While there is still time for the traveller to visit Vietnam for TET in 2015, if you want to experience Vietnamese New Year Celebrations without paying an arm and a leg for flights (let along land accommodation and touring) then now is the time to begin preparing for visiting Vietnam for TET in 2016.
In Vietnam, TET, or Vietnamese New Year, is celebrated in February, and lasts longer than the single night that many countries celebrate “New Years” on, during which time families gather, cities celebrate, floral displays become prominent and the continuance of life is celebrated across the country.
While this isn’t a solid event like the Edinburgh Tattoo or the Dawn Services at Gallipoli where one can travel see a specific timed event and move on, it is an event that can be experience, through encountering the cities and towns at this specific time, and seeing the public celebrations, as well as spending time with local families and seeing what this event means to the Vietnamese. To help the traveller do this we have developed a tour, specifically for this occasion.
Staring from Saigon, the most dynamic city in Vietnam, you will explore its historical attractions and colorful outdoor markets then visit the Cu Chi Tunnels – a famous place in the Vietnam-American – as a way to ambush approaching US troops, move supplies, deliver information and even as living quarters. After an overnight in the Mekong Delta cruising the narrow canals and join in the floating market you will continue your trip to the Central Vietnam Road of Heritages visiting Hue Citadel, Hoi An Ancient town. In the North Vietnam you will have more chance to learn of the Vietnamese culture at Hanoi before enjoying a marvelous stay overnight on a traditional junk in the Halong Bay. For full details read on …
- Experience the authentic Ho Chi Minh City and beautiful colonial architecture, China town
- Visit the largest Vietnamese flower market – Nguyen Hue Tet Flower Street
- Experience the incredibly lush beauty of the Mekong Delta
- Rowing sampan along the canals under the green canopy of water coconuts trees
- Stroll through the atmospheric Hoi An Old Town
- See the World Heritage Hoi An Ancient town
- Try farming life & savor the culinary delights at Tra Que Village
- Take a walking tour of the Hue Citadel
- Visit some Nguyen Dynasty Emperor’s tombs in Hue
- Unwind with a cruise along the Perfume River
- Enjoy an unique vegetarian meal at Dong Thien pagoda
- Be enchanted by the tranquility and beauty of nature of Halong Bay
- Cruise amongst the lime karsts that tower above the way
- Overnight stay on a traditional junk in a deluxe cabin
- Wander ancient pagodas and Hanoi Old Quarter
- Visit the typical Mekong Delta house at Le Mat village
- Explore the country’s first university, the Temple of Literature
- Gain insight into cultural diversity at the Museum of Ethnology
Day 1 : Welcome to Saigon (-/-/D): Warmly welcome upon your arrival in Saigon. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the downtown. Your guide’s welcome speech will give you overall information about the city of Saigon. After check in you will have free time to relax, then your guide will see you again for a welcome cruise dinner on the Saigon River. You stay overnight in Saigon.
Day 2 : Saigon (B/L/-): You will have a private tour visiting some of its famous attractions such as the Reunification Palace, the Municipal Theatre, the City Post Office, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. You can also have a walk through the city’s main shopping boulevard with fashionable boutiques and hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and house-wares, the Ben Thanh market, one of the city biggest markets and end up with a walking along Nguyen Hue “TET” Flower Street. You stay overnight in Saigon.
Day 3 : Saigon – My Tho – Can Tho (B/L/D): Today you will drive out toward the South-Western Vietnam to Mekong Delta or “Nine Dragon River Delta”. Surrounded by thousands of crisscrossed canals, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, most of villages are often accessible by rivers and canals rather than by road. After two-hour drive you will arrive in My Tho. Upon arrival you will take a sampan motor-boat on the Tien River to the Thoi Son (Unicorn) islet, one of the four famous islets (Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise, and Phoenix). From here you follow a village path passing local houses, visiting some family-run coconut candy mill, take a horse-cart from village to village or enjoy a sampan rowing along small canals. Lunch with local dishes will be served right in the garden restaurant. You also have a chance to experience “Southern Vietnamese folk music “, a common art activity in the Mekong Delta performed by local people. Rejoin your car continue to Can Tho, the heart of Mekong Delta. After hotel check in, you will enjoy the hotel facilities at your leisure. Dinner will be at local restaurant. You stay overnight in Can Tho.
