Vietnam and Ankor Wat

Jan. 23 to Feb. 9, 1018

Itinerary

Day 1 –  Depart the US for the flight to Hanoi in Vietnam. Please note that depending when you flight leaves, you may have to depart a day early, or you may want to include a stopover at the Hong Kong Airport, in which case your departure would be Jan. 9. In any case you have to arrive in Hanoi on Jan. 12. Check with us before you book your flight ticket.

Day 2 – Arrive in Hanoi where you have private transfer the hotel  located just a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. After checking in the day is at leisure. There is time to check out the colorful local shopping area around the hotel or take a walk to the lake before meeting for dinner in one of Hanoi’s best restaurants, specializing in  upscale local fare. D

Day 3 – After breakfs depart for a day excursion to Thai Nguyen provinced to visit a tea plantation. Afer being served a cup of tea by our host, you will take a walk in the tea fields and try your hand on picking tea leaves, before pausing for lunch. In the afternoon attend a demonstration how tea is processed, drying, shaping, heating, blending and packaging. Later in the afternoon tea return to Hanoi where you have some time to relax before meeting for dinner. B D

Day 4 – After a leisurely breakfast explore Hanoi’s illustrious and sometime turbulent history. Visit ancient and sights from the more recent past and from Hanoi’s French Colonial time. At noon we will relax of a bowl of Pho, Vientnam’s famous noodle soup. The remainder of the day and evening is at leisurr.  B L

Day 5 – Got’a be up just a wee bit early since we are leaving at 8:30 am for the drive to Halong Bay where we embark on a three-night/4-day, cruise aboard a luxury junk that will take us through a landscape of  prehistoic limestone pillars rising from the sea. This area was the bottom of the sea before the earth uplifted creating the surrealistic landscape of Halong Bay. B L D

Day 6 – This morning we continue cruising among spectacular scenery stopping early in the afternoon to visit a small fishing village at the foot of densely overgrown cliffs.  After dinner our junk will drop anchor in a lagoon circled by limestone cliffs and towers to spend the night.  B L D

Day 7 – Today we will sail to a more remote  area of Halong Bay. Later we board a smaller ship to negotiate another, even more remote area, and to sail through passages to narrow for the junk. After a day of exploring the bay relax on board for another overnight. B L D

Day 8 – You can get up early this morning to join a tai chi lesson on the poop deck, or just relax with a light breakfast before a tender will take us a small island where you can opt to climb the 500 steps to the pagoda atop the a rocky hill from where the view over the bay with its countless karst towers is nothing short of spectacular. If you are not up to the climb the view of the bay is equally fascinating from the beach. Back on the ship breakfast is served before we return to the dock, to drive to the airport in Hanoi for the flight to Hue, pronounced “Whey”, our next destination. Dinner is in a local restaurant near the hotel. B D

Day 9 – This morning we take a boat ride on the Perfume river which originates in the mountains of Laos and flows into the sea in Hue. The Perfume river is know for its elaborate tombs of past Emperors. Not tombs in the ordinary sense of the word, but elaborate palaces set in romantic gardens. We will visit the Tomb of Gia Long, the furthest down the river and least visited one. At noon we pause for lunch in the garden of a country restaurant after which we return by coach to Hue where there is time to relax before we visit the immense Citadel, the enclosure for the Royal Palace referred to as the Forbidden Purple City, where Vietnam’s Emperors resided and which, as the Forbidden City in Beijing , was off-limits to everyone except the Emperors ministers, his concubines and eunuchs. This is followed by a traditional dinner under the stars in the romantic garden courtyards of a former private mansion. B L D

Day 10 – Today we embark on a day trip to the former border of north and south Vietnam which was referred to as the Demilitarized Zone.From there we continue to the fascinating Vin Moc Tunnels where the local population lived for several years during the War to escape the fierce fighting in this region., unlike the Chu Chi Tunnels near Saigon which were used only by the soldiers and much smaller and lower, the Vin Moc Tunnels are much larger and we will take a walk through a section of them. After returning to Hue, the evening is on your own. B L

