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Vietnam Unique Tours In Homestay with Mr & Mrs Harrison

Vietnam Unique Tour in Homestay is carefully studied and created by Amo Travel. Combining the relaxation in Dong Hai beach, private cruise in Lan Ha bay – Ha Long with biking adventures in Mai Hich, homestay in Chay Lap to visit Paradise cave in Quang Binh, trekking in Kon Tum – Buon Ma Thuat and traditional villages discovery in Hoi An, Hue and backstreets discovery in Hanoi, Saigon. It is truly Vietnam that you could experience with this tour.

Group of: Mr. Michael Ernest Harrison and Mrs Susan Jean Harrison
Travel Style: Local Touch
Travel date : 8/11/2013 – 10/12/2013

Here are some photos of this trip: 


Day 1: HANOI. Arrival (-/-/-)

Upon arrival, meet with your driver (no guide) at airport for a private transfer to Chezlinhlinh. Overnight in Hanoi.

Pick-up Board:           Amo Travel

Note: Vietnam visa or visa-on-arrival authorization required in advance of arrival (application will be mailed with preparation packet). Unless airport transiting, entering Vietnam more than once requires a re-entry visa. Do not accompany any driver who does not have a placard with your name or Amo Vietnam Travel identification

Day 2 : HANOI. City Tour on your Own (B/-/-)

Our suggestion: Begin at the HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM, where visitors can pay respects to the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. The Mausoleum is closed in the afternoons, on Mondays and Fridays, and closes annually in October and November for restoration (can only view from the outside). Continue to the PRESIDENTIAL PALACE (may be viewed from the outside only). Stroll through the park to HO CHI MINH STILT HOUSE, the simple two room dwelling where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Visit the miniature ONE PILLAR PAGODA. Also dating from the 11th century, this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1958. Today it stands near the vast HO CHI MINH MEMORIAL COMPLEX, a lovely park setting which is home to Ho Chi Minh’s final resting place, as well as a museum and other memorials

Visit Tran Quoc pagoda (on Ho Tay lake)

This is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam, located on West Lake Side. The pagoda is quite beautiful and traditional Vietnam style. An 11-floor Buddhist tower makes this pagoda more sacred for pilgrimages from all over the country.

Visit Quan Thanh temple (on Truc Bach lake)

Located on the shore of Truc Bach, this pagoda was dedicated to Tran Vo (God of the North), whose symbols of power were the tortoise and the snake. A bronze statue and bell here date from 1677.

Visite Van Mieu “Temple of Literature ”

Van Mieu, as it is known in Vietnamese, is the country’s most renowned temple complex. A combination of Confucian sanctuary and academy, the centre also housed the country’s first university, founded in 1076. We have time to wander through the stone tablets and soak up a thousand years of learning with our local guide.

Day 3 : HANOI. City Tour on your Own (B/-/-)

Visit the Museum of Ethnology (alert – closed on Monday & Vietnamese New Year)

This museum brings to life astonishing ethnic diversity in Vietnam, with art and artifacts from the 54 different ethnic groups that inhabit the country. Inside the museum are detailed descriptions of minority groups, with examples of their traditional clothing and way of life. Outside are faithful reconstructions of traditional longhouses, cemeteries and other distinctive ethnic buildings.

Visit the Old Quarter – Cyclo in 1 hour.

They have well a thousand years of history and remain one of Vietnam’s most lively and unusual places, where one can buy anything from gravestone to silk pajamas. Exploring by walk to the maze of back streets which is fascinating and there are endless things to buy wool clothes, cosmetics, gold and silver jewelry, silk clothes and herbal medicines.

Ending the day with a performance of the famous water puppet show.

The Vietnamese traditional art of water puppetry has roots that date back to the 10th century when it originated in the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. The farmers in the region celebrated festivals and harvests by performing this unique art form.

The puppets are made of wood and usually stand sixteen inches high, but can be as tall as three feet. Puppets are attached to a long bamboo pole and dipped in and out of the water by a person behind a rattan curtain.

Learning to manipulate the puppets is usually a tradition that is passed on as a family secret. It takes a great deal of skill and because the puppeteer’s hands are underwater it is easy for them to hide their methods. The fascinating part is that the central stage is below the water line, and the puppeteers stand in the waist-deep water. A rattan curtain hides them, but they can see the stage and the audience through the bamboo slats.

Back to hotel and overnight in Hanoi.

we went shopping with Thuy visiting the local market, and choosing food for our evening meal and drinking tea with the locals and back for a cooking lesson

Day 4 : HANOI- HAI PHONG- CAT BA. Guide on the boat  (B/ L/D)

6:20am:   Depart from Hanoi by private car and then take a speed boat to Cat Ba Island( from 9h00 to 10.00AM).
11:20am:        Arrive at Cat Ba Island where our staff will meet you.