Day 4 : Floating Market – Saigon (B/L/-): An early wake up today and ready to join in the Mekong Delta floating market, one of the most exciting activities you should do when you are in this area. You can start the motorized boat to visit the Cai Rang floating market, experience how people exchange goods, fruit and many other commodities on their vessels. You easily find the wholesaler big boats which hang the goods she buys/sells on the pole – a mark for reseller small boats knowing where they have to go from a certain distance. You also find floating restaurants, floating bars, floating gas stations, and many other floating shops. After sampling some local fruits at the market, you will be back to the shore and take a bike cycling from village to village on path, over monkey bridges, get in touch with local people. Lunch is at local restaurant before driving back to Saigon for stay overnight.
Day 5 : Half-day Cu Chi Underground Tunnels (B/-/-): Very famous in the wartime with its smart and complicated system including underground meeting room, kitchen, food, weapon caches, hospital. This underground complex played a major role in the Vietnamese winning the war and is a must-see when you are in Saigon. You are invited to crawl around in the safer parts of the tunnel system or try a shooting range where you can fire a number of assault rifles, such as the M16 rifle or AK-47, as well as a light machine gun like the M60. Lunch will be at a local restaurant located in a village before you are back to Saigon. Afternoon is your free time for relaxing or souvenir shopping at the city downtown. You stay overnight in Saigon. In the evening enjoy New Year Eve “TET” Gala dinner at your hotel
Day 6 : Saigon – Hue (B/-/D): Today you have free time until transfer to Hanoi airport for flight to Hue. Your guide and driver will meet you at the Hue airport for a transfer to your hotel. Located in central Vietnam, Hue used to be the Citadel of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945 and is recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Your guide’s welcome speech will give you overall information about the city of Hue. After check in you will have free time to relax. In the evening you will have a chance to enjoy a Hue Citadel Royal style dinner tasting some Royal cuisines at local restaurant. You will stay overnight in Hue.
Day 7 : Hue (B/L/-): Breakfast at hotel then you will have a private trip on the Dragon boat cruising on the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda-built in 1601 and, one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. From there you rejoin your car to visit the Nguyen Dynasty king Tu Duc’s tomb followed by a visit to a nunnery and enjoy a unique vegetarian lunch at Dong Thien Pagoda. Afternoon you will have a private tour to explore the Hue Citadel. It is a huge complex covering an area of 520ha and comprising three circles of ramparts, Hue Capital Citadel, Royal Citadel and Forbidden Citadel. End of the day you will visit the local Dong Ba market built in 1899 on a bank of the Perfume River – a paradise for snapshots of special TET’s activities.
Day 8 : Hue – Hoi An (B/-/D): Today you will leave Hue Citadel for Hoi An Ancient town, another World Heritage site in Central Vietnam. Your trip will travel over the Hai Van pass where you have a stop for a panoramic view over the Lang Co beach before arriving at your hotel in Hoi An. Hoi An used to be an international trade center by sea on the east area in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was the busiest trading port during the reign of Nguyen as merchants from Japan, China, Portugal, Spain, Holland often stopped over to exchange and purchase commodities. After check-in is the free time at leisure to enjoy the hotel/resort services on offer or you can explore the Hoi An town. Your guide will see you again for a dinner at a local restaurant. Tonight you will stay overnight in Hoi An.
Day 9 : Hoi An – Ancient town and Tra Que village (B/L): This morning you will ride by bicycle to Tra Que Vegetable Village. You chance to try at actual farming. You will take a trip around the vegetable garden and join the farmers in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from the local lake. You will also take in a cooking demonstration and enjoy what you have made for your lunch. Afternoon you will have a walking tour to explore the old houses, narrow streets, moss-grown walls, lantern makers. You will stop to visit some of the most interesting sights of the town including Japanese Covered Bridge, House of Tuy Tien Duong, Quan Cong Temple, Old houses, Chinese Assembly Halls and handicraft workshop and traditional arts performance. You stay overnight in Hoi An.
