Tour: OVE - 2013 (OVE) - 2013

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Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to many. Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City 
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DAY 2Ho Chi Minh City. Cu Chi Excursion

This morning, leave the city and drive through vast expanses of rice paddies to visit the CU CHI TUNNELS, an extraordinary network of tunnels more than 120 miles in length that was used by the Viet Cong as a hideout and secret village during the war. Return to Ho Chi Minh City for a WALKING TOUR of the city’s famous and historic landmarks. The tour will take you through the heart of the city along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) past the Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh Square, the Municipal Theatre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Next, visit the REUNIFICATION PALACE (formerly the Presidential Palace) and the WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM followed by BEN THANH MARKET, the largest and oldest in the city. This evening, join your traveling companions at a special welcome dinner hosted by your Tour Director. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City 
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DAY 3Ho Chi Minh City

A full day at leisure in Ho Chi Minh City. The city is booming and pulses with infectious energy both day and night. Sample local food from a street vendor, get a foot massage, or spend more time on Dong Khoi Street, known for its quality goods including silk garments that rival those of Hong Kong. Even if shopping isn’t your thing, this is a great place to start your exploration of the city. You may also consider an optional trip to the Mekong Delta with a cruise on the great Mekong River and visit to a local family’s home for tea and rice wine. Tonight, be sure to stop at one of several rooftop bars for a drink and great views of the city. Your Tour Director will be on hand to assist with recommendations. (Breakfast)

Lush banks along the Mekong River Ho Chi Minh City Cosmopolitan Hong Kong Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist 
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DAY 4Ho Chi Minh City–Danang–Hoi An

After a short flight to Danang, enjoy a picturesque journey by motorcoach to Hoi An. Along the way, visit CHINA BEACH, landing point for U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War. Hoi An is Vietnam’s active trading center and a town that has been largely preserved, with architecture that reflects the influence of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, French, and British traders. Hoi An is also where French missionary Alexandre de Rhodes introduced Catholicism and Roman script to Vietnam. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 5Hoi An

Today starts with a CRUISE on the Thu Bon River. Along the way, meet with a local fisherman who will teach you about their fishing methods and give you a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite FISHING LESSON, where you will learn how to throw and retrieve a traditional round fishing net called a ro. Afterward, you will have a chance to throw the net yourself and see what you catch! Also, learn how to paddle the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boats used by the fishermen, and participate in a BOAT RACE with your fellow travelers. It isn’t as easy as it looks! Later, continue with a WALKING TOUR of Hoi An, visiting an old MERCHANT HOUSE, the HOI AN MUSEUM, a CHINESE ASSEMBLY HALL, and the Japanese Covered Bridge. Then, free time to enjoy this quaint town further or relax at your beach resort. (Breakfast)

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DAY 6Hoi An–Danang–Hue

Stop in Danang to visit the CHAM MUSEUM, then continue north over spectacular Hai Van Pass, considered to be one of the most scenic in all of Vietnam, before arriving in Hue. One of Vietnam’s former capitals, Hue is a beautiful, welcoming city that remains a cultural and religious center. Upon arrival, visit the IMPERIAL CITADEL and the THIEN MU PAGODA, the unofficial symbol of the city. This evening, enjoy an imperial banquet at a popular local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 7Hue–Hanoi

This morning’s sightseeing provides a unique window into Vietnam and its complex past. Visit the TOMBS of the NGUYEN EMPERORS: the KHAI DINH MAUSOLEUM and the ROYAL TOMB of TU DOC. Later, fly to Hanoi, the nation’s capital and one of Southeast Asia’s most engaging cities. (Breakfast)

Khai Dinh Mausoleum A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi 
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DAY 8Hanoi

