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Indochina Explorer
Code: IND-0013

Day1: Hanoi
Arrival in Hanoi
Transfer
Visit the Old Quarter by cyclo
Discover the old quarter of Hanoi by cyclo (1 hour). It is also called 36 streets most of which are named after the crafts or merchandise traditionally sold there.
Overnight in Hanoi

Day2: Hanoi - Halong  [Breakfast / Lunch: Seafood Lunch on Boat Trip]
By vehicle from Hanoi to Halong Bay
Excursion by boat through Halong Bay including lunch (4 hours)
Cruise on a traditional wooden boat among the emerald waters and craggy limestone cliffs of Halong Bay, stopping to explore one of the many caves in this area. Sail past picturesque islands, floating villages, fishermen casting their nets and pearl fisheries and observe the rhythms of daily life on the bay. Return to Halong pier.
Overnight in Halong

Day3: Halong-Hanoi-Sapa [B/L]
By vehicle from Halong to Hanoi
Sightseeing in Hanoi
Visit the One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot Thu Du)
CHUA MOT COT: built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong and restored in 1922, then burned by the French in 1954 and restored in 1955. The pagoda which is a Buddhist representation of the world in the form of a lotus coming out of the water, contains a statue of Quan An, the Goddess of Mercy.
Visit Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House
HO CHI MINH'S STILT HOUSE: Near the Mausoleum is the two room stilt house where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1948 until his final days. Visitors also pass the simple three-room bungalow where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked from 1954-8, which has been preserved in the same condition and may be viewed through the windows.
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum from the outside only
Visit the Temple of Literature
TEMPLE OF LITERATURE: a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, this momument is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnams first university. In one courtyard, giant stone tortoises bear stelae on their backs, listing the accomplishments of graduating scholars.
Transfer
Night train to sapa
Overnight on train

Day4: Laocai - Sa Pa [B/L]
Excursion to Ta Phin with soft trek (Red Dzao village)
Visit the handicraft village of TA PHIN, inhabited by the Red Dzao people, known for their distinctive red headscarves and skill at handicrafts.
Visit Ham Rong Mountain and San May (Cloud Yard)
Overnight in Sa Pa

Day5: Sa Pa - Local Village  [Breakfast / Lunch: Lunch during Trekking]
Trekking around Sa Pa
Depart Sa Pa in the mid-morning and begin trekking on small paths, Y Linh Ho and Lao Chai. These villages are mainly Black Hmong, noted for their distinct culture, language and deep blue indigo clothing. After breaking for lunch, continue to the Dzay village of Tavan. Although the Dzay people in this village have adapted their traditions somewhat, many women still wear the traditional shirts of purple, blue or green. Dzay houses are generally wooden with clay floor. Hike up the mountain to the Red Dzao village of Giang Ta Chai, passing a cascading waterfall on the way. The Red Dzao continue to wear their traditional, colorfully embroidered clothing and red headscarves. Many of the women have shaved eyebrows, according to a local legend. Continue along the rice fields, crossing the Muong Hoa river and trek to the village of Supan to meet the jeep and transfer back to Sa Pa. Total trekking distance for the day is 20 kilometers, over hilly terrain.
Over night in Sapa

Day6: Sapa - Hanoi [B/L]
Transfer to Laocai
Take Train to Hanoi
Over night on train

Day7: Hanoi - Danang [B/L]
Transfer to the Aitport
Take early flight to Danang
Sightseeing in Hoi An
Hoi An is a picturesque riverside town south of Danang. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Now, this beautifully preserved historic city is best seen on foot. The walking tour includes:
JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE PAGODA: the first bridge on this site was constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream. The bridge was provided with a roof so it could be used as a shelter from rain and sun.
SA HUYNH MUSEUM: located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, it contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history.
TRAN FAMILY CHAPEL: this house for worshipping ancestors was built about 200 years ago with donations from family members. The Tran family traces its origins to China and moved to Vietnam around 1700. The architecture of the building reflects the influence of Chinese and Japanese styles.
PHUOC KIEN ASSEMBLY HALL: Chinese pagoda built around 1690 and then restored and enlarged in 1900. It is typical of the Chinese clans that were established in the Hoi An area. The temple is dedicated to Thien Hau Thanh Mau (Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Sailors and Fishermen).
LANTERN MAKING WORKSHOP: Visit one of the lantern workshop in Hoi An. The framework of lantern will be made by the industry itself and clients can observe locals making silk cloth on the lantern.
Overnight in Hoi An

