|ARRIVAL VIETNAM||Pick Up at airport in Hanoi by our guide and driver.|
|DEPARTURE CAMBODIA||We will bring you back to airport in Siem Reap for flight back to your destination.|
|All inclusions and exclusions will be spesified in your quotation.|
DAY 1: HA NOI ARRIVAL
You arrive in Hanoi Capital, a city of over a thousand years. Greeting you at Noi Bai International Airport, Aurora Travel’s guide will give you very first introduction about the destination and escort you to your hotel in the city center.
Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 2: HA NOI ORIENTATION (Breakfast)
For early risers: wake up time 05.30am!
Get out of your hotel for morning fresh air. Have Meditation practice at an ancient temple. The session is daily scheduled in the late afternoon as a part of local living and instructed by a Vietnamese Yoga master. Morning Yoga Session can be arranged upon your request. After the morning class, stroll downtown and join with locals who gather for Tai Chi every morning around the lakesides. It is magnificent city sight to witness and an even more magical experience to participate in this graceful practice. You also see locals begin their new day! Back to your hotel for full buffet breakfast.
Later on we start the city exploration. The first site will be the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, a site of pilgrimage The building was constructed from materials gathered from all over Vietnam.
Next, we visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology which successfully presents the recognition of Vietnam as a multi-ethnic country and promotes socio-cultural diversity.
In the afternoon, continue visiting the Temple of Literature which was constructed in 1070 under Ly Thanh Tong’s dynasty, first to honor Confucius and now to celebrate the doctorates and high ranking scholars of Vietnam. We also visit Hoa Lo Prison Museum, known to American prisoners of war as the Hanoi Hilton. This museum was a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the American / Vietnam War.
In the late afternoon, enjoy the amazing water puppet show which is a fantastic art form unique to Vietnam and derives from the Red River Delta area.
Overnight in Hanoi
DAY 3: HA NOI- MAI CHAU – PU LUONG RETREAT (Breakfast) 180KM~ 4.5 HOUR
Pu Luong Natural Reserve is unknown among most tourists, but contains all the highlights of Northern Vietnam in one place! Pu Luong is a “microcosm” of Northern Vietnam. Containing Sapa’s magnificent mountain ranges, Mu Cang Chai’s stunning rice terrace fields, Cao Bang’s scenic rivers and waterfalls and Mai Chau’s remote traditional villages of ethnic minorities who still retain their unique cultural heritage and way of living.
8:00am – meet our tour guide & driver at hotel. You will leave Ha Noi for Mai Chau Valley. You will go through a beautiful mountainous province of Hoa Binh which is located 135km in the Southwest of the capital of Viet Nam. Four hours on the way, you’ll see gorgeous scenery dotted with limestone and rice paddies while passing several small villages of Thai & Muong minorities.
Reach a beautiful village of Thai ethnic people (in Mai Hich), where your tasty lunch is prepared by your host. Enjoy lunch and chat with the local to know more their daily life.
(Noted lunch is not included. It will be arranged by TL on spot)
After lunch and a short rest, take one more hour drive (45km), you will enter Pu Luong Nature Reserve by road via a breathtaking mountain pass giving you a panoramic view of the whole valley where you will spend two nights for truly retreat.
Check in your nice room at Pu Luong Retreat with stunning view to the lush green valley of hill tribe houses and rice field terraces.
Optional dinner at Pu Luong Retreat. Then join with the very friendly villagers with their folk dances and local wine drinking until night.
Overnight at Pu Luong Retreat
DAY 4: EASY TREK (6-8KM) TO HILL TRIBE VILLAGES & BAMBOO RAFTING (Breakfast)
Have breakfast at your lodge.
Morning activities: Start early to descend into the beautiful valley facing the Retreat where you walk around tumbling rice terraces. Trek through small paths shrouded in vegetation to slowly reveal a picturesque village sitting at the base of a towering mountain. Your camera will not be able to sit still!
