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Traditional Vietnam  |  12 days/11 nights  
February 9-20, 2025

Two Optional Extensions:
Pre-tour 4-day extension to visit Siem Reap Cambodia and Post-tour 4-day extension to the northern region of Sapa, Vietnam for hiking and relaxation. Let us know if you're interested in either of these extensions and we'll send you the information.
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$4875

 

based on double occupancy
 

($1085 single supplement)
$175 additional hotel night before the start of the tour. $185 additional night single occupancy - including airport transfer 
 
What's included

•  10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and
   4 dinners (water or soda with
   lunch; water and
    wine/beer/cocktail with
   dinner)
•  All included group activities,
   entry fees as per itinerary
•  A full-time Two Dog Travel tour
   director with you and available
   24/7
•  Two flights within Vietnam
•  Transportation in an
    air-conditioned but during all
    included activities
•  Tips for included meals, local
    guides and drivers

What's not included
•  International Airfare, airport taxes
•  Private excursions not mentioned
   in the itinerary
•  Gratuities for your Two Dog
   Travel tour director (at your
   discretion)
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Tour Director - Jess Floe
 
Minimum: 6, Maximum: 12

NOTE: The tour begins in Ho Chi Minh City and ends at the airport in Hanoi. Your flight needs to arrive into Ho Chi Minh Airport at any time on February 9th. Your flight can depart at anytime from Hanoi airport on February 20th.

Day 1 - Overnight La Siesta Premium Saigon 
Welcome to Vietnam!  Upon arrival to Tan Son Nhat airport and after clearing all customs procedures, your driver will be waiting for you to transfer you to the hotel. As most flights from the US arrive into Vietnam later in the evening, We won't have any scheduled activities planned. 

Day 2Overnight La Siesta Premium Saigon - B, L
CU CHI TUNNELS
After breakfast we'll meet our guide and head out of the city toward the Cu Chi tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong as hiding spots during combat. Originally dug in 1948 as refuge from French air and ground sweeps, the tunnels also served as living quarters, communication and supply routes, and housed hospitals, food and weapons caches throughout the Vietnam War. We'll visit the underground villages with a VC veteran who once lived there and get a better understanding of the tunnels’ history, the hardship of life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese resilience during combat. After our visit, we'll stop at a local restaurant for lunch before driving back to the city.


Day 3 -  Overnight La Siesta Premium Saigon - B, L, D
MEKONG DELTA

Today we'll explore the Mekong Delta with its sprawling rice paddies and colorful fruit farms. We'll start at the quaint An Khanh hamlet, where we'll visit a small home factory that makes the traditional dish of sticky rice covered by coconut leaves. We'll meet with the owner and her hard-working team who will teach us about the century-old traditional methods used to make this special and tasty cake. Next we'll continue this rural journey with a short drive to meet a local family in Quoi Son village. Here you can sample exotic fresh fruits in the orchard of a local fruit farmer. After wandering through the lush gardens of this village, we'll continue our exploration via traditional modes of transport: motorboatbicycle and auto rickshaw before boarding a sampan to cruise along the narrow canals of the Mekong. We'll end our excursion at a local farmer's house where a lunch of Mekong Delta specialties will be served before driving back to the city. In the evening we'll visit the home of Henry Cabot Lodge, the US Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s. We'll spend the evening in his villa, now a private residence that has been fully restored to its former glory. We'll enjoy a welcome reception complete with traditional Vietnamese dance performances before heading to the dining room for dinner. It's sure to be a very special experience on our last night in Saigon.

Day 4 -  Overnight Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort and Spa, Hue - B, L
FLIGHT TO HUE AND EXPLORATION OF THE CITY

After breakfast, we'll transfer to the airport and catch our flight to Hue where we'll meet our local guide and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Once the imperial capital of the Nguyen Lords from the 17th to the 19th centuries, Hue’s splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas and the remains of the Citadel contribute to its undeniable royal charm. We'll explore the Imperial Citadel at the centre of the Complex of Hue Monuments inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Despite being heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, there are some incredibly well-preserved sections intact and others which are being carefully restored. Next we'll have a short visit to the Royal Antique Museum followed by a visit to one of the elaborate Royal Tombs. After our tour we'll return to the hotel where you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and all of its amenities. 

Day 5 -  Overnight Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort and Spa, Hue - B, L

CRUISING & BIKING TO RURAL VILLAGES AND ARTISANS

We'll start the day  on a 1-hour dragon boat ride to Sinh Village which is not only renowned for its annual wrestling festival on January 10 (lunar calendar), but also for its folk paintings featuring religious characters. We'll take a short walk to the house of Mr. Huu Phuoc, the oldest artisan in the village, and hear about the 400-year-old craft of using “dzo” paper made from tree bark and dyed with natural materials. We'll learn of this ancient craft from the artisan himself. Next we'll cycle past rice paddy fields to Thanh Tien Village and learn about the 300-year-old craft of paper flower making, mainly used to decorate altars for ancestor worship and as offerings in religious rituals. You'll get to try creating your own paper lotus flower under the guidance of one of the artisans. We'll make a stop for lunch before cycling back to the hotel.

