Day 1: Arrival - Hanoi
Upon arrival at Noi Bai Airport, Viet Bamboo Travel's guide and driver will pick you up and transfer to hotel for check in. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2: Hanoi city tour - Lao Cai (B, L) - by night train
You are met at 08:30 in the hotel lobby. There is a morning and afternoon schedule, as well as an organised lunch. Morning: Ho Chi Minh Complex including the Mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum; The Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first university dating back to 1070; A local Vietnamese lunch. Afternoon: Hanoi Hilton museum (Hoa Lo prison); Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake - the Ngoc Son Temple is set on a tiny island on Hoan Kiem Lake, its history dating back to the 13th century; A one-hour cyclo tour through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter - a must for any visitor to Hanoi!; A traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets After finishing city tour, you will come back hotel. Transfer you to the station to catch the night train soft sleeper with AC to Lao Cai station. Overnight on the train.
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa - Cat Cat - Sin Chai (B, L)
Arrive Lao Cai, pick up at Lao Cai Station then transfer to Sapa. After breakfast at restaurant, we will trek to Cat Cat and Sin Chai villages of Black H'mong tribe. Enjoy the waterfall in Cat Cat and beautiful scenery along the way. Back to hotel and enjoy the night in Sapa town. Overnight in Sapa.
Day 4: Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van (B, L)
After breakfast we start trekking. The first part is on the road but we soon turn to the right and walk on a small path down the valley to the Muong Hoa River and from here to the Black H’mong village Lao Chai. Black H’mong is one of the biggest minority groups in the Sapa area. They are proud of their culture and keep their traditions and way of living. They have their own language and wear traditional indigio blue clothing. After this you continue to Ta Van village (1.200 m) to visit Zay people. Zay is a fairly small minority group of about 38.000 people who live mainly in the mountains in Northwest Vietnam. The development has meant that some of their old customs have been lost but many women still wear traditional shirts with a purple, blue or green color. The Zay houses are build of wood and bamboo with a clay floor. Overnight in Sapa.
Day 5: Sapa - Bac Ha market - Lao Cai - Hanoi (B, L) - by night train
After the breakfast, we go to the Bac Ha market for two hours by a private car (AC). This is the largest market in the region, a place where many ethnic groups gather to buy and sell, eat and drink together. There are 10 minority groups in the Bac Ha region. You can buy homemade handicrafts and clothes. In the afternoon we will have a 2 hour trek to Ban Pho village (Flower H’Mong people).In the village we can have a look in their house and understand little more about their lifestyle and traditional customs. Especially, we can try homemade wine from corn. Then transfer to the station in Lao Cai for the night train back to Hanoi at 20:15, arrive around 05:00. Overnight on train.
Day 6: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D)
08:00 Pick up from your hotel in Hanoi. Drive to Halong Bay. Enjoy the peaceful scenery as we travel through the countryside, farmlands and Red River delta.
10:30 Stopover on the way for short break
12:30 Arrive at Hon Gai wharf - Meet the captain, crews and join us for a welcome drink, cruise briefing, safety instructions and check-in cabins.
13:00 Lunch with fresh seafood is served while cruising towards Vong Vieng floating village, passing through extraordinary shaped-islands.
15:30 Drop anchor at Vong Vieng: visit local houses, fish farm, schools and have a chat with the friendly fish men. (You also swim here if you like) The other option is to travel by kayak (passenger row kayaks for themselves). The kayaking option is $10.00 per person unless pre-booked.
17:00 Back on board, enjoy the sunset and continue cruising to Luom Bo for anchoring.
19:00 Dinner is served.
21:00 Enjoy the comfort in your cabin or night fishing… Overnight on junk.
Day 7: Halong Bay - Hanoi - Da Nang - Hoi An (BR) - by flight
06:30 Enjoy the bay’s morning landscape with a cup of tea or coffee.
07:30 Lightly breakfast is served.
08:30 Explore the mystery of Sung Sot cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Halong Bay.
09:30 Back on board, continue cruising, enjoy the stunning views of the Bay and relax.
10:30 Lunch is served on board while cruising back through Halong Bay to the pier.
12:00 Arrive Hon Gai wharf. Farewell.
12:30 Return from Halong to Hanoi.
14:30 Stop-over in Dong Trieu town to visit a ceramics workshop.
16:30 Arrive in Hanoi.
17:45 Transfer to the airport for the flight to Da Nang (VN 1523 - 20:00 - 21:15). Upon arrival, our drive will pick you up and transfer to Hoi An. Relax and overnight in Hoi An.
Day 8: Hoi An - My Son - Hoi An (B, L)
08:00 Begin the day with an excursion to My Son, Vietnam’s most evocative Cham site recently named by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The Cham people considered this area, in the shadow of Cat’s Tooth Peak, the domain of the Gods, and it served as the religious and intellectual center of the culture. Lunch at local restaurant in Hoian. Back Hoian town to discover the historic town which used to be a prosperous seaport city during the 16th to 18th centuries. Its sizeable community of foreign merchants resulted in a unique architectural style with Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese influences. Walking tour in Hoi An to Chinese Assembly Hall & Temples, old houses & Japanese Covered Bridge. Free at leisure in Hoian. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.
