Trails of Vietnam & Cambodia - Sun N' Sea Tours

Basic Information

14 days, 13 nights
Ha Noi, Vietnam

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Ha Noi, Ha Long,  Hue, Hoi An, Da Nang, Sai Gon, Cu Chi , Mekong, Siem Reap.

Overview

Trails of Vietnam & Cambodia

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive HANOI  
Day 2 HANOI; city highlights  
Day 3 HANOI, HALONG BAY 
Day 4 HALONG, HANOI, HUE  
Day 5 HUE, DANANG, HOIAN town
Day 6 Gardening at TRA QUE village & HOIAN walking tour
Day 7 Hoian, free
Day 8 HOIAN, DANANG, SAIGON  
Day 9 CUCHI  tunnels by speedboat & SAIGON city sites  
Day 10 MEKONG DELTA with Mekong Queen cruises  
Day 11 SAIGON, SIEMREAP
Day 12 Explore ANGKOR
Day 13 More in SIEMREAP
Day 14 Departure SIEMREAP 

Day 1 Arrive HANOI  

Welcome on arrival in Hanoi. Drive to our selected hotel in the town. Take rest after journey. 

Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, ranks amongst the world's most attractive and interesting cities. It was first the capital of Vietnam in A.D. 1010, and though the nation's capital moved to Hue under the Nguyen dynasty in 1802, the city continued to flourish after the French took control in 1888. In 1954, after the French departed, Hanoi was declared Vietnam's capital once again. The remnants of over 1,000 years of history are still visible here, with that of the past few hundred years wonderfully preserved.

Ha Noi
Ha Noi
none

Day 2 HANOI; city highlights  

Enjoy a full day tour of Hanoi. Your guide will be happy to personalise your programme, however we would recommend sites such as Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda and a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake. For many the Temple of Literature is a highlight worth lingering over. Built in 1070, this complex of atmospheric halls, pavilions and courtyards is dedicated to Confucius and scholars. Of special note are the 82 remaining steles of stone shaped like turtles which are elaborately carved with the names of candidates that sat the Royal examinations. A walking tour through the Old Quarter will provide another fascinating insight into the character and history of the city, before moving on to Dong Xuan Market with its bustling stalls and brisk trading of day-to-day local goods.
After lunch, consider visiting the very popular Ethnology Museum or the central Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton by American POW's during the war. Alternatively your guide will be happy to discuss alternative places of interest that you may wish to consider.

In the evening we recommend staying in and around the Old Quarter where there is a large selection of excellent restaurants and cafes to choose from. There is also the amazing 'street-food' such as Pho to be found on every corner!

Ha Noi
Ha Noi
breakfast, lunch 

Day 3 HANOI, HALONG BAY 

After an early breakfast it’s a three hour drive from the city to Halong Bay, passing through a number of typical North Vietnamese towns and villages. Upon arrival you will be welcomed aboard your traditional junk; the same style that have sailed the bay for 100’s of years.
A natural wonder of the world and one of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the creation of Halong Bay is shrouded in myth. Local legend tells us how the gods sent a family of dragons to defend the country from the invading Chinese. The dragons spat out gemstones that turned into islands, linking together to create a wall against the enemy. The truth is almost as evocative as the legend and upon setting out into the bay you are met by one of the most beguiling natural scenes you will ever witness. 
Lunch is served as you depart port. You will soon leave the mainland far behind, navigating amongst the jagged limestone islands and karsts emerging from the emerald waters. Whilst some islands are no more than large rocks others are far more substantial in size. 
During your cruise there will be opportunities to disembark, often using smaller boats, or possibly kayaks, to venture into hidden grottoes and caves. You will also make stops to explore points of interest such as floating fishing villages and picturesque lookout points.

Ha Noi Ha Long
Ha Long
breakfast, lunch, dinner 
HANOI -> HALONG ~ 3.5-hour driving 

Day 4 HALONG, HANOI, HUE  

In the early morning many of the islands are alive with the sound of various sea birds nesting in the thick green vegetation that engulf the limestone karsts. Early risers may wish to start the day with a Tai Chi class on the top deck as the sun rises over the bay. Enjoy brunch on board whilst your junk slowly turns back in the direction of the mainland, passing points of interest such as Sung Sot Cave. ……Arrive back in port in the late morning. Disembark and transfer to Hanoi in time for your flight to Hue. Upon arrival at Hue  Airport you will be met by you guide who will transfer you to your hotel.

