GENERAL INFORMATION OF THE VIETNAM’S UNESCO WORLD HERITAGES

 

DESTINATION OVERVIEW

Vietnam, an incredible land, very rich in cultures and fascinating in history, is a truly intriguing destination to discover in Southeast Asia. Not a large country but Vietnam has eight UNESCO Heritage Sites. Embarking on Vietnam’s UNESCO world heritages with Orient Skyline Travel and embrace these world-renown landmarks during an insightful Vietnam holiday.

 

DESTINATIONS INCLUDED

Hanoi – Ninh Binh – Thanh Hoa – Halong Bay – Hoi An – My Son – Hue – Phong Nha Ke Bang – Ho Chi Minh City

 

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover Vietnam’s UNESCO sites
  • Marvel at Phong Nha caves
  • Soak up Hoi An’s heritage
  • Visit Hue’s myriad of monuments
  • Discover ancient My Son ruins

 

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation as stated above
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking local guide
  • Transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees as mentioned in itinerary
  • Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Service charges

THROUGH THE VIETNAM’S UNESCO WORLD HERITAGES, YOU WILL DISCOVER

 

Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival

Welcome to Hanoi! Meet your guide and driver for the transport to Hanoi for check in the hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B, L)

The tour begins at the Temple of Literature, built in 1076 to worship Chinese Scholar Confucius then turned into the first university of Vietnam, the Temple of Literature was functioning incredibly for over 700 years.
Next, continue to explore UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Thang Long Citadel. Began flourishing from the 7th century, reached its heydays from 11th century to 14th century, this archaeological site reflects the Vietnamese, Chinese and Champa influences fusion.

Continue to the Ho Chi Minh complex which includes of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (view from outside), Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts in a tranquil garden. The house was the final house where he had lived from 1958 to 1969 till he passed away. Followed is the Hanoi’s iconic landmark One Pillar Pagoda, founded in 1049 under Ly dynasty, the wooden structure represents a big lotus flower rising out from the pond.

Before lunch break, take a picturesque stroll along shore the West Lake to visit Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda which has been nominated, by some of the foreign travel magazines, as one of the sixteen most beautiful pagodas, just a short walk away is Quan Thanh Temple, dedicated to the Chinese Taoism saint.

Discover Hanoi’s Old Quarter on a walking tour to explore charming Hang Be street market and around northern side of Hoan Kiem lake, a bustling area and paradise of family pop up businesses. Finish the busy but insightful day in a Water Puppet show, a uniquely North Vietnamese performance art.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi – Ninh Binh (B, L)

In the morning, depart for Hoa Lu, Vietnam’s ancient capital city. Though not much left from the millennium royal city however the two beautiful temples and the nearby excavation area should be visited. Spend some time to visit two ancient temples Emperor Dinh from the Dinh Dynasty which ruled Vietnam from 968 to 980, and Emperor Le of the Le Dynasty from 980 until 1009.

Then transfer for lunch in Tam Coc Town. Visit Trang An UNESCO World Heritage Site where spectacular landscape of towering limestone peaks rise a new name ‘Halong on Land’. Take a relaxing rowing boat ride on a peaceful river passing through a series of limestone mountain caves as the boat gently slides along the river winding around the towering karst system.

For the active, climb up to Bich Dong Pagoda which was founded in 1428, inside a white coloured cave on the vertical cliff and comprising three structures: Ha (low), Trung (middle), and Thuong (summit) Pagodas.

Overnight in Ninh Binh.

Day 4: Ninh Binh – Thanh Hoa – Ninh Binh (B, L)

After breakfast, transfer to visit Ho Citadel, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011, located in the neighboring province of Thanh Hoa. The remains of the Ho Citadel include the inner Citadel, the outer wall of the Thanh and the Nam Giao altar, which are designed for a centralized imperial city to show a concept of royal power. The use of large stone walls with traditional principles of Feng Shui are the main characters that represent the Citadel of Ho almost intact.

Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch after the tour and transfer back to the hotel in Ninh Binh, stopping for photo opportunities along the way.

Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Take a walk or bike ride through the rice paddies surrounding the hotel or, if weather permits, take an optional trip to Cuc Phuong National Park (with an extra charge cost) – the first national park in Vietnam which was established in 1962.

Overnight in Ninh Binh.

Day 5: Ninh Binh – Halong Bay (B, L, D)

Leave Ninh Binh and drive to Halong Bay, after 4 hour journey, reach Vietnam’s first and most visited UNESCO World Heritage site! The name ‘Halong’ means descending dragons, the towering limestone mountains look like the dragons soaking into the sea. There are almost 2000 limestone islands of different shapes like dogs, big thumbs or candles striking out from the sea.

Arrive at Halong Bay then board the boat for the overnight cruise on unforgettable journey across Halong Bay. Enjoy lunch while cruising towards the UNESCO site. Relax in the afternoon or take onboard activities such cave exploration. In the evening, enjoy dinner on boat.

Overnight on board the boat in Halong Bay.

Day 6: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Danang – Hoi An (B, L)

Early risers can join Tai Chi class on the sun deck or enjoy the view over the mountains of Halong. Enjoy a light breakfast the take time to enjoy the bay view before a brunch. At the end, transfer to Hanoi Airport for the afternoon flight to Danang.

Upon arrival at Danang, met your guide and driver for the transfer to Hoi An. Hoi An – well-known for its great collection of well conserved ancient houses and temples – was an Asian’s major trading port from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and in 1999 became a UNESCO World Heritage.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 7: Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An (B, L)

From your hotel, depart riding on open-air American war jeep for My Son UNESCO World Heritage temple complex, the spiritualism center of the Cham Kingdom which flourishing from the 7th century until 13th century.

