Sapa Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 772

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Hello Hanoi! Upon arrival at Hanoi 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

Begin your holiday, the traditional Vietnamese way, with a bowl of steaming Pho at one of Hanoi's most popular eateries. Afterwards we continue to Hoan Kiem Lake for a morning stroll. This central lake is focal point for many of the local residents who live close to the lake and gather there each day to practice Tai Chi, play badminton and do aerobics. Then it is time for a fun cooking class at one of the best schools in Hanoi, with a renowned local chef to teach and assist you. You enjoy a visit to the local market, and get to try your creations at the end. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Perhaps take stroll along the ancient streets of the exotic old quarter.

Vietnamese Water Puppets

Day 3: Hanoi

Free day.

Villagers in Sapa

Day 4: Hanoi - Sapa

Free day, until we transfer you to the train station for the overnight train to Sapa.

A lady from one of the hill tribes near Sapa

Day 5: Sapa

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. Pick up group 2 (2 people) at Hanoi airport & transfer to Halong Bay. Arrival time should be no later than 8:30 am

A local child in Sapa

Day 6: Sapa - Hanoi

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 Sapa we visit another beautiful waterfall for a refreshing end to the day. This evening we will transfer you to the station for the train back to Hanoi.

The Huc Bridge

Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning transfer from your hotel in Hanoi to Halong City, the drive takes about 4 hours and you will stop off for a refreshment break en route. Upon arrival meet the crew of the traditional Junk boat at the dock and cruise to the famous islands of UNESCO Listed Halong Bay and on to Bai Tu Long Bay. Aside from the cave visit and swimming, there is a chance to explore this stunning area by sea kayak. Return back to the Junk for a scrumptious dinner and watch an incredible sunset over the bay. Group 3 (2 people) wait at the airport for flight to Danang/ Hoi An. We can book suitable flight to their arrival flight, so they don’t need to wait too long for the others’ flight.

Halong Bay at sunset

Day 8: Halong Bay

Spend the morning at Bua Cua Beach where you can swim or sunbathe. Enjoy a typical Vietnamese BBQ on the beach and go for a kayak if you are feeling energetic. In the afternoon, visit floating fishing villages and return to the junk to watch the sunset over this incredible seascape.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 9: Halong Bay - Hoi An

Wake up to spectacular views of the bay. Cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng, where you can gain a fascinating insight into everyday life on the bay. Cruise back to the dock arriving in Halong around noon and transfer back to Hanoi airport for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival in Danang, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Hoi An.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 10: Hoi An

In the morning, take a half-day excursion to My Son Sanctuary. My Son is s religious site dating back to the Kingdom of Champa, and also a burial place of Cham royals and national heroes. The My Son temple complex is one of the foremost remaining examples of Hindu influence in South East Asia and is the most prominent heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. This 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.

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

Day 11: Hoi An

Free day. If you want, find out more about the local way of life with our Cycle and Cuisine excursion. Details are on the Enhance your Holiday page.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 12: Hoi An - Hue

We will transfer you through to Hue today, the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital and check you into the hotel.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 13: Hue - Saigon

Morning tour including the Imperial Citadel and Thien Mu Pagoda. Thien Mu Pagoda is an octagonal tower of seven tiers that rises majestically over the Perfume River. We will then transfer you to Hue airport for the flight to Saigon and on arrival we will check you into the hotel.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 14: Saigon

In the morning travel north west of the city to visit the historic Cu Chi Tunnels which were a key battleground in the Vietnam War. Upon arrival watch a short introductory video on the construction of the tunnels before spending an hour exploring the maze of tunnels, accompanied by a 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 early afternoon and enjoy lunch before embarking on a city tour. Major attractions include the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.

Day 15: Saigon - Phnom Penh

We will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Phnom Penh and on arrival we will check you into the hotel.

Day 16: Phnom Penh

This morning we have a 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.

Day 17: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

Spend time at leisure this morning before your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. With its picturesque location, Siem Reap is an ideal base to explore Cambodia's legendary Angkor Temple complex over the next two days. 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.

Day 18: Siem Reap

Time to explore more of the Angkor Temple Complex. Rise early this morning to avoid the crowds and travel by Tuk Tuk to visit the incredible jungle enveloped temple of Ta Prohm, which featured in the film 'Tomb Raider'. Next, visit the spectacular Angkor Wat temple - the world's largest religious building! 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. On your way back enjoy the sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.

Day 19: Siem Reap

This morning take a Tuk Tuk to the edge of Siem Reap and enjoy a fun buffalo cart ride through the countryside until you reach the Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake; the Tonle Sap. Board a boat and spend the rest of the morning at one of the largest floating villages on the lake which is called Kompong Phluk. In the village you will witness the fascinating daily lives of the local people who live on the water. The boat service is provided by local people, and the profit goes directly back to the community. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 20: Siem Reap

Today travel from Siem Reap to Battambang – a charming provincial, riverside city with beautifully preserved French architecture surrounded by picturesque countryside, temples and rural villages. An afternoon guided tour of the area includes lofty Phnom Banan - an 11th century Angkorian ruin consisting of five temples, perched on a mountain top.

Day 21: Siem Reap - Bangkok

We will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Bangkok. On arriver we will transfer you to your hotel in Bangkok, Thailand’s vibrant capital.

Day 22: Bangkok

Today we explore the pulsating city of Bangkok starting with the stunning Grand Palace and its golden stupas. See the Emerald Buddha, the Wat Pho and visit the Original Thai Massage School. Stop at the 24hr Flower Market before boarding longtail boats for a cruise along the city’s canals, known in Thai as khlongs, passing stilted houses, old men fishing and pretty temples along the way. From where we disembark it’s a short walk to the lively Khao San Road where street cafes and bars abound.

Day 23: Bangkok

Free day.

Day 24: Bangkok

Your South East Asian adventure comes to an end today and we will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight check-in.