Mai Chau Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 570

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A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 1: Hanoi

Arriving in Hanoi, our guide will be at the airport to welcome you and transfer you to the hotel. Rest of the day is free.

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

Day 2: Hanoi

This morning visit Ba Dinh Square where silent sentries guard the marble and granite mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state. Tour the Ho Chi Minh Museum, an extraordinary tribute in abstract form to the life of the ‘father of country’ and the evolution of Vietnamese independence. Also see the famous One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature. In the afternoon explore the tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture, including the Opera House and pass by the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake en route to the History and Fine Arts Museums. Then take a walk through the winding and bustling streets of the atmospheric Ancient Quarter (otherwise known as the 36 Streets).

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 3: Hanoi - Mai Chau

We pick you up early today and head west towards Hoa Binh City where we stop for refreshments. Leaving Hoa Binh towards the Mai Chau valley, about another two hours away, stopping on the way to take in the spectacular scenery. Upon arrival in Mai Chau, we will visit Poom Cong village and have lunch at local family. After lunch, we will walk around to visit the White Thai village of Poom Cong and Lac for watching local artisans weaving their beautiful handicrafts. Have a dinner at local house. Tonight you will be entertained by a traditional dance performance by the local Thai tribe. Overnight in the traditional house built on stilts.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 4: Mai Chau - Hue

After breakfast, enjoy some of your free time or stroll around the village to see the daily lives of the white Thai people such as rice planting, herding water buffalos. Transfer direct to Noi Bai airport for your flight to Danang in central Vietnam (around 5 hours). Upon arrival in Hue, you are met and transferred to Hue by road.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 5: Hue

The 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.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

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. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century and much of the town is now heritage-listed. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided walking tour through Hoi An. Overnight Hoian Beach Resort - Seaside View Villa

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 7: Hoi An

Free day at your leisure. Overnight Hoian Beach Resort - Seaside View Villa

A Cambodian child by Christoph Rooms

Day 8: Hoi An

Enjoy a full day tour which provides an insight into the lives of the farming and fishing communities in this beautiful region. Cycle out into the countryside and after a short ride arrive at the village of Tra Que. Tra Que is famous for its sweet scented green vegetables that spice up Hoi An’s famous delicacies such Cao Lau and Mi Quang. You will have a walk around the vegetable garden and join the farmers in preparing the land and planting some crops, before having a cooking demonstration. Later, return to Hoi An and free time.

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

Day 9: Hoi An - Saigon

We will transfer you to the airport in Danang and take a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the remains of the day at leisure in this vibrant and historic city.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 10: Saigon

In the morning travel north west of the city to visit the historic Cu Chi Tunnels which were a key battleground in the Vietnam War. Upon arrival watch a short introductory video on the construction of the tunnels before spending an hour exploring the maze of tunnels, accompanied by a 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 early afternoon and enjoy lunch before embarking on a city tour. Major attractions include the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 11: Saigon - Phnom Penh

Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh. Today visitors find a bustling, multicultural city at the confluence of the historic Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac Rivers. Phnom Penh has many places of exceptional interest for those with time enough to appreciate the city's attractions.

Day 12: Phnom Penh

After breakfast at the hotel, we travel about 15km toward southwest of Phnom Penh we will arrive at Choeung Ek. During the Khmer Rouge regime, it became one of the killing fields the site of the brutal executions of more than 17,000 individuals, most of who first suffered through torture and deprivation in Toul Sleng Prison. Choeung Ek is now a group of mass graves and a memorial stupa containing thousands of skulls. The afternoon is free.

Day 13: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

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. 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 14: Siem Reap

Relax on your own until time for your flight back home, and you will be transferred to the airport.