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Vietnam Through Local Eyes is our newest Signature Journey, and is all about authenticity. It has the perfect combination of immersive experiences sprinkled into a traditional Vietnam itinerary, and is hosted by our Asia Director, Daphna Stromberg. It will be an unforgettable journey you won’t want to miss.
Vietnam is known to many as the land of the "ascending dragon". The head of the dragon is in Hanoi and its tail is in Saigon. Starting our journey at the head of the dragon, in the north, we will embark on an adventure through the majestic HaLong Bay and down to the tail of the dragon, in the south on the Mekong delta.
On this immersive tour you will experience Vietnam through the eyes of the locals. Take in the memorable scene of a child riding on the back of a water buffalo, the limestone islands of Halong Bay, the bustle of the floating markets, and young school girls wearing the traditional white ao dai (national costume). You may choose to participate in a morning Tai Chi class at dawn, a traditional Vietnamese cooking class, or spend an afternoon helping local farmers harvest vegetables. AND if that is not enough, we urge you to continue with us to the famous Angkor temples and the breathtaking Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Vietnam Through Local Eyes, 11 days
Tour dates: March 31-April 10, 2018
Land package: $3,400 per person, double occupancy
Single room supplement from $1,120
Vietnam Through Local Eyes + Cambodia, The Splendor of the Angkor Temples, 14 Days
Tour dates: March 31-April 13, 2018
Land package: $4,280 per person, double occupancy
Single room supplement on request
Flights to/from Vietnam are not included in package cost. Borton Overseas can assist you with flights.
Friday, March 30 Depart US
If you need assistance with flights please contact Borton Overseas.
Saturday, March 31 Arrive Hanoi
Welcome to Hanoi! Our Signature Journey starts here. On your arrival at Hanoi Airport, a representative of Borton Overseas will welcome you and escort you to your hotel. Overnight in Hanoi
Sunday, April 1 Hanoi B L D
Today we will explore Hanoi, we will visit Ho Chi Minh House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university and shrine for Confucian worship. Visit Hoa Lo prison museum, known as ‘Hanoi Hilton’ where captured American POWs were kept during the war.
We will have a special lunch at a non-profit organization.
Later this afternoon we will discover the Old Quarters with its narrow streets and charming shops, attend a traditional water-puppet performance followed by dinner at a favorite local restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi
Monday, April 2 Hanoi B L
Early morning risers can explore the local wholesale market and visit Hoan Kiem Lake. The people of Hanoi start their day walking and jogging around the lake, practicing tai chi and you are free to join them. We spend the morning at a local farm and help the farmer water and cultivate his vegetable field. Having built up an appetite we will have lunch with the farmers’ family, making traditional cakes and talking about Vietnamese family's customs.
Hanoi is considered one of the world's great food capitals, those who wish to know more about Vietnam local foods can join an evening tour to sample street food. Overnight in Hanoi
Tuesday, April 3 Hanoi - Halong B L D
We depart Hanoi and journey to Halong for an overnight cruise. Halong Bay is often called Vietnam's eighth wonder of the world, with 3000 spectacular limestone outcroppings, cliffs, arches and coves this area is without doubt the most outstandingly naturally beautiful coastal scenery.
In a traditional Chinese-style sailing junk we cruise through the bay and stop off at an islet to climb through a series of breath-taking caves and grottoes, marvelling at some of the most impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations. Enjoy the beauty of the bay as you relax on the deck and watch the sun go down. Overnight in Halong Bay
Wednesday, April 4 Halong – Hoi An B L
Start the day with a tai chi demonstration on the sundeck or enjoy the watching the sun rise on the bay with a cup of tea or coffee. The cruise continues to explore the well-hidden Thien Canh Son Cave. Lunch is served while cruising towards the harbor to disembark at noon.
