DAY 1: ARRIVAL HANOI
Pick you up on arrival and transfer to the hotel, check in and free time at leisure on your own of exploration the city.
Overnight in Hanoi.
DAY 2: HANOI HALF DAY ART TOURS (Unique and Special)
Depart from hotel at 08.00 AM and start the half day of Art Tour by stopping over at the Museum of National Fine Arts. It has received many high ranking delegations of different countries, the Museum has sent many traveling thematic exhibitions to other nations to introduce to international friends the typical culture, heroic history of Vietnam. At the same time, it has linked local people with painting, photograph, and sculpture collections of international artists. The Museum has created chances for local art lovers to enjoy and learn about different fine arts school and tendencies of the world. Our next stop is at Home/studio of the well-known lady artist of Mai Hien, she is an expert in field of Contemporary arts of Lacquer painting and graduated from Hanoi college in 1985. Mai Hien is a full member of Hanoi Fine Arts Association.
Drive to the west lake where to visit our other famous artist Mr Pham Luc also a member of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association, Luc is graduated from Hanoi fine arts college in 1977. Participated in art exhibitions in Vietnam and foreign countries such as Russia, Japan, France, Italy, Poland and Czech. His paintings have been collected by the Vietnam’s fine art museum and many foreigners, He is specializing in motherland, love and war subjects.
If the time is permitted, we will travel back to downtown to visit one of the art galleries such as: Viet Fine arts or Apricot.
Lunch will be served at finest local restaurant in town and Free time on your own shopping and have coffee in town down this afternoon.
Overnight Hanoi (B/L)
DAY 3: HANOI CULTURE TOUR HALF DAY
Pick you up from your hotel, then start our visit to the most interesting places in Hanoi, We first visit the complex of 4 spots reflecting the simple life of the great leader, beloved Hochiminh President of Vietnam, Hero of national liberation and a great man of world culture. This complex (visit at our side only, Close on Monday & Friday and Oct + Nov of yearly)comprises of the Hochiminh mausoleum where the remains of The Hochiminh President is kept, then the house on stilts, at the heart of the capital, where he lived and worked Next is Presidential Palace, which was built in 1906 where the president of Vietnam works. Our next stop is the One Pillar pagoda (built in 1049).
After that, we will visit the Temple of literature (the first university of Vietnam built in 1070), transfer back downtown for walking in the old quarter to visit the old Catholic Church and some shopping before transfer lunch at finest local restaurant in town.
This Pm, free time your ơn and Overnight Hanoi (B/L)
DAY 4: HANOI-HALONG BAY CRUISES/ By Private Car
Have breakfast at hotel and next will check out, heading for Halong Bay, some 175 km away from Hanoi.
Our driving will pass the Red River Delta and see the daily life of local, rice fields, also with some stop over for visit local ceramic villages,hands craft centres.
On arrival Halong city (around noon time), transfer to the boat dock for 2days cruise Halong bay. Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Enjoy a swim in the emerald waters of Halong Bay at any spot that you wish to visit. Watch the sunset over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner.
Overnight on board junk (B/L/D)
DAY 5: HALONG BAY CRUISES- HANOI- HUE/ FLIGHT
Wake up to fresh coffee and a wholesome breakfast before cruising back to Halong City. En route, the junk weaves through strange-shaped rock formations that invite comparisons from fighting cocks to dragons and even General de Gaulle’s nose!
The Boat cruise back Halong dock and drive for 3 hours on the same road back Hanoi, Check in procedures at Noi Bai airport for one and half hours flying to Hue city in central parts of Vietnam.
Pick up at Phu Bai airport in Hue, transfer to your hotel and Overnight Hue tonight (B)
DAY 6: HUE CITY TOUR 1DAY
Depart from your hotel in Hue at 8.00 AM and start with our sightseeing tour of Hue ancient, Being the ancient capital, Hue is surrounded with ancient tombs of emperors past, and a visit to the most beautiful tombs will be the itinerary for today.
The charming Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda) will be the first stop of the day. You will enjoy a great view on the Perfume River and surrounding area. Thien Mu Pagoda is considered the symbol of Hue, and of Buddhism in Vietnam.
Next will drive for the centre Hue to visit the Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City before going for lunch at finest local restaurant in town, this PM will visit the tombs of Khai Dinh and Minh Mang Kings, return back the town at around 4 p.m.
Overnight Hue (B/L)
DAY 7: HUE- HOIAN ANCIENT TOWN WALKING TOURS
Have breakfast in hotel before checking out and heading for Hoi an ancient town,
Hoi an is some 140km away and the town is just 35km from biggest city of central part of vietnam named Danang. We will pass the fishing village of Lang co, upon arrival in Da Nang visit Cham museum, one of the 5 oldest museums in The ASIA, containing the finest collection of Cham sculptures and visit marble mountains before continuing to hoi an ancient town.
Check in the hotel on arrival for fresh up and next will transfer for lunch at finest local restaurant in town.
This Pm, we will continue our walking tour to sightseeing the Hoi an ancient town, From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab traders. These people came primarily to trade in the high grade silk, which is still produced in the area, as well as ceramics.
Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops, and numerous cafes. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century. Some places that not to be missed in town are the former merchants’homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colorful market.
