Vietnam Explorer (23 days / 22 nights)

from 3059 USD/pax

Day 1 Phnom Penh - Arrival (D, G)

Transfer from Phnom Penh International Airport to the hotel.

In the afternoon, you will have visit the Victory Monument, and the National Museum, also called Musee des Beaux-Arts. A French archaeologist and painter, Georges Groslier, designed it in Khmer style in 1917. The museum contains a collection of Khmer art – notably sculptures – throughout the ages. Visit the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda. Located within the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90 kilograms and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha.

End your afternoon with the visit of the Wat Phnom Temple, Phnom Penh’s namesake, from where you can enjoy views over the tree-lined avenues of Phnom Penh during sunset.

Dinner at local restaurant and accommodation at hotel.

Day 2 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap (B, L, G)

After breakfast, your will be free until transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Free time.

Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.

Day 3 Siem Reap (B, L, G)

The sightseeing tour of Angkor area we spend a full day exploring the wondrous ancient ruins with 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 largest as well as the most complete temple of Angkor Wat. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares. We stroll around this massive edifice, seeing the many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 4 Siem Reap (B, L, G)

Breakfast at hotel.

The jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm is an incredible sight. There are enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers which embrace themselves in the stone foundations of the structure giving the impression of man’s creation being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature. We explore 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 5 Siem Reap - Hanoi (B, G)

After breakfast, you’ll be free until transfer to the airport for your international flight to Hanoi. On arrival, pick up from the airport and transfer to the hotel for check in.

In the afternoon, you’ll visit the stilt house of a famous Vietnamese artist to view his antique collection and restoration work. Next, you’ll visit the home of another talented painter to enjoy his lacquer and oil painting artwork. Finally, you’ll meet another artist who brush- paints Vietnamese traditional calligraphy.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 6 Hanoi city tour (B, L, G)

An all day city tour, possibly including the Temple of Literature, (the first university in Vietnam dating back to the 11th C), the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Ethnology Museum and the centre of Hanoi, including the Hoan Kiem Lake, the Ngoc Son temple and the bustling Old Quarter with a complex of architecture – traditional tube houses, religious buildings and the colonial houses. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of Cheo (an traditional music typical for the northern Vietnam).

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 7 Hanoi - Ha Long (B, L, D, G)

A morning drive to Ha Long Bay, (one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas – the world’s largest marine “karst” landscape). Travel by traditional-style boat to some of the less well-known grottoes and caves. Includes swimming, fishing, hill (not mountain) climbing for Bay overviews, exploring sea level caves in a small sampan, etc.

All meals will be provided on board and your accommodation will be on the boat in a twin room with en suite toilet and shower.

Day 8 Ha Long - Hanoi - Lao Cai (B, L, G)

Morning cruising Ha Long Bay, followed by lunch and then return to Hanoi for refreshment at a local hotel before board a overnight train to Lao Cai.

Overnight on the train.

Day 9 Lao Cai - Sapa (B, L, G)

Overnight train from the previous night and arrive in the early morning. You’ll be picked at the station to travel to a remote ethnic market.

In the afternoon you’ll return to Sa Pa town for overnight stay.

The trips to ethnic markets are a fascinating experience but must be on Tuesday (Coc Ly Market), Saturday (Can Cau Market) or Sunday (Muong Hum and Bac Ha Markets).

Day 10 Sapa trekking (B, L, D, G)

Trekking down to visit H’mong ethnic village. After a streamside lunch, you’ll continue to trek to Day ethnic village for an overnight stay.

Trekking is quite arduous over rough tracks, along terraces and through the villages. Stout walking shoes and good sun protection essential. About 10 km the first day.

Day 11 Sapa trekking (B, L, D, G)

Trekking to Red Dao ethic village. Lunch en route and in the afternoon trek to Ban Ho Valley for an overnight stay of Tay stilt house.

Day 12 Sapa - Lao Cai (B, L, G)

Trekking to Thanh Phu village. After streamside lunch, you’ll be pick up to travel to Sa Pa by Jeep.

In late afternoon you’ll be picked up to travel to the station for an overnight train to Hanoi.

