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5 Days 4 Nights Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi (PTV5D-1)

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Ho Chi Minh City, formerly named Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam. It was once known as Prey Nokor, an important Khmer sea port prior to annexation by the Vietnamese in the 17th century. Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent state of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. In 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Dinh Province and was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after Ho Chi Minh. The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 kilometers (37 mi) from the South China Sea and 1,760 kilometers (1,094 mi) south of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

Hanoi, estimated population nearly 6.5 million (2009), the capital and second-largest city of Vietnam. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam. It was eclipsed by Hue during the Nguyen Dynasty as the capital of Vietnam, but Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902 to 1954. From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital of North Vietnam. The city is located on the right bank of the Red River. Hanoi is located at 1,760 km (1,090 mi) north of Ho Chi Minh City. October 2010 officially marked 1000 years since the establishment of the city.

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. Administratively, the bay belongs to Halong City, Cam Pha town, and part of Van Don district. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. Halong Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islets. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. The geo-diversity of the environment in the area has created biodiversity, including a tropical evergreen biosystem, oceanic and sea shore biosystem. Halong Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.

 

 

1 Arrive in Saigon On arrival in Tan Son Nhat airport in Saigon, you will be picked up by our tour guide . Look for your name sign at Arrival Hall and follow our tour guide. Private car transfer to the city. Afternoon , we will take you around Ho Chi Minh City to get a general view of it as well as its history and culture with stops at Reunification Palace (Ex-Presidential Palace) that was built in 1963 and is well-known as an outstanding example of 1960′s architecture, the Jade Emperor Pagoda, passing by Notre Dame Cathedral (built in 1877), the General Post Office. Overnight in Saigon.
2 SAIGON – CITY – CU CHI TUNNEL (B/L/D) Ho Chi Minh City formerly known as Saigon is one of the most important commercial and tourist centers in Vietnam. It is 1,730km by land from Hanoi capital and 50 km from the East Sea. Saigon was once praised as the “Pearl of the Far East”. Morning , we will take you around Ho Chi Minh City to get a general view of it as well as its history and culture with stops at Reunification Palace (Ex-Presidential Palace) that was built in 1963 and is well-known as an outstanding example of 1960′s architecture, the Jade Emperor Pagoda, passing by Notre Dame Cathedral (built in 1877), the General Post Office. After lunch, you will go to the Cu Chi tunnels which underground network now considered a heroic district for its role in the anti – American war in Vietnam. It is legendary for its tunnels system of over 220km and is a popular spot for both Vietnamese and foreign visitors. Return to Saigon in the afternoon at 6.00pm. Overnight in Saigon.
3 SAIGON – HANOI (B/L/D) Morning, transfer to the airport for the flight to Hanoi. Birthplace to so much of Vietnam’s traditional culture, Hanoi, more than any other city in Vietnam, is a unique fusion of old and new. It personifies the spirit of historic Vietnam in the temples, monuments and pockets of ancient culture along the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, yet perfectly reflects the rapid changes sweeping the country as Hanoian yuppies sip cappuccinos in roadside cafes and compare cell phones. On arrival at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you will be picked up by our tour guide and car and be transferred to the city. City tour in Hanoi to visit Temple of Literature – the first college of Viet Nam and the place dedicating to Confucian. Have lunch at a restaurant. PM: After having lunch, drive to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, which is on the shore of West Lake. Quan Thanh Temple and the Museum of Ethnology – where you can look at the cultural mosaic of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. The last place of city tour is Hoan Kiem Lake (Restored Sword Lake) with Ngoc Son Temple. End at your hotel in the late afternoon. Overnight in Hanoi.
4 HANOI – HALONG BAY TOUR (B/L/D) Breakfast and 8.00am, get on the car for Halong Bay. Halong Bay covers an area of 1,553 square km with over 3000 limestone islands that rise from the clear, emerald waters of the gulf of Tonkin near the Chinese border. Halong Bay is one of the natural marvels of Vietnam. Due to its typical terrain of sea depression dotted with limestone islands, 300 square km, it was recognized as the world natural heritage by UNESCO in 1994. Halong Bay is a truly remarkable destination; come and see what the Vietnamese call -the descending dragon’ Enjoy 5 hours of boat cruise in Halong Bay passing the islands of Fighting Cocks, Turtle Islet, Stone Dog, Surprising Cave and Titop Beach. Kayak around for 30 minutes. Stop for swimming and visiting caves. Have seafood lunch on board. Return to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
5 HANOI – DEPARTURE (B) At leisure until car and guide transfer your group to the airport for departure flight.

