fgcu renaissance academy travel abroad program - journey through vietnam

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Discover Vietnam’s captivating beauty, enduring traditions, and profound hospitality. Tour the highlights of the French-accented capital Hanoi and take a full-day excursion to scenic Ha Long Bay. See Da Nang’s acclaimed Cham Museum, explore the nearby colorful village of Hoi An, and relax at a lovely resort on China Beach. Visit the imperial capital Hue, once home to emperors. Cruise the Perfume River to peaceful Thien Mu Pagoda, a significant Buddhist monastery. In southern Vietnam explore the tributaries and floating markets of the beautiful Mekong River Delta. Conclude in Saigon with tours of Reunification Palace, the History Museum, and the underground Cu Chi Tunnels. An optional post-tour extension to Cambodia to explore the incredible Angkor Wat temple complex is also available.

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  • ietnam. In a land of breathtaking natural beauty, abid-ing tradition, and profoundly hospitable people, re-wards abound for the thoughtful traveler. And in our

    flexible and congenial small group we encounter rewards aplenty on this comprehensive journey featuring all the high-lights plus the beautiful, remote Mekong Delta.

    TRAVELDATESANDPRICING

    MARCH1429,2013WITHOPTIONALPOSTTOUREXTENSION:CAMBODIA:ANGKORWAT

    $4,651Land,Air,Taxes&AllFees

    FROMNEWYORK/CHICAGO$4,451Land,Air,Taxes&AllFees

    ASKABOUTOTHERDEPARTURECITIES!

    LANDONLY$2,895

    Journey Through Vietnam

    TheRenaissanceAcademyofFGCU10105thAvenueSouth

    Naples,FL34102

    239.434.4838(tel)jguerra@fgcu.eduemail

    www.fgcu.edu/racademy

    V FROMFORTMYERS

  • JOURNEYTOVIETNAM:M1429,2013

    DAY1,March14:DepartU.S.forHanoi,Vietnam

    ThiseveningwearriveintheVietnamesecapital,whereyoullmeetyourTourDirectorandtransfertoourhotel.Accommodaons: InterConnental Hanoi Westlake

    DAY3,March16:HanoiAeraninformavebriefingaboutthejourneyahead,thismorningwesetoonawalkingtourofBaDinhSquare,apopularcomplexofculturalandhistoricsites,includingthemarbleandgranitemausoleumofHoChiMinh.Ironically,HoChiMinhwishedtobecremated,butthenaonsomournedhimthatitchosetoconstructthismassiveedificeofnaturalmaterialscollectedfromacrossVietnam.InsideHoChiMinhrestsinaglasssarcophagus,visibletoonlookers.WealsoseethebrightmustardFrenchcolonialPresidenalPalace,and1,000yearoldOnePillarPagoda,builtonasinglestonepillartoresemblealotusblossom.

    FollowinglunchonyourownweembarkonanorientaontourofthisFrenchaccentedcitywithbroadtreelinedboulevardsandcolonialarchitecture.WepassHoanKiemLakeintheheartofthecity,wherelegendhasitthatinthemid15thcenturyHeavengaveEmperorLyThaiToaswordtodrivetheChineseoutofVietnam.WealsoseethemarvelousTempleofLiterature,foundedin1070anddedicatedtoConfuciusitlaterbecameVietnamsfirstuniversityandtodayremainsanacveplaceofworship.OurnextstopbringsustoHaoLoPrison,alsoknownasHanoiHilton.Aerthisvisit,wewalkthroughthenarrowstreetsoftheAncientQuarter(morecommonlycalledthe36StreetsDistrict),wheregoodsofalltypesareboughtandsold,alongsidehousesandtemples.Therearesomanyshops,infact,thateachhasitsownseparatestreetShoeStreet,SugarStreet,PaperStreettohelpdirectcustomerstotheirdesiredproduct.Thisisalsooneofthecitysmostpopulargastronomicareas,withdozensofexcellentrestaurants.Thiseveningwedineheretogetheratalocalrestaurant.Accommodaons: InterConnental Hanoi Westlake; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    DAY4,March17:Hanoi/HaLongBayWedepartearlythismorningforafulldayexcursionbycoachtoHaLongBay(BayoftheDescendingDragon),Vietnamslegendaryandbeaufulwaterwaysprinkledwithsome3,000islandsandislets,andsurroundedbyafairytalelandscapeoflimestoneclis,secretgrooes,andhiddencaves.AUNESCOWorldHeritagesite,HaLongBaywasthehomeofancientculturesdangback25,000years.Ourtourhereincludesaboatrideontheplacidwatersandalunchoflocalseafoodspeciales.WereturntoourhotelinHanoiearlythisevening;dinnertonightisonyourown.Accommodaons: InterConnental Hanoi Westlake; Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY2,March15:ArriveHanoi

