Nha Trang Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 475

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi! Airport to hotel arrival transfer. Free time to explore. Overnight - Hanoi

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi

After breakfast we embark on an exciting city tour of Vietnam's capital. Kicking off with a visit to Uncle Ho himself (if open, closed Oct-Nov) before heading across the road to the beautiful Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's iconic House on Stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda. Later on we continue to the Ethnology Museum where we learn about Vietnam's many diverse ethnic groups. This afternoon we visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first 11th century university. Next we head to the oldest pagoda in Vietnam, Tran Quoc Pagoda before driving to the centre of Hanoi. We finish the day with a stroll across the red bridge over Sword Lake to the beautiful Ngoc Son Temple. Overnight - Hanoi

The Huc Bridge

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Hanoi – Halong Bay - breakfast. Early this morning we drive to the strikingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, we board our traditional wooden junk boat and cruise the emerald waters studded with a thousand or so karst limestone islands. Later opt for a refreshing swim in one of the many sheltered coves before taking row boats to the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng. Tonight, there's a Vientnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before an impressive seafood dinner is served. Overnight - Halong Bay, Deluxe Junk Boat

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 4: Halong Bay - Hue

Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Start the day with Tai Chi on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs we return to Hanoi. Arriving to Hanoi mid afternoon an hour or so is spent exploring the labyrinth of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. Each of the narrow lanes are named after various guilds of the city’s artisan who established themselves here centuries ago. On a hair raising cyclo (rickshaw ride) we'll see the old quarter and the delightful Hoan Kiem Lake. Later we board our flight to Hue. Overnight Hue.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 5: Hue

Today we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin. After we drive into the countryside to see the elaborate mausoleums of the Nguyen kings. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River or enjoy some retail therapy at the ever lively Dong Ba Market, a minute's walk from our hotel. Overnight - Hue

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 6: Hue - Hoi An

Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other, to Hoi An. A stop is made en route at China Beach. Compact Hoi An with its cobbled streets, tiny shop houses and laid back restaurants and bars is a perfect place to relax a while. On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. Overnight - Hoi An

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 7: Hoi An

On a bicycle ride to the local village of Tra Que we discover age old farming practises and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch. Overnight - Hoi An

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 8: Hoi An

Relax by the beach or pool, or take a day trip to the Cham Kingdom site at My Son or My Lai - where the massacre of civilians took place at the hands of Charlie Company during the Vietnam War. Overnight - Hoi An

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

Days 9-11: Hoi An - Nha Trang

Today you will fly to Nha Trang where you will enjoy the next couple of days relaxing by the beach. Overnight Nha Trang

Po Ngar Cham Towers in Nha Trang - by Bruno (BRA)

Day 12: Nha Trang - Can Tho

Saigon. Fly to Saigon and drive to the Mekong Delta. The fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as its fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island. Overnight - Can Tho

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 13: Can Tho - Saigon

Can Tho - Saigon. Early morning we visit the ever lively Cai Rang floating market and drive to Saigon. On a walking tour of the city we’ll visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure. Overnight - Saigon

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 14: Saigon - Phnom Penh

This morning we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a sprawling underground network of tunnels and living quarters used by the Viet Cong during the war. Then we drive to the Cambodian border (crossing at Moc Bai/Bavet) and continue on to the capital of Phnom Penh. Today the nation’s capital offers a bustling mix of Asia’s past and present, a city quickly taking its place amongst the trendy capitals of the region with superb restaurants and a number of attractions. Overnight - Phnom Penh

Day 15: Phnom Penh

Today we’ll enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh starting at the National Museum of Fine Arts, a graceful terracotta building of traditional design housing the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. We continue with the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, famed for its lavish decorations – the floors are paved with silver tiles and statues of Buddha are encrusted with thousands of diamonds. We later come face to face with the horrors of the Pol Pot regime as we visit Toul Sleng (Security Prison - S21), a school that was gruesomely transformed into a torture chamber under the Khmer Rouge, and visit the Killing Fields where over 10,000 people were executed. Overnight - Phnom Penh

Day 16: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

Phnom Penh – Siem Reap. Hotel check out and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Siem Reap. After time to freshen up we visit the last capital of the Angkorian Empire – Angkor Thom. This monumental fortified city is encircled by a 100m wide moat and is famed for the huge statue heads that glare down from every angle. We continue to the monastic complex of Preah Khan before heading to the mother of all temples – Angkor Wat. This breathtaking monument of man’s devotion to his gods is believed to be the largest religious building in the world and contains thousands of wall carvings and extensive bas-reliefs. In the evening we enjoy a walking tour of the old market. Overnight - Siem Reap

Day 17: Siem Reap

Siem Reap – breakfast. Early this morning opt to see Angkor Wat bathed in the spectacular golden light of sunrise. Later, we head out to Banteay Srei temple, considered by many to be the art gallery of Angkor with some of the finest stone carvings in the world. Cut from stone of a pinkish hue, the Hindu temple is dedicated to Shiva and contains lavishly decorated libraries and stunning reliefs of divinities. The temple expedition continues with visits to Banteay Samre, East Mebon, Pre Rup, Preah Khan, Banteay Kdei and the atmospheric Ta Prohm. Swallowed by the jungle, vast muscular roots envelop the crumbling towers and walls whilst the trees’ foliage dapples the temple in shadow. There are plenty of great bars and restaurants in the compact city centre, easily navigated on foot. Overnight - Siem Reap

Day 18: Siem Reap

This morning we visit the Roluos group of temples (Bakong, Lolei and Preak Ko), the earliest large and permanent temples built by the Khmers. The monuments mark the dawn of Khmer classical art, dating from the late 9th century, with elaborate inscriptions in the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit. Later visit the floating village of Kompong Pluk. Houses built on soaring stilts hover over the Tonle Sap Lake whilst nearby, the petrified trees of a flooded forest are revealed whenever the water level drops. Afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight - Siem Reap

Day 19: Siem Reap

Today marks the end of our memorable journey. Lap up the hotel facilities this morning before hotel check out and included departure transfer to the airport.