DAY 1 Saigon Arrival in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) - Transfer - Overnight in Saigon
Special Remark : Early check in at the hotel is not included
DAY 2 Saigon (Breakfast) Sightseeing in Saigon and Cholon (Chinatown) - A vibrant metropolis, SAIGON teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere you look, you see the meeting of traditional and modern life. The emerging modern skyline stands cheek by jowl with colonial buildings and traditional temples. Outside on the streets, young professionals zip by on motorbikes, chatting on cell phones; inside the quiet temple courtyards, worshippers pray amidst clouds of incense. Begin your tour of this exciting city with a tour of the historic center, strolling along DONG KHOI STREET, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate CITY HALL (HOTEL DE VILLE), the old OPERA HOUSE (both may only be viewed from the outside), and pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL and the CENTRAL POST OFFICE. Afterwards dive into modern history with a tour of the REUNIFICATION PALACE. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates. Continue to the harrowing WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, which comprehensively documents the travails of the long Vietnam- American War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions; outside is a collection of tanks, planes and weapons. A powerful experience, this museum is guaranteed to provoke strong emotions. Afterwards driving to the historic center to visit EMPEROR OF JADE PAGODA, one of Saigon's most interesting pagodas.In the afternoon, head out to CHOLON (CHINATOWN). Explore the highlights of this fascinating area, beginning with a brief visit to BINH TAY MARKET, the vast wholesale market selling every kind of good from dried foods to T shirts to electronics. Continue to THIEN HAU PAGODA, build by the Cantonese congregation and dedicated to the heavenly goddess. End your tour at the central BEN THANH MARKET, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste. Overnight in Saigon
DAY 3 Saigon (Breakfast) Excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels and Tay Ninh - From Saigon, drive to the CU CHI TUNNELS. Never discovered by American forces, these tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Today, you can walk through the area and learn about the day-to-day life of the VC, see the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists. Afterward, go to TAY NINH, the birthplace of the unique CAO DAI religion, a fusion of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam and native Vietnamese spiritual beliefs. Every day at noon, worshipers garbed in colorful robes flock to the CAO DAI GREAT TEMPLE to participate in the daily prayer sessions, which visitors may respectfully observe from the upper balconies. (Note: shortly before and during the annual TET festival (Vietnamese New Year) the daily ceremony of the priests in Tay Ninh may be canceled without prior notice). Return to Saigon. Overnight in Saigon
DAY 4 Saigon - Danang - Hoi An (Breakfast) Transfer - Flight from Saigon to to Danang. - Transfer from Danang airport to Hoi An - Sightseeing in Hoi An with a boat trip on the Thu Bon River -The exquisitely preserved merchant town of HOI AN was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Its colorful shophouses and temples reflect a diverse heritage, dating back to the 16th and 17th century, when it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. Today it is a thriving center of traditional crafts and a shoppers paradise, best explored on foot. Wander through the cobbled streets, past low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central MARKET and the small HARBOUR where colorfully painted boats are moored. The walking tour will include visits to a PRIVATE HOUSE, where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting; to one of the FAMILY CHAPELS built by prominent merchant or official families as centers for ancestor worship; and to a typical CHINESE-STYLE PAGODA or ASSEMBLY HALL. Continue to SA HUYNH MUSEUM, located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, it contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history. Visit a handicraft workshop in Hoi An where local products are being made by the industry itself. Finally, continue to the famous JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE PAGODA, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream.In the afternoon, board a local boat and cruise down the THU BON RIVER, enjoying the unspoiled countryside and stopping to visit a POTTERY VILLAGE and a WOODCARVING VILLAGE before returning to Hoi An harbour. Overnight in Hoi An
Special Remark : Tentative flight : SGN-DAD by morning flight
DAY 5 Hoi An (Breakfast) Excursion to My Son - Journey to MY SON, the former religious center of the Champa Kingdom, a sophisticated civilization which held sway over the region from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Today, all that are left are five archaeological sites from different periods, in a beautifully green setting of hills and winding streams. After a brief visit to the VISITOR'S CENTER for an overview of Cham history and culture, visit each ruin in turn, walking along forested paths. Overnight in Hoi An