The price includes

  • Hotel Accommodation in 4 & 5 star hotels or equivalent
    • Option 1: 4 star Saigon : Grand Hotel Hanoi : Silk Path Hotel
    • Option 2: 5 star Saigon : Caravelle Hotel Hanoi : Sheraton Hotel
  • Entrance fees
  • Airport transfers and ground transportation as stated in the itinerary
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary
    • B = Breakfast in hotel
    • L = Lunch outside of hotel at designated local restaurant
    • D = Dinner outside of hotel at designated local restaurant
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Transfers and tours by private vehicle ( 4-seater car: Toyota Vios/ Altis for group 1 or 2 pax, 16-seater minivan Mercedes Benz Sprinter for group 3 - 4 pax)
  • Domestic air tickets Saigon - Hanoi ( Vietnam airline - Economy)
  • Private boat trip in Halong Bay

The price excludes

  • International air tickets to/from Vietnam
  • Meals that are not mentioned
  • Vietnamese visa arrangement
  • Personal insurance
  • Tip for driver, tour guide
  • Hotel incidentals & expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, tipping, etc
  • Any services that are not mentioned.
  •  

    Activities

    Halong Bay

    Description : Halong Bay is one of the world's natural wonders and is the most beautiful tourist destination of Vietnam. Halong Bay features more than one thousand awesome limestone karsts and islands of various sizes and shapes along the 120-km coastline of Bai Chay Beach. Its waters are host to a great diversity of ecosystems including offshore coral reefs, freshwater swamp forests, mangrove forests, small freshwater lakes, and sandy beaches. The folk tale has it that the dragons descended from heaven to help locals by spitting jewels and jade to the sea, forming a natural fortress against invaders; these precious stones are represented by the lush green outcrops. Several islands boast beautiful grottos and caves with contiguous chambers, hidden ponds and peculiar stone formations. The bay is about 170 kilometers northeast of Hanoi and 3.5 hours by road.
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    Hoan Kiem Lake

    Description : Hoan Kiem Lake, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword" or "Lake of the Restored Sword", also known as - Sword Lake is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life. According to the legend, emperor Le Loi handed a magic sword called Heaven's Will which brought him victory in his revolt against the Chinese Ming Dynasty back to the Golden Turtle God (Kim Qui) in the lake and hence gave it its present name (the lake was formerly known as "Luc Thuy" meaning "Green Water"). The Tortoise Tower (Thap Rua) standing on a small island near the center of lake is linked to the legend.
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    Jade Emperor Pagoda

    Description : Among Ho Chi Minh City's many tourist attractions the Emperor Jade Pagoda in Saigon is one of the most interesting ones. The Chua Ngoc Hong or the Phuoc Hai Tu was built in 1909 by the Cantonese community. The pagoda is also known as the Tortoise Pagoda. Taoist, Buddhist and other ethnic mythical stories from various cultures are carved in the walls of the pagodas. The Figure that dominates the main hall is the statue of the Jade Emperor who is believed to the "god of the heavens". It is the emperor who decides who will be allowed entry in to the heavens and who will be refused. Towards the left is an anteroom, which houses the idol of Kim Hua, a goddess of fertility. The King of Hell occupies another nook and is accompanied by his sundry minions. Many elaborate carvings depict the ten levels of hell and the Chinese's equivalent of the apocalypse. Enormous statues made of reinforced paper mache depict various figures from ancient Taoist and Buddhist mythology.
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    Museum of Ethnology

