Sapa Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 642

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi and the start of your holiday. Upon arrival you will be met by our local representatives and transferred to your accommodation. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight Hanoi.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi - Sapa

You are free in the morning to relax after a long flight. In the afternoon, enjoy the cylo tour around the Hoan Kiem Lake, then a walking tour inthe Old Quater to have the 1st images of Hanoi. You then will board on a night train to Lao Cai which departs at around 2040pm. Overnight on train (private cabin for 2 persons)

A lady from one of the hill tribes near Sapa

Day 3: Sapa

Arriving early morning into Lao Cai. After breakfast enjoy a tour of Sapa. Walk through the town of Sapa and along a dirt trail through vegetable gardens and rice paddy terraces. The spectacular scenery of Muong Hoa valley gradually appears within your eyesight. You eventually arrive in Y Linh Ho village of Black H'mong minority. • After lunch, the walk from Y Linh Ho village to Lao Chai village of Black H'mong minority is almost on the hillsides. Take a stop at Lao Chai village to visit a local house, before following the dirt path linking the village with Ta Van village, the only one in the valley inhabited by Giay minority. From Ta Van, you will have a transfer to Topas Ecolodge. Overnight at Topas Ecolodge.

A local child in Sapa

Day 4: Sapa

After having breakfast, you will take a half day walk to visit the Lech village of Red Dao minority. You will follow the road for a while before descending towards a river. Going through rice paddy terraces gives you many opportunities to enjoy the magnificent valley view. You cross the river by a bridge made of stone and then follow a trail going up to the village. You will be able to spend some time at the village to experience daily life, and learn how the women in their doorways doing their embroidery. From the village, you head back to the Lodge for lunch. At 14h00 you will take the Topas Ecolodge shuttle bus to Sapa. .Check-in hotel in Sapa and free for dinner and night

The Huc Bridge

Day 5: Sapa - Hanoi

Spend this morning discover village of Cat Cat. You will see the local houses on stilts and the local daily lifes. Then you will have a free time to discover the town on your own. Later this afternoon you will be transferred back to Lao Cai for the return overnight train to Hanoi. Overnight on train (private cabin for 2 persons)

Vietnamese Water Puppets

Day 6: 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. Stopping to explore caves and coves and to swim in the emerald waters. There is also the option to Kayak. Enjoy a scrumptious dinner and overnight onboard. Overnight – Junk on the Bay

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 7: Halong Bay - Hanoi

Halong Bay - Hanoi. Enjoy fresh air and the gentle breeze of the bay this morning as you relax onboard the Junk. Cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng - where you can gain a fascinating insight into the daily life of the local people before disembarking at Halong Bay dock around noon. Transfer back to Hanoi. Overnight Hanoi

Day 8: Hanoi - Luang Prabang

Enjoy the morning at your leisure before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival you will be met by our local representatives and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the evening at your leisure. Overnight Luang Prabang.

Day 9: Luang Prabang

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples, of which nearly fifty temples still remain in the town and surrounding areas. Visit Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana - Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa; Wat Xiengthong which more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture; Phousi Hill, the 328 steps leads to the summit of Phousi hill that dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang overlooking the finest panoramic view in the whole Luang Prabang. Overnight Luang Prabang

Day 10: Luang Prabang - Siem Reap

Leaving Luang Prabang you fly to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the town for the Angkor Wat tour. In the afternoon, we visit the famous Angkor Wat, built for king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. The largest and best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre—first Hindu, then Buddhist—since its foundation. In the evening, enjoy the superb view of sunset from Phnom Bakheng hill. Enjoy dinner with Apsara Dance Show at a local restaurant. Overnight Siem Reap

Day 11: Siem Reap - Phnom Penh

After breakfast, we will enter the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple and marvel the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and terrace of Leper King. Ta Prohm Temple: Unlike most of the other Angkor temples, Ta Prohm has been left just it was founded: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. Take the afternoon flight to Phom Penh. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to hotel and free for the rest of the day. Overnight Phnom Penh