  • JOURNEYTHROUGHVIETNAM:M1429,2013DAY5,March18:Hanoi/DaNangWeflymiddaytoDaNang,Vietnams3rdlargestcityonthesouthcentralcoast.WetourtheacclaimedChamMuseum,whichcelebratestheChampeoplesHindulegacywithafinecolleconofsculpturesandarfactsdangfromthe7thto15thcenturies.Builtin1915,themuseumisconstructed,liketheartinside,inChamstyle,withsimplelines,smoothcorners,andwindowsopentotheseaair.Aerarrivingmidaernoonatourbeachfronthotel,theremainderofthedayandeveningisatleisure.Dinnertonightisatourhotel.Accommodaons: Furama Resort Da Nang; Meals: Breakfast, DinnerDAY6,March19:DaNang/HoiAnEarlytodaywetraveltothenearbytownofHoiAn,whereasuccessionofDutch,Chinese,Portuguese,andJapanesetradersallcontributedtothebuildingofanarchitecturallydiverseandcolorfulvillage(andnowaUNESCOWorldHeritagesite)wheremanyancienttradionssllholdsway.Becausenocarsareallowedhere,thestreetsbelongtopedestrians(andbicyclists),makingitperfectforexploring.Wetakeawalkingtourpastthelow,leroofedhousesliningnarrowstreets;theJapanesecoveredbridge,andtheChinesecommunalhouse.Therestofthedayisatleisuretoeitherremain inHoiAnandexploreonyourown(thetownboastsnumerousartgalleries,shops,andtailors),ortoreturntoourbeachsideresortforarelaxingaernoon.Dinnerisonyourowntonight.Accommodaons: Furama Resort Da Nang; Meals: Breakfast

    Todaywevisitaneighboringvillage,nestledamidstseeminglyendlessricepaddies.Herewegainaspecialinsightintotheeverydaylifeofalocalfarmingcommunityaswewalkthroughthevillagepastmodesthomes,gardensofvegetablesandfruit,thevillagetemple,andhuskingmill.Wepeekintothelivingroomsofhomesopentothestreet,manywiththeirpicturesofHoChiMinh,shrines,andtelevisionsetsconnongacertainlevelofprosperity.NextweenjoyacookinglessonandlunchinHoiAn.Theremainderoftheaernoonisatleisure;dinnertonightisonyourown.Accommodaons: Furama Resort

    DAY7,March20:DaNang

    DAY8,March21:DaNang/HueWedepartthismorningbycoachfortheancientimperialcapitalofHue,whosetemplesandaraconsevokeitspastgrandeurashometoemperorsandmandarins.Aercheckinginatourhotel,weenjoyatradionalcyclorideaswetourtheImperialCitadel,housingtheForbiddenPurpleCitywheretheemperorsoncelivedwiththeirfamilies.Avastcomplexofpalaces,residences,temples,courtyards,andgates,theImperialCitadelwasbuiltin1804;todayitisprotectedasaUNESCOWorldHeritagesite.WealsovisittheDongBacentralmarketwherelocalsbuytheirproduce,fish,meat,andsundryitemssuchasVietnamsubiquitousconicalhats,ironware,jewelry,andtea.TonightweenjoyaspecialHuebuetoutdoorsatourhotel(weatherperming),accompaniedbyaperformanceoftradionalmusic.Accommodaons: Saigon Morin Hotel; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

