Arrival in Hanoi airport and connection to Danang. Upon arrival in Danang meeting with our guide and transfer to Hoi An passing through the spectacular scenery of Hai Van Pass, whose meaning is “Pass of the Ocean Clouds”. Hoi An retains a sense of charm and history that have largely survived the destruction of successive wars. Hoi An Ancient Town is an exceptional well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and its street designs reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to produce this unique heritage site. Sample central Vietnamese dishes in local restaurant. At mid afternoon, take a guided walking tour around Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese assembly hall, a typical Vietnamese merchant’s house, an interesting museum and a local market. There are numerous art galleries, souvenirs and tailor shops where you can get some express made-to-order clothes. The next visit is to a lantern craftsman’s home in the old streets. Here you will have a brief introduction to the history, shape and color of the lanterns as well as stages of making them. You can then try to make and decorate one on your own, and keep it as a souvenir of your time in Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An
Enjoy a lovely breakfast at the hotel then spend the morning lazily stretching on a sun lounger by the palm-fringed infinity pool or perhaps return to the Ancient Town for some last-minute souvenirs. Afternoon: explore the picturesque countryside of Hoi An by vintage sidecar, providing a unique perspective from which to photograph the area’s lush rice fields and single-craft villages that grew when Hoi An was a prosperous port city in the Middle Ages.
Your guide meet you at your hotel about 3pm, transfer to Thu Bon harbor, embark the boat and start cruising along the green river to Kim Bong Carpentry village. This is a very interesting village where you can see the woodcarvers and carpenters at work. With only simple, little tools, the talented, patient local people produce lovely examples of ancient architecture, wooden furniture, and shipbuilding. After a stroll in the village, continue the fascinating boat cruise on the Thu Bon River for sightseeing of natural landscapes and catch up with water life activities. On the stunning river dotted with green islands, day by day, local fishermen earn their living. You will get to learn more about traditional fishing tools and methods employed by locals here for centuries. Enjoy a BBQ feast arranged on the bank of a small island while watching the sun setting down behind mountain a far. Return to the boat for a cruise back to Hoi An town while the last sun’s rays linger on the peaceful scenery and catch up the infinite colors and reflections of Hoi An town at dusk. The trip ends at your hotel around 7pm.
After breakfast departure to explore Tra Que Organic Vegetable Herbs Village. You will have a chance to experience traditional farmers lifestyle. Upon arrival, enjoy a special welcome drink then start learning and doing farming with local farmers by visiting vegetable villages, learning about the history of the Tra Que Herb Village and riparian ecosystem of the local people. Experience the local farmer’s works by planting, watering vegetables and riding a buffalo. After farm work, you will relax with Head-Shoulder-Foot massage then discover how to make rice paper: you will be taught how to wash the rice, soak the rice and grind the rice by traditional methods. Learn to make rice paper and enjoy your finished products. Finally, you will learn how to cook some local dishes such as spring rolls and local pancakes. Enjoy a lunch consisting on what you have cooked, plus some extra dishes.
In the afternoon: after lunch, depart to visit to the Sanctuary of My Son. It is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples in Vietnam, constructed between the 4th and the 14th century by the kings of Champa. The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is Bhadreshvara.
At the end of the day return to hotel, free time for dinner and overnight in Hoi An
After breakfast, you will be free until boarding a domestic flight to Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam’s undisputedly commercial headquarters. Located on the bank of the Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, is Vietnam’s major port and the largest city which still retains wide downtown avenues flanked by pristine colonial buildings. You will be welcomed by our guide at Tan Son Nhat Airport and start the city tour: visit Cholon market, the narrow streets of China town, the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Centre Post Office. Your tour guide can drop you off at Ben Thanh Market for shopping at your request. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
This morning we will take you on a journey among several Mekong Delta’s significant destinations. Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s biggest rice bowls with three rice crops per years and is the major contributor to Vietnam
and nearby countries’ food basket. Upon arrival in Cai Be, embark on a private sampan, check in your private cabin and start cruising. From the sampan, observe life as it plays out on shore – people going about their daily activities against picturesque landscapes – while your attentive crew serves tea and seasonal fruit. Before arriving at Sa Dec, stop at various spots along the river for a look into some of the industries of the region including a brick factory where everything is made by hand; then pass monkey bridges and tiny villages to visit a Cao Dai temple. Arrive in Sa Dec and stroll to the outdoor market. Visit one of the highlights of the charming town, the ancient house of Huynh Thuy Le, a real-life character in the celebrated novel and film “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras. Lunch is served on board while cruising towards Can Tho along a narrow canal teeming with life. Explore the countryside by local rowboat. The last stopover before sunset is at an ancient house (a “Nha Co” in Vietnamese), dating back to the 19th century. The owner will welcome you and a candlelit dinner is served in this authentic countryside setting. After dinner return on board while the boat continues its cruise towards the Hau River. Overnight in en-suite cabin on private sampan.
Wake up early at 6:00 am for a visit to the famous Cai Rang Floating Market which operates daily starting from 5:00 am. Arriving at the market’s core, you will see dozens of colourful boats laden with fresh produce from all over the Delta. Note the long poles with goods hanging on top advertising the products on offer. After some time to view the market from several different vantage points, you will slowly cruise back to the resort taking in scenes of stilt homes, women doing laundry in the river and children playing on its banks. Go ashore for a closer view of rural life, including stops at a small noodle workshop and a tropical fruit orchard. Breakfast is served on board while Le Cochinchine navigates towards the market among local barges loaded with fruits and vegetables from the Delta, making for some stunning photos. Continue cruising towards Can Tho city and disembark at the private jetty. Your tour-guide is waiting for you to transfer to Chau Doc. On the way stop at Rung Tram Tra Su. Check in at the hotel and free time for the rest of the day. Overnight at hotel in Chau Doc.