Day 12: Phnom Penh

Our first site to visit today will be the Royal Palace, the incredible solid silver-floored Silver Pagoda is the pagoda which in the Royal Palace campus. Afterwards visit Raung Damrei Museum. The National Museum is a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts. Next, visit Wat Phnom pagoda a 15th century stupa. Wat Phnom, a small hill crowned by an active wat (pagoda). Our last stop will be, Toul Sleng which was once a Tuol Svay Prey High School is now a frightening reminder of the horrors of Pol Pot regime. The school was used as a torture chamber and it was believed that 16,000 people died there. In the evening, enjoy 01 hour boat cruise on Mekong River to explore local night life. Overnight Phnom Penh

Day 13: Phnom Penh - Saigon

Today is a free day for your to further explore Phnom Penh on your own. This evening you will board your flight to Saigon. Overnight Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 14: Saigon

We travel overland through beautiful countryside of Mekong Delta to Vinh Long province. On arrival, we take a boat ride to visit a local orchard and the Cai Be floating market, a famous place in Mekong Delta. 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 can see local people being selling, buying, and exchanging goods from their boats. Leave Cai Be, we visit a local family producing coconut candy, a specialty of the region. Lunch is with local delicacies served in a bonsai garden. We then transfer back to Saigon. Overnight in Saigon

A street trader in Saigon

Day 15: Saigon - Nha Trang

This morning enjoy an orientation tour of the city, visiting the former Presidential Palace which is now preserved as a museum and the History Museum. Then continue to Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque Cathedral, Hotel D’ville and Dong Khoi Street, formerly the center of haute couture is Saigon. You then transferred to the airport for the flight to Nha Trang. Overnight in Nha Trang

Day 16: Nha Trang

A day of leisure and indulgence as we cruise through the blue clear waters amongst the islands of Nha Trang. Our first stop at Mieu Island is to visit the Tri Nguyen Aquarium, a small world of many sea species. We then spend time for some snorkeling, fishing and swimming at Islands. Enjoy a fresh local seafood lunch. Return to the Nha Trang in mid afternoon to explore the town by your own way or swim at the main beach. Overnight in Nha Trang

Day 17: Nha Trang - Hue

Free at leisure till transfer to the airport for the flight to Da Nang. Up on arrival, met and transferred to hotel in Hue. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Hue

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 18: Hue

This morning we take a boat ride along the romantic Perfume River. We stop at Thien Mu Pagoda to see the 7-storey octagonal tower and an old Austin car which transported the bonze Thich Quang to Saigon in 1963 for his self-immolation. Continue tour by boat to Minh Mang Tomb built between 1841 and 1843. The Emperor’s tomb complex consists of 40 constructions (palaces, temples, pavilions etc) designed on a symmetric axis. In the afternoon we begin to see the Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City, created in the 19th century for the Emperors under Nguyen Dynasty. We then drive outskirts of Hue to the impressive tomb of King Khai Dinh. Our last stop today is the Dong Ba Market. Overnight in Hue

Women trading at Dong Ba Market by Tormod Sandtorv

Day 19: Hue - Hoi An

Spend the morning transferring to Hoi An via Hai Van Pass. Up on arrival you will enjoy a walking tour in the ancient town. Your walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200-year old Tam Ky ancestral house, the Japanese Covered Bridge and the colorful local markets. Overnight in Hoi An

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 20: Hoi An

An 08:00 pick up you at the hotel’s lobby. Take a bike to the downtown, stop by Hoi An’s colorful central market. Here you will have the opportunity to interact with the local sellers and learn about the ingredients to be used in the cooking lesson later. So make sure your camera is handy. Continue to Tra Que vegetable village. Welcome drink for rest and walk through the vegetable gardens where local farmers work on their fields using the traditional methods of hundreds of years ago, no electrical machinery here. Learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. After the lesson, enjoy what you have cooked. Enjoy the afternoon is free on your own. Overnight in Hoi An

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 21: Hoi An

Enjoy today at your leisure. Overnight Hoi An.

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

Day 22: Hoi An

Sadly your time with us has come to an end as you are transferred to the airport for the final time for your departure flight for your onward destination.