3 Hours Before Flight Time
Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh, the tour guide will pick up & transfer to the hotel for check-in. Dinner and Overnight in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon).
Full-day city tour, including Mass at Notre Dame, then transfer to Vung Tau to visit the Church of the Virgin Mary, the largest church in the region. There will be time to visit the beautiful gardens and pray before the large statue of Our Lady of Grace. For those who have the energy, we’ll climb the 800 steps to the famous statue of Jesus Christ at the top of the hill. This impressive statue of Christ the King stands 105 feet tall, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city, and serves as a testament to the region’s strong Christian heritage and spirituality. Transfer back to Ho Chi Minh for dinner & overnight.
This morning you will begin with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. These tunnels were used to organize the 1968 Tet Offensive. Originally the tunnels had been created as far back as 1948 to help combat the French. Now they were rapidly expanded to include innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers kitchens and even schools. Today the remaining tunnels of this intricate network have been widened to accommodate the larger western frame and have now become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience of what underground life was like during the war.
Following lunch, enjoy a boat ride and tour of the Mekong Delta. Travel along small canals under the coconut tree fronds, and cruise to coconut island to visit a local family’s residence and enjoy tropical fruits and taste honey tea and wine. See how local products are made and listen to a live local music performance performed by the villagers. Return to Ho Chi Minh for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Hue. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before visiting the Imperial City of Hue once the capital of Vietnam during the reign of the Nguyen dynasty, the last dynasty in Vietnam. Even today, the Vietnamese regard Hue with awe and respect. Visit the Imperial Citadel, which contains the palaces that housed the imperial family, as well as shrines, gardens, and villas for mandarins, and visit the ThienMu Pagoda, the iconic seven-story Phước Duyên pagoda, the unofficial symbol of the city. Dinner and overnight in Hue.
After breakfast, we drive about 1,5 hours to LaVang. Our Lady of La Vang is a Vatican-approved apparition that occurred in Vietnam in the 17th century. At the time, Catholics were being persecuted and killed due to the king’s prohibition of foreign religions. The people of La Vang in Quảng Trị Province ran into the jungle to hide, but many were sick and were bitten by snakes. While hiding in the jungle, the community gathered to pray the rosary every night. One evening, the Blessed Mother appeared to them, standing on the branches of the tree where they gathered to pray. She was dressed in ao dai (traditional Vietnamese attire) and held a child in her arms. The Blessed Mother comforted the people and told them to pick and boil the leaves from the trees and then drink the liquid. After consuming the liquid, many people were cured of their illnesses. Today, LaVang is considered a holy place and an important place of pilgrimage for Vietnamese Catholics, with a church erected near the three banyan trees, where the apparitions took place. Our Lady of LaVang is the Patroness of Vietnam and all Vietnamese people and her feast day is November 22. Return to Hue for dinner and overnight.
This morning you’ll visit the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Tra Kieu, an ancient church in the peaceful citadel Tra Kieu which was formerly called Simhapura meaning the ‘Lion Citadel’. This devotion began during a wave of anti-Catholic violence in 1885 led by the elite anticolonial movement Văn Thân. According to legends, the Virgin Mary appeared on top of the church of Trà Kiệu during a battle between Catholics and members of this movement and she protected the faithful from destruction by the larger Văn Thân force. Continue to Hoi An where you will enjoy a lunch and walking tour of this ancient town. In the afternoon, celebrate Mass and visit the Da Nang Cathedral, or Pink Church, the only church constructed when Vietnam was still under the control of French colonialists. The cathedral is also one of the few examples of French architecture remaining in Da Nang. There are many names for Da Nang Cathedral, including Tourane Church (used during the French colonial period) and Sacred Heart Church of Jesus. To the locals, Da Nang Cathedral is better known as “Rooster Church”. The name refers to the massive bell tower, which has a weathercock in the shape of a rooster on top. Many people assume the rooster is a symbol of France. It is a symbol associated with St. Peter’s parable in the Gospel about repentance and awakening. Dinner and overnight in Danang.
This morning we will transfer to Da Nang Airport for a flight to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Upon arrival enjoy a city tour including visits to the Temple of Literature & National University, one of the most well-preserved temples in the country which was constructed as a university in 1070, and dedicated to honoring Confucius and his teachings; a visit to Hao Lo Prison, aka the “Hanoi Hilton” because of the large number of American pilots, including the late Senator John McCain, that were imprisoned there during the war. Visit the Old Quarter, and marketplace, and celebrate Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Dinner and overnight in Hanoi.
Depart Hanoi for Ha Nam where we will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and visit the Shrine to the Vietnamese Martyrs. Return to Hanoi for some free time before dinner. Overnight in Hanoi.
Today you will enjoy a full-day tour with a boat ride in Halong Bay. As known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is famous because of its stunning limestone mountains rising from emerald waters that formed from thousand years ago. During your tour, you will enjoy a delicious lunch, visit a floating fishing village, and have a chance to explore amazing caves. Return to Hanoi for a farewell dinner and overnight.
Depart for Hanoi Airport and flights back to the USA.
Continue with connecting flights home.
Do you have hotel information for this Pilgrimage to Vietnam? Yes! Click here for Vietnam hotel accommodations.
Do I need an electrical adapter in Vietnam? Probably not! See this about an adapter in Vietnam.
Are your guides Catholic? All of our guides are Roman Catholic! Absolutely! We are the only pilgrimage tour agency with a Roman Catholic priest on staff!
Do you have FAQs for airlines, passports, vaccinations, travel insurance, tipping, packing, mobility, and others? Yes. FAQ for all Catholic Journeys Pilgrimage Tours
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