Continuing to the base of the valley, you weave between roads and farmland, villages and wild fields, ponds and rivers, mountains and open land. Savor the ever-changing scenery as you trek to a beautiful spot to enjoy a simple picnic lunch at a local home in the village (lunch not included, tour leader will arrange on spot)
Minivan pick up and go back to your Lodge.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk in search of stunning water wheels. Get up close to each wheel and discover how water is moved from river to handmade bamboo aqueducts via simple constructions of all sizes to the rice fields.
Arriving at a local fisherman’s house, you have a short rest to gear up for an easy rafting experience with Dinh and his team. Float along the calm river and enjoy the picturesque views, in between learning how to paddle and steer your handcrafted rafts. Arriving at scenic Tan Lap bridge, you disembark to be transferred back to Pu Luong Retreat for dinner.
Overnight at Pu Luong Retreat
DAY 5: PU LUONG – HA NOI (Breakfast) 180KM ~ 4.5 HOURS
Enjoy leisure breakfast at your Lodge.
You have the chance to get close (by walk) to village life and interact with locals living in the hills above the Retreat. Glimpse at daily life, walk around working farmland and rice fields, and learn about making rice wine and weaving colorful textiles. Go back to your lodge for check out and coach pick up and we follow scenic road back to Ha Noi.
Reach your hotel in Ha Noi in the early evening.
DAY 6: HA NOI- HA LONG BAY (Breakfast, Lunch, dinner) 160KM ~ 3.5 HOUR
(lunch & dinner included in the cruise package)
Depart from your Hotel for a three hour and a half transfer to Ha Long Bay – UNESCO World Natural Heritage – where thousands of spectacular limestone islets and grottoes rising from the clear emerald Gulf of Tonkin. Upon arrival, welcome drink on board prior to your check-in. Lunch with fresh sea food will be served while boat is cruising through many stone islets, floating villages, small beaches. Visit a floating fishing village, talk and meet with local villagers prior to your swimming or free time at your own on the sundeck. Dinner would be ready at the time the boat anchors off at a quiet designated overnight area. Overnight on board in Halong Bay.
Note: Itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions or local administration regulations.
DAY 7: HA LONG BAY- HANOI AIRPORT – FLIGHT TO DA NANG (Breakfast, brunch)
Breakfast is served while the junk cruises around Ha Long Bay, passes by many islets named by their shapes such as Dog, Incense Urn, Fighting Cock, Finger, etc. Stop for a while to explore Surprise Cave- one of the most beautiful ones of the bay. The junk then continues cruising towards the wharf. Ready to disembark at about 10.30AM Our coach is ready to bring you back to Ha Noi.
After the show, we continue driving to Ha Noi airport for flight to Da Nang.
Upon arrival at Da Nang airport, get on coach and go to Hoi An Ancient town which is 30km away.
Overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 8: HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN & COUNTRY LIFE EXPERIENCE (Breakfast, lunch)
(Lunch is included in the tour package)
The morning excursion offers you a closer look into the countryside life in the outskirt of Hoi An Ancient town. Such an amazing experience with first easy walk through picturesque villages, rice fields, graveyard, see water buffalos, water coconut gardens, then meet & talk with local villagers as you meet. Continuing with an exciting basket boat rowing on the water coconut river and learn how to catch crabs. Later on, we take boat ride on a stunning river to see how local fishermen catch fish, reach Tra Que organic village for a mini course of cooking class and enjoy tasty lunch prepared by your host. After lunch, go back to the downtown.
In the mid-afternoon, take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Hall and the local market. There’re numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes if you like.
Overnight in Hoi An.
DAY 9: HOI AN – SAIGON (Breakfast)
Have breakfast at your hotel and check out.
Today we fly from Da Nang to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the business and tourist centre of Vietnam.
This afternoon we visit some of the city’s highlights, including the Reunification Hall, the former residence of the French governor-general of Indochina. On 30 April 1975, NVA tanks smashed down the first gates and took control of Saigon. We then proceed to Cholon, or Chinatown, an area inhabited by Vietnamese of Chinese origin. This area is one of the most vibrant in the city.
Overnight in Saigon.
