Louis Nelson, Professor of Architectural History, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, and Associate Provost for Outreach

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$3,695 per person, double occupancy, land only.

$4,295 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, plus $192 airline taxes and fees.

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Discover Vietnam’s breathtaking natural beauty, abiding tradition, and profoundly hospitable people on this comprehensive 17-day small group journey. Begin your tour in culturally rich Hanoi, where you attend a traditional water puppet performance, and take an overnight excursion to breathtaking Ha Long Bay. Tour Da Nang’s acclaimed Cham Museum, and visit Hoi An and its charming Old Town, a UNESCO site. See local life up close on a walking tour of a farming settlement. Proceed to the imperial capital Hue, where you explore the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO site. Cruise the Perfume River to peaceful Thien Mu Pagoda. Travel to Can Tho in southern Vietnam and explore the storied Mekong River Delta’s tributaries and floating markets. Your journey concludes in vibrant Saigon with tours of Reunification Palace, the History Museum, and the notorious Cu Chi Tunnels. Discover Angkor Wat’s amazing temples on an optional 3-day/2-night extension to Cambodia.

Program Highlights

• Small group limited to 22 participants
• See the sights of French-accented Hanoi and attend a traditional water puppet performance
• Cruise legendary Ha Long Bay on an overnight excursion
• Tour the ancient imperial capital of Hue
• Glimpse local life up close with a visit to a farming settlement
• Explore the charming and historic harbor town of Hoi An
• View the Cham Museum’s acclaimed sculpture collection
• Experience river life in the storied Mekong Delta
• Visit vibrant Saigon’s attractions


Louis Nelson, Professor of Architectural History, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, and Associate Provost for Outreach

Louis is a Professor of Architectural History, the Associate Dean for Research and International Programs in the School of Architecture, the Director of the Program in Historic Preservation and Associate Provost for Outreach. He is a specialist in the built environments of American colonial architecture and the architectures and landscapes of the early modern Atlantic world. Working together with archaeologists, Nelson is interested in using buildings to explore Afro-Caribbean culture through the transition from slavery to freedom.

Louis earned his Bachelor’s at The College of William and Mary and his Master’s and Ph.D at the University of Delaware. He was the recipient of the University Teaching Award in Spring 2007, the highest recognition for excellence in teaching at U.Va. Nelson’s teaching and research focuses on the close examination of evidence-both material and textual-as a means of interrogating the ways architecture shapes the human experience. His published work is best exemplified in his monograph, The Beauty of Holiness: Anglicanism and Architecture in Colonial South Carolina (UNC, 2008), winner of the 2010 SESAH Best Book of the Year Prize. He has also edited, together with Maurie McInnis, Shaping the Body Politic: Art and Political Formation in Early America (Virginia, 2011) and has published numerous scholarly articles.


DAYS 1 & 2 - Wednesday & Thursday, October 10 & 11

Depart U.S. for Hanoi, Vietnam

DAY 3 - Friday, October 12

Arrive Hanoi

We arrive in the Vietnamese capital today then transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned.
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake

DAY 4 - Saturday, October 13


This morning’s orientation tour of this French-accented city with broad tree-lined boulevards and colonial architecture features Hoan Kiem Lake; the marvelous Temple of Literature (c. 1070); infamous Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War; and the narrow streets of the diverse Ancient Quarter. Following an afternoon at leisure, this evening we attend a traditional water puppet performance then gather at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner.
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake
Breakfast, Dinner (B,D)

DAY 5 - Sunday, October 14


We continue our discovery of this culturally rich city with a walking tour of the Ba Dinh Square complex of sites, including the marble and granite mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential
Palace, and thousand-year-old One Pillar Pagoda. This afternoon we get a taste of local life when we visit the lively Long Bien produce market then we take a cycling tour of nearby villages. A highlight: a visit to an artists’ community where we have the opportunity to meet painters in their studios. Returning to Hanoi, tonight we dine in the home of a gracious local family.
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake

DAY 6 - Monday, October 15

Hanoi/Ha Long Bay

Vietnam Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay

Early this morning we depart for Ha Long Bay, a breathtaking waterway sprinkled with 3,000 islands and islets, and surrounded by a fairytale landscape of limestone cliffs, secret grottoes, and hidden caves. Our boat tour of this UNESCO site includes lunch on board and stops to admire this dramatic landscape on foot. Tonight we dine at our hotel overlooking the bay.
Wyndham Legend Halong

DAY 7 - Tuesday October 16

Ha Long Bay/Da Nang

We fly this morning to Da Nang, Vietnam’s third largest city, situated on the south central coast. Upon arrival, we tour the acclaimed Cham Museum, which celebrates the Cham people’s Hindu legacy with a fine collection of sculpture and artifacts dating from the 7th to 15th centuries. After we reach our beachfront hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure in this splendid setting.
Hyatt Regency Danang

DAY 8 - Wednesday, October 17

Da Nang/Hoi An

This morning we visit nearby Hoi An, where a succession of Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese traders helped to build an architecturally diverse and colorful village where many ancient traditions still hold sway. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Hoi An’s Old Town is a charming car-free pedestrian zone lined with tailors, shops, and art galleries. This afternoon is at leisure to either remain in Hoi An on your own or return to our beachside resort for a relaxing interlude.
Hyatt Regency Danang