Start today with a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite “CYCLO” ride through the fascinating Old Quarter, 36 ancient streets where peddlers trade as they have for centuries. Then, take time to look at the life of Ho Chi Minh, the father of modern Vietnam. First, visit the MAUSOLEUM and the humble cottage from which “Uncle Ho” ruled Vietnam until his death in 1969. Next on the agenda are the ONE PILLAR PAGODA, the HO CHI MINH MUSEUM, and the Presidential Palace. Stop at the infamous HANOI HILTON before continuing on to mystical Hoan Kiem Lake, where you will enjoy a brief GUIDED WALK. Also visit the ancient TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, over 900 years old and Hanoi’s first university. An early dinner this evening is followed by a fascinating performance of Hanoi’s renowned Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite WATER PUPPETS, a traditional art form dating back to the 11th century. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

The elaboratly decorated interior of the Temple of Literature A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi 
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DAY 9Hanoi–Ha Long Bay

Travel from Hanoi through the fertile countryside to Hon Gai, gateway to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, the bay is dotted with over 3,000 limestone islands carved into fanciful shapes by the action of the water. Tunnels, caves, and weirdly shaped outcroppings with imaginative names can be found on many of the small islets that are sprinkled across the Bay. Board a CRUISE that takes you to explore the caves and admire the beauty and scale before stopping at one of the many secluded bays. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

The lovely Ha Long Bay in Vietnam A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi 
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The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 10Ha Long Bay–Hanoi–Siem Reap, Cambodia

This morning, drive to Hanoi and board your flight to Siem Reap, which will act as your base during your visit to Angkor, considered by many to be the most spectacular architectural ruins on Earth! (Breakfast, Dinner)

A Local merchant walking through the busy streets of Hanoi 
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DAY 11Siem Reap

This morning, start your sightseeing of the TEMPLES OF ANGKOR. Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries, the temples were built around the Khmer interpretations of Indian religious and political beliefs that ultimately evolved from Hinduism to Buddhism. The complex architectural grandeur of the Angkor temples is arguably unmatched among ancient ruins anywhere in the world. First, visit the best preserved and most famous of all the temples, ANGKOR WAT, honoring the Hindu god Vishnu. Featuring five trademark towers and stunning bas reliefs, it has become a symbol of Cambodia. Next stop is ANGKOR THOM to see the BAYON TEMPLE. One of the few Buddhist temples in Angkor, it features some 200 striking faces carved in 54 towers and impressive bas reliefs. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening, witness one of the world’s most amazing experiences: sunset at Angkor Wat! (Breakfast, Lunch)

The infamous Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia 
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DAY 12Siem Reap

Today, continue your sightseeing of the Angkor temples. Unlike the other temples, TA PROHM has been left relatively untouched. Surrounded by jungle, tree roots grow over and through the ruin walls, and you will experience the temple with the same wonder as the early explorers who discovered it. Then, visit BANTEAY SREI, a unique temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Unlike other temples, it is built on a small scale from red sandstone, which can be carved like wood. This afternoon, enjoy a CRUISE on Tonle Sap (Great Lake), where you will see a floating village and get a glimpse of life on the water. This evening, enjoy a traditional Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE, where the ancient Khmer culture is brought to life by talented dancers, singers, and musicians. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 13Siem Reap–Luang Prabang, Laos

Today, fly to beautiful Luang Prabang. (Breakfast)

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DAY 14Luang Prabang

Today, enjoy a full-day of sightseeing in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit WAT VISOUN, the ROYAL PALACE MUSEUM, and a LOCAL VILLAGE to see silk weaving and rice paper-making demonstrations. (Breakfast, Lunch)

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The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 15Luang Prabang

A full-day at your leisure. Perhaps rise early to witness the Take Bat (almsgiving ceremony). Each morning before dawn, Buddhist monks don their distinctive saffron-colored robes and walk through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). This is a truly memorable sight you will not soon forget as you personally present alms to the monks and receive their blessings. You may also choose to take an optional trip to the Kuang Si waterfall or cruise on the mighty Mekong to Pak Ou Buddha Caves. (Breakfast)

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DAY 16Luang Prabang-Bangkok, Thailand

Fly to Bangkok. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. (Breakfast)

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DAY 17Bangkok

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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