Saigon and Magical Central Highland 8 days

Ho Chi Minh City - Pleiku - Kon Tum - Buon Me Thuot - Da Lat

Overview

The Truong Son Mountain Range, including Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces, boasts a varied history, stunning scenery, great coffee and fascinating minority villages. Step off the beaten track and into a land of deep spirituality. Travel to Vietnam’s Central Highlands, crossing through coffee plantations and farmlands dotted with villages. Encounter unique hilltribe groups, seeing their ritualist ceremonies and traditional lifestyles that have remained unchanged through the years

8 days / 7 nights
Private Tour
Departure: Daily from Ho Chi Minh or Dalat
Theme: Nature/Soft Adventure, Traditional culture
Suitable: Travel with friends, Active traveler

Highlights

  • Experience Ho Chi Minh City – a dynamic blend of old and new, east and west, and learn at first hand the struggles of life in wartime Vietnam when you go below ground in the notorious Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Try the world-famous coffee of Buon Ma Thuot – which is best known for its production of famous Vietnamese coffee
  • Encounter Vietnam’s ethnic diversit with visitng stilted houses of the Gia Rai, Jo Long’s traditional weaving, Bahnar’s animist rituals and more in the Central Highlands
  • See the Central Highland’s landscapes. Drive from Pleiku to Buon Ma Thuot, passing rubber and coffee plantations, rivers, waterfalls and other unique landscapes.
  • Soak up the culture of Dalat- sparkling waterfalls and the odd elephant here and there!

Itinerary

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival

Upon your arrival in the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, still called “Saigon” by many locals, your guide will welcomed you at the airport and then transfer you to your hotel for check –in. Your room is at disposal from 14:00. Free at leisure to relax in the rest of the day.

Optional: We introduce the one-of-a-kind traditional performance which are found nowhere else than in Vietnam: Water Puppet Show where puppets are performed on water stage with folk music, presenting ancient tales, folklores and daily life in Vietnamese countryside.

If you’re interested in the shows, please contact our travel consultants to book.

Meals: NA
Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Activities: Arrival and transfer to hotel

Ho Chi Minh City

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City

In the morning, our local guide will pick you up at hotel around 08:00 am to transfer to Cu Chi Tunnel (30km to 40 km from Saigon). At its height, the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The network, parts of which were several levels deep, included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centre and kitchens. If be interested, you have opportunity to descend the tunnels to understand how harshly the Vietnam guerrillas live during the war.

Then drive back to the city. Have lunch at local restaurant.

After that, proceed to discover the largest city in Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh city with its most prominent attractions such as Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Center Post Office and visit the ethnic Chinese district at Binh Tay Market.

End tour at your hotel about 17:00 pm

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City
Activities: Explore main attractions of Saigon and the underground system of Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnel

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Pleiku

At leisure till transfer to airport for flight to Pleiku.

Pleiku is a city in the north of the nation’s central highlands, land of the Bahnar and Jarai ethnic minority people. Situated at the junction of important national roads and near the three-country border known as the Indochina Junction, the city has been playing an important role in the American War and in today’s development of the whole region. The convenient connection with other main cities in the region makes Pleiku an interesting starting point of the exploration into the region’s hill tribes and nature.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Pleiku
Activities: Domestic flight to Pleiku. Arrival and transfer to hotel.

Pleiku

Day 4: Pleiku - Kon Tum - Pleiku

In the morning, drive to Kontum with en route visit to Bien Ho (T’nung Lake) which is one of the glorious beauties of the Central Highlands. Locals also call it T’Nung or Ea Nueng, which means a “sea on the mountain”. It used to be a volcanic crater that erupted millions of years ago.

Proceed on to visit Kontum, visit the Roman catholic wooden church built nearly 100 years ago. The church was totally made of rare wood under the Roman style in combination with the stilt house architecture of Ba Na ethnic minority people. The interior is decorated with wood combined with brocades and tree cover, which express the skillfulness of the ethnic minority artists, but arranged in European style, making a strange feeling to the visitors. Studying about the church, visitors will be amazed by the various cultural and historical traits of the Central Highlands.

In the afternoon, visit a Giarai ethnic minority village and learn about their unique traditions and customs among which the funeral and burial rites would be the most to talk about. The Giarai people obey a custom that all people of the same matriarchy family must be buried in a common tomb when they die. A dead man must be buried at his mother’s grave. The grave house is surrounded by a wooden fence with various wooden statues depicting social life activities and even intimate acts of men and women, statues of birds or animals.

During the scenic drive along the Ho Chi Minh road we pass through vast areas of farm land and take advantage of the many photo opportunities.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Pleiku
Activities: Visit T’nung Lake in Pleiku, the Wooden Church and an ethnic minority village in Kon Tum

T’nung Lake

Day 5: Pleiku - Buon Ma Thuot

Today’s journey will take you south through the central highland to Buon Ma Thuot, often dubbed as the capital city of the coffee industry. Sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the road with peaceful view of forests, rubber and coffee plantations.

