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ID13: Beauty Indochina tour 16 days

Destination: Siem reap – Phnompenh – Ho chi minh - Cu chi – Mekong delta - Hoi an – Hue – Ha noi – Ha long – Luang Prabang
Starts in: Siem reap
Ends in: Luang Prabang
Duration: 16D-15N
Tour code: ID13

Beauty Indochina tour 16 days

Itinerary in Brief:

Day 1: Siemreap arrival (D)
Day 2: Siem reap – Angkor tour (B, L)
Day 3: Siem reap – Phnompenh (B, L)

Day 4: Phnompenh – Ho chi minh ( B )
Day 5: Ho chi minh – Cu chi tunnel ( B,  L )
Day 6: Ho chi minh – Mekong delta – Ho chi minh ( B, L )
Day 7: Ho chi minh – Danang flight  - Hoian ancient town ( B, L )
Day 8: Hoian fee ( B )
Day 9: Hoian – Hue ( B, L )
Day 10: Hue – Hanoi ( B )
Day 11: Hanoi city ( B, L )
Day 12: Hanoi – Halong bay cruise ( B, L,D )
Day 13: Halong bay – Hanoi – Luangprabang flight ( B , L)
Day 14: Luangprabang city ( B, L )
Day 15: Luangprabang – pak ou cave ( B, L )
Day 16: Luang prabang departure ( B, L )

Itinerary in Details:
 
Day 1: Siemreap arrival (D)
Pick up at Siem reap airport, transfer to the hotel  in city center, check in, relax.
This afternoon, transfer to the archaeological site. Visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century). See the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara). Dinner at local restaurant and enjoy Apsara Dance show.
 
Day 2: Siem reap – Angkor tour (B, L)
Wake in the morning for sunrise at Angkor wat and return to the hotel for breakfast
In the morning, visit 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. Angkor Wat's five towers symbolize Meru's five peaks - the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond.
Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon, visit Ta Prohm, one of the most beautiful temples in the area. Ta Prohm has been left relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Visit also Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon. Overnight at hotel in Siemreap.

Day 3: Siem reap – Phnompenh (B, L)
 Breakfast at hotel, transfer to the airport for flight to Phnompenh. Pick up , transfer to hotel, check in, relax.
Lunch at local restaurant.
Phnom Penh city tour: Visit the Victory Monument and the Silver Pagoda. Located within the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90kilograms and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha. End your afternoon with the visit of the Wat Phnom Temple, Phnom Penh's namesake, from where you can enjoy views over the tree-lined avenues of Phnom Penh during sunset
 
Day 4: Phnompenh – Ho chi minh ( B )
Breakfast at the hotel, then take a half-day city tour at the Killing Field and Toul Sleng Museum of the genocide Tuol Sleng Museum (Museum of Genocide): former Tuol Svay Prey High School, in 1975 it became the Khmer Rouge's main torture and interrogation center. It was known as Security Prison 21 - or just S-21.
Transfer to the airport for flight to Ho chi minh city.  Pick up and tranfer to hotel, check in, relax.
 
Day 5: Ho chi minh – Cu chi tunnel ( B,  L )
After breakfast at hotel, drive to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. At the height of the Vietnam war, the tunnel system stretched from the outskirts of Saigon  all the way to the Cambodian border of over 250 kilometers of tunnels. The tunnel system, built over 25 years starting in the 1940s, let the Viet Minh and, later, the Viet Cong, control a huge rural area. It was an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers. In places, it was several stories deep and housed up to 10,000 people who virtually lived underground for years.... getting married, giving birth, going to schools. Transfer back HCM city.
This afternoon, we do the half day city tour with  the Reunification Palace which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. The walk goes past  some French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Sai Gon Post Office. and the bustling Ben Thanh Market where anything and everything is for sale. Overnight at hotel in Ho chi minh. 
 
Day 6: Ho chi minh – Mekong delta – Ho chi minh ( B, L )
Breakfast at hotel, then drive to My Tho. After arrival in My Tho, you will ride on a local motor boat along Dragon Island, Unicorn Island, Phoenix Island, Turtle Island and stop at the famous Unicorn Island. While at the Unicorn Island, While at the Unicorn Island, you will visit natural pure honey at the bee keeping farm. Taste some honey tea, rice wine, banana wine… Walking on the village and taking rowing boat along the natural water coconut canal to see the local lifestyle in the Mekong Delta. From there, you will continue your motor boat trip to Ben Tre province to visit a handmade coconut candy workshop. Then transfer to a small motor boat and travel along the lush, green canals that are so beautiful for photography. Stop at local restaurant for lunch. After that we walk to another area on the Unicorn Island to visit the tropical fruit garden, enjoy the fruits & listening to the Southern traditional music. Then the local motorboat will take you back to My Tho, where the car will drive you back to Ho chi minh city, check in, relax.
 