A beautiful lunch is served before heading to Ben Beo pier for a short introductory meeting. Following the meeting you head out aboard a traditional sailing Junk to see our floating fisherman’s village and experience the day-to-day life of our sea dwelling neighbors.  We will take you kayaking in the Three Tunnels Lagoon and, tides permitting, into the cave too. Anchor near Three Peaches Island which is famous for crystal waters and natural beaches.  This sets the scene for a delicious dinner, and a night sleeping deeply, rocked by the gentle ocean and surrounded by peace.  A great change if you have just come from noisy Hanoi!

Service Inclusion:        Guide on the boat, transfer, meals, cruiser, speed boat      

This is a must do, we asked for a small family boat and we got an ex-fishing junk complete with sails and a wonderful crew, outstanding food.

Day 5 : CAT BA- HAI PHONG – HANOI. Guide on the boat (B/L/-)

8:30am: After breakfast you will experience the beautiful scenery of Cat Ba Island as you cycle to Viet Hai National Park & village. When you arrive you have the option of walking around and enjoying village life or taking a two hour hike up into the stunning National Park for some great panoramic views and photograph opportunities of Ha Long bay.  Following lunch you take the kayaks back out to visit beaches, temples, floating farms & lagoons before catch speed boat to Hai Phong city. Our driver meets you at Ben Binh pier. Drive back to Hanoi

Day 6 : HANOI – MAI CHAU- MAI HICH. Tour guide (B/L/D)

8:30 – Pickup at Chezlinhlinh House. Drive to Mai Chau.

Drive an interesting four hours to beautiful Hoa Binh Province, located in the mountainous area south east of Hanoi. It is region dominated by limestone karts scenery and is populated by Thai, Hmong, Muong and Dao ethnic people. Descend the last 14km along a steep mountain road into the stunning valley of Mai Chau. Lunch at homestay in Mai Chau. Walking around to visit Pong Com and Lac village. 16h00, drive to Mai Hich (about 14km). Check in Homestay at Hich village.

Diner and overnight at homestay.

Day 7  : MAI HICH. Trekking with tour guide (B/L/D)

Today is full of activities of your choice: walk, long trek or cycling with picnic lunch
Trekking is mainly downhill begin with a gentle descent on a wide track, which turns into a narrow path, which winds through hamlets, cultivated fields and affords beautiful views of the Mai Hich Valley below. The trekking is challenging involving several stream crossings, steep descents and balancing between rice paddies. There are lovely views of karts rocky mountains in the distance.

Overnight & dinner in rudimentary Thai houses on stilts.

Our homestay in the mountains, this was special, wonderful family and amazing food, cycling round the villages visiting families, buying local rice wine from a farmer.

Day 8 : MAI HICH – TAM COC. Tour guide (B/-/D)

7:30-8:00 – Wake-up and breakfast.  Transfer to Tam Coc – Ninh Binh.  Stop in the road for free lunch.  Arrive at Tam Coc in the afternoon. Check in a homestay. Free time at leisure (you can bike to visit around the village by yourself).  Overnight  at Homestay.

Day 9 : TAM COC. Visit by bike with local tour guide (B/-/D)

Breakfast at hotel. Visit local market. Boat trip to visit Thung Nham to see the beauty of the karst formations as you pass along their base and row into one of the many caves carved through the limestone. Continue to visit Thai Vi temple by bike.

Afternoon: Bike to visit Mua cave. Go up to see Tam Coc with panoramic view.  Back to hotel  in the afternoon. Overnight at homestay.

Day 10 : TAM COC. Visit by bike – DONG HOI (night train) (B/-/-)

Morning. Bike to visit Dinh Le temples, pass by beautiful landscape, about 15km from Tam Coc. Back to Tam Coc at noon. Free lunch. Afternoon free to visit around the village.  20PM, transfer to Ninh Binh train station to take night train to Dong Hoi. Overnight on train (9PM – 10 AM)

This is the Ha Long Bay on land. Recommend an early start for the boat trip to avoid the crowds

DAY 11 :  DONG HOI- PHONG NHA cave – CHAY LAP homestay. Tour guide (-/L/D)

Arrive Dong Hoi. You will be picked up by our local English speaking guide and driver and transferred to Chay Lap village (with guide). Arrival in Chay Lap, check-in the homestay. Start for biking tour to Phong Nha Ke Bang National park. Hear the call of the wild and the roar of your hamstrings as you either take your time or destroy yourself and your big-city living on the Ho Chi Minh Road West branch.

Pedal around the National Park to admire the fresh air and the biodiversity eco-system of Phong Nha Ke Bang Park. Picnic lunch is served in the Park.

