The Mekong Delta Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 196

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Women practising Tai Chi by Hoan Kiem Lake

Day 1: Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi! Airport to hotel arrival transfer. Free time to explore.

A street in the Old Quarter of Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi - Halong Bay

Early this morning we drive to the strikingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay, we board our traditional wooden junk boat and cruise the emerald waters studded with a thousand or so karst limestone islands. 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.

A junk sailing past a limestone peak in Halong Bay

Day 3: Halong Bay

Enjoy further sailing on your junk boat today.

Halong Bay at sunset

Day 4: Halong Bay - Hoi An

Disembark your boat and then drive to Hanoi -- Arriving to Hanoi mid afternoon an hour or so is spent exploring the labyrinth of streets, known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’. Each of the narrow lanes are named after various guilds of the city’s artisan who established themselves here centuries ago. On a hair raising cyclo (rickshaw ride) we'll see the old quarter and the delightful Hoan Kiem Lake. -- Evening flight to Danang - Arrival transfer to your hotel in Hoi An.

Men sitting on the street in Hoi An in conical hats

Day 5: Hoi An

Enjoy the day to relax and enjoy the ambience of this small town you can catch a taxi to the town to see the little shops and grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants.

A bridge in Hoi An

Day 6: Hoi An

Enjoy the day to relax and enjoy the ambience of this small town you can catch a taxi to the town to see the little shops and grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants.

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

Day 7: Hoi An - Saigon

Fly to Saigon and arrival we will transfer you to your hotel.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 8: Saigon

Today enjoy a driving tour around the city to see the highlights of the city taking in Ben Thanh Market, the grand Independence Palace and more.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 9: Saigon - The Mekong Delta

Today we will transfer to embark your Mekong Delta cruise much like what you experienced in Halong bay nut enjoying the scenery of the Mekong Delta. Various stops are made to see markets, cottage industry and other various points of interest. (Your cruise boat would be BASSAC CRUISE www.transmekong.com)

Day 10: The Mekong Delta - Phnom Penh

Breakfast on board The morning bobbling commotion of Mekong river life comes to life for another lovely day our boat set sails to Cantho through tributary and canals. Transfer to Cairang: one of the most bustling floating markets in Mekong. YOu can opt to go for a walk along the canals and the palm-shaded creek to see local houses and green orchards, ship building yards, rural and water activities in full swing. Boarding back at noon, with a welcome-back drink. 11:00 Disembark in Cantho. We transfer by car to Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 11: Phnom Penh

Today we’ll enjoy 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. After you will see the Killing fields of the Khmer Rouge, and visit the Killing Fields where over 10,000 people were executed.

Day 12: 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.

Day 13: Siem Reap

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.

Day 14: 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.

Day 15: Siem Reap

We will transfer you to the airport for your flight home.