Day 1 Arrive Ho Chi Minh City
Arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, welcome by our guide and transfer to your hotel. Ho Chi Minh City formerly named Saigon is the largest city and economiccenter of Vietnam always bustled with activities of modern life. It is where businesses converge and shoppersindulge themselves into unlimited choices. However the city also carries with it a rich historical legacy alongside its dazzling glamor and the contrast is stunning. Evening at leisure to relax at your hotel.
Day 2 Ho Chi Minh – Chu Chi Tunnels & the downtown French Quarter city tour
Morning drive to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels (75 km Northwest of downtown HoChi Minh City) which were once a major underground hideout andresistance base of Viet Cong forces during the two wars against the Frenchand later on Americans. The tunnels, entirely hand-dug, formed a highlyintricate network of interlinked multilevel passageways - at times stretchingas far as the Cambodian border and totaling over 120 km in length. Itscomplexity was beyond imagination containing meeting rooms, kitchens,wells, clinics, schools, depots, trenches and emergency exits all aimed for guerrilla warfare. The tunnels weredeep and strong enough to withstand destructive bombings and self-contained enough to outlast prolongedsieges.
Afternoontake a city tour to visit War Remnants Museum which features a comprehensive collection of themachinery, weapons, photos, and documentation of Vietnam War with the both the French and Americans,Reunification Palace which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April1975, Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, a neo-Roman cathedral as a French-built neo-Roman cathedral, theSaigon Central Post Office, former US Embassy, Cho Lon or the city’s China Town including the Quan AmPagoda and the Jade Emperor Temple (PhuocHai), a rare Taoist structure in Vietnam built in 1909. Return to hotel for overnight.
Day 3 Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Delta Tour
Morningpickup at your hotel to transfer about 136 km (approx driving time 2.5 hours) to Vinh Long, ariverside town in Mekong Delta, the world’s largest delta. Take a boat cruise tothe lively Cai Be floating market where sellers and buyers bargain andexchange goods from their boats. Proceed through a fascinating maze of shady canals to HoaBinhPhuoc Island.
You will be delighted to see the beautiful zigzag canals, lush vegetation, peaceful villages and activities of rural life. Once on the island visit some local farmers’ homes, interact with warm-hearted hosts andlearn about their trades of bonsai gardening, tile &ceramic production and rice paper &coconut candymaking. Return to Ho Chi Minh City late afternoon and enjoy your free evening.
Day 4 Ho Chi Minh – Danang– Hoi An
In the morning, checkout and transfer to airport for your flight to Da Nang (flying time 1 hour). Arrive in Da Nang,welcome by our guide and take a quick tour of Da Nang City including theMuseum of Cham Sculpture, China Beach and Marble Mountains beforetransferring to Hoi An.
Once a bustling maritime commercial port of Asiafrom 15th to 19thcentury, Hoi An, recognized by UNESCO as aWorld Heritage Site, is now a peaceful town of exceptionally well-preserved architecture, lifestyles and traditions. The town exemplifies afascinating fusion of cultures between Vietnam and the outside world including China, Japan, Thailand and thePhilippines.
The travel time from Danang to HoiAn is approximately 45 minutes
Check in to hotel and relax. In the afternoon take a town tour of Hoi An to see its beauty up close. First visit the town’s iconic 400-year-old Covered Bridge with a small temple attached to one side as a prominent example ofJapanese architecture. Then visit the Museum of Trade Ceramics which is an elegant Vietnamese-style wooden house builtin 1858 showcasing antique ceramic artefacts. You will also visit the 200-year-old Tan Ky House typifying an ancient Chinesemerchant residence, the Ong Temple built in 1653 by Chinese settlers to worship Guan Yu, an ancient Chinesegeneral whose character stands for loyalty, bravery and justice. Enjoy strolling the small streets of antique lowtile-roofed houses, which reflect the town’s multi-cultural past. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 5 Hoi An
Whole day is free at your leisure for shopping in the central of town. Pleasenote that Hoi An is famous for fine clothes tailoring to quick made-to-measure orders. You can also chose to relax on Cua Dai Beach. Overnight in hotel.