DAY 10: SAIGON –MEKONG DELTA– BEN TRE (Breakfast)
Depart from your hotel at 08:30, it takes only 2 hours pleasant drive to Ben Tre province. On arrival at Hung Vuong Pier, hop on a motorized boat on Ben Tre River – one of tributaries of Mekong River while sight-seeing lively activities along river as fishing, water transferring. Our first stop is at brick kiln to see how to make bricks traditionally by printing and baking. Continue to visit one of plenty of coconut processing workshops located along canal. Return to the boat and go through natural scissors creeks to a village and see some local houses making sleeping mats and enjoying some fruits.
Take a motorized cart (tuk tuk) or bicycle on shady paths, pass by green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch on real life and find out about tropical culture from peasants.
After your lunch time, we take a rowing-boat along beautiful water palm creek before meeting up the motorized boat and transfer you back to the pier. Coach pick up and proceed to Can Tho city.
Overnight in Can Tho.
DAY 11: CAN THO – SAIGON (Breakfast)
Cruising along the small and picturesque tributaries, we will see the Cai Rang floating market (the nicest one with heaps of rowing boats). See the beautiful scenery and daily activities of the locals. Walk around a village, visit a rice husking mill. Disembark at Ninh Kieu quay, visit an Ancient house (in Binh Thuy, 10 km from Can Tho). Return to Saigon via My Tho town.
This afternoon we may accomplished Saigon area sightseeing not accomplished earlier due to flight times. At some point during out tour we will drive past the Notre Dame Cathedral and adjacent Post Office. Both of these buildings were constructed by the French in the 1880s and display architectural characteristics typical of that time period.
Overnight in Saigon.
DAY 12: SAIGON – PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA BY AIR (Breakfast)
Today we take midday flight from Saigon to Phnom Penh, the capital and largest city in Cambodia.
Engineered by the French, Phnom Penh was once filled with beautiful tree-lined streets and colonial mansions. Todays, many of the old buildings exist, although they are in a severe state of disrepair.
In the afternoon, take short visit to the Royal Palace compound, build in 1866 by the Predecessors of King Norodom, is the most conspicuous feature and also one of impressive colorful Khmer-style Palaces. Nearside the Royal Palace is Silver Pagoda (The Emerald Buddha temple), display plenty of Buddha Statues that were decorated and made by diamond, emerald, gold and silver
You have chance to learn more about heart-breaking period in Cambodian’s history by visiting the Tuol Sleng prison (Genocide Museum) which was the most secret organ of the KR regime.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
DAY 13: PHNOM PENH- SIEM REAP BY AIR (Breakfast)
In the morning, we take short transfer to visit the notorious ‘Killing Fields’ of Choeung Ek. Many of the Cambodians who perished under the Khmer Rouge regime ended up dumped in one of the dozens of ‘killing fields’ that can be found scattered across the country.
The Choeung Ek Memorial is now a group of mass graves, killing areas and a memorial stupa containing thousands of human skulls and long bones. The memorial is about a 20-40 minute drive from the center of Phnom Penh. There is also a small souvenir shop as well. For sake of historical context, combine your trip to Choeung Ek with a visit to Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (the former S-21 Prison) in Phnom Penh. Also see David Chandler’s book, ‘Voices of S-21’ for the most systematic and complete account to date of the history and operation of the S-21 Prison.
Go back to your hotel for check out and go to airport for short flight to Siem Reap. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 14: ANGKOR WAT AT SUNRISE, ANGKOR THOM, TA PROM (Breakfast)
After the breakfast, you will visit the famous temple: Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a World Heritage Site since 1992, famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology.
Go back to your hotel for a short rest.
In the afternoon, we explore the Angkor Thom –from the West gate. See the South Gate, Bayon Temple- unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara. Baphuon Temple: lying just to the north of Bayon, a pyramidal representation of mythical Mont Meru. The Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas. The Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King.
We continue to visit the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. Ta Prohm was built in the 12th century. It’s a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of King Jayavarman VII.
