Tours : Explorer Vietnam

VIETNAM HERITAGE SITES (12 DAYS / 11 NIGHTS)

VIETNAM HERITAGE SITES (12 DAYS / 11 NIGHTS)

This fascinating Vietnam discovery tour offers you a good insight of marvelous world heritages from the North to the South of Vietnam. Not only taking you to explore the eternal beauty of Vietnam, admire the wonder of the nature, this 12 days tour in Vietnam also takes you to discover the cultural and spiritual lives of the Vietnamese, amazes you by a vibrant mix of history, culture and tradition of Vietnam. Let join us and experience unforgettable moments with Vietnam’s world heritages.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN HANOI
Arrival at Noi Bai international airport. Welcome and pick up by local guide. Check in at hotel for refreshment before transfer for dinner in the evening. 
Enjoy water puppet show.
Vietnamese water puppetry is a unique folk art that originated a thousand years ago during the Ly dynasty. Villagers in the Red River delta and other rice-growing regions in Northern Vietnam staged water puppet performances to celebrate the end of the rice harvest, religious festivals, and other important occasions. A water puppet show depicts the daily activities in Vietnamese rural life as well as important historical events and ancient legends.
Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
 
DAY 2: HANOI
After breakfast, start a full day visiting the thousand-year historical capital’s with its famous landmarks, including: the President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (Closed on Monday and Friday) and the House on stilts where he lived on and off from 1958 to 1969, locating nearby is the One Pillar Pagoda which was built by the King Ly Thai Tong who ruled from 1028 to 1054.
After lunch, continue to Temple of Literature – the Vietnam's first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of King Ly Thanh Tong. It is one of several temples in Vietnam which is dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars.
Follow by one of The Cultural Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO – the Thang Long Imperial Citadel which was built in the 11th century by the Ly Dynasty and was the center of regional political power for almost 13 centuries without interruption. It reflects a unique South-East Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads between influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.
Before dinner, immerse yourself in the busy life of merchants while exploring the quarter of the guilds and trades on cyclo. 
 
DAY 3: HANOI – HA LONG
Travel northeast toward Ha Long bay in the Gulf of Tonkin. 
With 1,600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, Ha Long bay was recognized as one of The World Natural Heritage Sites by UNESCO for its outstanding scenic beauty and its great biological interest.
Arrive at Ha Long, check in on board and set sail through the bay while lunch being served. The cruise will pass into the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons' teeth.
After lunch, take a bamboo row boat to discover a water tunnels with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon, explore mystery arch cave with magnificent towering limestone pillars and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the bay while the sun is setting. 
Dinner and overnight on board.
Note: Itinerary might be different from each cruising operation. 
 
DAY 4: HA LONG – NINH BINH        
Wake up early in the morning to enjoy beauty of Ha Long bay at sunrise and start your day with Tai Chi exercise before breakfast. Continue cruising along the bay and visit in the morning
After brunch on board, disembark and transfer to Ninh Binh – also known as “Ha Long on land”. Arrive at Ninh Binh, check in and enjoy dinner at hotel. 
 
DAY 5: NINH BINH  -  DONG HOI
Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex has become the first site in Vietnam to receive UNESCO mixed natural and cultural heritage of the world recognition. 
The area is unique in having been invaded by the sea several times in the recent geological past but is now emergent on land. The blend of towering mountains draped in natural rain forest, with large internal basins and narrow cave passages containing quietly flowing waters, creates an extraordinarily beautiful and tranquil landscape.
The site contains mostly within three protected areas: the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, the Trang An – Tam Coc – Bich Dong Scenic Landscape, and the Hoa Lu special-use Forest.
Visit the Buddha Prayer place in Bai Dinh Pagoda, before start cruising on a traditional boat though magical landscape of rice fields and rocky cliffs of Trang An, to visit a dozen of caves over fresh and clear water. The scenic here is really a terrestrial and aquatic paradise.
After lunch, take a ride on bicycle or ox-cart to explore the beautiful countryside of Ninh Binh before transferring to local restaurant for freshing up and dinner. In the evening, board on the night train to Dong Hoi. (Cabin 4 berths)
 