DAY 6 Hoi An - Hue (Breakfast) By vehicle from Hoi An to Hue with sightseeing in Danang - From Hoi An begin driving north, stopping just outside Danang to visit the MARBLE MOUNTAINS, five stone hillocks, once islands, that now rise sharply from the surrounding ricefields. Riddled with caves and shrines, they are said to each represent one of the five elements of the universe. Continue to the city of DANANG, briefly passing NON NUOC BEACH, a famous spot of American soldiers during Vietnam War in 1960s, and touring the CHAM MUSEUM an elegant colonial building which now houses the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world.From Danang, journey north past LANG CO, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the South China Sea, before arriving at Danang. Continue along steep mountainous roads with spectacular views of the coastline, crossing the dramatic HAI VAN PASS, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and south Vietnam.Sightseeing in Hue -Hue served as the capital of Vietnam for more than 140 years. It houses ancient temples, imperial buildings and French-style edifices. It was established in the 17th century.Visit the Old Imperial City -Located in the heart of Hue is the IMPERIAL CITADEL, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modeled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Today, most of the buildings have been destroyed due to bombing during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking FLAG TOWER, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing NGO MON GATE, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit DIEN THO Residence ( Dien Tho palace) is where the Queen mother lived, visit THAI HOA PALACE, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the HALLS OF THE MANDARINS, and the original NINE DYNASTIC URNS, among other sites. Overnight in Hue
DAY 7 Hue (Breakfast) Excursion to Thien Mu Pagoda and Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang with boat trip - Enjoy a leisurely boat ride down the PERFUME RIVER, stopping first at the iconic THIEN MU PAGODA, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower which has become Hue's most widely recognizable monument. Continue cruising into the countryside to the IMPERIAL TOMB OF MINH MANG, a majestic complex of courtyards, pavilions and temples in a beautiful natural setting.Visit the Imperial Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh -Venture into the countryside around Hue to the IMPERIAL TOMB OF TU DUC. Tu Duc, the longest reigning Vietnamese emperor, designed and built this elegant tomb during his lifetime, using it as a retreat for meditation, reading and theater performances. Take some time to soak in the tranquil atmosphere, wandering among the gracefully proportioned pavilions, courtyards and lotus ponds. Afterwards visit the IMPERIAL TOMB OF KHAI DINH, dramatically located on a hillside. The last of the monumental tombs of the Nguyen dynasty, completed in 1931, this tomb incorporates distinct European elements into the traditional Vietnamese architecture.Visit Dong Ba Market -DONG BA MARKET: a local market near the Imperial City. Overnight in Hue
DAY 8 Hue - Hanoi (Breakfast) Transfer - Flight from Hue to Hanoi. - Transfer - Sightseeing in Hanoi - Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, HANOI still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. Narrow lanes and traditional shophouses invite an exciting exploration by walking, while its many beautiful public spaces - lakes, parks, tree-lined boulevards and monuments - give the city an air of elegance and harmony with nature unique among Asian capitals. Begin your day visiting the TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, and one of the best serving examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam's first university. Continue to the miniature ONE PILLAR PAGODA. Also dating from the 11th century, this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. Today it stands near the vast HO CHI MINH MEMORIAL COMPLEX, a lovely park setting which is home to Ho Chi Minh's final resting place, as well as a museum and other memorials. Begin at the HO CHI MINH MAUSOLEUM, where visitors can pay respects to the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh. The Mausoleum is closed on every Mondays and Fridays and closes annually in October and November for restoration. Continue through the park to HO CHI MINH'S STILT HOUSE,the simple two-room dwelling where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 until his final days ( 1969). Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows. Preserved in the same condition as during his life, it may be viewed through the windows.Afterwards head to visit one of Hanoi's famous museums, the MUSEUM OF ETHNOLOGY (Closed on Mondays and Vietnam New Year), which brings to life the astonishing ethnic diversity in Vietnam, with art and artifacts from the 54 different ethnic groups that inhabit the country. Inside the museum are detailed descriptions of minority groups, with examples of their traditional clothing and way of life. Outside are faithful reconstructions of traditional longhouses, cemeteries and other distinctive ethnic buildings.In the afternoon, visit HOAN KIEM LAKE and Ngoc Son Temple, located in heart of Hanoi, which contains an islet with the tiny TORTOISE PAGODA. Enroute, pass other colonial landmarks such as the magnificent OPERA HOUSE (may be seen from the outside only) and ST JOSEPH'S CATHEDRAL. Overnight in Hanoi
Special Remark : Tentative flight :HUI-HAN by morning flight |Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum close on Mon,Fri,Afternoon, Oct-Nov.
