Mr. Ehud Spektor - Israel

  • Group: 5 persons
  • Impression: Along the Mandarin Road
  • Date: 04/07 - 24/07/2016
 

Hi Linda,

 

Sorry for not writing you before. 😩

As you presumed correctly, I am already not at home, as I had to leave on a business trip, just a day after we've returned. You can imagine how hard it is to get back to work, after such a long and exiting vocation. 

 

We had a wonderful experience with you and it was great to meet with you.

Thank you so much for everything!

 

We did fill out the survey with each guide, I would hope you got it. 

 

In addition, I will share our google drive with you and with the guides. I have some high quality pictures you might want to see or use. 

 

I am also sending you good friends of mine next week, the Trifman family. I am sure that you will take very good care of them, as you did with us.

 

I promise to write you as soon as possible. 

 

Regards, 

 

The Ehud families. 

 

 
 
Detailed program
 
Day 01 4th July Hanoi – arrival
Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be welcomed by our guide and brought to your hotel Flight VN0614 17:45. Hanoi is one of Asia's most charming cities, with romantic tree-lined boulevards and colonial houses. The rest of the day is free for your own exploration and shopping.
Night in Hanoi. 
 
Day 02 5th July Hanoi - Mai Chau –  B,  L,  D
Depart from Hanoi to Mai Chau – an idyllic valley home to many hill tribes including the Dzao, Muong and Thai. Arrive in Mai Chau around noon, check in your room and enjoy lunch. 
In the afternoon, cycle to explore Mai Chau beautiful ethnic villages including Na Thia, Nhot, Pom Coong, Lac and Chieng Chau villages. Be welcomed by the friendly local people, talk with them and discover their traditional culture. Total cycling time is around 2 – 3 hours on flat village paths. Take it all in: the spectacular scenery of Mai Chau and the relaxed rhythm of local life. 
Back to Mai Chau Ecolodge for dinner. For evening enjoyment, you may choose to take part in a traditional dance show with Ruou Can (a local wine), a cooking class, a weaving class or all. Overnight at Mai Chau Ecolodge. 
(For your wife: Mototaxi or electric car)  

Day 03 6th July Mai Chau - Tam Coc-  B, L
Tour to Tam Coc past rice paddies and life at the local villages. Upon arrival check-in at hotel in Tam Coc literally translating to “three caves” adorned with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites of all shapes. In the afternoon embark a small rowing boat to discover the outstanding karst waterscape on Ngo Dong River. From the boat, you will enjoy prime views of rice paddies dotted with limestone peaks along the river banks.  After that it is on to visit the ancient Dinh & Le king temples. Beautiful hibiscus gardens, lotus ponds and frangipani dispersing their delicate scent surround these temples. Night in Ninh Binh. 
 
Day 04 7th July Tam Coc – Halong B, L, D
12.30 – 12.45 pm: On arrival at the pier of Tuan Chau Island, you will meet the Aphrodite team and crew, and you will be privately driven by our tender boat to our well-designed and well-equipped Aphrodite Junk. A welcome drink is waiting for you on the third deck, in our charming panoramic restaurant. You will be given a short speech introducing the vessel’s facilities and services, as well as safety instructions. After the check in, take time for yourself. Enjoy the view while the cruise heads straight to the South, and makes its way along Cat Ba National Park, away from other tourist Junks.
13.15 pm : Lunch will be at the panoramic restaurant on the third deck.
15.45 pm: The cruise will reach the village of Cua Van. Get an insight of the local life, strolling aboard a sampan boat, around a typical Halong bay fishing village. Cua Van is a stand out example of community-based and sustainable tourism in Halong bay. The excursion includes a visit to the school, to a fish farm and to the local fishing museum.
There is an option of 1 hour kayaking around Cua Van Fishing village instead of the sampan stroll.
16.45 pm: Back onboard the Aphrodite vessel, you will have time to relax, enjoy the spa and massage service and/or the Happy Hour at the bar. The cruise will now head to the moorage area, near Coconut Beach Island.
19.15 pm:  A scrumptious dinner will be served in the Fine Dining room. The main courses will be prepared before your eyes. You are also given the possibility to have dinner served on your private balcony. 20.45 pm till late: Squid fishing, Board games, and stories, tales and legends at the Top Deck Bar.
Night on boat.

