North & Central Vietnam with Angkor Wat – 18 Days

North & Central Vietnam with Angkor Wat – 18 Days
Starts : Hanoi City , ends : Siem Reap City
Trip code: CVFS21D
Ages: Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.
Accommodation: Hotel 4 & 5 stars
Transport: Boat, Private Van /Car, Plane
Tour Type: Private (min 2 persons)

 

Detailed Itinerary

 

Day 1: Only the Beginning

Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and a city that is both lush with modern luxury and in touch with its historic roots. You are met at the airport by a private transfer and taken to your hotel where you can enjoy the comforts of its central location. The city’s greenery dangles on the fringes of the trees that surround the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake. You notice the boulevards that resemble French design dating back to the colonial days where it is common to see modern motorbikes roaming through the city alongside wandering bicycles. The riders wear traditional conical hats and button down shirts and carrying a wide basket on the handlebars filled with limes or lemon grass.

 

Day 2 : Hanoi City Tour

This full-day private tour of Hanoi showcases the best of a city known as the “Paris of the East”. Travelers will kick off their morning with a stop at the Ho Chi Minh Complex, where they will get an up-close look at the former leader’s stilt-house residence, mausoleum and Presidential Palace before exploring the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Afterwards, visitors with journey to the Temple of Literature, which was constructed as an homage to the great thinker Confucius. Travelers can wander the grounds of the first university in the nation, which dates all the way back to 1070! The historic halls are lined with decorative turtle backs inscribed with the names of university graduates. Five impressive courtyards with paths once reserved for the Emperor are now open to the public. Check out the statue of Confucius in one of the courtyards and marvel at the bronze storks standing atop resting turtles meant to guard the academic. Because Ho Chi Minh Moausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays, travelers will tour the Hoa Lo Prison instead.

Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch in comfort and style before touring the Museum of Ethnology. Championed as the top museum in the country, this impressive hub of culture and history offers up plenty of information about the 54 ethnic minorities that make up this nation. From there, travelers will head to Ngoc Son Temple, located on a small island in the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. This striking architectural masterpiece dates back to the 13th century.

Visitors will end the day on an hour-long cyclo tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where an expert driver will navigate the narrow streets and back alley passes. Travelers can comb through the wares at tiny shops and quiet storefronts before returning to the hotel.

Day 3: Hanoi to Sapa by private car

Our adventure starts with the drive to the mountain town of Sapa. The journey to Sapa will take the best part of the day. The drive is worthwhile though, as the scenery on your northward journey into the highlands is both dramatic and breathtaking.
Using a private car  is more convenient and more flexible. The travel time is  shorter because you don’t have to wait for others as by train , and it allows you some breaks for photographs, refreshments or a toilet stop along the way.
The road connecting from Hanoi to Lao Cai is Highway and take 3hours driving
From Lao Cai to Sapa. The car ride uphill takes a bit more than an half hour, giving you a glimpse of the region’s stunning vistas and impressive rice terraces along the way. When you reach Sapa, Check in Hotel and have a lunch at local restaurant
Your today trek departs from Sapa to Ta Phin valley. Walk with your experienced guide through the town for about 20 minutes before turning down a dirt road to Ma Tra, a Black Hmong village defined by its traditional clothing and customs. The moderate hiking route through this rural community offers more picturesque vistas of vegetable gardens and rice terraces flanked by green mountains rising in the background. You have time to visit with local families and learn about traditional fiber processing before continuing your trek to Ta Phin village, located in one of the most scenic valleys in Vietnam. Exploring the village, admiring the embroidered clothing and red headscarves worn by the tribal women of this ethnic group called the Red Dao. you’ll return to Sapa by private, air-conditioned car to check in to your hotel and eat dinner. You’re free to explore the charming town’s sloping streets or the market with many colorful handicrafts, or head up to Ham Rong peak for a fantastic photo op over Sapa .

