Interieur of the Citadel of Hue

CENTRAL VIETNAM

Central Vietnam is a region of jagged coasts and highlands. We have selected for you four world-famous sites: the magnificent Phong Nha Grottoes, the Imperial city of Hue, the old Portuguese town of Hoi An, and the Cham towers of My Son, all the last three filled with exceptional architectural treasures that we propose you to visit either in two days in Hue only or 2 days in Hue and 2 days in Hoi An/My Son.


THE 2 JEWELS OF THE CENTER: HUE AND HOI AN (4 days / 3 nights)

Day 1: THE IMPERIAL CITY AND THIEN MU PAGODA

 
The Mid-day Gate (Imperial City)
  A driver and guide welcome you at the railway station and take you to your hotel, the very elegant Asia Hotel, with its 7th-floor panoramic pool.

Breakfast on the pool restaurant. We then take you by cyclo-pousse in front of the spectacular Mid-day Gate, the entrance to the famous Hue Imperial City and its Purple City, the Vietnamese equivalent of Beijing Forbidden City. Immense complex of magnificent buildings: the Humanity and Virtue Gates, the Throne Hall, the Temple of the Cult of the Nguyen Emperors, the Queen-Mother Palace, etc. The guided visit lasts 3 hours.
 

We then board a small boat which sails up the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda (Pagoda of the Celestial Lady), in front of which you have lunch in the boat. Visit of the pagoda

We then return to the modern city and visit the Fine Arts Royal museum, located in An Long Palace, the residence of the last Emperor, Bao Dai, after his abdication in 1945. Return to your hotel and a delicious diner at the excellent restaurant La Carambole.


Day 2: THE IMPERIAL MAUSOLEUMS OF THE NGUYEN DYNASTY (3 meals)

  We spend the day visiting the most beautiful pagodas and the Mausoleums of the Great Dynasty of the Nguyen (1802-1945). Those tombs magnificent, with pagodas, temples, small lakes, etc. Some were even used by the emperors as occasional residence. We first visit two sites without tourists : the Tiger Arena, where the emperors organized fights between a tiger and an elephant, and 100 m farther away, the charming temple Voi Ré Temple, dedicated to the only two elephants which lost.

We continue on a small road and arrive at Minh Mang Tomb, famous for its magnificent landscaping. We then cross the Perfume River and visit Khai Dinh Temple, with its astonishing interior mosaics.
   

Lunch in the famous Biet Phu Thai Nhi Garden-Restaurant, followed by a small detour to a another rarely visited site, the Van Canh Belvedere, a hill from which we enjoy a magnificent view of the river and surrounding mountains. We then visit the nearby Tu Duc Mausoleum, a luxurious complex designed by the emperor himself. Before returning to the hotel, we stop at the very charming Tu Hieu Pagoda, where over 80 monks still live. Return to your hotel and diner of Hue specialties in the sumptuous Ancient Hue Garden-Restaurant, located in the ancient aristocratic district of Kim Long. 2nd night in your hotel.


 
Day 3: HUE – HOI AN

Departure from the hotel after breakfast, to take the Mandarin Road and climb the famous Pass of the Clouds. We stop in Danang to visit the world famous Cham Museum. We then drive down to the Portuguese Old Town of Hoi An.

Lunch in a restaurant of delicious local cuisine, followed by the visit of the Old Town of Hoi An, where you can admire the architectural treasures of that World Heritage site: the Japanese Bridge, the common houses (hoi quan), the 19th Century old houses, and the temples and pagodas. Diner of local specialties and one night at the charming Phu Tinh II Hotel.
 
The Old Town of Hoi An
 


Day 4: HOI AN - CHAM RUINS OF MY SON

 
Cham Ruins of My Son
  After breakfast, we take you to the fascinating Cham site of My Son, another World Heritage. Hidden in a luxuriant valley 55 km West of Hoi An, it counts 20 towers out of the original 68, which were probably the sepultures of the kings of the Champa Kingdom (11th to XVth century).

Lunch in My Son and return to Hoi An. Free afternoon to stroll through the town and shop. Diner of local specialties and 2nd night at the Phu Tinh II Hotel.

 


Rates per person in dollars

1 pers. 2 pers. 3 pers. 4 pers. 5 pers. Sgle Supplt
$890 $545 $479 $430 $423 $60

Do not hesitate to ask us for the rates for hotels over 3 Stars.


