Day 1: Hanoi Arrival. Arriving Noi Bai airport. Our car and tour guide will meet the group at the airport then transfer to hotel in Hanoi to check in. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi - Tam Coc - Bich Dong - Ninh Binh. Breakfast in the hotel in Hanoi. Together with Our car and tour guide leaving Hanoi in the morning for a 2-hour drive to Ninh Binh, 100km South of Hanoi, you will reach the old capital city of Vietnam in 10th century, before Hanoi took over this role.
Very few traces of the citadel and palace remain here after fierce battles of every century, but the natural landscape is outstanding with mountain ranges running along a small riverway, where you must have a boat trip rowed by the locals to go thru long caves formed by the water erosion to enjoy the scenery and relax. The official name of the area “TAM-COC” (three caves or grottoes) comes from these three caves, but the site is very often compared with Guilin (China) and Halong Bay (Vietnam) by every visitor.
Going on to Bich Dong charming pagoda, which leans in a mountain cliff. In the afternoon, you will overland to Phat Diem Cathedral, an unique Catholic church built by wood and stone in traditional style of a Vietnamese communal house. Back to Ninh Binh for overnight. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Ninh Binh - Nam Dinh - Halong. Breakfast in the hotel. You will be on the way to circle the Red River Delta today. The landscape along the trans-provincial ways are remarkable with green vast fields, hardworking peasants scooping water or transplanting the rice seedling, water buffaloes ploughing on the fields or swimming happily in muddy canals, and vendors cycling with stacks of bamboo fishing nets or pigs and chickens behind their bikes. The sights are spectacular in October, the harvest time.
On the way, visiting numerous temples and shrines dedicated to the Vietnamese legendary and historical heroes to visit en route, among which Pho Minh Tower in the Tran Dynasty temple and Keo Pagoda in Thai Binh are most important. Crossing rivers by Binh and Bach Dang ferryboats afterwards will give you exciting experience of the Vietnam daily life. Arrive Halong City late afternoon. Overnight in Halong. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Halong - Hanoi. Breakfast in hotel then transfer to Halong Wharf for a cruise the bay for at least 5 hours, you will reach the breathtaking views of Halong seascape and discover the magnificent beauty of this “Descending-dragon” bay. The shapes of the dragons, and the different ways they landed have granted the neighbouring areas several poetic names relating to Dragon (or “Long” in Vietnamese) – Ha Long, Bai Tu Long, and Bach Long Vy. Having lunch on boat with fresh seafood. After the cruise, back to Halong Wharf then transfer to Hanoi for for overnight. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Hanoi City tour - Night train to Lao Cai. Breakfast in the hotel. The minibus and tour guide will meet the group at hotel then transfer to Ho Chi Minh Complex to visit Ho Chi Minh Museum, His Old House and One-Pillar Pagoda nearby, the Temple of Literature - the first university of Vietnam, the West Lake with charming temples on its bank like Quan Thanh Taoist Temple, and Vietnamese Fine Art Museum. In the afternoon, visiting the Ethnology Museum where displays the lives of all 54 Vietnamese peoples.
Touring the famous Old Quarter by cyclo to Hang Duong (Sugar street), Hang Buom (Sails street) where you find various kinds of candied fruits and jams. Stoping at Dong Xuan market, the biggest and oldest market and locating in the centre of the city, in old Quarter of Hanoi, Dong Xuan market is a rich exchanging, transaction, selling place of the capital. Refeshing at the hotel. Leaving luggage in the security room of the hotel then transfer to the Hanoi train station at 20.00 for the night train to Lao Cai station. Overnight on train. Includes: (B).
Note: Late check-out is included in the tour price.
Day 6: Lao Cai - Bac Ha - Sa Pa. Arriving Lao Cai train station early in the morning. The minibus will pick you up then transfer to have breakfast in a restaurant nearby the station. Continuing to Bac Ha Market which held on Sundays by the Flower H’mong, Phu La and Black H’mong. With a dozen of tribes living in the surroundings, including Flower H’Mong, Chinese, Nhang, Dzao, Nung, Phu la, Thai and King (or Viet), the Sunday market of Bac Ha is extremely exciting esp.