 

Day 4: Sapa

Following a hotel breakfast, meet your guide in the morning and depart on a second trek from the town of Sapa to Golden Stream valley. Today’s hike offers more stunning views of rice terraces and gardens as well as Mt Fansipan, whose summit rises 10,312 feet (3,143 meters) above sea level. After crossing a suspension bridge, marvel at the breathtaking scenery as you continue through the Golden Stream valley, stopping at Lao Chai village for lunch. After your meal, follow your guide on a walk through this village where Black Hmong people reside, and continue on to Ta Van village, home to the Dzay tribe. This part of the hike is relatively easy, though the trail can be quite slippery if it rains, so good footwear is recommended. You’ll visit with some local families and learn about their daily lifestyle and fascinating culture, before departing to the main road to meet up with your driver and return to Sapa.
Stay overnight at hotel in Sapa

 

Day 5 : Sapa sightseeing > Drive back to Hanoi

Today We begin our Sapa experience with an orientation walk along the town ’s historic boulevards, passing some of its most interesting sights as Stone Church, Flower Park and smile of little red Dzao girls follow your step with their innocent eyes.
Stop at the Market to see the busy of trade of tribes fresh produce as fruits, vegetables, domestic animal.
Continuity with a steep and very beautiful hike down to Cat Cat Village ; if you’re too exhausted or unfit to hike back up, our car ready and willing to car you back to your hotel.
Cat Cat Vilage is Black Mong Vilage, Traditionally, they were the poorest of the poor, hut have rapidly learnt the spirit of free enterprise. Most of the Montagnards have had little formal education and are illiterate. Take a change to communicate with Black Mong by your guide’ s help to experience the Montagnards nature life.  ” Dragon water fall ” is the best to stop for ” Kodak at moment” before we hike through the Green Rice field before back to Sapa.
Say Goodbye Sapa and we take our private car for 4hours driving back to Hanoi
Stay overnight at hotel in Hanoi

 

Day 6: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Explore one of Vietnam’s most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites on a 2-day cruise of Halong Bay. Marvel at the spectacular sight of more than a thousand limestone peaks rising from the emerald waters of the ocean as your junk boat sails past mysterious caves and blissful bays. Soak up the soothing sunshine on the tanning deck; plunge into the crystal clear waters during a refreshing dip or kayak ride; and pleasure your palate with delicious Vietnamese cuisine throughout the 2-day expedition. Enjoy the luxurious facilities of the junk boat, which include: hot and cold running water; en-suite bathrooms with powerful showers; an elegant dining room and licensed bar serving an extensive selection of wines; a courteous crew; and a sun-tanning area and relaxation deck.

After early morning pickup from your hotel, depart from the capital for Halong Bay – an approximate four-hour drive by comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Upon arrival at Halong Bay around midday, you’ll be greeted by a tour representative and transferred to the traditional junk boat. Settle in with a complimentary welcome drink as you begin your cruise around majestic Halong Bay. Meet the expert crew and get acquainted with your small group while you dine on a delicious seafood lunch, including tea and coffee. After lunch, unwind and soak up the sun on the top deck – a great spot for photographing the natural wonders of the bay – as your captain finds a secluded area, perfect for swimming in the clear waters. You’ll have the chance to try your hand at kayaking and explore some of the ancient limestone caves dotting the bay. As you glide along the most secluded lagoons, admire the surrounding limestone karsts amid unforgettable scenery only accessible by kayak! The modern kayaks are lightweight and easy to maneuver, and all participants will be issued water buoyancy vests. The junk boat will be nearby at all times, serving as a back-up vessel for those who need it. After exploring, retire to the boat for more relaxation on the deck and enjoy a refreshing drink from the bar if you’d like. In the evening, your cook will prepare a splendid meal comprised of fresh seafood dishes as well as traditional Vietnamese fare as your crew weighs anchor in the heart of the bay. Afterward, you’ll have the opportunity to try some night fishing from the boat.
Overnight: Ensuite twin cabin aboard traditional junk boat in Halong Bay

 

Day 7: Halong Bay – Ninh Binh

Rising to the tranquil beauty of the bay, there’s time for an early morning dip followed by breakfast. Then, head to the Cave of Surprises – the biggest cave in Halong Bay – where you’ll discover magnificent stalagmites and stalactites as you walk along the lit paths on a guided tour. After another delectable lunch around midday, start your cruise back to the main harbor before transferring to your awaiting vehicle for the four-hour journey  to Ninh Binh. Explore the stunningly lush scenery of Ninh Binh Province, a region many consider to be an inland version of the world-famous Ha Long Bay
Arrive at Ninh Binh, check-in to your hotel and enjoy free time.
Have dinner and stay overnight at hotel in Ninh Binh.

