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Hello Hanoi! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure.
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.
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 you will 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 Halong Bay and transfer to the train station for the overnight train to Hue.
Upon arrival in Hue, transfer directly to the hotel. Hue was the Vietnamese capital during the Nguyen Dynasty 1802-1945 and ruins of the city’s regal past can still be seen inside the Citadel and the Imperial City. 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 enjoy a scenic cruise along the Perfume River.
This morning, continue south to the picturesque riverside town of Hoi An. The five hour drive takes you along the South China Sea coastline with breathtaking views particularly as the road winds its way up Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the Clouds”). From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port. 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. This 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.
Today enjoy a full day tour which gives you an insight into the lives of the farming and fishing communities in this beautiful region. Begin your adventure by cycling out into the countryside to the village of Tra Que. This charming little settlement is famous for its sweet scented green vegetables that spice up Hoi An’s famous delicacies.You learn the history of the village and the cultivation of the vegetables. Continue with a walk and join the farmers in preparing the land and planting some crops. Finish off your village experience with a fun cooking demonstration. Later, return to Hoi An and board the Eco Tour boat for a river cruise to meet and engage with local fisherman.
Spend the day independantly at leisure on the beach or opt to have clothes made by one of the expert, inexpensive tailors Hoi An is famous for. If you like to cook, you can spend a fabulous day exploring the local produce market with an expert chef who will teach you the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine (book and pay for locally).
Transfer to the airport in Danang this morning and catch the flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as the city is still frequently referred to, is Vietnam’s largest city. Enjoy a guided tour of the city this afternoon. Highlights include the Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office. Dong Khoi Street, which is home to many boutiques and fine restaurants, the Opera House and the beautiful Peoples’ Committee Building. The War Remnants Museum, Formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes and the Reunification Palace which is one of the most important buildings in the city.
After breakfast take a day trip north west of Ho Chi Minh to the historic Cu Chi region and visit the vast underground network of tunnels built first as a defense against the French and later expanded during the American war. Here you will learn more about the Vietnam War and the guerrilla tactics of the Viet Cong. Travel underground into the network of tunnels and see secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms. Return to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving early afternoon.
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.
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.
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. 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.
This morning you can visit the sobering and poignant Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which documents the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge against the Cambodian people. Then travel out of town to Choeung Ek, the “Killing Fields”, where over 17,000 people were murdered and buried in mass graves by the Khmer Rouge.
Spend time at leisure this morning before your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. With its picturesque location, Siem Reap is an ideal base to explore Cambodia's legendary Angkor Temple complex over the next two days. 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.
Time to explore more of the Angkor Temple Complex. Rise early this morning to avoid the crowds 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! Enjoy a guided tour around this huge structure and 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. On your way back enjoy the sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.
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.
Today your exciting Asian adventure comes to an end after breakfast, hotel check out and a transfer to the airport for your flight home.