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Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 02 September 2011

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ha long bayhanoi
ho chi minh cityhue royal city
mekong deltavacation destinations
vietnam



Day 5: Hue Royal City

Our exploration begins with a visit to the Linh Mu Pagoda where the monks will host us with a sumptuous vegetarian meal to sample some of the local delicacies: Regarded by many as the culinary capital of Vietnam , Hue takes its culinary cues from its royal heritage. Hue tables are typically covered with several small dishes of local delicacies such as diminutive Hue pancakes or tiny bowls of freshly cut vegetables. After lunch, we bid farewell to our hosts and continue our exploration with the Citadel, home to the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City. We'll also visit the Imperial Museum and the vibrant Dong Ba Riverside Market. There will be another culinary adventure this evening as we sup at the fine-dining establishment, Tropical Garden

bean

Day 6: Hue

The morning begins with a hands-on cooking class at Tinh Gia Vien restaurant, highlighting the regal flavours of Hue cuisine as we prepare our own midday meal. After lunch, we'll take a cruise along the romantic Perfume River , passing opulent palaces and gardens of the 19th century Nguyen kings. We'll visit the ornate tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, set within beautifully landscaped gardens, and the tomb of the eccentric Tu Duc, known for his opulent lifestyle. On our way back to the city, we'll stop at the Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue . This is an active Buddhist monastery dating back to 1601. One of its most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk, who in 1963, drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest the South Vietnamese regime and its treatment of Buddhists. In the evening you may wish to stay at your hotel and attend an imperial dinner, wearing the traditional clothes of the emperors.

Day 7: Hue - Hoi An

We'll continue south, going by road toward the riverside town of Hoi An. Our five-hour route, hugging the coastline along the South China Sea, serves up breathtaking views that grow even more spectacular as we wind our way up Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Clouds). We'll pause to admire the stunning vistas of Lang Co beach to the north, and the city of Danang to the south. We'll continue on, passing China Beach , where many American GI's took their R&R (Rest and Relaxation!), and the Marble Mountains , home to the Cham legacy. In Hoi An, we'll grab some lunch at the Vinh Hung Café, where the coffee milkshakes are divine and the menu surprisingly extensive. In the afternoon, we'll take a walking tour around this once-thriving port and visit the famed old quarter, the Japanese Bridge , the old Assembly Halls, art galleries and many old houses once belonging to Chinese merchants. Come evening, we'll dine at the Café des Amis along the river.

Day 8: Hoi An


Hoi An is a charming, small town which can be easily explored on foot. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, it was a thriving international trading port with a large Chinese and Japanese population. More than any other place in Vietnam , Hoi An exudes a feeling of centuries past and is a favourite with all travellers. You may choose to stroll, soaking up the atmosphere and exploring the many fascinating ancestral homes (some of which have been occupied by the same family for fifteen generations), or rent a bicycle for a scenic ride to Cua Dai beach, 4 km away. The town is also famous for its tailors who are revered for their fine (and fast) work. We'll meet for lunch at the Pho Cu restaurant. We'll shop at Hoi An's riverside market, always a hive of activity, for our dinner ingredients, before spending the afternoon in a cooking demonstration with Miss Vi of the White Lantern, where we'll dine. Hoi An is well suited for an after-dinner stroll, and we'll stop by the Tam Tam Café for a drink or coffee before turning in for the night.

hochiminhcity

Day 9: Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City

This morning we'll head for Danang airport about a 40-minute drive, to take our one-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)), where we transfer directly to our centrally located hotel. We then attend a cooking class followed by lunch. After lunch, we'll embark on a tour of this cosmopolitan city, visiting Cholon, the War Remnants Museum , and the Reunification Palace . Cholon, home to HCMC's substantial Chinese population, is also the site of the largest market in Vietnam , the Ben Thanh market. The War Remnants museum contains a wealth of images from Vietnam's wars, the most moving being a gallery entitled Requiem, dedicated to Vietnamese and foreign journalists and photographers who perished during the French and American conflicts. The Reunification Palace was the residence of the President of South Vietnam until April 30, 1975 , when North Vietnamese tanks came crashing through the front gates, bringing the Vietnam-U.S. War to a dramatic end. Close to the Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office represent prime examples of French Colonial architecture. The ornate Notre Dame dominates the city's business centre. Built by the French between 1877 and 1883, it was constructed of stone imported from France . The Post Office, completed in 1891, is in perfect juxtaposition to the bustling urban city that is modern Ho Chi Minh City with its numerous shopping malls, cinemas, discotheques and a bewildering number of bars. This evening, we'll see what the fuss is all about as we go out on the town!

Day 10: Mekong Delta

Breakfast comes early this morning as we depart for Can Tho in the heart of the Mekong Delta. We'll stop in My Tho for coffee, and there, we'll have our first taste of life in this amazing Delta. We'll arrive in Can Tho in time for lunch.

After lunch, we'll drive to some of the orchards that give this region its allure, and we'll be able to see the many varieties of tropical plants native to this part of the world. We'll also visit a bird sanctuary, and stop in at the Song Hau Fram/Rice institute where we will be treated to a taste of some of the many products derived from rice. In the evening, we'll make our way to the Victoria Hotel , our home for the night. At 7.00 pm, there will be a Vietnamese dinner. Some of the tantalizing dishes may include rich crabmeat soup with minced ham, steamed fish in Soya sauce and much more.

Day 11: Mekong to Ho Chi Minh City

We'll depart the Victoria at 6:30 this morning from the jetty of the hotel. We'll enjoy a delectable breakfast buffet onboard the Lady Hau as we cruise the Mekong to visit the floating market of Cai Rang. Our cruise will take us along several channels of the Delta before we say goodbye to the mighty Mekong and begin our drive back to Ho Chi Minh City . The afternoon affords us free time for some last minute shopping or relaxing. We'll enjoy a deluxe farewell dinner at the Mandarin Restaurant.

Day 12: Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Today is departure day and time to bid your guide farewell. There will a transfer waiting to take you from the hotel to the airport for your flight home. We wish you a pleasant journey home and we know you will take away many wonderful memories of the sights and tastes you have savoured.






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