Not a unique in the Northern mountains of Vietnam but one of the very few places whose infrastructure allow the car to reach, Bac Ha soon became a captivating destination. Anyhow, the difficult road helps maintain the colours (literal and figurative sense) of the area. Enjoy the colorful life of the hill tribes until end of the market. Short walk to discover some surrounding villages. Taking a boat trip on Chay river to Bao Nhai and the car will pick guests up there to continue the trip back to Sapa in the afternoon. Overnight in Sapa. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Sapa - Lao Cai train station - night train to Hanoi. Breakfast in the hotel. From Sapa, drive 15km northeast to Taphin, hike thru paddy fields and an old seminary in Taphin Valley, you will reach the villages of the H’mong and Red Zao people, who are skillful in dying and making clothes and embroidery by traditional, old silk thread. The women’s outfits here vary with silver-colored beads and coins, and it’s said that the health of a woman is equal to the weight of the counts she carries.
Back to Sapa for a rest before heading south to another remarkable area at Lao Chai (10km from Sapa) and walk thru 3km to Tavan with visits to the villages of the tribal people H’mong, Tay and Dzay en route. Take your car to be back to Lao Cai Station for the train at 20.00. O/N on the train.
Note: The late surcharge for check-out has been already included in the tour quotation. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Arriving Hanoi - Van Phuc Silk Village – Saigon. Arriving Hanoi in early morning. Our car will pick up the guests at the train station then transfer to hotel in Hanoi for breakfast and having a rest. The car will transfer the guests to visit But Thap pagoda - one of the most beautiful pagodas in Vietnam with the system of rich Buddhist statues. Then, we'll visit Dau pagoda, one of the most ancient pagoda in Vietnam, was built since 3rd century.
In that time, it was one of the National Buddhist centre and worshipped one of four dharmas, Goddess of Cloud with a large statue sitting on lotus flower. It remains ancient 3 storey tower and stone sheep. Continuing to visit Van Phuc silk village, renowned for mulberry feeding and making different kinds of silk then continuing to visit heading on Noi Bai airport for the flight to Saigon (Hochiminh City) at 15.00. Arriving Tan Son Nhat Airport at 17.00, Driver will pick the guests at Tan Son Nhat Airport and transfer to the hotel for checkin. O/N in Saigon. Includes: (B).
Day 9: Saigon City tour. Breakfast in your hotel then VD Tours’ driver and tour guide will meet the guests at the hotel and start the tour with the Reunification Palace, the witness of the dramatical Vietnam War end in 1975, if you wish to learn something about the peculiar War that split the USA citizens’ ideas during 1960-1970th. The grand building today is a Museum and Hall of official receptions. Nearby the Palace is the Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 and one of the city’s major landmarks.
Neo-Romanesque in form, the Notre Dame is the major seat of the Catholic religion in modern Vietnam. You can end your tour in Cho Lon – The Big Market, the name of a grandiose market in the centre of the bustling China town that does not exist in any other city in Vietnam, where every board is in two languages – Chinese and Vietnamese, so are the communication languages of the inhabitants. A lot of Chinese are being successful in Saigon with their trading know-hows, wisdom and dynamic. Stoping to visit Lacquer Shop. Overnight in Saigon. Includes: (B).
Day 10: Saigon - Cu Chi tunnels - Tay Ninh holysee - Saigon. Breaksfast in the morning. Together with VD TOURS’ car and tour guide, your day begins with a visit to Tayninh, the centre of Caodaism, a local sect of Buddhism founded by a Vietnamese countryman in early 20th century. Arriving at noontime, you will have the chance to witness the daily ceremony at the temple of Cao Dai called Tayninh Holysee. The eye over the main entrance and on the inside ceiling is characteristic of every Cao Dai church, and is a reminder of the Creator of the Universe.
