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Dien Bien Phu
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More than 17 Days
16 Day Luxurious Adventure in Vietnam & Cambodia
This tour will take you from the bustling city of Hanoi, through the beautiful landscapes of Sapa and Ha Long Bay, the ancient and mysterious cities of Hue and Hoi An, before you return to the hustle and bustle of the big city in Ho Chi Minh City. From there we will take you on a serene cruise along the Mekong River, eventually reaching the capital of Cambodia: Phnom Penh. Your trip will then conclude with two days spent in the wonderful Siem Reap and the nearby Angkor complex, before returning to Romania with your return flight. This adventure through the two countries is the best way of experiencing their rich history and culture in complete luxury and comfort.
Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
You will be met at Noi Bai Airport by our guide and driver, and taken on a short thirty-minute journey into Hanoi to check in to your hotel. After checking in, our tour guide will take you walking around Hanoi Old Quarter to give you a taste of Hanoian culture. The finale of the first day is a trip to the theatre where you will enjoy a water puppet performance, a traditional form of entertainment loved by Vietnamese people and tourists alike. The wooden puppets are used to tell stories of daily life in rural Vietnam.
Day 2: Hanoi City-Tour and Optional Trip to Sapa (B/L)
Your full day tour of Vietnam's capital, Hanoi will be on this day. First, you will visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, a Buddhist relic and national heritage overlooking West Lake. You will then move onto the Ho Chi Minh Complex, a site of significant historical and cultural importance. Here you will visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidents Palace and Ho Chi Minh’s House in which President Ho Chi Minh lived until his passing.
After visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, you will continue to the Ho Chi Minh museum, which documents President Ho Chi Minh’s life and revolutionary career. After a short trip to the museum, you will visit the unique One Pillar Pagoda, which lies in the campus of the complex.
You will stop for lunch at around 11:45 in a local restaurant where you can enjoy some classic Vietnamese cuisine.
After lunch, you will visit Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (The Temple of Literature), the first Imperial University in Vietnam which was built in 1070.
At approximately 15:00 you will leave the Temple of Literature for Ngoc Son Temple which sits on an island in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. Here you take a moment of calm from the busy streets and learn about the legend of the turtle in the lake.
The tour will end at around 16:00 then we sit down at a local restaurant before you enjoying a few hours of relaxation in the evening.
Those in your group who decided to opt for the optional Sapa trip will then be taken to the train station in the evening for a night train to Lao Cai, which leaves Hanoi at 20:00. (Nearest train station to Sapa)
Those going to Ninh Binh will overnight an extra night in Hanoi in the same hotel. The exact details for your time in Ninh Binh will be prepared separately once you confirm that you would like to offer this as an option. Generally speaking they will travel to Ninh Binh in the morning of the 3rd day (around 08:00), and spend 2 days and nights there, before travelling to Ha Long on the morning of the 5th day to reconvene with the rest of the group.
Day 3: Sapa trekking / Ta Van / Supan
Arriving at Lao Cai Railway Station around 05:30 am, you will be welcomed by our guide and driver who will take you to Sapa town. After breakfast in a local restaurant, you will set out on a trek down to Lao Chai village to visit a settlement of the Black H'mong ethnic people with a picnic lunch along the way. Moving on from here through the valley, the next stop will be at Ta Van village, home to Dzay ethnic minority people who are said to be some of the friendliest in the area. Pressing on again to Giang Ta Chai village of the Red Dzao tribe, you will get the chance to see amazing scenery and a beautiful waterfall. Here we will experience their daily life then cross over the Muong Hoa River up the mountain to visit Supan village of the H’mong people.
Day 4: Sapa trekking
After delicious breakfast, you will start trekking to Cat Cat village - home of the Black H’Mong People, visiting Cat Cat waterfall and the Hydrofoil constructed by the French in 19th Century on the way, before visiting a H’Mong family to learn about their culture and customs.
Continuing your trip, our driver & tour guide will take you to the Cable Car Station and spend 20 minutes in the cable car to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Reaching an altitude of 2800 meters, you will have many great chances to take photos. Then we visit a pagoda and the spiritual destinations and trek up 600 steps to reach the peak of Fansipan, known as the Roof of Indochina. (All told the hike will be about 1,5 hours with breaks and photography)
Then we come back to the Cable Car Station and return to Sapa town. Take a fresh shower in the hotel before heading to Lao Cai train station for the night train back to Ha Noi.
