DISCOVERING THE ROOTS OF BUDDHISM IN VIET NAM -SPRING 2013
Day 1: Mar 09 Sat : Fly into SAIGON on Saturday. Pick up and transfer to hotel. For those arriving in the morning, we will have afternoon visit to Phap Van Temple to have tea and relax in the shade of the old trees, visit the garden dedicated to the memory of Mai, one of the first OI members, who immolated herself to protest the war. We MIGHT also have a chance, time permitting, to visit Van Hanh Buddhist Institute. Overnight at Tan Hai Long 3 Hotel, Superior Rooms.
Day 2: Mar 10 Sun : SAIGON - VUNG TAU - SAIGONAfter breakfast, depart Saigon to Vung Tau, stopping at Truc Lam Tri Duc pagoda along the way. Lunch in Vung Tau. Visit Thuong Chieu Pagoda. Public speed boat back to Saigon. Dinner at famous Muoi Xiem Restaurant in Saigon. Overnight at the same hotel.
Day 3: Mar 11 Mon : SAIGON - DANANG/HOI AN. After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Danang. Visit amazing (and some say, transforming) Marble Mountain with beautiful Linh Ung Pagoda, followed by a visit to the a center for child victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, a project of the Danang Association of Victims of Agent Orange (DAVA. Google Orange helpers. org). This is an unforgettable and very joyful experience! Lunch in a private room at the center, arranged by the director. (Here, we have the opportunity to make a small donation.) In the Afternoon, we arrive in Hoi An where we will enjoy tea and sharing with local friends at Trish's house, before checking into the nearby Pho Hoi Riverside resort, Superior rooms. Enjoy a swim before walking across the bridge (5 minutes) to explore the Old Town and have dinner on your own. Hoi An is a charming, walking and biking town, known for the preservation of its historic architecture and its numerous excellent restaurants and cafes (and for its shopping opportunities).
Day 4: Mar 12 Tue: HOI AN - HUE. After breakfast, depart Hoi An to drive to Hue. On the way, ascend Hai Van Pass, stopping along the way for photo opts. On this day in Hue, we will visit a humanitarian project, as well as the former Imperial Citadel and Forbidden Purple City. Hué was the capital of Vietnam until the early 20th century, and generations of royalty lived in the Forbidden Purple City, inside the walled exterior of the Citadel. This was also the sight of some of the most brutal fighting during the infamous Tet Offensive. Overnight at Amigo Hotel, Superior rooms.
Day 5: Mar 13 Wed : HUE - DONG HA - HUE. After breakfast, depart Hue for two-hour drive to Dong Ha in Quang Tri Province (the former Demilitarized Zone) to visit the Mine Action Visitor Center for a briefing, the Mushrooms with a Mission project, and perhaps a family affected by Unexploded Live Ordinance. (Google Project RENEW, "restoring the environment and neutralizing the effects of war) Return to Hue. Overnight at Amigo Hotel, Superior rooms.
Day 6: Mar 14 Thu : HUE. DAY OF MINDFULNESS (DOM) at Tu Hieu Pagoda. Late afternoon visit to Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Vietnam's oldest and most beautiful Buddhist temples. (Two opportunities to make small donations) Overnight at Amigo Hotel, Superior rooms.
Day 7: Mar 15 Fri: HUE - HANOI. After breakfast, we will enjoy a boat trip up the Perfume River, passing dreamy countryside and charming scenes of Vietnamese life, to the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen Emperors. The Royal Tombs, with their vast lovingly-tended, botanical gardens, beautiful open air pavilions and numerous shrines, provided the seven Nguyen Emperors with noble burials, as well as comfortable afterlives. The tombs of Minh Mang and Tu Duc are the most elegant while that of Khai Dinh is the most unusual, combining Western architecture with Vietnamese style. Lunch in Hue, followed by flight to Hanoi. After check in at Diamond Hotel (Superior Rooms - very near Hoan Kiem Lake), we can enjoy a mindful stroll around the famous Lake before dinner.
Day 8: Mar 16 Sat: HANOI. Early morning solitary experience of Lake-side scene, heart-warming and inspiring. After breakfast, we will visit BoDe Pagoda and share a cup of tea with the Abbess, after which we will enjoy Van Mieu Temple, the institute of higher learning for the Mandarin class, dedicated to Confucious. Lunch at KOTO (training program for street youth). In the afternoon, we will visit Luy Lau Buddhist Center. Overnight at Diamond Hotel, Superior Rooms.
Day 9: Mar 17 Sun: HANOI. DAY OF MINDFULNESS (DOM) at Dinh Quan Pagoda. Late afternoon exploration of nearby Old Quarter. Overnight at Diamond Hotel, Superior Rooms.
