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VIETNAM: PEOPLE OF THE MOUNTAINS AND SEA


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VIETNAM


OVERVIEW

  • Live with local families while hiking around the vast green mountains and rice terraces of Ha Giang.

  • Sail around Ha Long Bay to islands and settlements rarely visited by tourists.

  • Cycle around the tranquil fishing island of Quan Lan.

  • Meander through Hanoi’s hectic Old Quarter to discover hidden culinary gems.

  • Take cooking classes in Hoi An in Central Vietnam.

  • Explore ancient temples and canal towns in the Danang area.

  • Harvest tea and learn about tea culture in the mountains of northern Vietnam.


ITINERARY

Mountains, rice fields as far as the eye can see, karst islands, ethnic diversity, incredible culinary culture, and so much more, Vietnam is colourful, friendly, and exciting. Join us on a twelve day cultural adventure through North and Central Vietnam, highlighting the region’s cultural traditions, landscape, cuisine and more. We stay in homestays with local families, explore floating villages, trek in the mountains, learn to cook and more.

DAY 1. MAY 19, 2019. SUNDAY. ARRIVAL IN HANOI

Arrivals in Hanoi throughout the day. We will meet at our hotel and go out for a group welcome dinner and discuss our program in detail.

DAY 2. MAY 20, 2019. MONDAY. HANOI

We’ll spend the day exploring Vietnam’s capital city, from wandering around the Old Quarter’s markets and tree-lined boulevards, to visiting the snake town for lunch, and taking an in depth street food tour around the city in the evening. We’ll also get to soak in a performance or two during the day.

DAY 3. MAY 21, 2019. TUESDAY. HANOI - QUAN LAN

In the morning we’ll set off by road to the port of Halong to catch a wooden ferry boat to Quan Lan island. Located away from the tourist trail within the Halong bay region, Quan Lan is an active fishing village. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the green island, swimming and meeting local people.

DAY 4. MAY 22, 2019. WEDNESDAY. QUAN LAN - HA LONG BAY

We’ll wake up early to join some local fishermen on their daily catch, learning how to harvest clams and sea worms. By mid-day we’ll be ready to board our luxury overnight cruise through Halong Bay, sailing to some of the southern islands, which are rarely visited by tourists. We’ll stop at floating fishing settlements along the bay as we sail to observe life in this unique and incredibly scenic part of Vietnam.

DAY 5. MAY 23, 2019. THURSDAY. HA LONG BAY - HANOI

We’ll continue to explore Halong bay in the morning, visiting a cave structure and numerous karst islands before disembarking at Halong port, where we will drive back to Hanoi by car. We’ll have dinner in Hanoi upon our arrival.

Day 6. MAY 24, 2019. FRIDAY. HANOI - HA GIANG

We set out early in the morning for Ha Giang province in the far north of Vietnam. Surrounded by green mountains and endless rice terraces, Ha Giang is home to various members of Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups, living in small villages and towns throughout the region. Upon our arrival (6 hr drive), we will make our way to Thon Tha village and meet our host families there. We’ll spend the afternoon trekking to a waterfall and exploring the village.

DAY 7. MAY 25, 2019. SATURDAY. HA GIANG

Today we’ll embark on a full day trek around the mountains and villages from our homestay. We’ll hike to the village of Khuoi My, passing through rice terraces and small villages along the way. Since we’ll be travelling in May, there’s a good chance we’ll see active rice transplanting during this season, so the fields will be buzzing with activity. We can help out wherever possible. We’ll loop back to Thon Tha for the evening.

DAY 8. MAY 26, 2019. SUNDAY. HA GIANG

As today is a Sunday, we’ll visit a local sunday livestock market in one of the villages. These colourful weekly markets are a popular gathering spot of members of different ethnic groups to meet and exchange goods and food products. Then we will visit Cao Bo, where we will walk through a tea forrest and learn how local villagers pick and make tea.

DAY 9. MAY 27, 2019. MONDAY. HA GIANG - HANOI

After breakfast we’ll go on a half-day trek through some new villages in Ha Giang to soak up the local environment and culture, before spending the afternoon exploring some of the area’s most dramatic mountains and valleys.

DAY 10. MAY 28, 2019. TUESDAY. HA GIANG - HOI AN

We’ll return to Hanoi by road after breakfast and transfer to Noi Bai airport to catch our flight to Danang, in central Vietnam. From there, we’ll drive a short distance to the picturesque town of Hoi An, where we will spend the next three nights.

DAY 11-12. MAY 29-30, 2019. WEDNESDAY - THURSDAY. HOI AN

We’ll be spending the next couple of days exploring temples, canal towns, architecture and more in Danang and next door Hoi An. We’l engage in cooking classes, meditation sessions, visit local social enterprises, explore ancient temples, and hang out on the beach as we slowly meander around this laid back and quintessentially Vietnamese part of the country.

DAY 13. MAY 31, 2019. FRIDAY. DEPARTURES FROM HOI AN

Departures throughout the day from Danang Airport. No scheduled activities.


COST

$2,900 per person (double occupancy; single supplement available upon request only)

INCLUDED

  • All accommodations (4 star while in cities, homestays in rural areas).

  • 3 meals per day.

  • Halong Bay overnight cruise.

  • Trekking guides and permits.

  • English-speaking local guiding team.

  • North American trip leader.

  • Flights from Hanoi to Danang.

  • Private transportation.

EXCLUDED

  • International airfare.

  • Personal spending.

  • Airport transfers.

  • Insurance.

  • Tips for local staff.


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