Day 9 - Thursday, October 18

Da Nang

A morning walking tour of a nearby farming settlement reveals the daily life of a local community up close. Here rice paddies occupy every spare patch of ground, water buffaloes plow the fields, and villagers ride to market with produce piled high on their bicycles. Later we enjoy a cooking lesson and dinner in Hoi An.
Hyatt Regency Danang

Day 10 - Friday, October 19

Da Nang/Hue

We depart this morning by coach for the ancient imperial capital of Hue, whose palaces, temples, and tombs evoke its past grandeur as home to emperors and mandarins. After checking in at our hotel, this afternoon we embark on a traditional cyclo ride. Enjoying this unique vantage point, we explore the Imperial City housing the Forbidden Purple City complex where emperors lived with their families and now a UNESCO site. We also visit the busy Dong Ba central market. Tonight we enjoy a special Hue dinner, accompanied by traditional music.
Saigon Morin Hotel

Day 11 - Saturday, October 20


Vietnam Hue StatuaryThis morning we cruise along Hue’s Perfume River to peaceful Thien Mu Pagoda, a Buddhist monastery that ranks among the city’s oldest and most important monuments. After admiring the seven-story octagonal tower, we visit the palatial Tomb of Minh Mang (c. 1840), with its pavilions and courtyards modeled after the Ming Tombs of China. This afternoon we see the tombs of Tu Duc, a gem of royal architecture; and Khai Dinh, an elaborate mix of ancient and modern, European and Asian.
Saigon Morin Hotel

Day 12 - Sunday, October 21

Hue/Saigon/Can Tho

Today begins with an early morning flight to Saigon. Upon arrival we board a motorcoach for the three-hour drive south to the Mekong River town of Cai Be then on to the busy river port and provincial capital of Can Tho.
Victoria Can Tho Resort

Day 13 - Monday, October 22

Can Tho/Mekong Delta

We rise early for a tour highlight: a journey by boat to the bustling floating market at Cai Rang, one of the region’s largest, on the Mekong’s lower reaches. Then we go ashore to visit the Old Can Tho market. After lunch together at a local restaurant, we travel by motorcoach to the upper reaches of the storied Mekong. Here we board motorized sampans for an up-close look at river life as we explore the maze of tributaries and inlets that lead to tiny settlements and villages populated by fishermen and farmers.
Victoria Can Tho Resort

Day 14 - Tuesday, October 23

Mekong Delta/Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City Hall
Ho Chi Minh City Hall

Today we travel by coach to Saigon (the name Ho Chi Minh City is used interchangeably), arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant. Our afternoon tour includes the former Presidential Palace, which served as the South Vietnamese government’s wartime headquarters. Now called Reunification Palace, it was here that the first Communist tanks rolled in to Saigon on April 30, 1975; it remains preserved as a museum almost exactly as it was on that day. We also tour the History Museum, with its excellent collection of art and artifacts of the
indigenous peoples of Vietnam.
Sofitel Saigon Plaza

Day 15 - Wednesday, October 24


This morning we visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, the infamous underground network from which North Vietnamese forces operated in wartime. Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner.
Sofitel Saigon Plaza

Day 16 - Thursday, October 25

Depart for U.S.

Following a day at leisure for independent exploration or to enjoy our hotel’s amenities, late this evening we depart for the airport and our overnight flight to the U.S. Our rooms are reserved for our late check-out.

Day 17 - Friday, October 26

Arrive U.S.

We arrive in the U.S. and connect with our flights home

Please note: This trip involves full days of sightseeing and significant amounts of walking on stairs and uneven surfaces as well as embarkation/disembarkation on small boats.

Post-Tour Extension
Cambodia: Angkor Wat, October 25-27, 2018
3 days/2 nights for $895 total price (Single supplement: $245)

Included in Extension Price: Air transportation Ho Chi Minh City/Siem Reap, inclusive of airline taxes and fees; 2 nights accommodations: in Siem Reap at Sofitel Angkor (Deluxe); 4 meals: 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners; Three days’ sightseeing in Angkor complex (UNSECO World Heritage site), including all entrance fees; Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; Private motorcoach transportation; Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.

Extension Day-by-Day Itinerary

DAY 16: Thursday, October 25
Saigon/Siem Reap, Cambodia

We fly today to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where we meet our Odysseys Unlimited representative at the airport and transfer to our hotel. Then we head out early this afternoon for our first excursion, which takes us to the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmers whose once mighty Khmer empire dominated much of Southeast Asia for more than 600 years. Sites here include the Terrace of the Elephants, eight feet high and nearly 1,000 feet in length with a lotus seat at its center for the king; Terrace of the Leper King, with its emblematic – and enigmatic – statue of a king whose likeness remains a source of speculation; and the stunning Bayon Temple, an imposing stone edifice of 54 towers each carved with four serene faces and decorated with bas reliefs detailing events of the reign of King Jayavarman VII (1181–1202).

