Water Puppet Tours

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With its numerous national parks, white sand beaches, colourful villages, pagodas and ancient monuments, forests and islands, Vietnam is a land of often surprising beauty, offering cultural depth and history, increasingly combined with tourism-friendly areas offering all the facilities a modern traveller could wish for.

Vietnam’s people are its greatest asset: gregarious, friendly and eager to meet visitors. In the bustling cities, the often chaotic streets contrast ox carts with limousines, ancient rituals with sophisticated technology, and are ruled by the ubiquitous moped.

Our strength is in translating these opportunities into detailed, practical itineraries. We do luxury travel and event planning, as well as a wide range of beach, family, honeymoon, adventure, golf, veteran and cultural tours.

There is no better way to experience a destination than through the perspective of the local people. At Water Puppet Tours, this key element of local insight drives every step of our process of tour design and delivery. We provide tailor-made tours individually crafted for each client, achieving this by emphasizing the direct working relationship between the client and the tour designer and operator.


Travel Style

Travel Destination

Vietnam Family Holiday 10 days

With friendly people and a lively air, Vietnam is a great family destination. This tour features the best of Vietnam, tailored to satisfy everyone from children to grandparents. Begin in dynamic Ho Chi Minh City (former Saigon) with comprehensive city tour that includes a visit to local markets, then enjoy a performance of the famous traditional water puppets and a visit to a private home to learn about a typical Vietnamese meal. Take a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels and watch an unusually eclectic religious ceremony at the main temple of Cao Daism, a unique fusion of world religions in Tay Ninh. Alternatively, spend the day cruising the narrow canals of the Mekong Delta.

Next, you will take the flight to the resort town of Nha Trang to spend several days in a secluded private villa overlooking beautiful the Bay. Snorkel or dive among the coral reefs in crystal blue waters, hike nature trails, cool off in your private plunge pool, indulge in spa treatments or just relax on the white sand beach and admire the unspoiled mountain and sea views.

Continue to Hanoi, one of Asia ‘s most attractive cities. Ride in a cyclo through the French Quarter, and stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake. Tour the fascinating Old Quarter, packed with hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, bamboo cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and much more. Enjoy a tour led by a noted local historian and visit major Hanoi attractions such as Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and House on Stilts and the Temple of Literature. During leisure time, dine in converted French colonial villas, sample local culinary specialties, and explore Hanoi’s attractions according to the interests of your family members.

The final stop is 2 days trip to Halong Bay. This area boasts a spectacular natural environment with more than 3,000 tiny islands. You will have the option to swim or kayak in the beautiful clear water. Simply fun!

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City arrival (Dinner, Guide)

Arriving at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey before a Welcome dinner. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture). You’ll spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Tay Ninh - Cu Chi Tunnels – Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

A morning drive will take you to Tay Ninh to visit the Cao Dai Holy See in time, home to a unique religion combining the disciplines of Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism and Geniism. The aim of this sect is to achieve a synthesis of all religions. Followers consider Joan of Arc, Rene Descartes, William Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, Winston Churchill and Napoleon Bonaparte their respected saints or spirit intermediaries. You will arrive at the temple in time for the midday service giving you the chance to listen to chanting devotees. The temple’s exterior is decorated with multi-coloured dragons of all shapes and sizes.

After lunch, you will enjoy a scenic drive through idyllic paddy flatlands and countryside. Arrive to Cu Chi tunnels for a fascinating guided tour of this amazing three-floor labyrinth of underground passages stretching a staggering 250kilometres from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life in war was like. You will spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City

Cao Dai is a ‘new’ religion unique to Vietnam with around a million followers. Both its creed and its architecture are remarkable and exotic. The service lasts about half an hour – the rituals are based upon an eclectic mixture of Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. Discreet photography is OK, but shoes must be left outside

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Vinh Long - Can Tho (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After escaping from Ho Chi Minh City’s urban sprawl, you’ll travel to Vinh Long where a Mekong River cruise will take you to visit the fruit orchards, a traditional family-run brick kiln, and some long established cottage industries. You’ll drive further into the Mekong Delta to Can Tho, Upon arrival you’ll call in at the Munir Ansay – an ancient Khmer style pagoda, renowned for its unique structural decorations. You’ll then drive to your hotel in Can Tho where you’ll spend the night.

Munir Ansay pagoda has many statues and pillars which are sophisticatedly decorated, the main gate was built in a shape of tower illustrated by Angkor architecture.

Free option: Ostrich riding and Crocodile ‘fishing’

This is a very popular attraction for Vietnamese holidaymakers.

Ostrich riding takes place in a sandy 10m x 30m arena. You opt to ride more or less bareback or in sort of wooden rickshaw with room for one or two people. If you choose the hang on and hope option, the ostrich keeper helps you to climb up the ostrich. From then on you hang on to your ostrich’s neck as tightly as you can. Depending on the speed of the ostrich, the ride takes from two to four minutes. It’s a bit scary at first because the height of ostriches means you’re about a metre off the ground. Also so, ostriches are not as obliging as horses, and may decide to stop dead or turn round if the feel like it. It’s for anyone with an adventurous streak - older children in particular.

Crocodile fishing isn’t what it appears to be. Twenty or so crocodiles lay quietly in a narrow, rather grubby channel full of algae. You are given your ‘fishing rod’ (it’s really a strong stick with a length of nylon line attached and a dead fish tied to the end). You then plonk the ‘bait’ into the water and wait. Depending on you and the crocodiles, the next step happens fast or slow. You’re wondering if the creatures are asleep when the water suddenly erupts, a jaw-full of yellow teeth wrenches the fish from the line, and the crocodile sinks back into the water.

