Saigon Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 365

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Good morning Vietnam! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your city centre hotel. Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Hanoi is the charming capital and cultural heart of Vietnam. Spend the remains of the day at leisure.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi

This morning head to Hoan Kiem Lake which is the very heart of the city. Residents of Hanoi congregate around the lake early each morning to partake in Tai chi, aerobics and other light exercise. We tuck into a traditional Vietnamese breakfast (Pho) at a café boasting marvelous views of the lake. Prepare yourself for a truly unique cooking class experience! In the afternoon, enjoy a guided city tour of Hanoi. Sightseeing includes the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Monday), widely acknowledged as the best in the country, containing an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority peoples and the Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070.

The Huc Bridge

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Upon arrival in Hanoi, freshen up before driving to Halong City (approx 4 hours), stopping for refreshments en route. At UNESCO Listed Halong Bay limestone peaks and forest clad islets, hidden coves and beautiful beaches await discovery! Board your Junk boat and cruise to the famous islands of Halong Bay and onto Bai Tu Long Bay, stopping to visit a cave and swim in the warm waters. There is a chance to explore more this stunning area by sea kayak. Return to the Junk boat for a tasty dinner and a memorable night in beautiful surrounds.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 4: Halong Bay - Hue

Wake up to see a spectacular sunrise over the bay! This morning cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng - where you'll gain a fascinating insight into local life. Cruising back to the dock arrive into Halong City around noon then transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 5: Hue

Your tour begins after breakfast with the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. Spend the morning wandering through the enclosure before lunch and a trip into the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place of the Emperors at two of the most impressive Royal Tombs. This evening, take a scenic boat cruise along the Perfume River.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 6: Hue - Hoi An

This morning, continue south to the riverside town of Hoi An. The five hour trip hugs the coastline along the South China Sea with breathtaking views particularly as the road winds its way up Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the Clouds”). Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, renowned for its silk and popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops and numerous cafes. In the afternoon, enjoy a half day walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house and the Japanese Covered Bridge.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 7: Hoi An

Day at leisure in Hoi An.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 8: Hoi An - Nha Trang

Transfer to the airport in Danang and fly to the coastal resort of Nha Trang. Upon arrival, you have your own transfer and accommodation booked independent to this trip. Spend the remains of the day at leisure. Nha Trang is a popular coastal resort in central Vietnam, with 7kms of white sandy beach and pristine waters surrounded by archipelagoes and mountains.

Day 9: Nha Trang

Day at leisure in Nha Trang.

Day 10: Nha Trang

A day of leisure and indulgence as we cruise through blue clear waters amongst the islands off Nha Trang including hotels transfers. We take drive to Cau Da port where we will embark on our boat. We cruise to visit the Tri Nguyen Aquarium, a small world of many sea species of local province at Mieu Island. We will then head out to Mun Island where you have the chance for swimming and optional snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Lunch stop is at the fishing village of Lang Chai where there is time to explore further before boarding the boat back to Nha Trang harbor.

boats at Mun Island, Nha Trang - by Bruno (BRA)

Day 11: Nha Trang - Saigon

You have your own transfer to the airport arranged. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure in this lively and cosmopolitan metropolis with its gleaming sky scrapers, expensive restaurants, bars and designer shops, which stand in stark contrast to the ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and ramshackle markets.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 12: Saigon

Take a morning excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, north west of the city. This immense network of connecting underground tunnels, were used by the Viet Cong and one of the famous battle grounds in the Vietnam War. Watch a short introductory video on the construction of the tunnels before exploring the maze of tunnels, accompanied by the guide. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500-pound bombs from B52 bombers. Returning to Ho Chi Minh City at around 2pm, stop for lunch before visiting some of the city's major attractions including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 13: Saigon - 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 resort. Spend the night in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 14: Can Tho - Chau Doc

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 Chau Doc for overnight.

Day 15: Chau Doc - Phnom Penh

After breakfast, take the speed boat from Chau Doc to Phnompenh (appx timing 0700am-1200pm). Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Cambodia's energetic capital is noted for its beautiful colonial architecture and historic sites. O See the highlights of this bustling, vibrant city on a guided tour today, including the fascinating Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum. You can climb the hill to Wat Phnom, the city’s main temple, where you’ll find throngs of worshippers and troops of monkeys.

Day 16: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

We fly this morning to Siem Reap. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Siem Reap is an ideal base to explore Cambodia's legendary Angkor Temple complex. This afternoon, ride a Tuk Tuk to visit 12th century Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire. Starting at the South Gate, take a walk along the ancient city wall to see the lost temple of Prasat Chroung. Continue on to the spectacular Bayon temple, where you are surrounded by the smiling faces of numerous Buddhas. Also visit the Terrace of the Elephants, the Royal Palace and the Terrace of the Leper King.

Day 17: Siem Reap

Time to explore more of the Angkor Temple Complex, undoubtedly one of the world's greatest archaeological sites! Rise early this morning and travel by Tuk Tuk to visit the incredible jungle enveloped temple of Ta Prohm, which featured in the film 'Tomb Raider'. Next, visit the spectacular Angkor Wat temple - the world's largest religious building and Cambodia's number one attraction! Learn about the glories of the Kingdom of Angkor before returning to the hotel for a late breakfast and a rest. Continue sightseeing this afternoon with a visit to the temple of Banteay Srei or ‘Citadel of the Women’. On your way back to Siem Reap, enjoy the sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.

Day 18: Siem Reap

This morning take a Tuk Tuk to the edge of Siem Reap and enjoy a fun buffalo cart ride through the countryside until you reach the Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake; the Tonle Sap. Board a boat and spend the rest of the morning at one of the largest floating villages on the lake which is called Kompong Phluk. In the village you will witness the fascinating daily lives of the local people who live on the water. The boat service is provided by local people, and the profit goes directly back to the community. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 19: Siem Reap

Today your exciting On The Go adventure comes to an end after breakfast, hotel check out and a transfer to the airport for your flight home.


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