Interior of the Citadel of Hue

Central Vietnam
Our Tours in a private vehicle with chauffeur and guide

Central Vietnam is a region of jagged coasts and highlands. We have selected for you four world-famous sites: the magnificent Phong Nha Grottoes, the Imperial city of Hue, the old Portuguese town of Hoi An, and the Cham towers of My Son, all the last three filled with exceptional architectural treasures that we propose you to visit either in two days in Hue only or 2 days in Hue and 2 days in Hoi An/My Son.

We also offer you a beautiful trekking among the Co Tu Minority of the Highlands West of Hue, as well as great diving in the Cham Islands off Hoi An.

Like for all our tours, we include the sites usually visited by tourists and rarely-visited ones.

The prices include:

They do not include the air or train tickets to Dong Hoi or Hue, the free meals, the drinks, and personal expenses.

We also offer you an exceptional programme of snorkeling and diving in the Cham Islands, famous for the beauty of its scenery and its underwater parks.




PHONG NHA NATIONAL PARK AND GROTTOES (3 days)

This beautiful tour takes you to the famous Phong Nha Grottoes, 50 km northeast of the large se resort of Dong Hoi (590 km south of Hanoi, 170 km north of Hue). What is commonly called "Phong Nha Grottos" is in fact a national park counting 4 main grottoes : Phong Nha Grotto, 30 km from Dong Hoi, the longest in the world with 55 km explored but it is probably over 70 km long ; Tien Son Grotto, on the side of a mountain north of Phong Nha ; Paradise Grotto, 60 km from Dong Hoi and 31 km long, and Son Doong Grotto, discovered in 2009 and containing the largest cavern in the world : 5 km long, 200 m high and 150 m wide. Only the first three can be visited.

The best way to reach Dong Hoi is a night train from Hanoi or a late afternoon train from Hue. There are also flights from both cities.


Day 1 : ARRIVAL IN DONG HOI AND TRANSFER TO PHONG NHA NATIONAL PARK

 
  A driver and guide meet you at the railway station or airport and take you to the Chay Lap Homestay located in a large farm near the grottoes.

The afternoon is spent relaxing at the homestay or bicycling through the countryside (bike rental at your charge). Diner and night at the farm.

For those who arrive from Hue, the arrival at the homestay is end of the afternoon.
 


 
Day 2 : PHONG NHA GROTTO AND TREKKING IN THE NATIONAL PARK

Departure after breakfast for Phong Nha Grotto, located near the small village of Son Trach. We reach it by boat, which then sail inside the grotto on several hundred meters. The visit lasts around 2 hours.

Lunch, followed by a small trekking in the National Park. Return to the homestay end of the afternoon, diner and 2nd night at the farm.
 
 


Day 3 : : PARADISE GROTTO AND DONG HOI

 
  Departure after breakfast for Paradise Grotto. Discovered in 2005 and open to the public in 2011, it is supposed to be the longest dry grotto in the world. Electric carts (or 500 steps) lead you to the entrance. Its dimensions are breathtaking, with huge stalagmites and crystal stalactites resembling glass columns.

Visit and free lunch in the small restaurant next to the Welcome Center.

Return to Dong Hoi pour take the train to Hue or to Hanoi (not included in the rates).
 



Prix par personne en dollars

1 pers. 2 pers. 3 pers. 4 pers. 5 pers.
$758 $436 $354 $307 $277



THE HISTORIC TREASURES OF THE IMPERIAL CITY OF HUE (2 days/1 night)

This tour is exceptional, for it takes you not only to the main historic sites, the Imperial City and the Mausoleums, but also to rarely visited ones such as the Temple of the elephants and the Van Canh Belvedere. It also includes a diner in the most spectacular garden- restaurant of the city, Ancient Hue, located in the aristocratic district of Kim Long.


Day 1: THE IMPERIAL CITY AND THIEN MU PAGODA

 
The Mid-day Gate (Imperial City)
  A driver and guide welcome you at the railway station and take you to your hotel, the very elegant Asia Hotel, with its 7th-floor panoramic pool.

Breakfast on the pool restaurant. We then take you by cyclo-pousse in front of the spectacular Mid-day Gate, the entrance to the famous Hue Imperial City and its Purple City, the Vietnamese equivalent of Beijing Forbidden City. Immense complex of magnificent buildings: the Humanity and Virtue Gates, the Throne Hall, the Temple of the Cult of the Nguyen Emperors, the Queen-Mother Palace, etc. The guided visit lasts 3 hours.
 