Day 5: Hanoi – Halong Bay
You will be welcomed by your guide and driver who will take you to a local restaurant to have some breakfast and relax. After that, we will transfer you to Ha Long Bay. We’ll stop for refreshments in Hai Duong along the way, before arriving at Tuan Chau Island and embarking on Pelican Halong Cruise.
Here we’ll enjoy a welcome drink as we receive the cruise briefing and get checked in, before a Vietnamese buffet lunch is served. During lunch we’ll pass by some stunning islets, like Incense Burner, Dog Stone Islet, Fighting Cocks, Soi Sim Beach and Coconut Three Island.
Eventually we reach Tung Sau, where we disembark to visit a floating pearl farm. If you like you can also do some kayaking while here. Then we head to Tip Top beach for some swimming, and those who can make the climb can go to the top for the best panoramic view of Ha Long found anywhere in the bay.
Following this we return to the boat for some relaxation, and an optional massage service is now available. In the early evening we attend a cooking class on the sundeck, learning how to make Vietnamese spring rolls, before being served BBQ dinner at 19:30. The rest of the evening is free to spend relaxing, having fun with your fellow guests, or even trying your hand at squid fishing before settling in for a night on the quiet waters.
Day 6: Halong – Hanoi – Night train Hue
Early risers can greet the day with a Tai Chi lesson during sunrise around 6am, before enjoying breakfast in the dining room. At 8am we disembark to visit Sung Sot Cave, which takes about 45 minutes. Then we gently cruise back to the dock, arriving at around noon, and say our farewells to the crew. We will then transport you back to Hanoi to take a night train to Hue.
Day 7: Hue city tour
The train will arrive in Hue around 9:20. Your guests have the option of having breakfast before this on the train, but this will not be included. However, if they can wait until arrival, we can take them to a better local restaurant for a great breakfast instead of the disappointing train-fare, and this will then be included in the total price.
After arriving and being welcomed by our guide and driver and potentially enjoying breakfast at a local restaurant, the first stop is the tomb of the emperor Tu Duc. A fantastic example of Vietnamese architecture, the tomb is set in two main areas; the tomb area and the temple area.
Secondly, you will visit the tomb of Khai Dinh, the twelfth king of the Nguyen Dynasty. This tomb, although smaller than some others, is known for its intricacy. The mix of architectural styles exhibits both the European and Oriental influences which are present in Vietnamese culture.
After lunch, our tour guide will accompany you to the Imperial Citadel. The majestic architecture, built by Gia Long, has faced destruction over the years during the fierce conflicts which took place here. It is the scars on these buildings that tell the stories of the battles fought here.
This day tour will unwind with a cruise along the romantic Perfume River aboard a dragon boat. You will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda which has seven stories, making it the tallest in Vietnam. The elegance of the pagoda and gardens combined with the aroma of the of the orchids which bloom in autumn will transport you to a place of tranquility. This relaxing final part of the tour will end at approximately 16:30 and from then on you are free to continue your discovery of Hue City and enjoy your stay in the hotel.
Day 8: Hue – Hoi An
8:00 – 08:30am: Guide & driver will pick you up from your hotel in Hue and depart to Hoian city. En route, stop to see the scenic fishing village Lang Co Beach. Lang Co beach attracts visitors with its stunning white sand beaches and crystal blue water. After passing Lang Co beach, we drive for 20km on Sea cloud pass (Hai Van Pass) – the highest pass in the country and one of the most scenic and historic hillside roads in Vietnam. We will then continue driving for about an hour to My Son Holy Land, a World Heritage site, 50 km southwest of Hoi An. Located in a lush valley; My Son was the capital and religious center of Cham people. Lunch is prepared in a local restaurant before we take a walk or transfer to the My Son Valley where you can explore the wonderful temple complex with our guide. We drive to Hoi An late in the afternoon and will reach your hotel around 5PM.