Day 7: Ho chi minh – Danang flight  - Hoian ancient town ( B, L )
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flight to Danang. The guide in Danang will welcome you, transsfer to Hoian ancient town.
Today we have a lot of time to explore Hoian ancient town, once a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hoi An’s architecture and relaxed lifestyle have changed little over the years. Take a leisurely walking tour of the ancient town center and visit the sites of former merchants’ homes, a 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and a Chinese Communal Hall. Believed to have been settled no less than 2,200 years ago, Hoi An was known as Faifo to early Western traders. Hoi An was one of the major ports of Southeast Asia from the 17th to 19th centuries. Chinese, Japanese, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and other traders had small communities here, and the old wooden houses, bridges and temples that remain are reminiscent of a Vietnam of centuries past. This unique old trading town slowly became isolated due to its river silting up and by destroyed rail lines, leaving it untouched by war and frozen in time. Nowadays, this absolutely charming and relaxed town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town is also famous for it's shops in particular it's large number of tailors. If you wanted, you could have a whole new wardrobe made for you here!
 
Day 8: Hoian fee ( B )
Today there is plenty of time to discover Hoi An  by yourself. You can spend your time  walking around exploring the many Chinese assembly halls and fascinating ancestral homes, some of which have been occupied by the same family for fifteen genera ions. The town is also famous for it's shops in particular it's large number of tailors. If you wanted, you could have a whole new wardrobe made for you here. You might like to take a boat ride with one of the local women across the Thu Bon River. Perhaps you would like to hire a bicycle and head off on a scenic ride to ancient town, about 4 km away. There's even the chance to improve your culinary skills with a Vietnamese cooking lesson. One thing is for sure - there is no shortage of things to do in this town. Overnight at hotel in Hoian
 
Day 9: Hoian – Hue ( B, L )
After breakfast at hotel, say good bye Hoian and embark on northern bound journey to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Stop en route at the beautiful Non Nuoc Beach and the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. In Danang you will visit the Marble Mountains, five sacred hills containing dozens of Buddhist shrines. The guide and driver will take you over the beautiful Hai Van Pass - Vietnam's geographical and psychological boundary between north and south. The peak of the pass lies perpetually shrouded in clouds.
Arrival Hue in Hue at noon time.

This afternoon we visit the Imperial Citadel and the Purple Forbidden City. This royal residence was built in the 19th century by the Nguyen dynasty, the City was home to the former Emperors of Vietnam from 1802 until 1945. We then take a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market and pass many fantastic eating spots where visitors have a chance to sample some local delicacies. Overnight at hotel in Hue.
 
Day 10: Hue – Hanoi ( B )
Breakfast at hotel, we embark on a boat for cruise upstream on the Perfume River, viewing the city and the tranquil villages on the riverbank. We will walk up to visit the Thien Mu pagoda, a nicely located pagoda, overlooks the Perfume River and the beautiful scenery beyond, where you get to learn more about the Buddhism in Vietnam. One of the most poignant displays here is a car belonging to a former monk, who in 1963, drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest against the South Vietnamese regime and its treatment of Buddhists. Disembark the board for a visit the elaborate mausoleum of former emperor Tu Duc, built decades before its occupant's death the tomb was used as a palace retreat before the emperors final resting place. Transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi. The guide in Hanoi  will pick you up, transfer to hotel in city center, check in, relax.
 
Day 11: Hanoi city tour ( B, L )
Breakfast at hotel, This morning we start city tour with the Ho Chi Minh Complex. This famous site contains the mausoleum of the nation’s founder Ho Chi Minh (Close on Monday, Friday & October for annual maintenance ), the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts. Close to this complex is the One Pillar Pagoda, whose origins date back to the foundation of city. We follow this with the impressive Ethnology Museum, dedicated to Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups. Lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam, Vietnam’s first university. Constructed in 1070, the gardens and well-preserved architecture offer a relaxing glimpse into Vietnam’s past. We continue to visit the Restored Sword Lake (Hoan Kiem Lake) and Ngoc Son Temple,  do a cyclo tour around around the 36 streets of the Hanoi old quarter to learn more about simple life of Hanoian. Enjoy water puppet show - a remarkable Vietnamese art form that combines traditional music, fireworks, underwater puppeteers, and elaborate puppets floating gracefully over water. Overnight at hotel in Hanoi.
 