Day 13 Hanoi (freeday) (B)

The car will pick you up at the train station and take you to hotel for check in.

Your time will be your own. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 14 Hanoi - Hue (B, L, G)

Take an afternoon flight to Hue, check-in, then to the Thien Mu Pagoda (beside the Perfume River – very tranquil), boat cruise to King Minh Mang’s Tomb (the most majestic of the Royal Tombs) and drive to visit the Dong Ba market.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 15 Hue (B, L, G)

Morning visit to the Imperial Citadel of Hue and the Antiquity Museum.

Afternoon drive to visit King Tu Duc’s Tomb (the poet King, the simplest Royal tomb set in a beautiful garden) and visit to Garden Houses – (a cultural characteristic in Hue).

In the evening you’ll be picked up to enjoy a Hue musical show on a boat in the Perfume River for about one hour.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 16 Hue - Danang - Hoi An (B, L, G)

Morning drive to Danang (excellent views from high mountain pass). On arrival in Danang, you’ll have a brief visit to Cham Museum, then continue to travel to Hoi An.

After lunch, a guided visit to the Ancient Town. Overnight stay in Hoi An.
The town is an ancient trading port, once the largest in Indochina and a meeting point for many cultures that left their mark in the different architectural features of its wooden buildings.

Day 17 Hoi An - My Son (B, G)

Morning drive to My Son Sanctuary – World Heritage Area. Once the My Son Sanctuary was the spiritual capital of the Cham Kingdom that dominated SE Asia for nearly a thousand years. Its remarkable brick towers were badly bombed by the Americans, but are still impressive as is its remote valley setting.

Free afternoon and overnight in Hoi An. 

Day 18 Hoi An - Danang - Ho Chi Minh City (B, G)

After breakfast, the car will take you to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, you will be picked up to transfer to the hotel.

The rest of the day will be your own. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 19 Ho Chi Minh City tour (B, L, G)

After breakfast, you’ll start your city tour including the History Museum (special exhibition of the 5thC “Oc Eo” civilisation), the Museum of War Remnants (very partial, but riveting, recollections of the “American War”: not for the squeamish), the huge Ben Thanh market (one of the liveliest areas of Ho Chi Minh City), the Jade Emperor Temple (superb effigies, remarkable carved panels of the descent to Hell and incongruous terrapin and tortoise sanctuaries) and a lacquer workshop.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 20 Ho Chi Minh City - Tay Ninh - Cu Chi (B, L, G)

Drive to Tay Ninh to visit the Cao Dai Holy See (in time to watch the mid-day ceremony). Cao Dai is a ‘new’ religion unique to Viet Nam with around a million followers. After that you’ll travel to Cu Chi (intricate network of underground passages and bunkers that became legendary during the 1960′s for their role in the war of liberation). Both its creed and its architecture are remarkable and exotic. 

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 21 Ho Chi Minh City - Vinh Long (B, L, D, G)

Drive to Vinh Long, cruise on Mekong River to visit traditional family-run brick kilns and a wide range of varied cottage industries.

Overnight stay in an orchard house of local people beside canals.

Day 22 Vinh Long - Ho Chi Minh City (B, L, G)

Morning boat cruise to visit a bonsai garden, the old house, local houses making confectionery and Cai Be floating market. You’ll also have chance to enjoy the Mekong Delta music performed by local people.

Afternoon return to Ho Chi Minh City for an overnight stay.

Day 23 Ho Chi Minh - Departure (B, G)

After breakfast, you’ll be free until transfer to airport for your departure flight.

The package includes:

– Private transportation.

– English speaking guide

– Hotel accommodation: Three-star hotel (Twin sharing)

– Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

– Entrance tickets as the itinerary

– Fresh water (2 bottles/pax/day)

The package excludes:

– Domestic air ticket

– Drinks, tips, personal expenses

– Unmentioned meals

– Travel insurance

– International bank fee for transferring money

– Credit card payment: 3% will be added in total amount

– Single Supplement charge

– Others not mentioned above

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VNM01: Experience of Vietnam

VNM02: Vietnam – North and South

VNM03: Know about Vietnam

VNM04: Understand Vietnam

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