Vietnam – a country famous for its long coastline along with spectacular mountain views, diverse natural landscapes. From the golden fields of rice on the backs of the big hills, to the bays with hundreds of thousands of different large and small rock islands, from the narrow passes to the gentle white sand of the vast blue sea, from the majestic grand forests come to the plain plain scenery, from the big city to the small villages, from the high mountains to the heavy rivers. Cambodia is the country of golden pagodas and massive architectural works. Here you will be able to discover a mysterious Angkor – located between the primeval old forest area of about 40km2 to the north of SiemRiep. The journey between these two countries is always the favorite journey of foreign guests. In this article, I will introduce to you the 15-days journey to explore these two beautiful countries.
Day 1: Ha Noi Arrival (D)
Welcome to Hanoi! You will be met your tour guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel in Hanoi. Rest of the day is at leisure . Overnight in Ha Noi.
Hoan Kiem Lake
Day 2: Ha Noi City Tour Half – day (B, L, D)
Morning or afternoon departure depend on availability
Begin the first day of the trip with a tour of Hanoi. Depart from the hotel for a visit to Vietnam’s first university: the Temple of Literature – was founded in 1076, Quoc Tu Giam – was established within a temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins and members of the elite.
Continue with a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda – one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Nearby is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and his modest house on stilts. (Sites are viewed from outside; closed Mon and Fri and from June -August) Visit the picturesque West Lake and its sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. Tran Quoc Pagoda is regarded as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with its history line of more than 1,500 years.
After visiting, you will have a meal at an authentic Vietnamese Restaurant. Free time at leisure for rest of the day
Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
Day 3: Ha Noi – Trang An – Hoa Lu – Ha Noi (B, L, D)
In the morning, depart from Hanoi to Ninh Binh (100km – 2.5 hours), transfer directly to the port; get into a rowing boat (around 2.5 hours) to explore the picturesque waterways in Trang An ecological tourist site. Forested limestone mounts contrasting in emerald water, caves, lowland and rivers create a mysterious fairytale-like scene. We then visit a network of 11 caves with beautiful stalactites of all shapes and colors. Disembark and then have lunch at the local restaurant.
After having short breaking, transfer to Hoa Lu, one of the oldest capitals in Vietnam dated to 968 – 1009. The remaining vestiges include two temples dedicated to Dinh and Le Kings. These temples are surrounded by beautiful hibiscus gardens, ponds with lotus blossoms and frangipani spreading a delicate perfume. Take time to relax in its airy and reflective atmosphere. Back to Hanoi in late afternoon for relax and overnight.
Trang An – Ninh Binh
Day 4: Ha Noi – Ha Long Bay (B, L, D)
After having breakfast at hotel, you will be picked by our guide & driver at hotel then driven to Halong Bay – about 200km from the East of Hanoi. On the way, you will to stop by several green paddies to see and photograph the Vietnamese farmers working on their fields.
At around 12:00, you will reach to Halong Bay recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1994. The islands in Ha Long Bay are mainly limestone and schist islands most lying in the two main areas: the southeastern part of Bai Tu Long Bay and southwestern part of Ha Long Bay. They are the result of many times of rising and lowering processes of the continent to form a karst. The process of nearly full erosion and weathering of the karst created the unique Ha Long Bay in the world. In 2000, UNESCO recognized it as the World Heritage for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values.
On arrival at 12h30, you are welcomed on the traditional boat and have a welcome drink. Start the boat trip to visit Halong Bay with outstanding natural beauty of many Islands such as Con Cho Island, Dinh Huong Island, Canh Buom Island, Ga Choi Island and have fresh seafood lunch served on board. Overnight on junk.
Ha Long Bay
Day 5: Ha Long – Ha Noi (B, L, D)
See more islands & lagoons on the bay before coming back to the pier. Our car/driver will be waiting for you, pick you up, and drive you back to Hanoi, with a few stops along the way for sightseeing, or shopping at a local market. At around 16:30, we also visit the old quarters where you will enjoy a cyclo ride through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. Then on to the peaceful lake of Hoan Kiem with its sacred temple. In front of this lake is the famous water puppet theater where we will see a fantastic performance. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 6: Ha Noi – Welcome to Sai Gon (B, D)
After breakfast, free until transfer to the airport for flight to Southern Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh city (formal name Saigon). Upon arriving at Tan Son Nhat airport, you will be transferred to your hotel downtown. As the largest of Vietnam’s cities, the hustle and bustle of life co-exists with 300 years of timeless traditions and the beauty of a mixed colonial-orient culture. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax. In the evening, enjoy dinner while cruising on the Saigon River with a show on the boat. Overnight in Saigon
The symbol of Ho Chi Minh City
Day 7: Sai Gon – City tour (B, L, D)
Full day city tour, Saigon is characterized by a vast variety of sights and sounds, from ancient pagodas, mosques and cathedrals to the former Presidential Palace and the War Museum, from historic Dong Khoi Street to the bustling markets of Ben Thanh and Cholon (Chinatown). Much of the city life takes place on the streets which are lined with stores, shops, stalls and vendors with their wares spread out on the footpath selling everything from soup to sophisticated electronics. The French influence is evident in the excellent baguettes and coffee. Overnight in Saigon.