Day 9: Hoi An
Depart your hotel between 08:30 and 09:00 by bicycle to Tra Que Vegetable Village. You will ride on narrow roads to visit a place that displays the farming and fishing tools of the local farmers and fishermen. In this place you will participate in activities of the local residents’ daily life such as bailing out water with long handles buckets, pounding rice, lifting fishing nets, etc.
You will be served boiled sweet potato with a dip made from ground salty roasted peanuts, as well as lotus tea gathered from Tra Que lotus lagoon while enjoying folk songs that tell tales of the Quang Nam’s native country, Hoi An Old Town as well as the vegetable village itself.
After that you will keep going through the tour to a house of a local resident to hear about the history of the village including the foundation and the development. Next, local farmers will take you to see vegetable gardens and instruct you in the techniques of planting and cultivating many kinds of vegetables planted in the gardens. You will personally cut, tie in bundles, and reap the vegetables to bring home for processing.
Back to Tra Que’s family house, you will be enjoy with "food massage" before working together with our family chef to learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. Then, we sit down and have a chance to savour the dishes we have prepared.
Ride your bike back to your hotel in Hoi An afternoon.
Day 10: Danang – HCMC
Your journey will once again move South through Vietnam from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh city. You will be taken from Hoi An to Da Nang airport by car. You will then fly to Ho Chi Minh city where you will be driven to your hotel.
This afternoon, our guide will show you the most interesting sights that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer.
Depart from your hotel to the Reunification Palace; this beautifully preserved palace was the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam. On April 30th 1975 the American War officially came to an end here.
Enjoy a visit to the War Remnants Museum where you can see countless artifacts, photographs and pictures documenting the second Indochina war.
Afterward, we visit The Notre Dame Cathedral, which was built in 1880, and the Old Post Office, which was built sometime between 1886 and 1891. It is one of the best examples of classical French colonial architecture.
Next is Jade Emperor Pagoda. This is an ancient temple, built in the Chinese style with bright decorative motifs.
Our last stop will be at a local Market where you can practice your bargaining skills while shopping for souvenirs and discover local life and culture. You’ll find some of the friendliest, liveliest, most convivial people in the city in here.
Return your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City around 18:00
Day 11: Panorama River Cruise: Sai Gon – Can Tho
In the morning we will pick you up at your hotel in Saigon and take you to Can Tho or Cai Be. You board your wooden river cruise vessel around noon. After a refreshing welcome drink we show you our on-board facilities and your cosy cabin. As lunch is served, the boat starts cruising. Sit back and watch the fantastic scenery and the daily life of the Mekong people.
In the afternoon you can disembark for a guided leisurely stroll through a village and the surrounding fruit orchards or rice fields. Meet the friendly locals and taste the local produce and fruits.
Get back on board and enjoy a drink at the bar or relax on deck as the sun sets over the magnificent water landscape of the Mekong River. The boat will anchor for the night. The day ends with a delicious on-board dinner. You will stay overnight on board your floating hotel in the Mekong Delta.
Day 12: Life on the water
Wake up well rested to the sound of the Mekong river and get ready for another exciting day of sightseeing in the Mekong Delta. At 6.30h the cruise vessel sets off for a sunrise cruise. Watch the locals go about their daily work drying exotic fruits and building ships on the wooden yards while enjoying an early breakfast.
After breakfast, we will board a sampan boat to the Cai Rang floating market, the region’s busiest and most lively market. On even dates, you will explore the small channels of the Mekong Delta around Cai Be with a small sampan or by foot. Marvel at the sheer abundance of exotic fruits, vegetables and skillfully handcrafted regional products. We will pull up to the boats for talking and bargaining with the merchants. We will also visit some of the local candy and cake making factories or boat through the green water landscape to see local houses, verdant orchards and ship-building yards.
The floating markets in the Mekong Delta are no tourist markets but wholesale markets where the produce of the Mekong Delta like fruits and vegetables are traded. For this reason the number of boats on the market fluctuates depending on harvesting seasons and market demand. Furthermore, modern wholesale markets are becoming more popular in Vietnam. This can result in decreasing numbers of boats being present at the markets.
Disembark the boat at around 11.00 — 11.30h at the pier and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Sit back in the shuttle (bus or car) and watch the water landscape from land until you reach Chau Doc where we bring you to your hotel.
