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ABTA ATOL

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Vietnam Tour and 7 Nts Cambodia Cruise. Departs Fridays

 

Brief Itinerary
2 Nights Train - 1 Night Halong Bay - 2 Nights Siem Reap
7 Nights Cruise - 1 Night Saigon - 2 Nights Phan Thiet

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Day 1 : Depart London Heathrow to Hanoi.

Day 2 HANOI: Met on arrival in Hanoi and transferred to Hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 3 HANOI - LAO CAI / HANOI: After breakfast, proceed for morning city tour to visit some of the city's attractions including the fascinating Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (except for Monday, Friday and the whole Oct and Nov), Ho Chi Minh museum (except for Monday) and house on stilt, One Pillar pagoda, Literature temple. Then visit Ngoc Son temple and Restored Sword lake. Drive through Hanoi old quarter, shop at the famous Dong Xuan market.

Later enjoy the water puppet performance, a unique and famous traditional performance and have dinner at a local restaurant.

Option 1 : After dinner transfer to the Hanoi railway station for night train to Lao Cai to visit Sapa. Overnight on night train to Lao Cai (4 soft berths cabin with air-condition).

Option 2 : After dinner, transfer to Hanoi Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 4 Option 1 : LAO CAI - SAPA: Morning pick up at Lao Cai station, have breakfast and drive to Sapa which is only 38 km far from Lao Cai. Embark on a lovely trek that will take along buffalo paths and trails and through several hill tribe villages Lao Chai and Ta Van, home to Black H'mong and Dzay people. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can meet. Once on the valley floor you can really appreciate the wonderful scenery surrounding you. The walls of the valley are covered with multi-layered rice terraced fields. Return to Sapa. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 4 Option 2 : Hanoi: Full day at leisure in Hanoi. Morning.

Day 5 Option 1 : Sapa / Lao Cai - Hanoi : After breakfast, proceed on a 45 minutes drive to Lao Chai village (6kms from Sapa), which is inhabited by the Black H'mong hill tribe. Upon arrival in Lao Chai, we trek through terrace rice fields and the village from Lao Chai to Ta Van - the only village in the Sapa valley where the Giay hill tribe lives. Arrive in Ta Van at lunch time and enjoy a picnic lunch en route. After lunch, we continue our trek through the bamboo forest before reaching Giang Ta Chai, where we have the opportunity to meet the Red Dao minority people. Later drive to Lao Cai. Upon arrival in Lao Cai, transfer to a local hotel for freshening up before checking overnight train back to Hanoi.

Day 5 Option 2 : Hanoi - Halong: After breakfast, transfer to Halong. Check in , on arrival. Rest of the day is free at Leisure.

Day 6 : Halong : Pick up from Railway Station ( Option 1 ) and proceed to enjoy a 2.5 hours drive around Halong City. Arrive at the pier by noontime and embark the Bai Tho Junk and set sail through the bay while lunch is served. Sail through the magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons' teeth.

After lunch, we cruise to the inside of magical landscape of Dinh Huong island, Ga Choi Island, Dog Island, Binh Phong mountain, Sung Sot Cave, Round over Titov Beach. Enjoy sunset on the top of the Titov mountain or you can take a bamboo row boat to discover a water tunnel with many coral reefs in a scenic lagoon. Back on board Junk, enjoy dinner on boat.

Day 7 HANOI - SIEM REAP: After breakfast, we cruise to the Bai Tho Mountain in the other beautiful Bai Tu Long Bay and we cruise back to the Halong dock. Lunch on boat before checking out at 11:45AM. Depart Halong for Hanoi airport. Check-in for your flight to Siem Reap.

Met on arrival in Siem Reap and transferred to hotel. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 8 SIEM REAP - BANTEAY SREY (B): After breakfast at the hotel proceed to visit the magnificent Banteay Srey Temple. After lunch, visit Rolous Group: Bakong, Preah Ko, Lolei temples. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 9 : After breakfast, transfer to board the Jayavarman Cruise.

High water program (approx. between July and middle of December) : At 11:00 AM gather at the meeting point and transfer to The Jayavarman, where the crew is looking forward to embracing our guests. Welcome cocktail and lunch on the cruise liner. The Jayavarman sets sail towards the little known stilt village of Kampong Phluk. Climb aboard small rowing boats and let the local children take you on a tour of this flooded forest. Welcome dinner on the Sun Deck. Morning and overnight on the lake.

Low water program (approx. between middle of December and June) :At 8 AM, gather at the meeting point and transfer by coach to Prek K'Dam on the Tonle Sap River. Enjoy snacks and cold drinks on the way with a brief stop at Kampong Thom, one of the first settlements in the pre-Angkorian period. Embarkation in Prek K'Dam and welcome cocktail early afternoon. The Jayavarman sets sail upstream towards Kampong Chhnang and the great Tonle Sap Lake. We wind our way through the jungle and as the river narrows, it makes you feel at peace with yourself and the community. Later that evening meet your fellow passengers on board for Welcome Dinner on the Sun Deck.

