Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a representative, and they will assist in transferring you to your hotel. Please be advised that an early check-in is not included in the regular price. The remainder of today you get to explore Hanoi at your leisure.
The capital of Vietnam, a city that celebrated 1.000 years in 2010, has countless fascinating cultural and historic sites, and today you will visit the highlights. Starting with the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to explore the architectural and historical aspects of Ho Chi Minh’s final resting-place.Next, we pay a visit to the Thang Long Citadel – a UNESCO World Heritage Site (which is closed between 11:30 – 13:30 daily) and experience an underground war bunker in the same compound, that played a very important role in the American war. After lunch, the tours move onto Vietnam’s first university, the Temple of Literature, established in the grounds of a temple in 1076 and was in use for an incredible 700 years. Next, you will visit Hỏa Lò Prison, a site used by French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War during the Vietnam War.
We depart at 8:30 for a 1.5-hour drive west of Hanoi to Duong Lam ancient village, an agricultural village in the Northern Red River delta with several hundred-year-old houses still preserved.Visit the Mong Phu temple in Mong Phu – the only hamlet whose original village entrance remains completely intact. We continue through the narrow alleyways to see old laterite houses which make up this charming village. For lunch, you get to enjoy a local style meal in a 100-year old house. After lunch, we depart for the Mia Pagoda (another hamlet of Duong Lam) built in the 15th century where some 287 statues of all sizes can be seen. Then, we shall visit the Ngo Quyen temple and the Phung Hung temple, both of which are places dedicated to two national heroes – Ngo Quyen and Phung Hung. Enroute back to Hanoi, we make a stop at Tay Phuong Pagoda which offers beautiful architecture and ancient, unique sculptures.
This morning your guide will meet you at the hotel’s lobby and depart for the UNESCO listed Halong Bay. Upon arrival, you will embark a wooden junk for a cruise through magnificent karst scenery. You will visit splendid caverns, go swimming and in the evening, enjoy a marvellous seafood dinner before staying overnight on board in Halong Bay.
Enjoy breakfast on board as your boat sails past stunning scenery and limestone rock formations to back to pier. Your driver will meet you upon disembarkation and transfer straight to Hanoi airport for your flight to Da Nang and transfer to your hotel in Hoi An.
Today you get to explore Hoi An at your own leisure.
Today you can spend your leisure until the transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City, late check-out at hotel is not included. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel and the evening in Ho Chi Minh is also free to plan at your leisure.
Flight detail: Danang to Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam Airlines, 4:20-5:45 pm (flight number VN127).
After having breakfast we head to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, one of the very few remaining monuments from the Vietnam War. Somewhat 200 km of tunnels dug by hand and inhabited by the forces of the Vietnamese guerrillas during the conflicts lies beneath the ground in Cu Chi. Today, it remains one of the most impressive examples of how fierce the war was. During the afternoon, you will experience the Reunification Palace – a blend of traditional ritual and modern architecture which served as the presidential palace of South Vietnam until reunification in 1975. Next, you will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Post Office, and stroll along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) to see colonial architecture such as the Continental Hotel and the Opera House.
The tour takes you further south to the Ben Tre province this morning – situated in the Delta of Mekong River – Ben Tre is famous for its tropical fruit gardens and traditional handicrafts and candy made of coconuts. You will visit an old brick kiln, coconut workshop, a small family-run mat workshop, meet the locals to learn about traditional techniques they have been using for hundreds of years. After this, you get on a tuk-tuk (or hop on a local bicycle and ride 3 km) and travel along the narrow shady village roads admiring the tranquillity of the Mekong villages. The tour stops at a farmer’s house where you enjoy tropical fruits grown in the garden. Continue to a simple local restaurant for lunch and have a short break before getting into sampan to test rowing. After this little excursion, we change to a motorboat and cruising back to the pier followed by transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City to stay the night.
Take an internal flight to Siem Reap, you will be welcomed by a local English speaking guide and transferred to your hotel. Siem Reap will act as the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor and the ancient capital of the Khmer empire. After a short break, you will be driven to visit the famous Angkor Wat by car or coach. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, it is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing the Mount Meru, home of the gods.Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia’s national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. After the visit your guide will return to your hotel and you can enjoy the evening at your own leisure. Recommended flight details: Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap with Vietnam Airlines 12:00 pm (flight number VN3825). If the client prefers to book their own domestic flight, we advise that clients arrange their own flight tickets based on our suggestions. Otherwise, if preferred, we can assist with the flight bookings at prices quoted below.
After breakfast, you head out to the early-Angkor era temples of the Roluos Group some 15km outside of Siem Reap. The beautiful surrounding countryside with its paddy fields and sugar palm trees is very typical for Cambodia – enjoy the beauty on an ox cart ride to Roluos Pagoda, a fun way to get in touch with rural Cambodia and its friendly people. You return to Siem Reap where you have some time at leisure for lunch before exploring the highlights of the Small Circuit. Start your afternoon tour with a visit to Ta Prohm temple, built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Your visit will also include Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Srah Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions”. Continue to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. This city is surrounded by an 8 metre wall, drawing a perfect square. From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the centre of the city. Then finish the day at the stunning Madame Butterfly. Set in a traditional Khmer wooden house with exotic gardens, Madame Butterfly services up some of Siem Reaps best Khmer cuisine.
Early today you travel to the gem of the Angkor area, the stunning temple of Banteay Srei which is best viewed in the early morning light. The so-called “Citadel of the Women” remains the best-preserved temple in Cambodia. On the way back, you will have the possibility to stop at local communities along the way and your guide will help you to interact with the local community to learn about the way of life here. Lunch will be at the iconic Viroths restaurant before embarking on an interesting boat trip on Tonlé Sap Lake where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Board a local boat and visit Kampong Phluck, a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake extends. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water. (Note: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March. However, an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be arranged instead).
Depending on your departure flight time you may have time to explore Siem Reap’s colourful markets. Visit Artisans d’Angkor, established in order to support Cambodian arts and crafts and to help young people find work in their local villages by continuing the practice of traditional arts. Discover how wood and stone carvings, lacquering, gilding, and silk paintings are created. Clients are advised to arrange their own international flight tickets, we can provide our suggestions or assist with flight bookings upon requests.
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