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Wonders of Vietnam & Cambodia

Wonders of Vietnam & Cambodia
Trip length:12 days
Trip style:Multi Countries Comfort Tours
Trip themes:Heritages, Local life & Culture
Physical rating:*****
Start / End cities:Hanoi / Siam Reap
Price from:USD $1150
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Day 1: Hanoi arrival
 
 
 
Welcome to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. Greeted by our guide at the airport and get transferred to hotel downtown.
With its vibrant Old Quarter dotted with ancient temples in a maze of little streets lined with colorful shops and stalls, French colonial buildings and tree lined boulevards, tranquil lakes, graceful pagodas and elegant cafes, Hanoi is one of the liveliest and most charming cities in Asia to discover.
Take a walk around, enjoy full of sights and sounds and discover special taste of local cuisine that Hanoi is famous for.

Accommodation in hotel in Hanoi center.
Day 2: Hanoi - Ha Giang
 
 
 
Depart Hanoi at around 8.00 in the morning for a stunning drive to Ha Giang, a province in the northern most region of Vietnam. Drive past the lust scenery of the Vietnam country from the lowland to highland. You will have stops to visit to villages and tea farms along the way. Lunch in Tuyen Quang and arrive in Ha Giang around late midafternoon.
Check in home stay in a Tay minority village in the mid afternoon. The rest of the day is to wander around for sightseeing and local interaction.
Dinner with special taste of local delicacies and overnight home stay in local wooden house on stilts.

Accommodation tonight is based on family basis with private mattress, blanket and mosquito net are provided.
Day 3: Ha Giang - Dong Van  
 
 
 
Today you will take a fantastic drive with lots of photos stops along the meandering mountain road to Dong Van located along the Chinese border.
Dong Van Karst Pleateau with up to 80 percent of its area covered by limestone, with the center is Dong Van Town, was designated by UNESCO as one of 77 geoparks in the World. This is home to 17 ethnic groups including Kinh, Hoa, Lo Lo, Tai, Nung, Chinese Han, Dzao … These people of Dong Van have led their life on the rock for generations and preserve very well their strong traditions and identities.
So far, this land has not yet seen the mass tourism and still keeps it pure rhythm as it has been for years. Dong Van is visited by adventure travelers and photographers who yearn for adventure experiences and exotic landscape.
Visit to Pho Bang – the little town of Chinese minority with many ancient houses. These traditional houses are made from clay and are featured with distinctive ‘yin and yang’ tile roofs. Pho Bang used to be “the capital of opium” decades ago and now just like a sleeping child in amongst the mountains. Continue to Sa Phin valley where you will visit to Nha Vuong. This fortress-liked ‘Palace’ belonged to the self-appointed King of the Hmong tribe who ruled the northern mountains around Dong Van in the old time. The palace attracts keen interest from architecturally minded visitors due to its mixed style of European and Chinese architecture. (There is a weekly market here every fourth or fifth day depending on the lunar calendar).
Drive up further to Lung Cu, the mount on the most northern tip of Vietnam. Enjoy the great mountain view from the top of Lung Cu Flag tower and then visit to a village of the Lo Lo hill tribe to discover more on their unique culture and customs.
Get to Dong Van town in the late afternoon. Check in hotel and the remainder of the day is free to wander around the lovely laidback mountain town.
Day 4: Dong Van – Meo Vac – Bao Lac
 
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel then start your journey to Bao Lac via Meo Vac. The journey will take you past many villages inhabited by different colorful hill tribe groups. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of mountains landscape from the top of Ma Pi Leng, which is also known as ‘Heaven’s Gate Pass’ as it gives the feeling of touching the sky. Spend some time to visit Meo Vac town and then continue your journey to Bao Lac.
Bao Lac is the township of a mountainous district Bao Lac in Cao Bang Province of the northeast region of Vietnam, near the border with China. Lies on the bank of Gam River, this little town bears in it the relaxed and laidback charm of mountain feels. It is also the market place for minority communities
Check in hotel in Bao Lac in the late afternoon and free to wander around the town
Day 5: Bao Lac – Ba Be Lake
 
 
 
After breakfast, say goodbye Bao Lac and make your way for Ba Be Lake passing through spectacular mountain landscapes. Lunch on en route and you will have chances to visit some local villages along the way. Arrive in the Pac Ngoi village of Tay minority people that situated by the bank of Ba Be lake in the late afternoon. Here, your host will welcome you to their home with warm smile and a cup of tea. Freshen yourself up then take a stroll around the village for sightseeing and photos.
Dinner of local taste and home stay overnight in the local house on stilts.
Day 6: Ba Be Lake – Hanoi
 
