This tour is geared for those who like to travel off the beaten path and discover what lies beyond the urban areas of a destination. Boarding your coach, you'll embark on a scenic drive that transports you into the lush green countryside, passing small villages that are surrounded by bamboo fences and limestone walls.
Your first stop is at the Yen Tu Buddhist Zen monastery, situated high atop Yen Tu Mountain. Here, you'll have a chance to learn about the history of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism and how Yen Tu became the Buddhist Center of Vietnam. After fighting a fierce war with Kublai Khan's troops in the 13th century, King Tran Nhan Tong gave up his throne to become a Buddhist monk, establishing a Sect of Buddhism here on the mountain. During your visit, the monks will show you how to meditate and restore your energy through using Zen techniques. After approximately one hour at the Buddhist center, you'll travel back down the mountain, stopping along the way to capture photos of the rice fields and grazing buffalo.
Arriving at one of the small villages, you'll disembark your coach and enjoy a walk through its streets, observing a real Vietnamese community, its homes, village temples and shops. You will be invited to the home of a local farmer where you will be encouraged to chat with him about life on the farm and how he grows his crops and raises the various farm animals. No doubt it will be a memorable experience interacting with the children and seeing the altars erected to their ancestors.
After an amazing and unforgettable time spent soaking in the culture and atmosphere of this facet of Vietnamese life, it's time to journey back to the pier where your tour concludes.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of moderate walking and/or standing and there are some steps to negotiate. This tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Lightweight, conservative clothing that covers the shoulders and knees will be appropriate. Comfortable, flat walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses and sun screen are recommended.