Yet, the midday mass is very solumn and respectful. They are known for their séances and communications with the spirit world. On the way back to Saigon is located Cu Chi Tunnels, one of the few remaining monuments to the Vietnam War. Beneath the ground lie 200 km of tunnels, dug by hand and inhabited by the forces of the Vietnamese guerillas during the conflict. At its peak, prior to the Tet Offensive in 1968, the tunnel complex was base to almost 10,000 troops. To this day, it remains one of the most impressive examples of how fierce the war was. Return to Saigon in late afternoon. Overnight in Saigon. Includes: (B).
Day 11: Saigon - Chau Doc. Early breakfast in the hotel. As you should reach the floating market in Cai Be as early as possible today, try your best to start in Saigon at 07.00 am and take your car to travel southwest for nearly 3 hours, reach Vinh Long province which is famous for tropical fruits in the Mekong Delta. Reach Cai Be floating market and board your boat along the market to enjoy trading activities of the peasants of the Mekong Delta, who travel to the market in the boats full of fruits and farming products. Continue to Long Xuyen, explore the village making incense stick before heading onto Chau Doc. O/N in Chau Doc. Includes: (B).
Day 12: Chau Doc - Phnompenh. Early breakfast in the hotel at 07.00 am board the Express boat of Victoria hotel to reach Phnom Penh. Upon arrival at 13.30, welcome at the port by VD Tours tour guide and car in Phnom Penh and transfer to your hotel. City tour to visit the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and The National Museum. Visit the Central and Russian Markets and the Wat Phnom, the oldest monument in the city from which Phnom Penh derived its name. Short trip to Toul Sleng Memorial and Killing Fields. Overnight in Phnompenh. Includes: (B).
Day 13: Phnompenh - Siemreap - Angkor Wat. After breakfast, at leisure until being transfer to the Wharf to take the express boat to Siem Reap. Welcome by your tour guide in Siem Reap and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Start the trip to visit the World Heritage of Angkor Wat, the founder was Suryavarman II who reigned Cambodia from 1113 to 1152 and built the five towers in the 12th century and dedicated them to the Hindu God Vishnu. Viewing Sunset wonderful views at from Phnom Bakheng. O/N Siem Reap. Includes: (B).
Day 14: Siemreap - Angkor Thom. After breakfast, starting your exploration of Angkor with a visit to the ancient city of Angkor Thom: the Bayon temple, the Baphuan, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King, Thommanon, Chau Say Thevada and the natural lake of Sras Srang. In the afternoon, visiting Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup temples, Ta Prohm temple which is a wonderful combination of human genius and natural beauty, Ta Keo "Jewel of Crystal" is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva and was erected at the end of the 10th century. O/N in Siem Reap. Includes: (B).
Day 15: Siemreap - Bantey Srey. After breakfast, spend the entire morning in one of the jewels of Angkor, the Banteay Srey Temple which means "Citadel of Women". This temple is built of pink sandstone and presents the most graceful carvings in stone you might ever seen in your life. The temple is dedicated to the god Shiva. Continuing to Kbal Spean, the river of thousand Lingas, the phallic symbol of the God Shiva. Arrival near the site, walk for an hour through the forest to arrive at Kbal Spean. Return to Siem Reap for dinner and your last night there. Includes: (B).
Day 16: Siemreap Departure. Breakfast at the hotel. At leisure until transferring to the airport for departure flight to Bangkok at 9.50. End of the tour. Includes: (B).
Tour Cost: USD 1300 per person (group of minimum 2 pax,single suplement 500 USD).
Hotel (these hotels or equivalent):
- BRO and SIS hotel in Hanoi
- Thuy Anh hotel in Ninh Binh
- Morning Star Hotel in Halong
- Bamboo Sapa hotel in Sapa
- Empress hotel in Saigon
- Victoria Chau Doc in Chau Doc
- Sunway hotel in Phnompenh
- Empress Angkor hotel in Siemreap.
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