Halong Bay Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 263

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Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 1: Saigon

Welcome to Saigon! You will be met at the airport for transfer to your hotel in Saigon. The rest of the day is free. Saigon is a bustling, dynamic and industrious urban center. It is the largest city in Vietnam, the economic capital and the cultural trendsetter. Yet within the teeming metropolis are the timeless traditions and beauty of an ancient culture.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 2: Saigon

After breakfast, travel out of Saigon and spend the full day boating along the waterways of the lush Mekong Delta. On arrival in Cai Be district, take a boat ride to visit a local orchard and the Cai Be floating market. Approximately 400-500 boats loaded to the gunnels with fruit, vegetables and other local produce anchor or moor along the banks of the river every day waiting to offload their goods to wholesale traders or local customers. Leaving Cai Be, visit some cottage industry workshops making coconut candy, crispy rice cakes, rice paper, etc. We visit a local house and enjoy a local delicacy - Elephant’s-Ear fish. After lunch, take a stroll around the village to see local's go about their daily lives.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 3: Saigon - Siem Reap

This morning is free time to explore until our Flight to Siem Reap. On arrival in Siem Reap you will be transferred to your hotel and the rest of the afternoon is yours free to explore.

Day 4: Siem Reap

Today we will enter the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple and marvel the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and terrace of Leper King. Ta Prohm Temple unlike most of the other Angkor temples, Ta Prohm has been left just it was founded: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. In the afternoon, we visit the famous Angkor Wat, built for king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. Here we enjoy a superb sunset before we return to our hotel for the evening.

Day 5: Siem Reap - Hoi An

After breakfast at hotel, we will set out for a cruise on beautiful Tonle Sap Lake, passing a floating village and seeing the daily life of local people there. If time permitted, visit Les Chan tiers Ecoles Artisans D' Angkor this is a workshop that teaches the unique craft of wood and stone carving in the traditional and style of classic Cambodian artistry. And shopping at old market, one of the traditional market which selling many kind of local products. You will then be transferred to the airport for the flight to Danang (via Ho Chi Minh). Upon arrival, our guide and car will pick you up and transfer you back to Hoi An.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Days 6-8: Hoi An

Today and the next 3 days are yours free for relaxation on the beach or exploration of Hoi An town at your own leisure.

An old lady farming at Tra Que Organic Farm near Hoi An

Day 9: Hoi An - Hue

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred from Hoi An to Hue. On the way to down to Danang, visit the Cham Museum and stop in for a refreshment break at Lang Co beach, one of the World’s most beautiful bays before continuing our drive to Hue. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City, created in the 19th century for the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Enjoy some “retail therapy” at Dong Ba Market before returning to the hotel for the evening.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 10: Hue - Hanoi

In the morning, take a boat ride along the romantic Perfume River. Stop off at the Thien Mu Pagoda on the banks of the river to see the 7-storey Stupa. Continue on to visit the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang (1791-1841), built between 1841 and 1843. The Emperor’s mausoleum complex consists of 40 constructions (palaces, temples, pavilions etc.) designed on a symmetrical axis. In the afternoon, take the transfer from Hue to Danang and then get on a short flight flight to Hanoi. On arrival, you will be met at the airport for the transfer to your hotel. Renowned as the ’Paris of the East’, Hanoi is one of Asia’s most fascinating cities. Rich in culture and history, this diverse city draws on its influences from both French and Chinese culture.

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 11: Hanoi

This morning we take a guided tour to Temple of Literature, followed by a visit to The Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s house-on-stilt and nearby One Pillar Pagoda. We continue our drive out of the city centre for lunch and a cooking demonstration at a local house. The Chef will show us how to prepare rolled rice pancake, Vietnamese food carving and more. In the afternoon, we visit Vietnam History museum, The Hanoi Opera House and finish the day with a Old Quarter Walking tour. This provides you an authentic Hanoi where you could witness Hanoi's rich cultural and artistic history by visiting The last blacksmith of the Old quarter and Silk flower shop. We finish our day by attending a thousand year old Water puppet Show.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 12: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning we drive through the countryside to Ha Long Bay, a natural wonder with thousands of islands rising out of the water. On arrival, embark on one of thetraditional vessels for an overnight cruise through the 3,000 limestone islands, many punctuated by caves and grottoes. Savor a delicious Vietnamese buffet lunch as Bhaya Classic heads to Bai Tu Long Bay passing the towns of Hon Gai and Cam Pha, Oan Lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets. Take a row boat to visit the Vung Vieng fishing village. Enjoy a range of fantastic recreation or relaxation activities onboard: a cooking demonstration, traditional massage, swimming, kayaking etc.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 13: Halong Bay - Hanoi

We start this morning with traditional morning exercise at sunrise, as we weigh anchor and cruise through the Bay passing beautiful spots like Trong (Drum), Trinh Nu (Virgin) and Me Cung Caves, Coc Ngoi (Toad) Islet, etc. Explore the Surprise Cave (Sung Sot). Buffet brunch is served onboard. The vessel cruises leisurely back to Ha Long harbor. On arrival you will be transferred back to Hanoi.

The Huc Bridge

Day 14: Hanoi

Today the morning is free to explore and pick up any last minute souvenirs at your leisure. Our arrangements will end with a departure transfer to the airport.