Day8: Hoi An - My Son
Excursion to My Son with boat trip on the Thu Bon River
Journey to MY SON, the former religious center of the Champa Kingdom, a sophisticated civilization which held sway over the region from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Today, all that are left are five archaeological sites from different periods, in a beautifully green setting of hills and winding streams. After a brief visit to the VISITOR'S CENTER for an overview of Cham history and culture, visit each ruin in turn, walking along forested paths. On the way back to Hoi An, board a local boat and cruise down the THU BON RIVER, enjoying the unspoiled countryside and stopping to visit a POTTERY VILLAGE and a WOODCARVING VILLAGE before drawing into Hoi An harbour.
Overnight in Hoian

Day9: Hoian - Hue [B/L]
By vehicle from Hoi An to Hue
Visit Cham Museum
CHAM MUSEUM: this houses probably the best collection of Cham art to be found anywhere in the world. There are more than 300 artifacts in the museum, many dating to the 4th century. There are beautiful sculptures reflecting the 1000 year Cham period.
Sightseeing in the Old Imperial City
Located in the heart of Hue is the IMPERIAL CITADEL, a vast complex built in the early 19th century and modelled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched for 10 km and were surrounded by a wide moat. Today, most of the buildings have been destroyed due to bombing during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking FLAG TOWER, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing NGO MON GATE, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit DIEN THO Residence ( Dien Tho palace) is where the Queen mother lived, visit THAI HOA PALACE, the magnificently decorated reception hall, the HALLS OF THE MANDARINS, and the original NINE DYNASTIC URNS, among other sites.
Overnight in Hue

Day10: Hue - Saigon [B/L]
Excursion to Thien Mu Pagoda and Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang with boat trip
Enjoy a leisurely boat ride down the PERFUME RIVER, stopping first at the iconic THIEN MU PAGODA, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower which has become Hue's most widely recognizable monument. Continue cruising into the countryside to the IMPERIAL TOMB OF MINH MANG, a majestic complex of courtyards, pavilions and temples in a beautiful natural setting.
Visit the Imperial Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh
Venture into the countryside around Hue to the IMPERIAL TOMB OF TU DUC. Tu Duc, the longest reigning Vietnamese emperor, designed and built this elegant tomb during his lifetime, using it as a retreat for meditation, reading and theater performances. Take some time to soak in the tranquil atmosphere, wandering among the gracefully proportioned pavilions, courtyards and lotus ponds. Afterwards visit the IMPERIAL TOMB OF KHAI DINH, dramatically located on a hillside. The last of the monumental tombs of the Nguyen dynasty, completed in 1931, this tomb incorporates distinct European elements into the traditional Vietnamese architecture.
By vehicle to the Airport
Flight from Hue to Saigon.
Transfer to Hotel
Overnight in Saigon

Day11: Saigon city
Sightseeing in Saigon
A vibrant metropolis, SAIGON teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere you look, you see the meeting of traditional and modern life. The emerging modern skyline stands cheek by jowl with colonial buildings and traditional temples. Outside on the streets, young professionals zip by on motorcyles, chatting on cellphones; inside the quiet temple courtyards, worshippers pray amidst clouds of incense. Begin your tour of this exciting city with a tour of the historic center, strolling along DONG KHOI STREET, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks such as the ornate CITY HALL (HOTEL DE VILLE), the old OPERA HOUSE (both may only be viewed from the outside), and pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL and the CENTRAL POST OFFICE.
Afterwards dive into modern history with a tour of the REUNIFICATION PALACE. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s style building was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. It has been preserved in its original state, and the original tanks remain on display near the entrance gates. Continue to the harrowing WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM, which comprehensively documents the travails of the long Vietnam- American War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions; outside is a collection of tanks, planes and weapons. A powerful experience, this museum is guaranteed to provoke strong emotions.
Finally, end up at the central BEN THANH MARKET, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Overnight in saigon

Day12: Saigon
Excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels and Tay Ninh
From Saigon, drive to TAY NINH, the birthplace of the unique CAO DAI religion, a fusion of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam and native Vietnamese spiritual beliefs. Every day at noon, worshippers garbed in colorful robes flock to the CAO DAI GREAT TEMPLE to participate in the daily prayer sessions, which visitors may respectfully observe from the upper balconies. (Note: shortly before and during the annual TET festival (Vietnamese New Year) the daily ceremony of the priests in Tay Ninh may be cancelled without prior notice).
Afterwards, continue to the CU CHI TUNNELS. Never discovered by American forces, these tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelter and weapon factories. Today, you can walk through the area and learn about the day-to-day life of the VC, see the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists. Return to Saigon in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Saigon