Visit Phong Nha cave on the wooden boat.  Return the homestay at Chay Lap village. Free at leisure to explore the village. You are invited to prepare the dinner with the host. Overnight at Chay Lap Home stay.

Day 12 : CHAY LAP – THIEN DUONG Cave. Tour guide (B/L/D)

Morning, kayak on the turquoise water of Chay river to explore Dark cave, nestled in the park. Trekking through the forest to Nuoc Mooc springs. Free swimming. Lunch. Afternoon, Visit Thien Duong Cave, labeled the world’s most beautiful and magnificent cave when it was discovered in the central province of Quang Binh in 2005, has been open to tourists since September 3. Located in the middle of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in Quang Binh, the cave was formed around 300-400 million years ago, surrounded by underground streams and rocky mountains.

Dinner at the homestay. Night at Chay Lap homestay.

The caves are a must see, no words can discribe then jaw dropping, and very few tourists, the homestay was lovely, very remote, friendly family, good food

Day 13 : CHAY LAP- QUANG TRI – HUE. No guide   (B/-/D)

Breakfast. 8:30: pick up by our driver. Transfer to Hue. Stop en route at Hien Luong river for some sightseeing. (You can visit DMZ).  Arrive in Hue. Check in homestay – Ms Loan s’ home. Diner and overnight.

We changed the route here and came along the Ho Chi Minh Highway, a lot less traffic and we did not want to visit the war tunnels etc. instead we went to Truong Son Cemetery, a very moving  experience

Day 14 : HUE. Sightseeing with tour guide (B/-/D)

Breakfast at home. 8h30, star visiting Hue city: the Imperial Citadel of Hue with the Purple Forbidden City.

The Hue Citadel is situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River. It covers an area 500 ha and has a system of three circles of ramparts: Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel). The Hue royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Free lunch.

In the afternoon, enjoy a scenic boat trip on the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue. Situated 4 km upstream on the banks of the Perfume River, it is an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601.Then Visit Tu Duc Tomb, the Emperor of the Imperial City built his own tomb during his reign and today.

Back to homestay. Dinner and overnight in Homestay

Day 15 : HUE. Sightseeing with tour guide (B/-/D)

Breakfast at homestay; 8h30, bike or drive to about 5km from Hue city, on downstream of Huong River and opposite the ancient town of Bao Vinh, you are back of our riders to Thanh Tien village. This place is famous for its traditional craft of making paper flowers that has gone on for about four hundred years. You will see the authentic local work and participate, there, with co – working.

Continue by motorbike to explore Sinh Village, hearing the story “tunnel digging to painting” of artist Ky Huu Phuoc. Then transfer to Duong No and visit the Ho Chi Minh memorial house to know about Ho Chi Minh’s history

Free lunch. Afternoon, continue the visit by the Thanh Toan Bridge and Agriculture museum to know more about the daily life of the villager.

Lovely family again, introduced us to the 20 day old egg! The highlight of Hue was not the citadel. We visited Than Van Huy the lotus paper flower maker; this was an experience we will treasure

Day 16 : HUE – DANANG – HOIAN. Tour guide (B/-/D)

Breakfast. 8h30, journey from Hue over scenic mountainous roads with spectacular views over the coastline. Halfway between Danang and Hue lays the dramatic HAI VAN PASS, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and South Vietnam. Continue southwards passing LANG CO, and the large coastal city of DANANG before arriving in Hoi An.

Visit Cham Museum in Danang,  this houses probably the best collection of Cham art to be found anywhere in the world. There are more than 300 artifacts in the museum, many dating to the 4th century. There are beautiful sculptures reflecting the 1000 year Cham period.

Arrive at Hoi An city, check-in and have free time. Diner and overnight at Loc Phat homestay.

If you watch Top gear!! This is the route they took over the mountains

Day 17 : HOIAN. Tra Que village. Tour guide (B/L/-)

Depart at your hotel at 8:30AM, you will ride by bicycle to Tra Que Vegetable Village (or private car) experience a day of living and working with the local farmers in this village. A tour of the organic vegetable and herb gardens can include some time working in the field if you like, or merely observing and learning about the system and the fresh ingredients.

Upon returning to the house, we were all treated to an herbal foot massage followed by a session of cooking various local dishes such as: Tam Huu Spring RollBanh Xeo or the local pancake of the people from the middle region.

After cooking class continue to the charming historic city of Hoi An, known to early Western merchants, Hoi An was one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia in the 16th century. Hoi An has a distinctive Chinese atmosphere with low, tiled-roof houses and narrow streets; the original structure of some of these streets is still virtually intact. Many of the houses were constructed of rare timbers and decorated with lacquer panels engraved with Chinese characters and pillars carved with ornamental designs.

