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The Cultural & Heritage Tour of Vietnam is an immersive 11 days & 10 nights journey through some of the country’s most significant cultural sites. Starting in the capital city of Hanoi, the tour takes you to the serene Halong Bay, where you can explore its picturesque limestone islands and emerald waters. From there, you’ll travel to the ancient citadel in Hue, which was once the imperial capital of Vietnam, and discover the rich history of the Nguyen Dynasty. The tour then takes you to Hoi An, a charming old town that’s famous for its colorful lanterns and well-preserved historic architecture. You’ll have the chance to wander through the streets and immerse yourself in the town’s unique atmosphere. After Hoi An, the tour takes you to Danang, a coastal city known for its beautiful beaches and breathtaking landscapes. Finally, the tour ends in the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Here, you’ll explore the city’s fascinating blend of traditional and modern culture, from its historic landmarks like the War Remnants Museum to its vibrant markets and shopping districts. Throughout the tour, you’ll stay in comfortable hotels and be accompanied by Golden Lotus Travel‘s knowledgeable guides who will provide insightful commentary on the country’s rich cultural history.
1 hour before departure
Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. There will be a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, followed by an evening water puppet performance before an overnight stay in Hanoi.
You will explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquer ware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Of course, there’s plenty of time to enjoy people watching at stylish cafes and shop for impressive modern art in the city’s myriad of galleries. You will also visit Hanoi ‘s main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum, the Temple of Literature, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel (a UNESCO designated World Heritage site) or Vietnam Ethnology Museum. You will have an overnight stay in Hanoi.
In the morning you will depart Hanoi at 08:00 for a three and a half hour drive through the Red River Delta to Ha Long Bay City. On the way, you will stop for refreshments, and upon arriving in Halong City, you will take a tender transfer to your junk and set sail through the bay while lunch is served. As you cruise the magical bay, you will notice thousands of sculpted limestone islands rising from the waves like dragons’ teeth. Later in the afternoon, you’ll visit a fishing village with the opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. Back on board, you’ll enjoy cocktails or a cooking class while watching the sunset, and later you can unwind at a restaurant with a lavish dinner. To end the day, you can enjoy some evening activities such as movie night, board games, or a beauty treatment, before an overnight stay on the junk.
After rising to the sound of the ocean coming to life, you’ll enjoy breakfast, take a Tai Chi class and watch the sunrise over the bay (if you choose to get up that early!) You will visit a beautiful limestone grotto, and then head back to the junk for a final glimpse of Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Disembarking at the Cruise Café Lounge, you’ll rejoin your private car for transfer back to the airport for a one-hour flight to Dong Hoi. Upon arrival at Dong Hoi airport, you will be transferred directly to your hotel and have free time before an overnight stay.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will board a private traditional boat for a cruise on the romantic Perfume River as you head out to the countryside. Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded by ancient tombs of emperors past, and a visit to some of these tombs will be on the itinerary for today. The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop of the day. From here, you will rejoin your car to pay a visit to ornate Minh Mang’s and Tu Duc’s tombs. You will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving to visit Hue Citadel, the Imperial City, the Forbidden Purple City, and the Imperial Museum. You will stay overnight in Hue.
Today you will travel over the Hai Van pass to visit the Cham Ruins at My Son Holy Land. My Son is the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth century. Their religion was primarily derived from Indian Hinduism. My Son is considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham structures in Vietnam. The complex is comprised of seventy Hindu-like towers and temples dating from the second century. This site is a must see for those people who are interested in architecture and ancient civilizations, and it is now one of five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam. You will then drive to Hoi An for hotel check in and have some free time to explore the town. You will stay overnight in Hoi An.
From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders. These people came primarily to trade in high grade silk (which is still produced in the area) as well as ceramics. Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops, and numerous cafes. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century.
You will enjoy a half day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200 year old Tam Ky ancestral house, and the Japanese Bridge. Following the tour there will be free time for shopping, ordering some fast service tailor-made clothing or simply relaxing. You will stay overnight in Hoi An.
In the morning, you will transfer to the airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. In the afternoon, you will have a private tour of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s commercial center and home to a growing number of upscale restaurants and shops. You’ll visit the Reunification Palace, the Opera House and the Hotel de Ville. If you desire, you can visit the powerful War Remnants Museum. Later, explore colorful outdoor markets and Dong Khoi Street, the city’s main shopping boulevard, with fashionable boutiques and accessories designed by up-and-coming Vietnamese designers. There are also hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and house wares to be found before you settle in for an overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City.
You will leave Ho Chi Minh and head for lush My Tho where you will board a private boat. You will cruise through the green vegetation of the canals to reach an orchard, where guests are treated to a delicious lunch in a local restaurant in the heart of the Mekong, complete with succulent tropical fruits. You will also visit the Dong Tam snake farm that breeds snakes for (among other things) snake wine before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City for an overnight stay.
In the morning you will enjoy a half-day private excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels consist of more than 200kilometers of underground tunnels. This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life was like during the U.S.-Vietnam War. You will have free time in the afternoon and you will stay one final night in Ho Chi Minh City.
There is no activity planned for today, so you are free to enjoy your free time souvenir shopping until transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
The 11-day Cultural & Heritage Tour of Vietnam was truly an unforgettable experience. The itinerary was thoughtfully planned, taking me on a journey through Vietnam’s rich cultural history. From the ancient citadel in Hue to the vibrant lanterns of Hoi An, every destination was a new and exciting adventure. The hotels were cozy and the guides were well-versed in the country’s history. I would highly recommend this tour.
The Cultural & Heritage Tour of Vietnam is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the country’s vibrant culture. The itinerary was well-planned and took me to some of the most significant cultural sites, such as the serene Halong Bay and the picturesque Hoi An Old Town. The hotels were cozy and comfortable, and the guides were top-notch, providing insightful commentary on the country’s rich history. I would highly recommend this 11-day tour to anyone looking to discover Vietnam’s cultural treasures.
The Cultural & Heritage Tour of Vietnam is a must-do for anyone seeking a deep dive into the country’s rich culture. The tour takes you to some of Vietnam’s most significant cultural sites, including the ancient citadel in Hue and the enchanting Hoi An Old Town. The itinerary was well-designed, providing just the right balance of sightseeing and relaxation. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable, making the 11-day journey a truly unforgettable experience.