In recent years, Vietnam has become a very popular travel destination. China, on the other hand, Vietnam’s large neighbor to the north, has long been a favorite country for many tourists, but southern China in particular is still relatively unknown. On this trip you get the opportunity to combine these two areas but also see Hong Kong and Macao. In the province of Yunnan lies the city of Kunming, the city of eternal spring. Here we walk in the famous Stone Forest and visit the nature area Västra bergen. In the border area between China and Vietnam live many different minority peoples and we stop in several villages on our journey. Vietnam’s beautiful and cozy capital Hanoi and the beautiful archipelago landscape in Halong Bay provide further memorable experiences. From Halong Bay we continue to Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh as the city is now called. Boat trips on the Mekong River and exotic floating markets will be well-remembered memories. In many ways, this is a journey between different exciting and different cultures, with nature experiences, cultural experiences and culinary highlights far beyond the ordinary!

Vietnam and Southern China 2

Day 1: Travel to Hong Kong
Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Day 2: Hong Kong
We arrive in Hong Kong in the afternoon and go to the hotel. The rest of the day you can rest after the long flight or perhaps discover the local area on your own before we gather in the evening for a welcome dinner. Overnight in Hong Kong. (Noon.)

Day 3: Hong Kong
Today’s adventure begins with a ride on the 120-year-old funicular to the top of Victoria Peak. In clear weather we have a great view of Hong Kong. The tour then continues to the famous floating fishing village of Aberdeen, where the people live on their dunes. We take a walk to take a closer look at these and then have lunch at a large, floating restaurant. After lunch we continue to the famous Stanley Market where there is a large selection of Chinese crafts. Overnight in Hong Kong. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 4: Hong Kong-Macau-Hong Kong
After breakfast we take the fast ferry to Macao. During the tour of the island, we stop at some places in the historic center that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We see the A-Ma temple, which is about 400 years old, and then continue the 66 steps up to St. Paul Church (ruin). We also visit Fortaleza de Monte, a military center built in the 17th century to protect the Jesuits. Lunch is served at a local restaurant, where we get to taste a mix of Chinese and Portuguese dishes. Since Macao is known as the Monte Carlo of the East, we visit a casino before taking the afternoon ferry back to Hong Kong. Overnight in Hong Kong. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 5: Hong Kong – Kunming
Today we leave Hong Kong behind and fly to Kunming in the province of Yunnan on the Chinese mainland. Yunnan is located far down in southwest China and borders Vietnam in the southeast, Laos in the south, Burma in the west and the autonomous region of Tibet in the northwest. A large part of the population consists of various minority peoples. After arriving in the provincial capital Kunming, we visit Daguanlou (“Lookout Tower”), one of China’s most famous pavilions, elegantly built in classical architecture and surrounded by its associated park. Overnight in Kunming. (Breakfast.)

Day 6: Kunming
After breakfast we make a trip to Västra Bergen and Drakporten. In these surroundings with forests and mountains, the floral splendor is great and you fully enjoy the tranquility and the incomparable scenery. On the way up to the Dragon Gate at an altitude of 2,500 meters are several beautiful Buddhist temples. There are also caves, pavilions and sculptures carved into the rock wall by Daoist monks from the late 18th century. We end the day by enjoying a wonderful view of Lake Dianchi. Overnight in Kunming. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 7: Kunming – Jianshui
The main attraction outside Kunming is Stenskogen, which is located 120 km southeast of the city. Everyone who has seen rauks on Gotland will recognize themselves, although here there are a thousand times as many. These karst formations are estimated to be 270 million years old. As the water receded from the area, the strange limestone formations were created. They have since been further formed by erosion. We walk around the area and marvel at the wonders of nature. After lunch we drive further south for a few hours through a beautiful landscape to Jianshui. This city is a significant center of southern Yunnan with a history that stretches 1,200 years back in time. Here are still remnants of the ancient city walls with mighty gates from the Ming Dynasty. Overnight in Jianshui. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 8: Jianshui – Yuanyang
There is a lot to see in Jianshui. We take a tour and visit the fine classic architectural gem, the Zhus family’s residence. The houses and gardens from the 13th century are very well preserved. We also visit the second largest Confucius Temple in China and one of the impressive city gates. After lunch we continue south for about two hours by bus to Yuanyang. Overnight in Yuanyang. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 9: Yuanyang
Yuanyang is located in a typical rice district. In the morning we visit the famous rice terraces that for many hundreds of years have been laid out on the southern slopes of the Ailao Mountains. For generations, the local Hani people have built these terraces with great skill. One can only marvel at how people have succeeded with such achievements! Along the way, we will also stop in some villages where the inhabitants mostly belong to the minority peoples Yi and Hani. Overnight in Yuanyang. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 10: Yuanyang – Sapa (Vietnam)
In the morning we take the bus and travel for about three hours to the Chinese border town of Hekou. After passport and visa formalities, we go over to Vietnam and on to Sapa. From Ham Rongberget in the middle of the village, at an altitude of 1,600 meters, you have a wonderful view of mighty rock formations, beautiful valleys and equally extensive rice terraces along the mountain slopes, as on the Chinese side. In the region around Sapa live no less than eight different minority peoples, and we will especially notice the two largest groups, H’mong and Dzao with their colorful folk costumes. Everywhere we see the red headdresses that Dzao wears. Overnight in Sapa. (Breakfast and dinner)