Hoi an – Saigon via the Central Highlands and Da lat


HOI AN – KON TUM – PLEI KU – BUÔN MA THUÔT – DA LAT – SAIGON (8 days/7 nights)

Day 1 : HOI AN – KON TUM

 
  After breakfast in your Hoi An hotel, we take the mountain road crossing the Annamitic Chain and going west on the Central Highlands ; we continue south, visiting minority villages on the way, and arrive to Kon Tum, capital of the region of the bhanar, with their tall-roofed communal houses, sedang and giarai (long stilted houses) minorities.

Diner and night in Kon Tum.
 


 
Day 2 : KON TUM – PLEI KU

In the morning, visit of Kon Tum and its surroundings: the beautiful wooden cathedral built by French missionaries in 1913, and the sedang village of Kon Jari, "capital" of the ephemeral Marie the First, King of the Sedang, aka the French adventurer David de Mayrena.

We then take the road going south, down to Plei Ku, capital of the Gia Lai territory. Diner and night in Plei Ku.
 
 


Day 3 : PLEI KU – BUÔN MA THUÔT

 
  In the morning, visit of the Museum of the Gia Lai Minorities; we then take the road north to visit the giarai village of Plei Fun, famous for its grave sculptures.

Return to Pleiku for lunch and drive south to the Highlands capital of Buôn Ma Thuôt, the center of Vietnam coffee plantations, of which Vietnam is the second exporter in the world. Diner and night in Buôn Ma Thuôt.
 


Day 4 : BUÔN MA THUÔT - LAC LAK
  In the morning, visit of the beautiful Museum of the Dak Lak Minorities, which displays the culture of the local minorities, Édé, Mnong, Muong, Thai, etc. We then drive to the spectacular Dray Sap and Dray Nur Waterfalls. We then take a road north to arrive at the mnong village de Buon Don. Les mnong are famous for their skill in capturing and taming elephants, a secular activity which is transmitted from father to son.

Elephant ride in the river. We then take the road going south to Lak Lake, where we have diner and spend the night in a lake resort of bungalows.
 
 


Day 5 : LAC LAK – DA LAT

 
  In the morning, we visit the Mnong village of Jun, with its long stilted houses and its elephants (possibility of elephant riding in the lake if you wish).

We also climb up to the Bao Dai Villa for the surrounding panorama of the region, which was the Emperor's favourite hunting grounds.

Lunch at the Lak Resort and we then take the road south to arrive in Da lat end of the afternoon, where we have diner at the excellent restaurant Trong Dong and spend the night.
 


Day 6 : VISIT OF DA LAT AND SURROUNDINGS

  We start the day with the visit of Dalat: the Art Deco Bao Dai Villa, the cathedral, the 19th century railway station, teh small Lang Dong Museum, and Hang Nga, nicknamed The Crazy House, an architectural delirium reminding Gaudi's masterpieces and certainly the most astonishing small hotel in Vietnam. Lunch in the excellent Nhat Ly.

After lunch, we climb on top of Lang Biang Mountain, culminating at 2100 m and from which we enjoy a sweeping view of the entire region. We then visit the XQ Historical Village, with its maze of alleys bordered with arts and crafts workshops and shops, and the very kitsch Linh Phuoc Pagoda. Second diner at the Trong Dong and night in Da Lat.
 
 


Day 7 : DA LAT

    We start the day with the visit of the beautiful Dalanta Waterfalls. Return to Da Lat for lunch, after which we have the choice of riding through coffee plantations to rterach the spectacular Elephant Waterfalls ; however, the trail to go down the canyon of enormous boulders is treacherous, requiring walking shoes and a sure foot, and impassable when wet ; if you perfer, we take a beautiful road snaking through the pine forests to reach the beautiful Dankia Lake.

Diner at the Nhat Ly and night in Da Lat.
 



Day 8 : DALAT - SAIGON
  We drive to Saigon, with the visit en route of the spectacular Pon Gur Waterfalls, considered the most beautiful in Vietnam with the Northern Ban Gioc ones, with their width of 150 m and height of 3O m.

We then cross a region of plantations (coffee, rubber, etc.) and arrive end of the afternoon in Saigon, where we have diner and spend the night.
 
 


Rates per person in US dollars:

1 pers. 2 pers. 3 pers. 4 pers. 5 pers. Sgle Supplt
$2465 $1385 $1130 $990 $885 $140