12 days
Duration
Year-round
Dates
Vietnam
Destination

SPIRIT OF VIETNAM

Vietnam is a country of contrasts. Traditional heritage and modern influences make its unique spirit. Cultural treasures, natural beauties and warm, lovely people. That’s the spirit of Vietnam tour. Our first step is – Ho Chi Minh City. It’s the commercial and industrial centre. It seems that this city never sleeps. On the other hand, it offers a wide range of cultural sights such as Opera House, the Old Saigon Post Office, City Hall, War Remnants Museum and many others that are on our ‘must visit’ list. You’ll also enjoy the delights of Vietnamese cuisine and luxurious spa treatment, including vast range of massages and body therapies. Outside Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll visit some of the temples and historic Cu Chi Tunnels. Stepping into the city Da Nang and  picturesque Hoi An town where you’ll enjoy a private yoga class as the sun sets. In this charming historic town, you’ll take part in a culinary session, learning to prepare one of Vietnam’s delicacies. In central part of Vietnam you’ll visit Hue city, its stunning Citadel and Hieu Pagoda – a centre of Zen Buddhism meditation and learning. Hanoi is a famous historical capital of Vietnam. It offers a vast range of temples and other monuments of cultural importance such as the Temple of Literature and many others. Tai Chi session in one of the oldest temples in Hanoi is an amazing experience you won’t forget.

In order to experience the spirit of Vietnam we’ve prepared an exciting visit to a traditional Vietnamese doctor, where you’ll learn about traditional eastern methods such as acupuncture, acupressure and catgut implantation. Your senses will come alive with the variety of traditional medical herbs and spices. You’ll also visit – Ha Long Bay. It’s the world famous and probably the most striking natural feature in Vietnam. Ha Long means – where the dragon descends into the sea.The towering limestone karsts represent the dragon’s back surrounded by jade green water creating an amazing picture altogether. There are more than 1600 limestone islands and islets of different shapes.The words are not enough to describe the unique spirit of Vietnam. Spirit Journeys knows how to take you into the heart and soul of Vietnam. Follow us!

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATIONFlights available on request – please contact us for a quote including flights
DEPARTURE TIME TBA
INCLUDED11 Nights accommodation at the hotels mentioned on Twin/Double Sharing as per hotels mentioned. Single rooms available at a supplement.

Meal Plan as stated; [B: Bed & Breakfast, LLunch, D: Dinner],
All taxes, parking fee, entrances, fuel charges, interstate taxes, and porterage at all airports;
All currently applicable taxes;

NOT INCLUDEDExpenses of personal nature like tipping, laundry, telephone / fax calls, alcoholic beverages, camera / video camera fee at all monuments, medical expenses, airport departure taxes, etc.;

Meals other than those specified above;
Any insurance;
International air-fare
Visa
Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions;

Additional information

LocationVietnam
Single room supplementPlease contact us for a single room price or a solo private tour
ItiineraryAs this is a private tour the itinerary can be amended to suit. Please contact us for a tailor made quoteUpgrades to hotels are available on request. Please contact us for prices

1

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Arrive at Ho Chi Minh City’s  International Airport, where your local guide and private vehicle will transfer you to  hotel to check in. Kindly note that hotel check-in time is at 14:00. The remainder of the day is free at your own leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Distances and journey time:
From Tan Son Nhat Airport to your chosen hotel in HCMC (10km): 25mins

Overnight I AM VIETNAM hotel [standard room with Breakfast]

2

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City

This morning enjoy sightseeing  the highlights of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City with your guide. The programme  includes the Reunification Hall, the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. After this historical visit,  continue to the War Remnants Museum where exhibition halls display imagery of both the French and ‘American’ wars. Later on, continue  to the Jade Emperor Pagoda.  Afterwards,  enjoy the delights of Vietnamese cuisine at one of our favourite restaurants,  before heading back to your hotel to freshen up. This afternoon indulge yourself with a luxurious included spa treatment in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s elegant day spas.

Note : classes such as yoga, tai chi and pilates are also on offer (these are optional extras – surcharge is payable).

This evening,  enjoy a different view of Saigon, during the 90-minute journey along the Saigon River. A Vietnamese buffet, as well as Western and other Asian dishes will be served and musicians are on board to entertain.