Day 05 8th July Halong – Hanoi – night train to Lao Cai - B, L
06.30 am: Begin the day mastering energy flows during a Tai Chi session, while the sun rises.
07.00 am: Breakfast buffet will be served at the restaurant.
08.00 am: Your local guide will take you to explore the most beautiful cave in Halong Bay with amazing stalagmite & stalactite formations. While onboard you can take advantage at leisure of our Spa, Beauty & Massage services.
09.00 am: Back on the Aphrodite Junk, it will be time to get prepared for the check out. The cruise will head back to Tuan Chau pier.
09.30 am: Check out time.
10.00 am: Brunch will be served. Do not miss an opportunity for last minute photos.
11.30 am: Transfer by van back to Hanoi. The trip ends at your hotel at 16h00.
(Itinerary can be changed with/without notice of the boat
Your guide don’t embark with you because there is an English speaking guide on board)
Please come here to see the updated program of this cruise:
http://aphroditecruises.com/aphrodite-cruises-2-day-1-night-2/ )
On the way back to Hanoi, take part to the Water puppet show in Yen Duc village.
Arrival Hanoi. Night train to Lao Cai. ( 2 private cabins in Fanxipan express)
 
Day 06 9th July Lao Cai – Can Cau – Bac Ha  - B, L
Arrive early morning to Lao Cai. Transfer to Can Cau to take part to the Can Cau market. Then return to Bac Ha to visit Ban Pho 1 and Ban Pho 2 villages, inhabited by Flower H'mong people. We will stop at a local house to see how corn wine is made - a special wine Bac Ha is renowned for. Taste some and you will truly feel its local flavor. Night in Bac Ha.
 
Day 07 10th July Bac Ha – Ha Giang  - B, L
Visit Bac Ha market. This is the biggest local ethnic market of the region and takes place every Sunday. Tribal people from surrounding villages flock here to exchange their products. Most still use horses to carry their loads, which means an early departure to get to the market in time. 
Then transfer to Ha Giang. Night in hotel in Ha Giang. 
 
Day 08 11th July Ha Giang – Ba Be - B, L, D
Drive to Ba Be Lake, situated 260 km from Hanoi, famous for its immense crystal water. Stop en route to visit a tea plantation and a sugar factory. In the afternoon, continue our way up to Ba Be where you spend a night in a local stilt house beside the lake. 
Visit the villages of Tay ethnic minority people and discover their lifestyle. Night in homestay in Ba Be.
 
Day 09 12th July Ba Be – Hanoi  - B, L
Embark a little boat to cruise the emerald Ba Be Lake and soak in its sublime serenity and beauty. The surrounding mountains are covered with lush vegetation and are home to diverse flora and fauna. Continue your cruise towards the scenic Dau Dang Waterfall and the mysterious Puong Grotto, inhabited by thousands of bats.  Night in Hanoi.
 
Day 10 13th July Hanoi – visit of the city - B 
Early in the morning, you will be taken to see the local life of Hanoi 
Starting the day trip will be a visit of the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes the Ba Dinh square in front of Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace, Unique Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh Museum. We will then visit the Temple of Literature constructed in 1070 to worship Confucius, which served as the first Royal National University in Vietnam. The site also honors 82 Vietnamese doctorates who passed a number of rigid exams in the feudal ages. Their names, birthdays and birthplaces are engraved in 82 headstones perched on stone tortoises. It is widely believed that touching the heads of these tortoises will bring luck. Its peaceful green compound with its neatly maintained lawns, gardens and lotus ponds make it a tranquil hideaway from the city’s bustle and heat. 
In the afternoon, we will visit the Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays, the alternative being the History Museum), which offers informative and well-documented displays of the country’s 54 ethnic groups, including elaborate and colorful hill tribe costumes. The display continues in the museum’s garden with fascinating examples of traditional houses of numerous minority groups, from the Kinhs to the ethnic groups of the Central Highlands. Then back to the Old Quarter for a 1 hour cyclo tour. We then head to Ngoc Son Temple set on a tiny island in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple dates back to the 13th century, and the lake itself is the picturesque heart of Hanoi, frequented by tourists and locals alike. Night in Hanoi.
 
Day 11 14th July Hanoi - Dong Hoi - Phong Nha– B 
Flight to Dong Hoi HAN-VDH (VN1593) 07h – 08h
Take a boat trip along Son River to explore the Phong Nha Cave. Of the 300 caves and grottos in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, only 20 have been surveyed. Notably, Phong Nha, is the most beautiful cave holding several records for the highest and longest cave, the longest underground river, most beautiful beaches inside a cave and the most splendid stalagmites and stalactites. These amazing natural works of art have been given beautiful names such as the "Lion", the "Fairy Caves", the "Royal Court" and the "Buddha". Night in Quang Binh.
                         
Day 12 15th July Paradise Cave – Hue- B, L
Depart to visit Paradise Cave. From the ticket gate you will be transferred to the base of stairs (approx. 500 steps) which leads to entrance of cave. Then you descend into the cave, and walk over 1 kilometer on well maintained and tasteful boardwalks and platforms, you will be surprised with a series of white crystal stalactites resembling glass pillars and many other spectacular formations. Return to Hue. Night in Hue.
 
