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Good morning Vietnam! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your city centre hotel. Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Hanoi is the charming capital and cultural heart of Vietnam. Spend the remains of the day at leisure.
This morning head to Hoan Kiem Lake which is the very heart of the city. Residents of Hanoi congregate around the lake early each morning to partake in Tai chi, aerobics and other light exercise. After breakfast at the hotel we enjoy seeing the sites such Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda and see the Presidential Palace from the outside only. After, we set off to the local market to learn about the veg and fruits on offer then over to your family home where your cooking lesson is held concluding with eating your spoils. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided city tour of Hanoi including the Museum of Ethnology, The Temple of Literature and Hoa Lo Prison.
This morning a scenic drive leads us to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Boarding our traditional wooden junk boat we cruise the emerald waters soaking up the panoramic vista of the thousand or so karst limestone islands that stud the bay. Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng. Tonight, there's a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served.
Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, we sail back to port. From here we drive to Hanoi Airport for the short flight to Hue. Meet up with our local team waiting for you at Hue Airport and drive to the hotel.
Today we tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city, whose 21m high tower has become something of a symbol for Hue and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin. In the countryside lies the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings, here we’ll view the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River, beautifully illuminated at night.
Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other. En route we stop for a walk along China beach and visit peaks of the Marble Mountain. Reaching the summit of Thuy Son Mountain (Mountain of Water), we enter the naturally formed grottoes-cum- Buddhist sanctuaries. This afternoon enjoy a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we'll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
A bicycle ride into the countryside, leads us to Tra Que village. Here,we discover age old farming practises and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
This morning we drive to Da Nang to take the midday flight to Saigon. Arriving here, your guide will take you to the hotel then head out to visit the War Museum, the Reunification Palace, the Central Post Office and the Cathedral.
This morning we travel for about 3 hours to Cai Be then board a private motor-sampan for the boat trip to the floating market. Everyday, many boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other local products anchor along the banks of the River, waiting for traders and customers. Here we can see local people being selling, buying, and exchanging goods from their boats. Leaving Cai Be, we visit a local family producing coconut candy, a specialty of the region. Then return to Saigon.
Sadly your journey has come to an end, we will transfer you to Saigon Airport in time for your flight home.