 

Day 8:  Ninh Binh Cruise – Hanoi

Today, We learn about the important role the area played in Vietnam’s history. This city was the ancient capital of the country in the 10th and 11th centuries and was built by the Dinh and Le dynasties. Hoa Lu is surrounded by limestone mountains and the Hoang Long River, naturally protecting it and making for an incredibly picturesque setting. At 11am, head for the ruins of the temples left by the Dinh and Le dynasties. Explore the excavation area at the Le Dai Hanh temple and the remains of the 10th-Century Royal Palaces.

We then have a 40-minute bike ride from Trang An to the to Tam Coc, known for its resemblance to famous Ha Long Bay and gorgeous rise paddies. Meaning ‘three caves,’ Tam Coc is the perfect place for countryside exploring, a total of 5km cycling that passes along a country road through lush rice paddies.
Get in 2-person sampan boats and drive up the river to three different caves. Explore their natural wonders and then return to the dock, where our private car will be waiting to drive back to Hanoi. The guide will return you to your hotel and enjoy free time.

Stay overnight at hotel in Hanoi

Day 9: Venturing into the Imperial City

After breakfast you will take a private transfer to the airport and soon find yourself within the ancient imperial city of Hue situated along the banks of the Perfume River. The quaint scenery near the water looks out over the rolling mountains in the distance, filled with lush greenery and set beside the impressive architecture of the city and country’s history. Step aboard a dragon boat, where the vibrant colors of the dragons’ faces help ward away spirits, and float down the calm waters. Soon you will come to the rising hill of Thien Mu Pagoda.

The faded red color wraps around the seven stories of hexagonal tiers, each one representing a step to enlightenment. The sanctuary was constructed in the 17th century and when you step through the open pillars and around the modest temple you can see the monks going about their daily tasks of cleaning and stacking wood. The scent of ginger and lemon grass drifts from the monastic buildings. Your introduction to the river and the city has already brought serene landscape and culture allowing you to witness tradition.

 

Day 10 : A More Recent Past

The morning washes over the surrounding mountains and you can almost hear the gentle rush of Perfume River in the distance. Your guide meets you after breakfast and takes you outside the city to a more contemporary history within the mountains. Situated within the central mountains you will find the Demilitarized Zone which once separated North and South Vietnam. In a stretch of discolored land within the surrounding lush vegetation you will find the ruins of what was once a military base. The breeze brushes against the tall grass and dangling leaves.

Bunkers have been reconstructed and a tank sits at the edges of the brush, its exterior rusted by the years and elements. The history of the area is not just within what remains but also within what doesn’t. Continue your exploration of central Vietnam with a visit to Paradise Cave. The entire system extends for over 17 miles filled with wooden staircases that make the lofted roofs look like cathedrals. Magnificent stalagmites fall from the ceiling while stalactites shaped by white crystal shimmer like glass. Stepping into the cave is like walking through a naturally shaped palace that reaches deep within the earth.

 

Day 11: Showing Imperial Stature

After breakfast you will follow your guide through the rich history of Hue where the regal architecture continues to carry the name of the emperors for whom grandiose tombs were built. The Tomb of Tu Duc sits on the edges of Luu Khiem Lake bringing tranquility to the impressive complex spreading through the trees. Walk along the pathway leading through the entrance and the lakeshore to the Honor Courtyard. Standing proud and on guard are stone elephants, horses, and Mandarins, eternally keeping watch over the Stele Pavilion at the far end of the plaza. It isn’t hard to find the beauty within the striking design of the complex, from the encompassing nature to forceful temples and stoic statues.

 

Day 12: Along the Hai Pass

In the morning a cool and calm breeze settles through Hue, reaching the citadel and rippling the river. Indulge in breakfast before meeting your private transfer and waving goodbye to the Imperial City as you head for the quaint streets of Hoi An. The Hai Van Pass is the highest in Vietnam. The hills turn into mountains that slope down to the South China Sea. The landscape is jade and the water is sapphire and you have a tremendous view of them both.

