CENTRAL VIETNAM OVERTURE 8 DAYS
This nine-day tour of Vietnam’s central coastal area includes three World Heritage areas and the DMZ (the De-Militarized Zone – the epicentre of the American war) is offered by Luxury Travel Vietnam. You can book the programme as it is, ask us to expand or shorten it, or make as many changes as you wish. Our unique ‘tailor-made’ tour design service has no limit on the number of changes you request and no charge for making them.
Day 1: Arrival at Hue (D, GP)
Arriving at Phu Bai airport in Hue, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey before a ‘Welcome’ dinner at a local restaurant. You’ll spend the night in Hue.
Day 2: Hue (B, L, G)
After breakfast, you’ll be met by our guide and board a river boat to cruise upstream to Thien Mu – a tranquil pagoda on the banks of the Perfume River. From there, a vehicle will be waiting to take you to Emperor Minh Mang’s mausoleum.
In the afternoon, your guide will arrive to take you on a tour of Hue’s ancient citadel, once the seat of the Emperors of the powerful Nguyen Dynasty that ruled Vietnam from approximately 1800 to 1945. You’ll begin with a stroll around the area between the Citadel’s massive walls and the defensive moat, now filled with lotus flowers. You’ll then enter via the Noon Gate to wander around the Thai Hoa Palace, the Pavilion housing the Nine Urns of the Nguyen rulers, and the remains of the Royal Palaces. You’ll then visit the Museum of Antiquities, and back across the river to modern Hue and the bustling Dong Ba market. You’ll spend the night in Hue.
Each Royal mausoleum reflects the personality of the Emperor it commemorates. The most majestic is that of Emperor Minh Mang, a staunch follower of Confucianism with many wives, concubines and a small army of children. Planned by the Emperor and built shortly after his death, the tomb is opulent and exotic in formal Chinese style – a good example of classic Sino-Vietnamese architecture.
Day 3: Cycling to get closer to Hue’s life (B, L, D, G)
In the morning, your bicycles will be at your hotel ready for you to ride through Hue’s rural villages towards the Thanh Toan Bridge (roofed in Chinese style). Nearby, a local market will provide you with views of daily life and local products. You’ll then return to Hue’s city centre with en-route visit the Ngoc Son Princess ‘garden house’.
It has an attractive family altar and the owner is an expert on Hue’s culture and history – he will be pleased to explain the geomantic principles underpinning the building and garden’s construction.
After lunch, you’ll be free to explore the city on your own until your guide meets you at your hotel in the early evening to take you to dinner in another of the garden houses for dinner in the pleasant surroundings and a comfortable atmosphere. You’ll spend the night in Hue.
The garden houses are a unique feature of Hue. The houses are traditional, privately owned, and set in attractive formal gardens. Some have connections with the old Royal Imperial Court. Hue traditional architecture has long had close associations with the natural environment. The garden houses reflect this association. Each is highly individual – house and garden, people and scenery, plants, clouds and water co-exist and blend with each other in a harmonious context. The narrow streets and abundant flora give the garden house area a country village feeling.
Day 4: Hue/DMZ/Hue (B, L, G)
As this excursion covers a large area of the wartime ‘De-militarised Zone’, better known as the DMZ, our guide and driver will meet you at your hotel at seven o’clock to drive north to Quang Tri province. Your visit will include the battle sites of Khe Sanh Base, Hien Luong Bridge and Ben Hai River, as well as the Old Citadel of Quang Tri and the Vinh Moc Tunnels (these are more authentic and easier to enter than those in Cu Chi. They have been preserved more or less in their original form). You’ll also visit Van Kieu, an ethnic minority village. In the late afternoon, you’ll return to Hue.
Day 5: Hue/Hoi An (B, L, G)
In the morning, your car will drive you to Danang. On the way, you’ll cross the Hai Van mountain pass. The views from the top are excellent – you should be able to see Lang Co beach and village, and the lagoon far below, with Danang spread out before you to the south.
Upon arriving in Danang and a brief look at the remarkable Hindu statuary in the Cham Museum, you’ll arrive at Hoi An. After lunch, you’ll have a guided visit to the Ancient Town of Hoi An and spend the night in Hoi An.
Hoi An town is a UNESCO World Heritage area. An ancient trading port, once the largest in Indochina, Hoi An was a meeting point for many cultures that left their mark in the different architectural features of its wooden buildings. The original traditional street pattern still exists, as does the quay that once welcomed ships from all over East Asia and beyond. Many remained there for months at a time, waiting for favourable trade winds to carry them home.
There are plenty of good restaurants offering a variety of cuisines and price levels. The town is also a good place for shopping for silk. You can have your clothes tailor-made within a day or two at reasonable cost.
