Sapa Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 785

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Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 1: Saigon

Welcome to Saigon! You will be met at the airport for transfer to your hotel. This afternoon we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Viet-Cong in their struggle to keep control of the region during the 1960’s. After a short video presentation we take an exciting walk around the many bush trails and see trapdoors, booby traps, living areas, weapon factories and kitchens that were used and lived in during the war. We can also safely crawl through sections of the tunnels, that have been widened for the tourists and stand in the middle of bomb craters that are still just as defined as the day they were created. At the end of the visit you can opt to fire weapons of the era (including the M16 ‘s and AK47) on the firing range (your own payment). Overnight Eden Hotel.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 2: Saigon

Today you will be transferred to the Mekong Delta. In Bến Tre town. Take a boat on Bến Tre river. Stop at brickwork to see locals make brick by hand.Turn on canal and visit coconut prosessing workshop.Walking on paths and stop at farmer house for seeing mat weaving. Take a ride on village paths via local hamlet and school,coconut garden(4 km) Lunch in restaurant by river. Take row boat on canal and bike on rice fields, vegetable plains and shady paths.Discover the reallife in country,come to workshop making rice paper,coconut candy,visit local Cao dai temple. (8 km). Get along riverside to go back the office.(3km) And have a look many kinds of fruit for sale displayed on sidewalk in evening town market. Overnight Eden Hotel.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 3: Saigon - Hoi An

Check-out the hotel, then take time to visit Saigon city including Notre Dame cathedral, the Old Post and Ben Thanh market. Flight to Danang. Transfer to Hoi An. Check in the hotel. Enjoy a walking tour through the narrow lanes of the town, lined with century-old buildings and illuminated at night by hundreds of colorful lanterns. Discover the traditional shop-houses and temples, and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 4: Hoi An

Today is a free day for you to relax or explore Hoi An independently.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 5: Hoi An - Hue

Transfer to hue city via hai van pass. On the way, stop off for a refreshment break at Lang Co beach, one of the World’s most beautiful bays. Afternoon take a boat ride along the romantic Perfume River. Stop off at the Thien Mu Pagoda on the banks of the river to see the 7-storey Stupa. Continue on to visit the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang (1791-1841), built between 1841 and 1843. Lunch is a special vegetarian meal with the nuns of Dong Thuyen Pagoda. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Citadel and Forbidden City, created in the 19th century for the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Enjoy some “retail therapy” at Dong Ba Market before transferring back to the hotel.

The Perfume River in Hue

Day 6: Hue - Hanoi

After breakfast at the hotel, visit the mausoleums of the Emperors Tu Duc (1829-1883) and Khai Dinh (1885-1925). After breakfast at the hotel, visit the mausoleums of the Emperors Tu Duc (1829-1883) and Khai Dinh (1885-1925). Flight to Hanoi. Check-in the hotel. Then transfer to Thang Long puppet theatre for a unique water puppet show.

Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Depart Hanoi in the morning for the scenic three-hour drive through the countryside to Ha Long Bay, a natural wonder with thousands of islands rising out of the water, creating a unique and beautiful landscape. On arrival, embark on one of the vessels for an overnight cruise through the 3,000 limestone islands, many punctuated by caves and grottoes. Savor a delicious Vietnamese buffet lunch as the cruise heads to Bai Tu Long Bay passing the towns of Hon Gai and Cam Pha, Oan Lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets. Take a row boat to visit the Vung Vieng fishing village. Enjoy a range of fantastic recreation or relaxation activities onboard: a cooking demonstration, traditional massage, swimming, kayaking etc. Finish the day with a sumptuous set-menu dinner.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 8: Halong Bay - Sapa

Start the day with calming Tai Chi on the Sundeck while complimentary tea & coffee are served. The cruise weighs anchor to cruise through the Bay passing beautiful spots like Trong (Drum), Trinh Nu (Virgin) and Me Cung Caves, Coc Ngoi (Toad) Islet, etc. Explore the Surprise Cave (Sung Sot). A buffet brunch is served onboard. The vessel cruises leisurely back to Ha Long harbor. From Ha Long Bay, transfer to Hanoi. Take time to visit Temple of Literature, One pillar pagoda. Then free time to self have dinner. Evening take the night train to Lao Cai.

A lady from one of the hill tribes near Sapa

Day 9: 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.

A local child in Sapa

Day 10: 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.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 11: Hanoi - Siem Reap

Arrive in Hanoi around 5am, picked up and transferred to a small hotel for refreshment and breakfast. Free time to relax, then transfer to the airport for a flight to Siem Reap. Overnight Siddharta Boutique Resort & Spa.

Day 12: Siem Reap

This morning visit the magnificent 12th Century Angkor Wat. It took 30 years to build and represents the Khmer civilisation at its grandest; it is also the best preserved temple with its fascinating decorative flourishes and extensive bas-reliefs. This afternoon, you will explore the Grand Circuit of temples including Preah Khan, NeakPoan, Ta Som and East Mebon. Back to Pre rub for sunset on the view of this little hill. This evening there is an optional tour PharePonleuSelpak (PPS) NGO. Overnight Siddharta Boutique Resort & Spa.

Day 13: Siem Reap - Phnom Penh

In this morning after breakfast and check-out,you will travel to the less visited BengMealea, a temple almost forgotten by the local population. BengMealea, which dates from the 11th Century, is just waiting to be rediscovered by the more adventurous traveller. This sprawling jungle temple, which covers over 1sq km, is largely overrun by vegetation and was constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat-style. However, BengMealea predates and may have even served as a prototype for Angkor Wat. Return to town, if time permitted, let’s shop for little gift for friend or family. Then transfer to airport for Phnom Penh departing 20:00. Arrive in Phnom Penh in late evening at 20:45. Then you will be picked up by guide and driver transfer to hotel for check-in. Overnight Queen Grand Boutique.

Day 14: Phnom Penh

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RHYS! Pick up from hotel. Proceed for tour to Ta Mao Mountain, Wildlife. Sanctuary, a home of animals confiscated from trafficker or saved from poachers traps. Phnom Ta Mao is by far the largest zoo in Cambodia and the influx of visitors testifies to this. It was officially opened by Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen in 2000, although it had been running for some five years previously. PTWRC is currently the only official sanctuary in the country. Later this afternoon enjoy a boat cruise on the mighty Mekong River and enjoy the sunset. Overnight Queen Grand Boutique.

Day 15: Phnom Penh

Today after breakfast and check out you will visit the Royal Palace built in 1866 by the French, followed by the Silver Pagoda (also known as temple of the Emerald Buddha). You will also stop at the National Museum, located next to the Royal Palace, before an emotional visit to TuolSleng Museum, known as the Museum of Genocidal Crimes. This former school was used by the Khmer Rouge as a detention and torture centre in the late 1970s; today the building houses paintings and photographs of the victims. Then we will transfer you to your airport for your onward flight.