Itinerary & Map
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An overnight flight will take you to Hanoi. On arrival you’ll transfer (approx 50 mins) to your first night’s accommodation. Hanoi is sometimes called the Paris of the Orient, with shaded boulevards, verdant parks and ochre buildings that retain an old-world charm.
Your welcome meeting takes place at 6pm this evening and you will meet your group leader and the rest of your group.
Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel
Hanoi city tour
The capital of Vietnam is a charming city with a population of over six million. Hanoi is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and its thriving Old Quarter, which is an architectural museum piece with blocks of ochre buildings retaining the air of a 1930s provincial French town. As Vietnam develops to compete with other South-East Asian countries, the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake reflects the contrasts of modern office buildings, old Buddhist temples and the tangle of ancient streets in its still surface.
Today we enjoy a full day Hanoi city tour including lunch with our old friends at KOTO - who provide opportunities for Hanoi's disadvantaged youth with life skills and employment opportunities.
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, which includes the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Museum.
In the evening we will head to a water puppet show, a form of traditional Vietnamese entertainment that started in rice fields centuries ago
Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel - Breakfast included
From Hanoi you’ll travel (approx 4 hours) by charter minibus to the coast and beautiful Halong Bay, whose name means ‘descending dragon’. The name derives from a Vietnamese legend that the gods sent a dragon to protect the people there. Arriving around lunchtime (after a stop at the Sao Do Charity Centre, where you can buy crafts made by disabled youngsters), you’ll jump straight on a boat in this secluded bay, marvelling at the 2000 limestone peaks that emerge from the sea. You’ll have the opportunity to visit spectacular caves crammed with stalactites and stalagmites and, weather permitting, to swim from your boat, before spending the night on-board your airconditioned boat (with private facilities).
Overnight Junk - Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Today you return to Hanoi (approx 3.5 hours). In the evening you board an overnight train to Da Nang. Conditions on the train are basic - but it's a great travel experience where you can mix with local people. The trains typically have four or six-berth soft sleeper compartments, a sheet, pillow and blanket are provided (you may prefer to bring your own sheet sleeping bag. You may be required to share with passengers from outside the group, or of the opposite sex. Most trains have dining facilities but you may prefer to bring your own supplies with you.
Berth on overnight sleeper train - Breakfast included
Arriving in Danang you take a mini bus (approx 1 hour) to Hoi An. The port of Hoi An is a relaxed and laid-back place, where cars are prohibited from the narrow streets of the old town, preserving the atmosphere in the centre as it would have been in colonial times. Settled over the years by a variety of nationalities, including the Spanish and Portuguese, the old town is a fascinating place to visit. The fading beauty of the beautiful shops, houses and cafés add to the charm; Hoi An is bound to be a highlight of the trip. Walking or cycling are the only ways to soak up the atmosphere of the old streets and a walking tour with your guide is included. You can walk down to the riverside market where fresh fish are unloaded and through the backstreets of this colourful town, past temples to the covered Japanese Bridge. You will visit the Children's Hope in Action Centre, which is a community based project, and meet some local kids here.
The rest of your time is left free to relax in this beautiful area. You could take a taxi or make the easy five-kilometre bicycle ride through the rice paddies and shrimp ponds to Cua Dai beach. Alternatively Hoi An is one of the best places to shop for souvenirs, especially if you’re looking for t-shirts, paintings or ceramics. For those interested in getting clothes tailored, this is definitely the place to shop – see Top Tips. You may also arrange a cooking lesson to learn some new dishes to cook back home.
Van Loi Hotel - Swimming Pool - Breakfast included
Ho Chi Minh
A short flight (approx 1 hour) takes you to Ho Chi Minh city. Previously know as Saigon, the cosmopolitan powerhouse of the south and a fascinating mixture of old and new. Take a welcome break from the heat and have some family fun at the Dam Sen Water Park. There is plenty of time to explore the city. Riding by cyclo is a great way to get around and explore the sights, including the War Remnants Museum.
Victory Hotel - Swimming Pool - Breakfast included
Take a flight to Phnom Penh in Cambodia this morning and say farewell to your Vietamese group leader who leaves you today and on arrival in Cambodia you will be met by a new Cambodian leader. After checking into your hotel you will take a boat cruise on the Mekong River. There is plenty to watch as a plethora of floating craft of all shapes and sizes go about their daily business, you may see a floating market, life along the river bank is also interesting viewing. No doubt many local children will wave to you as you pass them by. The following day is free for exploring, there are some great markets to visit, or you can see the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.
Ohana Hotel - swimming pool - Breakfast included
Another short flight (approx 1 hour) takes you to your final destination of Siem Reap. This town is the gateway to Angkor Wat. Explore the temples with a guide and learn the history from the Khmer Empire long ago in the 9th - 12th centuries. The temples were meant to represent the cosmic world and as such are perfectly aligned in balance and symmetry. Sunrise or sunset visits will give you spectacular photographic opportunities. You have a 3 day pass into the temple complex, so there is plenty of time to explore the site, as well as a chance to visit local markets and try some delicous street food or let the kids take a refreshing dip in the hotel pool.
Angkor Holiday Hotel - Swimming Pool - Breakfast included
Your tour ends today. Clients travelling on our group flights transfer to airport for your overnight flight home.