Day 6: Hoi An/My Son/Hoi An (B, GP)
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at your hotel to take you to the World Heritage My Son Sanctuary, show you the remains of the remarkable brick towers, and explain their origins and purpose. When you return, the rest of the day will be free. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An.
Once, the My Son Sanctuary was the spiritual capital of the Cham Kingdom that dominated SE Asia for nearly a thousand years. Although My Son’s remarkable brick towers were badly bombed during the American war, they are still impressive, as is its remote valley setting in a quiet, richly forested area bisected by a clear stream. However, tree cover is not complete and the valley acts as a sun trap, so good sun protection is important.
Day 7: Hoi An (B)
The day will be free for strolling in the town, lazing on the beach, or whatever takes your fancy. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An.
Alternative 1 for Day 7: Hoi An – From Farmer to Fisherman Tour ½ day (B, L, G)
The day starts with cycling the narrow roads through the countryside, passing by rice paddy fields, water buffalos, bamboo bridges and local farmers on their daily work. You’ll then board a boat to the mouth of the Thu Bon estuary where the river meets the Cua Dai Sea and cruise along the coastline observing the lives of the local fishermen.
After joining the fisherman to try your hand at catching fish in a traditional ‘Thung Chai’ basket boat, you will meander through the water palm coconut canal. During the American War, Viet Cong soldiers made use of this area as a highly effective hiding place from enemy attacks through their long struggle. Following an insightful visit to a local fishing village, you’ll be free to relax and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch before cycling back to your hotel.
Thung Chai Basket boats, similar in style to coracles in use throughout the ancient world, are widely used throughout Central Vietnam, and are highly suited to the local terrain and lifestyles of local fishermen due to their relative light weight and portability, often doubling as a carrier for various handy items. Circular and constructed of bamboo and tarred for waterproofing, these small boats can typically carry up to five people, and represent a fun-filled opportunity to touch the authentic rural soul of Vietnam. As a precaution, life jackets are provided for your safety during this excursion. You’ll join other travellers on this day trip.
Alternative 2 for Day 7: Hoi An – Cooking class (B, L)
In the morning, you’ll join a cooking class at the Red Bridge Restaurant. After visiting a market to purchase ingredients, a boat will take you along Hoi An River to the restaurant where you can investigate its herb and vegetable garden before learning how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes. After lunch at the restaurant, your time will be free. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An.
• Fresh Rice Paper Shrimp Rolls – including making rice paper.
• Warm Squid Salad served in half a pineapple
• Grilled Eggplant stuffed with market vegetables
• Hoi An Pancakes (Banh Xeo)
• Food Decoration – pineapple boat, three coloured flowers and Vietnamese hand fan
Day 8: Hoi An/Hanoi (or Ho Chi Minh City) Departure (B, DP)
After breakfast, your time is your own until your car arrives to take you to Danang airport for the afternoon flight to Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City for your departure flight.
The prices for this sample tour are per person in US dollars
These prices are valid until September 30, 2018. Please note that bank transfer fees are not included.
|Number in group||2||3 – 4||5 – 8||9 – 12||13 – 16||*Supplement for single occupancy|
* ‘Single room occupancy’ refers to the accommodation element of the programme only, and applies to someone who is travelling with others but requires an additional room for him or herself. Single traveller prices are available on request.
Our prices include:
- Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
- Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above (Please note: pick-ups will be by a guide and driver or, where a guide is not necessary, a driver only. All unaccompanied drivers will be briefed in advance, and will carry a mobile phone to ensure smooth transfer arrangements)
- Domestic flight ticket: Danang – Ho Chi Minh City (or Hanoi), including domestic airport taxes.
- Boat cruises as specified in the programme.
- Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
- The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination). Free days or part days will not include the services of a guide unless requested and included in the final itinerary.
- Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
- Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available.
- VAT and other taxes
Our prices do not include:
- International flight tickets and airport tax.
- Domestic flight ticket: Hanoi/or Ho Chi Minh City – Hue
- Dinners, except as specified above.
- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
- Camera fees (if any)
- Alternatives in blue
- Surcharges for Peak seasons (if any)
- Compulsory Christmas Eve’s dinner and Gala dinner (if any)
Hotel list for First Class standard
- Hue: La Residence Hotel & Spa ( deluxe boutique hotel, on the bank of the Perfume River – Colonial Suite)
- Hoi An: Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa ( modern resort hotel on Cua Dai Beach, low rise, outdoor swimming pool – Junior Suite)
Hotel list for Deluxe standard:
- Hue: Best Western Premier Indochine Palace Hotel [former Celadon Palace hotel]( high-rise building hotel in the heart of Hue – Palace Studio)
- Hoi An: Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa ( modern resort hotel on Cua Dai Beach, low rise, outdoor swimming pool – Deluxe)
Hotel list for Superior standard:
- Hue: Saigon Morin Hotel ( colonial building overlooking the Perfume River – Colonial Deluxe room)
- Hoi An: Boutique Resort Hoi An ( beach front boutique styled resort – ideally located on Hoi An beach, only 5 minute drive from Hoi An Ancient town – Superior room)
Hotel list for Mid-range standard:
- Hue: Moonlight Hotel ( central location, contemporary décor, swimming pool – Deluxe River View room)
- Hoi An: Ancient House Resort [Featured Hotel] ( special resort – hotel with traditional architecture and authentic ancient house inside the complex – Special room)
BOOK THIS TOUR
Vietnam Tour Guide:
“An was the best Trip Leader we have ever had on all of our Luxury Travel Agency Vietnam. trips. He was caring, concerned, and his wonderful personality radiated. Every day was a new adventure, and he went above and beyond the itinerary to provide memorable experiences.”
Mr. Phuoc Happy
Vietnam Tour Guide:
“Phuoc Happy was warm, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and candid regarding his country, and he provided us with countless learning and discovery opportunities in addition to the ones on the itinerary. He even provided us with a personal copy of the excellent video of our trip which he made for Luxury Travel Agency Vietnam”
Vietnam Tour Guide:
“Czo always kept us informed and on schedule. He added many side jaunts along the way so we could meet locals and witness—or take part—in daily activities. He truly helped us feel the pulse of Vietnam”
“Despite having a much later arrival in Phnom Penh due to the change of a much later flight Ms Len managed to fit in all the site visits with ease even including a visit to the…”
“Mr Loc was great, having been a school teacher, he really knew his stuff & put it Across well, he had a fabulous sense of humor & had us laughing a lot. We loved Hoi An, & it being part…”
“We had a very good time. The Luxury Travel Agency Vietnam company was very accommodating and flexible in catering to our needs. The hotels they picked were…”
“I do not want to say that for the price of the tour we got the best of everything. I can say we got money worth on this trip. We were on time with everything. The guides took…”
“I am very pleased with how much effort the booking agents put into helping me customize my trip. They were receptive to my input and understanding when I wanted to make”
“It was excellent. I would definitely recommend this sort of tour for a first visit. We had never had a guide or arranged tour before so it really made the difference knowing that tours”
“Thanks very much for arranging a very enjoyable tour of Vietnam. We had a great time and all of the guides were very helpful and responsible. All went quite smoothly.”
“This trip was so well put together; you guys did a great job! We had no issues and our trip was awesome! I would definitely recommend your services again!”
“Overall trip was wonderful. You planned a great itinerary. Accommodations we fine. The best of the group where the Hyatt in Saigon, Metropole in Hanoi and Victory in Hoi An…”
“The organization of this entire trip was near perfection and the service first class. Our travel specialist created an itinerary that didn’t even require a lot of tweaking from my original description of what we were looking for”
“Best hotel: The Victoria Hotel in Chau Doc is perfect. Staff very kind and attentive, quality of room very good, food in restaurant very, very good and good location. The Golf Holte in Can Tho Smells like what it is, a government hotel and an…”
“The trip exceeded our expectations, and we attribute much of the success to Luxury Travel Agency Vietnam. I would not hesitate to use their services again and have already told my friends how pleased we were with the entire trip”
“We had very good guides”
“Mr Phuoc was outstanding. His command of global events and being able to put Vietnam into international context was impressive. Very personable, knowledgable, flexible and enthusiastic. A real ambassador for his country while also recognising the shortcomings and opportunities facing Vietnam. He didn’t just repeat history about sights, but he actively sought our own views and then worked out what would be of interest and why. If we were to revisit Vietnam, or recommend a top guide, it would be Mr Phuoc”
“Thanks to Luxury Travel Agency Vietnam Team”
“I am very pleased with how much effort the booking agents put into helping me customize my trip. They were receptive to my input and understanding when I wanted to make changes. They also helped me put my itinerary together very quickly. I booked the trip less than two weeks before I travelled. Luxury Travel Agency Vietnam was successfully able to get me a visa in time for my trip with the strict time constraint we were working under.”
“I will come back Vietnam”
“I wish I had time to see Sa Pa. I am already trying to figure out when I can go back to Vietnam just so I can visit Sa Pa. Even though Ha Long Bay is incredibly beautiful and it was one of my favorite places, I wish I had opted to visit Bai Tu Long or a nearby area instead. Ha Long Bay was so overcrowded and touristy, it was disappointed to be stuck in such a limited area of the Bay when it is so vast. I would recommend that travelers explore their options and stay in nearby areas Cat Ba, Bai Tu Long, Lan Ha, etc and spend more time.”
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