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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.
Today is a free day to relax.
We depart today for Hoa Lu, the former capital of Vietnam to visit the ruins of the former capital and the legendary Ly Thai To. Later, we depart for Tam Coc town for a delicious Vietnamese lunch before taking a traditional sampan through the beautiful rice paddies. We return to Hanoi and enjoy a Water Puppet Show tonight.
This morning head to Hoan Kiem Lake where residents congregate to partake in Tai Chi and other light exercise. Enjoy a Tai Chi lesson with the locals and take a stroll around the lake before tucking into a traditional Vietnamese breakfast at a café boasting marvelous views of the lake. This half day cooking tour in Hanoi will provide you with a hands-on lesson on how to shop for and cook authentic Vietnamese food. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided city tour of Hanoi including the Museum of Ethnology, widely acknowledged as the best in the country and the Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070. This evening we board the overnight shared sleeper cabin train to of Lao Cai.
The train pulls into Lao Cai at approximately 06:00am this morning and we then transfer to Sapa for breakfast. Located 1500m above sea level, Sapa is a former French hill station, nestled in the rugged Tonkinese Alps and surrounded by lush valleys and verdant rice paddy fields. This morning take a light trek to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, Ta Van and Cau May. Walking to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, you meet some of the local ethnic minority people on their way to and from Sapa. These minority people, including the Red Zao, Hmong and Tay people, walk to Sapa to trade at the markets. Tonight you spend the night at the hotel in Sapa town.
Start your morning with a hike to a beautiful waterfall before continuing on to a picturesque Red Dao village. Red Dao women wear giant red scarves around their heads and their clothing is embellished with colourful red embroidery and coins. Spend the afternoon at leisure in Sapa before returning to Lao Cai to board the overnight shared 4 berth sleeper train back to Hanoi.
Upon arrival in Hanoi, freshen up before driving to Halong City (approx 4 hours), stopping for refreshments en route. At UNESCO Listed Halong Bay limestone peaks and forest clad islets, hidden coves and beautiful beaches await discovery! Board your Junk boat and cruise to the famous islands of Halong Bay and onto Bai Tu Long Bay, stopping to visit a cave and swim in the warm waters. There is a chance to explore more of this stunning area by sea kayak. Return to the Junk boat for a tasty dinner and a memorable night in beautiful surrounds.
Wake up to see a spectacular sunrise over the bay! This morning cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng - where you'll gain a fascinating insight into local life. Cruising back to the dock arrive into Halong City around noon then transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be met and transferred to your 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, take a scenic boat cruise along the Perfume River.
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”). 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 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.
Spend a day at leisure on the beach or having clothes made by one of the expert, inexpensive tailors that Hoi An is famous for. In the evening, you might want to stroll Hoi An's romantic, silk latern lit streets and dine in one of its fantastic riverside restaurants.
Today we transfer to the airport in Danang and fly to the coastal resort of Nha Trang. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure. Nha Trang is a popular coastal resort in central Vietnam, with 7kms of white sandy beach and pristine waters surrounded by archipelagoes and mountains.
A day of leisure and indulgence as we cruise through blue clear waters amongst the islands off Nha Trang. We take a drive to Cau Da port where we will embark on our boat. We cruise to visit the Tri Nguyen Aquarium, a small world of many sea species. We will then head out to Mun Island where you have the chance for swimming and optional snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. Lunch stop is at the fishing village of Lang Chai where there is time to explore further before boarding the boat back to Nha Trang harbor.
Full day at your leisure. The resort is ideal for scuba diving, snorkelling or simply relaxing on the sandy beach. Sample some of the delicious seafood in some of the many restaurants and perhaps enjoy a spot of retail therapy at Cho Dam Market.
Transfer to Dalat City. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to hotel for check in. The rest of the day is free to enjoy your way.
In the morning our sightseeing in Dalat includes Xuan Huong Lake, located at the centre of Dalat. Xuan Huong was created when the French dammed the Cam Ly River in 1919. Continue to Central Market where you will be bewildered with a riot of multi-coloured flowers as well as various kinds of fresh vegetable and mouth watering fruits. Visit to Prenn waterfall, which is nestled in the valley covered with densely lush vegetation and hugged by pine-forested hills. In the afternoon we visit Lam Ty Ni pagoda, one of the unlikeliest and most delightful attractions of a stay in Dalat. The pagoda is home to Vien Thuc, the so-called "mad monk" of Dalat, who is also a poet, gardener, builder and artist. We end today with a visit to Dalat Flower garden.
Today we transfer to the airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure in this lively and cosmopolitan metropolis with its gleaming sky scrapers, expensive restaurants, bars and designer shops, which stand in stark contrast to the ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and ramshackle markets.
