day 1: HANOI ARRIVAL (_/_)
All guests are warmly welcomed upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport by our local guide then transfer to check in the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
DAY 2: HANOI - NINH BINH (B/L)
Hanoi to Hoa Lu (100km): 2.5hrs.
Depart the hotel in the morning at 08:00 for the 2.5-hour drive through rural northern Vietnam to the site of Vietnam’s first capital, Hoa Lu. Visit temples dedicated to Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang of the Dinh Dynasty (968-980), and Emperor Le Dai Hanh of the Le Dynasty (980-1009). The ancient Hoa Lu Citadel, most of which has since been destroyed, once covered an area of three square kilometers.
After visiting Hoa Lu, if time and energy levels permit, choose to take a half-hour walk up one of the surrounding limestone karst hills. The climb is rewarded with spectacular views.
In the late morning, depart for Tam Coc Town to enjoy a Vietnamese lunch. Along the way, stop to take pictures of local villages and the stunning landscape.
After lunch, visit Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a relaxing boat ride on a peaceful river passing through a series of caves. Trang An is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, some of which are submerged, and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cli s. As the boat gently slices through the water, notice the enormous limestone karsts jutting out from the green rice fields giving rise to other name, ‘Halong on Land’. Officially designated as an ‘eco-tourism’ area, the only interruptions here are the sound of birds and the gentle paddle of the oar upon the crystal clear river.
Then you will transfer back to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Overnight in Ninh Binh.
DAY 3: NINH BINH - HALONG BAY (B/L/D)
Ninh Binh to Halong Bay (200km): 4hrs
Following an early breakfast, leave Ninh Binh for a 4-hour (approximately) drive to Halong Bay, Vietnam’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage site! The name ‘Ha Long’ means ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’ and owes its origins to a Vietnamese myth. The towering limestone karsts represent the dragon’s back, surrounded by jade green water creating an unforgettable site. There are more than 1,600 limestone islands and islets with different shapes jutting out from the sea.
Arrive at the Halong Bay jetty around noon and proceed with check-in formalities before boarding a boat for an unforgettable overnight cruise on Halong Bay. After being welcomed onboard, a lunch of Vietnamese food is served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among karst formations. Dinner is served on board. Overnight on board the boat in Halong Bay (private cabin on-board the join-in boat cruise).
DAY 4: HALONG BAY CRUISE - HANOI - (B/L OR BRUNCH)
Halong Bay to Hanoi (160 km): 2.5 – 3.0hrs
Enjoy the fresh morning in the middle of the bay, the sun rises on Halong in the morning and breakfast is served (brunch on some boats) while the vessels cruise slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards port. Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi and check in the hotel. Free at your own leisure. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi
DAY 5: HANOI - FULL DAY CITY TOUR (B/L)
Routes can change subject to client’s interest. Depart the hotel after breakfast in the morning for a visit the Temple of Literature. Built in 1076, The Temple of Literature was Vietnam's first university and was established to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite. The university functioned for an incredible 700 years. Its gardens and well-preserved architecture offer fascinating glimpses into Vietnam’s past.
Next, visit Hanoi’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel. The Citadel was constructed on a Chinese fortress dating back from the 7th century and re-built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty. The historical site and remains represent a unique fusion of traits, with influences from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.
Afterwards, visit The One Pillar Pagoda, which was founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure is one of Vietnam’s smallest but most iconic temples. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (closed Mondays & Fridays and from Oct.-Nov, viewed from the outside), and the former president's house on stilts where he lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary
Afterwards, continue to Hanoi’s picturesque West Lake area and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh, dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism.
Next, visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Take a walking tour through the charming Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake. This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It's a great place to explore, with plenty of photo opportunities all around.
Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely North Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history. Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 6: HANOI – LUANG PRABANG, LAOS (B)
Airfare from Hanoi to Luang Prabang is not included, as today’s date, the airfare is US$ 200/person. Final price will be quoted upon booking
Morning free at your own leisure until pick up and transfer to Noi Bai Airport for a flight to Luang Prabang – Laos. Upon arrival at Luang Prabang Airport, you are warmly welcomed by our local guide and transfer to check in the hotel for check in. Rest of the day free at your own activities. Overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang
DAY 7: LUANG PRABANG (B/D)
Today, you will first visit Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. We then embark on a leisure cruise upstream on the Mekong River, which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside, before reaching the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Along the way, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where they make the local rice wine.
