*A Renshaw Travel Custom Itinerary*
Explore Vietnam and the Red River
September 24 – October 9, 2018
Experience two of Vietnam's bustling metropolis, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Visit the awe-inspiring Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cruise the Red River Delta and its main tributaries with RV Angkor Pandaw, and experience Vietnam's remote countryside. This exclusive Vietnam tour combines natural wonders, with fascinating local history, customs, and culture.
Sep 24 / DEPART VANCOUVER
We board our flight to Hanoi via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific Airways & Dragonair
Sep 25 / HANOI, VIETNAM (L, D)
Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. Begin at the Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum, where visitors can pay respects to the embalmed body of it’s namesake. We continue through the park to Hồ Chí Minh's Stilt House, the simple two-room dwelling where Hồ Chí Minh lived from 1958 until his final days (1969). Then head to the miniature One Pillar Pagoda. Also dating from the 11th century, this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. The last stop is the Temple of Literature, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, and one of the best serving examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture.
Accommodation: Pan Pacific Hanoi Hotel (deluxe room) or similar (1 night)
Sep 26 / HANOI – Hòa Bình – EMBARKATION (B, D)
Transfer to Hòa Bình where we will embark our ship, the RV Angkor Pandaw, and set sail downstream for sunset and a night on the Da River.
Accommodation: onboard RV Angkor Pandaw (10 nights)
Sep 27 / Hòa Bình (B, L, D)
Hòa Bình was the site of a major battle in 1951 & 1952 with the French and is home to the Muong ethnic group. We will visit a museum and a local village where villagers still wear traditional dresses. We will then take a local boat ride on the reservoir of Hòa Bình power station.
Sep 28 / THE DA RIVER (B, L, D)
We enjoy a day sailing downstream admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. We pass the Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna before arriving at Trung Ha. [note the typo on the 1st draft]
Sep 29 / Việt Trì (B, L, D)
We will travel through beautiful scenic countryside to the UNESCO village of Duong Lam. Then we continue cruising downstream to Việt Trì where wetake in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of crafts and bustling activity.
Sep 30 / Lô – RED RIVER (B, L , D)
We cruise to Tien Du ferry station where we visit the village of Gia Thanh - famous for the making of conical hats. This is travel off the beaten track, as few if any tourists visit this area. Following this we travel to Hung Lo Temple for 'Hat Xoan' and enjoy a performance of local dance from the villagers. In the afternoon, we visit a carpenter village before heading back to the ship.
Oct 01 / THE LOWER RED RIVER (B, L , D)
Going ashore we visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by lime stone rock formations. Of particular interest are the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas, hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th centuries and home to fine Buddhist statues carved from jackfruit trees. In the afternoon, we visit Bat Trang ceramic village.
Oct 02 / HANOI (B, L , D)
We drop anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi. Here we visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis, must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the “Hanoi Hilton” and the temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking.In the afternoon we do a walking tour of the city including a visit to a coffee shop where we learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee-making industry.
Oct 03 / Luộc - Thái Bình RIVERS (B, L , D)
We will ride a local boat ride to Stork's Island with its well-maintained bird sanctuary and take a walking tour of Ninh Giang commune visiting the local market. Here we enjoy a homemade special cake called Banh Gai before returning to the ship.
Oct 04 / Kinh Thầy - Bạch Đằng RIVERS (B, L , D)
In the morning, we sail to the Thái Bình River and enjoy a walking tour of the Thanh Ha Commune. We will also take in a water puppet show. . In the afternoon we sail to incredibleHalong Bay just in time for a sunset cruise.
Oct 05 / HALONG BAY (B, L , D)
We spend the morning sailing in Halong Bay and beyond, with its 2,000 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations dating back 20 million years. We will visit by local boat, a floating home and also stop at a beach and enjoy kayaking or taking a rowing basket boat through fascinating limestone caves.
Oct 06 / Tuần Châu - DISEMBARKATION – Hồ Chí Minh City (B, L)
In the morning, we will sail back to Tuần Châu Jetty and disembark. After lunch at a local restaurant we will head to the airport for our flight to Hồ Chí Minh City.
Accommodation: Sofitel Plaza Saigon Hotel (superior room) or similar (2 nights)
Oct 07 / Hồ Chí Minh CITY (B, L)
Highlights of our morning tour will include: the former Presidential Palace, the History Museum, which houses an excellent display tracing the origins of the indigenous Vietnamese, Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque cathedral in the centre of city, the 'wedding cake' styled Hotel de Ville (city hall) and the former US Embassy. If time permits we will visit the huge Bến Thành Market in downtown.
In the afternoon, we visit China Town , Binh Tay market and a tiny Cao Dai temple, where one small sect of this eclectic religion worship daily.
Oct 08 / Hồ Chí Minh CITY (B, D)
Today’s tour is to the famous Cu Chi Tunnelswhich were an important Viet Cong base during the Vietman-American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapons factories.
Oct 09 / DEPART Hồ Chí Minh CITY (B)
We bid a fond farewell and begin our journey back home via Hong Kong.
B – breakfast L – lunch D - dinner
The exact order and days of sightseeing are subject to change without notice.