Hue remained Vietnam’s capital until 1945, when Bao Dai, the last of the Nguyen emperors, abdicated. Many of Hue’s attractions are found along the banks of the Perfume River that flows through the centre of town. The cuisine is Hue is spicy hot, with lots of chilli. Reflecting its Imperial roots, it is often served in beautifully presented, taster portions, a kind of oriental nouvelle cuisine!

Ha Long Ha Noi Hue
Hue
breakfast
HANOI -> HUE ~ 1.15mns flight

Day 5 HUE, DANANG, HOIAN town

After breakfast, we embark on your private cyclo ride around Hue! Start your leisurely cyclo tour with a visit to Tinh Tam Lake, one of the most famous spots in this ancient capital of Vietnam. Situated on the left bank of Dinh Tien Hoang Road, the beautiful lake is considered an iconic achievement of 19th-century landscape architecture. Your guide will discuss its stunning design features before heading to Hue Citadel. Once the seat of the Nguyen dynasty, this UNESCO World Heritage Site contains the former Imperial Palace. Tombs, hallways and ornate temples comprise Hue Citadel and highlight Hue’s regal history. Pass through the high stone walls of this royal city and ride to several major landmarks within the complex. 
We get out and drive to visit the towering Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous Vietnamese landmarks. Differing legends explain how the pagoda came  to be - one tells of an old woman who instructed Lord Hoang Nguyen in 1601 to walk contemplatively along the river with a lit incense stick and to build a city at the spot where the incense stopped burning. Turn our route, we get to the Minh Mang Royal Tomb, is the final resting place of one of the Nguyen Dynasty’s staunchest Confucians, whose reign represents the apex of Nguyen power over the country. Our next stop is at  the Garden house which offers an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy traditional Vietnamese hospitality in the surrounds of a fully-working and functioning replica of a 19th century Hue residence. The house itself is set in charming gardens, complete with lotus ponds and pavilions. Like many of Hue's homes, the structure is built on high foundations with low, dipping roofs due to the historical problem of flooding in the area. Dining at the house itself during lunch time.  

After lunch, your guide will take  you to a nearby village that specializes in producing incense. Just outside the village, a local craftswoman has been making conical hats, or non la, with just one hand since childhood. Observe her expertise at fashioning these beautiful creations that have become quite popular with visitors. We then will take the departure for Hoi An, driving on the picturesque route via Lang Co and over the Hai Van Pass (Ocean Cloud Pass) the we reach Danang and continue to drive for  the final 30 minutes to Hoi An where the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Once known as Faifo, the UNESCO designated World Heritage town of Hoi An was one of the Orient’s major trading ports in the 16th and 17th centuries. Despite the passing of the years and the ravages of weather and war, the centre of Hoi An  remains much the same as it did in its heyday. The town is undoubtedly one of the highlights of any visit to Vietnam with the laid-back atmosphere and the fine Colonial architecture lining cobbled streets offering a glimpse of times gone-by. 

Hue Da Nang Hoi An
Hoi An
breakfast, lunch
HUE –> HOIAN ~ 2.5-hour driving 

Day 6 Gardening at TRA QUE village & HOIAN walking tour

Tra Que - a little charming village lies on the edge of Hoi An, It is named after the sweetly scented vegetable.these vegetables not only make the Pho Hoi ‘s meals more sweet with different flavour but also make Hoi An specialities such as Cao Lau, Quang Noodle more memorable.If you come here to the village , you can also enjoy the cooking class conducted by the host with local “Tam Huu” spring roll which is primarily made from Tra Que vegetables or pancake with meat ( Banh xeo ) which is made with the enlivenment. Experience one day living and working with the local people at the Tra Que vegetable village where you will have a chance to discover the daily life of farmers.

Our guide will see you at the hotel to drive to bike to a local farm in Tra Que village. A short stroll will take you around the vegetable garden and then you can join the farmers  in preparing the land and fertilizing it with seaweed from thelocal lake. Following steps are raking the ground, sowing, watering, picking vegetables and many other gardening activities. After all these activities, you will take a short rest and enjoy foot bath before getting to preparing lunch with a local family. Your lunch will consist of many local delicacies including ‘tam huu’ spring roll, Banh xeo or local pancake of people in vietnam middle region. you can join the cooking with the chef on these meals. Bike or drive back the town in the early afternoon. 

The rest is to discover the Hoi An town, stroll between centuries-old stone houses, explore the former merchants’ homes and narrow lanes that lead to bustling piers and old trading docks. Snap photos of architecture that dates back to the 15th-century and make time to visit the Japanese Bridge, whose covered walkway leads to a rare Buddhist temple.