Overnight in I am Vietnam [standard room with breakfast]

3

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City

Today you will travel outside Ho Chi Minh City to the surrounding countryside to visit the colorful, whimsical Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh, which is home to the unique and eclectic Cao Dai religion, and then afterwards explore the historic Cu Chi Tunnels. Depart Ho Chi Minh City at 07:30 in the morning for the drive to Tay Ninh. Leaving the city behind, the scenery changes to views of rice paddies, villagers drying noodles by the side of the road and other scenes typical to southern Vietnam. At Tay Ninh visit the Cao Dai ‘Holy See’ or Great Temple, which is the home of the Cao Dai religion. This syncretic religion was founded in Vietnam in the 1920s incorporating elements of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Catholicism, and with saints such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Muhammad, Joan of Arc, Confucius, and other prominent historical figures from both the East and the West. The architecture of the temple is just as eclectic and could have come straight from a Walt Disney fantasy, where all the major faiths of the world blend together in a unique colourful religious mosaic. After lunch in a local restaurant visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels which consist of an underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars. Start the visit with the Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc sections of the tunnel. Here you can imagine what it was like to be a guerrilla complete with Russian Carbine rifles and AK 47’s on display. In the late afternoon journey back to Ho Chi Minh City. The evening is free at your own leisure.

Distances and journey time:
From HCMC to Tay Ninh (100km):2hrs

Overnight I am Vietnam [standard room with breakfast]

4

Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City – Danang – Hoi An

After breakfast transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for the short flight to the port city of Danang in Central Vietnam. On arrival in Danang you will be met by your local guide and transfer the short distance to nearby Hoi An town. Hoi An was a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries, and its architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. On arrival enjoy a lunch of local specialties at one of the charming riverside eateries, and in the afternoon discover Hoi An on foot with your local guide. Your program covers the highlights of this atmospheric, old-world trading port of narrow streets and traditional houses, former merchants’ homes, the town’s iconic 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese communal hall and the colorful market where an array of fresh ingredients are on offer. Late afternoon transfer with your guide a short distance outside Hoi An town to ‘The Field’ where you will enjoy a Private Yoga class as the sun sets. The Field is surrounded by rice paddies, in the peaceful village of Cam Thanh with a shady space overlooking the rice paddies for sunrise yoga, and another facing the river and palm trees for sunset classes. Your instructor will tailor the class to your level of expertise and can cater for all levels – no previous yoga experience is necessary. Note: The yoga class is on a private basis and is subject to availability. During the wet season or in rainy weather the yoga class may need to be relocated indoors and held in a small studio space nearby. The evening is free at your own leisure.

Distances and journey time:
Danang airport to Hoi An Old Town (30km): 50mins

Overnight Hoi An Chic [Chic room with breakfast]

5

Day 5: Hoi An

This morning you will join chef and proprietor Duc from Mango Rooms on an exciting culinary journey. A passionate and extremely talented chef with in depth knowledge on the Hoi An food scene Duc will take you on a half day culinary journey embracing a combination of refreshing flavors, beautiful presentations as well as a visit to Hoi An Market to meet the vendors who supply him daily with some of the finest and freshest ingredients in Vietnam. After visiting the market stroll through the ancient streets of Hoi An to Mango Mango Restaurant where the hands on cooking class will take place. Learn how to season and make Duc’s signature dishes: tuna rolls double layered with nori and rice paper sheets served crispy and topped with yogurt, passion fruit, and mint, Pearl of China Sea: large prawns battered Japanese-Vietnamese Style tossed in with onion, green bell pepper, garlic, and butter, Magnum Opus: blue fin tuna steak seasoned in garlic, onion, ginger, basil, sesame seeds, pan seared and served with mango salsa. Following the class sit down to enjoy your creations! Note: This cooking class is on a private basis and is subject to Chef Duc’s availability. This afternoon there time at leisure for you to relax, shop or continue exploring the delights of this charming historic town.

Overnight Hoi An Chic [Chic room with breakfast]

6

Day 6: Hoi An - Hue

This morning after breakfast transfer by road to Hue – the capital of the last Nguyen Dynasty. Upon arrival in Hue city enjoy some traditional Hue dishes at local restaurant. After lunch proceed to your hotel to check-in, and then explore the highlights of this former Imperial City. You will start at the Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, (the Citadel was badly damaged in the latter stages of the war) but it retains a sense of grace and majesty even today. From here take a cyclo through dai noi ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to come to relax; full of lotus flowers in summer there are many local style coffee shops around the lake where university students come to study. After exploring the ruins of this wonderful monument, depart to the tomb of the former emperor Khai Dinh which is traditional Vietnamese in design with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue. The evening at your own leisure.

Overnight Alba Spa Hotel [Deluxe room with breakfast]

7

Day 7: Hue

This morning after breakfast, transfer by vehicle to what is perhaps Hue’s most beautiful pagoda. Tu Hieu Pagoda dates back to 1843, and is a centre of Zen Buddhism meditation and learning. Located in a forest of pine trees, this pagoda is most famous as the pagoda where the world famous monk Thich Nhat Hanh first became a novice monk in the 1940s. One of the other interesting facets of this pagoda is that the tombs of the eunuchs from the former Royal Court can only be found here. The monks will normally chant daily at 10am, and for guests in Hue on Thursday or Sunday mornings between 0900-1000 you may be able to join up to 20 Buddhist monks and nuns who regularly gather together to pray and read aloud scriptures. After your visit enjoy a home-cooked vegetarian lunch prepared by the Buddhist nuns at nearby Dong Thuyen Pagoda. This Buddhist Nunnery was most famously supported by the Princess Ngoc Co who was the 13th daughter of Emperor Gia Long, the founder of the Nguyen Dynasty. The Princess left the Imperial City to become a Buddhist Nun here. Later during the 20th Century the pagoda was abandoned, however when the war finished in 1975 it was rebuilt and redeveloped as a place regarded for Buddhist research and study as well as Buddhist worship. After lunch return to Hue city and stop to visit Dong Ba Market with your guide. The market is another of the must-see sites in Hue; the stalls are teeming with color and a great place to catch a glimpse of everyday life. Return to your hotel and the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.