On arrival back in the city, we will visit magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. Afterwards, we will visit the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center (closed on Monday) to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures. From there, we will transfer to visit Wat Prabath to admire the sunset; this is the really peaceful place to catch the last beauty of the day. The tour ends after a visit to the famous Night Market, where you can find a lovely collection of handmade textiles made by local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight in Luang Prabang
DAY 8: LUANG PRABANG – KUANG SI WATERFALLS – SIEM REAP (B/L)
Airfare from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap is not included, as today’s date, the airfare is US$ 130/person. Final price will be quoted upon booking. Pls be noted that the flight from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap is not available on every Tuesday & Sunday
An early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. From there, we will take a short visit to the morning local market near the Royal Palace. At the market, you can find anything from rice, to fresh vegetables, to steamed fish, frogs, and anything else that might be the day’s catch, just set up on the ground, this is what the locals do every day. This is really the chance for you to get a real flavor of the local culture.
After breakfast at the hotel, we ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a panoramic view of the city and the Mekong River. We then visit Wat Visoun, dating back to 1513 during the reign of King Wisunarat (Visoun), this is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple and was once home to the Prabang Buddhas.
We then transfer directly to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. You can also see up close Asiatic bears at the Bear Rescue Centre along the jungle walk to the waterfall.
Before returning to Luang Prabang, we stop to visit the Kuang Si Falls Butterfly Park (closed on Tuesday, and from 03rd May to 19th June every year), one of the must-visit spots, where you can have an optional 15-minute tour to learn about butterflies and local flora.
Laos is also known for its traditional crafts, we will take a short visit to the Ock Pop Tock Living Craft Center, where you will have a short tour so you get information about Silk, about weaver, about the Women that work in the Centre.
Afterward, you will be transferred directly to Luang Prabang International Airport for your flight Siem Reap – Cambodia
Upon arrival in Siem Reap, your local English speaking guide will greet you and accompany you to the hotel for check in. Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap
DAY 9: SIEM REAP (B/L)
After breakfast this morning, explore the temples of the Small Circuit by ‘remork’ (similar to the Thai ‘tuk tuk’). Start your tour with a visit to Ta Prohm Temple, built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. 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”. Return to the hotel for a relaxing break during the midday heat.
After a rest at your hotel, depart on a very special sightseeing tour of the famous Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing the Mount Meru, home of the gods. The divine residence of Vishnu, the King himself was to reside here after his death. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Moreover, Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 10: SIEM REAP – HO CHI MINH CITY (B/L)
Airfare from Siem Reap to Hochiminh is not included, as today’s date, the airfare is US$ 150/person. Final price will be quoted upon booking
Siem Reap Airport – Hotel (10 km): 20 mins & Tan Son Nhat Airport to hotel (7km – 30 minutes)
Breakfast at hotel, you will visit to Angkor by visiting the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall, with each side of the city being 4 km long, drawing a perfect square. You will enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant. On each side of the entrance path a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.
From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. The particularity of this monument is the 54 towers with four faces representing the 54 provinces of the then Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.
Afterward you will be transferred directly to Siem Reap International Airport for your international flight onward to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport by our local guide then transfer to check in the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh
DAY 11: SAIGON - CU CHI TUNNELS - SAIGON CITY TOUR (b/L/D)
Saigon – Cu Chu Tunnels (67km – 2 hours)
Morning you will enjoy the journey to of 75 km from Saigon to Cu Chi Tunnels - a complex of an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars. There are more than 200 km of tunnels, comprising a main axis system with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters and other tunnels. You have the chance to crawl through this amazing system of tunnels. For a more “thrilling” experience, you can even test your shooting skills on original AK47s and other guns from past war times (subject to a surcharge).
Lunch will be served at local restaurant before journey back to Ho Chi Minh. Tour continues to to visit Independence Palace (Reunification Palace), War Remnants Museum (closed Mondays). Afterwards, stroll through the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral inaugurated in 1880 became the spiritual and cultural crucible of the French presence in the Orient as was the Post office designed by Gustav Eiffel and resembling a grand railway station, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee (formerly Hôtel de Ville) which is one of the most photographed buildings in Vietnam - notable for its gardens, ornate facade and elegant interior lit with crystal chandeliers.
Evening you will enjoy the Buffet dinner (included food and 01 welcome drink, excluded waters soft drinks, alcohols) on the floating restaurant - Bonsai Cruise which offers a Vietnamese dining experience with a difference and the perfect way to soak up the atmosphere along the Saigon River. Upon arrival the captain will welcome you aboard with a welcome drink; an introduction will then be given on the European and Asian cuisine on offer which have made this Ho Chi Minh City dinner cruise a must-do culinary experience. Relax on the decks and enjoy the panoramic view during the 90-minute journey cruise of the Saigon River. The food, organic and fresh is presented and prepared on interactive buffet stations and a live band is on board to entertain.
Note: The cruise is operated on a join in basis with two decks seating up to 200 guests with the central buffet areas offering modern moorish cuisine inspired by flavors, species and tastes which can be found in the Indochinese region. Live entertainment will be performed throughout the cruise journey.
Afterward, the cruise will return to the pier where your driver is waiting to take you back to your hotel. Overnight in Saigon
DAY 12: SAIGON - PRIVATE TRIP TO mekong delta RIVER (MY THO - BEN TRE) (b/L)
Saigon – My Tho (70km – 2hrs) Morning meet our local guide in the lobby of your hotel and drive to My Tho the heart of the Mekong delta, famous for its coconut production and quiet, peaceful waterways and the most beautiful landscapes, the pristine natural beauty that is Ben Tre Province. Known as “Coconut Island,” many of its people still rely on tradition and centuries old methods of production. Our program focuses on the Giong Trom and Phong Nam districts, areas untouched by commercial tourism.
We showcase the amazing local people, the villages they call home and the peaceful Rivers they use as a part of their daily lives.
Upon arrival, take a Xe Loi ride through the local village of Huu Dinh to enjoy the green fields and gardens. Continue with a short walk to Huu Phuoc Bridge, where you will start your boat trip through small canals with beautiful tropical scenery. On board the boat, enjoy a welcome drink and tropical fruits while cruising.
The cruise will first stop at a Coconut processing family owned business. Here you will learn what Ben Tre is known for and the hundreds of uses of each single coconut. Return to your boat and cruise across the water to a brick making factory, where the locals still use centuries-old traditional methods to make the bricks by hand. Enjoy a casual cycling trip that will take you to visit a local rice noodle factory which produces Hu Tieu noodles, one of the most popular dishes in the region.
After your visit take a short walk to one of our friends, Mrs. Huong, who lives with her 3 children and grandson – they live on fishing, shrimp and fruit orchards. Enjoy fresh fruits and tea and then board a rowing sampan taking you through a lush narrow canal, displaying the tranquil nature of the region.
After our team rows you through the quiet canal, reconnect with your Day Cruiser and enjoy a cruise to a private riverside restaurant. It is time for you to relax and enjoy a 5-course lunch of local specialties. Relax and have a walk around the lush garden setting.
Then continue your cycling trip to My Long to visit Mr. Sau Tuong, a former Vietcong soldier who survived two years fighting the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh. Now he and his wife live on making rice paper which is the most famous specialty of My Long village. Have a chat with him and enjoy the crispy rice paper made by his wife, and see how it is made.
Then visit the nearby house of Mr. Hung, who is a famous sticky rice maker in the village. You can also feed his stock of catfish and walk through his fruit garden.
After the visit, the boat will be waiting for you at the pier nearby to bring you back to Ben Tre city where your car will be ready to take you back to Saigon. Overnight in Saigon
DAY 13: hochiminh - Departure (b)
Fee at your own leisure time until transfer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your international flight home. We hope you had an exciting holiday with us. Making it an affair to remember!