Indochina Essence 2020 - 16 Days - ICT03

Classic Tours

Start: Hanoi   |   Finish: Can Tho


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This tour is designed with balanced activities and pace. If you want to customize it, you may always change its itinerary and accommodations according to your needs.

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Hanoi arrival - street food & water puppet | Guide and driver
Arrival in Noi Bai airport , you will be picked up then transferred to the hotel in city center. The check-in is available at 2 pm. In the afternoon, discover the Old Quarter, also known as the “36 Streets & Corporations”. It is a veritable labyrinth of lanes where each of them is specialized in a trade or art. The best way to explore and discover this district full of life is by foot. Designed to capture all aspects of local life, the course will cover all the elements of the daily life of the inhabitants in an original way: crafts, Buddhism, temple, gastronomy, local market, visit of traditional house-tube (Vietnamese particularity), medicine… Discover the capital through food, as a local, a real experience and a highlight of the journey. The tour ends with a stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) before watching the traditional water puppet show. Overnight in Hanoi
Accomodation: Hong Ngoc Dynastie Hotel
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Hanoi - Mai Chau | Guide and driver
At 8:00 am we will depart from Hanoi to Mai Chau, a picturesque valley, home to many hill tribes including the Dzao, Muong, and Thai. We will arrive in Mai Chau around noon and check into the Mister Cuong’s ethnic homestay, a house on stilts in Van village. A village of the ‘White Thai’, who predominantly inhabit this area. A typical Thai meal will be served for lunch at the homestay. In the afternoon, you can take a short walk around the village where you will encounter friendly local people, and get the chance to communicate with them and get to know their traditional lifestyle. The rest of the day you will have the chance to join in some agricultural chores like planting, harvesting or land preparation, depending on the season. Enjoy a traditional dance show at night then tasting Ruou Can, the local rice wine. Overnight at a homestay.
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Mai Chau - Ninh Binh | Guide and driver
After breakfast, we will drive 170km to Tam Coc also known as «Halong Bay on land». On the way, you will pass some of the most picturesque scenery in Vietnam. Arrive at Tam Coc, check in at the hotel and have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will embark on a small rowing boat to discover the outstanding karst waterscape on Ngo Dong River. Tam Coc literally translates to « three caves» and is adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of all sizes shaped like gemstones. Continuing the cruise along the river, you will see the spectacular scenery of rice paddies and limestone peaks reflected in the emerald water. Row back to the harbor from where you will be brought to the hotel. The rest of the day we will cycle along winding roads passing lotus ponds, temples and cottages, typical of Vietnamese countryside to visit Bich Dong Pagoda situated on a hillside. Overnight at hotel in Tam Coc.
Accomodation: Tam Coc Rice Fields Resort
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Ninh Binh - Halong | Guide and driver
Accomodation: Swan Cruises
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Halong - Hanoi - flight to Hue | Guide and driver
After breakfast, visit by boat to Luon Cave, a ring-shaped pool inside an island in Halong with absolutely tranquil landscape and emerald water. Back to the Wharf of Halong passing the densest area with many islands that have been named like the Cock-Fighting Rock, Sail Island, Incense burner rock or Sea Dog Rock. Arrive at Halong Wharf around 11.00. Return to Hanoi around 4 PM. A 3-hour drive will take you to Noi Bai airport for your flight to Hue where you will be picked up at the hotel in for check in & overnight.
Accomodation: ÊMM Hotel Hue
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Hue - Thuy Bieu village | Guide and driver
Start the day with a visit to Hue Imperial City, the remaining vestiges of Hue's citadel, including: Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh), Then, we will take a boat trip on the poetic Perfume River. Stop to visit Thien Mu Pagoda (Celestial Lady Pagoda) built in 1601 - the symbol of Hue city. Cruise toward Thuy Bieu eco-village, an old laid back village situated on the bank of Perfume River known for its green tea fruit orchards. Arrive in the village, and join our cooking class to prepare Hue’s signature dishes with our chef’s instruction, then enjoy your creations in the open air riverside restaurant surrounded by lush trees. The afternoon is reserved for cycling through the peaceful village, visiting several communal houses, ancient temples, and the garden-house, a typical and unique feature of Hue. Soaking your feet in medicinal herb water followed by an excellent blind massage will refresh them after a day of sightseeing. Back to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Hue.
Accomodation: ÊMM Hotel Hue
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Hue - Danang - Hoi An - walking tour | Guide and driver
In the morning drive along the Mandarin road, a scenic journey from Hue to Hoi An, which allows you to see a picturesque Vietnam with stunning beaches and lush tropical forest. Take some photos en route before visiting the Museum of Cham Sculptures, with many precious antique artifacts of the former Cham Kingdom on display & stunning Marble Mountain. You then continue our drive to Hoi An’s ancient town, once an important international trading port and now a charming riverside town. Hoi An features a fantastic combination of Chinese, Dutch, Japanese and Portuguese culture. Check in hotel for refreshment. In the afternoon, explore Hoi An ancient town, when visiting the Japanese Pagoda Bridge, Chinese streets, old Phung Hung houses, Hoi An’s market, and ancient port. On the 1st and 15th of every lunar month, Hoi An’s ancient town is lit up by hundreds of colorful lanterns, giving it an extra portion of sparkle. Enjoy the city’s transformation and stroll through this quaint, glowing fairytale town in your free time. Overnight at hotel.
Accomodation: Green Boutique Hoi An
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Hoi An villages | Guide and driver
