Sapa Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 380

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 380 when enquiring for further details.

Alternatively you may like modify this trip with your own Holiday Wish List


Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi - the ‘Paris of the Orient’. Upon arrival at the airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi - Sapa

Spend this morning at leisure in Vietnam's charming capital city. This afternoon enjoy a half day city tour of Hanoi’s essential sites. Sightseeing includes the Museum of Ethnology. Also visit Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the city - the temple has a fascinating history dating back to the 13th century. Then enjoy a one-hour cyclo tour through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi! This evening at approx 9pm, board an overnight express sleeper train from Hanoi to the border town of Lao Cai (soft sleeper berth cabin).

A lady from one of the hill tribes near Sapa

Day 3: Sapa

The train pulls into Lao Cai at approximately 06:00am this morning, 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.

A local child in Sapa

Day 4: Sapa - Hanoi

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 train back to Hanoi.

The Huc Bridge

Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay

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 this stunning area by sea kayak. Return to the Junk boat for a tasty dinner and a memorable night in beautiful surrounds.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 6: Halong Bay - Hue

Wake up to see a spectacular sunrise over the bay! This morning cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vong 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 to freshen up and then later a transfer for your overnight train to Hue.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 7: Hue

Your tour begins after breakfast and arrival transfer. Start 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.

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 8: 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”). In the afternoon, enjoy a guided 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.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Days 9-10: Hoi An

Today and tomorrow we have a few options for you to choose from. Have a read of the 'Enhance Your Holiday' page for info. Or you can simply enjoy time by the beach.

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

Day 11: Hoi An - Saigon

In the morning we transfer to the airport and fly to Saigon. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. With your guide this afternoon enjoy visiting some of the city's major attractions including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 12: Saigon - Can Tho

Enjoy a cruise on the Mekong Delta today! Sightseeing begins with a visit to Cai Be's colourful floating market and a visit to some local home factories such as rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies etc. Known as the 'Rice Bowl' of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is a beautiful fertile region with lush rice paddy fields and fruit plantations. Soak up the riverside views as you cruise along the Mekong canals to Dong Hoa Hiep Island. Discover beautiful landscapes, observe typical Mekong delta rural life on the remote islands and enjoy a tasty lunch at a superb Indochine style resort. Spend the night in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 13: 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 14: 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 15: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

Morning flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. 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. (OVERNIGHT AT THE Shining Angkor Boutique Hotel)

Day 16: Siem Reap

Time to explore more of the Angkor Temple Complex. We rise early this morning to avoid the crowds and travel by Tuk Tuk to visit the incredible jungle enveloped temple of Ta Prohm. Next, visit the spectacular Angkor Wat temple. Enjoy a guided tour around this huge structure and learn about the glories of the Kingdom of Angkor before returning to the hotel for a late breakfast and a rest. Continue sightseeing this afternoon with a visit to the temple of Banteay Srei or ‘Citadel of the Women’. On your way back to Siem Reap, enjoy the sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup. (OVERNIGHT AT THE Shining Angkor Boutique Hotel)

Day 17: Siem Reap

Today you can opt to visit Angkor Wat Temple complex on your own just hire a Tuk Tuk to take you there. Alternately, you may like to go boating on Tonle Sap? Have a read of the 'Enhance Your Holiday' page for info. (OVERNIGHT AT THE Shining Angkor Boutique Hotel)

Day 18: Siem Reap

Today your exciting Asian adventure comes to an end after breakfast, hotel check out and a transfer to the airport for your flight home.


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