Day 12: Hanoi – Halong bay on board ( B, L, D ) – 180km around 3,5 hour drive
Breakfast at hotel, then 8:30 AM  start a 3. 5 hour drive through the Red River Delta to Ha Long City. Comfort stop en route for photos and coffee (by your own) before arriving to Ha Long City.
12:00–12:15: Arrive in Ha Long city, board our traditional wooden junk boat for an overnight journey. Sip on a refreshing welcome drink upon check in before you begin your cruise through the bay.
13.00: Start sail from Bai Tu Long Bay area, Feast on a delicious lunch as you cruise among beautiful of islets (Tea pot islet, Mat Quy –Monster Face islet, Yen Ngua islet, Man’s Head islet, Tortoise islet etc.) to discover unspoilt pockets of Halong Bay and visit Sung Sot - Amazing cave, one of the most imposing grottos of the Bay. Swim at Soi Sim beach or Titov beach or a short trek to the top of Titov mountain (426 Steps) for a magnificent panorama scenery.
17.30: Fresh fruits serve at lounge or sundeck
           Enjoy vegetable/fruit carving & Folding Napkin
19.30: Enjoy your dinner on board.
21.00: Squid fishing or relax and chatting with your partner, friends, family.
Overnight on Ha Long Bay aboard Junk.
 
Day 13: Halong – Hanoi – Luang prabang flight ( B, L )
06.20: Tai Chi Exercise with an opportunity to admire the magnificent scenery of sunrise over the Bay.
07.00: For early riser complimentary tea, coffee and break fast are served.
08.00: Visit Luon cave on small bamboo boat paddle by out crew staff and   enjoy the quiet atmosphere enclosed by high islets and mountains. Be back to our Junk. Sail past rock formations such as and passing Finger islet, Hoa Cuong fishing village area, Ga Choi – Fghting Cock islet, Dinh Huong Islet, Little Dog islet. Enjoy the tranquil scenery as the boat meanders its way through the bay on the way back to Ha Long city, etc.
09.00: Arrange your luggage and do the check out onboard.
10.15: Enjoy a lunch as your boat weaves through strange-shaped limestone rock formations.
11:30–12:00: We will return to the main harbor before transferring to our awaiting vehicle for a drive back Hanoi. Transfer directly to the airport for flight to Luangprabang. Pick up at airport, transfer to hotel, check in, relax. Overnight at hotel in Luangprbang.
 
Day 14: Luangprabang city ( B, L )
Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. The tranquility and charm of this town with its splendid natural scenery and cultural sights make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Laos.
We start our day with a visit to The National Museum (closed Tuesday) at the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture throughout the ages. We’ll visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai; we then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi to explore the sacred, gilded stupa as well as capture a beautiful view of the city and the Mekong River at sunset. From there, we visit the Night Market, where you can browse through a lovely selection of handmade textiles. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
 
Day 15: Luangprabang – pak ou cave ( B, L )
Today, we enjoy a short-guided tour of the city's oldest temple, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong where you can see the impressive “tree of life” mosaic set in colored glass. We then board an upstream cruise on the Mekong River, which gives us a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. We’ll make sure to stop at the Pak Ou Caves, sanctuaries consisting of two large caverns, both repositories for thousands of Buddha images. We will also stop at a few villages during the day, including Ban Xanghai where the local rice wine is produced and Ban Xiengmene and Ban Chan. Once back in Luang Prabang city we take a short drive to Ban Phanom, well known for its hand weaving. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
 
Day 16: Luang prabang departure ( B )
Breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your departure fight . End of tour.
 
 Accommodation Options
 
Location Standard 3* Superior 3* First class 4* Deluxe 5*
Hanoi Le Carnot 3* Le Carnot 3** Lan Vien 4* De L’ Opera 5*
Halong boat V Spirit 3* V Spirit 3* Pelican 4* Starlight 5*
Hoian Vinh hung II 3* Vinh Hung Emerald 3* Hoian Beach resort 4* Palm Garden 5*
Saigon Ruby River 3* Tan Hai long hotel &spa 3* Grand Silverland 4* Majestic 5*
Phnompenh Cardamom 3* King grand  Boutique 3* White Maison 4* Sofitel l 5*
Siem reap Casa angkor 3* Central Boutique 3* Prince D'angkor 4* Borei Angkor 5*
Luang prabang New Daraphet 3* New Daraphet 3* Villa Stanti hotel 4* Villa Maly 4*
 
Tour includes:
  • All accommodation in double / twin room with daily breakfast at selected hotels
  • 2 days 1 night cruise in Halong Bay ( private cabin – sharing boat )
  • All tours & transfers in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Private English or French speaking guide
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary with local foods (B = breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner)
  • Boat cruise as stated
  • Airfare & aiport taxes: Siemreap – Phnompenh, Phnompenh – Ho chi minh, Ho chi minh – Danang, Hue – Hanoi, Hanoi – Luang prabang
  • Entrance fees and permits for all sights visited
  • Mineral water & towel
  • Government taxes & Service charges
 
Tour excludes:
  • International flights that not mentioned above
  • Vietnam visa arrangement (We can apply Visa on arrival if you request)
  • Cambodia Visa (available at the airport at 20 USD/person)
  • Laos Visa ( available at airport at 30 USD / person )
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Surcharge on 24,31 December and Lunar New Year
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as Telephone and Laundry bills, drink during meals
  • Tips and gratuities
 
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