Day 10 : Fly to Hanoi (B/-/D): Again you take a one-hour flight to Hanoi. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the Hanoi downtown. Your guide’s welcome speech will give you overall information about the one-thousand-year old city and now is the capital of Vietnam. After check in you will have free time to relax, then your guide will see you again for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Your first day will be completed by a water puppet show – a unique art performance in Vietnam – before you return to your hotel for overnight stay in Hanoi.
Day 11 : Hanoi (B/L/D): This full day tour takes you around Hanoi’s most interesting sights, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, House-on-Stilts, the Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda. After that you will visit the Temple of Literature built in 11th Century where you will have a chance to meet one of the calligraphers in Hanoi. Enjoy beautiful writing talent and if you like you can have your names or your family members’ names written by him on papers on the spot. Afternoon you will visit the Vietnam Ethnology Museum before having a walk around the Lake of the Restored Sword, visit the Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy the TET most colorful decoration. Drive from there to Le Mat Village. Visit the traditional Vietnamese Red River Delta House and enjoy a feast with the family. Overnight stay in Hanoi
Day 12 : Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D): Today you leave Hanoi for Halong Bay (a World Natural Heritage site) via the Red River Delta. Upon arrival you will have a short break at the Café Lounge. Welcome on board. You will set out on a junk cruise on the bay while seafood lunch is served. After lunch, you will take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay, swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck.In the late afternoon, you will take a take a bamboo row boat to visit an interesting fishing village with an opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. You also take a kayak to discover a water tunnel with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon. Back on board to enjoy watching the peaceful sunset and later unwind at a restaurant. Tonight you stay overnight onboard.
Day 13 : Halong Bay – Hanoi (Brunch/-/D): Early birds will have a chance to join in the Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck and view the sunrise over the bay with a cup of coffee or tea. After brunch you will take a tender to visit one of the most beautiful limestone grottos – Sung Sot cave. Your junk sets sail to cruise back to the dock while you enjoy a final glimpse of Halong Bay. On the journey back to Hanoi you will have a stop at the Phu Lang ceramic village – one of the most famous ceramic brands dated from 17th – 19th century in the North of Vietnam. Then you will drive back to Hanoi for overnight stay. In the evening you will join the farewell dinner with you tour guide. Overnight stay in Hanoi. (The cruise program may be different and depends on each cruise company)
Day 14 : Departure (B/-/-): Today is the last day of your Vietnam trip. Enjoy your free time at your hotel or you can do your last minute souvenir shopping before transfer to airport for your flight home. Thanks for joining with us and we hope to serve you for your next trip.
What’s included: Private airport pick-up & drop off, Private transportation, Private sightseeing tour, Private boat trip as per tour program, Experienced Private English speaking guide, Hotel Accommodation shared in Double room with daily breakfast, Vietnamese cuisine set-menu as stated in the program (B: Breakfast ; L: lunch ; D:dinner), Water and tissues on coach, All entrance fees, All in-tour flights, Vietnam visa on arrival pre-approved letter
What’s excluded: International flights & tax, Travel insurance, Beverages, Personal expenses, tips and gratuities, Peak season or Public holidays surcharge if any, Compulsory Gala dinner on Christmas or New Year if any, Vietnam visa stamp fee , Other services not mentioned above.
Please Note: Program could be subject to change due to local conditions, Non-Refundable for unused services; splitting of Package is not allowed, Normal check-in time at hotel is 14:00hrs & check-out time at hotel is 12:00hrs noon, Hotel room type subject to availability at the time of booking, Compulsory dinner & surcharge for accommodation may applied for special occasions such as Christmas, New Year, Lunar New Year and Public Holidays.