13 DAYS SMALL-GROUP DISCOVERY NEVER MORE THAN 20 PASSENGERS IN A GROUP
DAY 1 ARRIVE IN HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM.
Welcome to Vietnam! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon
DAY 2 HO CHI MINH CITY.
Sightseeing starts with a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and
historic landmarks. The route will take you through the heart of the city
along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi
Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, Central Post Office, and Notre Dame
Cathedral. Next, visit the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, followed by BEN
THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. After some free time,
join your traveling companions at a special welcome dinner hosted by your
DAY 3 HO CHI MINH CITY. CU CHI EXCURSION.
This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice
paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of
tunnels more than 120 miles long that was used by the Viet Cong as a
hideout and secret village during the war. Return to Ho Chi Minh City and
enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. The city is booming, and
pulses with contagious energy day and night. Sample local food from
a street vendor, get a foot massage, or spend more time on Dong Khoi
Street. Tonight, be sure to stop at one of several rooftop bars for a drink
and great views of the city. Your Tour Director will be on hand to assist
DAY 4 HO CHI MINH CITY–DANANG–HOI AN.
After a short flight to Danang, visit CHINA BEACH, landing point for U.S.
soldiers during the Vietnam War. Continue on to Hoi An, Vietnam’s active
trading center and a town that has been largely preserved. Architecture
here reflects the influence of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, French,
and British traders.
DAY 5 HOI AN.
Today starts with a CRUISE on the Thu Bon River. Along the way, meet
with a local fisherman who will teach you about their fishing methods and
give you a FISHING LESSON, where you will learn how to throw and
retrieve a traditional round fishing net called a ro. Afterward, you will have
a chance to throw the net yourself and see what you catch! Later, continue
with a WALKING TOUR of Hoi An, visiting an old MERCHANT HOUSE,
the HOI AN MUSEUM, a CHINESE ASSEMBLY HALL, and the Japanese
Covered Bridge. Then, take free time to enjoy this quaint town further.
DAY 6 HOI AN–DANANG–HUE.
Stop in Danang to visit the CHAM MUSEUM, then continue north over
spectacular Hai Van Pass (weather permitting), considered to be one of
the most scenic in all of Vietnam, before arriving in Hue. One of Vietnam’s
former capitals, Hue is a beautiful, welcoming city that remains a cultural
and religious center. Upon arrival, visit the IMPERIAL CITADEL and the
THIEN MU PAGODA, the unofficial symbol of the city.
DAY 7 HUE–HANOI.
This morning’s sightseeing provides a unique window into Vietnam
and its complex past. Visit the TOMBS of the NGUYEN EMPERORS:
the KHAI DINH MAUSOLEUM and the ROYAL TOMB of TU DUC.
Later, fly to Hanoi, the nation’s capital and one of Southeast Asia’s
most engaging cities.
DAY 8 HANOI.
Today, take time to look at the life of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern
Vietnam. First, visit the MAUSOLEUM and the humble cottage from which
“Uncle Ho” ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda are
visits to the ONE PILLAR PAGODA and HO CHI MINH MUSEUM. You
will also visit the ancient TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, more than 900 years
old and Hanoi’s first university, followed by the infamous HANOI HILTON.
After lunch in a local restaurant, take a “CYCLO” ride around the city,
followed by a WALKING TOUR through the fascinating Old Quarter, 36
ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. An early
dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi’s
renowned WATER PUPPETS, a traditional art form dating back to the
DAY 9 HANOI–HA LONG BAY.
Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway
to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of
Tonkin, the bay is dotted with more than 3,000 limestone islands carved
into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Tunnels, caves, and weirdly
shaped outcroppings with imaginative names can be found on many of
the small islets that are sprinkled across the bay. Board a CRUISE that
takes you to explore the caves, and admire the beauty and scale of the
many secluded bays.
DAY 10 HA LONG BAY–HANOI–SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA.
This morning, drive to Hanoi and board your flight to Siem Reap, which
will act as your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to
be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth!
DAY 11 SIEM REAP.
Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the TEMPLES OF
ANGKOR were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious
and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism.
The complex architectural grandeur of the temples is arguably
unmatched among the world’s ancient ruins. Start your exploration at
the best preserved and most famous of all the temples, ANGKOR WAT,
honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and
stunning bas-reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Next stop is
ANGKOR THOM to see the BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist
temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54
towers and impressive bas-reliefs. The rest of the day is at leisure.
DAY 12 SIEM REAP.
This morning, visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the
Hindu god Shiva that was built on a small scale from red sandstone,
which can be carved like wood. Unlike the other temples, TA PROHM
has been left relatively untouched and surrounded by jungle, with
tree roots growing over and through the ruin walls. You’ll be able to
experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who
discovered it. This afternoon, enjoy a bit of time at your leisure. This
evening, enjoy a traditional APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where
the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers,
DAY 13 SIEM REAP.
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.