In the late afternoon, go back to the town, and visit Mr. Theam, a true Cambodian artist with over a decade of experience as the artistic director of Artisans d’Angkor. You are welcomed personally by Mr. Theam or his sister, Ms. Maddy at his traditional Khmer home and enjoy a glass of wine and traditional Khmer snacks on arrival. A personalized tour is offered around the exhibition and work shop in which the creative journey comes alive through the narration of Mr. Theam. It offers you an opportunity to learn more about the traditional Khmer art and how it has revived over the years. Learn how Theam’s House and how they fit in the Cambodian culture and arts. Meet with the apprentices of Mr. Theam whom he personally trains at his workshop and learn more about their backgrounds and aspirations for the future. End your visit with an informal talk in the well-appointed garden or opt to stroll once more through the exhibition looking for that one artifact that is missing at home.
Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY 15: SIEM REAP –ANGKOR RUINS & KHMER LIFE (Breakfast)
After breakfast, we go to a Khmer pagoda. Bring candles and incense sticks to the pagoda and participate in a private good luck blessing ceremony, performed by local monks that reside at the pagoda. Sit on the mat while the monks chant blessings and sprinkle holy water on you–a traditional way which is believed pass on the good luck of the gods. Afterwards, a sacred thread will be tied around your wrist. This will protect you from any evil spirits or accidents. Before you continue on your journey, you will receive a small keepsake from the monks to remind you of this special moment.
Then continue to explore Angkor complex with: Banteay Srei: nearly everyone’s favorite site. The special charm of this temple lies in its compact size, remarkable state of preservation, and the excellence of its decorative carving. Banteay Samre: Its rose-colored sandstone walls are decorated with carvings and bas-reliefs, which are among the most accomplished Angkor has to offer.
In the mid-afternoon, visit the School of Apsara Art that trains more than 60 talented children in various Khmer Arts such as classical dance, folk dance, Pin Peat Music and Yike drama. Upon arrival, you’re greeted by a representative from the organization. Then you will be guided to each class which offers you an opportunity to interact with the trainers and the children to learn how they preserve the traditional performance arts. Afterward the REP will make a detailed presentation about the organization and classes. Your visit ending up in watching the performance by the children and taking photos for the souvenirs and bring the loved ones home.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 16: SIEM REAP – DEPARTURE (Breakfast)
After breakfast, you will be free until a good time drive to the airport for your departure flight.
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A. IMPORTANT NOTICE:
Based on your tour request, Saigon Tours Vietnam will send you the proposal and the rates. This proposal and these rates are proposed for your information only and valid 30 days (unless otherwise mentioned) from the date of offer. We will not launch any reservation before we receive your confirmation. After 30 days the proposed rates and the accompanying offer are not valid anymore and rates may be revised.
The rates may be different between the high season holiday which is from 1st of October to 30 April and low season holiday which is from 1st May to 30th September.
During holiday and special occasions, surcharge may be applied –Xmas, New Year and peak seasons (20th December to 10 January) – and these will be designated as surcharges subject to our notifying you and your agreement on these surcharges.
Transfers – non arrival on booked day will mean any extra transfer services will result in extra charges being applied.
B. CANCELLATION POLICY:
The cancellation charges below refer to the non-transferable fee that is charged to the group member who has cancelled their tour:
More than 45 days before departure: No cancellation charge
Between 45 and 30 days before departure: 10% of total tour cost
Between 30 days and 15 days before departure: 25% of total tour cost
Between 15 days and 7 days before departure: 50% of total tour cost
Less than 7 days before departure: 90% of total tour cost
No-show at the airport on the day of arrival/departure: 100% of total tour cost
C. CHILDREN POLICY (land service only)
Child from 1- 4 yrs: Free of charge if sharing bed with parents
Child from 5 – 6 yrs: charge 30% of adult price if sharing existing bed(s) with parents
Child from 5 – 6 yrs: charge 50% of adult price if using extra bed/mattress in parents’ room
Child from 7 – 11 yrs: charge 75% of adult price if using extra bed/mattress in parents’ room
Child from 12 yrs up: pay as adult rate