We then board a small boat which sails up the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda (Pagoda of the Celestial Lady), in front of which you have lunch in the boat. Visit of the pagoda. Return to your hotel and a delicious diner at the excellent restaurant La Carambole.


Day 2: THE IMPERIAL TOMS OF THE NGUYEN DYNASTY
  We spend the day visiting the most beautiful pagodas and the Tombs of the Great Dynasty of the Nguyen (1802-1945). Those tombs are in fact magnificent mausoleums, with pagodas, temples, small lakes, etc. Some were even used by the emperors as occasional residence. We first visit two sites without tourists : the Tiger Arena, where the emperors organized fights between a tiger and an elephant, and 100 m farther away, the charming temple Voi Ré Temple, dedicated to the only two elephants which lost.

We continue on a small road and arrive at Minh Mang Tomb, famous for its magnificent landscaping. We then cross the Perfume River and visit Khai Dinh Temple, with its astonishing interior mosaics.
   

Lunch in the famous Biet Phu Thai Nhi Garden-Restaurant, followed by a small detour to a another rarely visited site, the Van Canh Belvedere, a hill from which we enjoy a magnificent view of the river and surrounding mountains. We then visit the nearby Tu Duc Tomb, a luxurious complex designed by the emperor himself. Before returning to the hotel, we stop at the very charming Tu Hieu Pagoda, where over 80 monks still live. Return to your hotel and diner of Hue specialties in the sumptuous Ancient Hue Garden-Restaurant, located in the ancient aristocratic district of Kim Long. 2nd night in your hotel.


Rates per person in dollars

1 pers. 2 pers. 3 pers. 4 pers.
$432 $264 $223 $211

Do not hesitate to ask us for the rates for hotels over 2 Stars.





2 days with the Co Tu of the highlands of Hue
Hue - A Luoi - A Roang - Chi Lang – Hue


Jour 1 : HUE – A ROANG

A Luoi is located in a valley in the middle of the Highlands 70 km west of Hue. The region offers a unique cultural, historic and biological experience. It is considered as one of the last forest refuges of a viable population of Sao La, better known as « Asian Unicorn », one of the rarest species on Earth.
The region shelters an abundance of animals and offers superb scenery including forests and waterfalls. Several ethnic minorities specific to that region live in the mountains: the Pa Ko, Van Kieu, Ka Tu (or Co Tu) and Ta Oi.

 
Day 1 : HUE – A ROANG

Departure around noon with driver and guide, direction the Valley of A Luoi, through the Highlands of Central Vietnam. Visit of the local market, and then we go to the village Aka Chi.

Visit of the village to observe the life of the Ta Oi Minority, and their daily activity of weaving, farming, cooking, etc. Visit of the local school and swimming in the A Roang Hot Spring, Diner and folkloric show. Night in the communal house.
 
 

Jour 2 : TREKKING DANS LA FORÊT DE A ROANG

    Breakfast in the communal house, followed by a trekking in the A Roang Forest to discover the surroundings, plants and animals.

Return to the village for lunch and return to Hue with stops in Chi Lanh, a weavers village of the A Dot Minority, on the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail, and the Air Base of Shau. Arrival in Hue around 16:00

 


Rates per person in US dollars

1-3 pers 4 pers 6-9 pers
$145 $97 $79



THE 2 JEWELS OF THE CENTER: HUE AND HOI AN (4 days / 3 nights)

Day 1 et 2: HUE: THE IMPERIAL CITY AND THE IMPERIAL TOMBS OF THE NGUYEN DYNASTY

Same programme as the 2-day tour of Hue, except that you sleep a second night in Hue.


 
Day 3: HUE – HOI AN

Departure from the hotel after breakfast, to take the Mandarin Road and climb the famous Pass of the Clouds. We stop in Danang to visit the world famous Cham Museum. We then drive down to the Portuguese Old Town of Hoi An.

Lunch in a restaurant of delicious local cuisine, followed by the visit of the Old Town of Hoi An, where you can admire the architectural treasures of that World Heritage site: the Japanese Bridge, the common houses (hoi quan), the 19th Century old houses, and the temples and pagodas. Diner of local specialties at the excellent restaurant Dao Tien and night in Hoi An.
 
