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VIETNAM

Best of Vietnam: 8 days

vietnam

MyPeople,

MyPeople it won’t be an exaggeration to say that Vietnam is an absolute Hollywood favorite, albeit for all the wrong reasons- war, bloodshed, and poverty. But the moment you remove your veil of biases, you will see a country throbbing with life and vitality, waiting to welcome you with open arms. A country with endless thrills and chills, Vietnam will leave you wanting for more.

And there is more to Vietnam than spectacular sights. Vietnam has a history, most of which is not pleasing to the eyes, but stands as a strong testimony to the courageous spirit of the people. The ever-cheerful citizens of Vietnam could give us a lesson or two on how to accept all the aspects of life and move on. To the country with an unrelenting soul we say- Xin Chao, Vietnam!

HIGHLIGHTS

JOURNEY PLAN

DAY 1 – ARRIVE AT SAIGAON (HO CHI MINH CITY)

MyPeople welcomes you to Saigon: also known has the Ho Chi Minh City. You will be taken to the hotel directly from the airport where you will get some time to freshen up before we proceed for dinner. Feel free to explore the quaint neo-modern Communist Regime City by TukTuk and soak in the culture: take the opportunity to see the Famous Water Puppet Show at a Theatre close to your Hotel.

After a sumptuous local breakfast, we will depart from Ho Chi Minh City for a visit to the Famous Cu Chi Tunnels: a fantastic example of Vietnamese war planning. Cu Chi Tunnels are a labyrinth of over 121 kilometers of underground tunnels which are a part of an immense underground network which was dug up during the Vietnam war. These tunnels served as the hiding spot for the Viet Cong soldiers to protect them from the incessant bombings by the American Air force. Not only this, but they also served as communication and supply routes, hospitals and weapon caches and living quarters of the North Vietnamese fighters. Here, you will see the many guerilla and other tactics used by the soldiers to resist and fight the French colonizers as well as the US Military. And yes, they did win. You cannot deny the fact that a tiny country like Vietnam stood as a shining exemplar to the World: it was only the resilience and resistance of people to not bow down to foreign atrocity that was responsible for the defeat of the mightiest country in the world.

After this, we will proceed to have lunch at one of the local restaurants, and thereafter we are headed towards the War Remnants Museum, formerly known as the Museum of Chinese and American war crimes. Few museums in the world have made an attempt to capture the horrors of war so vividly, and this museum is one of them. Many of the most disturbing photographs displayed there are from US sources including the ones from the notorious My Lai massacre.

Next, we visit the Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Presidential Palace. The building, known for its kitsch detailing and intricate motifs, stands as a remnant to the fall of the city in 1975 when the North Vietnamese tanks first arrived in Saigon.

After this, we visit the Old Post Office built in the Gothic style in the late 19th century when Vietnam was a part of the French Indochina. Located near the post office is the Notre- Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, which was established by the French colonialists between 1863 and 1880.

Our last stop would be the Ben Thanh market- one of the best local markets in the country. You will find this place splattered with colors, and pulsating with energy. It is a great market to purchase local Vietnamese handicrafts or to get a taste of hawker style Vietnamese cuisine.

After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive towards Cai Be: a charming small river-land mixed town in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. There are lots of colorful fruits and vegetable gardens, traditional crafts, and churches to be explored here. We will visit some home factories that produce rice paste, rice popcorn, and coconut candy. One of the main attractions of this tour is the preserved Mandarin house which was built centuries ago and has been home to four generations of the same family. Here we will meet Mr Kiet, the owner of the house, who will serve us a scrumptious lunch. We will also get a chance to take a stroll through the family’s fruit orchard before continuing to Tan Phong Island where we will take a local rowing boat through the canals before returning to Cai Be.

Later in the evening, we will go for a short walk through the tiny food-bazaar streets around Saigon, and sample some local street food there: revel amongst locals and tourists with some Soul or Jazz or Blues Music : one last night in Saigon before we leave the next morning for our onward journey.