 

Day 6 -  Overnight Bay Resort Hoi An - B, L

TRANSFER TO HOI AN AND TOUR OF THE CITY

After breakfast, we'll  transfer to the city of Hoi An. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An, known then as ‘Faifo’, was a prosperous trading port, attracting Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships amongst others. Today, this World Heritage ancient town is recognised for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets and distinctive local cuisine. We'll enjoy 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. During our tour we'll stop at local restaurant for lunch

Day 7 -  Overnight Bay Resort Hoi An - B, L
ORGANIC FARM VISIT, COOKING CLASS AND TEH DAR PERFORMANCE

After breakfast we'll meet our guide and ride a bicycle to Thanh Dong village which is the first all organic farm in Hoi An. We'll get a glimpse of the history and customs of this charming village before venturing into the garden and getting our hands dirty when we'll learn how they cultivate vegetables without chemicals. Next we'll enjoy a short bamboo basket-boat ride through the peaceful water coconut forest while experiencing the picturesque Co Co river and seeing the unique fishing methods of the local fishermen. On arrival to our next destination we'll be greeted with a welcome drink, take part in traditional Vietnamese folk games, and join in a hands-on cooking class. After the cooking class, it's time to enjoy lunch in the bamboo house surrounded by the sights of the river and rice paddies. Later in the evening we will enjoy a Teh Dar cultural performance. The performances vary depending on the date but usually portray a story centered around central Vietnamese society and history. Each performance offers a mixture of theatre, music, dance and acrobatics. It's sure to be a fun evening.


Day 8 -  Overnight La Siesta Premium Hang Be, Hanoi - B, L

FLIGHT TO HANOI AND TOUR OF THE CITY

After checking out of the hotel we’ll fly to Hanoi. Upon arrival we'll explore this charming city, often referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’, with its yellow ochre colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and scenic lakes. We'll enjoy a driving tour of the city and stop to visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century. We'll also visit the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, offering broad insights into the people of Vietnam, including its 54 ethnic groups. Next we'll drive back to central Hanoi for a walking tour through the photogenic Old Quarter where each street is named after the goods originally sold there. We'll stop for lunch before continuing our exploration of the fascinating maze of back streets, fronted by narrow houses known as “tunnel” or “tube houses”, built to avoid taxes based on the width of their frontage onto the street, a wonderfully eclectic glimpse into Hanoi street life.

Day 9 - Overnight Heritage Line Ginger Cruise - B, L, D
HALONG BAY CRUISE

After breakfast we'll transfer to the Tuan Chau Marina. A short speedboat transfer will take us to our luxurious floating home, the starting point for exploring the wonders of Lan Ha Bay and Cat Ba Island. Lunch will be served in the boat's elegant dining room while we sail deeper into the bay. You can unwind on the terrace deck or your private balcony, soaking in the surreal seascape. Mooring close to Cat Ba Island, we'll step on land and head to Viet Hai Village, nestled in a picturesque valley surrounded by jungle-cladded mountains. Cycling through this valley offers wonderful insights into the isolated life of the local inhabitants. The community, surrounded by thick forests and mountains, and only accessible by sea, is self-sufficient, cultivating vegetables, fruits, and fishing on the bay. Returning to the ship, we sail to our overnight anchorage spot in Lan Ha Bay. The ship's chef invites us to a hands-on cooking class in the dining room, showcasing local ingredients and the preparation of classic Vietnamese dishes followed by dinner. You can extend the evening by unwinding at the bar with a cocktail, or joining the team for some fun squid fishing before retiring to your suite.


Day 10 Overnight La Siesta Premium Hang Be, Hanoi - B, D

You may choose to wake up early for a Tai Chi session on the terrace deck. Traditional Vietnamese coffee, tea and breakfast pastries await in the dining room for a first bite. Then the ship will take us to a place called “Frog Lake”, a secluded area which is perfect for an energetic morning excursion by kayak. Not interested in kayaking? No worries, you're can stay and relax on the boat. Back on board, we'll enjoy a hearty brunch before we disembark and head back to Hanoi. In the evening we'll see Hanoi like a local. We'll travel by vintage Vespa as we enjoy a food tour. We'll start the evening at a nice cafe in the town center, with views of the amazing St Joseph’s Cathedral and try snacks from a nearby street vendor before hopping on the back of our Vespas with our own personal driver. We'll weave through narrow streets of the Old Quarter stopping at locations such as Train Street, located mere centimetres away from the railroad tracks. We'll continue to make stops along the way and taste more local foods. The night ends at a Jazz Club next to the Hanoi Opera House. A live band will wow you with a truly unique blend of styles, 1930’s jazz fused with traditional Vietnamese music! This will be a fun foodie experience you will never forget!


Day 11 - Overnight La Siesta Premium Hang Be, Hanoi - B, l, D
HOA LU AND TAM COC VILLAGES

Our last full day in Vietnam will be spent in the countryside, starting at the Trang A Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh Province. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trang An is famed for its spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks whose sheer vertical walls rise abruptly 200m (656ft). We'll visit Vietnam’s ancient capital of Hoa Lu, the country’s first centralized feudal state from the end of the 10th century. Next we'll visit Tam Coc, known as “Halong Bay on Land”, where a skilled rower will take us on a 2 hour slow journey on the winding river and canals. We'll enter three of the many natural caves formed under the hills. Next we'll visit Thai Vi temple on the way back to Tam Coc for lunch. After returning to Hanoi, we'll have time to relax before heading out to a local restaurant for our farewell dinner. 

 

Day 12 - B

Unfortunately it's time to end our journey in Vietnam. An airport transfer will be waiting to take you to the airport according to your flight schedule.

 

Are you interested in a few more days to explore and do some trekking? Join us on a four-day extension to the northern region of Sapa. We'll be doing some trekking in this gorgeous mountainous region, visiting local villages of the many ancient tribes of the area. Let us know if you're interested and we'll send you all of the details.
 
Itinerary specifics and hotels are subject to change depending on availability, weather, guide availability, opening times, etc. 
 
©TwoDogTravel2024

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