Day 11 – Today we board a deluxe coach to take a scenic drive over the mountains to the city of Danang.  En route a stop is made in the  “whiskey village” where everyone is engaged in brewing  rice whiskey, the most disgusting hooch you ever tasted. It is so bad it is sold by the gallon, yet everyone always tries it. Further down the road a family is engaged in the business of making lovely Eucalyptus Oil, nice stuff, much nicer than the whiskey. After arrival in Danang we pause for lunch in a seaside restaurant before checking into the luxurious Furama  Resort on China Beach, an R&R resort during the Vietnam War. B L

Day 12 – Very early this morning we embark on the excursion to the Cham Ruins, an ancient city swallowed by the jungle, but what is left of it, is splendid. The once elaborate city was built by the Champa civilizations date in the 9th century. Older than the Angkor Wat, the mystery of the ancient Champas still lingers in this remote mountain valley. We will arrive there at sun-up to have breakfast on the deck of a small restaurant facing the ruins. Afterwards walk through the ruins scattered in the jungle, still quiet at this early hour. Later when the first tour buses arrive we return to our bus and continue on to Hoi Anh. Hoi An is an exceptional and well preserved example of an old Asian Trading Town. It is also known for its silk will make a stop in one of a silk factory where you can observe the process of producing silk from the worm to the finished product. At noon we relax over lunch in a lagoon-side restaurant before returning to the Furama Resort where the evening is on your own. B L

Day 13 – The day is at leisure to relax and enjoy the beach. In the evening we meet to enjoy a dinner at the beach-side restaurant of the resort. B D

Day 14 –  After breakfast transfer to the airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City which is still locally referred to as Saigon. The remainder of the day is on your own but the our hotel is in the center of the city with shops and restaurant all around. B

Day 15 – After a leisurely breakfast we embark on a city tour of Saigon to see all the famous sites and those lesser famous ones, that are often overlooked by others. In the afternoon we have a a visit to a tea master’s house who will inform us about the taste of different teas, how to serve them properly and importance of the tea pot. At the end you will be spoiled for tea bags forever! Afterwards there is time to do some shopping, before a French dinner, in a French Colonial villa.

Day 16 – Transfer to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap for three day journey to Angkor Wat. After arrival transfer to the beautiful Sofitel Angkor, the closest hotel to the Angkor complex. After getting settled there is time to relax until we take a short drive late in the afternoon to the Lake. On the way back to the hotel stop for lunch in a well known local restaurant for dinner. B D

Day 17 – This morning we have our first look at the amazing Angkor Complex built in the At noon return to the hotel to bridge the heat of mid-day. Later we return to see more of the spectacular structures of Angkor Wat and experience the sun setting over one of the monuments. Dinner is in a local restaurant on our drive back to the hotel.

Day 18 – Visit the spectacular Ta Prohm Temple which is clawed by the roots of ancient banyan trees, magnificent in its destruction. Structures like Ta Prohm can not be restored, they can only be kept up and protected in their present condition. After a rest over the noon time, we visit the stunning main temple of Angkor Wat, so important a structure that its three towers are on the Cambodian flag. After returning to Siem Reap get pampered with a rejuvenating foot massage before dinner at the hotel.

Day 19 – The morning is on your own. At noon transfer to the airport for the return flight to Saigon. Upon arrival and transfer to the hotel the evening is on your own. B

Day 20 – After breakfast transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. B

TOUR COST:  Please contact us

INCLUDED:

18 days deluxe hotel accommodations, daily breakfast, lunches and dinners as per itinerary, transportation all transportation in deluxe buses, entry fees to included attractions, 3-night cruise in Halong Bay, domestic flights, local guide services and the services of Posh Journeys as your host and escort.

NOT INCLUDED:

International airfare **, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, tips to the guides and any item not specifically mentioned in this itinerary.
** Airfare at this time is extremely reasonable, fares from the west coast are about USD800.00 round trip.