On the other side of the range you will come to Danang to visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture. Located within a building that blends Western architecture with Cham styling and dating back to 1919, you will find the open-air display of an empire that reaches back to the second-century. From Hindu icons to dragon relics, and from statues to reliefs, the history on display represents almost two millennia of culture that has survived within the mountains of Vietnam and is now ready to be displayed for the world to see. In the evening you will arrive in Hoi An where the Chinese paper lanterns are strung along the streets of Old Town lighting up the night.

 

Day 13: Charming Old Merchant

The new day arrives over the city of Hoi An which wraps around the Thu Bon River. What has become emblematic of the city is the Japanese Covered Bridge that connects the two sides of the river in the heart of town originally constructed in the 16th century. The stone archway is covered with wooden panels and a sloping, angled roof adorned with traditional geometric shapes. At either end of the bridge you will see statues of monkeys and dogs; they are eager to defend the structure from spirits. The Assembly Hall of Fujian Chinese Congregation shows a strong brick façade with green tile along a triple gateway. You can see the right hand mural displaying a Thien Hau, the goddess, lighting her own way across a stormy sea by lantern.

 

Day 14: Standing Ancient Relics

Today you will venture outside of Hoi An’s quaint streets and to the spiritual heart of an ancient empire at My Son. The sanctuary complex remains, leftover from the powerful Champa culture that has now vanished from the surrounding mountains. When you arrive within the exposed red coloration of the structures in the clearing you can hear the gurgling streams around them. From the 4th to the 15th centuries the culture was dedicated to a spiritual Hinduism of Indian ancestry. The towers stand with a blend of styles, from Hoa Lai to Dong Duong and the largest tower, standing over 72 feet tall, is a wonder of Cham architecture. Two doors on the east and west sides allow access while the body is delicate with paved pillars and six smaller towers around it resembling a lotus flower. From the ambiance to the architecture, the remains of the empire are spectacular.

 

Day 16: Arrival in Wonders

Today you will leave behind the charismatic streets of Hoi An with a private transfer to the airport. Soon you will find yourself within reach of the Angkor Wat, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. After settling into your accommodation you will be on the verge of bursting with anticipation, so close to the cultural majesty of the 12th century temple. Siem Reap is a city that feels like a sleepy traditional town with pockets of modern luxury along the main streets near the Siem Reap River.

You will be met by a private guide who will soon have you journeying through the Angkor complex for your first experience with the impressive stone architecture. The preserved Khmer architecture is wrapped in the grand display of the five rising towers that arch in a hive formation. The temple was dedicated to a royal deity and has maintained its pilgrimage status within the Buddhist community. You can still see the vibrantly robed monks stroll through the outer courtyard along the lily pond and disappear within the hidden niches of the temple.

The scent of a tropical jungle afternoon mixes with aroma of spiced incense and stone. Step into the third gallery to find five shrines enclosed on a raised terrace. A carved snake glides along the roofing and ends in the head of a garuda or a lion. The imagery is captivating and the atmosphere of the ancient city makes you feel like an explorer discovering the grand cities of old. In the evening you will return to Siem Reap to taste the traditional cuisine of the region and witness the cultural dances that tell the stories of passing time.

 

Day 16: Beyond the Ancient Gates

Wake up before the sunlight has had a chance to reach over the horizon. You are met by your private guide and step out into the early energy of Siem Reap filled with visitors hoping to watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat. Instead of joining them, you part ways with the anticipatory crowd and make your way to Ta Prohm. This temple is recognizable for its feature in the movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie, but is also a true treasure due to the surrounding nature that has attempted to overtake the stone. Constructed in the 12th century and taking around 80,000 workers to complete, the large and impressive temple is made that much more remarkable by the greenery that consumes it.

As the daylight begins to rise above the edges of the earth you can see the sprawling height of over 39 towers rising into the air, connected by a number of galleries. The exterior wall is approximately a half a mile long and leads to one of the most striking features; the entrance gate where a Jayavarman face looks on as guard. The sunlight dips through the shading greenery and offers you a fabulous view of the tree growing along the pediment, its strong oak roots dangle down to the floor and the twisted base rises to outstretched branches above.