Day 6 HoiAn – Hue
Morning transfer to Hue via Hai Van Pass (Ocean Cloud Pass) (approx drivint time 2.5 hours) . Enjoy astunning headland-and-bay panoramic view from the pass, which for mileshugs the mountainside along the shoreline and overlooking the PacificOcean. Arrive in Hue, the former Imperial Capital of Vietnam for the period 1802-1945 or the last refuge of Vietnamese feudalism. It is known as a city ofpoetic beauty that blends a scenic landscape characterized by the PerfumeRiver and surrounding mountains with an extremely rich historical legacytypified by numerous relics such as citadel, tombs and pagodas.
Go on a sightseeing tour of Hue City beginning with Hue Citadel, a well-known UNESCO-recognized WorldHeritage Site which is a 520 ha fortress-like grand complex built in the early 1800s and featuring threeenclosures separated by heavy ramparts namely KinhThanh Hue (Civic City) as the outer, Hoang Thanh (RoyalCity) as the middle and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden City) as the inner. Move on to KhaiDinh Tomb, the burialsite of KhaiDinh, Vietnam’s second-last king, and the most elaborate compared to other kings’ tombs. Thetomb shows a vivid European influence in architecture despite its Asian style. Stop by Dong Ba market, thecity’s traditional commercial center for shopping.
Late afternoon, take a boat cruise along the Perfume River for visiting two prominenthistorical landmarks namely Minh Mang Tomb, where Minh Mang, the 2nd Emperor of the Nguyen dynastywas buried, and Thien Mu Pagoda, a Buddhist monastery still in use with its origin dating back to 1601.Overnight in Hue.
Day 7 Hue – Hanoi
Checkout in the morning and transfer to PhuBai International Airport for flight to Hanoi. Hanoi or “River-bound City” as its nameliterally means is Vietnam’s capital with a thousand-year-old history dating back to 1010. The city’s fascinatingbeauty which is characterized by unique cultural relics, ancient streets of antique houses, elegant Frenchcolonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards and romantic lakes has made it one of the most charming cities of Asia.
Arrive at Noi Bai Airport, welcome by our guide and transfer in town for a city tour. Pass by Ho Chi Minh Complex, containing Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where the nation’s founder’s body ispreserved (closed on Monday, Friday and through October–November and every afternoon), the colonialPresidential Palace, originally the French Governor Office and a fine example of French architecture in Hanoi,and the rural style Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked. Stop by one of Hanoi’sicons, the One Pillar Pagoda, built in the 11th Century in dedication to Avalokiteshvara or Buddha ofCompassion and reminiscent of a lotus blossom rising from a pond. Continue to the Temple of Literature,known as the first university of Vietnam built in 1070 by the Ly Dynasty to honor Confucius, sages andoutstanding Vietnamese scholars. Visit HoanKiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple located on an islet in the lake.
HoanKiem Lake is the center point of Hanoi whose name “The Return Sword Lake” originated from a legend ofa sacred sword and home to a rare endangered giant turtle species. Discover special Vietnamese traditional artof water puppetry as well as Vietnamese folklore through a compelling puppet show at Thang Long Theatre. Return to hotel for overnight.
Day 8 Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
Morning pickup from your hotel and drive to Ha Long Bay,which is about 160 km (approx driving time 3.5 hours). On the way, you will seesome rural areas of the Red River Delta with plenty of chances to takephotos of Vietnamese farmers working in paddy fields. Stop half way tovisit a handicraft workshop of fine clothes and embroidered paintings.
