14574
Vietnam
Extension: Northern Vietnam Discovery
Enjoy three additional nights in Northern Vietnam, immersing yourself in tranquil villages, traditional art, sacred temples and Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 14574RJ
Length
5 days
Starts at
895
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5 days
4 nights
10 meals
4 B 3 L 3 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrival in Hanoi, Cyclo Ride, Old Quarter, Water Puppet Show
Hanoi
D
Anise Hotel

Activity note: Based on whether your extension program is a PRE or POST extension to the main program (19033), the order of the activities on the extension are subject to change, based on your main program’s date.

Afternoon: Arriving at the hotel we will be met by our Group Leader who will provide the program orientation to Hanoi. Our introduction to Hanoi is a cyclo excursion around the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake. The cyclo is a bicycle rickshaw where you ride in the front seat as the driver pedals from behind, freeing you to experience the hustle and bustle of life through all your senses without having to worry about where you are walking. Next we will transfer by motor coach to see a “Mua Roi Nuoc” performance -- a water puppet show. Water puppetry is performed in a pool, depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. This uniquely northern Vietnamese art form is a centuries old variation on ancient Asian puppet traditions. Puppets would be put out to watch over crops, and when fields flooded, villagers would entertain themselves with the puppets.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a meal featuring Vietnamese cuisine with appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
2
Transfer Ha Long Bay, Board Junk boats, Cruise Ha Long Bay
Halong Bay
B,L,D
Bai Tho Junks

Activity note: The transfer from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay via motor coach is approximately 3 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the extensive breakfast buffet offers a variety of Asian and Western choices such as hot foods, eggs, hot and cold cereals, fruit, breads and pastries, yogurt, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we board our motor coach and transfer to Ha Long Bay. En route, enjoy a journey through rich farmlands of the Red River Delta and the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Then, board a Vietnamese Junk. Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is part of the Gulf of Tonkin in northeast Vietnam, renowned for its extraordinary natural beauty. The action of waves and tides over millions of years have shaped more than 1,600 limestone islands and islets into dramatic shapes, most uninhabited and unaffected by human presence, that form a spectacular seascape of gigantic pillars. It is also a place of exceptional biodiversity. Research has shown that the area was inhabited tens of thousands of years ago. In 2012, Ha Long Bay was named one of the New 7 Natural Wonders of the World.

Lunch: Aboard ship, enjoy characteristic Vietnamese cuisine with appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Afternoon: Ha Long Bay includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, most uninhabited and unaffected by human presence. During our cruise the Group Leader will discuss the Ha Long Bay Island ecology, geology and history of the area. We we will visit one or more of the islands with amazing cave grottos. The captain will decide depending on local conditions at the time. It might be Bo Nau Cave (Pelican Cave); Dau Go (Wooden Head Island); Surprise Cave (Cave of Unfathomable Depth); or Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace Cave).

Dinner: Amid the light atmosphere and cool breeze aboard ship, enjoy more Vietnamese flavor with appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Ha Long Bay Cruise, Return Hanoi, Women's Museum, Free Time
Hanoi
B,L
Anise Hotel

Activity note: The transfer back to Hanoi via motor coach is approximately 3 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard ship, today’s breakfast buffet offers selections such as bacon, eggs, seafood dishes, fried rice, sautéed vegetables, bread and cheese.

Morning: We continue cruising along beautiful Ha Long Bay, then disembark and return to Hanoi via motor coach.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a traditional Vietnamese “pho” lunch of noodles, vegetables, and (optional) meat in tasty broth.

Afternoon: We reboard our motorcoach for a field trip to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum where you will learn about traditional culture, marriage customs, and family life. The remainder of the afternoon is Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Ba Ðình Square, Temple of Literature, Free Time
Hanoi
B,L,D
Anise Hotel

Breakfast: At the hotel, the extensive breakfast buffet offers a variety of Asian and Western choices such as hot foods, eggs, hot and cold cereals, fruit, breads and pastries, yogurt, milk, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Our first field trip this morning takes us to Ba Ðình Square, named for the anti-French colonial uprising of 1886-1887. It was here on September 2, 1945, that Ho Chí Minh proclaimed Vietnamese independence from France, from Japanese occupation, and from the last emperor, Bao Ðai. A massive granite mausoleum dominates the scene where Ho’s embalmed body is on display. The Soviet-style structure stands in stark contrast to the simplicity of the modest house on stilts where Ho lived. We will also visit the reconstructed One Pillar Pagoda. The original was built in 1049 C.E. by Emperor Ly Thai Tong to celebrate the birth of a son.. Next, we transfer by motor coach to the Confucian Temple of Literature and explore Vietnam’s first university. Constructed in 1070, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy characteristic Vietnamese cuisine with appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Afternoon: Free Time to explore Hanoi on your own.

Dinner: 'Farewell Dinner' at a local restaurant serving Vietnamese cuisine with appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Evening: At leisure. Get a good night’s sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
5
Program Concludes
Hanoi
B

Activity note: Check with the Group Leader about airport transfers today. Hotel check-out 12:00 noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfer to the airport for your return flights. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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