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VIETNAM TOUR - Sample Itinerary

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Vietnam Tour - Sample Itinerary

The following is a preliminary itinerary for our Vietnam Tour November 15-29, 2009. This fifteen-day tour led by SNHU faculty member and anthropologist Cathy Silverman and Pham Ngoc Huong Giang, who has worked in the Vietnam tourism industry for many years. This year’s tour of Vietnam will take place November 15 - 29, 2009 and will be focused on historical sites, arts & crafts, traditional cooking, and Vietnamese culture and religion traveling to southern, central and northern Vietnam. Please join us for this unique experience of Vietnamese culture!

Once we have our tour group finalized, we will create a final itinerary based upon the interests of the participants. The following sample itinerary will give you a general idea of where we will be going and what some of the activities will be. We're happy to answer any questions you might have, so please feel free to contact us at vietnamtour@nadabrahma.org.

DAY 1:  Arrival Ho Chi Minh City Airport in Vietnam. Welcome! Tonight will be spent in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. We will get settled into our hotel, relax, and enjoy dinner and a performance of Càn tranh, an instrument played many types of Vietnamese music featuring a seventeen stringed plucked zither.

DAY 2:  HO CHI MINH CITY – Today we will visit a traditional healer and explore how local plants are used in traditional medicine. In the evening, we will learn how to make Pho, a traditional Vietnamese stew, and then enjoy a performance of Hat Cai Luong, a form of opera featuring dance, song, mime and poetry.

DAY 3:  HO CHI MINH CITY - In the morning, we will visit Ben Thanh Market, a traditional Vietnamese market with many opportunities to find souvenirs. Later in the day, we will explore Cu Chi, the legendary series of narrow tunnels dug by the Viet Cong during the Vietnamese War. Then, we will spend some time at the War Remnants Museum located in Ho Chi Minh City. In the evening, we will enjoy a meal of delicious local food and attend an Hát chu va˘n performance, an ancient form of trance music undergoing a revival in Vietnam today.

DAY 4:  SOC TRANG, MEKONG DELTA – On this day we will travel by chartered boat to Soc Trang, a small city in the delta region of southern Vietnam. Along the way, we will explore Can Tho, the provincial city and unofficial capital of the Mekong region, which will include a visit to Chua Ong, a Chinese temple, and the Phong Diem floating market. Then, we will complete our journey to Soc Trang, the center of intensive rice growing, and partake in dinner served amid beautiful surroundings and attend a Hò performance, an improvised song form used in courtship rituals.

DAY 5:  SOC TRANG, MEKONG DELTA – During the first part of the day, we will visit the Kh’leng Pagoda, a fine example of a typical Kh’mer temple, and a nearby museum housing a variety of interesting exhibits relating to the local culture. We will also visit the Buddhist pagoda Chua Dat Set (the “Clay Pagoda”), built by Ngo Kim Tong, a devout Buddhist monk who devoted 42 years to creating this temple filled with clay effigies and many unique objects. In the afternoon, we will visit a local market and those who wish may partake in a cooking class of traditional Vietnamese fare. Others may choose to take a nature tour of the plants and wildlife in the area or relax at our hotel soaking in the tropical air. In the evening, we will enjoy the food prepared as part of the cooking class amidst the beautiful surroundings of the Mekong Delta.

DAY 6: VINH LONG, MEKONG DELTA - Today, we will travel by boat to Vinh Long where we will spend our time wandering among the floating markets, observing traditional wet rice cultivation, and learning about various traditional Mekong crafts. Later in the day, those who wish may explore An Binh Island, a series of delightful orchards linked by narrow monkey bridges. Others may wish to relax amidst the wonderful scenery at our hotel. This evening we will experience a traditional Vietnamese ceremony and then dine on some delicious local food.

DAY 7:  HOI AN, CENTRAL COAST – On this day we will travel by air to the riverside town of Hoi An, located on the central coast, and a museum of Vietnamese history. After our arrival at our beachside accommodations, the rest of the day will be free to explore with time to swim and sunbathe along the stunning coast of central Vietnam. Some may choose to visit the some local artisans working with wood, ceramics and fabric. In the evening, we will enjoy dinner al fresco enjoying the sounds of the sea.

DAY 8:  HOI AN, CENTRAL COAST - In the morning, we will browse some local tailor shops with opportunities to order some made-to-order clothes, usually completed in less than 24 hours. In the afternoon, there will be an opportunity to attend a cooking class of traditional Vietnamese fare or some time to enjoy our beautiful beachside location. This evening, we will enjoy a scenic riverboat ride and dine together with a spectacular view of Central Vietnam’s coastline.

DAY 9:  HOI AN, CENTRAL COAST - Today we will take a walking tour of Hoi An, which boasts more than 800 structure officially designated as historically significant. Others may choose to relax at our gorgeous beachfront location and spend the day lounging in the sand and sea. In the afternoon, we will take a short boat ride to Cam Kim Island, known for its master woodcarvers. Later, we will dine on the seashore and experience the beautiful landscape of the Vietnamese coastline.  

DAY 10:  HOI AN, CENTRAL COAST – Today, we will visit My Son, Vietnam’s most important center of the ancient kingdom of Champa and a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the most stunning sites to be found in this area. The monuments are set in a verdant valley surrounded by hills and overlooked by the massive Cat’s Tooth Mountain. In the evening, we will attend a Lantern Dance, one of the Imperial Court Dances of Vietnam and enjoy a seaside dinner.

DAY 11:  HANOI, NORTH VIETNAM - On this day we will fly to Hanoi in Northern Vietnam and begin to explore its unique culture and geography, an interesting contrast to the south. After our arrival, we will make our way to our hotel in the Old Quarter, one of Vietnam’s most unique places. This evening we will have dinner and attend a famed Water Puppet performance.

DAY 12:  HANOI, NORTH VIETNAM - Today, we will spend our morning taking a walking tour of the fascinating alleys of this historic area with many opportunities for finding souvenirs. In the afternoon, we will take a trip to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, featuring a fabulous collection of art and everyday objects gathered from Vietnam and its diverse people. Tonight we will dine on the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake, an enchanting body of water and observe a traditional ceremony of the local people.

DAY 13:  HANOI, NORTH VIETNAM – In the morning, we explore the beautiful countryside of the northern area of Vietnam and its ancient craft villages. On the way we will visit the snake market at Le Mat, the village of So, known for its delicate noodles, Van Phuc (the “Silk Village”) and the Tay Phuong Pagoda. Evening is free to relax, shop, and explore the wonderful city of Hanoi.

DAY 14:  HO CHI MINH CITY - Today we return by plane to Ho Chi Minh City. In the afternoon, we will explore Ho Chi Minh City and learn about traditional Vietnamese crafts, such as embroidery, weaving and jewelry. There also will be an opportunity to attend a demonstration of traditional Vietnamese martial arts. Evening is free to relax, get a traditional Vietnamese massage, shop, and/or explore Ho Chi Minh City!

DAY 15:  HO CHI MINH CITY - Today, we will spend our last day in Vietnam with time for relaxation or last minute shopping. Later, we will make our way to Ho Chi Minh City Airport for an evening departure.

If you have questions about any aspect of the tour, please contact us at vietnamtour@nadabrahma.org. We are more than happy to assist you!