Take a morning excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, north west of the city. This immense network of connecting underground tunnels, were used by the Viet Cong and one of the famous battle grounds in the Vietnam War. Watch a short introductory video on the construction of the tunnels before exploring the maze of tunnels, accompanied by the 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 at around 2pm, we stop for lunch before visiting some of the city's major attractions including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.
Today is a free day for you to relax or to enjoy Ho Chi Minh your own way independantly today.
Early morning transfer to Cai Be - Phu An where you board the Cai Be Princess. First stop is the colourful floating market at Cai Be. Then visit some local home factories to discover traditional rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies, and longans drying processing. The cruise continues along the Mekong canals passing several islands famous for their fruit orchards. Later, we disembark and continue to Can Tho.
Early this morning, we explore the Cai Rang market, one of the most bustling floating markets in the Mekong Delta with hundreds of small boats laden with fruits, bargaining and jostling for space as owners try to sell their goods. Boat through the palm-shaded creek to see local houses and green orchards, ship building yards and local markets in full swing. Return to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Today we depart Can Tho for Chau Doc via Long Xuyen. Upon arrival to Chau Doc, check-in and have lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon, take a boat trip to Phum Soai, a Cham village where you also visit the nearby mosque. Continue walking through other small Cham villages with traditional houses and see the local people up close and personal. You may stop by a local house to see Cham women weaving. Later, drive up to Sam Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Southern Vietnam. The view across the border into Cambodia is breathtaking. Visit the Tay An Pagoda located at the foot of the Sam Mountain.
An early start today to board the Victoria speed boat to Phnom Penh. Arrival in Phnom Penh should be early afternoon and the remainder of today is free for you to enjoy at your leisure.
We start today with a visit to the Royal Palace, the incredible solid silver-floored Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts. We end our city tour with a visit to Wat Phnom pagoda before a shopping stop at the Russian market.
After breakfast at the hotel, we travel approximately 15km southwest of Phnom Penh towards Choeung Ek. Today will be quite an emotional day. The memorial at Choeung Ek 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 and the site of the executions of more than 17,000 individuals, most of who first suffered through horrendous conditions in Toul Sleng Prison. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time for shopping at the market for local products brought in from provincials surrounding Phnom Penh. In the evening, we enjoy a boat cruise on the mighty Mekong River to explore the night life of locals.
Today, we leave Phnom Penh and head to Kompong Thom province. This province is very large in size, 13,814 square kilometres, making it the second biggest province of Cambodia. It is known as the historical and cultural site to explore the pre-Angkorian temples. Depending on our arrival time, we may check in to our hotel first or head directly to Sambor Prei Kuk, the most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments in Cambodia.
Today we continue our journey to Siem Reap where we start with a visit to the legendary Angkor Wat Temple. The architectural masterpiece was built in the 12th century and took 30 years to complete. It represents the Khmer civilisation 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 the one of the largest religious monuments in the world, was built between the 9th – 13th century. Enjoy the superb view of sunset from Phnom Bakheng Hill. Overnight Angkor Paradise Hotel.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will spend a full day discovering the famous Angkor Complex. We enter the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple and marvel at the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and terrace of the Leper King. Later, we continue to Ta Prohm temple, shrouded in the jungle and left just as it was found by French explorers in 1850s. After todays sightseeing, we will set out for a cruise on beautiful Tonle Sap Lake, passing a floating village and seeing the daily life of local people here. The floating village at Tonle Sap Lake (The Great Lake) is the place where people living on the lake go to school, hold their markets, and sell their fruits. Overnight Angkor Paradise Hotel.
Today we journey to Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual temples of Angkor, Cambodia. It lies 20km north of the main group of temples and is built largely of red sandstone, which is covered with elaborate and deeply carved decorations. Banteay Samre was built in the third quarter of the 12th century. It consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southern most of which is remarkably well preserved. The Srah Srang, a royal bathing Palace, located east of Banteay Kdei was constructed in the mid-10th century. The Banteay Kdei Temple, a massive Buddhist monastery from the latter part of the 12th century is surrounded by four concentric walls. Overnight Angkor Paradise Hotel.
After breakfast at your hotel, we visit Beng Mealea, a spectacular jungle temple approximately 60kms drive north of Siem Reap. It is one of the ‘new’ highlights of Cambodia having only been cleared of mines at the end of 2003. Built by Jayarvaman VII in the style of Angkor Wat, its scale is huge. Approached by four causeways, Beng Mealea appears to be a huge pile of rubble partially hidden in the trees. Once you get closer to the high walls, the ancient Khmer Architecture reveals itself. Cloaked in vegetation and with few concessions to tourism, this temple looks exactly as it did when the early French explorers found it. Overnight Angkor Paradise Hotel.
We bid you farewell today and transfer you to the airport for your flight home.