Sightseeing in Hoi An

Hoi An is picturesque riverside town south of Danang. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South East Asia’s major international ports during the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries. Now this beautifully preserved historic city is best seen on foot. The walking tour includes: Japanese covered bridge, Ceramic museum, Phung Hung ancient house, Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall and Lantern Making Working Shop.

Hoi An is very well-known for Tailors so Amovietnam Travel would recommend the Le Loi or Yaly Tailor for your suite made (please note that we do not make any commission for the suggestion, the choice is yours).

Dinner on your own and overnight in Hoian.

Day 18 : HOIAN. Free (B/-/-)

Breakfast at hotel. Free time for your leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.

Hoi An is a tourist trap, but well worth a visit, if you are into photography the lanterns at night are a must see. The homestay was ideal, a short walk into the town

Day 19 : HOIAN – KONTUM (B/-/D)

Breakfast at hotel. 8h00, pick-up by our driver from Hoi An to KonTum. Free lunch on the road. Arrive Kon Tum in the afternoon. Transfer to Konkotu village (8 km). The rest of the day free at leisure. Dinner in Bahnar family-Homestays.

Day 20 : KONTUM. Sightseeing (B/L/D)

Breakfast. From Kon Ko Tu  village We trek along the riverbank, small river, hill (countryside road) Picnic lunch in nature. (12 km) Swimming. Afternoon: take a wooden boat down the Dakbla river to Konkotu (1 hour). Dinner in Bahnar family-Homestays.

Another option: From Kon Ko Tu  village We trek along the riverbank, small river, hill (countryside road). Picnic lunch in nature. Then trek back Konkotu village (14 Km) Dinner in Bahnar family-Homestays


Breakfast at hotel. 8h30, transfer to Kontum.  Visit Wooden Cathedral. Road to Buon Ma Thuot. Arrive at Buon Ma Thuot in the afternoon. Check in hotel. Visit Dray Sap waterfall. Overnight in hotel in Buon Ma Thuot.

A long and spectacular drive up to the central highlands, another wonderful homestay, the village is full of life. We did the 14k trek, recommended if you are happy walking up rivers


Breakfast. 8h00, transfer to Dong Hai. Arrive at Dong Hai about noon. Check in hotel.

Overnight at Somes days of Silence- sea view villa.

Day 23  – Day 27 : DONG HAI. Free (B/-/-)

Breakfast and free time on the beach. 

Day 28 : DONG HAI- NHA TRANG- SAI GON. Flight (B/-/-)

Breakfast. Free time before transfer to Cam Ranh airport for flight to Sai Gon (VN1357 14h35 /15h30). Arrive at Sai Gon. Pick up and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Sai Gon

A few days to relax. this is a first class hotel  with difference, we had a villa overlooking the sea

Day 29 :  SAI GON – CAI BE Market – CHO LACH Homestay. (B/L/D)

08;00 AM, depart your hotel to Cai Be Floating Market, upon arrival, you are welcomed by local tour-guide and embark your private boat to discover the beauty of Cai Be floating market with local people being selling, buying, exchanging goods from their boats.  Then continue trip to visit local cottages where you could learn how local peoples make Coconut
Candy and
 products made from Coconut Trees, Pop-corm, Pop Rice, distilling local banana rice wine, visit orchard garden and discover the daily activities of the local people.

Lunch is at your own and enjoys Vietnamese traditional music.

Continue your boat ride along the Mekong River to Vinh Long – a center of tropical fruit, farewell to local tour-guide, pick-up by driver then transfer to Cho Lach. Arrive at Jardine du Mekong where you could relax and visit village, fruit garden and contact local people, go fishing, collect vegetable to prepare for cook before join the Cooking Class to make “rice pancake” and dinner with home hosted family.

The homestay is ideal for a relaxed visit to the Mekong Delta Once again a lovely family.and exellent food. A chance to get on a bike and cycle around the villages on foot paths away from the traffic

Day 30 :  CHO LACH. Visit with owner  (B/-/D)

Breakfast, bicycle to visit “Cho Lach” (belong to your health; you can take within 3, 6 or 8 km). Discovery local life, school…Free lunch. Afternoon, visit around, family, garden…

End of afternoon. Cooking class- spring roll. Have a diner with family.

Day 31 : CHO LACH. Free time- SAI GON (B/-/-)

Breakfast, free time.  Prepare to check out at 10AM. Transfer back to Sai Gon. Arrive at 2PM. Check in your hotel.

Day 32 : SAI GON. Free  (B/-/-)

Breakfast, free time.

Day 33 : SAI GON. Departure (B/-/-)

Free at leisure until transfer to airport for departure flight.

We would recommend a hotel near the center if you intend to stay for more than one night