This trip is a must for the travelers who crave adventure and who are eager to find unique destinations and veer off the well trodden paths. We'll begin with a mellow cycling exploration of Hue's tree-lined back roads. We'll do more than a mere 'transfer by car' to take you to Hoi An, instead we'll take the scenic route and journey along the Ho Chi Minh trail into the lands of the Co Tu people. Encounter locals and gain insights in their ancient culture. We'll finish in relaxing, natural style with a trip to the Cham Islands archipelago by chilling out in clear blue waters and savouring a full set of aquatic and sub-aquatic activities.
• Highlights and hidden sites of Hue, the imperial capital• Ba Hom, a remote pristine village of the Co Tu people• Cham Islands archipelago, few miles away from Hoi An coast
• A leisurely day tour by bicycle, a great way to explore Hue• Encounter the Co Tu people and their culture• The splendor of a registered Marine Protected Area• Sample some of the best nature-based activity spots in the region
[Day 1] Hue CyclingMeals: lunch | Accommodation: N/A
In the morning, your bicycles will arrive at your hotel ready to start riding through Hue's rural villages towards the Thanh Toan Bridge (8km). A visit to a local market will provide you with views of daily life and the huge variety of local products on sale. Try your bargaining skill for some tasty snacks or tropical fruits. You'll then return to Hue's city centre with a visit en route to the Ngoc Son Princess 'Garden House', where the owner will be pleased to explain the traditional Asian geomantic (feng shui) principles underlying the design and construction.
After lunch, your route will take you to visit the towering Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous Vietnamese landmarks. Differing legends explain how the pagoda came to be - one tells of an old woman who instructed Lord Hoang Nguyen in 1601 to walk contemplatively along the river with a lit incense stick and to build a city at the spot where the incense stopped burning.
From there you and your bike will cross the river by boat to pedal along a country lane to handicraft villages outside of town that specialize in making traditional cakes and incense before looping back to your hotel by a different route.
[Day 2] Hue – Ba HomMeals: lunch and dinner | Accommodation: homestay
We leave Hue in the morning and start by traveling through the A Shau valley which contains multiple sites made famous during the American war. We stop for a picnic lunch at a spectacular mountain waterfall where you can cool off with a swim before we continue our journey. We drive along the historic Ho Chi Minh trail passing through thick rainforest and over the magnificent mountain passes of central Vietnam until we arrive at Ba Hom village and shake hands with our hosts.
We stay overnight in a traditional Co Tu stilt house, where we eat local specialties and interact with local families, trading stories and enjoying traditional music and dance. You'll marvel at finding yourself in this new home away from home as you exchange toasts and raise a glass of wine to the health of your Co Tu hosts.This is exactly the sort of experience that Handspan is proud to offer you - a unique insight into diverse cultures with moments of genuine human connection. This is why we travel!
[Day 3] Ba Hom – Hoi AnMeals: breakfast and lunch | Accommodation: N/A
After a good breakfast we take a short trek through the jungle along a piece of the original Ho Chi Minh trail to a natural hot spring that wells up from the earth. After a therapeutic swim in the springs, we return to the village for lunch before we bid farewell to our new friends and start on our way to Hoi An. As our drive takes us down the hills into the delta, we'll take a break with a short visit to an old US war base and a massive memorial commemorating the 1954 independence from the French. We'll also walk through some centuries-old Cham temples before arriving into Hoi An in the afternoon. The remainder of the day is spent at your leisure as you savour the time to walk leisurely down the narrow, lovely lanes of this ancient port town and World Heritage site. A visit to Hoi An is frequently mentioned by many travelers as one of their favorite parts of any journey to Vietnam.
[Day 4] Hoi An – Cham Islands – Hoi AnMeals: lunch | Accommodation: N/A
Depart from your hotel at 8am for a short drive to the Hoi An pier. We board the boat and start our cruise to the archipelago while enjoying a tea or coffee as we speed over the gentle waves and out to sea. The Cham Islands archipelago is a registered Marine Protected Area, a marine and sub-marine paradise whose preservation we must all work to ensure.
Once we arrive on the island's silky sands, you're welcome to grab some flippers and try snorkeling along the colorful coral reef or enjoy some sightseeing on the islands before heading to Bai Chong beach for a lunch under coconut trees. The afternoon is spent at your leisure, you can choose among an array of available activities including sunny beach relaxation, swimming, snorkeling, trekking, or canoeing.In mid-afternoon, we again board our boat for the cruise back to Hoi An, arriving early enough to admire the sunset from the mainland after a glorious day at sea.
Note: For an additional charge, PADI-certified scuba diving is available for all skill levels if you desire. Dive sites around the islands range from coral gardens and reefs, dramatic rock formations and underwater pinnacles. This is a perfect spot for a variety of dive styles and skill levels.
PRICE PER PERSON
Solo: N/AFrom 2 participants: $489Single supplement: N/A
Group discount is available, please contact our sales staff at
• Accommodation in stilt house in Ba Hom• Meals as specified in the program• Travel in an appropriate air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced driver• Boat trips and transfers• All activities and gear on Cham Islands (except scuba)• Bicycles and helmet in Hue• The services of experienced English-speaking guides• All entrance fees• VAT and other taxes
• Hotel in Hue and Hoi An• Beverages, guide gratuities and personal expenses.• Scuba diving• Camera fees (if any)• Insurance
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