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Extension: South Vietnam: Saigon and the Mekong Delta

Program Number: 15147RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/25/2013 - 3/3/2013;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Vietnam
Price starting at: $1,759.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The boulevards of Ho Chi Minh City are as busy as they were before the end of the Vietnam War, when the city was still Saigon, and the rural Mekong River’s floating produce stands are as ubiquitous as ever. From a war-torn land to a science, technology, industry and tourist hub, explore the dynamic transformation still underway in South Vietnam. From the cityscape beautifully haunted by colonial charm to the traditional rural life on the river, discover South Vietnam.




Highlights

• Visit a rice paper bakery and learn how to make spring rolls.
• Near the floating market of Cai Rang, join a local farmer and his family for conversation and refreshments.
• Join university students in Can Tho and learn about their goals and aspirations.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1-2 miles at a time on uneven terrain; climbing uneven stairs without railings; standing up to one hour. Hot and humid conditions.



This program may only be taken in conjunction with Program #15146, Journey Into the Heart of Asia.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Ho Chi Minh City, 3 nights; coach to Can Tho, 2 nights; coach to Ho Chi Minh City, 1 night; departure.



Arrival Ho Chi Minh City
3 nights

Explore the French colonial architecture and traditional Vietnamese culture of this thriving city. Visit Reunification Hall, known as the Presidential Palace before the fall of Saigon in 1975. Journey outside the city for a look at the Cu Chi tunnels, the underground network dug in the 1940s by the Vietnamese and used as cover from the French and during the Vietnam War.



Coach to Can Tho
2 nights
Coach to Ho Chi Minh City
1 night
Departures

Continue to Cai Be and board boats for a visit to an Ancient House, a traditional Vietnamese-style house. Attend a lecture at Can Tho University on the Vietnamese educational system and rural economic development of the Mekong Delta, then meet with students for lunch. A boating excursion on the Mekong River introduces you to the traditional lifestyle of a local family.




Vietnam

From a turbulent history, Vietnam has blossomed to a nation of tranquil villages, colonial charm and industrial cities. In a land where tradition mingles with modern daily life, rice paddies flourish along the Mekong Delta and the influence of French colonialism has made its way into popular cuisine.



Accommodations
Ho Chi Minh City: Hotel within steps of the Ben Thanh Market and Opera House, made famous during Vietnam War when its conference room hosted a daily press conference and rooftop lounge was a favorite of servicemen. Can Tho: Colonial-style hotel set in magnificent gardens on banks of Hau River.
Meals and Lodgings
   Rex Hotel
  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 3 nights
   Victoria Can Tho Hotel
  Can Tho, Vietnam 2 nights
   Rex Hotel
  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 1 night
 Rex Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Ideally located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh city, next to the People Committee House, within steps of the famous Ben Thanh Market and historical Opera House, and 7 km/ 20 minute drive from Tan Son Nhat Airport. It was made famous during the Vietnam War when its conference room hosted a daily press conference derisively named The Five O'Clock Follies by cynical journalists who found the optimism of leading US military officers to be misguided. Its rooftop bar was a well known hangout spot for military officials and war correspondents.
  Contact info: 141 Nguyen Hue Blvd.
Ho Chi Minh City,   Vietnam
phone: (+848) 382 921 85
web: www.rexhotelvietnam.com/
  Room amenities: Wi-Fi, phone, satellite TV, electronic safe, A/C, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities, minibar,
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, spa, gym, internet access, 24 hour room service, laundry service, tour desk.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.
  Additional nights after: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.

