B= Breakfast; L= Lunch & D = Dinner: pre-arranged at local restaurants based on local food with set menu.
Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival - First Impression of Hanoi
Upon arrival at Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi, welcomed by guide and transferred to your hotel in the city center to check in (Hotel check-in time: 14:00. Early check-in is not included). Relax after a long journey. `
In the afternoon, take a cyclo ride around the Old Quarter streets which were named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Stop at Hoan Kiem Lake to learn about legend of the lake and visit Ngoc Son Temple, followed by the Water Puppet show - a uniquely Northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Explore Hanoi 1/2 day (B)
After breakfast, the day starts with visit to the complex dedicated to Ho Chi Minh- the nation’s founder, containing Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (viewed from outside on Mondays, Fridays and every afternoons due to closure), and the house on stilts, One Pillar Pagoda. Next up visit Tran Quoc Pagoda - Hanoi’s oldest pagoda on the bank of West Lake. Visit Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university which was constructed in 11th century before returning to your hotel and be free at leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 3: Hanoi - Explore the World Natural Heritage of Ha Long Bay (B/L/D)
After breakfast, you will depart by road to Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage Area of outstanding natural beauty. Travel through the rich farmlands of the Delta of Red river and the landscape of rice fields, water buffalo, the daily life of the Vietnamese village. Arrive in Halong and board to board a traditional junk. Lunch on board. The cruise passes by many rocks and islets in many funny shapes. The cruise may stop for a while for visiting the Surprising Cave. Later on the junk move to docking area for ovenight. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 4: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Siem Reap (Brunch)
In the morning, your brunch will be served while doing further cruise to explore the beauties of the Bay before returning to the Wharf. The junk continues cruising toward Ha Long port. Ready for disembarking. Our car and guide will be there to pick you up toward Hanoi and to Noi Bai Airport for a flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, you will be met by our guide and drive to downtown. Check-in your hotel and be free at leisure. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 5: Siem Reap - Angkor Complex (B)
After breakfast, you will start to explore Angkor complex with:
Banteay Srei: nearly everyone’s favorite site. The special charm of this temple lies in its compact size, remarkable state of preservation, and the excellence of its decorative carving
Banteay Samre: Its rose-colored sandstone walls are decorated with carvings and bas-reliefs, which are among the most accomplished Angkor has to offer. We continue to visit the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. Ta Prohm was built in the 12th century. It’s a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of King Jayavarman VII.
Pre Rup temple was built in the 10th century during the reign of King Rajendravarman II.
Evening is your free time for walking at busy pub street. Pop up at a bar for cool drink or shopping at Angkor Night Market. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 6: Discover World Heritage site of Angkor (B)
We start a very special and busy 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). See the South Gate, Bayon Temple- unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara Baphuon Temple: lying just to the north of Bayon, a pyramidal representation of mythical Mont Meru, The Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, The Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King.
In the afternoon, you will visit 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. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 7: Siem Reap - Off-beaten Battambang - 3hrs drive (B)
After breakfast, you leave Siem Reap to Battambang, a province in the northwestern of Cambodia.
Founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country. For nearly 100 years, it was a major commercial hub and provincial capital of Siamese province of Inner Cambodia (1795-1907), though it was always populated by Khmer with a mix of ethnic Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and Chinese. Still today Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link to Cambodia.
On arrival, check in your hotel and discover the city of Battambang, a charming big city where you can watch the elegant houses in the French colonial style along the river. You pass through traditional villages along the route where you can attend the manufacture of family rice cakes and contacting people about their daily lives. We visit a local family grape farm, Cambodia’s first vineyard – Prasat Phnom Banan Vineyard, you can pop in if you like, learn about producing wine in the tropics and of course enjoy a spot of wine tasting! A few kilometers further south you arrive at the well preserved 11th century mountain top Angkorian temple of Phnom Banan. After climbing the 350+steps you are treated to a wonderfully peaceful setting with superb views across the surrounding countryside, with small villages dotting the endless rice paddies, punctuated with the characteristic sugar palm trees a wonderful sunset location... and visit the pagoda before heading to the 11th century temple of Wat Ek Phnom. Then we visit a workshop which is specialized in wooden sculpture. Overnight in Battambang.
Day 8: Battambang - Siem Reap 3hrs drive - Ho Chi Minh City (B)
After breakfast, drive to the Bamboo Railway Station that has been set up by the villagers to facilitate the transportation of goods and people. The train in itselfis very basic – one platform on 4 wheels activated by a small motor. Sitting on the platform we travel the 8km to the next station through beautiful landscape and rice paddies. On arrival, we visit a village and discover the daily life of the Cambodian countryside. On the way back to your hotel, we will stop at the NGO Phare Ponleu Selpak where many different activities are offered with children from poor and disabled families.
Check out your hotel and drive back to Siem Reap in a good time to connect to a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Landing in Ho Chi Minh City, you're greeted by our guide and check in your hotel. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City - 1/2 day of Bustling Saigon (B)
After breakfast, visit the War Remnants Museum which presents a partial, but riveting, view of the American War, as it is known in Vietnam. Continue to the Reunification Palace, former residence of the Indochina Governor General and later President of the Republic of Southern Vietnam until the fall of Saigon in April 30, 1975. The day ends with visits to Notre Dame Cathedral and the bustling Ben Thanh Market. Return to your hotel and be free at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City - Ben Tre, homeland of coconut trees (B/L)
Depart from your hotel at 08:00, it takes only 2 hours pleasant drive to Ben Tre province crossing Rach Mieu bridge. On arrival in Hung Vuong Pier, hop on a motorized boat on Ben Tre River – one of tributaries of Mekong river while sight-seeing lively activities along river as fishing, water transferring. Our first stop is at brick kiln to see how to make bricks traditionally by printing and baking. Continue to visit one of plenty of coconut processing workshops located along canal. Return to the boat and go through natural scissors creeks to a village and see some local houses making sleeping mats and enjoying some fruits.
Take a motorized cart (tuk tuk) or bicycle on shady paths, pass by green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch on real life and find out about tropical culture from peasants. Have lunch at local a riverside restaurant.
After lunch, we take a rowing-boat along beautiful water palm creek before meeting up the motorized boat and transfer you back to the pier. Return to hotel after a memorable day merging in Mekong Delta local living. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City for overnight.
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City - Danang (B) – VN116 - 0930/1050
Upon arrival to Danang, you will be welcomed by our guide and drive to Hoi An Ancient Town, a World Heritage Site. take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Hall, and the local market. There’re numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like! Return to Danang to check in your resort. Overnight in Danang.
Day 12: Danang - free (B)
A free day in Danang to do whatever takes your fancy!
Day 13: Danang - free (B)
A free day in Danang to do whatever takes your fancy!
Day 14: Danang - Hanoi OR Ho Chi Minh City - Departure (B)
You will be free today until check out time and meet our driver (no guide) again for a flight back to Hanoi OR Ho Chi Minh City in a good time to connect to your departure flight.