Overnight Alba Spa Hotel [Deluxe room with breakfast]

8

Day 8: HANOI

This morning after breakfast is your time at leisure until heading to Hue Airport to board your Hanoi bound flight. Upon arrival, you will be welcome by your Hanoi guide and private vehicle will transfer you to the city centre for lunch at a local restaurant and to begin sightseeing with your local guide. Spend a half day exploring the historic capital city of Vietnam. Stroll around Hanoi’s Old Quarter also known as the ‘36 streets’. Take a walking tour through charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. Stop at Ngoc Son temple. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It’s a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you. Continue to the Temple of Literature. In 1076 Quoc Tu Giam – Vietnam’s first university also referred to as Van Mieu, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years and its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Finish by a visit to the nearby mausoleum of the historic figure and father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (viewed from outside), and visit the former president’s house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary. Visit the small but iconic One Pillar pagoda before heading back to your hotel. The evening is free at your own leisure.

Overnight La Siesta [Deluxe room with Breakfast]

9

Day 9: HANOI

Rise early this morning and head to one of Hanoi’s oldest temples for a 1-hour Tai Chi session, with Master Vuong. Proper breathing and concentration are an integral part of the practice of any martial art and the Tai Chi taught is suitable both for those with no prior experience, and those who have already studied other martial arts. After breakfast at the hotel, you will visit the picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here, transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh which is dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism. Next visit a traditional Vietnamese doctor, based in Hanoi, Dr. Huong is an expert in Traditional Eastern Methods through Acupuncture, Acupressure and Catgut Implantation in Hanoi. She has been a practitioner of Traditional Eastern Methods for over 20 years all over the world including France, China, Italy, North Korea and Vietnam. Following visit ‘traditional medicine street’, your senses will come alive with the variety of traditional medicinal herbs and spices on offer. The rest of the day is free at your own leisure.

Overnight La Siesta [Deluxe room with Breakfast]

10

Day 10: Hanoi – Halong Bay

After breakfast leave Hanoi to transfer by road to Halong bay (approx. 4 hours) for an overnight boat cruise on Halong Bay. The journey there passes through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta. Arrive in Halong City at around 12 noon and board your cruise boat, and lunch will be served. Spend the afternoon cruising the bay marvelling and the spectacular scenery of this UNESCO World Heritage site. If weather permits you may be able to kayak or swim. Towards the end of the day the boat will set anchor for the night and as the sun sets over the bay dinner is served on-board.

Distances and journey time:
Hanoi to Halong Bay (160km): 4hrs

Overnight Boat on Halong Bay [Aprodite Cruise – deluxe cabin with breakfast]

11

Day 11: Halong – Hanoi

This morning enjoy breakfast as your boat weaves through strange-shaped limestone rock formations, and a last look at the atmospheric bay. Upon disembarkation at the pier around 10:30am, your driver will meet you for the road transfer back to Hanoi, arrive mid-afternoon. Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will check in back at your hotel. To relax after the road journey you will enjoy an included spa treatment at one of the best local spas in Hanoi. At the end of the session, transfer back to your hotel and the remainder of the afternoon and evening is free at your own leisure.

Distances and journey time:
Halong Bay to Hanoi (160km): 4hrs

Overnight La Siesta [Deluxe room with Breakfast]

12

Day 12: Hanoi Departure

This morning after breakfast is free at your own leisure until time to transfer back to Noi Bai International Airport for your onward flight to your next destination. Kindly note that hotel check-out time is at 12 noon.

Distances and journey time:
Hanoi to Noi Bai Airport (30km): 45mins

IMPORTANT IMFORMATION

We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance (covering emergency medical evacuation) for trips to Vietnam

Reservations during peak times (Christmas, New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year, National Holidays) may be subject to supplementary charges

Contact Numbers

Email ID

Nationality

Rooms at hotels are available only from 1400 on arrival day till 1200 on departure date. A supplement will be added if early check-in or late check-out is desired.

If one or some proposed service(s) is (are) not available at the moment of booking, we will try to find other possibilities/options or other similar service(s) in order to avoid changes to the program.

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Spiritual Journey of Vietnam & Cambodia

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