|Vietnam and Cambodia|
includes all but air ($300 single in room)
includes all but air ($225 single in room)
Depart USA, crossing international dateline, arriving Hanoi October 16
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Maison D'Hanoi Hanova hotel www.hanovahotel.com
Hanoi Full Day City Tour (B, L)
This city tour takes in Hanoi’s essential sites. There is a morning and afternoon schedule, as well as lunch.
You are met at 08:30am in the hotel lobby.
Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum
The Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070
A local Vietnamese lunch
Museum of Ethnology, widely acknowledged as the best in the country, containing an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples
Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake - the Ngoc Son temple is set on a tiny island on Hoan Kiem Lake, its history dating back to the 13th century
A one-hour cycle tour through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi!
A traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets
Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
Depart at 08:30am from the hotel. In the morning, transfer from the hotel in Hanoi to Halong Bay - about 4 hours with a refreshment break en route. Meet the crew upon boarding the traditional wooden junk, then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads towards the secluded Bai Tu Long Bay. Visit ancient limestone caves and go sea kayaking and swimming if the weather permits. Return to the junk refreshed and invigorated and relax on deck with a drink to watch the sunset. Enjoy a freshly prepared seafood dinner under the stars.
Hotel: Dragon's Pearl Cruise www.indochina-junk.com
Halong - Hanoi (Brunch). Overnight train to Dong Hoi.
Wake up and enjoy breakfast on the beautiful Halong Bay. Cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng. Meet the locals and learn about daily life here. Return to the main dock around noon where the van is waiting to depart to Hanoi, arriving at the hotel about 16:00pm for refreshment before boarding the overnight train (train bed) to Dong Hoi. (SE1 departing at 19.00)
Notes: Refreshment room at mini hotel included.
Dong Hoi (B, L, D)
Arrive Dong Hoi station early this morning (around 5.00 AM), transfer to Chay Lap village, a 45 minute drive just outside the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. After arriving at the village, you will then be welcomed by a local family at the local house. Your stay for the night is in a traditional, yet comfortable house built intricately using the local available resources. This will enable you to have a comfortable stay in the local home-stay experience.
You will be participating in different activities during the day such as a Dragon Boat tour into the Phong Nha Cave. After your return to the village to explore local life style, you will have an opportunity to participate in social activities such as fishing in the pond, planting and gardening, or even playing football with the locals in the afternoon. After a day filled with excitement and fun, you will be served dinner with well cooked fresh locally grown food.
Dong Hoi - Flight to Saigon (B)
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (current flight time 12.25// 14.00). Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Then spend the afternoon to visit some highlights of this bustling city.
Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as the city is still frequently referred to, is Vietnam’s largest city. It is a fast-paced metropolis full of contrasts, with street vendors selling fruit and vegetables next to glitzy western-style bars and boutiques. Amazingly, the city’s history dates back only 300 years. In 1859 the city was captured by the French and became the capital of Cochin China. From 1956 until April 1975 it was the capital of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is very much the heart of Vietnamese business and entrepreneurial activity. The French left their mark with some fine colonial-era buildings such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.
The Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office: Built between 1877 and 1883 this is one of the best examples of classical French colonial architecture. Remarkably every stone used in its creation was shipped from France to Vietnam. Her two forty metre towers, topped with iron spires, still dominate the city’s skyline. The Old Post Office is another example of French colonial architecture and is also the country’s largest post office.
Dong Khoi Street, the Opera House and the Peoples’ Committee Building: built in 1897 by French architect Ferret Eugene, the 800 seat Opera House was used as the home of the Lower House Assembly of Sourth Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was again used for performances. The structure was restored in 1995. The Opera House is located on the historical Dong Khoi Street which is home to many boutiques and fine restaurants. Just around the corner are the iconic Rex hotel and the beautiful Peoples’ Committee Building.
The Reunification Palace: This is one of the most important buildings in the city. Here on April 30th 1975 the ‘American War’ officially ended when tank number 843 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of what was, at the time the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam.
Hotel: Liberty Central Hotel www.libertycentralhotel.com
Ho Chi Minh City – Cai Be Princess (B,L) – Private cruise and transfer
Depart at 08:00am from the hotel.
Your one day cruise excursion starts from Ho Chi Minh City with a drive to Cai Be - Phu An where you board the Cai Be Princess at around 10:00am. The tour will start with the visit of Cai Be colourful floating market. Visit of some local home factories such as rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies, and longans drying processing.
The trip continues along the Mekong canals to Dong Hoa Hiep Island located between Vinh Long and Cai Be. During the cruise you will discover beautiful landscapes along the river and observe the typical Mekong delta rural life. These evergreen islands among the Mekong River still remain unknown to many people.
Lunch awaits you at Le Longanier restaurant at La Residence de Phu An Resort, a superb Indochine style resort. After a short walk along a narrow canal, the excursion will end at around 15:30pm where the vehicle is waiting to transfer you back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B)
Transfer to the airport for the flight out of Vietnam.
If continuing to Cambodia:
Siem Reap Arrival (B)
Upon arrival, you are met by your guide and transferred from the airport to your hotel. Then take a half day trip of Tonle Sap Lake.
Not far from the Angkor Complex lies huge Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and the lifeblood of Cambodia. In the wet season, the Lake swells to 12,000 km² but during the dry season, it shrinks to a fraction of that size. Each year, millions of fish come to spawn in the seasonally flooded mangrove forest surrounding the lake, attracting a myriad of water birds. Three million people also depend upon it for their food and livelihoods. This valuable ecosystem was classified as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997.
A short drive south of Siem Reap is followed by a boat tour of the floating villages and surrounding wildlife. The rest of the day is free for leisure activities.
Prince D'Angkor Hotel (all nights here) http://www.princedangkor.com/
Siem Reap – Angkor Thom, National Muse um & Dinner Dance Show (B, L, D)
Begin your day at the South Gate of Angkor Thom, where you will start your exploration of the centerpiece of this a ncient city, the Bayon. The Bayon encloses 54 towers decorated with more than 200 enigmatically smiling stone faces. The morning tour also visits the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of Leper Kings, as well as Ta Prohm Temple, famously featured in the movie Tomb Raider.
After lunch, visit the Angkor National Museum to see displays of numerous artifacts and multimedia presentations of Angkorian history and culture. The afternoon ends with a traditional Apsara dance show, bringing ancient Khmer culture to life in spectacular surroundings while you enjoy the very best in Cambodian cuisine.
Banteay Srey and Banteay Samre – Angko r Wat (B)
After breakfast, the tour visits the exquisite Banteay Srey, “Citadel of the Woman”, home to some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art, followed by a tour of Banteay Samre.
Afterwards , enjoy a relaxed lunch in Siem Reap before heading to the famous Angkor Wat - best preserved of all the Angkor temples and Sunset at Bakheng Mountain. Time is allowed for a thorough exploration before heading back to the hotel.
Silk farm village and city tour (B, L)
The morning is sp ent visiting the Silk farm at pouk village, Artisan the angkor. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxed lunch in Siem Reap before city tour to see where people work making wood furniture or other crafts, after that to see the local market. The rest of day is free leisure.
Siem Reap Departure (B)
At leisure, until you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Phonm Penh.