DAY 9 Hanoi - Halong - (Breakfast) Transfer - By vehicle from Hanoi (city) to Halong - Cruise aboard the Indochina Sails Cruise through Halong Bay (English speaking guide is included), Day 1 of 2 (No local guide) -Arrive at Bai Chay/Halong pier.Transfer by tender to the Indochina Sails Cruise enjoy Welcome Drink. Receive cruise briefing and check in to cabins and begin cruise. Lunch deluxe Vietnamese and International Set Menu.Arrive at 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 supplied. We will spend about one hour on the island.Transfer back to the boat and sail for approximately 45 minutes to our second destination the Bat Cave area.Arrive at the Bat Cave area. There are two programs to choose from at this time. One option is a 40 minute kayaking program to the nearby Bat Cave and lagoon and surrounding waters. Kayaking is $10. per person unless already booked as part of your package. Water is supplied. The second option is to visit the largest floating fishing village in Halong Bay. We will travel to the village on the tender and tour the village for approximately 20 minutes. Arrive at Luon Bo area anchor for overnight.Dinner deluxe Vietnamese & Western Buffet or Set Menu Dinner. Overnight in cabin onboard
DAY 10 Halong - Hanoi (Breakfast) Cruise aboard the Indochina Sails Cruise through Halong Bay, Day 2 of 2 (No local guide) - Enjoy Tai Chi instruction on the sundeck (duration about 30 minutes). Coffee, tea and breakfast are served in the dining room.Arrive at the Surprise Cave.Transfer by tender to the Surprise Cave. Walk up the 100 steps to the entrance of the cave and tour on foot for approximately 45 minutes.Upon return to the boat take time to freshen up and please check-out of cabins. Please leave heavy luggage outside of the cabins (staff will transfer to the pier). Depart for Bai Chay/Halong pier.Enjoy Breakfast Set Menu or Buffet served in the dining room. Settle bills in the dining room after breakfast.Relax on the sundeck or in the dining room and enjoy the bay scenery as we approach the pier.Arrive at Bai Chay/Halong pier.Transfer by tender to the pier, relax inside the pier building while waiting for return transportation.By vehicle from Halong to Hanoi (city) - Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 11 Hanoi - Luang Prabang (Breakfast) Transfer - Flight from Hanoi to Luang Prabang. - Arrival in Luang Prabang - Transfer - Sightseeing in Luang Prabang - Set between the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, Luang Prabang is an enchanting town filled with historic temples and colonial style buildings. The entire town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Begin your tour with WAT VISOUN (Wat Wisunalat). The oldest living temple in Luang Prabang, Wat Visoun dates back to 1513 and contains a collection of antique wooden Buddhas. Visit the nearby WAT AHAM before continuing to WAT XIENG THONG, the crowning jewel of all the monasteries and temples in the city. Its many ornate buildings feature exquisite mosaic and gold-stenciled murals. From there, stroll down the main street (Wat Street) of Luang Prabang. Time permitting, stop at some of the many temples that line its sides, including WAT SIBOUNHEUANG, WAT SI MOUNGKHOUN, WAT SOP and WAT SENE.Visit Mount Phousi for sunset -Climb 328 steps starting from entrance on the opposite side of National Museum or 410 steps on the other side of Khan River to the small temples atop PHOU SI, the 150m high hill which sits in the middle of the town, offering beautiful views over the temples and river. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Special Remark : Tentative flight : HAN-LPQ by morning flight
DAY 12 Luang Prabang (Breakfast) Sightseeing in Luang Prabang - Visit the National Museum (former Royal Palace, closed on Tuesdays) and Wat Mai - Visit the NATIONAL MUSEUM (ROYAL PALACE), a modest but graceful building which combines traditional Lao and French beaux-arts motifs. This turn-of-the century royal residence has been preserved as it was when the royal family last lived here and provides unique insights into the history of Laos. Continue to WAT MAI, constructed in 1821 during the reign of King Manthatourath, it was once the residence of Phra Sangkharaj (the Patriarch of the Buddhist clergy).Excursion by boat to Tham Pak Ou Caves -Travel up the Mekong River to the steep limestone cliffs overlooking the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers, home to the THAM PAK OU CAVES. These extraordinary caves are filled with Buddha images, of every style and material imaginable. On the return journey, stop at BAN XANG HAI VILLAGE, a local village famous for the production of lao lao, the local rice wine whisky. Visit the weaving village of Ban Xang Khong -Visit BAN XANG KHONG, a village near Luang Prabang well known for its traditional handwoven cotton and silk, as well as production of the local sa (mulberry) paper. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Special Remark : National Museum closed on Tue
DAY 13 Luang Prabang (Breakfast) Excursion to Kuang Si Waterfalls - From Luang Prabang to KUANG SI WATERFALL, travel by vehicle to to Kuang Si Waterfall. This waterfall is located in a perfect natural setting near Luang Prabang, this multi-tiered waterfall tumbles over limestone formations into a series of turquoise pools. Enjoy swimming in the clear water or just relaxing in the natural environment. Visit local village on the way, before returning to Luang Prabang by vehicle.Overnight in Luang Prabang
DAY 14 Luang Prabang - Siem Reap (Breakfast) Transfer - Flight from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap. - Arrival in Siem Reap - Transfer - Sightseeing in Angkor - Visit Angkor Wat - The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, ANGKOR WAT is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. As you enter the main building, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stonecarvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Special Remark : Tentative flight : LPQ-REP by VN931 @11:40-13:35hrs.
