (10 minute ride) passing the first French bridge over the Red River. Following the guide, you'll walk along the tracks and pass "cuisine street" where you'll find many tasty dishes before stopping at the Zo Paper Project, where young and active Vietnamese fashion new values on traditional paper. You are definitely in the mix!




Hoa Lu and Van Long Nature Reserve

  • Depart Hanoi for a two-hour drive to the Trang An Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh Province. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, Trang An is famed for its spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks, some of which are submerged and surrounded by vertical cliffs.
  • Within the complex, visit Vietnam’s ancient capital of Hoa Lu, the country’s first centralized feudal state from the end of the 10th century. While the ancient citadel has largely disappeared, the temples of the Dinh and Le dynasties still stand surrounded by rice paddies.
  • After lunch at a local restaurant in Ninh Binh, continue to the 13.5 square-mile Van Long Nature Reserve, the largest wetland natural reserve in the Red River Delta. Enjoy a two-hour boat trip taking in stunning scenes of local villages dotted among the limestone karst peaks and caves. Bring along binoculars, as you may encounter some rare langurs (monkeys) or birds. This is a true walk on the wild side!
  • Return to Hanoi.




Hanoi – Hue / A Taste Of Rural Life In Thanh Toan

  • Morning is free at leisure until transfer to the airport for your flight to Hue.
  • Upon arrival at Phu Bai Airport, your guide will meet for your hotel transfer.
  • Located only four miles from Hue’s center, Thanh Toan village is located in the peaceful countryside where the scenes of an ancient 16th century village are still very much visible via the landscape, temples, and way of life. A drive to this wondrous village means hands-on experiences and a taste of rural life. Meet the farmers, and depending on the season, you'll be instructed on some processes of rice farming. We'll then continue by rickshaw to explore the countryside, the village and clan's shrine house, and some typical local workshops. We'll visit the informative agriculture museum to understand even more about rice production before boarding a sampan to go fishing using ancient techniques. Next, we pass the intriguing 17th century tiled roof bridge, listen to some local chitchatting, chant some folklore verses, and possibly even have your fortune read by a charming elderly woman! These are just a few relaxing moments which offer insights into rural life that you cannot get on any average tourist trail.

ACCOMMODATION: Eldora Hotel/ Deluxe River View



Hue Full-Day City Tour

  • Once the imperial capital of the Nguyen Lords from the 17th to 19th centuries, Hue’s splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas, and the remains of the Citadel contribute to its undeniable royal charm. Explore the Imperial Citadel at the center of the Complex of Hue Monuments cited by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Enter through the towering main gate and appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while your guide explains the events and the intrigue surrounding the former royal court. Despite being heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, there are some incredibly well-preserved sections intact and others which are being carefully restored.
  • Drive to the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Built in 1601, the seven-storied tower pagoda, perched on top of on a hill overlooking the Perfume River, is one of Vietnam’s most recognizable icons.
  • In the afternoon, we'll visit the elaborate Khai Dinh Royal Tomb. Its architecture showcases elements of Eastern art and Western design. Notice the tomb’s blackened concrete exterior and colorful mosaic interior.
  • Continue to the Tu Duc Royal Tomb, the most impressive of all the royal mausoleums, built by Emperor Tu Duc between 1864 and 1867.
  • Transfer back to your hotel with a stop for a drink at Vonh Canh hill which offers an amazing view of breathtaking scenery and ancient relics. The hill is now covered with pine trees and daisies. Pinch yourself, you're here!




Hue – Hoi An via Hai Van Pass / Half Day Hoi An Walking Tour

  • This morning, you will travel over the Hai Van pass to Hoi An.
  • Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was known as ‘Faifo,’ which was was a prosperous trading port attracting Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships, among others. Today, this World Heritage ancient town is recognized for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets, and distinctive local cuisine -- all allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past. Hoi An’s narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour of its many atmospheric sights including: the old merchant houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, first built in the 1590s by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its intricate woodcarvings; and the colorful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two. Let your inner fashionista shine!

ACCOMMODATION: Hoi An Silk Marina Resort & Spa



My Son Temples

  • The UNESCO World Heritage Centre of My Son is the site of Vietnam’s most extensive Cham structural remains. My Son is the former capital of the ancient Champa civilization which ruled Central Vietnam from the 2nd to the 13th centuries.
  • Morning departure from Hoi An via a scenic 90-minute drive to the My Son complex and explore the 20 temple towers still standing today (from a total of at least 68 original structures), set in a verdant jungle valley surrounded by hills and overlooked by massive Cat's Tooth Mountain.
  • Stroll around the temple complex, rediscovered in the late 19th century, to learn about the fascinating Cham culture, architecture, and civilization. Notice the strong ties to Hindu divinities, namely Shiva, regarded as the founder and protector of Champa’s dynasties, before returning to Hoi An.

ACCOMMODATION: Hoi An Silk Marina Resort & Spa



Danang – Saigon / City Highlights Tour

  • Morning, transfer from your Hoi An hotel to Danang airport for your flight to Saigon.
  • Upon arrival Tan Son Nhat airport, your guide will meet you for transfer to your hotel.
  • With over eight-million inhabitants and four-million motorbikes, Saigon is truly a city that never sleeps. Despite its modernity, Saigon maintains a strong link to the past and our city tour takes in some of Saigon’s most historic landmarks, including Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires constructed from materials imported from France (entrance is only permitted when no services are being performed). Then, we'll head across the square to the Central Post Office, completed in 1891. A short drive away is the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American War. We'll continue to the War Remnants Museum for a vivid perspective of the American War through the eyes of the Vietnamese. (Please note that some of the displays are very graphic.) We'll visit the Ben Thanh Market before transfer back to your hotel where can relax or explore some nightlife options.

ACCOMMODATION:Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa


An Off The Beaten Track Journey To Mekong Delta

  • Depart from Ho Chi Minh City for a scenic two-hour drive to Cho Gao situated in the Mekong River Delta.
  • Board a wooden boat for a fascinating river excursion to undiscovered parts of the Mekong Delta that crosses two branches of Mekong River, 20-miles away from the Eastern Sea. You'll arrive at Long Thanh Village for a stop at a local factory to understand the traditional methods used to make coal from the hard-shell coconut.
  • Afterwards, we'll enjoy a relaxing bicycle ride through the peaceful village to observe its rustic lifestyle, riding among fruit plantations and friendly locals. We'll then stop to visit an ancient house and a communal temple. Then, we'll use the ferry to cross over to Tam Hiep Island where you'll enjoy a leisurely walk to a local farmer’s house to enjoy a lunch comprised of delicious Mekong Delta specialties.
  • After lunch, we'll wander through this rural village path to a honey-bee farm to observe how to make honey straight from its source. We'll continue the cycling trip around the village and stop at a local farmer’s garden showcasing a specialty of the region called “lá sâm.” The host will take you around this lush garden to pick some leaves and show you how to make their special herbal jelly.
  • Board a sampan for a ride along the narrow canals of the Mekong Delta before getting back on the ferry to cross the river and return to Ho Chi Minh City. Talk about a life-changing day in Vietnam!

ACCOMMODATION: Grand Silverland Hotel & Spa



Saigon Departure

  • This morning is free at leisure until you meet your guide in the hotel lobby for transfer to your onward flight. Vietnam loves you, too!


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