Day 1: ARRIVE IN HANOI
Arrival in Hanoi, you will be greeted and transferred to the hotel. Walking around the downtown of this stylish and gracious city, visit the Old Quarter with the streets named after the specific goods. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: HANOI (B)
Explore this one thousand year old capital city with the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh (close on Monday & Friday), the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, the Museum of the Ethnology, the West Lake, Tran Vu Pagoda, the Lake of the Restored Sword and Ngoc Son Temple.
Late afternoon we take a cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter streets. Evening enjoy a fantastic traditional water puppet show (unique to Vietnam).
Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: HANOI – HA LONG (B, L, D)
Overland to Halong Bay (165 km), a World Natural Heritage Site, view the rural scenery en route. Upon arrival, our crew welcomes you on board the Deluxe Cruise. Enjoy a welcome drinks, check-in to your cabin. A fresh seafood lunch will be served at 1 p.m. At that time, we will begin our 3.5 hours cruise through mystic Halong Bay to see the amazing karsts with different formations: Mat Qui (Monster’s face) islet, But Moc islet, Cap De islet, Trong (Drum) cave, Trinh Nu cave, floating fishing village, with its unique way of life. Then head to Luon cave, enjoy swimming, sun bathing at Ti Top beach or climb the peak of the mountain for a breath-taking panorama view of Halong Bay. Enjoy another seafood feast for dinner and for the night owls, there is an option of night fishing. Overnight on board.
Day 4: HA LONG – HANOI – HUE (B)
Continue our cruise exploring the natural beauty of the World Heritage visiting Dinh Huong Island, Ga Choi Island, Dog Island, Sail Island, the cave of Surprise, one of the biggest and the most beautiful cave in Ha Long beautifully decorated by thousand of stalactites and stalagmites.
Afternoon drive back to Hanoi. Stop en route to visit Dong Trieu ceramic village.
Transfer to the Hanoi airport to take the short flight to Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam, the World Cultural Heritage Site, well-known for magnificent architecture, pagodas and royal tombs laid in small villages and surrounding hills.
Overnight in Hue
Day 5: HUE (B)
Morning arrive in Hue. A boat cruise on the romantic Perfume River takes us to the Hue’s oldest and most revered site, Thien Mu Pagoda, an unofficial symbol of Hue.
Afternoon visit the Imperial Citadel, the Pupple Forbidden City, the elaborate tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and the famous Tu Hieu Pagoda.
Overnight in Hue.
Day 6: HUE – DA NANG – HOI AN (B)
Depart for Hoi An (136 km), a World Cultural Heritage. Stop en route visiting Cham museum which contains the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world, the beautiful Marble Mountains and the famous China Beach.
Upon arrival in Hoi An, wander its peaceful narrow streets to see many centuries-old architectures combining influences of many exotic trading community, visit the 200 year-old Tan Ky house, Phuc Kien Pagoda, the former merchants’ houses, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colorful riverside market.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 7: MY SON (B)
Excursion to My Son Holy land (35 km), once the spiritual capital of Champa Kingdom that dominated South East Asia for nearly a thousand years and occupied most of the central parts of Vietnam from 2nd century to 16th century with very rich in history and culture. Contemplate its remarkable red brick towers and sanctuaries dating from between the 7th and 13th centuries.
Drive back to Hoi An, rest of the day is free to cycle through rice paddies to the nearby beach, shop for souvenirs among the antique shops and art galleries or just sit at sidewalk cafes and soak up the atmosphere of this friendly little town.
Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 8: HOI AN – HO CHI MINH CITY (B)
Morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the biggest industrial and commercial center of Vietnam. We stroll around the downtown to explore the different local ways of life and visit the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Saigon Post Office, the former Presidential Palace, the China town with Thien Hau pagoda and Binh Tay wholesale market.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 9: MY THO (B)
Journey to My Tho (65 km). Upon arrival we take a boat trip visiting the fish wharf, the 4 famous islands of Dragon, Unicorn, Turtle and Phoenix. Take a short tour by “xe loi” (motorized rickshaw) to the bank of Mekong River visiting a rice farm, candy workshop and honey bee farm, then journey by small sampan through the canals and mangrove forests where we watch the fishermen lay their fish traps. Enjoy time on the Unicorn Island visiting the fruit orchards, taste diverse types of tropical fruits, tea mixed with bee’s honey. Experience a wonderful show of Mekong Delta’s traditional music and songs.
Afternoon drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10: HO CHI MINH CITY – PHNOM PENH (B)
Flight to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia Kingdom. Despite its recent turbulent history, it still maintains considerable charm. A city tour acquaints us with some major sights of Phnom Penh. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are now home to the royal family and are therefore very close to the public. At the northern area of the palace grounds is Silver Pagoda, the most sacred shrine in the country. We visit both structures as well as the legendary temple of Wat Phnom, which provides an interesting view over the environs. The next stop of our trip is the National Museum, exclusively dedicated to Khmer art and sculpture. The majority of the exhibits are from the Angkor period from 9th to 15th centuries, but some date from as early as the 4th century.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 11: PHNOM PENH – SIEM REAP (B, D)
Early morning transfer to Phnom Penh port for departure to Siem Reap, down from Mekong River to Tonle Sap and it takes about 6 hours. Upon arrive at Siem Reap’s port you are met and transfer to the hotel.
After short rest at your hotel we continue to visit the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers, Prasat Kravan – with its unique brick sculptures, Srah Srang – The Royal Baths” was once used for ritual bathing, Banteay Kdei (surrounded by four concentric walls). Evening enjoy Apsara Dance show.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 12: SIEM REAP (B)
We start on our bike and cycle (45 minutes for cycling) to world heritage areas on the roads less travelled. Ride among the jungle passing local village and local shop. It’s a very special and acting day as you will explore some of Angkor’s most beautiful temples. You will visit the West Gate of Angkor Thom – undiscovered by mass tourist: the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century), the South Gate, Bayon Temple – unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King
The tour continues with the visiting to the famous temple: Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a World Heritage Site since 1992, famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology, visit Bakheng Temple and enjoy a romantic sun set view form Bakheng hill.
Enjoy foot massage 1 hour before transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 13: SIEM REAP – VIENTIANE (B)
Leave Cambodia for flight to Vientiane – the capital of Laos, transfer to the hotel. After a short rest, strolling around some of the city’s most historical sites and seeing some of the French colonial architecture, see sunset by the Mekong Riverside until the late evening and experience the city lifestyle of the local Lao people.
Overnight in Vientiane
Day14: VIENTIANE – LUANG PHRABANG (B)
After breakfast, visit the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we will stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph, visit the central market known as the ‘Morning Market’ which is a great place for browsing antiques, handmade textiles and gifts, visiting the National Museum (close Tuesday) former name Revolutionary Museum then board our short flight to the Luang Prabang, which is perhaps the best – preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. On arrival, transfer to hotel, stroll around the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of textiles made by the local and the hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. We then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as viewing a beautiful and panoramic sunset over the ancient and once royal city and the Mekong River.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day15: LUANG PHRABANG – PAK OU CAVE (B)
After breakfast, visit the city’s oldest temple of impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham, Wat Mai, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. We then board a cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine. On our way back, we pass the local villages at Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan continue to see the royal temple at Wat Longkhoun, which once belonged to a royal family patronage near by Sackarine Caves. We cross to city and take a short drive to Ban Phanom, a village well known for its hand weaving.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day16: LUANG PHRABANG – DEPART (B)
After breakfast, participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents, visit The National Museum (close Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, then visit the silver smith’s and Fine Arts School and the Central Market, which is not to be missed. Free at leisure until transfer to the airport for departure flight.