Arrive in Ha Long City and check in aboard your junk boatright and enjoy your welcome drink. Start cruising while having lunchon board and enjoy the mighty bay view. Ha Long Bay (meaning DescendingDragon Bay in Vietnamese) as legend has it that it was where a holly dragon landed down from sky. The bay,famous as one of the world’s wonders and heritage sites whose formation dates back 500 million years, consistsof around 2,000 karst islands and islets scattered over an area of 1,553 square km. The bay cruise will continue withup close sighting of DinhHuong Island, Ga Choi Island, Dog Island, Sail Island, a visit to Sung Sot Cave and swimming stop at Titov Beach. Relax to enjoy the bay view at sunset, have dinner, go fishing and spend a night on board.
Day 9 Ha Long – Hanoi – Siam Reap
Early risers can enjoy the splendid yet tranquil view of the bay at the crack of dawn. Breathe the sea’s fresh air,feel the morning breeze and hear the sounds of birds above. Have breakfast and cruise to visit Human headshaped island and Tortoise Island. Continue to cruise into BaiTu Long Bay to discover the adjacent bay of “TheLittle Dragon Bowing to His Mother” as it is named. Check out and have lunch on board while heading to shore.Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi.Enjoy a few hours at leisure to relax at the hotel. Checkout and transfer to airport for your flight to Siam Reap. Met on arrival in Siam Reap and check into hotel.
Depending on arrival time - head to the well-known markets of this bustling city followed by a local Apsara Dance Show with dinner at Angkor Village Resort. Then transfer back to hotel for overnight.
Day 10 Visit to BanteySrai – Kbal Spean
In the morning drive to visit the enchanting temple of BanteaySrei. The temple was designed to leave no space undecorated, and the fine carvings in pink sandstone are unique. After the temple visit, an hour’s drive over the hills visit a place near KbalSpien and continue our journey on foot, following a white sand path which heads up into the jungle. A pleasant walk of about 40 minutes will take you through the beautiful forest, with several narrow and steep passages on the way. You will be enchanted by the waterfall and riverbed, as also the carved rocks representing the gods of the Brahma religion dating back as far as the 11th century, the "thousand Lingas Rivers". The water runs over the sculptures of Vishnu, Lakshmi, Hanuman, Rama and many Lingas, which were carved in stone in the past to sanctify the water and to thank the gods for their gift. After this visit, go to BanteaySamre which has some elaborate architecture and exceptional carvings, followed by a visit of Baray Oriental sites, built by Rajendravarman: BanteayKdey, Pré Rup, PreasatKhleang, Mébon Oriental. On the return visit an actual Pagodae-Monastry, where young Monks study. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 11 Full day visit to Angkor Wat
Today you will explore South Gate of Angkor Thom known as Big Angkor, over 3 square kmsof walled and moated royal city, which was the last capital of the Angkorian Empire. You will also visit the famous Bayon Temple which was an architectural muddle, in part because it was constructed in a somewhat piecemeal fashion for over a century. Terrace of the Elephants is an impressive, two and a half meter tall, 300-meter-long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants that spans the heart of Angkor Thom in front of Baphuon - huge temple mountain in the heart of Angkor Thom, Royal Palace Area and Phimeanakas - impressive sandstone pyramid. Terrace of the Leper King is at the north end of the Terrace of the Elephants, a double terrace wall with deeply carved nagas, demons and other mythological beings. Last you will visit Ta Prohm temple which is a wonderful combination of human genius and natural beauty! Giant trees have grown here for centuries.
In the afternoon visit Angkor Wat temple, the founder of the temple was Suryavarman II who reigned Cambodia from 1113 to 1152 and built the five towers dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu in the 12th century. The plan of thepyramidal conception of the temple combined with spaces, alleys, ditches is an masterpiece of architectural design and ancient construction. Return to your hotel. Evening visit the lively market place and enjoy dinner at one of amany excellent Cambodian cuisine restaurants. Overnight at the hotel in Siem Reap.
Day 12 Siam Reap – Flight back home
In the morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Bangkok to board your flight back home