Nearby, there’s a few caged monkeys and monitor lizards.

We’ve made this optional because Vietnamese culture in relation to animal welfare is very different to that of most developed country and may be distasteful to some customers. However, neither the ostriches nor the crocodiles are harmed (the ostriches seem to enjoy the exercise and the crocodiles seem satisfied by the regular tit-bits).

Obviously, there could be a slight risk of a fall from an ostrich. The crocodiles and customers are well separated – so far, no-one has become a reptile’s lunch. These two activities are at your own risk – if, when you arrive, you think there’s a danger to you or your children, just ask your guide to revert to the main itinerary.

Day 4: Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

After breakfast and a boat cruise you’ll arrive at Cai Rang floating market on the Mekong Delta. Both the journey and the market provide insights into the rural Mekong Delta lifestyle.  On your return to Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll call in at the beautiful and ancient Vinh Trang pagoda, 3 km from My Tho centre.  You’ll arrive in Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon with time to freshen up in the hotel.

Vinh Trang Pagoda is renowned for its architectural mixture of Chinese, Vietnamese and Angkor styles. It’s Located on a 2 hectare block with 5 buildings, 2 ornamental yards, 178 pillars and many valuable statues (especially the statues of 18 arahants which were carved from wood and made in 1907) the pagoda will give you a deeper look into the relationship between Vietnamese art and Buddhist beliefs.

Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City - NhaTrang (Breakfast, Driver pickup)

After breakfast, you’ll be free until your driver arrives to take you to board the noon flight to Nha Trang.

Upon arrival, you’ll find a car and driver waiting to take you to the resort’s private jetty, then a short fast boat ride to your resort. You’ll spend the night in on Hon Tre Island in Nha Trang.

Day 6 to Day 7: Nha Trang (Breakfast)

Your time will be your own in the Vinpearl Luxury Resort on Hon Tre Island.

Exclusively set on a separate island in one of the world’s 30 most beautiful bays, Vinpearl Luxury situates itself on Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang. The resort is built with superior construction standards and architectural styles of a world class tropical luxury resort. It’s about 5km from Nha Trang and can only be reached by sea. Getting there involves 50 minute drive from Cam Ranh airport and a ten-minute speedboat ride.

The resort consists of 84 luxury completely private villas (18 Beach Front Villas, 15 Grand Hill-Top Suites, 20 Hill-Top Suites, 6 Pool-side Villas, 24 Pool Villas  and a Presidential Suite). Every villa has its own outdoor pool, a stylish bathroom, a ‘wine cellar’ and a mini-bar with contents customised to your requirements.

All rooms are fully equipped with sophisticated and modern facilities and come with attached balconies that boast some of the most spectacular views of the ocean and vast white sand beaches of this divine destination. Not to mention the privileged access you will have to several private swimming pools and beaches located around the island. You will also benefit from free use of the speedboat to and from Nha Trang during stay, which provides an excellent opportunity to combine carefree beach relaxation with the wider sightseeing possibilities as well as nightlife experience.

All customer care services at Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang from airport shuttle services to health and beauty spa services to entertainment facilities and fine-dining services, are in compliance with the highest criteria emphasizing luxury, privacy, unique class, comfort and warmth.

Vinpearl Luxury is one of newest exclusive resorts in Vietnam and it’s a good choice people who seek seclusion and unashamed indulgence.

Day 8: Nha Trang - Hanoi (Breakfast, Driver pickup)

You’ll be free until a short boat ride whisks you to the mainland where your car and driver will be waiting to take you to Cam Ranh Airport for your flight to Hanoi. Arriving at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel, the capital city of Vietnam, is an elegant city located on the banks of the Red River with tranquil Restored Sword Lake at its heart. In the afternoon, you’ll ride a cyclo to visit the bustling Old Quarter, a magnet for visitors – it’s noisy and hectic, but definitely a ‘must-see’ attraction. The Old Quarter is a maze of shopping streets and restaurants with a hotchpotch of architecture - traditional tube houses, religious buildings, artisans’ workshops and cottages, colonial houses and modern concrete edifices. You will spend the night in Hanoi.

Day 9: Hanoi - Halong Bay (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Halong Bay. On the way, you will go through the scenic countryside. The wondrous Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. Heading out of the town then you embark on a boat for an exploration of the legendary Halong Bay. This exciting cruise will provide you a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karsts formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way you will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. You will stay overnight on the Junk Cruise

Day 10: Halong Bay – Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)

Greet the day with a morning Tai Chi exercise with an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. After breakfast, you will visit beautiful limestone grotto then back to the boat for a final glimpse of the Halong Bay while cruising back to the dock. Your driver will be waiting for you at the pier and drive you back to Hanoi airport to catch the departure flight.

Inclusive

  • Free Vietnam Visa invitation letter.
  • Private door-to-door pick-up & drop-off services.
  • Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
  • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
  • Domestic flight tickets: Ho Chi Minh City - Nha Trang, Nha Trang - Hanoi, including domestic airport taxes.
  • The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
  • Boat cruises as specified in the programme. All Ha Long Bay boats will be fully licensed and comply with current safety regulations.
  • Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants and full board on the boat in Ha Long Bay.
  • All sightseeing tickets.
  • VAT and other taxes
  • 24/7 hotline support guaranteed

Exclusive

  • International flight tickets and airport tax.
  • Lunches and dinners, except as specified above.
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Travel insurance
  • Surcharges for Peak seasons (if any)
  • Vietnam visa stamp fee
  • Other services not mentioned above.
  • Alternative in blue

 

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