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The route encompasses the most picturesque UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sites: impressive Phong Nha cave, a matrix of 65km of caves and underground rivers; My Son Valley, the sacred remains of the ancient Cham civilization.
Day 1: Arrive in Quang Binh (-/L/-)
Day 2: Quang Binh - Dmz Tour – Hue (B/L/-)
Day 3: Hue City Tour (B/-/-)
Day 4: Hue - Hoi An (B/-/-)
Day 5: My Son Holyland – Tra Que Village (B/-/-)
Day 6: Hoi An - Da Nang – Departure (B/-/-)
Right after landing on Dong Hoi Airport, you are picked up and transferred to Paradise Cave, located inside the World Heritage Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, about 25km from Northwest of Phong Nha. After fews minutes driving and a short walk-up of over 500 steps, you reach the cave entrance. Come inside and spend about 2 hours exploring the magnificent scenery with the spectacular stalagmites system, which is out of human imagination.
If time permit, take a boat trip on the Son River to visit Phong Nha Cave with wonderful stalagmites and stalactites. It was recognized as a World Natural Heritage in 2003 by UNESCO.
Overnight in Dong Hoi.
At 07:30am, we would pick you up from your hotel and departure to Dong Ha, Quang Tri. We have some stops at sites along the way (important to the 1972 Easter Offensive), such as Highway of Horror, Quang Tri Citadel, the Ai Tu airfield). From Dong Ha, we proceed west on route 9 and pass a series of the old U.S Marines’ fire bases such as Camp Carroll, Fuller, Razorback ridge…. The first stop is the Rockpile, an important Vietnam DMZ 1968 look-out of the Marines south of the DMZ. We will view the old tactical area where the Marines fought in the famous operations Hasting and Prairie. Our next stop is Dakrong bridge – the starting point one of the main branches of the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail leading to the infamous Ashau Valley and the Hamburger Hill, then we keep driving up to Khe Sanh plateau, on the way we have photos at a beautiful village of the local Bru Montargnards. The last stop in the morning is Khe Sanh Combat Base, a large Marines base camp attacked by a massive forces of the North Vietnamese Army in early 1968, where we will spend ample time exploring this famous Marine Corps base. Drive back to Dong ha for lunch break. After lunch, we continue north to the old DMZ, the old de-facto border between North and South Vietnam for 18 years, where we will take a walk on the Freedom bridge across the Ben Hai river, the river that was the only true physical demarcation line between the two Vietnams. The last stop of the day is Vinh Moc tunnels, the refuge of some 400 north Vietnamese refugees during the bombing operation “Rolling Thunder.” Drive all the way back to Hue.
Overnight in Hue.
Today we explore this fabulous city. We start with a visit to the Citadel, containing the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City, the Emperor’s private residence. The Imperial City, created in the 19th century and modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing. There are many palaces and temples inside.
After lunch, we will board a private traditional boat for a cruise on the romantic Perfume River. Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded by ancient tombs of past emperors, some of which will be on the itinerary for the day. The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop and is located at the convergence of rivers, which makes it an ideal place for a great view of the Perfume River and surrounding area. From here you will cruise further to the ornate Minh Mang’s tomb. End the day at Khai Dinh’s Tomb which boasts a traditional Vietnamese design with a European touch, making it unique from the other tombs in Hue. Before heading back to your hotel take time to stroll around Dong Ba Market with your guide.
Overnight at the hotel in Hue.
After breakfast, we will be on 3 – hour journey to Hoi An. We will drive and stop at the Hai Van Pass, and visit the most famous for the Cham Museum which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world and the My Khe Beach, a place called R and R (Rest and Rehabilitation) where thousands of American GIs came for a break during the war in Vietnam. Also, we have a short sightseeing at the Marble Mountain, whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe.
Arriving in Hoi An in the early afternoon, we enjoy lunch, check in hotel and we spend for a walking tour around this enchanting port town. Follow the narrow lanes lined with centuries-old houses influenced by Chinese, Japanese, French and European architectures and visit its numerous places of interest: the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls, the local fish market… Around the town we can see a numerous art galleries and tailor shops, get some made-to-order clothes if you like.
Overnight in Hoi An.
At around 08.00am, our guide and car will meet you at your hotel for your drive through the beautiful countryside villages and towns on our way to the ancient relics of My Son. Photo opportunities abound.
We arrive to the haunting sound of Cham music and stop to take in the vibrantly dressed dancers enjoying a traditional dance performance.
After that, take a walking tour begins with a short ascent up to the Cham ruins walking along a track bordered by jungle. As we reach the top, the ancient ruins appear. While you explore the area your guide will explain the history of the religious site which served as a burial site for the Cham monarchs many centuries ago. Then return to our car to continue our journey of discovery and take a ride through the countryside and paddies on our way to Tra Que Village.
Once arrive at Tra Que Village, famous for its fresh local herbs and vegetables, and is named after the sweet smelling herb that is used to flavor many local Hoi An dishes. The farmers in the village use no fertilizers in their soil, using instead, an algae found only in a lagoon adjacent to the village. It produces abundant and delicious herbs and vegetables. Among many others, the herbs are used to flavor Banh Xeo, Cao Lau and My Quang, all local dishes. Local people insist on these herbs for the very best quality dish.
Your local village hosts will provide you with a cooking demonstration and show you some of the local specialties including how to make rice paper, banh xeo and tam huu local spring roll. Then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and try your hand at preparing your own Hoi An 3 course specialty lunch. Sit back and enjoy your culinary creations at the family table overlooking the locals tending the land.
Before we set off on our tour of the village, it’s time to relax and enjoy a traditional foot massage in the fragrant garden. Your village hosts will take you on a tour of the village and explore the nurseries and herb gardens abundant with bird’s eye chili, lemongrass, basil, coriander and spring onions all thriving in the rich soil. Learn about the unique algae and its nourishing impact on the soil. Jump right in and see how the plots are tended and watered with the guidance of local family farmers.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Have breakfast at your hotel, free at your leisure until be picked to the Airport for your departure flight. Thank you so much for travelling with Vietsense Travel and warmly welcome you!
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