Hoi An Tra Que
Hoi An
 breakfast, lunch 

Day 7 Hoian, free

Free on your own activities
Hoi An
Hoi An
breakfast 

Day 8 HOIAN, DANANG, SAIGON  

Free at leisure till the transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Saigon. Get the picked up and check in hotel on arrival. The rest is on your own. 

Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam and is located near the Mekong Delta. The city was then renamed after the North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam in 1975, becoming Ho Chi Minh City (named after the North Vietnamese leader). Today the city centre is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French buildings. However, as the undoubted economic centre of Vietnam, high rise office towers are starting to take their place amongst this wonderful colonial architecture. 

Hoi An Da Nang Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
breakfast 
DANANG -> SAIGON ~ 1.15mns flight 

Day 9 CUCHI  tunnels by speedboat & SAIGON city sites  

Journey out of the city centre to the Cu Chi regions, where you will visit the vast underground network of tunnels built first as a defence against the French, and later expanded during the American war. It was from here that the North Vietnamese waged their guerrilla warfare and you will marvel at their ingenuity and resilience. See secret trapdoors, underground kitchens, living areas and meeting rooms. The more adventurous may explore the deeper second, and even third level tunnels. For those preferring to remain above ground, there is ample opportunity to view excavated areas from above. Your guide will advise you of the length and level of difficulty of each tunnel before entering - some are easily accessed by stairs.…..
Afternoon, join us with the city highlights at which the sites recommended as the Reunification Palace, formerly South Vietnam's Presidential Palace, which remains largely untouched since the day Saigon finally fell to North Vietnamese troops in 1975; Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Saigon Post Office offer visitors a glimpse of a French Colonial past, with the latter being design by Gustave Eiffel himself. For most a visit to the War Remnants Museum, formally known as the Museum of American War Crimes is high on the list, and although it can be quite a chilling experience, the various exhibitions offer an insight into the suffering of the Vietnamese people during recent conflicts…….

Ho Chi Minh Cu Chi
Ho Chi Minh
breakfast, lunch
SAIGON -> CUCHI by speedboat ~ 1.5 hour each turn

Day 10 MEKONG DELTA with Mekong Queen cruises  

A one day excursion will begin after boarding a luxury wooden boat, the Mekong Queen, with a visit of the Cai Be floating market (the earlier visit the more boats found), where you can observe the busy trading activities of local traders with several kinds of agricultural product from one boat to another. You then continue the cruise to a local factory to visit and learn how pop rice, pop corn, rice paper and coconut candies are made. You also have an opportunity to taste these products served with hot green tea. Returning to the boat to take a 50 minute excursion to Dong Hoa Hiep Island and discover the beautiful and peaceful sceneries together with the typical life of the region a long the Mekong River. Stops and visits can be made during the excursion.
A 10 minute walk through a local village and fruit gardens, you will be able to stop at a local family scaled Longan process factory, where you have another opportunity to take photo of and interact with the so friendly and hard working local people before coming to an old Mandarin house, built hundred years ago and it is where at least four generations of the family have been living. A so delicious Vietnamese lunch will be served by the owner, Mrs.Kiet. 
Returning to the Mekong Queen by walking or taking a small rowing sampan for another one hour and a half cruise through to Vinh Long, the capital town of Cuu Long (nine Dragon) province. You then visit another local house where you have a short walk through his nursery garden and enjoy several kinds of tropical fruit in the Mekong Delta and taste snake wine …. Getting back to the boat to cross the Co Chien River, one of the 2 branches of the Mekong, called the upper one to Vinh Long Pier where you get on board your vehicle for a drive back to Saigon.

Ho Chi Minh Cai Be Vinh Long
Ho Chi Minh
breakfast, lunch
SAIGON -> CAIBE ~  2.5 hours driving  

Day 11 SAIGON, SIEMREAP

Breakfast at hotel and free at leisure till transfer to the airport for one hour flight to SiemReap. Check in our selected hotel in town on arrival. 

Siem Reap is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire. Over 100 temples are spread over a vast area and the site easily lives up to its status as one of the seven wonders of the forgotten world.
Ho Chi Minh Siem Reap (Cambodia)
Siem Reap
breakfast 
SAIGON -> SIEMREAP ~ an-hour flight 

Day 12 Explore ANGKOR

Spend our day at Angkor…..you will visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom - last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the stunning Bayon temple. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas-reliefs but the highlight is the faces, more than 200 of them, silent but with the famous half-smile playing on their lips. PJ de Beerski wrote of them; Godliness in the majesty and the size, mystery in the expression. 
In the afternoon, you will visit Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism. Its symmetrical towers are stylized on the modern Cambodian flag. Conceived by Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build. It is generally believed to have been a funeral temple for the king. It has been occupied continuously by Buddhist monks and is well preserved. Intricate bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides. Each tells a story. The most celebrated of these is the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, which is located on the east wing. In it the Naga serpent, is twisted by demons and gods to spurt out the elixir of life. Enjoy the sunset and get back hotel lately in the afternoon. 