Tour ends, transfer back your hotel and Overnight Hoian an (B/L)
DAY 8: HOIAN COOKING CLASS
Have breakfast at hotel and at 09.00 am, pick up at your hotel and transfer for The cooking class is set in the charming garden of Viettown Restaurant, in the ancient town of Hoi An. Depart from there to go to Hoi An market.
Enjoy a 15 min cyclo-ride through the lovely streets of Hoi An.
Arrive at the market and stroll through the local stalls, listening to your guide who explains the different ingredients you will need to make your pho. The transfer back to Viettown is a relaxing boat trip on the Thu Bon River. Walk few minutes to the restaurant and start learning how to make the delicious pho soup. The chef will teach you how to make rice noodles in a traditional way. Then, you will make the beef broth, a mix of beef bone, ginger and different herbs and spices that needs to marinate and which is the secret of the pho. The final touch is to boil the rice noodles and cook the beef pieces. Once done, it is time to enjoy your homemade delicious pho!
Transfer back to your hotel. Overnight Hoian (B/L)
DAY 9: HOIAN FREE DAY
Have breakfast at hotel and next will be free your own relaxing, swimming Hoian Beach or Shopping sightseeing in ancient town Market.
Overnight Hoian (B)
DAY 10: HOI AN-DANANG-SAIGON
Free at leisure until transfer to Danang airport for flying some 2 hourS to Hochiminh city (former name Saigon), pick up at Tan Son Nhat airport and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight Saigon (B)
DAY 11: SAIGON CU CHI TUNNELS- CITY TOUR 1DAY
This morning, we pick you up at your hotel and depart for cu chi tunnels. By 1965, 250 km of tunnels criss-crossed Cu Chi and surrounding areas -just across the Saigon River was the notorious guerrilla power base known as the IRON TRIANGLE.
The Cu Chi tunnels played a vital part in the American war in that they allowed the Viet Cong to control a large rural area only 30 to 40 km from Saigon. At its height, the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The network, parts of which were several levels deep, included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centres and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and feel of what underground life in the American War must have been like. The tunnels have been widened for our benefit (otherwise we would not be able to enter them!) For those interested there’s even the opportunity to fire off rounds from an AK47 or MK16 at the nearby rifle range.
Return back to Saigon for lunch, next will be visiting the Reunification Palace, war Museum, China Town and Notre Dame Cathedral. At early this afternoon, tour will be finished at your hotel at 5.00 PM. Free time this evening and
Overnight Saigon (B/L)
DAY 12: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Cai Be/ Cruise (with The Jayavarman boat)
Bid farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon as we travel 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark your boutique Ship. We will be served refreshing drinks and light lunch as the Ship steadily glides along the Mekong. We will bathe in the fading sunset on the balcony followed by a briefing at the lounge. Later, a welcome dinner awaits us.
When approaching Cai Be, the Ship drops anchor midstream. Light lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are included. Overnight in Cai Be (B/L/D)
DAY 13: Cai Be – Sa Dec – Tan Chau
Everyday, our journey starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the Sundeck just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird.
The day-tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colorful floating market on a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat). During the ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies, rice pop, rice wine and coconut candies are made, enjoy local life along the canals on the way back to the Ship for lunch.
In the afternoon, we cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, we embark a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island to visit an untouchable village. Here, every villager is involved in the process of making rattan mat and this give us the chance to interact with the old local people. We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Tan Chau.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. The Ship will moor midstream overnight near Tan Chau (B/L/D)
DAY 14: Tan Chau – Border crossing – Phnom Penh
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the Dining Hall of your balcony. Brace yourself for a short excursion in Tan Chau, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community.
Firstly, the journey takes you to the “evergreen” islands where you will be thrilled to learn the life of the locals.
The inhabitants of these islands live on houses poised on high stilts – a centuries-old tradition in this part of the Mekong Delta.
We stop to visit a fish farm located in the Tan Chau canal – this farm consists of floating houses and the villagers make their living by cultivating fish. You continue by boat to Tan Chau pier, disembark here and stroll around this colorful local market with lots of regional products. You return to the cruise Ship after your market visit.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight we anchor midstream near Phnom Penh (B/L/D)
DAY 15: Phnom Penh- SIEMREAP/ FLIGHT
Your journey with the floating sanctuary has come to an end, but will not be forgotten. Disembark after breakfast.
Meet our local guide and transfer to Phnompenh airport for departure flight to Siemreap, upon arrival at Siem Reap airport, meets and transfers to hotel for check in and if there is time permits, we will start our visit to the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Enjoy wonderful sunset from the top of Pre Rup Temple.
Dinner not included and night at hotel (B)
DAY 16: SIEM REAP - ANGKOR WAT TOURS – DEPARTURE
Breakfast at hotel Visit the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12 century): the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Phimeanakas, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lunch not included
Visit to the unique interior brick sculptures of Prasat Kravan, Srah Srang ("The Royal Baths" was once used or ritual bathing), Banteay Kdei (surrounded by 4 concentric walls), Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool (representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake) and Preah Khan temple, Built by the King Jayavarman VII. Preah Khan is, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder hugging corridors. Unlike Ta Prohm, however, the temple of Preah Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation.
Transfer to Siem Reap airport for departure home (B)