The Old Town of Hoi An
 


Day 4: HOI AN - CHAM RUINS OF MY SON

 
Cham Ruins of My Son
  After breakfast, we take you to the fascinating Cham site of My Son, another World Heritage. Hidden in a luxuriant valley 55 km West of Hoi An, it counts 20 towers out of the original 68, which were probably the sepultures of the kings of the Champa Kingdom (11th to XVth century).

Lunch in My Son and return to Hoi An. Free afternoon to stroll through the town and shop. Diner of local specialties and 2nd night at the Phu Tinh II Hotel.

 


Rates per person in dollars

1 pers. 2 pers. 3 pers. 4 pers.
$900 $552 $472 $440

Do not hesitate to ask us for the rates for hotels over 3 Stars.


HISTORY, DIVING AND DREAM BEACHES : 2 DAYS HOI AN + 2 DAYS CHAM ISLANDS

  The 7-island Cham Archipelago is a small pristine paradise (Regional Park with no tourist development) accessible from Hoi An by public boat (2 hours) or small speed-boats (1 ½ hour). The main island (8 km by 1.5) reminds of St Barts 40 years ago, with its mountains (highest peak 517 m) and its small coves accessible by a narrow road overlooking the coastline.

Its counts a cute small harbor, Bai Lang, an another tiny fishing harbor at the end of the road, Bai Huong, et four beaches, 2 of which are basically “equipped”  : Bai Ong, a 15-mn walk from Bai Lang, with several restaurant huts, and Bai Chong, accessible by motorbike or boat, with a Thai house homestay and 2 restaurants.
 
Bai Lang
 

In addition to its immense charm, the archipelago is also reputed for being a Maritime Park with excellent snorkeling and diving. We offer you the possibility of visiting Hoi An and My Son in 2 days, and then stay 2 days in the islands, with two snorkeling mornings or 4 dives (2 each morning), according to the following programme:


Day 1 and 2 : HOI AN

Same program as day 3 and 4 of the previous tour.


Day 3 : HOI AN – CHAM ISLANDS

 
Bai Chong
  Your driver and guide pick you up at your hotel around 8 am and take you to the harbor. Very beautiful boat ride on the Hoi An River, crossing of the island sound, and arrival on the diving site around 10 am. Snorkeling or diving. Then the snorkelers are taken to Bai Chong Beach, and the divers to a second diving site. Everybody meets again for a delicious sea-food lunch on Bai Chong Beach.

In the afternoon, relax on the beach (volley-ball anyone ?) or boat ride or mountain walk. Diner on the beach and night under a fully-equipped tent (showers and toilets common with the beach homestay).
 

 
Day 4 : CHAM ISLANDS – HOI AN

After a beach breakfast, return on the diving site for snorkeling or two dives, and back to Bai Chong for lunch.

Relax on the beach and back to your Hoi An hotel around 4 pm.
 
Bai Chong
 


Attention : The islands are not accessible if the seas are too rough. We inform you accordingly.

The 2-day Cham Islands can also be combined with our 4-day tour 2 days Hué + 2 days Hoi An/My Son.
Just ask us.


Rates per person in dollars :

  1 pers. 2 pers. 3 pers. 4 pers. 5 pers. Sgle Supplt
2 days Hoi An + 2 days snorkeling Cham Islands $496 $329 $298 $281 $271 $38

  1 pers. 2 pers. 3 pers. 4 pers. 5 pers. Sgle Supplt
2 days Hoi An + 2 days snorkeling Cham Islands $648 $474 $441 $424 $414 $38


Included :

Hoi An : Driver and guide, hotel, meals as indicated, entrance fees, taxes and service
Iles Cham : Hotel-harbor transfers, boat to the islands, snorkeling or diving with equipment and instructor,
all the meals, water bottles, night under the tent

Not included :

Hoi An : free meals, drinks, personal purchases
Iles Cham : Drinks and personal purchases




Hoi an – Saigon via the Central Highlands and Da lat


HOI AN – KON TUM – PLEI KU – BUÔN MA THUÔT – DA LAT – SAIGON (8 days/7 nights)

Day 1 : HOI AN – KON TUM

 
  After breakfast in your Hoi An hotel, we take the mountain road crossing the Annamitic Chain and going west on the Central Highlands ; we continue south, visiting minority villages on the way, and arrive to Kon Tum, capital of the region of the bhanar, with their tall-roofed communal houses, sedang and giarai (long stilted houses) minorities.