We will take a morning flight to Danang and head towards Hoi An: which is a tiny cute jewel town in the country of Vietnam. Spend the rest of the day at leisure strolling around the pretty town or take a magical boat ride on the river with Floating Lamps.

We will spend this day exploring the delightful town of Hoi-An that was once a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This old town now boasts an exemplary architecture, and a lush-green, relaxing riverside, unknown of curses that plague the modern life- pollution, noise, and traffic! Walk through the streets of Hoi An to witness past mingling with the present as you pass old warehouses, historic Chinese temples, Buddhist Pagodas and Japanese Merchant Houses, adorning this place since time immemorial.

We will spend the rest of the day at leisure, and have dinner at Hoi An.

Today morning we will board a flight to Hanoi- the Capital of Vietnam.
After arriving in Hanoi, we proceed for our city tour. Our first stop will be the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of General Ho Chi Minh, fondly known as Uncle Ho: he was the most iconic leader of Vietnam and the hero of the Vietnamese Revolution. His body is preserved here in a glass case. It is imperative that you respect the sanctity of this place and maintain absolute decorum while inside the Mausoleum. We will also visit his private residence where he lived from 1954 to 1969. In the same complex is One Pillar Pagoda – a historic Buddhist Temple- founded by King Ly Thanh Tong in 1049.

We continue our Pagoda Tour and pay a visit to the Buddhist Tran Quoc Pagoda on West Lake, which is one of the oldest Pagodas in Vietnam and the Quan Thanh Temple- a Taoist temple built during the time of the Ly Dynasty

Next, we will proceed to see the Temple of Literature – the first university in Vietnam built in 1070.

After this enriching tour, we will head back for a sumptuous dinner

Today after breakfast, we will visit the Magical Halong Bay and explore this labyrinth of 2,000 Islets amongst Emerald Green Waters on our own Private Boat. MyPeople this journey is a pure visual delight! Enjoy your leisurely boat cruise as you feast your eyes on the limestone karsts, visit some caves, go kayaking and swimming in the seas, and of course gorge on the delectable local cuisines. We will stay overnight on the Victory Star Cruise.

Nothing says ‘Good Morning’ better than the breathtaking sunrise over the Emerald Halong Bay, and we will experience this ethereal Sunrise today which will leave lasting memories of Vietnam imprinted on your Soul forever. We will also explore some breathtaking caves! And then after a much-needed shot of adventure, we will have brunch on the boat (yes, the Vietnamese have their brunch at 9:30 am) and then disembark and make our way back to Hanoi.

Our day continues once we have reached Hanoi. In fact, it would be the time when we go on our much-awaited street food tour and sample the finest ‘pho’- Vietnam’s national dish. You can either have Pho Bo or Pho Ga, and you will not be disappointed. We will continue to one of the city’s last remaining ‘wet markets’ where a vast array of produce is sold. And then we will walk through the backstreets where small vendors set up their stalls along the road. There we take a break whilst enjoying some excellent street food including “Banh Xeo”, and “Bun Cha” or “HoaQua Dam”: do try tasting the Dragon Fruit at least once whilst here.

Next, we will take a stroll down the Old Quarter’s corners and enjoy a cup of steaming hot Vietnamese coffee or tea before returning to our hotel.

After an exciting rendezvous with Vietnam, MyPeople welcomes you to delightful Cambodia. You can go on a cross country adventure by coach and enjoy the lush countryside greenery and have sneak peaks at urban-rural lifestyle, whilst you spend a lazy day on your 9 hour coach journey. Alternately you can take a flight to Seam Reap and spend a free evening in this quaint Cambodian town.

If you are short on time and are unable to continue onward to Cambodia after Vietnam then we wish you Sayonara MyPeople: wrap all your beautiful memories and you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward journey 🙂

MyPeople!
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