Phan Thiet Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 770

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The afternoon can be spent exploring the wide, tree-lined streets of Hanoi, resplendent with French colonial architecture and the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake. This evening enjoy dinner before attending a traditional Vietnamese water puppet performance.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi

Enjoy a day at leisure to relax after the long journey here.

The Huc Bridge

Day 3: Hanoi

This morning visit Ba Dinh Square where silent sentries guard the marble and granite mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state. After visit Ho Chi Minh humble house of stilts and the famous One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature. A short drive into the countryside leads us to Van Giang village, where we'll attend a cooking demonstration hosted by a local family. After a delicious lunch we return to Hanoi and embark on a cyclo (rickshaw) tour of the winding alleys that make up the atmospheric Ancient Quarter, otherwise known as the 36 Streets of Hanoi.

Vietnamese Water Puppets

Day 4: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Early this morning journey north to Halong Bay (approx 4 hours drive), stopping for refreshments en route. UNESCO Listed Halong Bay is undoubtedly one of Vietnam's most spectacular regions. Thousands of karst limestone and jungle covered peaks and isles, rise dramatically out of the emerald waters of the bay. Spend the day cruising around the islands onboard a traditional Junk boat.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 5: Halong Bay

Spend the day relaxing and enjoying the cruise in Halong Bay. Stopping to explore caves and coves and to swim in the emerald waters. You can also take a row boat to visit the floating fishing villages - where you'll gain a fascinating insight into the daily life of the local people. Enjoy a scrumptious buffet lunch and set dinner whilst onboard.

Halong Bay at sunset

Day 6: Halong Bay - Hue

Enjoy fresh air and the gentle breeze of the bay this morning as you relax on board the Junk. There will be more opportunities to swim and explore hidden caves before returning to port. Transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue in central Vietnam. Upon arrival in Hue, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 7: Hue

Enjoy a full day tour of Hue including a boat trip on Perfume River (Huong River) to Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang tomb. Thien Mu Pagoda is an octagonal tower of seven tiers that rises majestically over the Perfume River. Minh Mang tomb is perhaps the most majestic of all Hue’s tombs. This tomb is well known for its harmonious blend of architecture and natural landscape. After lunch you'll tour the Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City, built by the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Enjoy some retail therapy at the ever lively Dong Ba Market before returning to your hotel. Free evening.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 8: Hue - Hoi An

This morning visits are offered to Emperor Tu Duc and Khai Dinh’s tombs before journey by road to Hoi An via spectacular Cloudy Pass. A stop is made in Danang to visit the Cham Museum, once centre of the ancient Cham civilization. Picturesque Hoi An has managed to retain its traditional character and charm, with its cobbled streets, markets and row upon row of tailors shops. This afternoon, enjoy a walking tour around the cobbled streets of this ancient town, which was once of the busiest trading ports in Asia.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 9: Hoi An

This morning offers an excursion to My Son, the holiest and evocative of Vietnam’s Cham sites. Here at the ancient Kingdom of Champa you'll see the burial tombs of the Cham royals and national heroes. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Hoi An town for a free time.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 10: Hoi An

Today enjoy a full day tour which gives you an insight into the lives of the farming and fishing communities in this beautiful region of Vietnam. After a short drive you will arrive at the village of Tra Que. On arrival learn about the history of the village and the cultivation of the vegetables. Continue with a walk around the vegetable garden 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.

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

Day 11: Hoi An

Enjoy a day to relax and take in your tranquil surroundings.

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

Day 12: Hoi An - Dalat

This morning we head off to Da Nang Airport for the midday flight to Da Lat. Arriving here, meet our local driver who will bring you to your hotel.

Day 13: Dalat

In the morning we visit Xuan Huong Lake, which is located at the center of Dalat. Xuan Huong was created when the French dammed the Cam Ly River in 1919. Continue to the Central Markets where you will be bewildered with a riot of multi-colored flowers as well as fresh vegetables and mouthwatering fruits. We also visit Prenn waterfall, which is nestled in the valley covered with densely lush vegetation and pine forest. In the afternoon we visit Lam Ty Ni pagoda, one of the unlikeliest and most delightful attractions of a stay in Da Lat. The pagoda is home to Vien Thuc, the so-called "mad monk" of Dalat.

Day 14: Dalat

This morning we take a cable car up to Robin Hill and admire the fantastic panoramas. After, we explore the Truc Lam Zen monastery, which is the largest Zen in Vietnam. We then head out to see Datanla waterfall where you can opt to have a go on the Alpine coaster or a walk through the jungle to the bottom of the falls. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore the city.