    Description : Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. The mission of the museum is scientific research, collection, documentation, conservation, exhibition and preserving the cultural and historic patrimony of the nation's different ethnic groups. The museum also serves to guide research, conservation, and technology that are specific to the work of an ethnographic museum. The museum is divided into two parts: an indoor and an outdoor exhibition. The indoor part is composed of the exhibition building, office, research centre, library, storage, technical lab and auditorium. The outdoor exhibition highlights different types of houses in all parts of Vietnam. Pathways link the indoor and outdoor exhibitions with each other.
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    Ngoc Son Temple

    Description : At the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake is a small island with the Ngoc Son ("Jade Mountain") Temple. The temple supposedly dates back to the fourteenth century, although the current buildings were probably built in the eighteenth century. The temple is dedicated to the hero Tran Hung Dao, who defeated a force of 300,000 sent to invade Vietnam by the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan. There are also altars dedicated to the scholars Van Xuong and La To, the patron saint of physicians. The island and its temple are reached by a red wooden bridge called The Huc, which translates to "Flood of Morning Sunlight".
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    Notre Dame Cathedral

    Description : Built in 1883, Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon is a good 126 years old by now. This granite statue of the Virgin Mary, titled 'Regina Pacis', was installed in 1959. Before that, it used to be a bronze statue of Bishop of Adran leading Prince Canh, the son of Emperor Gia Long. In October 2005, the statue was reported to have shed tears, attracting thousands of people and forcing Vietnam authorities to stop traffic around the Notre Dame Cathedral. All the original building materials were imported from France. The outside wall of the cathedral was built with bricks from Marseille. And although the contractor did not use coated concrete, these bricks have retained their bright red color until today. The Notre Dame Cathedral also used to have stained-glass windows seen from outside the building. But they were destoryed during WWII and were never replaced.
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    Quan Thanh Temple

    Description : After King Ly Thai To established the capital (1010), the Temple was moved to the north-west of the capital. It is one of the "Thang Long tu tran" - four famous sacred temples, which also includes Bach Ma (White Horse), Voi Phuc (Kneeling Elephant) and Kim Lien, honouring the Gods who guard at four main directions (East - West - South - North) of the ancient Thang Long Citadel. Quan Thanh temple is dedicated to Saint Huyen Thien Tran Vu who guarded and administered the north of the country. That is why it is also known as the Tran Vu Temple. Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi is not only famous for bronze cast statutes but also the art of woodcarving. The temple's wooden structures were carved skillfully with different shapes and patterns, such as four sacred animals, fish, fir-trees, bamboo trees, flower baskets, wine gourds, swords and daily activities on the heaven and the earth. All were created with the art style of the Le Dynasty.
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    Reunification Palace

    Description : Not far from the War Museum sits the Reunification Palace. This building, currently a museum, used to be the official residence of the Presidents of the former South Vietnam government. It was here that the American led war ended on April 30 1975, when the North Vietnam Army invaded the Palace forcing the president to resign. Currently the Reunification Palace complex is open to the public. Visitors can see the basement tunnels, the conference rooms, the Presidential Receiving Room, the telecommunications center and the war room.
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    Saigon Central Post Office

    Description : Saigon Central Post Office is a post office in the downtown Ho Chi Minh City, near Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, the city's main church. The building was constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the early 20th century. It has a Gothic architectural style. It was designed and constructed by the famous architect Gustave Eiffel in harmony with the surrounding area. Today, the building is a tourist attraction.
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    Temple of Literature

    Description : The Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam is the country's oldest and foremost monument to education. The 1,000-year-old city of Hanoi predates the Temple of Literature only by a few dozen years. The Temple's grounds are home to two distinct but related institutions: the shrine to Confucius named Van Mieu, and the former university for mandarins called Quoc Tu Giam, literally the "Temple of the King Who Distinguished Literature". The former was first built in 1070, and the latter was established in 1076. The Vietnamese King Ly Thanh Tong first built Van Mieu to honor Confucius, revered as a paragon of learning in a bureaucracy that was heavily influenced by the neighboring Chinese. Six years later, Quoc Tu Giam was opened to educate the growing civil service, becoming in effect Vietnam's first university. Originally, only the sons of mandarins were admitted.
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    Tran Quoc Pagoda