Ben Thanh Market
Day 8: Sai Gon – Cu Chi Tunnel (B, L)
Heading out of town we drive to explore Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence.
After lunch, enjoy a free afternoon in Saigon.
Overnight in Saigon.
Cu Chi Tunnel
Day 9: Sai Gon – Cai Be – Can Tho (B, L)
Escape the city for a tour of the Mekong Delta, where you’ll see what life is like beyond the urban centre of the south. An incredibly fertile region, the Mekong Delta’s prime industry is food production, producing approximately half of Vietnam’s total agricultural output. Local life for villages in the area revolves around the rivers and canals that make up the delta, so much so that people are more likely to transport by river than road. Enjoy the fresh air and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the countryside, still untouched by tourism. Board on boat and experience the diversity of the Mekong waterways first hand as you explore fish farms and exotic fruit farms. Touring the orchards, paddy fields and swamplands of the Mekong Delta, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into the pages of a geography textbook. Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 10: Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating Market – Chau Doc (B, L)
Early wake up with a “should not be missed” floating market in Can Tho. Travel along the Mekong and the natural network of canals by motor boat and sampan under the shadows of water coconut trees. Taste seasonal fruits right from the orchard, meet friendly locals, and visit the region’s lively floating markets. Northwest of Can Tho meanwhile, and a stone’s throw from the Cambodian border, is the ebullient town of Chau Doc, south of which Sam Mountain provides a welcome undulation in the surrounding plains. The opening of the border here has brought a steady stream of travellers going on to Phnom Penh by boat Afternoon road transfer to Chau Doc and spend one night at this sleepy little town. Overnight in Chau Doc.
Cai Rang Floating Market
Day 11: Chau Doc – Phnom Penh by speed boat (B)
Have breakfast at hotel.Head to the boat station, take speed boat to Phnom Penh. Transfer to hotel for checking in. Free at leisure. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 12: Half day Phnom Penh City tour – Road transfer to Siem Reap (B)
After breakfast at hotel, our tour guide picks you up at your hotel and transfer to visit Independence Monument. Continue the city tour to Royal Palace compound, the most conspicuous feature and also one of impressive colorful Khmer-style palaces. We continue explore National Museum the distinctive red building with a beautiful Khmer architecture was built since 1917 and contains more than 5000 art objects made of sandstone, bronze, silver, copper, wood and others. The next destination is Wat Phnom , the only one hill in town with sacred sites. Climb the stairs to the top of the hill for fabulous views of the city below.
Then we transfer directly to Mekong Bus station for departure to Siem Reap (6 hour drive). Your guide will be not with you on bus but he/she will meet you in Siem Reap. The bus will stop at Arunras Restaurant for restroom and where you can find your own meals or snack before continue to final destination.
The symbol of Phnom Penh
Upon arrival Siem Reap, meet your guide at Borei Seang Nam station and transfer to check in at hotel for refreshment. Siem Reap is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Angkor Archaeological Park which is roughly 7 kilometres away. However, the town itself is worth exploring with day and night markets, Khmer massage and spa treatments, a variety of great cafes and restaurants, and even fish massage!
Relax as you prepare for your much – anticipated visit to Angkor tomorrow. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 13: Angkor Wat Complex Full day tour (B, L, D)
Morning, you will visit jungle Ta Prohm Temple, embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. The temple of Ta Prohm was once used as a location to film the famous Hollywood film Tomb Raider. Begin tour to the antique capital of Angkor Thom, start from 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.
Afternoon, explore Angkor Wat the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor. 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. Last but not least, view a wonderful sunset from Angkor Wat or somewhere possible.
Tonight enjoy buffet dinner with Khmer Traditional Dance Show at Amazon or Kulen II restaurant. Overnight in Seam Reap.
Day 14: Siem Reap – Free day (B)
This day is free for you to pursue your interests. Perhaps hit the markets for some delicious street food, and indulge in a traditional Khmer massage, or get one final insight into the heart of Cambodia with a cooking class.
Overnight in Seam Reap
Day 15: Siem Reap Departure (B)
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast, with no further activities planned. If you are spending more time in Siem Reap we can help you to book additional nights accommodation just contact your sales agent.
Free until transfer to Siem Reap International airport for boarding home sweet home or next destination.
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