Day 10 High water program: Before the sun rises, The Jayavarman sets sail to cross the Tonle Sap Lake. As the ship is about to exit the lake, the marshlands exhibit spectacular scenery along the river banks of Kampong Chhnang province. We take a truly wonderful motorboat excursion from Kampong Chhnang to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region.

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Join in on a humanitarian project lead by World Bank Illiteracy projects when we make a stop at a Heritage Line sponsored floating school to interact with the children and teach them some English! The afternoon cruise will follow the meandering Tonle Sap River, which narrows through leafy swaths of the South East Asian Jungle touching Phnom Penh. In the late afternoon we enter the upper Mekong River bound to Kampong Cham to stop for a walk through a rural village

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Low water program : Kampong Chhnang is a busy rural port town with bustling markets and lots of children to greet us on our way around. We will take a wonderful motor boat excursion into the wetlands that form the mouth of the river. Here a stunning variety of birdlife may be seen and of considerable interest are the great fish traps, some half a kilometer long, which net a huge tonnage of fish after each monsoon as the fish migrate from the falling lake into the Tonle Sap River. Make a stop at a Heritage Line sponsored floating school to interact with the children and teach them some English! The afternoon cruise will follow the meandering Tonle Sap River, which narrows through leafy swaths of the South East Asian Jungle.

Day 11 : Wake up in the wee hours of the morning, truly energized to embark on a journey upriver to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers some of the best views in Cambodia. Dating from the 8th century, these ancient structures do justice to the architecture of the Chenla Empire which predated the glories of the mighty Angkor. Enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding well organized rice paddy plains, as well as a travelers blessing performed by the local monks.

After lunch and a short cruise downstream we drop anchor at the shores of Kampong Cham. Visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple that holds a timeless story. Then, travel to the Cheung Kok Ecotourism Village, a small village developed with support from Assistance Mediation Internationale (AMICA). Travelers can visit the village and take part in activities to experience village life. Profits from tourism go towards re-investment into long-term projects. Back on board The Jayavarman sets sail towards the capital Phnom Penh.

Day 12 : Get up early in the morning to witness a truly indescribable scene while approaching Phnom Penh's river promenade. After breakfast, embark on a city tour in this dynamic, historical capital of Cambodia which has retained its French colonial charm. Sightseeing in the morning will include the dazzling white and gold architecture of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, outstanding displays of Khmer crafts at the National Museum and the temple on a hill - Wat Phnom.

After lunch in a local restaurant, examine the painful, heart wrenching reminders of Cambodia's ugly past under the Khmer Rouge regime with an excursion to the infamous "Killing Fields" and the grim Tuol Sleng or S21 the former detention, torture and execution center during the Cambodian civil war. Introduction and onsite lecture by a local history professor. Thereafter, to ease the nerves a variety of cocktails will be at your disposal, followed by Cambodia's traditional and opulent Apsara dance performance.

Experience the brilliance and richness of the culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a delicious Khmer food buffet.

Day 13 : Wake up to the sun rising over the Mekong for Thai Chi on the Sun Deck. The Jayavarman then casts off for a day of cruising the main Mekong Channel. This is pretty much an international shipping route. Psyche yourself up for Pre-K Touch, a lively jungle village. After that, visit well laid out fruit orchards.

Late afternoon we set off to the Vietnamese border for the usual formalities, which in this part of the world takes a bit of time. During the afternoon cruise, take the time to relax on the Sun Deck, get a massage in the Spa, or take part in Heritage Line's Vietnamese cooking class. The ship moors midstream overnight.

Day 14 : Welcome to the circus of fish. Brace yourself for a boat excursion to the exciting floating villages and catfish farms witnessing masses of Bassa fish being fed, hand in hand with a shore excursion to the village of the local Muslim Cham community.

Stroll through a silk waving village and observe beautiful textiles being woven on old wooden looms; a tradition that has been passed from generation to generation. Take a ride through this fascinating town of rich French colonial architecture and see its bustling market flooded with tropical fruits in full display by women in cone shaped palm leaf hats. By late-afternoon, The Jayavarman casts off, heading towards Cai Be.

Day 15 : Today's tour starts with the visit of Cai Be's colorful floating market on board a traditional sampan, the "Cai Be Princess". Cruise among local sampans coming from all provinces of the delta full of fruits and vegetables. During a 40 minute cruise, discover beautiful landscapes along the river and observe the typical Mekong Delta rural life. Further stops will allow you to see traditional brick and tile factories and how locals use palm leaves for houses. Cruise 20 minutes further to Phu An hamlet passing by Cai Be's beautiful gothic cathedral. Visit some interesting home factories to see how rice paste, rice cookies and coco candies, are made, along with the longan fruit drying process.