Day 9 - 10: Hoi An (B)
Free at leisure at the hotel and then discover Hoi An city by yourself. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 11: Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City Tour (B, L) - by flight
An early morning transfer to the airport for a short flight (VN1307 - 08:30 - 09:40) to south. Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals, is a center of commerce, finance, culture and tourism in Vietnam. This bustling metropolis, contradiction of its northern counterpart, is crowded with bikes and motorbikes, excited by numerous shopping area and sidewalk cafe. A city tour takes us in the Reunification Palace which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. After that, we continue to the bustling Ben Thanh Market for an appreciation of local life. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Cao Dai Temple (B, L)
08:00 am. Our guide will pick you up at the hotel. This morning you take a drive to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh to observe the midday service. Following lunch we will drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels and then return to HCMC at approximately 18:00 pm. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City - My Tho - Ben Tre - Can Tho (B, L)
Leave Ho Chi Minh city, enjoy the scenic journey along the National Highway bordered by green rice fields. On arrival at My Tho, visit Vinh Trang pagoda, take a leisurely boat ride along the river, view stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages along the river bank. Proceed to Tortoise islet, have lunch in the orchard garden. Then a boat ride to An Khanh - a less touristy attraction in Ben Tre, enjoy cruising on a hand-rowed sampan under the shade of water coconut trees along natural canals. Have a short cycling tour then enjoy seasonal fruit & honey tea to the sound of "Southern Vietnamese folk music", performed by the locals. Visit a family business which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle, taste delicious coconut candy & observe the pastoral life as you roam through the fruit plantations and villages. Proceed to Can Tho. Overnight in the hotel (family home-stay with dinner can be arranged on request). Free time to visit the bustling Can Tho market. Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 14: Can Tho - Long Xuyen - Chau Doc (B, L)
Take a leisurely boat trip to explore the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong river (Bassac River), then proceed to Cai Rang & Phong Dien floating markets, which are the liveliest in the whole religion. Have you ever tasted Vietnamese vermicelli soup? Well, now go and see how it is made. Then wander around the village and meet the friendly local people and experience how to pass a "Monkey bridge" which is built by only one stem of bamboo. Visit the orchard garden. Stop for lunch. Proceed to Chau Doc via Long Xuyen to visit the crocodile farm. Check in on arriving in Chau Doc. Admire the landscape from the Sam Mountain summit down the Vietnamese - Cambodian border, visit the Caved pagoda. Overnight in Chau Doc.
Day 15: Chau Doc - Phnom Penh (B, L) - by speedboat
Leave Chau Doc to Phnom Penh in the morning by speed boat. Visa issued at the border. Arrive at Sisowath tourist dock in Phnom Penh at around 12:00 pm. You will arrive in Phnom Penh at 12:00 and our driver will pick you up and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visit Toul Sleng Museum and the renowned Central Market. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 16: Phnom Penh City Tour - Siem Reap (B, L) - by flight
08:30 After breakfast, take the City Tour to visit the National Museum of Khmer Art, the Silver Pagoda, in the same grounds as the Royal Palace and the renowned Central Market. In the afternoon, learn about the reign of terror during the hated Khmer Rouge regime (1975-79) by visiting the Genocide Museum. Before returning to the hotel, visit the famous Wat Phnom. Transfer to Phnom Penh International airport to board flight to Siem Reap at 16:00 (VN 9857). Upon arriving in Siem Reap, you will be picked up and transferred to the hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 17: Siem Reap - Angkor Temples (B, L)
After an enjoy sunrise time at Angkor Wat in early morning, then start the tour to South Gate of Angkor Thom, then go to Angkor Thom (the temple) which was built by Angkor’s greatest king, Jayavarman VII. The major attraction of Angkor Thom is the Bayon, whose exact function and symbolism is still unknown until now. Then we go to Baphoun, which is one of the most spectacular of Angkor’s temples in its heyday; to Terrace of the Elephants that was used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king’s grand audience hall; to Terrace of the Leper King, another of Angkor’s mysteries. In the afternoon, we visit the World Seventh Wonder -better known as Angkor Wat- that stands as the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Angkor wat stretch over some 400 sq. km, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 18: Siem Reap - Tonle Sap (B, L)
Today, after breakfast, we are on a boat trip to Great Lake Tonle Sap that is renowned for its basin of fresh water fish (10 tons/ 1Square Km in the 60’s). Visitors may also view the fresh water exhibition where we can see various kinds of fish in Tonle Sap Lake such as floating village and real style on the river. In the afternoon, we continue to visit Les Artisans d’Angkor - Chantiers Ecole where visitors can observe artisans making high quality wood and stone carvings from scratch to end-product, and then we visit Silk Farm, malpro tree field throughout produce processing of the production, where we can see the traditional silk making in Cambodia. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 19: Siem Reap - Departure (B)
Free and easy until our guide pick you up and drop you off the airport for the departure flight. End of services.