Memorable Family Journey

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Overview:

Our trip starts in busy and bustling Saigon. We visit its key historic sites including Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and the fascinating Notre Dame Cathedral. We enjoy a river boat cruise through densely connected network of rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta, passing through colorful floating markets and orchards. A home stay in an island is a trip highlight. We then try to explore the stronghold of Cu Chi tunnel, crawling through tiny path to experience a guerrilla life. Heading to Nha Trang, we enjoy a paradise on the beach, visit a marine protected island to enjoy a snorkeling and to discover colorful coral reefs. We also visit the ancient town of Hoi An to see its highlights before heading to Hanoi. The capital city will enrich your experiences with its historic sites, busy shopping streets and cultural places. Finally, we take a cruise boat in the spectacular Halong Bay, where the Limestone Mountains and caves combine to make up one of the world’s most stunning landscapes.

Highlights

-       Crawling like guerrillas in Cu Chi Tunnels

-       Trying to live on floating communities on the Mekong River

-       Enjoying a paradise on Nha Trang beach, taking a scuba diving and snorkeling

-       Pay a visit to SOS Children Village of Nha Trang to share with marginalised kids

-       Feeling the past through ancient town of Hoi An: its unique architecture, art, silks

-       Getting to know Hanoi’s rich cultural and historical values: its past and presence

-       Boat Cruise through the limestone karsts of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay

Itinerary:

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City (buffet dinner)

Your flight lands in Saigon international airport, 10 kms from the city centre. Our car will pick you up and transfer to the hotel in the city centre. Once you have checked in, a short introductory meeting will take place to welcome you, and inform of useful itinerary, advice, preparations etc.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City Tour (breakfast, lunch)

On the second day of your memorable family journey, we start our city tour by visiting the War Remnants Museum to discover one chapter of the city, then head to Reunification Palace close by. Take a walk around Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral and the central Post Office. The afternoon is free for independent sightseeing, enjoying some coffee and ice cream, or shopping along the streets of central business districts.

Day 3: Mekong Delta Cruise and Home-stay (Breakfast, lunch)

Today we will leave Saigon for the town of Cai Be town (80 kms away) in the Mekong Delta to take a river boat trip. This journey cruises through floating markets, rice fields, fruit plantations and so on along a densely connected network of rivers and canals. An absolutely amazing view of a totally flat, low-lying delta that seems to have no have no boundary will bring you an immense feeling of this region. Experience a homestay in a basic facility for the day in an island between two rivers.

Day 4: Mekong Delta – Back to Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast, lunch)

Rising early to the sounds of the Delta coming to life for another day, we have breakfast before a visit to the local market. We then continue the excursion to the handicraft village to visit a ceramic tile factory, a tofu and fish sauce factory, a blacksmith’s, a roof Thatcher’s and a rice husking factory which are all run by the local families and also one of the places where some local people can earn their living. After lunch, we will return to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels-Nha Trang (Breakfast, lunch)

In the morning we will explore an incredible network of underground tunnel designed and constructed to withstand fierce crack down of the external forces, the Cu Chi tunnel. No word could describe it better than experience it yourself. Come and see how Viet Nam won the war. You’ ve got to appreciate the talent of the country. In the late afternoon, we head out to the airport for our flight to Nha Trang.

Day 6: Nha Trang Boat Cruise and Mud bath (Breakfast, lunch)

Often referred to as one of the best bays on earth, Nha Trang is stunning, beautiful, clean, with clear sky and water. Get up and enjoy a cruise boat to Tam Island, a small island strictly protected by the Government (with support of Danida Denmark). Enjoy an amateur scuba diving or snorkeling, discovering marine lives thanks to crystal clear blue water. Take a sun bed, start enjoy fresh food. Then we will drive to Thap Ba Mud and Spa centre to enjoy a stunning shared public mud bath to close a fun day out.

Day 7: Nha Trang Children Village – Da Nang (breakfast)

We will spend the morning with kids from the SOS Children Village of Nha Trang. Kids here lack parenthood yet they learn and grow up in life through difficult times. Many of them have won talented kids contests and exams. We will have a great time to share and learn from them. Late this morning, we transfer to the airport for a flight to Da Nang.

Day 8:  Hoi An Herbal Village and walking tour (Breakfast, lunch)

We will have a half day bike tour to visit rural villages which once provided services and goods to merchants in Hoi An ancient town. Get relaxed while biking along the ever green, small lanes full of vegetables, flowers, water buffalos. Work as a farmer doing watering, preparing soil, planting herbs, etc. Lunch in a local farmer house will be the highlight.

In the afternoon, we will have a walking tour to explore Hoi An's its unique architecture, lifestyle, night markets, ancient houses which have been preserved for years.

Day 9: Cu Lao Cham Excursion (Breakfast, lunch)

Today we will take a shared speedboat to explore Cham Island, a group of small islets just some kms to the East of Hoi An. Explore local way of life on one of the most densely populated island in Vietnam. Visit a marine protected centre supported by Danida, a pagoda built some hundred years ago used by fishermen for worship prior to their fishing trip in the sea. Then on our private boat, do some snorkeling before enjoying seafood lunch on Huong beach, the most beautiful hidden beach in the Island.

Day 10: Hoi An-Danang - Hanoi Puppet Show (Breakfast)

Wake up and do some morning exercises on Cua Dai beach. Enjoy a swim and relax on a sunbed. After lunch we transfer to Danang airport to take a flight to Hanoi. Check in our hotel in the Old Quarters. In the evening we enjoy a performance of Hanoi’s famous Water Puppets - kids and parents will be equally delighted!

Day 11: Hanoi Cultural Exploration (breakfast, lunch)

We drive to Ho Chi Minh complex, spend a couple of hours to visit Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh museum.  We walk to the One Pillar Pagoda, the iconic Buddhist temple of Vietnam. We continue to the Temple of Literature originally built as a temple of Confucius. This is the site of the Vietnam first university dating back to 1070. The Temple highlights the importance of education. In the afternoon, we visit the Museum of ethnology, the most interesting museum in Vietnam, showing the diverse cultures of 54 ethnic groups in the country.

Day 12: Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Take a four hour shared bus drive to Halong Bay before boarding on our cruise boat. We will cruise through remarkable limestone formations of Halong Bay. We have the opportunities to enjoy a swim, visits to stunningly beautiful grottos and do some kayaking. Overnight on the cruise boat will be a memorable experience for your family.

Day 13: Halong Bay-Hanoi (breakfast, lunch)

In the morning, enjoy some guided Tai Chi exercise on the sundeck. We continue sightseeing and cruising around Halong Bay, before turning to the harbor and driving back to Hanoi.

Day 14: Hanoi Departure (breakfast)

Enjoy a free morning, explore the bustling life in the Old Quarters, do some shopping in Dong Xuan Market or along the 36 streets. We will have a drink to celebrate our Vietnam family trip before transferring to Noi Bai airport for the flight home.

Contact Matthew at info@redcranetravel.com

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