    Description : This pagoda is situated on an island linked by a bridge to the causeway between West Lake and Tran Bach Lake. Founded in the early sixth century during the Ly Dynasty, it was moved from next to the Red River to its current location in the early 17th century. In the gardens stands a bodhi tree, taken from a cutting of the original tree, under which Buddha sat and achieved enlightenment. The island and pagoda provide a beautiful backdrop, particularly when viewed at sunset. Visitors must be decently attired and long trousers are required for men.
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    Hotels

    Caravelle Hotel

    *****
    Description : The Caravelle has been at the center of Saigon society since the hotel was opened in 1959. In 1998, an elegant 24-storey tower was built as a complement to the original 10-storey building. With commanding views of the city and an enviable location opposite the Opera House, the landmark hotel is at the heart of a city once renown as the Pearl of the Orient. Nowadays, the hotel is a favorite for nostalgic travelers and discerning visitors alike. The Caravelle remains the definitive luxury hotel in the heart of Saigon.
    Amenities: Exclusive signature lounge Spacious bath tub Non smoking floors and rooms Satellite LCD television Deluxe bathroom amenities Mini bar 220-240V AC power adapters In room tea and coffee Iron and ironing board Laundry/dry cleaning and pressing Business center Executive meeting rooms Caravelle ballroom 24 hour security 24 hour in room dining 24 hour concierge Wifi internet Cable TV Babysitting service Limousine Tailer shop Suitable for wheelchairs Ballroom Fire alarm
    Restaurant: The hotel has 2 restaurants on-site. Reflections Restaurant combines Asian flavors with classic Mediterranean cuisine to produce Pacific Rim style cuisine in an ambiance of understated elegance and European style. Restaurant Nineteen serves International cuisine.
    Guest Rooms: Caravelle Hotel has 335 superbly appointed rooms, suites, exclusive Signature Floors, Signature Lounge, non-smoking floors, specially equipped room for the disabled. Amenities include IDD telephone, satellite television channel, CD, DVD, facsimile, mini-bar, tea and coffee-makers, coffee and espresso machine and in-room safe. Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet in-room & throughout the hotel.
    Location: Address: 19 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Location Description: Caravelle Hotel is Ho Chi Minh City's leading international 5-star hotel - in the center of the business, shopping, market and entertainment district, 8 km from Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
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    Grand Hotel Saigon

    ****
    Description : Since 1930, Grand Hotel as one of the oldest 8 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. hotels in Saigon and originally built in the twenties, the GRAND HOTEL still retains its original French architecture style after its 8 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. renovation.
    Amenities: Fitness center Jacuzzi Massage Outdoor Swimming pool Sauna Steam Business center Meeting room Baby Sitting Banquet facilities Laundry Service Car Rental Service Concierge Service Currency Exchange Room service Gift shop / Shopping arcade Safety deposit box
    Restaurant: Chez-Nous restaurant on the ground floor serves traditi195-197-199 Hang Bong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi Veitnamonal Asian, Vietnamese and Western food. Belle Vue restaurant is another restaurant which should not be missed, where guests can also enjoy fine food and a panoramic view of the city from on the 12th floor. Coffee Lounge serve extensive choices of beverage and pastry.
    Guest Rooms: Grand Hotel offers comfortable rooms suitable for every traveler. Grand features 3 room types namely superior new wing, deluxe new wing, executive deluxe old wing. Each guestroom is well-equipped and well-decorated with standard room facilities: duvet bedding, air-conditioned room, in-house movies, hair dryer in every room, mini bar, in-room safe box, IDD telephone.
    Location: 8 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
    Location Description: Located in the heart of downtown, Grand hotel is easy accessible to the historic Saigon River and from other tourist attractions. Ho Chi Minh City Grand is close to public transportation of Ho Chi Minh City.
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    Sheraton Hanoi Hotel

