The Road of Indochina World Heritage Sites (18n/19d)

One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi

One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi

Day 1: Welcome to Saigon (-/-/D)
Warm welcome upon your arrival in Saigon. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the downtown. Your guide’s welcome speech will give you  overall information about the city of Saigon. After check in you will have free time to relax, then your guide will see you again for a welcome dinner at one of the best restaurant in town.  You stay overnight in Saigon.

Day 2: Saigon & Cu chi tunnels (B/L/-)
In the morning you will have a private tour visiting some of its famous attractions such as the Reunification Palace, the Municipal Theatre, the City Post Office, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. You can also have a walk through the city’s main shopping boulevard with fashionable boutiques and hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and house-wares. In the afternoon  you will drive to visit the Cu Chi tunnels. Very famous in the wartime with its smart and complicated system including underground meeting room, kitchen, food, weapon caches, hospital. This underground complex played a major role in the Vietnamese winning the war and is a must-see when you are in Saigon. You are invited to crawl around in the safer parts of the tunnel system or try a shooting range where you can fire a number of assault rifles, such as the M16 rifle or AK-47, as well as a light machine gun like the M60. You stay overnight in Saigon.

Day 3: Saigon – My Tho – Can Tho (B/-/D)
Today you will drive out toward the South-Western Vietnam to Mekong Delta or “Nine Dragon River Delta”. Surrounded by thousands of crisscrossed canals, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, most of villages are often accessible by rivers and canals rather than by road.  After two-hour drive you will arrive My Tho. Upon arrival you will take a sampan motor-boat on the Tien river to the Thoi Son ( Unicorn) islet, one of the four famous islets ( Dragon, Unicorn,  Tortoise, Phoenix). From here you follow a village path passing local houses, visiting some family-run coconut candy mill, take a horse-cart from village to village or enjoy a sampan rowing along small canals. Lunch with local dishes will be served right in the garden restaurant. You also have a chance to experience “Southern Vietnamese folk music “, a common art activity in the Mekong Delta performed by local people. Rejoin your car continue to Can Tho, the heart of Mekong Delta. Hotel check in and enjoy your leisure. Dinner will be at local restaurant. You stay overnight in Can Tho.

Day 4: Floating market – Delta biking – Saigon (B/L/-)
An early wake up today and ready to join in the Mekong Delta floating market, one of the most exciting activities you should do when you are in this area. You can start the motorized boat to visit the Cai Rang floating market, experience how people exchange goods, fruit and many other commodities on their vessels. You easily find the wholesaler big boats which hang the goods she buys/sells on the pole – a mark for reseller small boats knowing where they have to go from a certain distance. You also find floating restaurants, floating bars, floating gas stations, and many other floating shops. After sampling some local fruits at the market, you will be back to the shore and take a bike cycling from village to village on path, over monkey bridges, get in touch with local people. Lunch is at local restaurant before driving back to Saigon for stay overnight.

Day 5: Fly Hue (B/-/D)
Today you have free time until transfer to Hanoi airport for flight to Hue. Your guide and driver will meet you at the Hue airport for a transfer to your hotel. Located in central Vietnam, Hue used to be the Citadel of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945 and is recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Your guide’s welcome speech will give you  overall information about the city of Hue. After check in you will have free time to relax. In the evening you will have a chance to enjoy a Hue Citadel Royal style dinner tasting some Royal cuisines at local restaurant. You will stay overnight in Hue.

Day 6: Hue (B/L/-)
Breakfast at hotel then you will have a private trip on the Dragon boat cruising on the Perfume river to visit the Thien Mu pagoda-built in 1601 and, one of the oldest and prettiest religious buildings in the country. From there you rejoin your car to visit the Nguyen Dynasty king Minh Mang’s tomb and king Tu Duc’s tomb. Lunch is at a local restaurant. Afternoon you will have a private tour to explore the Hue Citadel. It is a huge complex covering an area of 520ha and comprising three circles of ramparts, Hue Capital Citadel, Royal Citadel and Forbidden Citadel. End of the day you will visit the local Dong Ba market built in 1899 on a bank of the Perfume river – a paradise for snapshots of daily activities. You will stay overnight in Hue.

Day 7: Hue – Hoi An (B/-/D)
Today you will leave Hue Citadel for Hoi An Ancient town, another World Heritage site in  Central Vietnam. Your trip will travel over the Hai Van pass where you have a stop for a panoramic view over the Lang Co beach before arriving at your hotel in Hoi An. Hoi An used to be an international trade center by sea on the east area in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was the busiest trading port during the reign of Nguyen as merchants from Japan, China, Portugal, Spain, Holland often stopped over to exchange and purchase commodities. After check-in is the free time at leisure to enjoy the hotel/resort services on offer or you can explore the Hoi An town. Your guide will see you again for a dinner at a local restaurant. Tonight you will stay overnight in Hoi An.

Day 8: My Son Ruins & Hoi An Ancient town Heritage Sites (B/L/-)
Morning you will take a trip to discover another World Heritage site My Son – the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled Central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth century and is considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham areas in Vietnam. The complex is comprised of seventy Hindu-like towers and temples dating from the second century. This site is a must-see for those people who are interested in architecture and ancient civilizations and is now one of five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam. Back to the town for lunch then you will have a walking tour to explore the old houses, narrow streets, moss-grown walls, lantern makers. You will stop to visit some of the most interesting sights of the town including Japanese Covered Bridge, House of Tuy Tien Duong, Quan Cong Temple, Old houses, Chinese Assembly Halls and handicraft workshop and traditional arts performance.