Reaching My Son, enjoy a local lunch before walking to explore the ruins of My Son to find out the important functions of these myth towers during the Cham’s heyday. After the visit, drive to Hoi An on small different roads following Thu Bon river bank to change the scenery. There will be plentiful opportunities to snap great photos as you travel on an opened air US war time jeep.

Take a walking tour to discover this UNESCO World Heritage Ancient Town for its ancient shop houses, Japanese Bridge, family chapel and assembly halls which make the destination second to none in the Southeast Asia.

After the tour, spend more time strolling around town, visit silk tailors or find a coffee shop to relax.

Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 8: Hoi An – Cooking class (join-in) – Hue (B, L)

Today join in cooking class to discover the Vietnamese cuisine and culture. Experience the cooking with a market visit for an overview introduction into ingredients commonly used in Vietnamese food. Following is a hands-on cooking class that rewards each participant with their own creation.

After the cooking class and the tasty meal, depart Hoi An for a spectacular drive along scenic Hai Van Pass to Hue, the Vietnam’s former capital and the home to the final Nguyen Dynasty. After 4 hour coastal journey, check in the hotel and relax.

Notes for cooking class: Dishes may vary due to seasonal availability of the local ingredients.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 9: Visit Hue (B, L)

Hue is a Vietnam’s central city of the UNESCO World Heritage, ‘Royal Monuments’. Begin the day visiting the Imperial Citadel, where the Nguyen Dynasty’ royal family were protected interiorly and from here Vietnam was ruled from 1802 until 1945. The ancient citadel reflects the centralized imperial power of the feudalism and its protective defense system.

Visit Thien Mu Pagoda by Perfume River. Built in 17th century, overlooking the river the pagoda is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful and well know one in Hue. Behind the main hall, in the garden of the pagoda, see a burning monk picture and his Austin that he drove from here to Saigon to protest against the anti Buddhism policy of the South Vietnam Government. The photo of the self immolation monk had shaken the whole world those years during the Vietnam War.

After lunch at a local restaurant for authentic Hue cuisine, visit one of the royal tombs, Minh Mang’s mausoleum which is one of the most beautiful royal tombs in Hue, located in within the harmony garden.
Return to the hotel for the evening at leisure.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 10: Hue – Dong Hoi (B, L)

After breakfast, depart for Dong Hoi. Along the way, visit some remarkable historical sites and monuments to learn more about the past tragic Vietnam War.

Walk on Hien Luong Bridge spanning over the Ben Hai River and dividing North and South Vietnam from 1955 until 1975.

Continue the journey to Vinh Moc Tunnels through villages near Cua Tung Beach. The village of Vinh Moc tragically located in one of the most frontier position on the north side of the demarcation line making it one of the most severely bombed area in Vietnam of approximately US 7000 kg of ammunition per one villager. To survive during this bombardment from the US, the villagers of Vinh Moc had to construct about 3000 m of underground tunnels which they used to shelter during the severe American bombings.

Drive back to Dong Hoi for the rest of the day is at own leisure.

Overnight in Dong Hoi.

Day 11: Explore Phong Nha cave (B, L)

This morning drive to Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in 2003. Within the National Park, the 104 km of caves and underground river system making Phong Nha – Ke Bang one of the world’s most outstanding karst ecosystems.

On reaching Phong Nha National Park, explore the impressive Paradise Cave, one of the largest in the area.
After having lunch in the nearby local restaurant, take a boat trip down the Son River to Phong Nha cave.
After entering the mystical tunnels, marvel at the crystal clear water of the underground river and the giant stalactites and stalagmites abound. In the area of 70km length of the numerous grottoes and caves has been explored.

Transfer back Dong Hoi city in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Dong Hoi.

Day 12: Dong Hoi – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City – Half day tour (B)

Take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh city from Dong Hoi airport. Upon arrival, meet your guide for the transfer to your hotel for check in.

In the afternoon, discover this vibrant metropolis city for its stories and histories. Start at the Reunification Palace or Presidential Palace, formerly. Visit the emotional War Remnants Museum where photos, document as well as war items from both the French War and Vietnam wars are displayed. Following, visit some of the colonial sites of city: the Old Saigon Post Office, City Hall. After historical discovery, continue to the District 5 or China town to visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda. After visiting this, return to the hotel for leisure.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City street food tour – Dinner on Saigon river cruise (B, L)

Embark on an interesting half day street food tour traveling on a motorbike’s back seat to experience the hidden corners of Ho Chi Minh City. With a local chef’s escort, enjoy many different delicious street foods. Spend time to visit a local market early in the morning where the chef will guide you around for an orientation of how the local food is prepared.

Return to the hotel in the afternoon for relaxing.

At 20:30. Depart from the hotel and head to the boat’s pier in District 04 of Ho Chi Minh City to meet the dinner cruise. On arrival, enjoy a welcome drink following is an introduction to the European and Asian cuisine offered on board, which make this Ho Chi Minh City dinner cruise such a unique culinary experience for your Vietnam holiday. Relax on deck and enjoy panoramic cruise along the Saigon River. Enjoy the food which is presented and prepared on interactive buffet stations while being entertained by a live band on board.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Note: Secret Street Food Tour with Chef and Dinner Cruise are on share basis on private). Private tours are available upon request with surcharge.

Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)

Enjoy free time until being transferred to the airport for the onward flight.

 

You might be interested in our Best of Vietnam tour, otherwise look for other interesting options in our Vietnam classic & culture travel style!

Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages
Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritages