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Explore Vietnam & Cambodia

  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Highlights: Hanoi – Sapa -Halong Bay - Hue - Danang - Hoian - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Can Tho-Siem Reap
  • The most prominent feature of the Vietnamese culture is that it was not assimilated by foreign cultures thanks to the strong local cultural foundations. On the contrary, it was able to utilize and localize those from abroad to enrich the national culture. The Vietnamese national culture emerged from a concrete living environment: a tropical country with many rivers and the confluence of great cultures.

Guest name: Mr. Ian Morris & group
Number of pax: 07 people
Nationality: Australia
Travel date: From 28 June to 13 July 2013

Dear Ms. Hai Yen,
We arrived home this week and I am sorry I did not get to the computer immediately.
It was great meeting you and I love the beautiful purse and the cards we split amongst us. My husband really loved the very nice Tie and cufflink set. Thank you so much, and also for booking such a great trip for us. It was full of action, never a dull moment and such diverse sights, especially in Vietnam. all the details were well taken care of. We all had a wonderful time, minus the bag situation.

The entry to Vietnam was easy - thanks of all your directions and the form, it went quickly. We only needed 1 photo for both entries.
Angkor Wat: The guide and the driver were professional and polite and well spoken with a good English vocabulary and an immense knowledge for the area and so much details. He suggested very good dinner places and the night market; the driver took us there and back as well. The Hotel was fantastic and the breakfast buffet superb. The car was spacious and clean.
Hanoi: What a busy city, uhhhh - so many motor-cycles, from all directions at once. (a little to busy for some of us) but an interesting experience nevertheless, I liked it. Lots to see, I went for Tai-chi early morning, when it was calmer.
The hotel was very accommodating and clean, a little tight for one of the group. Good Breakfast.
The guide and driver were very professional, good driver in that traffic. The guide was very knowledgeable and had a good English vocabulary. Many interesting sites to see.
The car was spacious and clean.
Sapa Hotel was clean and very good, spacious and serviceable, also in a in a good location.
Our young Sapa Guide Maya was simply the BEST, she was truly a wonderful guide, cheerful, extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic, while being calm. She spoke good English and made the trip a lot of fun, as it was raining, except the first morning no rain. We missed seeing the mountains, they were hiding under the clouds. The walks to the villages and the waterfall were still great. She also took us to the local market as well. We were able to meet several village ladies and see homes.
All the provided meals were excellent in all the places, and very generous in size, including Cambodia.

Bhaya Cruises was a nice boat with very curtious staff, especially the cruise director Mr. Huang....was extremely attentive.
The cabins were clean and very nice with a little balcony and they served wonderful food. Very nice and good organized outings to the floating villages and the very impressive huge old caves.

Thanks for a great trip.

Tour Program

Day 1 ( 28 Jun ): Arrival Hanoi Vietnam ( D )

Today you’ll land in Hanoi. Warmly welcome by Tour Guide & Car Driver at airport then transfer to Hanoi Downtown, a city of lakes, shaded boulevards, public parks, and the capital of Vietnam. Check into your hotel. Welcome dinner at the restaurant. Stay overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2 ( 29 Jun ): Hanoi Sightseeing full day – Night train to Sapa (B, L,D)

08h00: Our guide of Vietnam Tour Travel will pick up you from your hotel, car/van take you to Ba Dinh district, visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum - the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh who was the president of Viet Nam in the year 1945. After that, you will come to visit One pillar pagoda, one of the most ancient pagoda of Vietnam.
10h00: Car/van take you to Museum of Ethnology where you can find the numourous and multy culture of Vietnam with 54 groups of people.
12h00: Have lunch in the restaurant.
14h00: You continue to visit Temple of Literature - the first University of Vietnam and Feudal system education had been built in 1010. The following is Ngoc Son temple.
16h00: End services and have shower at mini hotel before have dinner.
19.00: Pick up to have dinner at the local restaurant.
20.30PM: Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Hanoi train station to get a night train to Laocai. O/N on train.

Day 3 ( 30 Jun ): Laocai - Sa Pa – Love Waterfall & Muong Hoa valley ( B/L )

Arrive Lao Cai you will meet your local tour guide then drive uphill to Sa Pa. Check in to your hotel if room is available and enjoy breakfast. A 40 minute drive takes you to Tram Ton Pass at the height of 2047 meters above sea level (the highest pass in Vietnam) where great views are offered of the surrounding mountains and lush forests of the Hoang Lien National Park. From there you will trek 30 minutes through forest. Along the way you have many chances to see wild flowers. Trekking along the stream you will arrive the Love Waterfall . It is the best place for relax in Sa Pa then return Tram Ton and drive back to Sa Pa. In the afternoon you will visit Muong Hoa valley, one of the most beautiful valleys in northwest Viet Nam. Descending into the valley by foot you will see the largest terraced rice paddy in the Sa Pa area (If you visit the valley between May and October, there is a chance to experience and observe how the locals plant and harvest rice). The walk takes you from Lao Chai village of the Black H'mong minority to Ta Van village of the Zay minority, providing the opportunity to see the different traditions and costumes of the two ethnic minority groups. Return to Sa Pa by car. Overnight in Sa Pa.

Note: Today is Bac Ha Market on Sunday, if you want to visit, please advise in advance and then we will arrange service as your require. On the second day your group can choose either of option to visit “ Sa Pa – Love Waterfall & Muong Hoa valley “ or “Suoi Ho – Ma Tra – Ta Phin “ ( no extra cost ). Here is detail information about Bac Ha Market tour:

6.30AM: Arrive to Laocai train station, you are picked up and have breakfast. And then we drive to Bac Ha market (approximately 3 hours). Arriving at Bac Ha, we visit the big market and colorful ethnic people of the Flower H'mong, Phu La and Dao Tuyen minorities, who gather here to buy and sell their handicraft products. After spending the morning exploring the market, your lunch will be served at a local restaurant. After lunch we drive downhill to start a short walk to Trung Do Village which is home to the Tay minority. Here you can visit a traditional Tay house. We will then travel by boat through amazing countryside to Bao Nhai Village. Transfer you back to Sa Pa..

Day 4 ( 1 Jul ): Sa Pa – Suoi Ho – Ma Tra – Ta Phin – Lao Cai – Ha Noi ( B/L/D )

We leave Sa Pa town, trekking to Suoi Ho village to see tea plantations and cardamom gardens. Follow the buffalo trails to visit the hospitable villages of the Black Hmong minority people in Ma Tra. After passing a school and scenic views enroute, a picnic lunch will be served. After lunch we continue our trek to Ta Phin village to visit Red Dao people and handicraft shops. In the afternoon we will reach the road where your driver is waiting to transport you back to Lao Cai station to catch the night train back to Ha Noi.

Day 5 ( 2 Jul ): Arrive to Hanoi – Halong bay. ( B,L,D )
5.30AM: Arrive to Hanoi train station, you are pick up and transfer to mini hotel for have shower and have breakfast at Pho 24 restaurant with Pho and wait for Halong bay tour – picked up by private car & guide.
11:30 Arrive at Bai Chay/Halong pier.
12:15 Transfer by tender to the boat – enjoy Welcome Drink, receive cruise briefing and safety instructions.
12:30 Check in and begin cruise.
13:00 Lunch - enjoy deluxe Vietnamese and International Set Menu Lunch.
Massage service available beginning after lunch and throughout the cruise.
14:45 Transfer to Titop Island. Enjoy swimming, relaxing on the beach and climbing the steps to the top of the mountain on the island for fantastic views and photo opportunities. Water and towels will be supplied. We will spend about 45 minutes on the island.
15:45 Return to the boat and sail for about 30 minutes to our second stop – Luon Cave.
16:15 Arrive at Luon Cave. There are two options for exploring the cave and surrounding area. One option is to transfer to small bamboo boats rowed by the local people. The second option is to travel by kayak (self rowed). The kayaking option is $10. per person unless pre-booked, and lasts about 45 minutes.
17:15 Depart and sail for about 30 minutes to Ho Dong Tien area, where we will anchor for overnight.
19:15 Dinner - deluxe Vietnamese & Western Buffet or Set Menu Dinner.
20:45 Evening activities include: Happy Hour!, board games and playing cards are available, and massage services are available. Passengers may also try their luck at squid fishing from the boat.
21:00 – 23:00 Happy Hour! Buy one drink - get one free (wine by the bottle excluded)
23:00 End of Program for Day One.

Day 6 ( 3 Jul ): Halong – Hanoi ( Brunch )
06:45 Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries served in the dining room.
07:00 Enjoy Tai Chi instruction on the sundeck (duration about 30 minutes).
07:00 Arrive at the Surprise Cave area.
07:45 Transfer by tender to the Surprise Cave. Walk up about 100 steps to the cave entrance and tour the cave for approximately 45 minutes. Walk down about 100 steps and return to the boat.
09:00 Upon return to the boat you will have 30 minutes to freshen up and finish packing. Please remove all of your belongings from the cabins, you may leave heavy luggage outside of the cabins (staff will transfer directly to the pier). Depart for Bai Chay/Halong pier.
09:30 Enjoy Breakfast Set Menu or Buffet in the dining room. We will settle bills after breakfast. Relax on the sundeck or in the dining room enjoying the bay scenery as we approach the pier.
11.00 Arrive at Bai Chay/Halong pier. Transfer by tender to the pier; relax inside the pier building while waiting for return transportation.
11.30: Private car pick up and transfer to Hanoi for check in around 16.00. O/N in Hanoi.

Day 7 ( 4 Jul ): Hanoi free for leisure – Depart to Danang – Transfer to Hue (B/L)
Have breakfast at your hotel and then relaxing until our driver pick you up from your hotel and transfer to Noi Bai Airport to take a flight to Danang at noon. Up on arrival, you are picked up and transfer to Hue by car.
Arrive to Hue, you are picked up and transfer to your hotel to leave your luggage and start to visit to major attraction in town. and take a boat trip along Huong river, visiting Thien Mu Pagoda. Overnight at hotel in Hue.

Day 8 ( 5 Jul ): Hue city tour full day ( B/L )
AM: Your guide and car will pick you up at your hotel and drive you to visit the Imperial Citadel from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945, the ruins of the Purple Forbidden City and Thien Mu pagoda. Have lunch at a local restaurant.
PM: Drive to visit the royal tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, Tu Duc Mausoleum and Dong Ba market. End the tour at your hotel about 5h30 pm.

Day 9 ( 6 Jul ): Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An (B, L)

Have breakfast at your hotel. We drive south to Hoi An which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. Along the way we can break the journey in Lang Co Beach for a leisurely swim and an enjoyable visit to a nearby fishing village. The winding road begins as we make our way up the spectacular Hai Van pass. A view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam's most impressive panoramic scenes. The next stop of our trip is Da Nang which is famous for the Cham Museum. After seeing this sight we continue to the MyKhe Beach and the Marble Mountain, whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe. O/N in Hoi An.

Day 10 ( 7 Jul ): Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An ( B/L/)

8.00AM: Getting started from hotel in the morning for My Son located 60 km from Da Nang, 150 km from Hue and 75km from Hoi An, this site is a must-see for those interested in oriental architecture and ancient civilizations and is now one of five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Vietnam. My Son is the former capital of the ancient Cham civilization that ruled their kingdom in Central Vietnam from the second to the thirteenth century. Their religion was primarily derived from Indian Hinduism.
My Son is considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham structures in Vietnam. The complex is comprised of seventy Hindu-like towers and temples dating from the second century.
PM: Return to hotel for lunch before enjoying the half day walking tour of Hoi An Town to visit Phuc Kien hall, Japanese covered bridge, Tan ky old house. O/N in Hoi An.

Day 11 ( 8 Jul ): Hoi An – Danang – Fly to Saigon ( B/L /D)

8.30AM : Transfer to Danang airport. Depart from Danang at 10.30 for Ho Chi Minh city. Upon arrival, our guide car will pick you up at airport and transferring to visit China town, Thien Hau Pagoda, War Museum and former Presidential Palace. Make photo stops at the famous tourist sites such as Notre Dame Church, and Central Post Office. Enjoy dinner cruise at Saigon river. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 12 ( 9 Jul ): Ho Chi Minh – Cai Be floating market – Ho Chi Minh( B/L )

Cai Be Floating Market is a famous place in Mekong Delta, here the Tien River forms the border between Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre Provinces. Every day, approximately 400 -500 boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other products anchor along the banks of the river, waiting for traders and customers.

Tour guide and driver of Vietnam Tour Travel will pick you up at your hotel in early morning 7.30AM then drive to Cai Be. Upon arrival at Cai Be, embark a private boat to cruise around Cai Be Floating Market to see local people being selling, buying, and exchanging goods from their boats. Visit local garden and house to see orchard, rice crisped producing process, etc.. After lunch cruising along river to see peaceful tranquil life of villagers, admire marvelous natural setting of Mekong Delta region. About 3 pm, the boat will arrive at Vinh Long Market, walking around to explore Vinh Long Market. Transfer back to Saigon. O/N at hotel.

Day 13 ( 10 Jul ): Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi half day tour – fly to Siemriep( B/L )

08:15 – 08:30 Pick up at your hotel. Excursion Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground tunnels network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the struggle for independence. It took about 25 years to build this underground city, which has living rooms, kitchens, hospitals, weapon factories, storage facilities and command centre. The tunnel system was an excellent way for the Vietcong to move around the countryside undetected by the Americans and home to around 10,000 people who lived underground for several years.

Before we go underground, we watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. We then spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers. We then drive back to Ho Chi Minh City arriving at approximately 14.00pm

Drive back to Saigon and then transfer directly to Tan Son Nhat airport to caught the last flight to Siemriep.
Up on arrival, you are picked up and transfer to your hotel for check in. O/N in Siemriep

Day 14 ( 11 Jul ): Siem Reap Tours (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel - Breakfast at hotel, Heading out of town we make our way by traveling on a newly paved road to the intricately carved and well preserved temple of Banteay Srei. Along the way we make stopover at the Preah Dark village and we follow these with a visit the Banteay Samre Temple adorned with impressive relief’s depicting scenes of Vishunu as well as Krishna legends. Afternoon, we explore 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 also explore the grand circuit with Preah Khan, Kravan, Neak Pean, Krol Ko, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup Temples where we will view the sunset for the end of the day. Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap

Day 15 ( 12 July ): Siemriep tours ( B/L )

An early bird special: Transfer to Angkor for sunrise earlier in the morning. Return for breakfast at the hotel. Continue your visit to 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 Colums, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple. Early evening, you will be taken by Tuk Tuk, a small open-sided taxi common in Cambodia, to cruise around the suburb of Siem Reap town and for a blessing ceremony by Buddhist monks for happiness, prosperity and safety for your journey. Overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.

Day 16 ( 13 July ): Siem Reap Departure (B)

Breakfast at the hotel - drive to Choueng Kneas village, where you will take the boat to visit the way of life Cambodian poor people along with schools, restaurants, hospitals and much more floating on the great lake of Tonle sap. Transfer to the airport for the flight departure.

* Accommodation on Twin/ triple-share basic with daily buffet breakfast
* Flight tickets: Hanoi – Danang; Danang – Ho Chi Minh; Ho Chi Minh - Siemriep
* Meals as mentioned in the itineraries: B: breakfast; L: lunch; D: dinner ( L & D: Asia set menu )
* All landed transfers within the tour by air-conditioned vehicle, including pick-up and drop-off at airports on arrival and departure days
* English speaking tour guide
* Boat trips as mention in tour program
* All entrance and sightseeing fees
* Package tour in Halong bay – sharing cruise
* Tuk Tuk ride to the blessing ceremony
* Train ticket to Laocai and return – deluxe cabin 4-berth soft sleeper with AC
* Kayaking in Halong bay tour on Indochina Sails for one hour
* Approval of letter for Vietnam Visa on arrival – one month/ multiple entries

* International airfare and airport taxes in Vietnam that not mention
* Visa application fee to Vietnam & Cambodia
* Personal expenses
* Insurance
* Tip for tour guide & driver
* Extra train ticket to Laocai and return: USD85/one round trip ticket
* Early check in/ late check out that not mention in tour program.

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