Day 9: Hoi An free (B)
Today you will have a full day free to enjoy the beach with sun and sea, trying some water sports or come to the town for shopping of the Vietnamese handicraft souvenirs, especially you can visit and try one of the most famous services of Hoi An, a fast-services tailoring. You can order of silk clothes and receive it a few hours later with the best quality and very reasonable price. Overnight stay in Hoi An.

Day 10: Fly Hanoi (B/-/D)
Again you take a one-hour flight to Hanoi. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel located in the Hanoi downtown. Your guide’s welcome speech will give you  overall information about  this one-thousand-year old city and now is the capital of Vietnam.  After check in you will have free time to relax, then your guide will see you again for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Your first day will be completed by a water puppet show – a unique art performance in Vietnam – before you return to your hotel for overnight stay in Hanoi.

Day 11: Hanoi (B/L/-)
This full day tour takes you around Hanoi’s most interesting sights, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex and Mausoleum, House-on-Stilts, the Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda.  After that you will visit the Quan Thanh Temple and the Tran Quoc pagoda, the oldest pagoda originally constructed in the sixth century. For lunch you have two options:  enjoy a Hanoi special dish “Cha Ca” at Cha Ca La Vong restaurant, one of the most unique (over a hundred years old) restaurants located in the Hanoi Old Quarter.  Or you can taste a “Pho”, another worldwide famous dish from Hanoi. Afternoon you can choose to visit one of the city’s Museums:  Vietnam History Museum, Vietnam Ethnology Museum, Vietnam Military History Museum, and the Temple of Literature, before having a walk around the Lake of the Restored Sword, visit the Ngoc Son Temple and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese coffee at a street-pub. Overnight stay in Hanoi.

Day 12: Hanoi – Halong Bay (B/L/D)
You leave Hanoi for Halong Bay (a World Natural Heritage site) via the Red River Delta. Upon arrival you will have a short break at the Café Lounge. Welcome on board. You will set out on a junk cruise on the bay while seafood lunch is served. After lunch, you will take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay, swimming on a quiet beach or sunbathing on the sundeck. In the late afternoon, you will take a take a bamboo row boat to visit an interesting fishing village with an opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. You also take a kayak to discover a water tunnel with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon. Back on board to enjoy watching the peaceful sunset, joining a Vietnamese cooking demonstration and later unwind at a restaurant. Tonight you stay overnight onboard.

Day 13: Halong Bay – Luang Prabang/Laos (Brunch/D)
Early birds will have a chance to join in the Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck and view the sunrise over the bay with a cup of coffee or tea.  After brunch you will take a tender to visit one of the most beautiful limestone grottos – Sung Sot cave. Your junk sets sail to cruise back to the dock while you enjoy a final glimpse of Halong Bay. On the journey back to Hanoi you will have a stop at the Phu Lang ceramic village – one of the most famous ceramic brands dated from 17th – 19th century in the North of Vietnam. Then you will drive back to Hanoi airport for flight to Luang Prabang (Laos). You local guide in Luang Prabang will welcome you at airport for a transfer to your hotel then there will be a dinner at local restaurant. Tonight you stay overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 14: Luang Prabang (B/L/-)
In the morning you will take a boat trip upstream the Mekong River to visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by devoted pilgrims.  Along the way, you will stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local rice wine is produced.  The village Ban Phanom-well known for its hand weaving is your last stop today before back to your hotel.  Afternoon you will have a tour to visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai.  You then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for a panorama view of Luang Prabang and enjoy the sunset on the Mekong River. Welcome dinner at a local restaurant then you can have a visit to the night market before back to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 15: Khouangsi water fall (B/…/…)
Today you drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest trails.  Return  to the town by late afternoon, you  continue to visit the Ban Xangkhong, a village well known for its silk weavings and for its Saa (jute) Papermaking.  Again you back to the city to enjoy the sunset at the Wat Siphouthabath. Stay overnight in Luang Prabang.

Day 16: Fly – Siem Reap (B/-/D)
In the morning you will fly to Siem Reap/Cambodia. Warm welcome upon your  arrival in Siem Reap. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel. Start your visit the  South Gate of Angkor Thom, the famous Bayon, Baphoun, the Terrace of Temple, Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. It is time to visit one of the great wonders of the world, symbol of the heart and soul of the Cambodia, Angkor Wat  then enjoy the wonderful sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng Hills followed by a dinner with Khmer Apsara dance show before you return to your hotel for overnight stay in Siem Reap.

Day 17: Angkor  tour (B/L/-)
Today  you will drive to visit Kbal Spean, about 50km Northeast of Siem Reap . The original “River of Thousand Lingams”, Kbal Spean is an intricately carved riverbed deep in the foothills of the Cambodian jungle. Visit to Banteay Srei temple (10th century), regarded as the jewel in the crown of classical Khmer Art. You  then continue to visit to Banteay Samre, build in the third quarter of the 12th century and consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompany by two libraries, the southern example remarkably well preserved.  Back to Siem Reap for overnight stay.

Day 18: Angkor tour (B/L/-)
Continue your Angkor discovery with a visit to the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers, the Pre Rup, the East Mebon, the Neak Poan. In the afternoon you  visit the Krovan, the Royal Bath of Srah Srang and the Banteay Kdei temples. Overnight stay in Siem Reap.

Day 19: Departure (B)
In the morning you will drive to visit the floating village of Chong Khneas, located 10km South of Siem Reap and take a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap Lake and visit the Les Artisan D’ Angkor. If time permit, you also can visit the local markets or shopping until transfer to Siem Reap airport for departure.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s