Day 10: Mar 18 Mon: Hanoi – Con Son – Kiep Bac: After breakfast, enjoy the bus ride to Con Son, located around 80km from Hanoi. Visit Con Son - Kiep Bac area and Con Son Buddhist Center. Following lunch, we will visit Quynh Lam Pagoda. Overnight at Con Son Lake Guest House (simple accommodation).
Day 11: Mar 19 Tue: Con Son – Yen Tu – Hanoi: After breakfast, we will go 1 hour by bus to Yen Tu Mountain where King Tran Nhan Tong established the Truc Lam (Bamboo Forest) sect of Buddhism. Yen Tu is known as the Buddhist capital of the old Viet Nam. We will hike SOME of the 6 KM trail of stone steps and practice kindness to ourselves by also utilizing the cable car system.
This area is made up of a system of pagodas, shrines, towers and forests, belonging to the village of Thuong Yen Cong Commune, Uong Bi Town. Situated within the immense arched mountain range of north-eastern Vietnam, Yen Tu Mountain bears at its peak the Ðong Pagoda: at an altitude of 1,068 m above sea level. The beauty of Yen Tu is in the majesty of its mountains mingling with an ancient and solemn quietness. After lunch, we will visit the nearby Truc Lam Tay Thien Monastery. Return to Hanoi in the late afternoon.
Overnight at Diamond Hotel, Superior rooms.
Day 12: Mar 20 Wed: HANOI. The last full day of the tour will be a special one, with one, maybe two surprise programs. We will walk the streets of the Old Quarter to arrive at our venues, though our bus will be available, if we need it. There will be time for more exploring, last minute shopping, and even a rest before our farewell dinner.Overnight at Diamond Hotel, Superior Rooms.
Day 13: Mar 21 Thu :HANOI. At leisure until transfer to airport for your flight back home. End services.
COST PER PERSON, SHARING A TWIN-BEDDED ROOM, IS USD 1,690.00. FOR PRIVATE ACCOMMODATIONS, ADD USD 246.00.
-- Facilitation throughout by two Dharma Teachers, Chan Huy and Trish Thompson
_ All transfers and transportation by a private AC Coaster 25 seats with driver
_ Boat trips as program
_ Stationed English speaking guide
_ Entrance fee
_ Air tickets: Saigon – Danang/ Hue – Hanoi on Economy class
_ Most meals (see below for exceptions), including tea + mineral water.
_ Hotel accommodation with breakfast (standard hotels)
_ Cable car at Yen Tu Mountain
_ Join-in express boat Vung tau – Saigon
-- Donations for Lunches at Children's Center, Mine Action Visitors' Center, Two Days of Mindfulness: TOTAL for All: Approx. USD 25.00;
-- Cost of dinner-on-your-own in Hoi An (Range: USD 1.00 - USD 30.00);
-- Donations at Pagodas and Humanitarian Projects: USD 2.00 to Up-to-You. Suggested minimum TOTAL TO BE DIVIDED AMONG ALL: $50.00;
- -Tip to Local Guide: TOTAL (suggested) USD 48.00 ($4 per day);
-- Tip to Bus Driver: TOTAL (suggested) USD USD 26.00 ($2 per day);
-- Coffee (for which Viet Nam is famous), yummy snacks, fruits, and amazing fruit Drinks
SUGGESTED AMOUNT TO BRING TO COVER "EXCLUSIONS," USD 175 - 200.00. More if you plan to do any shopping, gift-buying.
CANCELLATION POLICY OF OUR IN-COUNTRY TOUR AGENCY:
50% Deposit required to hold your space. Remainder to be paid upon arrival in Viet Nam. Cancellation policy of our in-country tour agency is very fair - "Cancellations received more than 45 days before arrival date - NO Charge. 45 - 30 day prior to arrival date - 5% of total price. 29 - 15 days before arrival date - 10% of total price. 7 days prior to arrival date - 50% of total price. 3 days prior to date of arrival - No refund."
If our agency books your international ticket, and you must cancel, you will be charged 10% - 20% of cost of ticket.
For those wishing to extend their trip, our agency can help you plan visits to HaLong Bay, a World Heritage site three hours from Hanoi and/or to visit the glorious mountain town of SaPa, home to several ethnic minority groups, an overnight train ride + bus ride from Hanoi.
PLEASE WRITE YOUR QUESTIONS / COMMENTS TO: TRISH _ TOUR _ VIETNAM@ME.COM
True Concentration on Peace
Hoi An, Viet Nam