Siem Reap (Cambodia)
Siem Reap
breakfast, lunch 

Day 13 More in SIEMREAP

After breakfast, we drive to Siem Reap River, get on boat and travel on Tonle Sap Lake to visit the village of Kompong Pluk, where you can ‘go native’ aboard a dugout canoe for a paddle through the flooded forest near the village. Returning and visit the famous temple of Bantey Srey “the Citadel of Women” – the small pink sandstone temple is considered as the crown jewel of classical Khmer art with the delicate beauty of its carvings; the scenic TaProhm monastery, left to the devouring jungle then enjoy the Khmer cuisine …transfer back the hotel and the remainder is free on your own. 

Siem Reap (Cambodia)
Siem Reap

Day 14 Departure SIEMREAP 

Free to stroll the town till departure. 
Siem Reap (Cambodia)
breakfast 

Rates (per person in USD)

Accommodation 1 pax 2 pax 3 pax 4 pax 5 pax 6 pax or more
High Season
MID-RANGE 2,416 1,396 1,219 1,120 1,055 1,010
SUPERIOR 2,761 1,580 1,404 1,306 1,240 1,196
DELUXE 3,448 1,905 1,729 1,632 1,564 1,521
Low Season
MID-RANGE 2,366 1,360 1,183 1,085 1,019 975
SUPERIOR 2,660 1,518 1,342 1,243 1,177 1,132
DELUXE 3,298 1,826 1,650 1,552 1,486 1,441
HIGH SEASON : OCT – DEC, 2017 
LOW SEASON : MAY – SEP, 2017

ACCOMMODATION SELECTION: 
MID-RANGE
Hanoi : Golden Cyclo hotel – Executive room – www.goldencyclohotel.com     
Halong : Glory Legend Cruises – Deluxe – www.glorylegendcruises.net 
Hue         : Romance hotel – Deluxe – www.romancehotel.com.vn  
Hoian : Atlas hotel Hoian – Superior city – www.atlashoian.com 
Saigon : Silverland Central hotel – Deluxe – www.silverlandhotels.com 
SiemReap : Central Boutique Angkor hotel – Boutique room – www.centralboutiqueangkorhotel.com 

SUPERIOR 
Hanoi : O’Gallery Premier hotel – Deluxe room - www.ogallerypremierhotel.com 
Halong : Pelican cruise – Deluxe room – www.pelicancruise.com 
Hue         : Moonlight hotel – Deluxe city -  www.moonlighthue.com 
Hoian : La Resiencia hotel – Junior Suite town view - www.laresidenciahotel.com 
Saigon : Paragon Saigon hotel – Premium – www.paragonsaigon.com    
Siem Reap : Lynnaya Urban River Resort – Deluxe Double Garden View - www.lynnaya.com 

DELUXE 
Hanoi : Apricot hotel – Sketch – www.apricothotels.com  
Halong : Orchid cruises – Suite Balcony – www.orchidcruises.com  
Hoian : Palm Garden resort – Superior Garden room – www.palmgardenresort.com.vn 
Hue         : Indochina Palace – Palace Deluxe – www.indochinepalace.com 
Saigon : Hotel Majestic – Colonial Deluxe – www.majesticsaigon.com 
SiemReap : Viroth’s Hotel – Deluxe - www.viroth-hotel.com 

Policies

Inclusions
English speaking, local guide 
All accommodation listed in double/twin share with breakfast 
En-suite room on sharing Halong cruise 
Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles 
All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary 
Boat trip wherever it has 
All meals listed 
Government tax 
Exclusions
Visas
International arrival & departure flight ticket and airport tax 
Regional flight:  Saigon – SiemReap (on request) 
Domestic flight within Vietnam (on request)
Any meals not listed in the itinerary 
Drinks, other than water on activity days 
Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tips…)
Camera fee (if any)
Peak-season surcharge & compulsory meals to be advised at the time of booking 
Travel insurance  & other services not listed in “inclusive”
Remarks
The itinerary is flexible, depending on arrival or departure flights of passengers 
Ground operator reserved the right to amend or adjust itinerary to match with real situation
The confirmation is subject to the availability at the time of booking 

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