Day13: Saigon - Cantho (Breakfast)
By vehicle from Saigon to Can Tho, with a boat ride from Cai Be floating market to Vinh Long
From Saigon, transfer to Cai Be and tour the colorful floating market by boat, continuing through the bywaters and canals of the Mekong Delta to Vinh Long. On the way, stop at different Mekong river islands and visit local workshops producing puffed rice, coconut candy, and other local delicacies such as visit Orchid Farm, Rice Wine,Tea and Fruit.
Overnight in Can Tho

Day14: Can Tho (Breakfast)
Excursion by boat to Cai Rang Floating Market
In the early morning, set out by boat to explore CAI RANG FLOATING MARKET, the biggest and most bustling of the Mekong Delta markets, which attracts fruit and vegetable vendors from all over the region. Buyers on smaller boats weave between the large barges selling wholesale produce. Each vendor advertises fresh samples of their wares on long poles that tower overhead above the colorful boats. Sail through the market, watching people haggle and trade, and possibly sample some of the fruit yourself. By 9 am, the activity has died down and it is time to return to the pier, after exploring some of the backwaters and canals.
Overnight in Can Tho

Day15: Cantho - Chaudoc (Breakfast)
By vehicle from Can Tho to Chau Doc
Sightseeing in Chau Doc with boat trip
Embark on a boat to explore the bustling river life around Chau Doc, visiting the FLOATING VILLAGES, whose inhabitants live and work all their lives on the river. Stop at one of the typical houses, and see how they raise fish in nets directly under the house itself. Continue to the distinctive CHAM VILLAGE, on the other side of the river, with its thriving Muslim community. After returning to the town, continue by vehicle to SAM MOUNTAIN, which rises sharply from the surrounding rice paddies. Considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Vietnam, the mountain is dotted with pagodes and temples, many of them inside caves. Visit LADY CHUA XU PAGODA at the base and continue up shallow stairways along the mountain, visiting other pagodes as you ascend. Visit SAM MOUNTAIN where there are dozens of pagodas and temples. The Chinese influence is obvious, and Sam Mountain is a favorite spot for ethnic-Chinese, both as pilgrims from Saigon and tourists from Taiwan. The views from the top of the mountain are spectacular and one can easily look out over Cambodia. At the mountain's peak, enjoy panoramic views over the surrounding countryside, stretching all the way to the Cambodian border.
Overnight in Chau Doc

Day16: Chaudoc
7h00: Transfer to Tra Su
Take boat trip cruising through the little canal is fully with birds, big fruit bats hanging along the tree. Trasu forest occupies 845 hectare special - purpose forest surrounded by a 654 hectare buffer zone. Scientists estimate that it is home to over 70-80 bird species, inc luding two very rare species of Indian stork - Mycteria leucocephala The flora is equally abundant and splendid with 140 species, which represents the after the Xeo Quit Cajuput Forest in Dong Thap Province.
Back Chaudoc
Free afternoon
Overnight in Chaudoc.

Day 17 : Chau Doc – Phnom Penh – Siem Reap   [B]
Take early speedboat to Phnompenh - Arrive around 12:30 - 13:00
Arrive Phnom Penh in afternoon by boat from Chau Doc, Phnom Penh – the city retains its traditional Khmer and colonial charm. French villas along tree-lined boulevards remind the visitor that the city was once considered the gem of Southeast Asia. Recent political changes have triggered an economic boom of sorts, with new hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs springing up around the city.
Transfer to Airport for flight from Phnompenh to Siem Reap
Upon arrival at airport you are met and transfer to your hotel for check in hotel ( Victoria Angkor )
Welcome dinner with Apsara Dance show at local restaurant.
For those travelers thirsting for cultural highlights of Cambodia, No visit to Cambodia is complete without attending at least one traditional Khmer dance performance, often referred to as 'Apsara Dance' after one of the most popular Classical dance pieces. Traditional Khmer dance better described as 'dance-drama' in that the dances are not merely dance but also meant to convey a story or message.
Overnight in Siemreap

Day 18: Siemreap  [B]
Siem Reap - Sightseeing in Angkor (Breakfast: hotel)
Visit Angkor Wat
The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, ANGKOR WAT is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. As you enter the main building, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stonecarvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones.
Visit Ta Prohm
TA PROHM: one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them.
Visit Banteay Srei Temple
Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, BANTEAY SREI is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Built in pink sandstone, the walls are covered in exquisitely preserved carvings of unusual delicacy. Because of its small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favorite with visitors.
Overnight in Siem Reap

Day19: Siemreap
Free until transfer to the Airport

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