(Saigon – Mui Ne – Dalat – Lak Lake – Buon Ma Thuot – Tom Kum – Kham Duc – Hoi An – Hue)
This program will let you experience the heart and soul of Vietnam away from the main tourist trail. We will start out from Nha Trang and gradually cruise through a landscape transforming from the flat of rice fields, to jungle and foot hills, to pine forests and the breathtaking beauty of rugged mountains. Along the way we will visit and interact with the local people and get an understanding of day to day life. We will descend into the central highlands to continue the adventure. Along the way we will stop at factories, plantations, national parks and other points of interest. Prepare for an adventure of a lifetime. This tour is very fluid and destinations or accommodations can vary due to weather, illness, or any other number of unforeseen circumstances, therefore the following is a general outline.
Day 1 Saigon – Mui Ne (Phan Thiet) (L)
8:30 we pick you up at hotel and depart Saigon starting with a ferry ride across the river and gradually make our way into the country. The day will be spent following coastal roads with stops at fishing villages and a dragon fruit plantation. After lunch in Phan Thiet, we will visit the red and white sand dunes of Mui Ne before checking into our hotel for the evening.
Day 2 Mui Ne – Dalat (B/L)
Prepare for a day of driving through some of the most beautiful scenery seen anywhere. We will drive through a sandy desert land and slowly enter the foot hills and then rugged mountains. We will have stops at beautiful waterfalls, small villages and areas of spectacular photography. In the late afternoon you will be given a coice of a few different attractions available to visit before checking into our hotel. The evening can be used to visit the famous Dalat market.
Day 3 Dalat – Lak Lake (B/L)
At appx 8:30 am we will pick you up at your hotel. The day will be spent in route from Dalat. Along the way we will make stops at a silk factory and a spectacular temple. There will be plenty of photo opportunities and places to enjoy breath taking scenery. In the afternoon we will descend into beautiful rice fields and visit minority villages that still live in primitive conditions. We will overnight at Lak Lake resort with your bungalow on the lake.
Day 4 Lak lake – Buon Me Thuot City (B/L)
Breakfast will be followed by a visit to Bun Jun village, discovering the life of M’nong people and perhaps riding elephants. We will understand the stone splitting process and visit the ruined church of French architecture. We will then examine the coffee making process if in season. We will adventure down smaller country roads and encounter locals who have rarely seen foreigners before. After lunch we will visit Dray sap waterfall and do a jungle trek before ending the day in our hotel in Buon Me Thuot.
Day 5 Buon Me Thuot city – Kon Tum (B/L)
Breakfast will be followed by a ride along Ho Chi Minh road, exploring a history of Vietnam War, and observing the lifestyles of ethnic groups along the way. We will visit rubber, pepper, and tea plantations along the way. Near Pleiku we will stop to see Sea Lake, a tea plantation and we will see a number of war memorials. Kon Tom has a number of interesting places to see and has been said by some to be the friendliest town in Vietnam. Overnight in Kon Tum.
Day 6 Kon Tum – Kham Duc (B/L)
Breakfast will be followed by a visit to a wooden church built in 1913. We will examine the life of Ba Na ethnic group in their village and after we will leave Kon Tum for historic Dac To, Tan Canh where in 1972 there was a historic fierce battle at the Phoenix temporary airport on Charlie Hill. We will in tersect at the turn for Vietnam-Lao- Cambodia border and journey along the historic Truong Son trail (the original Ho Chi Minh Trail which is mostly in Laos). We will cross “cau khi” (monkey bridge) and witness life in a village of M ‘nong ethnics. We will overnight at the town of Kham Duc, a place famous for gold mining and once a former US air base that has an interesting history.
Day 7 Kham Duc – Hoi An (B/L)
Following breakfast we will do some sightseeing on Truong Son trail and stop at Co Tu village to discover the matriarchal society of the K’Tu ethnic group. We will continue on Truong Son road used in 1969 as the path of underground oil supplies for the Vietnamese army. We continue to Danang and see “China Beach” . A bit further south, we will stop at An Bang beach for a bit of relaxation before finishing the day in mid afternoon in Hoi An. The evening can be spent enjoying the lights and sights.
Day 8 Hoi An (B/L)
Today we slow down and enjoy some more time about town. At about 10:15 we will depart for the My Son Ruins. We will arrive as all the crowds and tour busses depart leaving the beautiful ruins almost to yourselves. We will have a lunch of My Quang at the site. After a short tour of the countryside, we will return to Hoi An for another afternoon and evening to enjoy the old town.
Day 9 Hoi An – Hue (B/L)
At 8:30 we depart Hoi An with our first stop at Marble mountains. Our drive continues through Danang and a climb up over the Hai Van pass where a person can see Cham, French, and American defensive structures. We continue to Hue making stops along the way and arrive at your hotel in the afternoon. End of services.
* English speaking riders/guide from Nha Trang to Hoi An
* Hotel accommodation : double/twin sharing with daily breakfast
* Meals as program (excluded drinks)
* All sight seeing fees
* Drinks – Private expenses
* Optional Elephant ride