Indochina at Glance 16 Days/15 Nights
Visit: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Detail - Hue - Hoi An - Hanoi - Halong Bay - Sapa - Vientiane - Siem Reap
Prepare to be awed by the ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap on this sixteen-day journey among the marvels of Southeast Asia. Travel through dense jungle, towering limestone peaks, and emerald rice paddies, as you take in ancient world heritage sights and natural wonders as you enjoy the best that Indochina has to offer. Fly to Saigon, the frenetic economic capital of the country, home to impressive gems of French colonial architectural, tree-lined boulevards and pulsating markets, admire the stunning architecture of the Imperial Citadel in Hue, and unwind among the serene winding lanes of Hoi An. Next we're off to Hanoi, cultured capital of Vietnam. As we travel from north to south through this fascination country, you will view the splendor of the thousands of karst islands at Halong Bay Our last destination is the town of Siem Reap in Cambodia, gateway to the ruins of Angkor. Marvel at how these incredible stone structures have managed to survive centuries of jungle encroachment as you explore one of the most important religious monuments in the world.
Exploring vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, the dynamic heart of Vietnam The colorful floating markets, emerald rice fields, lush back waterways; these are the things that make the Mekong so interesting Touring the former imperial capital Hue, home to successions of imperial dynasties Wandering the charming streets of Hoi An town - lined with centuries old houses and quiet boutiques Travelling by cycle through the old quarter of Hanoi - absorbing the endless bustle of activity. Cruising aboard a traditional junk amidst the majestic limestone cliffs and emerald green waters of magnificent Ha long Bay The Sapa region is filled with ethnic minorities who maintain their own local culture, traditions, and dress. Spend three days trekking through the region, exploring the vast diversity whilst enjoying the fresh mountain air. Explore waterfalls, rice paddies, high mountain passes, and welcoming local villagers. Travel in Vientiane, the eco-friendly way on as you sight see on a local bicycle. The flat city and quiet backroads are ideal for pedaling amongst the sites. Visit serene temples such as Wat Sisaket, the bustling morning market, and Laos' most revered monument, That Luang. Witnessing the architectural legacy of the mighty Khmer Empire - once the greatest power in South East Asia Absorbing the beauty of the temples of Angkor Feeling welcomed by the smiles and hospitality of the Khmer people.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City - Arrival
On arrival at Tan San Nhat Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Ho Chi Minh City is a center of commerce, finance, culture and tourism in Vietnam. This bustling metropolis, contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping area and sidewalk cafe. ( If time permits) we stroll around the down town to explore the different local ways of life. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Detal (B, L)
Heading out of town, we travel by roads to the Mekong Delta. This plain region boasts the largest rice bowl of Vietnam. On arrival in My Tho we board a boat navigating around the intricate small canals, which is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up and catch a view dotted by many islands. The exciting river trip will pass by the lush green vegetation towards the famous Unicorn Island where we have a chance to stroll around an orchard, taste many seasonal fruits and see farmers at work. We navigate some narrower canals using small rowing boats to Ben Tre Province for an interesting visit to some local industries. The extra enjoyment is a lunch at one of the famous local eating spots. We drive back to Ho Chi Minh, stopping off en route to see the beautiful Ving Trang Pagoda and the Saigon's Chinatown, locally named Cho Lon. This bustling area is crammed with sacred temples and mysterious, narrow lanes. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Hoi An (B, L)
Today we spend a half day seeing some major sights of the city. We pass the now-demolished wartime American Embassy before we visit the Reunification Palace which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975, and some French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Saigon Post Office. After seeing the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant Museum, we continue our trip on to the bustling Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale!. The next stop of our trip is Danang via a short flight from Ho Chi Minh. On arrival you are greeted and driven to Hoi An, which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 4: Hoi An Sightsee Tour (B)
Pick up from hotel in Danang or Hoi An. A half-day trip to visit the capital and religious centre of the former Champa Kingdom, My Son. My Son was an imperial city during the Cham dynasty, between the 4th and 12th centuries. My Son Sanctuary is a large complex of religious relics that comprises more than 70 architectural works. They include temples and towers that connect to each other with complicated red brick designs. Continue to Hoi An for lunch and in the afternoon take a cyclo tour of the ancient town centre to visit the Chinese Assembly Halls, the Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Pagoda and Tan Ky House. Back to hotel. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 5: Hoi An - Hue (B, L)
The ancient architecture of Hoian is a fascinating combination of Vietnamese traditional characters with Chinese and Japanese influence. There are plenty to see in this delightful and tranquil town, some of which are the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tam Ky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda, the vibrant market. We visit these on our morning walking tour past many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past. Upon leaving Hoian, we drive north to Hue. Along the way, we make stopover at the sensational Marble Mountains, the East Sea and Danang City for a visit to the Cham Museum. We then follow the road crossing over the scenic Hai Van Pass before arriving in Hue, Vietnam's last imperial capital of Vietnam. Overnight in Hue.
Day 6: Hue - Hanoi (B, L)
After breakfast we embark on a boat for cruise upstream on the Perfume River which also gives us a taste of the scenic countryside as well as an enjoyable visit to The beautiful pagoda of Thien Mu. Upon leaving this symbol of Hue we continue navigating to the mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang, in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. The next stop of our trip is the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and the famous pagoda of Tu Hieu. On return to airport for flight to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
08.30: Pick up by private car at your hotel about 8.30. Spend 3 hours sight seeing country Vietnam on the way to Halong city. Arrive at Orchid Pier just before 12.00 noon.