 
 
The day starts with a cruise on beautiful Ba Be lake to explore the wonder of nature. This is the largest natural lake on the mountainous area of Vietnam and is part of Ba Be national park. Boasted the Jade of the country, the picturesque scenery of the lake is in great harmony of tranquil emerald water and rocky forested islands.
The boat will stop for a visit to the Dau Dang waterfall and then Puong cave on the Nang River after that. Keep gliding along the river and be overwhelmed with breathtaking scenery along its banks until you get to the boat dock. Lunch in a local restaurant in Cho Ra town before a long drive downhill to Hanoi. Get back to Hanoi in the early evening.
Hotel accommodation in Hanoi.
Day 7: Hanoi – Halong – Cat Ba
 
 
 
Depart Hanoi for a 3 ½ hours drive through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to Halong Bay. Dubbed as one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the natural wonder Halong Bay is a huge body of emerald water that dotted with thousands of limestone islands of special shapes that formed by winds and waves through millions of years. The place was twice recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage for its exceptional natural and cultural values.
Board the wooden junk and enjoy sumptuous fresh seafood lunch as you wind your way through spectacular bay of dramatic islands, floating villages and mirror like water. Visit a huge limestone cave with full of stalactites and stalagmites and enjoy swimming in the emerald water. Cruise towards the Cat Ba island in the afternoon. Check in hotel and the remainder of the day is free for you to explore the little lovely island town or enjoy swimming on the Cat Co beach. 
Overnight in hotel in Cat Ba.
Day 8: Cat Ba – Hanoi
 
 
 
Morning is free for you to enjoy the Cat Ba town and beach. An optional cruise to explore the Lan Ha Bay and surrounding islands by kayak is available upon your request. After lunch at your own account, you will take 1 hour on high speed boat to Hai Phong City where bus is waiting to take you for a 2 ½ hour drive back to Hanoi.
Overnight in hotel in Hanoi.
Day 9: Hanoi – Siam Reap
 
 
 
Get transfer to the airport for a short flight to Siam Reap, the beautiful town and gateway to the legend heritage of Temples of Angkor. Pick up from airport and transfer to hotel. After check in, you will take short walk along the road in front of the King’s Residence to see the Main Shrine, where the local people usually worship, with its statue of Yeay Teap, Preah Ang Chek and Preah Ang Chorm. Buying jasmine and lotus flowers to worship is very important for the Cambodians. Continue to one of the city’s lively open markets, Psar Chars, also called the “Old Market”, where anything and everything is for sale! Tonight we enjoy buffet dinner with Apsara dance performance at local restaurant. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 10: Full day explore Angkor
 
 
 
Breakfast at hotel. Today you will explore the jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm, an incredible sight within ancient Angkor complex. There are enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers which embrace themselves in the stone foundations of the structure giving the impression of man's creation being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature.  Explore this masterpiece as well as some of the surrounding temples including Banteay Kdei, Sra Srong, Ta Keo, Krol Ko and Pre Rup Temples. Late afternoon you will take Tuktuk, a small open-sided taxi common in Cambodia, to cruise around the suburb of Siem Reap town and for a blessing ceremony by Buddhist monks for happiness, prosperity and safety for your journey. Tonight you will have a chance to enjoy amazing circus performance by young Cambodian. 
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 11: Angkor Discovery
 
 
 
Breakfast at hotel then start your full day exploring the wondrous ancient ruins with the South Gate of Angkor Thom, which is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the largest as well as the most complete temple of Angkor Wat. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares. Stroll around this massive edifice, seeing the many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple. You also visit Preah Khan, Kravan, Neak Pean. If time permitted, take walk up to Phnom Bakheng Hill for a view of the spectacular sunset over these sandstone monuments.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 12: Tonle Sap Cruise - Departure
 
 
 
Breakfast at hotel then visit Mechhrey village, where a boat will transport you across the Great Lake of Tonle Sap to visit a fascinating floating village where you will see the daily life of the lake-dwelling Cambodian people. A visit to the lake’s flooded forest rounds off the day, or if you prefer. Here you will have chance to experience ox cart ride in the village. You will continue to Pouk to visit silk farm, a fascinating farm/workshop where you can see the entire silk creation process including growing the food for the silk worms, breeding the worms, silk extraction and refinement, traditional kit dying pattern creation and looming. Retail silk and souvenir shop. Back to Siam Reap city and this afternoon you will get a transfer to airport for your departure flight. Safe travel!