Day 11: Sapa – Hanoi
In the morning we go on a trip in Sapa’s surroundings. We enjoy the views and we will also pass Heaven’s Gate, the Gate to Heaven! After lunch we will visit one or more of the minority villages in the area. In the late afternoon we continue our journey south to Lao Cai, where we take the night train to Hanoi. Overnight on board the train. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 12: Hanoi
The train arrives at Hanoi Railway Station in the morning. First we go to the folk hero and leader Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, where he lies on the lit de parade in his ice cream sarcophagus. (NOTE! Some days the mausoleum is closed.) This is how we will experience the Temple of Literature, a quiet and peaceful place. As early as 1076, the country’s first university was established here. Initially, the royal family and the children of the aristocrats were educated at this institution. The university remained until the end of the 18th century, when Emperor Gia Long had the country’s administrative capital moved from Hanoi to Hué. After the visit to the Temple of Literature, we have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Then we take a walk through Hanoi’s old town. Here we see how the Hanoi people live and work in their small houses, eat their meals on the sidewalks, and offers its goods for sale. It is also full of charming restaurants, cafes and shops. In the evening we get to experience a typical Vietnamese water puppet theater. Overnight in Hanoi. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 13: Hanoi – Halong
After breakfast we drive to Halong which is on the coast. From there we take a boat out to the beautiful archipelago in Halong Bay. The area became a UNESCO World Heritage Site as early as 1994, and one immediately understands why. This mysterious and magical landscape with its many small islands of limestone, with beaches and caves created by wind and water, almost takes your breath away with its beauty. On board the excursion boat we eat lunch (seafood) surrounded by Halong Bay’s fantastic archipelago. The archipelago is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and consists of sugar-top-shaped and jungle-clad small islands, many of which have deep but well-hidden caves. We do a beach break at one of the islands to visit one of the larger caves. Overnight stay on the boat. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)

Day 14: Halong Bay – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
In the morning, our tour continues in Halong Bay. In the afternoon we return to Hanoi for domestic flights to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 15: Cu Chi and Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast we go to the Cu Chi tunnels 60 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. During the Vietnam War, the tunnel system was the Vietcong guerrilla’s most important base in South Vietnam and reached virtually all villages in the Cu Chi area. On site, we are shown, among other things, how the various traps of the guerrillas worked. Those who want can go down into one of the tunnels adapted for tourists (and safe). Back in Ho Chi Minh City, a city tour awaits during which we visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Main Post Office, the War Memorial Museum and the Reunification Palace. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 16: Mekonga Delta
After breakfast we go to Ben Tre Province 85 km from Saigon to take a boat trip in the Mekong Delta. The area is known for its coconut farms and we visit, among other things, a coconut candy manufacturer on one of the islands in the river delta. Ben Three was hit hard during the Vietnam War but is now a popular excursion destination. (Breakfast and lunch)

Day 17: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) The
day for your own adventures in Saigon. Feel free to ask your tour guide for tips on museums, sights and shopping routes. In the late afternoon we go to the airport for the journey home. (Breakfast)

Day 18: Arrival at the boarding place
Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.

Vietnam and Southern China

Vietnam and Southern China
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