Lunch will await you at Le Longanier, a superb Indochinese villa located in a lush tropical garden by the river, surrounded by fruit orchards. After lunch, hop on a bike or take a stroll along the winding canals of this peaceful village to experience it first hand. After touring the canals, head to the An Kiet ancient house to have tea with the descendants of the former imperial residents and listen to the family story. Board The Jayavarman for a relaxing evening cruise with a Farewell Dinner on the Sun Deck while heading towards Saigon.

Day 16 : Your cruise with The Jayavarman comes to a close as the ship winds its way to Saigon through the UNESCO listed Mangrove Biosphere Reserve. During the Vietnam War, it had been destroyed, but amazingly the 75 hectares have come back to life through reforestation efforts. Disembark at 10:00am and continue your journey to the buzzing city of Saigon. Meet with your guide and transfer to your hotel to drop your luggage.

Afternoon, embark on a walking tour to admire Saigon's historic landmarks including a stroll down Rue Catinat of Graham Greene's 'The Quiet American, the Opera House, a three-story classical theatre built to entertain the French colonists (outside visit); the former Hotel de Ville constructed for the French bureaucrats of Indochina in 1901, now The People's Committee building with no public access; the Notre Dame Cathedral, a stunningly massive red-brick edifice with twin spires, a clear reminder that French once ruled this city (open only 3-4pm everyday otherwise just outside visit); the Central Post Office influenced by Renaissance architecture; and the former Presidential Palace, headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war. If desired, drive 6km to another district to visit Thien Hau temple built by the Cantonese congregation in the early 19th century. It is to honor the goddess of the sea and protector of fishermen. The temple's interior courtyard is worth seeing with beautiful ceramic figurines and antiques shrouded in incense-smoke. It is always bustling here with worshippers from the local Chinese community.

Day 17 Cu Chi Tunnels - Phan Thiet: After breakfast, enjoy a 2-hour-drive north west of Saigon to Cu Chi tunnels, through urbanized areas and a typically lush southern Vietnamese countryside. The tunnel complex was dug in 1948 for the guerrillas to hide from French air and ground sweeps. It was also served as communication routes and food and weapon caches as well as hospitals and living quarters for guerrilla fighters throughout the American war. Visit the underground villages to better understand the tunnels' history, life in the tunnels and the Vietnamese's resilience during the combats.

Afterwards, depart for Phan Thiet. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in.

Phan Thiet is 200 km from Saigon and lies on the south of Cam Ranh bay and on the southernmost stretch of Central Vietnam. Binh Thuan was once a part of the Cham kingdom.

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Day 18 : At leisure in Phan Thiet

Day 19 : Transfer to Saigon Airport to fly back to London.

Hotels used

City Standard Package Board Deluxe Package Board
Hanoi Platinum 2 Hotel
Deluxe Room
BB Sunway Hotel
Superior Room
BB
Sapa Chau Long Hotel
ROH Room( New Wing )
BB Victoria Sapa Hotel
Superior Room
BB
Train Local Train
4 Berth Cabin
  Victoria Express Train
Superior Room
 
Halong Baitho Junk
Standard Cabin
FB Halong Jasmine Junk
Premium Cabin
FB
Siem Reap Steun Hotel
Superior Room
BB Tara Angkor Hotel
Superior Room
BB
Jayavaraman Cruise Superior Cabin FB Superior Cabin FB
Saigon Bong Sen 1 Hotel
ROH Room
BB Duxton Hotel
Deluxe Room
BB
Phan Thiet Blue Ocean Resort
Standard Room
BB Seahorse Resort
Standard Room
BB
 

Prices

Season Option 1 Option 2
  Standard Deluxe Standard Deluxe
01 Oct 16 - 30th Apr 17 £POA £POA £POA £POA

Price Includes
International flights and airport taxes
Accommodation on twin sharing at the above mentioned hotels or similar on Bed and Breakfast
Private Air Conditioned transfers
English Speaking Local guide
Superior Cabin on board the Jayavaraman on Twin Sharing on Full Board basis
Entrance fees as per itinerary.
Dinner on day 3 & Lunch on day 7, Lunch on Day 05 ( Option 1).
 

Price does not include
Any optional tour, Tips for tour guide, driver, Visa Fee, Personal expenses, Christmas and New Year Dinners.


All prices are subject to availability

Other Regional Departures, Hotel and Flight upgrades available at supplement.

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Call us on 0207 258 7800 or email to book or for further enquiries.

 


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