  • JOURNEYTHROUGHVIETNAM:M1429,2013DAY9,March22:HueTodaywecruisebysampanalongHuesPerfumeRivertopeacefulThienMuPagoda,aBuddhistmonasterythatranksamongthecitysoldestandmostimportantmonuments.Aeradmiringthesevenstoryoctagonaltower,wevisitthepalaalTombofMinhMang(c.1840),withitspavilions,receponhall,summerhouse,lakes,gardens,andcourtyardsmodeledaertheMingTombsofChina.Weenjoylunchatalocalrestaurantfollowedbyavisittotwoothertombs:TuDuc,singinanarrowvalleyinapineforestandconsideredoneofthemostbeaufulworksofroyalarchitecturefromtheNguyendynasty;andKhaiDinh,anelaboratearchitecturalmlangeofEuropeanandAsian,ancientandmodernstyles.Dinnertonightisonyourown.Accommodaons: Saigon Morin Hotel; Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY10,March23:Hue/MekongDelta(CanTho)Todayisatraveldaythatbeginswithanearlymorningdeparturefortheairport,whereweboardtheonehourflighttoSaigon.UponarrivalwetransfertoamotorcoachforthethreehourdrivesouthtotheMekongRivertownofCaiBe.FromtherewetravelbycoachtothebusyriverportofCanTho,theprovincialcapitalwherethevariouswaterwaysthatcomprisetheMekongDeltaconvergeandwherewespendthenexttwonightsatariversidehotel.Theresmetorelaxandenjoythehotelsameniesbeforewemeetfordinnerheretonight.Accommodaons: Victoria Can Tho Hotel; Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    DAY11,March24:CanTho/MekongDeltaWeriseearlyforatourhighlight:todaysexcursionbyboattothebustlingfloangvegetablemarketatCaiRang,oneofmanysuchmarketsontheMekongslowerreaches.LifebloodofsouthernVietnam,theMekongregioncountsasoneofthecountrystworicebowls,aswellasamajorproducerofvegetablesandtropicalfruit.Itisalongtheriverthatlocalsconductthebusinessofeverydaylife,asweseefarmerslinedupcheektojowldisplayingandsellingtheirgoodsfrombamboopolessuspendedovertheirboatsasaformofadversing.Aerthisscenic

    DAY12,March25:MekongDelta/SaigonAnhourlongcoachridethismorningbringsustotheupperreachesoftheMekong.Hereweboardmotorizedsampansforanupcloselookatriverlifeasweexplorethemazeoftributariesandinletsthatleadtonyselementsandvillagespopulatedbyfishermenandfarmers.WestopforlunchatalocalrestaurantthenconnueonbycoachtoSaigon(thenameHoChiMinhCityisusedinterchangeably).Wereachourhotellatethisaernoon;dinnertonightisonyourowninthisvibrantcity.Accommodaons: Interconnental Asiana Saigon; Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    oung,weenjoylunchatalocalrestaurantthenreturntoourhotellateaernoon.Theremainderofthedayisatleisure,anddinnertonightisonyourown.Accommodaons: Victoria Can Tho Hotel; Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • JOURNEYTHROUGHVIETNAM:M1429,2013DAY13,March26:Saigon

    OncetheproudcapitalofSouthVietnam,Saigonwasrenamedin1976bythewarsCommunistvictorsasHoChiMinhCityandvirtuallyclosedtotheoutsideworld.SincethereentryofapeacefulandunitedVietnamintothecommunityofnaonsseveralyearsago,however,Saigonhasonceagainreclaimeditsmorecosmopolitanoutlookanditsformername,whichisusedinterchangeablywithHoChiMinhCity.WegetourfirstrealtasteofSaigononthismorningstourthatincludessuchhighlightsastheformerPresidenalPalace(nowcalledReunificaonPalace),theformerwarmeheadquartersthatremainspreservedjustasitwasonApril30,1975,whenCommunisttanksenteredthecity;andtheHistoricalMuseum,housingafinecolleconofartandarfactsofVietnamsindigenouspeoples.ThenweDAY14,March27:Saigon/CuChiTunnelsOnthismorningstourwevisitaplaceofinfamy:theCuChiTunnels.Builtoveraperiodof25yearsbeginninginthe1940stosabotagetheFrenchoccupiers,thetunnelsaremarvelsofengineering,stretchingfromSaigontotheCambodianborder.Partsofthetunnelsdescendseveralstoriesdeep,andincludelivingareas,storagefacilies,weaponsfactories,fieldhospitals,andkitchens.Americanswillbemostfamiliarwiththetunnelsbecauseoftheroletheyplayedduringthewar,whenthesetunnelsallowedtheNorthVietnamesetoengageincombatinanareacompletelysurroundedbyAmericansandSouthVietnamese.Thosewhochoosetowillhaveachancetodescendintooneofthetunnels.Andthosewhochoosetoremainoutsidewillhaveampleopportuniestotourtheexcavaonsabove.Wereturntoourhotelinmeforlunchonyourownthentheremainderofthedayisfreetoexploreasyouwish.Saigonboastsvirtuallyhundredsofpagodasandplacesofworshipworthyofyourme,includingtheGiacLamPagoda,thecitysoldest;andtheJadeEmperorPagoda,consideredthemostcolorfultempleinSaigon.Oryoucanjusttakeawalkandenjoythesightsofthecitystreets,shopfor