Day 13: Across the border towards Cambodia
We transfer you to the pier after breakfast where you embark the speed boat for an exciting ride to Phnom Penh, your starting point for discovering Cambodia and the famous temples of Angkor Wat.
On arrival in Phnom Penh you will be welcomed by our guide and taken to your hotel for check-in. We will then embark on a city tour, starting with the magnificent Royal Palace, which still serves as the residence of the royal family of Cambodia. We then continue to the famous and sacred Silver Pagoda and also pay a visit to the Elephant Museum.
We then get to learn some more about the recent troubled history of Cambodia with a visit to the infamous S-21 Prison, now known as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, then travel 16km to the outskirts of Phnom Penh to visit the notorious Killing Field of Cheung Ek, where a memorial stupa now stands in front of the killing site. The site is now a museum and memorial for those who lost their lives during the Khmer Rouge regime of 1975-1979.
Rounding out the day, we visit the Russian Market, famous for its large ion of handicrafts, before returning to the hotel and overnighting in Phnom Penh.
Day 14: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
The 14th day is spent travelling from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Our driver will pick you up at around 08:00, arriving in Siem Reap after about 6 hours of driving. Once there, our guide will take you to the hotel and the rest of the day will be free to spend as you please before overnighting at your hotel in Siem Reap.
Day 15: Siem Reap: Angkor Wat – Angkor Thom
Today we visit the masterpiece of Khmer architecture: Angkor Wat. With extraordinary carvings on its bas-reliefs, this mother-of-temples is not only known as a symbol of Khmer pride, but also as the world’s largest religious monument. For this reason UNESCO listed Angkor Wat as a World Heritage Site in 1992.
We will then continue to Ta Prohm, which has been slowly swallowed by the jungle. Here the roots of giant trees are slowly retaking what man took from nature millennia ago.
Finally, we continue exploring by heading to Angkor Thom. The 54-tower temple of Bayon is an awesome sight with hundreds of smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara. Then we visit the surroundings of the complex including the Baphuon, Elephant Terrace, Leper King Terrace and the Royal Palace, before enjoying a local dinner and overnighting in Siem Reap again.
Day 16: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh
After breakfast, we transfer back to Phnom Penh, leaving Siem Reap at around 08:00, ping you off at the airport in Phnom Penh for your return flight to Romania.
This rate is quoted in USD per person, based on Double/Twin occupancy. Applied for the – Private Tour. Valid from 01 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
• Complimentary arrangement for Visa Approval Letter – single entry Vietnam.
• Transfer by private air-conditioned vehicle as per program.
• English speaking guide as per program.
• Lunch (L) & Dinners as mentioned (L/D).
• Visit fees for all sightseeing as mentioned on the program.
• Accommodation in sharing double room including breakfasts at hotels as mentioned.
TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES:
• Stamping fee for visa to Vietnam.
• Meals not mentioned.
• International flight and taxes.
• Domestic air tickets and domestic a/p taxes.
• Other personal expenses: drinks, souvenir, etc…
• Standard check-in time is 14h00 and check-out time is 12h00 at most of the hotels.
• Arrival/Departure: Above prices are valid only for group of clients travelling together – arrival and departure with the same flight. Arrival/departure by other flight subject to supplement charge.
• In no case, the non-used services or visits will be refunded or provided on individual basis for group member(s) due to the delayed arrival/early departure unless they will go on private tour.
• Program is subject to change without notice due to Vietnam Airlines unexpected changes of schedule or flight unexpected cancellations.
• There might be supplement for compulsory lunches or dinners during Christmas and New Year 2018.
• There will be no refund or compensation applied due to force major which effect to visit program.
• We reserve the right to adjust the prices at any time in the event of an increase of the fuel surcharge applied by airlines companies or any other transport companies.
• In general most places are closed in Vietnam throughout the period of the Lunar New Year (from the 15th of February until the 20th of February 2018 inclusive).
• Deadline for flight tickets: We will automatically issue flights 5 days after bookings is confirmed by us, please take note and come back to me within 5 days since booking is confirmed if you find clients don’t want to issue it.
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