Siem Reap Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 486

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Vietnam and the start of your holiday! You will be making your own way to the start hotel.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi

After breakfast we embark on an exciting city tour of Vietnam's capital. Starting with a visit to Uncle Ho himself before heading across the road to the beautiful Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's iconic House on Stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda. Later on we continue to the Ethnology Museum where we learn about Vietnam's many diverse ethnic groups. This afternoon we visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first 11th century university. We finish the day with a cyclo ride through the Old Quarter and a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake.

The Huc Bridge

Day 3: Hanoi - Sapa

A free day to explore Hanoi. Late check-out from your hotel and transfer to the train station for your train to Lao Cai - 4 berth shared cabins.

A lady from one of the hill tribes near Sapa

Day 4: Sapa

You will be meet on arrival into Lao Cai, and transferred to Sapa for breakfast. We then start our day with (soft) trekking through the picturesque terrace fields and explore local traditional ethnic houses and learn about the local people. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving back to Sapa.

A local child in Sapa

Day 5: Sapa - Hanoi

Today is your free day to explore on your own - we suggest you explore Cat Cat village and the Ham Rong Mountain. This afternoon we drive to Lao Cai town to board our overnight train back to Hanoi - 4 berth shared cabins.

Vietnamese Water Puppets

Day 6: Hanoi

Arrival Hanoi around 0430AM and transfer to your hotel. At 0830AM we take a bike ride along the Red River to Bat Trang pottery village, then keep biking to other nearby village before we board our coach and drive to Van Giang village for a cooking demonstration and lunch. We then drive back to Hanoi. This afternoon is at your leisure.

Halong Bay at sunset

Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning we transfer to Halong City( approx 4 hours - a have a refreshment break en route). Upon arrival we 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 our Junk for a scrumptious dinner and watch an incredible sunset over the bay.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 8: Halong Bay - Siem Reap

Wake up to the fresh air, gentle breeze and amazing views of the bay this morning. We cruise through Bai Tu Long and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng - where you can learn about daily life. Enjoy lunch onboard before returning to the main harbour and travelling to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival at airport you are met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel for check in. The reminder of today is at your leisure.

Day 9: Siem Reap

After breakfast at the hotel, 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. Next, we visit 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. This afternoon we visit famous Angkor Wat, built for king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. Enjoy watching the superb view of sunset over Angkor Wat.

Day 10: Siem Reap

Today we visit Kbal Spean, an ancient Angkor ruin that is a 90-minute bumpy ride from Siem Reap, on the same route to Banteay Srei. On the way back we visit Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual temples of Angkor. It is built largely of red sandstone, which is covered with elaborate and deeply carved decorations. We continue on to the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonlé Sap, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the river. Boarding a local boat and visiting the village of Kampong Phluck. Along the way we pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water.

Day 11: Siem Reap - Saigon

This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Saigon. Upon arrival, we are met and transferred to the Cu Chi tunnels, an incredible underground system covering nearly 250km, was shelter to over 16,000 communist guerillas during the war. We return to the city, the afternoon is at your leisure.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 12: Saigon

We leave Saigon and drive to My Tho boat station which belongs to Ben Tre, to cruise on the Mekong river. We view the local river’s banks, fish-floating markets and islands of Dragon, Unicorn,Turtle, Phoenix. Landing on Unicorn island, we visit an orchard of tropical fruitsand enjoy seasonal fruits and listen to Southern traditional music. We also stop to visit a bee- farm and coconut candy workshop and enjoy a horse-cart ride along the countryside road. After lunch we drive back to Saigon and visit the Re-Unification Palace, Central Post Office, Cathedral and Ben Thanh Market.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 13: Saigon

Today we bid you farewell and transfer you through to the aiport to meet your onward flight.