If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 378 when enquiring for further details.
Alternatively you may like modify this trip with your own Holiday Wish List
Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. You will be picked up at the airport and transfer to the hotel. The remains of the day offers free time for you to explore the wide tree lined avenues, beautiful lakes, ancient pagoda’s and thriving, historic old city, all easily navigated on foot.
In the morning, depart for Son La (320km) which will take around 7-8hours. Have lunch (lunch will be paid by your own account) en route in Moc Chau Plateau. The plateau is about 1,000m above sea level and around 80km long and 25km wide. This town is well- known for green tea field and cow farm and home of the Green H’mong. We can stop on the way for unique photos. After lunch by your own arrangement, we proceed to Son La passing. Overnight in Son La
We come to explore the major highlights around Son La including the Lockout Tower, Son La Museum & Prison. At first, it was only a small provincial prison. But between 1930 and 1945, thousands of Vietnamese patriots were imprisoned here. Key individuals who later became main leaders of the Revolution for National Liberation was incarcerated in the Son La Prison. In 1962, it was classified by the Ministry of Culture as one of the numerous revolutionary heritage sites in the Vietnam. We continue the drive to Dien Bien Phu passing the Pha Din Pass & it’s beautiful landscape, on the way, we will make a stop to visit Thuan Chau market where you will see the Black Thai people. Overnight Dien Bien Phu
Enjoy the sightseeing in Dien Bien Phu: Museum of Dien Dien Phu Victory, built in 1984 in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Dien Bien Phu Victory; Hill A1, situated in Muong Thanh Ward, Dien Bien Phu City, Dien Bien Province, was the strongest post of all the 49 strongholds in Dien Bien Phu fortified entrenched camp; Castries Bunker, lies at the heart of the entrenched camp of Dien Bien Phu in the middle of the Muong Thanh Field. Then we head to new Lai Chau Town (or Tam Duong town) passing the Muong Lay town of the old Lai Chau. On the way, we will have chance to see many hill tribes in Northern Vietnam such as Hmong, Black Thai, Black Dzao. Overnight New Lai Chau (or Tam Duong)
Tam Duong market is one of the big market of the region where many hill tribes come here to sell their own products. It used to open only on Thursday and now is daily open. We will spend time to walk around and explore the town. We travel along mountainside roads, passing through the pass and nice mountains view with waterfalls, buffalos and hill tribes. We arrive in Sapa in the afternoon.
We will trek softly down hill to Lao Chai, a village of the Black H’mong minority. We experience one of the most spectacular treks in Vietnam, with buffalo paths up and down hill. On the way we will enjoy stunning views of mountains and valleys. In Lao Chai we come to see the village’s catholic church and have a chat with the Black H’mong people before we continue trekking to Ta Van. Lunch is served on the top of a hill or in a local house, depending on the weather. We then arrive to Ta Van village, inhabited by Dzay people. The night will be even more interesting in the wonderful hospitable atmosphere and friendly chatting while having dinner with our cozy host. Homestay with very basic and simple condition.
In the morning, driver to Can Cau Market where the local tribal people including Black Zao, Phu La and Tay come gather every Saturday for festive market activities. The right location of the market place also offers photo-hunters ideal opportunity, not only of people in colorful traditional costumes but also breathtaking landscapes of the perfect surrounding. Leaving the market and drive to Laocai. Enjoy a day use at a simple hotel in Bac Ha for refreshement before taking the overnight train to Hanoi.
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.
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 to relax in your day use room before boarding our overnight sleeper train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic stanard) operating on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue.
Arrive in Hue (check in if rooms are available). Breakfast at your hotel. We take a guided tour the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. This afternoon drive into the countryside to visit the mausoleum of Emperors Tu Duc (1829-1883) and Khai Dinh (1885-1925).
Take a boat ride along the romantic Perfume River. Stop off at the Thien Mu Pagoda on the banks of the river to see the 7-storey Stupa. On the way down to Danang, stop off for a refreshment break at Lang Co beach, one of the World’s most beautiful bays. Continue on to Danang to visit the Cham Museum. Afterwards, head to the World Cultural Heritage Site of Hoi An Ancient Town. Enjoy some free time on a walking tour through the narrow lanes of the town, lined with century-old buildings and illuminated at night by hundreds of colorful lanterns. Discover the traditional shop-houses and temples, and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge.
We take a half-day excursion to My Son Sanctuary. My Son is s religious site dating back to the Kingdom of Champa, and also a burial place of Cham royals and national heroes. The My Son temple complex is one of the foremost remaining examples of Hindu influence in South East Asia and is the most prominent heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. This afternoon is free. For something different, you can optionally join in a fun cooking class, head to the nearby Cua Dai beach or observe local life on a sunset cruise on the peaceful Thu Bon River.
Free time this morning until we transfer you to Danang airport for the flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, pick up at the airport and transfer to your hotel. The rest of time is free at your leisure.
Transfer to the starting point of your journey (The Victoria Angkor Hotel) where you will register with Heritage Line before transferring to the port to board your boat. Cruise trip arranged independent to this itinerary from day 14 (10 Aug) to day 21 (17 Aug).
We pick you up today at the Renaissance Hotel and transfer you to the hotel in Saigon. The rest of time is free at your leisure.
Our transport for the first half of today is a traditional cyclo. This allows us to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Ho Chi Minh City in a traditional manner. Our journey takes us through Tao Dan Park to the War Remnants museum and the Reunification Palace. Leaving our cyclos and cyclo drivers behind we walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the the General Post Office. We meet our cyclos again and ride to the Saigon Opera House and City Hall. We leave our cyclos behind at the intersection of Ton That Dam St & Huynh Thuc Khang St and dive into a real local food market. Our final visit for the day is the Ben Thanh markets where we leave you for the day - own arrangements from here.
Travel overland today into the beautiful countryside of the northeastern Mekong Delta and Vinh Long province. On arrival, take a boat ride to visit a local orchard and the famous Cai Be floating market. Many boats loaded to the gunnels with fruit, vegetables and other local produce anchor or moor along the banks of the river every day waiting to offload their goods to wholesale traders or local customers. Everybody here buys, sells and barters their goods only from their boats. Leaving Cai Be, visit a local family producing coconut candy, a regional delicacy. After a lunch of local delights, drive on to Can Tho, the hub of the Mekong Delta and its largest city.
After breakfast, cruise some of the narrow and picturesque canals and waterways by small boat. Visit the Cai Rang floating market with its hordes of small vendor boats. Take in the sultry scenery and witness the daily activities of the locals who live along these Mekong canals. After lunch by your arrangement, drive back to Saigon. The rest of day is free at your leisure.
Leave Ho Chi Minh city by road for Mui Ne in Phan Thiet, one of the most stunning beaches in the South of Vietnam and known as the Oasis of Vietnam. On arrival, check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at your relaxation.
This few days are free at your own pace. Sunbathing on sandy beach, swimming in emeral water, relaxing in the resort or enjoy other activities such as golfing, fishing or visiting sand dune (all optional activities to be booked and paid locally).
We say goodbye to Mui Ne and drive southward to Saigon airport.