VI07 Vietnam and Myanmar Experience ( 17 days / 16 nights )

Hanoi – Ha Long Bay – Hue – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay  Yangon

Day 1 Hanoi – Arrival

Arrive in Hanoi and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight in Hanoi

Day 2 Hanoi – Sightseeing

Take a full day to explore Hanoi’s illustrious history. In the morning, visit the imposing marble edifice housing the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (CLOSED ON MONDAYS & FRIDAYS) before moving onto his wooden stilt house and the One Pillar Pagoda. You will then explore the first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature, which is imbued with the profound philosophies of Confucianism. In the afternoon, visit the Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son Temple. A one-hour cyclo tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter allows you to catch a glimpse of ancient Hanoi and learn about traditional Vietnamese architecture. The tour includes a stop at an ancient Vietnamese "long house."

Overnight in Hanoi [Breakfast]

Day 3 Hanoi – Ha Long Bay

Drive through rice paddy fields to Ha Long Bay. You will board a junk for a cruise among the hundreds of islets of Ha Long Bay. Enjoy a seafood lunch and a swim (if weather permits). Drop anchor in the late evening for an overnight stay among the dramatic limestone peaks rising out of the sea.

Overnight on a junk [Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Day 4 Ha Long Bay – Boat Cruise – Hanoi – Hue

Spend the morning cruising through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Ha Long Bay before returning to the wharf. Transfer to Noi Bai Airport for your flight to Hue. On arrival, transfer to hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight in Hue [Breakfast]

Day 5 Hue – Sightseeing

Take a morning boat cruise on the peaceful Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda and then take a car to the poetic mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc. In the afternoon, proceed to visit the Imperial Citadel and the Dong Ba Market. The spectacular Citadel (which was built in accordance to strict principles of geomancy) houses a series of palaces, ornate halls, libraries, residences and colleges.

Overnight in Hue [Breakfast]

Day 6 Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An

Drive along the coast and via mountain passes to Hoi An with a stop en route at the photogenic village of Lang Co Beach. Visit the Cham Museum in Da Nang which houses the world’s finest collection of Cham artworks before proceeding to Hoi An. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the town.

Overnight in Hoi An. [Breakfast]

Day 7 Hoi An – Sightseeing

Pay a visit to one of Hoi An’s famous lantern workshops and learn how to make one yourself before setting out on a walking tour to explore this World Heritage Site. Highlights include an ancient merchant house, the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the vibrant riverside market. Take a peaceful boat trip on the Thu Bon River and afterwards enjoy free time to further explore the old town.

Overnight in Hoi An. [Breakfast]

Day 8 Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City

Depart for Da Nang to catch your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, transfer to a hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City [Breakfast]

Day 9 Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels – Sightseeing

In the morning you will visit the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels where Vietnamese guerrillas built a labyrinth of narrow tunnels as hideouts during the war. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for a half-day city tour. Highlights include the Reunification Palace (photo stop), the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Chinatown, the Binh Tay Market and either the Thien Hau Temple or the Quan Am Pagoda.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City [Breakfast]

Day 10 Ho Chi Minh City – Ben Tre – Boat Cruise

Depart for the Mekong Delta.  Upon arrival in My Tho, enjoy a boat cruise along the river and take a short walk to a handicraft workshop where products are made from coconut trees. Experience an exciting horse-drawn cart ride to visit a local house where you will enjoy tea and taste home grown fruits. Board a sampan and drift along the narrow, tree-lined canals for further exploration of the Mekong Delta. After lunch, visit a family-run business making coconut candy before returning to My Tho. On the return trip to Ho Chi Minh City, visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda if time permits. Return to Ho Chi Minh City by the late afternoon.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City [Breakfast, Lunch]

Day 11 Ho Chi Minh City – Yangon

Free until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your departure. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel.

Overnight in Yangon [Breakfast]

Day 12 Yangon

The morning is at leisure. In the afternoon take an orientation of the downtown of Yangon before visit to Chaukhtatkyi Reclining Buddha and Karaweik Royal Barge (a floating barge on the Kandawgyi Royal Lake). The day concludes with a visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda.

Overnight in Yangon [Breakfast]

Day 13 Yangon – Bagan

Transfer to the airport for early morning flight to Bagan. On arrival, start to tour in Bagan including the colourful Nyaung Oo Market, Shwezigon Pagoda, Wetkyi-in Gubyaukkyi (a cave temple with exquisite jatakas mural paintings), the elegant Htilominlo Temple (noted for its plaster carvings) and the Tharaba Gate. Explorations of Bagan continue in the afternoon including visits to Ananda (an architectural masterpiece of early-style temple), Ananda Okkyaung (one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period), Thatbyinnyu Temple (the highest in Bagan, rising to 61 m) and Dhammayangyi Temple (noted for its remarkable brickwork). Enjoy a fantastic sunset view at one of the famous temples.

Overnight in Bagan [Breakfast]

Day 14 Bagan

After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Myinkaba village and observe the process of creating traditional lacquer ware, one of the best-known Myanmar handicrafts and a speciality of Bagan. Visit Myinkaba Gubyaukkyi (an early period Pyu-style temple of Hindu influence). Next, stop at the Manuha and Nanpaya temples. In the afternoon, enjoy an excursion to the countryside village of Minnanthu. Visit to some of the interesting temples if time permits, such as Payathonzu, Lemyethnar, Sinbyushin, Nandaminnya and Minnanthu monastery. Enjoy sunset over the Ayeyarwaddy River at Bupaya.

Overnight in Bagan [Breakfast]

Day 15 Bagan – Mandalay – Amarapura – U Bein Bridge

After breakfast at hotel, transfer to the airport for a flight to Mandalay. On the way to the city, visit the Maha Gandayone monastery (home to more than 1000 monks) in Amarapura and the Mahamuni Pagoda (famous for its venerable statue of Buddha covered with gold leaf). Afternoon sightseeing includes the Shwenandaw Monastery (noted for its exquisite woodcarving) and the Kuthodaw Pagoda with its 729 marble stone slabs of Buddhist scriptures (known as the world’s biggest book). Enjoy the sunset by the U Bein Bridge (the world’s longest Teakwood Bridge -1208 meters long) or on the Mandalay Hill with a panoramic view of the city. During your stay in Mandalay, visit the local artisans’ workshops specializing in bronze casting, gold leaf, wood and marble carving.

Overnight in Mandalay [Breakfast]

Day 16 Mandalay – Yangon

In the morning transfer to Mandalay Airport for the flight to Yangon. On arrival, transfer to hotel. Take an afternoon shopping excursion to Bogyok Aung San (Scott) Market, the city’s busiest and most lively bazaar. Afterwards visit the Botataung Pagoda, Chinatown and the fruit market.

Overnight in Yangon [Breakfast]

Day 17 Yangon

Transfer to Yangon Airport for departure.

[Breakfast]

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