Hanoi Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 342

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Hello Hanoi! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi

Begin your holiday, the traditional Vietnamese way, with a bowl of steaming Pho at one of Hanoi's most popular eateries. Afterwards we continue to Hoan Kiem Lake for a morning stroll. This central lake is focal point for many of the local residents who live close to the lake and gather there each day to practice Tai Chi, play badminton and do aerobics. Then it is time for a fun cooking class at one of the best schools in Hanoi, with a renowned local chef to teach and assist you. You enjoy a visit to the local market, and get to try your creations at the end. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Perhaps take stroll along the ancient streets of the exotic old quarter.

The Huc Bridge

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning transfer from your hotel in Hanoi to Halong City, the drive takes about 4 hours and you will stop off for a refreshment break en route. Upon arrival meet the crew of the traditional Junk boat at the dock and cruise to the famous islands of UNESCO Listed Halong Bay and on to Bai Tu Long Bay. Aside from the cave visit and swimming, there is a chance to explore this stunning area by sea kayak. Return back to the Junk for a scrumptious dinner and watch an incredible sunset over the bay.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 4: Halong Bay

Transfer to Bhaya Spirit for Lan Ha Bay excursion. Cycling on Cat Ba Island if weather permits or guided kayaking and swimming at Three Peach Beach, a pristine natural beach lapped by the turquoise waters. Fresh seafood lunch is served onboard. Continue your discovery of Ho Ba Ham Islet, the most remote point in Lan Ha Bay and bordering the Gulf of Tonkin. Possibility of kayaking through an amazing tunnel under a karst mountain if time permits. Return to Bhaya Classic. The vessel cruises back through the bay to its overnight anchorage near Ho Dong Tien. Sumptuous set-dinner onboard. Enjoy the movie or join our staff at the reception for squid fishing

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 5: Halong Bay - Saigon

Bhaya Classic weighs anchor to cruise through the Bay passing beautiful spots like Trong (Drum), Trinh Nu (Virgin) and Me Cung Caves, Coc Ngoi (Toad) Islet, etc. Return to Bhaya Classic. Buffet brunch is served onboard. The vessel cruises leisurely back to harbor. Disembark at our cruise center in Tuan Chau. Transfer to Hanoi for your flight to Ho Chi Minh. Upon arrival, our guide and car will take you to hotel. Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as the city is still frequently referred to, is Vietnam’s largest city.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 6: Saigon

Our first stop is at the Reunification Palace, the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.. You can visit the “War Room” from where the South Vietnamese forces were controlled, and most poignantly, the room where the North Vietnamese army finally took control in 1975. The nearby Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 is one of the city’s major landmarks. Next visit is to the War Remnants Museum. Afternoon visit Giac Lam Pagoda – Saigon’s oldest pagoda of which the architecture, layout, and ornamentation remain almost unaltered. Final visit of the day is to Ben Thanh Market – a fantastic place for bargains of every kind!

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 7: Saigon

Today we visit Cu Chi Tunnel, we watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. Also on displaying are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs. We then spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels to see the first-hand how the Viet Cong communists were able to survive in this underground network. Take the drive to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, which is refered to a “Walt Disney fantasia of the East”. The religion is a hybrid of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. The interior is just as engaging as statues of Jesus Christ, Buddha and the Hindu god – Brahma stand side by side.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 8: Saigon - Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City - Can Tho. Enjoy a cruise on the Mekong Delta today! Sightseeing begins with a visit to Cai Be's colourful floating market and a visit to some local home factories such as rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies, and longans drying processing. Known as the 'Rice Bowl' of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is a beautiful fertile region with lush rice paddy fields and fruit plantations. Soak up the riverside views as you cruise along the Mekong canals to Dong Hoa Hiep Island. Discover beautiful landscapes, observe typical Mekong delta rural life on the remote islands and enjoy a tasty lunch at a superb Indochine style restaurant Spend the night in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

A local man in front of an ancient building in Hoi An

Day 9: Can Tho - Saigon

Can Tho - Phnom Penh. Rise early for a morning boat trip to the extraordinary floating market at Cai Rang. Observe boats jostling for position as the locals engage in frenetic trading and be sure to have your camera ready for some great photo opportunities. Return to Can Tho before driving to Saigon for overnight. .

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 10: Saigon - Siem Reap

After breakfast, free until transfer to airport for the flight to Siem Reap. Welcome to Siem Reap! Upon arrival at airport meet our guide and driver transfer to check in hotel to store luggage then discover the Rolous Group Temples located just outside Siem Reap. The temples date back to the late ninth century and are believed to denote the beginning of the ‘classic period’ in Khmer architecture. .

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 11: Siem Reap

Breakfast at hotel, 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. The largest and best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre—first Hindu, then Buddhist—since its foundation. In the evening, enjoy the superb view of sunset from Phnom Bakheng hill.

Day 12: Siem Reap

After breakfast, we will spend about half hour journey to reach Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual temples of Angkor, Cambodia. It lies 20 km due north of the main group. Two concentric walls enclosed the ensemble. Pre Rup: Architecturally and artistically superior temple-mountain. Beautifully carved false doors on upper level, as well as an excellent view of the surrounding countryside. In the afternoon, 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. The rest of time, shopping at old market where you can try your bargain skill to get local products back home.

Day 13: Siem Reap - Phnom Penh

After breakfast, we will depart to Phnom Penh Capital multicultural city at the confluence of the historic Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac Rivers. Spending around 06 hours maximum, upon arrival check in hotel for refreshment. Our city tour will start to visit the Royal Palace, the incredible solid silver-floored Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artefacts. In the evening, enjoy 01 hour boat cruise on Mekong River to explore night life of Cambodian.

Day 14: Phnom Penh

Today, we will visit Wat Phnom, a 15th century stupa. Wat Phnom, a small hill crowned by an active wat (pagoda) marks the legend of Phnom Penh City. Independent Monument, 100 Naga construction. Wat Phnom: the only one hill in Phnom Penh and historical of Lady Penh, and Phnom Penh City. Toul Sleng Genocide Museum formed Tuol Svay Prey High School, it become the prison during Pol Pot Regime (1975-1979), now it is museum that keeping the record of victim, skull, cloth…etc. Lunch by own account. Shopping at The Toul Tom Pong Market (Russian Market) is the city’s best place to shop for art objects, including textiles, antiques, wood and marble carvings, various ritual objects and old Indochinese coins.

Day 15: Phnom Penh

After breakfast, we drive about an hour west of Phnom Penh we will reach the hills of the abandoned Royal City Oudong or Phnom Preah Reach Troup (Hill of the Royal Fortune). After arrival, we climb up the mountain to view an excellent countryside view. There are many stupas of the ancient king on the top of the mountain, one of the new stupas contain eyebrow hairs and a piece of bone from Buddha himself.

Day 16: Phnom Penh

After breakfast, you will free at leisure till transfer to airport for departure flight