08:00 Guide pick guests up at the hotel, take bicycles along De Vong River to Cam An wharf. Embark on the boat to Cua Dai sand dune, enjoy casting the net show and learn how to cast net by local fisherman. Continue to Cam Thanh Water coconut village, have a brief introduction to the history there. Take on the basket boat along the water coconut river. Fisherman will teach you how to catch the crabs (02 pax/ boat). Divide the group into 2 teams for basket boat racing and catching crabs. There will be a lovely present for the winner. Embark on the boat, enjoy the folk songs show by local people and learn how to make funny tools by water coconut leaf. Then get on board to Cam An wharf, continue to take a bicycle to Tra Que village. Have lunch and join in the daily activities with the local farmer there. Back to your hotel by bicycle. Return to Hoi An town. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.
Accomodation: Green Boutique Hoi An
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Hoi An - Danang - Flight to Ho Chi Minh | Guide and driver
Have breakfast at your hotel before transfer to the airport for flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, check in at the hotel. The afternoon is spent to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office. You will then visit The Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Presidential Palace, which was the residence of the president of South Vietnam until the end of April 1975. Head to Cho Lon - the city’s Chinatown and Thien Hau Pagoda which is dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. With intricate friezes, carved tableaus and impressive incense coils make for some great photos. Then observe street life with a cyclo ride through the narrow streets to Binh Tay market that sells everything from hats to dried squid! Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Accomodation: Ruby River Hotel
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Saigon - Ben Tre - Can Tho | Guide and driver
Leaving the bustling city of Saigon behind, you depart to the Mekong Delta considered Vietnam’s biggest rice basket. Arrive at Hung Vuong pier in Ben Tre and embark your boat to cruise along Bến Tre River, a tributary of the great Mekong, to explore the local lifestyle and the daily hustle and bustle. Stop at the brickfield belonging to Mr. Tu Lo to see how bricks are made by hand in Vietnam and a coconut candy home factory located along the canal to witness the process of making this local candy and other souvenirs. You will then have the opportunity to taste bee honey tea at a local honey farm and a variety of tropical fruit that grow amply in the orchards of the Mekong Delta. You can then walk or go by tuk-tuk through the coconut groves and green rice paddies to soak up and relax in the tranquil countryside atmosphere. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon you will take a trip on small rowing boats through a maze of waterways lined by two rows of palm trees. Cruise back to the pier and disembark. Drive to Can Tho for the night
Accomodation: Iris hotel
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Can Tho – Chau Doc | Guide and driver
We will rise at 5 a.m to take a boat trip through the winding waterways of Cai Rang floating market, the biggest and busiest floating market in the Mekong Delta. Here the waterways become a labyrinth of hundreds of motor sampans filled with fruit, vegetables, plants and food, all jostling for space. This is an opportunity to take photos, communicate with the locals and taste the delicious fresh fruit. After disembarking we will drive to Chau Doc, the closest town to the Vietnam Cambodian border in An Giang province. Continue the tour to visit Tra Su, getting to the wild birds Sanctuary, cruising smoothly with small boats to discover the arrays of splendid canals deep into the forest, watching storks, cranes and other tropical birds. Back to the Town, hotel check-in. Overnight in Chau Doc.
Accomodation: Chau Pho
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Chau Doc - speedboat to Phnom Penh | Guide and driver
In the morning we will take a speed boat to Phnom Penh and arrive in the capital city of Cambodia around noon. Time to rest and have lunch by your own. The afternoon will be spent exploring Phnom Penh. We commence our tour with a visit to the National Museum, then on to the Silver Pagoda situated inside the Royal Palace complex and lastly stop at Russian market for shopping. Overnight at hotel.
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Phnom Penh - fly to Siem Reap - Tonle Sap | Guide and driver
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport for flight to Siem Reap. On arrival, check in hotel for refreshment. In the afternoon, explore Tonle Sap lake - the largest natural lake in Indochina, cruising for 1 or 2 hours to visit its floating villages and discover the waterfront life. Disembark and drive back to Siemreap through the peaceful countryside and quaint villages with lush rice fields and rows of palm. Visit the Artisans d’Angkor established in 1992 with the purpose of training young Cambodians in reestablishing the arts of their ancestral heritage and help increase job opportunities. Drop by some workshops to know about the process of stone and wood carving. Back to hotel for overnight
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Siemreap - Angkor Thom - Angkor Wat - Siemreap | Guide and driver
We will visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom also referred to as "Great City", the famous Bayon Temple built in the late 12th century and the Baphoun Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the Terrace of Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and Phimean Akas known as "Heavenly Palace". In the afternoon, we will tour the World Heritage site "Angkor Wat", the world's largest religious building. We continue our day with a visit to Bakheng Hill Temple and watch the sunset from the top of the hill. Back to the hotel. Dinner with special Aspara dance show.
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Siem Reap - Kbal Spean - Banteay Srei | Guide and driver
We will start our day trip by visiting Kbal Spean referred to as “The river of a Thousand Lingas” which is situated 30km north of Angkor Wat, roughly a one hour drive. It closes at 3pm. We will take a forest walk and then return for lunch. We will continue from there straight to Banteay Srei, "The Citadel of Women" built at a time when the Khmer Empire was gaining significant power. Like numerous others, it is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It is a masterpiece of Khmer art with its intricate, pink sandstone construction and ornate design. Overnight in Siem Reap
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Siem Reap departure
Free time before the transfer to the airport for your flight off. Your room is available until 12h00.
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Mrs. Helen
We will be back soon
Traveled from 07 Oct 2013 to 18 Oct 2013

"We returned home safely and just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our journey in Vietnam. We are all so happy and better informed about life in Vietnam after the trip you so carefully organised for us."

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