DAY 6: DONG HOI – QUANG BINH
Arrive at Dong Hoi in the morning – the capital of Quang Binh province. Welcome by your local guide and transfer for breakfast. 
Road to Quang Binh to visit Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, recognized as one of UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage.
The park’s landscape is formed by limestone plateaux and tropical forests. It features great geological diversity and offers spectacular phenomena, including a large number of caves and underground rivers.
OPTION 1: PHONG NHA CAVE
Take a boat trip on Son river for a visit Phong Nha cave. Phong Nha is famous for its rock formation that bear intriguing names such as the ‘Lion’, ‘Unicorn’, ‘Kneeling elephant’ and ‘the Buddha’. After flowing about 19 km underground, the Son river emerges from the mouth of this cave, draining a huge area of the limestone mountains around Phong Nha.
Phong Nha has been voted as one of the most wonderful caves in the world for a number of reasons: for its longest underground river, for its most beautiful underground lake. for its highest and widest entrance, for its most beautiful and widest dry cave, for its most beautiful sandbank and reef, as well as for its most spectacular stalactites, stalagmites and longest water grottos.
OPTION 2: PARADISE CAVE (THIEN DUONG CAVE) - VISIT 1.5KM OF THE CAVE’S LENGTH 
Climb up the mouth of the mountain to enter one of the biggest cave in the world which was found in 2005 by a local farmer and Bristish royal explorers. It is 34 km long and got its name because the first explorers were so amazed by the rock formations that they thought it looked like paradise on earth.
Transfer to hotel for installation. Free time in the afternoon to relax by the pool. 
 
DAY 7:  QUANG BINH – QUANG TRI (DMZ) – HUE
Depart for Quang Tri in the morning, over the Hien Luong bridge that marked the frontier between North and South during the Vietnam war. Visit the Vinh Moc tunnels complex – an amazing system of 3 levels of tunnels which were built to shelter people from the intense bombing in the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone during the war. The complex grew to include wells, kitchens, rooms for each family and spaces for healthcare. Around 60 families lived in the tunnels, as many as 17 children were born inside the tunnels.
Arrive at Hue, check-in at hotel. Dinner and free time to discover the Hue at night.
 
DAY 8:  HUE
Hue was not only the political but also the cultural and religious centre under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. Most well-known for its historic values, Hue complex monuments had been recognized as one of the World Cultural Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
After breakfast, take a morning boat trip in Huong river to visit The Pagoda of the Celestial Lady - Thien Mu pagoda, the pagoda itself was originally founded in 1601, and has become one of the most famous structures in Vietnam. 
Continue to visit tomb of Minh Mang on west bank of Huong river, this majestic tomb is renowned for its architecture and sublime forest setting. Follow by Khai Dinh’s tomb located at the hillside 10km from Hue. The monument is a synthesis of Vietnamese and European elements. Most of the tomb’s grandiose exterior is covered in blackened concrete, creating an unexpectedly Gothic air, while the interiors resemble an explosion of colorful mosaic. 
In the afternoon, start visiting the Imperial Citadel which was constructed in 1802 by Gia Long - also known as the first Emperor who established the Nguyen dynasty and the Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts Museum where imperial past and arts of that era are being displayed. 
Transfer to hotel for check-in. In the evening, enjoy royal dinner style with Hue traditional music “Nhã nhạc” while dressing like a royal member during your meal. (minimum 8 pax).
 
DAY 9: HUE – HOI AN
After breakfast, depart from Hue to Hoi An over Hai Van pass and enjoy the panoramic sea view from the top of the mountain.
Stop at Da Nang to visit Cham Museum where holding the world’s largest collection of Cham artefacts , and the Marble Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son) which is a well-known pilgrimage site with peaks, caves, tunnels and temples. 
In the afternoon, start a tour visiting Hoi An with the town’s highlighted attractions including Phuoc Kien Pagoda, Tan Ky old house, Japanese Covered bridge…
Hoi An Ancient Town, also known as Faifo, is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. The town reflects a fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures’ influences, mainly by the Chinese, Japanese and later by European. The combination of its architecture style produces a unique ambience which was enlisted as one of the World Cultural Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1999. 
Besides, Hoi An is the best place to be at night as the area is lit by quaint and old-fashioned lanterns, making it an atmospheric and beautiful spot for couples or families to stroll along the streets when the night falls.
 
DAY 10: HOI AN – MY SON SANCTUARY
My Son sanctuary was recognized by UNESCO as a part of the World Cultural Heritage Sites. From 8th to 13th century, this unique culture owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism, developing on the coast of contemporary Vietnam. The series of impressive tower-temples were built by the Champa Kingdom and used to worship the Siva. 
Transfer back to Hoi An for lunch. Free time in the afternoon to explore the old town on your pace or relax by the pool and by the beach.
 
DAY 11: HOI AN – DANANG ✈ SAIGON
Free time until transfer to airport for flight to Saigon.
Upon arrival at Saigon, welcome and pick up by your local tour guide. Start the journey to visit the dynamic, bustling and industrious Hochiminh City, which is still called Saigon by many locals. It is not only the largest city but also the economic capital and trendsetter of Vietnam. Yet within the teeming metropolis are the timeless traditions and beauty of an ancient culture.
You will be visiting the Former Presidential Palace also known as Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, old Saigon Post Office and War Remnants Museum.   
Spend some free time at Ben Thanh market for your personal exploration and souvenir purchases.
Transfer to hotel for installation. 
 
DAY 12: SAIGON DEPARTURE
At leisure until time to transfer to airport for your flight back home or prolong your trip with a wonderful extension to discover the beauty of Vietnam.