DAY 15 Siem Reap (Breakfast) Sightseeing in Angkor - Visit Banteay Srei Temple - Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, BANTEAY SREI is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Built in pink sandstone, the walls are covered in exquisitely preserved carvings of unusual delicacy. Because of its small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favorite with visitors.Visit Angkor Thom -The fortified city of ANGKOR THOM covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats, the city includes many of Angkor's most popular sights. Enter by the monumental SOUTH GATE over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the TERRACE OF THE ELEPHANTS and the TERRACE OF THE LEPER KINGS, former spaces for public cermonies, both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs. Visit the ruined BAPHUON, ROYAL ENCLOSURE and PHIMEANAKAS before continuing to the mysterious BAYON TEMPLE. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you will find giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down at you from every angle.Visit Ta Prohm -TA PROHM: one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them.Visit Ta Som -TA SOM: built in the late 12th century by Jayavarman VII for his teacher, Som. Ta Som means old Som.Visit Banteay Samre -BANTEAY SAMRE is a mid-12th century temple dedicated to the god Vishnu.Visit a temple for sunset -Watch the sun set over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple. Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY 16 Siem Reap (Breakfast) Sightseeing in Angkor - Visit Roluos Group Temples - ROLUOS GROUP: these monuments mark the beginning of classical art, as some of the earliest great temples built by the Khmer. They served as the capital of Indravarman (who reigned from 877 to 889). LOLEI: built on an islet by Yasovarman I (who ruled from 889 to 910), the founder of the first city of Angkor. The sandstone carvings in the niches of the temples are notable as are the Sanskrit inscriptions on the doorposts. PREAH KO: erected by Indravarman I in the late 9th century in dedication to his defied ancestors in 880. There are inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorsteps of each temple. BAKONG: built and dedicated to Shiva by Indravarman I, this is the largest and most interesting of the Roluos Group of temples and still has an active Buddhist monastery.Visit Pre Rup Temple - PRE RUP: built by Rajendravarman II (ruled 944 to 968), it consists of a pyramid shaped temple with the upper-most of the three tiers carrying five square shrines arranged as a quincunx. The name means turning the body and refers to the traditional method of cremation.Visit Preah Khan - PREAH KHAN: a temple built by King Jayavarman VII with towered enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors in a jungle setting. Preah Khan covers a very large area but the temple itself is enclosed within a rectangular wall of around 700 by 800 meters.Visit Neak Pean Temple - NEAK PEAN: built by King Jayavarman VII (ruled 1181 to 1201), it is a Buddhist temple consisting of a square pool with four smaller square pools arranged on each axis. In the centre of the large central pool is a circular island encircled by two nagas with intertwined tails.Visit Thommanon - THOMMANON: temple which mirrors Chau Say Tevoda (just to the north), as it was built around the same time and has a similar plan. It is also dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY 17 Siem Reap (Breakfast) Excursion to the Kampong Kleang with boat trip - Kampong Kleang is located about 50 km from Siem Reap town. The place is situated northeast shore on the edge of Tonle Sap Lake. The road to the site is good but rather narrow. This boat trip will explore the floating fishing villages that live at the edges of the lake, passing submerged forests and fishing farms.Visit the Chantiers Ecoles (Artisans d Angkor) -LES CHANTIERS ECOLES: vocational centre trains 650 apprentices a year including 160 in fine arts and crafts trades united in the Artisan d Angkor production network. Guided tours through the different workshops like stone sculpture, woodcarving, polychromie, and watch the artisan at work. Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY 18 Siem Reap (Breakfast) Transfer - Special Remark : Late check out at hotel is not included