** Cruise itinerary is subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions!
We will return to Hanoi Airport and fly to DaNang where we will transfer to our beachfront resort in Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An
Thursday, April 5 Hoi An B
As we stroll through the back streets of Hoi An we will see the beautifully preserved old merchant houses, temples and lively markets, visit the iconic 400-year-old Japanese Bridge and watch the busy waterfront and the colorful fishing boats on the River. After our walk, we will visit a silk lantern workshop. These traditional lanterns, which give Hoi An a special glow, hold a deeper meaning for the locals. They believe that hanging lanterns in front of their houses will bring luck, happiness and wealth to the family. Once we learned the history, and the special meaning of the shape and color of the lanterns, we will make our own lantern to take home with us.
The rest of day is free to enjoy the resort and relax on the beach, or to further explore this enchanting historic town at your own pace. Overnight in Hoi An
Friday, April 6 Hoi An B
Today is free, but with so many things to do in Hoi An you may decide to explore a bit further. You may participate in a cooking class, bike to a village to spend the morning with a farming community, or visit the ancient Champa ruins of My Son, a UNESCO Heritage site. Overnight in Hoi An
Saturday, April 7 Hoi An - Mekong Delta B L
This morning we fly to Saigon and continue to the Mekong Delta. Traveling the Mekong takes you to away from the major cities giving you an insight to local rural life. We’ll explore the river by boat, visiting a local village and traveling down the Mekong to Can Tho where we will spend the night. Overnight in Can Tho
Sunday, April 8 Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) B L
Early morning, as the sun rises over the Mekong Delta, we will travel along the Can Tho River to see villages come alive, we’ll venture into the heart of Cai Rang floating market where you will see a profusion of boats laden with fruits, vegetables and all kinds of groceries, observing the brisk trading. It is one of the most captivating times to be on the river in one of the Delta’s busiest floating market.
We now return to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Overnight in Saigon
Monday, April 9 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) B D
Exploring Saigon we will see the Reunification Palace, formerly named the Presidential Palace, now a museum, it is an important landmark of the Vietnam War and Notre Dame Cathedral, a romantic church dating back to the late 19th century and the city’s striking French colonial-era post office. We continue to the unforgettable Jade Emperor Pagoda. Its interior is packed full of ornate carvings and fierce-looking statues.
The afternoon is free to explore Saigon on your own or visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. An immense network of connecting underground tunnels which were used in the last war by the Viet Cong. The tunnels were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, as well as serving as hospitals, food and weapon caches, and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters.
This evening we’ll celebrate the end of our journey in Vietnam with a farewell dinner as we cruise along the Saigon River. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Tuesday, April 10 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Departure B
Morning at leisure until it is time to be transferred to Saigon Airport for your departure flight.
Optional Extension: Cambodia, The Splendor of the Angkor Temples
Tuesday, April 10 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Siem Reap B
Transfer to the Saigon Airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
In the afternoon explore the spectacular Angkor Wat, considered to be the world’s largest single religious monument in the world. Bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides, each telling a story. The most famous is the tale of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, in which the Naga serpent is twisted by demons and gods to spurt out the elixir of life. Conclude the day with a panoramic sunset view of the area from the summit of one of the temples. Overnight in Siem Reap
Wednesday, April 11 Siem Reap B L D
This morning visit the Southern Gate of Angkor Thom and the famous Bayon Temple, Baphuon, Terrace of Elephants and Leper King Temples.
We will later visit Takeo, riding in an oxen-cart to see the traditional way of life in the villages, about 80% are still farmers and the main crop is rice.
Unlike most of the temples of Angkor, Ta Prohm has been largely left to the clutches of the living jungle. It shows the dynamic interaction between nature and man-made art. You will also visit Banteay Kdei, Sras Srang the royal pool and Krovan Temple.
This evening enjoy an Apsara Dance show while dining at the restaurant. Overnight in Siem Reap
Thursday, April 12 Siem Reap B
Visit the intricately-carved thousand-year-old Banteay Srei, the birth place of Khmer classical style architecture and Banteay Samre located 30 km away from the town of Siem Reap. Overnight in Siem Reap
Friday, April 13 Siem Reap B
Today the hotel will arrange your airport transfers for your departure flights.
Vietnam Through Local Eyes 11 Days:
Vietnam Through Local Eyes + Cambodia, The Splendor of the Angkor Temples 14 Days