Danang - Hue (L)
The tour begins with you departing Danang and taking a scenic drive northbound toward Hue in a private vehicle with your reliable, local guide. The journey crosses over Bach Ma Mountain by the winding road of Hai Van Pass, or the Pass of Cloud. The vehicle stops briefly at the top of the pass where you can take the steps up to the ruin of the Hai Van Gate and to take in the impressive views around both sides of the pass.
The drive will continue through the spectacular vistas of Lang Co beach and Lap An lagoon.
The exploration of the city’s heritage starts with a visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Ming Mang, the powerful monarch who ruled from 1820-1840. His mausoleum is a stunning complex which gives acute insight into the skill and craftsmanship of Vietnamese art and architecture.
In addition to the impressiveness of Ming Mang’s mausoleum, you’ll be able to view the old Austin car used by bonze (Buddhist monk) Thich Quang Duc whose self-immolation In Saigon 1963 shocked the world even long after wartime.
After that, follow your guide on a walking tour in the Imperial City, the seat of the Nguyen monarchs throughout the dynastic reign from 1802 to 1945. You will see the most important highlights of the complex including the Flag Tower, the Holy Cannons, the Gate of Ngo Mon, the Throne Hall and the Dynastic Urns.
Outside the imperial walls, you will visit Dong Ba market which is situated right on the bank of Huong (Perfume) River and is the largest and busiest market in Hue. Here you are encouraged to browse through the arrays of shops and take in all the sights and sounds of daily local life. Lastly, you will be whisked away back to your hotel by your friendly driver. You’ll stay 1 night in Hue.
Hue - Phong Nha (B/L/D)
The tour begins with a drive north along Route 1A (210km/4.5hrs) through coastal plains, passing country towns, rice fields, rivers and mountains. You'll arrive at the Phong Nha tourist center and, being that the Phong Nha Cave is indeed a half submerged tunnel which can be visited by boat, you’ll hop on a boat and ride between lush green banks of Son River to reach the cave system located upstream. After an exhilarating boat trip you’ll enter the cave to enjoy the impressive natural beauty of a series of chambers with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. You’ll later disembark from the boat and then hike up to Tien Son Cave which is an imposing chamber sitting on top of the watery Phong Nha Cave. You’ll later be taken back to your vehicle and driven to your lodging place for the evening.
Phong Nha - Hue (B/L)
This day you will continue the exploration of the karst wonderland starting with a visit to Thien Duong Cave. Suggested by the name which means “paradise” or “heavenly” this cave boasts a gigantic interior space and a magnificent speleothem system including spectacular stalactites. After the visit and experiencing the otherworldly splendor of Phong Nha, you’ll begin the journey back to Hue city.
The monotony of the road trip will be broken up by a stop at Ben Hai River and the DMZ memorial (120km), both of which marked the 17th Parallel or the war-time demilitarized zone between the opposing North and South Vietnam. Today the old steel bridge is kept as a monument, with each half painted in a different color. You may take your time to take pictures of this landmark before continuing the drive toward Hue.
Before entering Hue, you’ll have yet another stop but this time to the pottery village of Phuoc Tich. You’ll be invited to stroll around this peaceful, 500-year old village where the authentic rural atmosphere has been well preserved and is replete with quiet lanes and old, cozy houses. You may visit a local house and the display hall where the villagers proudly exhibit their fine traditions of pottery making which have been taught to each generation by the elders throughout hundreds of years. Lastly, you’ll travel the remaining 40km distance to reach Hue (100km).
After breakfast, you are at leisure until the meeting time. You’ll then be transferred to Hue airport for your departure.
- Private vehicle.
- English speaking tour guide.
- Entrance fees: King Minh Mang’s Tomb, Imperial City, Phong Nha cave, Tien Son cave, Thien Duong cave, Phuoc Tich village.
- Boat trip on Hue River.
- Boat trip in Phong Nha.
- Meals: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner.
- Wet tissue and drinking water.
- Tips for boat staff.
- Tips for driver and guide.