 Victoria Can Tho Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Victoria Can Tho Hotel opened in October 1998 as the flagship of the Victoria Hotels & Resorts Chain in the Mekong Delta. Set in magnificent gardens, this splendid colonial style hotel, is situated on the banks of the Hau River, one of the nine estuaries of the Mekong Delta. The location and services offered have been carefully planned to allow guests to experience the opulence of the local culture, the beauty of the area and admire the diversity of the region and its people. Victoria Can Tho Hotel is the Mekong Delta’s first luxury hotel with an aim to provide guests with an enchanting and relaxing setting in a European atmosphere, offering courteous and efficient service.
  Contact info: 293 C Tran Van Kheo (Cai Khe Ward)
Can Tho,  99999 Vietnam
phone: +84 71 810 111
web: www.victoriahotels-asia.com/eng/hotels-in-vietnam/can-tho-resort
  Room amenities: All rooms have wooden flooring, authentic Vietnamese decoration and balconies offering spectacular views of the river, pool or of the garden. Each room combines the elegance of traditional artefacts and the comfort of an international standard hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins at the orientation on February 27, 2012 in Saigon. You will be staying at Rex Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on March 4, 2012 in Saigon. You will be staying at Rex Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. This program 15147, South Vietnam: Saigon and the Mekong Delta, is an extension of program 15146, Journey to the Heart of Asia. You will have already obtained a Vietnam Visa for the main program, so no additional visas will be necessary for the extension.
  Parking availability:
Driving is not recommended in Vietnam.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Participants can reach the site from the airport via taxi. When returning to the airport from the site hotel, the hotel can arrange taxi transportation to the airport.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ho Chi Minh City
  Transportation to site: The transfer from the last site in Hanoi to the Hanoi Airport, the flight from Hanoi to Saigon and the transfer from Saigon airport to the hotel is included for all program participants who are on this extension.
  From End of Program
  Location: Ho Chi Minh City
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and depart on the group date. Program Only Particpants can take the group transfer as long as their flight departs at or around the same time as the group.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City
(Monday, February 25)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive at Ho Chi Minh International Airport and transfer to hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner upon arrival at hotel. Convene with other Participants for program orientation.
   
Accommodations: Rex Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: City Orientation/Mahayana Buddhism/Reunification Hall / War Remnants Museum
(Tuesday, February 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: Take a bus tour around the city, making stops at Notre Dame Cathedral, La Poste, Giac Lam Pagoda and some French landmarks. Continue to a Buddhist Temple and learn about Mahayana Buddhism.
 Lunch: Vegetarian lunch at the temple.
 Afternoon: After lunch, take an excursion to Reunification Hall (the former Presidential Palace) built as a modern administrative center. Then continue to the War Remnants Museum, which holds a large collection of weapons, machinery, artifacts and photographs illustrating the War.
 Dinner: Dinner at the restaurant in downtown Saigon.
   
Accommodations: Rex Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Cu Chi Tunnels
(Wednesday, February 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: This morning visit the Cu Chi tunnels, the underground network dug in the 1940's by the Vietnamese as a place to hide during the fight against the French. They were later used in the Vietnam War. Along the way, visit a rice paper bakery and learn about this industry; an important part of the Vietnamese cuisine.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This is your free time to explore this bustling city, visit some of the museums, the local market, or just relax.
 Dinner: Enjoy selecting dinner on your own at a restaurant of your choice.
   
Accommodations: Rex Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Depart for Can Tho/Mekong River Cruise / Brick Factory
(Thursday, February 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: Depart for Can Tho with stops in Cai Be and Vinh Long. En route, stop by Cao Dai temple, a temple of the Cao Dai religion that is a fusion of Buddhism, Confusianism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam. Continue to Cai Be and board boats for a visit to an Ancient House, an old traditional Vietnamese style house.
 Lunch: Lunch at an Ancient house that has been restored to retain its traditional architectural style.
 Afternoon: Cruise on the Mekong to Vinh Long, observing the life along the Mekong. Then stop at a brick and pottery making factory and learn how these bricks are produced and the importance of this industry to the South Vietnamese people. Afterwards, continue to Can Tho.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant along the waterfront.
   
Accommodations: Victoria Can Tho Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Can Tho University
(Friday, March 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: This morning, visit Can Tho Univeristy and participate in two lectures. One will concern the Vietnamese Educational System and the other will discuss Rural Economic Development of the Mekong Delta.
 Lunch: Have a catered lunch at the university and engage in a cultural exchange with local students. Discuss their goals and aspirations and ask them about what has motivated them to pursue their studies.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is yours to explore Can Tho city the main city of the Mekong Delta and the transportation center for the region. It is connected to the other towns of the Delta by an extensive system of rivers and canals.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Victoria Can Tho Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Floating Market / Fish Farming/Depart for Saigon/Wrap up / Farewell dinner
(Saturday, March 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: Depart on a boat excursion to the floating market of Cai Rang. Continue exploring and visit the home of a local farmer where you will have a chance to talk with the farmer's family. Learn about small scale farming as you visit their farm.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant on the Mekong river.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, depart for Saigon, with a stop at a local rest area for coffee.
 Dinner: Program wrap up and farewell dinner at the hotel. This is your opportunity to share with the group your reflections of the Mekong delta.
   
Accommodations: Rex Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Depart for airport
(Sunday, March 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 Morning: Depart for Ton Son Naht International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City.)
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

What’s included in this Road Scholar program?



Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:


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