    *****
    Description : Close to the bustle and excitement of the city, Sheraton Hanoi Hotel is surrounded by lush gardens, sweeping lawns, and tranquil courtyards. This peaceful oasis features picturesque views of West Lake and is less than 10 minutes from downtown Hanoi. Truly a "resort within the city," our hotel provides the perfect balance between tranquility and convenience. Take in panoramic views of Hanoi's largest lake and enjoy great comforts in the 299 spacious guest rooms and suites, specially designed to help you relax.
    Amenities: Exclusive signature lounge Spacious bath tub Non smoking floors and rooms Satellite LCD television Deluxe bathroom amenities Mini bar 220-240V AC power adapters In room tea and coffee Iron and ironing board Laundry/dry cleaning and pressing Business center Executive meeting rooms Caravelle ballroom 24 hour security 24 hour in room dining 24 hour concierge Wifi internet Cable TV Babysitting service Limousine Tailer shop Suitable for wheelchairs Ballroom Fire alarm
    Restaurant: The hotel has 2 restaurants on-site. Reflections Restaurant combines Asian flavors with classic Mediterranean cuisine to produce Pacific Rim style cuisine in an ambiance of understated elegance and European style. Restaurant Nineteen serves International cuisine.
    Guest Rooms: Caravelle Hotel has 335 superbly appointed rooms, suites, exclusive Signature Floors, Signature Lounge, non-smoking floors, specially equipped room for the disabled. Amenities include IDD telephone, satellite television channel, CD, DVD, facsimile, mini-bar, tea and coffee-makers, coffee and espresso machine and in-room safe. Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet in-room & throughout the hotel.
    Location: Address: K5 Nghi Tam, 11 Xuan Dieu Road | Tay Ho District, Hanoi 1000, Vietnam
    Location Description: Caravelle Hotel is Ho Chi Minh City's leading international 5-star hotel - in the center of the business, shopping, market and entertainment district, 8 km from Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
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    Silk Path Hotel Hanoi

    ****
    Description : Whether it's for vacation or for a business trip, selecting the right Hotel makes all the difference. Advantageously located in the heart of the charming old quarter of Hanoi; countless tourist attractions, government and diplomatic institutions as well as the business district of the city, Silk Path Hotel, with its 106 well-appointed exclusively designed rooms and suites, makes the hotel the preferred choice of the demanding traveler as well as the discerning businessman. The hotel has a 2 level restaurant with private dining rooms, a unique bar, a conference room and a Fitness Center and Sauna Silk Path Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay with all thinkable luxury amenities within reach. 5 star services at 4 star prices.
    Amenities: Business center Room service High speed internet Fitness room / gym Restaraunts Breakfast in the room Disabled access Bar / lounge Elivator / lift 24 hour reception Dry cleaning Babysitting / child services Air conditioned Disabled accessible rooms Fitness facilities Jacuzzi Internet connection (wireless) Pub Coffee shop / Cafeteria
    Restaurant: Silk Path Hotel has 2 restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel also features a bar/lounge, complimentary reception, and 24-hour room service.
    Guest Rooms: Silk Path Hotel offers 106 guestrooms. Balconies open to city views. Beds feature premium bedding. Rooms are furnished with fireplaces and desks. 32-inch plasma televisions come with satellite channels. Complimentary wired and wireless high-speed Internet access is provided along with multi-line phones, CD players, and complimentary newspapers. Accommodations at this 4.0-star property have kitchens with refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee/tea makers. Select guestrooms have partially open bathrooms. Bathrooms include separate bathtubs and showers with handheld showerheads, bathrobes, slippers, and makeup/shaving mirrors. Mini bars, direct-dial phones, and remote lighting/drapery/curtain control are also included.
    Location: 195-197-199 Hang Bong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi Veitnam
    Location Description: Situated in the city center, this hotel is close to Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Hoan Kiem Lake, and Temple of Literature. Area attractions also include Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.
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