CAM26

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Days 12
Private Tour
All year round
Classic & Culture Tour
city visits, scenic bay & river cruises, historical relics...
Days
12
Private Tour
All year round
Classic & Culture Tour
city visits, scenic bay & river cruises, historical relics...
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Trip Itinerary
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DAY 1 - SIEM REAP - ARRIVAL

Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia!
Upon your morning arrival at Siem Reap airport, you will be greeted by your private local tour guide and driver who will escort you to the downtown for checking into your hotel. Take a rest after the flight.
The afternoon starts with a visit to Angkor. First, visit the incredible temple of Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 meter-tall wall, drawing a perfect square around its perimeter. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive carved stone gate.
From here, continue to Bayon Temple, in the exact center of the city. This temple is extremely distinct, with 54 towers, each with four faces representing the 54 provinces of the then Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.
After an incredible first encounter with the historical wonders of Angkor, return to the hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Meals included: Lunch

DAY 2 - ANGKOR TEMPLES DISCOVERY (Ta Prom, Banteay Kdei, Angkor Wat)

After breakfast, explore the temples of the Small Circuit by ‘remork’(similar to Thai Tuk Tuk). Begin the day with a visit to Ta Prohm Temple, built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. The visit will also include Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Srah Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions”. Lunch is served at a restaurant in town.
In the afternoon, continue on with a very special sightseeing tour of the famous Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed to symbolize Mount Meru, home of the gods. The divine residence of Vishnu, the King himself was to reside here after his death. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Moreover, Angkor Wat is well-known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor to complete.
After touring this incredible temple, return to the hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3 - SIEM REAP > LUANG PRABANG

This morning embark on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where there is an opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and is officially designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covering an area of around 250,000 hectares in the dry season. Due to a unique phenomenon, when the monsoon begins, the swollen waters of the Mekong River force the Tonle Sap River to reverse its flow northwards, feeding the Great Lake and spreading over the surrounding floodplain.
Board a local boat and visit the village of Kampong Kleang, where only few tourists venture. Embark on a boat ride through the village where fishermen and their families live in stilted houses among the petrified mangrove forests and waterways. Enjoy the fascinating scenery of Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. (Note: during the months Apr-Sep the water level may be too low for a visit by boat. However the village is still fascinating and can be visited by car. Quite dramatic to see how the stilted houses are exposed from lake when water levels are low!)
Return back to Siem Reap for an early afternoon at leisure to explore some of Siem Reap’s colourful markets before transferring to the airport for the flight to Luang Prabang.
After a short flight, arrive in the spiritual capital of Laos, Luang Prabang. Upon arrival, be greeted by the guide and transferred to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4 - LUANG PRABANG CITY & PAK OU CAVES

Start the morning with a visit to one of Laos’ most picturesque temples, Wat Xieng Thong. Located at the end of the peninsula, close to the Mekong River, this temple was erected in 1560 by King Setthathirat and is deeply revered by Lao people.
Walk to the boat dock, near the temple, and board a long-tail boat to begin the cruise along the amazing Mekong which takes you past idyllic scenes of rural riverside life and spectacular scenery until reaching the beautiful Pak Ou Caves which sit amongst the limestone cliffs where the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers meet. The caves are spilt in two, one named Tham Ting and the other Tham Theung. They are both filled with thousands of Buddha images and statues which have been deposited here over centuries. The statues range in size from a few centimeters tall to the size of a human, and the view from the mouth of the cave provides sweeping views of the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. The caves are also a destination for local pilgrimages, especially during the Lao New Year period of Pii Mai, making them a great place to get in tune with local culture.  
Back on the boat and cruise to the lunch place. A selection of freshly prepared Lao dishes will be served before returning downstream to Luang Prabang.
In the afternoon, have a chance to learn more about this culturally rich and history city with a guided tour. The city tour begins with a visit to the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum. Here, explore the history of Laos. Then continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5 - LUANG PRABANG > KUANG SI

Drive south to Kuang Si waterfall, one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights. On arrival, take a hike through the national park towards the Kuang Si waterfall. Continue to the top of the main waterfall and enjoy a swim in a large pool. Have lunch in the tranquil surroundings of the park and transfer back to town for the late afternoon walk up the 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi, for panoramic views of the city as the sun sets or just get to your hotel after the falls to enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6 - LUANG PRABANG > HANOI

Optional Activities: Alms Giving
For early risers, there is a very special dawn visit to watch monks collecting alms.  As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents.  It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people. Return to the hotel for breakfast afterwards.
After breakfast, spend some free time at leisure before meeting your guide again for the short transfer to the airport where you will fly to Hanoi, Vietnam. On your arrival, your Vietnamese guide and driver are ready at the exit to welcome you and take you downtown for hotel check-in. The remainder of the day is yours to relax. Overnight in Hanoi.
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 7 - HANOI > NINH BINH