11: 30 - 12.30: Welcome onboard
12: 30: From Hon Gai international harbour heading to Bai Tu Long area
13: 00: Lunch is served. Enjoy local sea food
15: 00: Transfer from Victory Star to rowing boat to visit Vung Vieng fishing village. Rowers are local girls wearing traditional costume. It's the oppotunity to see the fisher's daily life with the primary features in the charming nature. Additionally, the beauty of Cao cave (Thung cave) is also a good place to visit. We can also organize a rowing-boat competition (a traditional activity of locals) for passengers at the same time upon request (prize is a drink at dinner for winners).
16: 00: Come back to the boat, continue to visit Ha Long Bay and enjoy swimming in a calm area.
17: 30: The cruise is anchored overnight at Ho Dong Tien area. This place is perfect to enjoy sunset.
19: 30: Dinner is served. Then, passengers can relax with the services on Victory Star such as: bar, massage, fishing and so on.
Day 8: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Sapa (B, L)
06: 30: Enjoy sunrise over the bay or take part in our morning yoga class.
07.00: Coffee and tea is served.
08.00: Visit splendid Sung Sot grotto.
09.15: Luggage pull out.
09.30: Buffet brunch served while cruising through the bay to the pier.
11.00: Arrive at the pier. Time to say Goodbye!
14.30: arrival mini Hotel in Hanoi for shower until transfer to railway station for night train to Sapa.
Day 9: Sapa Sightsee Tour (B, L, D)
Met up at your hotel by Green Trail Tours local guide and driver then transferred to Lao Chai village, a Black Hmong ethnic minority village. You will then be able to walk from Lao Chai to Tavan village where the Giay ethnic minority hill tribe lives. Here you will be able to rest and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by your guide in a local house. After lunch the walk continues through a bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai, a Red Dao ethnic minority village. After taking a rest nearby a waterfall to refresh, you start climbing uphill to a road where the car is ready for your journey back to Sapa.
Day 10: Sapa - Hanoi (B, L, D)
* Matra Black H'Mong hill tribe village You will be met up at your hotel at 9AM by Green Trail Tours local guide then start a short walk downhill through beautiful orchids gardens and pine forests. You will then reach a small village of Suoi Ho is inhabited by Hmong ethnic minority. Their house normally built of land has no windows because of the cold in the winter. You will then continue your walk through rice paddy fields and spectacular scenery to Ma tra. It is possible to stop by a primary school for a quick visit. Then our vehicle will be waiting for us for our drive to Lao Cai Station for night train back to Hanoi.
Day 11: Hanoi City (B, L)
AM: 8h00 Pick up from your hotel, start of the tour journey visit by coach trip along the Hanoi Old Quarter. After that we take you to visit Ho Chi Minh complex, including Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum - the final resting place of Vietnamese great father or uncle Ho, President Ho Chi Minh's stilt house- where Ho livedon and off from 1958 to 1969, then visit Ho Chi Minh's museum, Where tourists will learn what he has done for Viet Nam and some other countries and learn all kinds of information about President Ho Chi Minh. The next place to move to is One Pillar Pagoda - a group of structures consisting of a pagoda and a tower built in the middle of a square lake. Leave One Pillar Pagoda for the Temple of Literature - the first college of Viet Nam and the place dedicating to Confucian. Have lunch at a restaurant. PM: After having lunch, drive to visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, Which is on the shore of West Lake. QuanThanhTemple and the Museum of Ethnology (Museum of history) - Where you can look at the cultural mosaic of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. The last place of city tour is Hoan Kiem Lake (RestoredSwordLake) with Ngoc Son Temple. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 12: Hanoi - Vientiane (B)
we board a short flight to Laos. On arrival at Vientiane Airport you are met by our guide and transferred to hotel. The charming and fascinating capital of Laos, Vientiane is small city conjuring up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences. You catch a your first glimpse of the town on a walking tour. Overnight in Vientiane
Day 13: Vientiane (B, L)
Today we spend a full day in Vientiane, seeing Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha statues. Close to this masterwork is the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We see these sites before continuing to Patouxai. This imposing monument standing in Lane Xang Avenue, is well known as Vientiane's own Arc de Triomphe and provides a stunning views of the city. We also visit the great sacred masterpiece and symbol of Laos, That Luang Stupa before we head out of town to see the giant Friendship Bridge and the impressive Buddha Park. This landmark represents a blend of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures created by mystical monk on a parkland located by the Mekong River. The perfect way to round off our day is to watch the spectacular sunset over the Mekong River from one of riverside bars. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 14: Vientiane - Siem Reap (B, L)
On arrival at Siem Riep Airport, you are met by our guide and transferred to hotel. The tranquil Siem Reap Town is our
base for visiting the world famous temples of the ancient city Angkor, which was the capital of the powerful Khmer Empire from 802 AD to 1350 AD. Upon leaving Siem Reap Town we set off on a short drive to the archeological area and spend our time to visit the most striking structures. They are the South Gate of Angkor Thom which is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the architectural masterpiece of Angkor Wat. We stroll around this massive monument, exploring the many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 15: Siem Reap Sightsee (B, L)
Today we continue exploring in some depth the complex of Angkor. The jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm is our first stop. There are enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers which embrace themselves in the stone foundations of this structure giving the impression of man's creation being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature. We visit this masterpiece as well as some of the surrounding temples including Banteay Kdei, Sra Srong, Ta Keo, Thommanon and Chau Say Tevado. The grand circuit with Preah Khan, Kravan, Neak Pean, Krol Ko, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup Temples, is also visited this afternoon before we walk up to Phnom Bakheng Hill for a view of the spectacular sunset over these sandstone monuments. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 16: Siem Reap - Departure (B, L)
Heading out of town we embark on a boat for a short cruise on Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia's biggest natural water body. The experience is wonderful as we pass by floating village, friendly children in small boats and fishermen pulling in morning catch. This excursion is all depending on your departure time. The trip ends after your transfer to Siem Reap Airport for departure
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