Sapa Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 594

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi - Sapa

Good Morning Vietnam! Included transfer from Hanoi airport to the city before taking the overnight sleeper train to Lao Cai. (Please note your flight into Hanoi should arrive no later than 1400). Overnight - Sleeper Train

A lady from one of the hill tribes near Sapa

Day 2: Sapa

Tribal Villages. Breakfast. After an early arrival in Lao Cai we take a short drive to Sapa and take breakfast before visiting a local market. We then take a leisurely walk to Cat Cat village, home to the famous Black H’mong tribe and pay a visit to a local family. Continuing on we visit Cat Cat waterfall for lunch. This afternoon we take a trail through the mountain surrounded by spectacular scenery to another local village. Once back at the main road we drive back to Sapa for the evening. Overnight - Sapa

A local child in Sapa

Day 3: Sapa

This morning we head to the Lao Chai Vilage and begin a walk to Ta Van village - home to the Dzay tribe for a rest and a picnic lunch. After lunch we continue our walk through a bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai. This is a village of the Red Dao tribe, who dress in beautiful embroidered trousers topped with bright red turbans and chunky silver jewellery. Before we head back to Sa Pa we visit another beautiful waterfall for a refreshing end to the day. Overnight - Sapa

Villagers in Sapa

Day 4: Sapa - Hanoi

Today is spent at leisure in Sapa. Why not take a walk up to the Sapa radio tower where you can get spectacular views of the surrounding rice paddies, terraces and the valley. Sapa also has a local market where you can buy souvenirs and try your hand at haggling. This evening we climb aboard our train back to Hanoi. Overnight 4 Berth Train.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 5: Hanoi

An early arrival into Hanoi we then proceed to the famous Quang Ba Flower Market where you will witness one of the most frantic and colourful markets in the world. Some great photo opportunities to be had! Afterwards we take a stroll to Truc Bach Lake where you will witness locals doing their morning Tai Chi and other exercises as the sun comes up. On the way to the hotel we visit a local restaurant for breakfast. The rest of the day is at leisure so you can properly explore Vietnam’s buzzing capital. Why not head to the Ho Chi Minh complex? Home to Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum (closed in the afternoon), the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh’s famous House on Stilts. Overnight - Hanoi

The Huc Bridge

Day 6: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning a scenic drive leads us to the stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Boarding our traditional wooden junk boat we cruise the emerald waters soaking up the panoramic vista of the thousand or so karst limestone islands that stud the bay. 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 - Deluxe Junk Boat

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 7: Halong Bay - Hoi An

Start the day with a Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage. After exploring a lofty grotto hidden beneath towering cliffs, we sail back to port. Arriving to Hanoi mid afternoon an hour or so is spent exploring the quixotic web of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. The narrow lanes are each named after various guilds of the city’s artisan who established themselves here centuries ago. Our tour of the area is undertaken by a quintessentially Vietnamese experience from aboard a rickshaw. Later this afternoon you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Hoi An. Upon arrival you will be met by our local representatives and transferred to your hotel. Overnight Hoi An.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Days 8-9: Hoi An

A free couple of days for you relax or further sightsee. You may wish to take a relaxing rowboat journey along the river or spend the day lazing by the beach or hotel pool. It’s also possible to take an optional excursion to the most holiest and evocative of Vietnam’s Cham sites, My Son or to Quang Ngai, the site of the My Lai massacre memorial. The massacre was a significant turning point in the Vietnam War and the story is told through photo presentation on a walk through the village. Overnight - Hoi An

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

Day 10: Hoi An - Can Tho

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 11: Can Tho - Saigon

Early this morning we visit the 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 15: Siem Reap

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. Overnight - Siem Reap

Day 16: 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 17: Siem Reap

Enjoy Today free at your leisure as you welcome in the New Year. Overnight Siem Reap

Day 18: Siem Reap

Today marks the end of our memorable journey. Spend the morning at leisure before hotel check out and your departure transfer to the airport.