After the breakfast at the hotel, you start your day with 2,5hr drive sourth of the city to  Ninh Binh, the home of inland karst limestone mountains. On arrival, begin your discovery with a visit to Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a relaxing sampan boat ride on a peaceful river passing through a series of caves. Trang An is a spectacular landscape of limestone karst peaks permeated with valleys, some of which are submerged, and surrounded by steep, almost vertical cliffs. As the boat gently slices through the water, notice the enormous limestone karsts jutting out from the green rice fields giving rise to other name, ‘Halong on Land’. Officially designated as an ‘eco-tourism’ area, the only interruptions here are the sound of birds and the gentle paddle of the oar upon the crystal clear river. After the ride, you are transferred to a village near by for a walk to a restaurant in a hidden valley for lunch. Continue your afternoon with the walk by the sides of sheer limestone cliffs, enjoy the stunning scenery of rice fields, mountains and villages. For those feeling adventurous, there is a climb to the top of Ngoa Long mount in Hang Mua. After the 500 steps you will deserve a breath-taking 360-degree view over the karsts. Late afternoon drive takes you back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8 – CITY TOUR OF HANOI

As usual, you will have breakfast at the hotel to start your day. At 8:30 AM, you will set out with your private tour guide and driver for the full-day tour of the capital city. Although it is the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi still retains the mystery and charm of past centuries. The first place is the Temple of Literature, a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways, and one of the best serving examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. Founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, this was also the site of Vietnam’s first university. Next we visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum, which are both a research center and a public museum exhibiting the ethnic groups of Vietnam. A Vietnamese lunch is served at a restaurant by the museum garden. In the afternoon, continue to Ba Dinh Square where you will view the Mausoleum (outside) and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. On walking here, you will call at the famous One Pillar Pagoda, dating from the 11th century, this monument was rebuilt after being destroyed by the French in 1954. Followed by a short transfer to Hoan Kiem Lake for you to cross a wooden red bridge to give a look at a Taoist temple, situated on a small island. End the day with 30-minute cyclo ride (a kind of local rickshaw) to view the narrow lanes and traditional shops houses in the Old Quarter. Overnight in Hanoi.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9 - HANOI – BAC SON VALLEY

Depart from your hotel in Hanoi at 8.00 AM, you will get over the Red River and drive through the fertile countryside to the hilly land of Lang Son province. Along the way, you will be able to view beautiful rural scenery with stops for taking photographs when you wish. Arrive at Quynh Son village in Bac Son Valley around noon, have a Vietnamese lunch at a local house of a Tay ethnic minority family.
In the afternoon, take an easy walk around the village to learn about the daily life of the locals and see the traditional stilt houses. If the weather is nice enough for you, end the walk at the foot of the cell-phone-tower mountain for a hike uphill to the summit where you can admire the wonderful 360-degree panorama over the valley. Spend time to take photographs of the sunset and rice fields. After that, get downhill and back to the host family for rest, dinner and overnight at the homestay.
Note: Up to the weather condition and your fitness, there are alternatives to the main mountain hike. Your tour guide is flexible for the activities.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10 – BAC SON VALLEY – BAC NINH

After your breakfast at the house, get transferred to a traditional tile factory nearby. Everything is by hand and the factory is also the main one which is providing the tiles for most of the stilt houses in region. Thence, drive up the road to a small valley where you will embark on a trekking tour. The trek starts easily on a little concrete path which leads you through a peaceful stilt house village and green farms. After a while, you will reach the end of the valley and start hiking uphill into the forest. The scenery is stunning from the top of the trek, have a short break for taking photographs and admire the landscape. Say good-bye to the first valley and hello to the second valley which is a bit bigger. The downhill trek in reasonable following the buffalo path. Get back on the bottom of the valley and gently walk back to the family for refreshing and lunch. Your vehicle is ready to pick you up from the trek where accessible. In the afternoon, take one-hour scenic drive to the national road 1A and head for Bac Ninh province. Check into another homestay for the night. Dinner and overnight at the local house.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11 – BAC NINH – HALONG BAY

This morning, you may be woken up by the village roosters. To start the day, you may want to stroll around the village for a while before breakfast. About 9:00 AM, bid farewell to the host family and spend the morning drive to Halong Bay. The Bay is one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders and listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Upon arrival at the pier, you will board a boat for exploring the bay, the views that you get while navigating past thousands of limestone islands with rocky outcrops are incredible. Lunch and dinner are served on board. The activities of today include a swim in the bay in warmer months. You may have chance to do some as well. Overnight on board in Halong Bay.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12 – HALONG BAY – HANOI DEPARTURE

This morning get up early for some fresh-air on the open deck and join the Tai-chi class for some gentle moves if you wish. Otherwise, you are able to remain in your cabin until breakfast time. After breakfast, the crew will pull up the anchor, start the engine again for more cruising to other part of the bay. After visiting a big limestone cave, the boat is gently heading back to the pier. The early lunch (Brunch) will be served aboard. Around noon, you are ferried in and take the return drive toward the airport for your flight to the next destination.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
 

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Starts
Siem Reap
Destinations
+0
Ends
Hanoi

: 12 days

: CAM26

: Private

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