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Vietnam is surprisingly large and bursting at the seams with majestic landscapes, natural wonders, and vibrant culture. With “Vietnam Authentic”, you can explore its glorious places like ancient stately temples, unique villages, colorful markets.
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.
Visit next the Ethnology museum – a well worth observing the depth of cultural diversity of Vietnam’s 54 minority groups, discover the quarter of the guilds and trades on cyclo.
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.
Morning departure on the direction to Duong Lam village, a purely agricultural village of the Northern Red River delta where still preserves many hundred-year-old houses.
Upon arrival, ride your bicycle or stroll along the tiny ancient alleys to visit Mong Phu temple in Mong Phu hamlet - the only hamlet whose original village entrance gate remains intact, dedicated to national heroes
Continue to explore the village to discover the daily life and farming working of Vietnamese peasants along the terrace with a stop in two ancient houses: the biggest ancient house was build 200 years ago and the most ancient house back to 400 years ago.
Visit then Ngo Quyen temple and Phung Hung temple, places dedicated to two national heroes Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung. Follow by Mia Pagoda is built in 15th century and admire 287 statues of all sizes, among with are famous sculpture such as the statue of Buddha in the Himalayas and the statues of the Eight Vajra Deities.
Road to Mai Chau.
Mai Chau is a charming idyllic valley, hemmed in by hills. The area is a different world away from Hanoi's hustle with its peaceful scenic of tiny villages in the middle of rice fields, and calming sound by gurgling irrigation streams and birdsong.
Upon arrival at Mai Chau village, check in hotel. Free time to explore the village surroundings. After traditional dinner, participate in dance performances with folk music by Thai people.
It will be a good chance for you to try bamboo dance with friendly farmers and to drink “Can” pipe wine (a traditional alcoholic beverage of ethnic minority groups in Vietnam is made from the fermentation of rice starch and various forest fruits in pottery jars).
In the morning, explore the villages on foot or bicycle in the fresh air of the valley. You will travel through the rice fields, bamboo forests and meeting with the mountaineers. It is impressive to observe the local farmers working in the rice fields during implant or harvest season and visit Thai people’s brocade weaving workshops while passing through the villages.
Return to Hanoi at the end of the afternoon and transfer for dinner. Free time allows you to discover the city at your own pace.
Leave Hanoi for Ha Long via a country road lined with rice paddies and vegetable fields. Ha Long is one of the new 7 natural wonders of the world.
Arrival at Ha Long, check in on board and set sail through the bay while lunch is served. Passage into the magical bay where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons' teeth. After lunch, you can take a bamboo row boat to discover a water tunnels with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon or watch the sun set at the horizon line on the bay. Dinner and overnight on board.
Note: Itinerary might be different from each cruising operation.
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 to visit Ha Long in the morning. Brunch on board before checkout.
At noon, depart from Ha Long back to Noi Bai airport to take flight to Hue. On the way, stop for a visit at Dong Trieu ceramics with the 200-year history of making ceramic products. You will have the opportunity to learn about the art of making ceramic products and see the process of making a product when visiting the ceramic workshops.
Upon arrival at Phu Bai airport, pick up by your local guide and transfer to dinner before installing at hotel.
Hue is the ancient capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 under the Nguyen Dynasty. It is now a cultural city known for its temples, tombs and pagodas.
Morning visit to Dong Ba local market at its bustling time. You can find different types of ingredients that are used in Hue specialties and also observe the activities of local people and the sellers.
Continue to the Imperial Citadel which was mostly constructed in 1802 by Gia Long known as the first Emperor who established the Nguyen dynasty.
Enjoy your lunch in a pagoda with very special vegetarian dishes prepared by nuns.
After lunch, stop at a conical hat and incense making before spending time to explore Tu Duc tomb where Emperor Tu Duc designed himself to use before and after his death. The tomb was constructed between 1864 and 1867 and is the most popular and impressive of the royal mausoleums with unique architecture harmonizing with charming natural scenery.
Nestled in a pine forest is where Tu Hieu pagoda is. The pagoda had been directed to dedicate itself to the honouring of the souls of imperial eunuchs and is one of Hue’s most atmospheric pagodas on account of its tranquil setting.
Later in the afternoon, take a boat trip along Huong river. Possible to take part in lighting up and releasing flower lanterns on the Huong river along with your prayers.
The experience will be mostly enjoyed during the Buddhist festival (15/4 of lunar calendar) when Huong river will sparkle with hundreds of colorful lotus lanterns
In the evening, enjoy street food with Hue special dishes. (Maximum 8 people)
Start the journey by riding bicycle to Thanh Toan village where you will have the opportunity to experience the local’s daily life and visit their stalls in the market, enjoy the tranquility of the village and visit Thanh Toan tile roofed wooden bridge – a classic covered Japanese footbridge in picturesque countryside.
Departure to Hoi An, with a stop at Da Nang to visit Cham museum.
Arrive at Hoi An, transfer to hotel and free time until transfer for dinner.
After breakfast, you will be riding a bicycle to Tra Que vegetable village.
Tra Que is a charming little village on the edge of Hoi An. The village is named of the sweet scented vegetables that spice up the everyday meals of the Pho Hoi people.
Experience a day of living and working with local people in Tra Que village, where you will have a chance to discover the daily life of farmers. Lunch with degustation of the village’s famous "Tam Huu" – an assortment of shrimp, pork and herbs; as well as other specialty dishes.
After lunch, transfer back to visit Hoi An little ancient town: The Japanese bridge, an old house and the Phuoc Kien temple. Visit a house where they make traditional crafts of Hoi An: silk weaving, hand embroidered paintings, lanterns making, wood carving, mat weaving… At leisure to explore Hoi An at night.
Morning transfer to Da Nang airport for flight to Saigon.
Arrive in Saigon, pick up by your local guide and transfer for lunch.
In the afternoon, visit the 5th district “Cho Lon” also known as China town where inhabited by half a million of Hoa people (Vietnamese of Chinese origin). You will be visiting a major center of trade, swarming all day with the wholesale market of Binh Tay, Thien Hau temple, a lacquer ware manufactory where you can learn about the process of making an exquisite lacquer product from wood, pearls and egg shells inlayed.
Back to city center and transfer to hotel for check-in. In the evening, transfer for dinner cruise and enjoy the colorful night view of Saigon river.
Depart from Saigon to Cai Thia where you will be visiting local market, a brick making facilities while walking along the canal. You can also choose to discover the Mekong Delta by visiting the famous village of Hoa Loc mango garden under the shading tree through small beautiful roads on bicycle.
Stop for a break at a local home and taste some local goodies accompanied with hot tea. Enjoy your lunch on boat while cruising toward An Binh Island. Continue to explore deeper into the countryside on smaller canals by rowing boat. You will have the opportunity to make contacts with them and see how they catch fish by ancestral ways...
Later in the afternoon, check in your garden homestay and make friend with local family. Free time to wander around the tropical fruits garden in the backyard or join your host to prepare for dinner with local dishes. Enjoy your diner and have cup of tea or rice wine.
Overnight at homestay.
Early breakfast and depart for a boat trip to Cai Be colorful floating market, cruise among local barges full of fruits and vegetables.
Then stop at local workshops where you can see how to make rice paper, coconut candy and pop-rice... It is also very interesting to visit the handicraft village where you can see how they make some special products: rice-net for spring-rolls, fish sauce & soya sauce, cooking salt, sewing coconut-leaves for cottage roof... The cruise will end at Cai Be town.
Transfer back to Saigon and check in at hotel. Free time until transfer for dinner in the evening.
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