Diner and night in Kon Tum.
 


 
Day 2 : KON TUM – PLEI KU

In the morning, visit of Kon Tum and its surroundings: the beautiful wooden cathedral built by French missionaries in 1913, and the sedang village of Kon Jari, "capital" of the ephemeral Marie the First, King of the Sedang, aka the French adventurer David de Mayrena.

We then take the road going south, down to Plei Ku, capital of the Gia Lai territory. Diner and night in Plei Ku.
 
 


Day 3 : PLEI KU – BUÔN MA THUÔT

 
  In the morning, visit of the Museum of the Gia Lai Minorities; we then take the road north to visit the giarai village of Plei Fun, famous for its grave sculptures.

Return to Pleiku for lunch and drive south to the Highlands capital of Buôn Ma Thuôt, the center of Vietnam coffee plantations, of which Vietnam is the second exporter in the world. Diner and night in Buôn Ma Thuôt.
 


Day 4 : BUÔN MA THUÔT - LAC LAK
  In the morning, visit of the beautiful Museum of the Dak Lak Minorities, which displays the culture of the local minorities, Édé, Mnong, Muong, Thai, etc. We then drive to the spectacular Dray Sap and Dray Nur Waterfalls. We then take a road north to arrive at the mnong village de Buon Don. Les mnong are famous for their skill in capturing and taming elephants, a secular activity which is transmitted from father to son.

Elephant ride in the river. We then take the road going south to Lak Lake, where we have diner and spend the night in a lake resort of bungalows.
 
 


Day 5 : LAC LAK – DA LAT

 
  In the morning, we visit the Mnong village of Jun, with its long stilted houses and its elephants (possibility of elephant riding in the lake if you wish).

We also climb up to the Bao Dai Villa for the surrounding panorama of the region, which was the Emperor's favourite hunting grounds.

Lunch at the Lak Resort and we then take the road south to arrive in Da lat end of the afternoon, where we have diner at the excellent restaurant Trong Dong and spend the night.
 


Day 6 : VISIT OF DA LAT AND SURROUNDINGS

  We start the day with the visit of Dalat: the Art Deco Bao Dai Villa, the cathedral, the 19th century railway station, teh small Lang Dong Museum, and Hang Nga, nicknamed The Crazy House, an architectural delirium reminding Gaudi's masterpieces and certainly the most astonishing small hotel in Vietnam. Lunch in the excellent Nhat Ly.

After lunch, we climb on top of Lang Biang Mountain, culminating at 2100 m and from which we enjoy a sweeping view of the entire region. We then visit the XQ Historical Village, with its maze of alleys bordered with arts and crafts workshops and shops, and the very kitsch Linh Phuoc Pagoda. Second diner at the Trong Dong and night in Da Lat.
 
 


Day 7 : DA LAT

    We start the day with the visit of the beautiful Dalanta Waterfalls. Return to Da Lat for lunch, after which we have the choice of riding through coffee plantations to rterach the spectacular Elephant Waterfalls ; however, the trail to go down the canyon of enormous boulders is treacherous, requiring walking shoes and a sure foot, and impassable when wet ; if you perfer, we take a beautiful road snaking through the pine forests to reach the beautiful Dankia Lake.

Diner at the Nhat Ly and night in Da Lat.
 



Day 8 : DALAT - SAIGON
  We drive to Saigon, with the visit en route of the spectacular Pon Gur Waterfalls, considered the most beautiful in Vietnam with the Northern Ban Gioc ones, with their width of 150 m and height of 3O m.

We then cross a region of plantations (coffee, rubber, etc.) and arrive end of the afternoon in Saigon, where we have diner and spend the night.
 
 


Rates per person in US dollars:

1 pers. 2 pers. 3 pers. 4 pers.
$2742 $1541 $1204 $1038







Oriental Bridge Travel™ ©2014 All rights reserved on texts and photos. Site administrator: aile@mail.com
Written and co-designed by Jacques Bacon - Co-designed and programmed by Joel