LGBT Travel Vietnam: Hue, Hoi An & China Beach
Hue's Imperial Citadel
Five days and four nights in Hue, Hoi An and China Beach in Central Vietnam. See Hue, the nation's historic soul, wonderfully small Hoi An, and the endless beach resort area we have come to call China Beach. We can reverse this itinerary if necessary.
One of Hue's Imperial Tombs
A Sleepy, Ancient Seaside Town Plus Vietnam's Version of the Forbidden City
On our Hue, Hoi An and China Beach adventure you will explore Vietnam's historical and cultural heart and one of Asia's finest beaches. The Perfume River plus many tombs, pagodas, and temples, all make Hue one of Vietnam's most historic and picturesque places. The lush hills here are dotted with imperial palaces, tombs and pagodas. The air is sweet with history, mystery, and incense. Hoi An, sometimes called the "Venice of Vietnam," seems to have been accidentally left here by some long-forgotten civilization. Take your time to explore its utterly charming narrow lanes, ancient bridges and temples by cyclo, stop to shop along the way, and take in the famous 16th century Japanese Bridge. You may begin your trip in either Hue or Danang. You do not have to be gay to enjoy our Vietnam tours. More and more mainstream customers choose us because they know they will get something better from a gay company.
Day One: Begin in Either Hoi An or Hue
You can begin in Hue and travel South or begin in Hoi An and travel north. We will suggest flights based on where you want to be at the beginning and end of this journey.
We greet you at the airport and deliver you to your hotel. Later, travel by cyclo (pedicab) to the awe-inspiring Imperial Citadel and Forbidden Purple City, Vietnam's version of Beijing's Forbidden City. Nearly destroyed in two 20th century wars, the Citadel is now a UNESCO world heritage site.
If you have arrived early in the day your guide will show you much more.
This evening, why not don the robes of an ancient emperor to have your photo taken upon a gilded throne? Several restaurants in Hue specialize in costumed dinners at which diners get photographs of themselves wearing kitschy period garb. If you would rather not, we know some fine restaurants where you can enjoy a great meal for next to nothing. One of them is run by a group of young deaf and dumb people where you can write on the wall if you like.
Day Two: Tu Duc's Tomb on the Perfume River
This morning we return to the shores of the Perfume River to visit a pagoda that has become the symbol of Hue. Then onwards to the magnificent country palace of Emperor Tu Duc. On an elegant boathouse in a giant, man-made lake, Tu Duc spent his days writing poetry and contemplating the meaning of life. Morning dew gathered from giant lotus in the lake was used to brew his tea! Later, over a majestic bowl of delicious noodles, you may be inspired to write poetry about your own about life and loves.
Depending on how much time you have, you may also see at one or two palaces that later became tombs for their occupants. If you are over fifty you may remember a Buddhist monk who sat in the lotus position in Saigon, poured gasoline over his head, and set himself ablaze as an act of protest of the war in Vietnam. You will see the towering pagoda where he live and the car he drove to Saigon.
Day Three: The Sea Meets the Clouds on the Hai Van Pass
Head south this morning, hugging the coastline on the Hai Van (the "sea meets the clouds") Pass, one of the single most spectacular drives you will ever take. The road zig-zags through three distinct climates. Vehicles of every description compete to grind slowly to the top, where you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Central Vietnam coast.
Once you arrive in Danang stop for a visit to the tiny Cham Museum, which is home to Vietnam's largest collection of Cham treasures.
Day Four: Hoi An's Treasures, Day or Night
Early-risers can arrange a 4:30 a.m. bicycle trip to Vietnam's most fabulous beach, where hundreds of locals gather to enjoy a pre-dawn swim and wait for the spectacular sunrise. You will be back at your hotel in time to enjoy Hoi An's famous banana pancakes.
Later, our guide takes you on a walking tour through the narrow streets of Hoi An. You will visit a shop-house that has been occupied by the same family for hundreds of years, an ancient pagoda, and one of the charming local museums.
The rest of the day is free to pursue your pleasures. A lazy afternoon on the beach where cold beer and fresh seafood are delivered to you at the wave of a hand? Or perhaps a bit of shopping? Hoi An is filled with tailor shops where bargain suits are made overnight.
Day Five: Relax, Then Depart to Saigon, Hanoi, or Beyond
Morning at your leisure until we deliver you to Hue or Danang Airport for your flight to Saigon, Hanoi, Bangkok or beyond (unless you decide to stick around a while longer to enjoy the beach and the seafood.
TET Holiday 2018:We regret that we can not accept Vietnam reservations during the period 17 through 20 February due to the TET (Vietnamese New Year) Holiday. Since it is considered unlucky to work during this period, practically everything closes, everyone takes a vacation, and some prices double. We do not recommend visiting during this time because there are no public festivities and visitors are left with almost nothing to do.
Prices and Hotels
We offer several different hotels in both Hue and Hoi An, ranging from three to five stars. If you have a specific hotel in mind, please let us know. All of the hotels we use are carefully chosen for location, amenities, quality of service, security and value. We only use hotels that are gay-owned, gay-managed or gay-friendly. We inspect most hotels at least once a year.
To see prices and compare hotels please click on the "$" button on the left. If you have questions or suggestions about the hotels we use, please email us.
Hue, Hoi An and China Beach Package Includes: gay and lesbian-friendly hotel accommodations, tax and service, daily breakfast beginning on day 2, private airport transportation, private transportation between Hue and Hoi An, sightseeing with private car and driver, English-speaking guide throughout, and admission to all places visited. Not included: airfare, local transportation, beverages, other meals (your guide will recommend local restaurants if you like), other admissions, gratuities, features not specifically mentioned in the itinerary, or items of a purely personal nature.