After breakfast, departure by boat to Phnom Penh with a stop for immigration and customs formalities along the river. Arrival in Phnom Penh and meeting with the guide. Transfer and accommodation with check in at 14:00 or earlier if rooms are available.
At mid-afternoon you will be picked up and transferred to Choeung Ek – the Killing Fields: what nowadays became a peaceful stretch of countryside is the same place where, during the Khmer Regime, over 10,000 people were executed. The remains of some of them are stored in a memorial to remind people of the atrocities that the Khmer Rouge inflicted on other Khmers. Proceed to the Toul Sleng, a tragic museum that testifies the bloody Khmer Rouge regime and the genocide perpetrated against the Cambodian population itself, guilty of being able to read and write, wear glasses, be teachers, doctors, professionals, speak foreign languages; it is estimated that about three million people out of twelve were tortured and killed over four years until 1979. Lunch at a local restaurant and dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Phnom Penh
Breakfast at the hotel. You will be picked up in hotel and transferred to the Royal Palace to visit the incredibly solid silver-floored Silver Pagoda where you will be amazed by the thousands of silver tiles that cover the floor and by the biggest Golden Buddha statue of Cambodia. The Silver Pagoda is in the Royal Palace Compound.
Then visit the Raung Damrei Museum and shop at the Central Market.
Lunch in a local restaurant.
In the afternoon visit the Wat Phnom pagoda, a 15th century stupa. Wat Phnom stands 27 metres above the ground, on a small hill, and marks the central point of Phnom Penh City.
After visiting the pagoda, move on to the Independence Monument: it is in the shape of a lotus-shaped pagoda, adorned with a Naga (snake) motif which is recurring in Cambodian culture and history from the past to the modern-day. A bronze statue of Late King father Norodom Sihanouk was built to mark the first anniversary of his death.
Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Phnom Penh.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure from the capital by crossing the Japanese bridge and heading towards the provincial capital of Kampong Thom, located halfway between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. After about an hour there will be a brief stop at the village of Skhun, famous for its giant spiders, which will be served to those who are willing to try them, dipped in sauces. You will be surrounded by sellers with baskets, kept in the sun so that the delicious food won’t get cold, offering the delicate arachnids, which can be purchased in small bags and eaten one by one, like french fries. Later, head towards Sambor Preikuk, the most important pre-Angkorian archaeological complex in the country, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Chenla, precursor of the Khmer one. There are more than one hundred highly suggestive and rarely visited temples, divided into three monasterial complexes: the South group of Prasat Yeay Poan, the central group of Prasat Tor and the North group of Prasat Sambor. The latter includes the most important buildings and an incarnation of Ivahiva. Lunch in a simple local restaurant and then drive around three hours on an excellent road. The landscape is splendid, the sceneries reflect rice paddies, villages, scenes of real life in the Cambodian countryside not visible unless you travel this route by land. This was once the Royal Route, passing by Kampong Kdei on the Spean Praptos stone bridge, dating from the Khmer period and built by King Jayavarman VII. Arrival in Siem Reap in the late afternoon. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Siem Reap.
Breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple: marvel at the wonder of the eerie Bayon, Baphoun, Phimeanakas, the Elephants terrace and the terrace of the Leper King. Then visit the Ta Prohm Temple which, unlike most of the other Angkor temples, hasn’t been restored but it has been left just how it was founded; the photogenic and romantic combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors. Lunch at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit the famous Angkor Wat, built by king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. The largest and best-preserved temple of the whole site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center—first Hindu, then Buddhist—since its foundation. Free dinner.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast pick up from the hotel and transfer to visit Kbal Spean, an ancient Angkor ruin that is located a 90-minute bumpy ride from Siem Reap, on the same route of the Banteay Srey. Reaching the temple requires a moderately easy 45-minute uphill walk through the woods.
Then it’s a half an hour journey to reach Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual temples of Angkor, Cambodia. It lies 20 km north of the main group. It is built largely of red sandstone, which is covered with elaborate and deeply carved decoration. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon visit to the Roluos Group, a collection of monuments representing the remains of Hariharalaya, the first major capital of the Angkorian-era Khmer Empire. It has become known as the ‘Roluos Group’ due to its proximity to the modern town of Roluos.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Breakfast in hotel and free time until transfer to the airport accordingly with your flight departure time. Departure day.
END OF THE SERVICES
Pricing: in US Dollars per person for shared twin/double
|Number of Person||9-12pax||13-15pax||SGL Supp|
|German Speaking guide||20 USD/day/group|
|Italian / Spanish guide||25 USD/day/group|
|City||Standard (3*)||Room type||Website|
|Hoi An||Hoi An Field Boutique Resort||Garden View||http://www.hoianfieldvilla.vn/|
|Ho Chi Minh City||Emm Hotel Saigon||Superior||http://emmhotels.com/en/hotels/emmhotel-
|Mekong Cruise||Le Cochinchine||Charter Cruise||http://www.lecochinchinecruise.com/|
|Chau Doc||Chau Pho||Deluxe||http://chauphohotel.com/|
|Phnom Penh||The House Asian Urban Hotel||Superior||https://maads.asia/teahouse|
|Siem Reap||G & Z Bliss d’Angkor Suites||Deluxe||www.gzblissdangkor.com|