VN - T 04: EXOTIC VIETNAM, 5 days (L)

Danang - Hoi An - Hue

 

Day 1              Danang

 

Arrival in Danang, proceed to Cham Museum, Marble Mountains, and China Beach. Transfer to Hoi An - one of World Heritage city in Vietnam.

Overnight in Hoi An

 

DANANG: Vietnam's fourth largest city marks the northern limits of Vietnam's tropical zone, boasting a pleasant year-round climate.

 

CHAM MUSEUM: founded in 1915 by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, the open-air collection of Cham sculpture is the finest in the world. Many of the sandstone carvings are breathtaking.

 

CHINA BEACH: made famous in the American TV series of the same name, it stretches for many kilometers north and south of the Marble Mountains. During the American War, soldiers were airlifted here for 'rest and relaxation'.

 

MARBLE MOUNTAINS: Five stone hillocks, once islands, made of marble. Each is said to represent one of the five elements of the universe. The largest and most famous, Thuy Son, has a number of natural caves in which Buddhist sanctuaries have been built over the centuries. When the Champas ruled this area, these same caves were used as Hindu shrines.

 

Day 2                   Hoi An

 

After breakfast at the Hotel, sightseeing in Hoi An to discover the historic town which used to be a prosperous seaport city during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Known as Faifo to early western traders. Its sizable community of foreign merchants resulted in a unique architectural style with Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences.

Overnight in Hoi An

 

It is best to see some of the following sites of Hoi An by walking around.

 

QUAN CONG TEMPLE: founded in 1653, this Chinese temple is dedicated to Quan Cong, whose partially gilded statue is in the central altar at the back of the sanctuary. Stone plaques on the walls list contributors to the construction and repair of the temple.

 

PHUOC KIEN PAGODA: Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and then restored and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese 'clans' that were established in the Hoi An area. The temple is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau (Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Sailors and Fishermen).

 

JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE: the first bridge on this site was constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. The bridge was provided with a roof so it could be used as a shelter from rain and sun.

 

TRAN FAMILY CHAPEL: this house for worshipping ancestors was built about 200 years ago with donations from family members. The Tran family traces its origins to China and moved to Vietnam around 1700. The architecture of the building reflects the influence of Chinese and Japanese styles.

 

SA HUYNH MUSEUM: located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, it contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history.

 

Phung Hung House: the same family has been living here for eight generations. The house is a combination of Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese styles.

 

QUANG DONG PAGODA: this pagoda was open to all Chinese traders or seamen and is dedicated to Thien Hau Ė itís a small Chinese style temple with a lintel gate, a rockery courtyard, and lucky animals depicted in statuary.

 

Day 3                   Hoi An

 

After breakfast at the hotel, excursion to My Son - Journey southwest of Hoi An to Vietnam's most important Cham site and one of the most stunning sights in the Hoi An area.

Afternoon at leisure

Overnight in Hoi An

 

MY SON: considered to be Champa's counterpart to Angkor and Bagan, the great cities of South East Asia's other Indian-influenced civilizations. The monuments are set in a verdant valley surrounded by hills and overlooked by massive Cat's Tooth Mountain.

 

TRA KIEU: formerly known as Simhapura, it was the first capital city of Champa, serving in that capacity from the 4th through to the 8th century. A large number of artifacts, including some of the finest carvings in the Cham Museum in Danang, were found here.

 

Day 4                  Hoi An - Hue

 

After breakfast at the hotel, depart Hoi An for Hue - Journey north along Highway 1 past Danang, Lang Co and the Hai Van Pass (pass of the Ocean Clouds), passing through many fruit orchards, small villages of red-tiled, you can enjoying spectacular views of sky and sea. Arrive in Hue, the royal city of Vietnamí last ruling dynasty. Transfer to hotel after refreshment, visits the old Imperial City, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace, Hall Of The Mandarins, Nine Dynastic Urns and Forbidden Purple City.

Overnight in Hue

 

HAI VAN PASS: the pass crosses over a spur of the Truong Son Mountain Range that juts into the South China Sea. It is an incredible mountainous stretch of highway with spectacular views.

 

LANG CO: a pretty, island-like stretch of palm-shaded sand with a crystal-clear lagoon on one side and many kilometers of beachfront facing the South China Sea.

 

IMPERIAL CITY: located in the Citadel, it was built in the early 19th century and modeled after the Forbidden City in Peking. There are numerous palaces and temples within these walls, as well as towers, a library and a museum.

 

NGO MON GATE: the principal entrance to the Imperial Enclosure, facing the Flag Tower. The central passageway with its yellow doors was reserved for use by the emperor, as was the bridge across the lotus pond.

 

THAI HOA PALACE: built in 1803 and moved to its present site in 1833, Thai Hoa Palace is a spacious hall with an ornate roof of huge timbers supported by 80 carved and lacquered columns.

 

HALL OF THE MANDARINS: these buildings, in which the mandarins prepared for court ceremonies held in the Can Chanh Reception Hall, were restored in 1977.

 

NINE DYNASTIC URNS: these were cast in 1835-36. Traditional ornamentation was then chiseled into the sides of the urns, each dedicated to a different Nguyen sovereign.

 

FORBIDDEN PURPLE CITY: this was reserved for the personal use of the emperor. The only servants allowed into the compound were eunuchs, who would pose no threat to the royal concubines. (Today the site is in ruins).

 

Day 5              Hue

 

After breakfast at the hotel, boat trip on the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda.

Sightseeing at the Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh

Transfer to the airport for departure

 

THIEN MU PAGODA: just outside of Hue, on the bank of the Perfume River, this was a hotbed of anti-government protest during the early 1960s. Behind the main sanctuary of the pagoda is the Austin motorcar, which transported the monk Thich Quang Duc to the site of his 1963 self-immolation.

 

TU DUC TOMB: Emperor Tu Duc, who ruled Hue more than 100 years ago, built his tomb when he was still alive and used it for meditation, reading, and theater performances. There are pavilions in a tranquil setting of forested hills and lakes. The tomb was constructed between 1864 and 1867. Tu Duc, who was the longest reigning Emperor, lived a luxurious life.

 

KHAI DINH: this was the last monument of the Nguyen dynasty and was constructed between 1920 and 1931. It sits magnificently on the slopes of Chau E Mountain in Chau Chau Village. It has a long staircase flanked by dragons. There are ceiling murals and ceramic frescoes.

 

 

End of Services    **Note: Itinerary subject to change due to flight schedules.

 

 

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