 

Day 17: Red Stone and Detail

Today the fragrant delicacies of breakfast come from the fresh tropical flavors of jackfruit and oranges accompanied by delightfully pressed coffee. After your meal you will step outside of Siem Reap to visit the surrounding sites that have added to the history of the region, from Tonle Sap Lake’s delicate dependence on the water, living on stilt homes, to the almost glowing red sandstone temples of Banteay Srei. Swaying trees open to the bright coloration of the temple complex, which dates back to the 10th century, leaving you speechless. The collection of temples rise with sophisticated construction and delicate carvings surround almost the entirety of each temple. The pediments run larger than the entrances and are guarded by old-fashioned dvarapalas, warrior faces or fearsome giants. The walkways are quieted with the unique moment when everyone becomes absorbed with the exquisite detail of the ancient site, a moment which will be a treasured memory of the day and of the surrounding complex.

Day 18: More than an Introduction

Enjoy the morning with the scent of rich coffee and fresh pastries reaching through the streets beside the dawn’s procession of monks. Spend your morning strolling along the ancient streets or indulging in the sweet, buttery pastries. Soon your private transfer will escort you to the airport to begin your journey home.


 

Trip includes:

All accommodations (with Twin/Double rooms) while on tour
The tour price includes all hotel accommodations with private baths. Our standard is to provide the best available accommodations without sacrificing value. Although the quality may vary slightly from one hotel to another, our commitment to your comfort is unwavering. Two-bedded rooms and One-beded with Queen size rooms are reserved in most hotels. Triples are accommodated in two-bedded rooms plus a rollaway cot where available, and are not recommended for comfort.

All transfers and road transport in modern, air-conditioned vehicles
– For a private smaller groups (2pax -10pax), modern sedan cars and minibuses are used.
– For tour groups of 11pax or more travelers, air-conditioned Hyundai with 19- 25-35 seats are used on all road journeys. These vehicles are designed with excellent viewing windows and a high roof. All our vehicles are modern, spacious, comfortable, well-maintained, and safe
•Complimentary airport transfer on arrival and on departure days

All Breakfasts & Lunches on tour
• Breakfast – Is always included on all Vietnam Royal Tourism – European Continental breakfasts are supplied at the hotels where you stay. The Continental style usually consists of rolls, butter, jams, tea or coffee and juices.
• Lunch – Your Lunch meals are included and generally served at a local restaurant
• Dinner – is not included and is always up to you – allows you the freedom to eat what you want and enjoy the local flavors.
Please note: If you have special dietary requirements (eg Vegetarian), let us know so we can notify restaurants and prepare appropriate food for you.

Experienced, friendly and knowledgeable guides.
Your tour guide is a professional, fully trained employee of Vietnam Royal Tourism

Entrance fees
All sightseeing as specified including entrance fees

Airfare While on Tour
– All on-tour flights must be purchased through Vietnam Royal Tourism as part of your tour package . From the moment you land in the starting city to the moment you are transferred to the airport in the end city, all transport arrangements are taken care of by us.
– The cost of international flights from your country to Asia (starting city) is not included in our prices. We believe we are giving all our customers, wherever you live, the flexibility to travel from regional airports, in any class of travel and include a stopover en route if you so wish. It also allows you the opportunity to use your frequent flyer points if you so wish

Visa Approval Code or Visa on Arrival
– After approval, we will fax or email you a copy of the Approval letter as an attachment
– Our Service do not include the Stamping Fee of about US$25-165/ 1pax to be submitted directly to the Embassy or Consulate (the stamping fee vary from Embassy to Embassy) or pay at Airport for Stamping Fee with Visa on Arrival

TRIP EXCLUDES:

+ International airfare& airport taxes
+ Travel insurance
+ Surcharges for compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges (which will be advised at time of booking) ,
+ Personal expenses
+ Tips & gratuities

Photos

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Angkor Wat

Hanoi

Halong Bay

Sapa

Ninh Binh

Hue

Hoi An

Phong Nha

Price

 

Please inquire for a booking form . The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.

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