Day 15: Dalat - Nha Trang

Today we take a drive to Nha Trang, famed for white sandy beaches with up to 7km in length azure blue water and more than 200 islands offshore. We arrive in Nha Trang in the early afternoon, hotel check in and afternoon at leisure.

Day 16: Nha Trang

A day of leisure and indulgence as we cruise through blue clear waters of the islands off the coast of Nha Trang. Visit the Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island then onto Mun Island where you will get the chance to swim or even do some snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Then a stop is made for lunch at the fishing village of Lang Chai where you will have the opportunity to explore further before boarding the boat back to Nha Trang harbor.

Day 17: Nha Trang - Phan Thiet

After breakfast, we depart for Phan Thiet. On the way, we will make a stop to visit Po Klong Garai Cham Tower in Phan rang town. Upon arrival, check in hotel and afternoon at leisure.

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

Day 18: Phan Thiet

Free day to enjoy the tropical oasis that is Muine Beach on the south east coast - where palm trees line the perfect sandy beaches.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 19: Phan Thiet - Saigon

This morning we drive to Saigon. Later in the afternoon we visit the Reunification Palace (also known as Independence Palace), one of the most fascinating sights in Saigon and once the symbol of the South Vietnamese government. Nearby is the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum, where we can learn more about the "American" War as it is referred to in Vietnam. Our next stop is Ben Thanh market, typical of local markets markets in Vietnam.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 20: Saigon

In the morning, we depart for Cu Chi Tunnel, an underground maze, which became legendary during the 1960s for its role in the Vietnam War. Located about 75 km northwest of Saigon, the tunnels were part of an underground network that zigzagged from the southern tip of the Ho Chi Minh trail near the Cambodian border to the Saigon River. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 21: Saigon - Can Tho

We travel overland through the beautiful countryside of the Mekong Delta to Vinh Long province. On arrival, we take a boat ride to visit a local orchard and the Cai Be floating market. Everyday, approximately 400-500 boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other local products anchor along the banks of the River, waiting for traders and customers. Here we observe the local people buying selling and exchanging goods from their boats. Later we leave Cai Be, and visit a local family producing coconut candy, a specialty of the region. After lunching on the local delicacies in a local Bonsai garden travel onwards to Can Tho.

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 22: 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.

Day 23: Chau Doc - Phnom Penh

After breakfast, take a speed boat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh, arriving at midday. 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 this afternoon, 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 24: Phnom Penh

After breakfast we travel southwest of Phnom Penh to Choeung Ek. The memorial just outside Phnom Penh was an orchard and a Chinese cemetery prior to 1975. 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. This evening, enjoy a boat cruise on the Mekong River and take in the local night life.

Day 25: Phnom Penh - Kompong Thom

After breakfast we leave Phnom Penh and travel to Kompong Thom province. The province is large in size with some 13,814 km2 making it the second biggest province of Cambodia. It is one of the most popular historical and cultural sites to explore due to its pre Angkorian temples. Later visit Sambor Prei Kuk, the most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments in Cambodia.

A pre Ankorian Sambor Prei Kruk

Day 26: Kompong Thom - Siem Reap

Today we continue to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Wat Temple. This architectural master piece was built in the 12th century, took 30 years to complete and represents the Khmer civilization at its grandest. Covering 81 hectares, it is one of the largest religious monuments ever built. Angkor Wat (the biggest Hindu temple in the world and one of the largest religious monuments in the world, was built between the 9th – 13th century. In the early evening climb to Bakheng Hill to enjoy the superb view as the sun sets over Angkor Wat.

Day 27: Siem Reap

Today is spent further exploring the Angkor Wat complex, entering the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple marvel at the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and the terrace of the Leper King. Afterwards, we continue to visit Ta Prohm temple, shrouded in jungle and left just it was founded by French explorers in 1850s. This afternoon we visit Beng Mealea Temple, a spectacular jungle temple around 60 Kms drive to the north east of Siem Reap. It is one of the "new" highlights of Cambodia; having only been cleared of mines at the end of 2003.

Day 28: Siem Reap

Today travel to Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual temples of Angkor, Cambodia. Later visit Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. The Srah Srang a royal bathing Palace, located east of Banteay Kdei is our next destination.It was constructed in the mid-10th century, and modified in the 12th or 13th century. then visit the Banteay Kdei Temple, a massive Buddhist monastery, finally we finish with Thommanon Temple, one of a pair of Hindu temples built in the end of the 11th century.

Day 29: Siem Reap - Saigon

This morning we set out for a cruise on the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake passing a typical floating village observing the locals in their daily life. Upon completion, we head off to the airport for your flight to Saigon. Arriving here, our local driver is on hand to transfer you to your hotel.

A street trader in Saigon by William Cho

Day 30: Saigon

Sadly your journey has come to an end, we will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.