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Immerse yourself in one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Ha Long Bay, renowned for its thousands of rocky mountains and freshwater swamp forests. Travel through this UNESCO World Heritage site on a dragon boat. Practice your daily yoga / Taichi on calm waters, while the lush green surroundings permeate your senses. Marvel in the simplicity of life as you enjoy eating fresh fruit, vegetarian meals and the local catch of the day - truly authentic Vietnamese food. Experience a Vietnamese culinary journey and adventure - a unique opportunity to rejuvenate the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of yourself.
During yoga retreat in Vietnam with World Karma Project, you will stay in some different hotels. The World Karma Project will make sure that you will have western standard accommodation. The hotels you will be staying in are 4-5 star hotels. On some nights, you will stay on the boat.
Cyclo (pronounced see-clo) is a Vietnamese version of a cycle rickshaw, originally used as the main form of transportation in Vietnam, it has now been overtaken by motorbikes, but still very much remains at the heart of Vietnamese culture. Sit back and relax as you witness the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese life from the comfort of your armchair!
The Old Quarter, also known as the 36 streets, is a bustling area of narrow streets home to literally thousands of small businesses, shopkeepers and street vendors, selling everything from bananas to books. Originally, each of the 36 streets names were related to the products being sold there. Hence you can walk from Fish Street to Tin Street to Bamboo Street. Its a great place to explore and the slow pace of a cyclo will enable numerous photo opportunities.
The Ngoc Son Temple is set on a tiny island on the Hoan Kiem Lake, with history dating back to the 13th century. The temple is reached by crossing the Huc Bridge which literally means the Place Touched by Morning Sunbeams. The Hoan Kiem Lake is the local point of the city and the source of many legends.
One legend has it that in the 15th century Emperor Le Thai To vanquished the invading Chinese with the help of a magical sword. Whilst rowing on the lake an enormous turtle seized the sword from his grasp. The Emperor took this to mean that peace had returned and the sword had been given back to its guardian spirit. In honor of the event he renamed the lake Ho Hoan Kiem - Lake of the Restored Sword.
Travel to Halong Bay, a staggering seascape of some 1,600 limestone islands and islets in the Gulf of Tonkin, formed over millions of years; theres never been a better time to visit. The boat will pass by: Bai Tu Long Bay / Hon Gai and Cam Pha, Oan Lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets and Vung Vieng fishing village.
Cat Ba is the largest island (surface area of 285 square kilometers) in the Bay and approximately half of its area is covered by a National Park, which is home to the highly endangered Cat Ba Langur. The island has a wide variety of natural ecosystems, both marine and terrestrial, leading to incredibly high rates of biodiversity.
Types of natural habitats found on Cat Ba Archipelago include limestone karsts, tropical limestone forests, coral reefs, mangrove and sea grass beds, lagoons, beaches, caves, and willow swamp forests. Cat Ba Island is one of the only populated islands in Ha Long Bay, with roughly 13,000 inhabitants living in six different communes, and 4,000 more inhabitants living on floating fishing villages off the coast.
The large majority of the population can be found in Cat Ba Town which is located at the southern tip of the Island (15 kilometers south of the national park) and is the commercial center on the Island. Since 1997, Cat Ba Town has grown rapidly and has become a tourist hub for both the Island and greater Ha Long Bay.
Surprise Cave (Sung Sot) Discovered by the French, in 1901, Hang Sung Sot (Cave of the Surprises) rests 25 m above sea level and is immense. The caves ceiling is approximately 30m high and the paved passage inside is 500-meters in length. The uniqueness of this cave is that it holds many different shapes of stalagmites and stalactites which hang from the high ceiling. The formations inside seemingly come alive when light is reflected from several water pools inside the cave.
The Pagoda is the largest Buddhist architecture in Vietnam with area of 107 hectares (1,070,000 square meters) - the Tam The and Thap Chu with an area of 1,000 square meters. There lies the largest bronze Buddha statue in Southeast Asia: weighs 100 tons. Three statues of the Tam The weigh 50 tons each. There are also two of the biggest bells in Southeast Asia, weigh 36 and 27 tons. Vietnam has the largest La Han statues: 500 tons, 2-meter high. There are as well, 100 Bodhi trees were transplanted from India. Buddha became enlightened under these Bodhi trees. (A record was set in Vietnam for the most Bodhi Trees)
You will visit Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (Vietnam founding father) which is a former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace, and the Ho Chi Minh museum.
Visit Temple of Literature
Originally built as a temple to Confucius, this is the site of Vietnams first university dating back to 1070. Inside are the stone steles mounted on the backs of turtles, inscribed with the names of the universitys graduates. The complex is divided into five courtyards with different paths that would originally have been reserved for the Emperor and his mandarins. One of the courtyards contains the statue of Confucius guarded by two beautiful bronze storks standing on turtles. The temple highlights the important influence that Vietnamese society has placed on education.
You will sleep in a hut in village and socialize with Vietnamese local indigenous people. Toilet and water facilities are westernized. No outdoor footprint toilet (overnight bag / bring warm layer of clothes to wear and sleep in in case is cold).
Ham Rong Mountain is right in Sapa Town. The mountain is home to some stunning orchid gardens and rock gardens. From Ham Rong Mountain, we can have the best view of Sapa and the surrounding fresh nature including Mount Fansipan.
The yoga retreat in Vietnam takes place in three locations; Halong Bay, Hanoi, and Sapa. The first meeting point will be in Hanoi. Hanoi will be the base city. If you come over from North America, the two popular air gates to Asia are Hong Kong or Bangkok. Other gates are Korea or Japan but the prices are a bit more expensive for air, hotel or spending, if you want additional time in Asia before or after our retreat.
This is an all-inclusive retreat. Hence, besides daily yoga classes, you will also have two adventurous weeks visiting Hanoi and Sapa. Never worry about the risk of doing nothing during the retreat. Expect two great weeks, instead!