After our first taste of the Khmers’ abundant cultural treasures here, we gather for dinner together at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 17: Friday, October 26
Siem Reap/Angkor Wat

Very early this morning we transfer to the Angkor Wat complex of temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the three great Buddhist sites of the Eastern world (the others are Borobudur in Java, Indonesia, and Bagan in Myanmar). For many years, Angkor Wat was rumored to be a lost city, hidden from the world until its discovery by French explorer Henri Moughot in the mid-19th century. In fact, however, it was very much a living city until 1431, when the Thais forced the Khmer court to move southeast. Studies reveal that Angkor Wat was inhabited until recently, a contention proven by the fact that one of its main temples contained Buddhist statuary from every century between the 15th and the 19th. Today the site contains magnificent temples and statuary from the Angkorian Empire, which in its heyday rivaled those of Greece and Egypt; as well as various Hindu and Buddhist imagery. It took more than 500,000 artisans, workers, and slaves some 37 years to complete and comprises five towers, each reaching more than 180 feet high. Serenaded by the sounds of the jungle, we enter Angkor Wat Temple, the world’s largest religious building. Here we witness the intricate detail of the bas reliefs and artwork depicting mythological battles and scenes of everyday life.

Our next destination is the temple of Preah Khan, a complex of halls and pavilions, causeways and moats, and sculpted garudas and serpents built by King Jayavarman VII in memory of his father and currently being restored by the World Monuments Fund. After returning to the hotel for lunch on our own, this afternoon we visit the 12th-century temple of Ta Prohm, a mystical, decaying Buddhist shrine dedicated to the encroaching jungle. Built in memory of King Jayavarman VII’s mother, the ruins here have not been touched – they are exactly as they were when first discovered, with massive tree roots virtually strangling parts of the stone façades. More than 100 temples stand here, struggling to keep the jungle at bay. Then we return to the hotel and enjoy dinner together, followed by a cultural dance show.
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 18: Saturday October 27
Siem Reap/Depart for U.S.

Our day begins with a visit to tiny Banteay Srei, a temple built for the Hindu god Shiva in the 10th century with exceptional carvings in its red sandstone walls. Banteay Srei’s artistry on a miniature scale distinguishes it from other Angkorian temples, and has earned it the nickname “the jewel of Khmer art.” We continue on to Banteay Samre, an elaborate 12th-century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Banteay Samre is one of Angkor’s most complete complexes, thanks to restoration efforts using original materials. We then return to our hotel, where we have time for lunch on our own and to re-pack for our journey home. Our rooms have been reserved for our late check-out.
*If booking your own flights, you should look for something late in the afternoon so that you may enjoy this morning’s touring.


• Hanoi – InterContinental Hanoi Westlake
• Ha Long Bay – Wyndham Legend Halong
• Da Nang – Hyatt Regency Danang
• Hue – Saigon Morin Hotel
• Can Tho (Mekong Delta) – Victoria Can Tho Resort
• Saigon – Sofitel Saigon Plaza


26 meals: 13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 8 dinners

Program Fees

$3,695 per person, double occupancy, land only.

$4,295 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, plus $192 airline taxes and fees.

$4,945 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Charlottesville, VA, plus $192 airline taxes and fees.

A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,495 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

Airline upgrades on round-trip international flight: Business Class – $4,195; Premium Economy – $1,495 per person plus $192 airline taxes and fees.

Price Includes:
Round-trip air transportation from specific cities
13 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels
Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
Luggage handling for one bag per person
Gatuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.

Price Does Not Include: Airfare when purchasing a Land Only package; airfare from your hometown to your departure city; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per traveler, per day); and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.

General Terms & Conditions

Please read this information carefully, as payment of a $500 deposit per person represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.

Cavalier Travels reserves the right to use photos that might include you in marketing materials and other purposes unless you specify otherwise.

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $500 per person confirms your reservation. The balance of your invoice is due 95 days (July 8, 2018) before departure.

Included in Tour Price: Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; 13 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels; extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees; services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director; private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip; luggage handling for one bag per person; gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.

Not Included in Tour Price: Airfare when purchasing a Land Only package; airfare from your hometown to your departure city; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a Land Only package; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuities: $10-$15 per traveler, per day); and travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.

Cancellation, Refunds, and Changes: If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon the University of Virginia’s receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges: cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge; cancel 94-65 days before departure: 50% of tour price; cancel 64-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price; cancel 29-0 days before departure: no refund. If you make any changes to your reservation from 94 to 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure.

Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport, as well as your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Responsibility: The liability of the University of Virginia, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchase transportation, hotel accommodations, and restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent, or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, or of their employees, agents, servants, or representatives. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including, without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts, and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise lines, and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality.

Health and Medical Issues: We request that you be in fairly good health to participate in this University of Virginia tour. There is a considerable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches and boats on your own. We regret that we cannot offer individual assistance; in such cases you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. Please note that many of our tour itineraries, for reasons beyond our control, do not accommodate wheelchairs. Please call or e-mail us to inquire and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. and the University of Virginia assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

Air Transportation – Important Information: Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities, and contracts with those airlines the company feels provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air schedule approximately 2½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignment on your international flight is usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including, but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, Land Only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservation, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.