Arrive in Buon Ma Thuot City, check in the hotel and have lunch at Trung Nguyen Coffee Village. With designation as complete museum of café in area of 20.000sqm, Trung Nguyen café village is inclusive of main items such as Café, restaurant, museum and information center.

In the afternoon, visit the Ethnographic Museum in Buon Ma Thuot, which used to be a residence of Bao Dai, the last king of Nguyen dynasty.

Continue to visit Akothon (Ako Dhong) a village of Ede minority people. This village is famous for its prosperity, and is often called “The village of tile-roofed houses” or “Ama Rin Village” named after the village chief. Today, Ako Dhong Village has seen many changes. The village chief usually holds many festivals featuring cultural activities such as singing, music performance, and traditional dances.

Attend a performance of ethnic dances, songs and gong music and join the villagers in drinking local “Can” wine in Akothon village.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Buon Ma Thuot
Activities: Drive to Buon Ma Thuot, visit Trung Nguyen Coffee Village, the Ethnographic Museum and Ako D’hong, an Ede ethnic minority village

Buon Ma Thuot

Day 6: Buon Ma Thuot - Lak Lake - Da Lat

Today’s journey takes you further South towards the famous hill station city of Da Lat, often referred to as the “city of eternal spring”. Lying 1,500 m above sea level and surrounded by pine hills, Da Lat has been known as the prime hill resort city thanks to its mild weather, romantic valleys, tranquil lakes surrounded by pine hills, colonial time villas, pagodas and monasteries. Da Lat is also the flower festival city of Vietnam. The scenic drive passes through rubber, coffee plantations. The 160 km drive takes about 4 hours and passes through spectacular mountain and pinewood scenery.

On the way, visit Lak Lake, one of the most famous landscapes in the Central Highlands. The Lake covers more than 500ha at an elevation of 500m above sea level. Enjoy a scenic boat ride on dugout canoes (2 persons per canoe) to a village of ethnic M’nong people.

Have lunch at nearby local restaurant in Lak Lake resort and then drive on to Da Lat. Upon arrival, check in hotel and have time at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Da Lat
Activities: Drive to Da Lat with en route visit to Lak Lake with a ride on dugout boat

Da Lat – The City of Dreamlike Beauty

Day 7: Dalat

In the morning, drive to visit the bustling local market where farmers come and sell their daily produce. Then visit the historical train station of Dalat, The building is a unique architectural work – combining European style with the design of steep roofed Vietnamese stilt houses, typical for the Central Highlands region. The original architecture and setting has been well preserved. On the platform, there is an old steam locomotive on display together with a piece of the cog rail used in mountainous areas to prevent the train from sliding downhill . The station was recognized as national heritage in 1981 and in 2004, seven kilometres of the Dalat-Trai Mat section was restored and put into operation for tourism purposes.

The next stop will be the Hang Nga House, also known as “Crazy House”, a unique piece of art by Madam Viet Nga, a contemporary architect. Afterwards, transfer to Dalat cable car station. Savour the panoramic views of Dalat from the platform and then board the cable car for an enjoyable ride above pine forests and rolling hills to Truc Lam Pagoda – the largest Institute of Meditation in Vietnam.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Dalat
Activities: Explore bustling local market and other iconic attractions in this romantic city

Da Lat City

Day 8: Dalat - Departure

Transfer to airport for departure flight.

Check out hotel time is 12.00 noon time late check out is at surcharge

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: NA
Activities: Transfer to airport for departure flight

Important Notes:

  • PROGRAMS & SCHEDULES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE
  • In case of unpredictable bad conditions of weather in Halong Bay, please kindly understand that the cancellation will be made ONLY by the Management Board of Halong Bay and normally the announcement will be informed in short notice.

Price & Inclusion

Superior
Price for 2 Adults
US $1586
Discount
US $0

Total
US $1586
First Class
Price for 2 Adults
US $1736
Discount
US $0

Total
US $1736

Meals

7 Breakfast, 4 Lunch

Transportation

Airplane, Car

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in TWN/ DBL sharing
  • All transport within Vietnam (including airport pick up & see off), as per itinerary
  • All in-tour stationed local English speaking guide.
  • Domestic Flights Ho Chi Minh – Pleiku
  • Admission fee as per itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the program

Cancellation by Customer

  • 30% of total package price should be deposited once the booking is confirmed
  • Cancellation received less than 72 hours prior arrival date or No show: full charge the deposit amount
  • Cancellation received from 4 days to 14 days prior arrival date: 50% of total package tour charged
  • Cancellation received from 15 days to 20 days prior arrival date: 10% of total package tour charged

Children Policy

  • For infant (<04 years old): FOC except domestic ticket cost
  • 04 – 11 years old without bed: 50% adult rate
  • 04 – 11 years old with extra bed: 75% adult rate
  • 04 – 11 years old in twin share: 90% adult rate