Day 13 16th July Hue – city visit– B 
In the morning, you will visit Hue Imperial City, the remaining vestige of Hue Citadel, including : Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh). You then take a boat trip on the poetic Perfume River. Stop to visit Thien Mu Pagoda also knows as ”Heavenly Lady Pagoda” built in 1601, the symbol of Hue. 
Then visit Tu Duc royal tomb - one of the most beautiful architectural constructions of Nguyen dynasty.  Night in Hue.
 
Day 14 17th July Hue - Danang - Hoi An– B 
Start the day with a visit to the Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh, which features a unique combination of European and Oriental architectural styles. 
Drive on the Mandarin road, a scenic journey from Hue to Hoi An, which allows you to see a picturesque Vietnam with stunning beaches and lush tropical forest. Take some photos en route before arriving in Hoi An’s ancient town. On the way, visit some place that making Marble products. 
In the afternoon, explore Hoi An ancient town, once an important international trading port and now a charming riverside town. Hoi An features a fantastic combination of Chinese, Dutch, Japanese and Portuguese culture.
Step back in time while strolling around its narrow streets decorated with colorful lanterns, and visit examples of Hoi An’ architecture, the Japanese Covered Bridge, and Chinese street, an old Phung Hung house, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall,  Hoi An market and Hoian ancient port.  Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.
   
Day 15 18th July Hoi An – Cam Thanh village – B, L
08.00:  local guide pick up at hotel by coach. Transfer to a local fishing village. Learn about the daily life of Vietnamese fishermen, their families and their community. Board on boat and commence cruising on the Cua Dai River. Join local fisherman on the river and enjoy hands-on experience of round net or cast net. Learn  how to paddle the Vietnamese unique bamboo basket boat. Explore the now tranquil coconut-palm flanked waterways of a past war and hear of the extreme conditions endured by soldiers of both sides. Back on-board, we will take the boat to Tra Que herb village to enjoy a Complimentary Traditional Fisherman’s Lunch prepared by our chef.
Return to Hoi An. 
We will go for learn how to make the symbol of Hoi An: Lantern. 
Night in hotel in Hoi An.
 
Day 16 19th July Hoi An – Da Nang – Saigon– B
In the morning after breakfast, you will head to the airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City VN 109 09:35 11:05. Pick up and transfer to visit Cu Chi tunnels situated 70km from Saigon. The Cu Chi Tunnel system was created around 1948 to assist the Viet Minh in their combat against French occupiers.  Construction and enlargement continued during American bombings and they were turned into an underground city with living areas, kitchens, storage, weapon factories and field hospitals. The Cu Chi Tunnels could house up to 10,000 people who lived underground for years, getting married and raising children. During the Vietnam - American War the entire area of Cu Chi was designated as a fire free zone yet was heavily bombarded. Since 1988, two sections of the tunnels are open for visitors
Then return to Saigon and visit exterior of: the Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
 
Day 17 20th July Saigon - Ben Tre - Can Tho– B, L
Leaving the bustling city of Saigon behind, you depart to the Mekong Delta considered Vietnam’s biggest rice basket. Arrive at Hung Vuong pier in Ben Tre and embark your boat to cruise along Bến Tre River, a tributary of the great Mekong, to explore the local lifestyle and the daily hustle and bustle. Stop at the brickfield belonging to Mr. Tu Lo to see how bricks are made by hand in Vietnam and a coconut candy home factory located along the canal to witness the process of making this local candy and other souvenirs. You will then have the opportunity to taste bee honey tea at a local honey farm and a variety of tropical fruit that grow amply in the orchards of the Mekong Delta. You can then tuk tuk through the coconut groves and green rice paddies to soak up and relax in the tranquil countryside atmosphere. Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon you will take a trip on small rowing boats through a maze of waterways lined by two rows of palm tree. Cruise back to the pier and disembark. Drive to Can Tho for the night.
 
Day 18 21th July Can Tho - Saigon - Siem Reap– B
In the early morning, we will visit Cai Rang floating market, the biggest and most famous floating market in the Mekong Delta. a Get into sampan to explore the maze of canals in Can Tho. Disembark and visit the beautiful old Binh Thuy house. 
Return to Saigon for the flight to Siem Reap VN0815 19:35 20:35. Night at hotel in Siem Reap.
 
Day 19 22th July Siem Reap - Angkors – B, D
Exploring the amazing World Heritage "Angkor Wat" - the world's largest religious building, and Phnom Bakheng (Bakheng hill) the first major temple to be constructed in the Angkor era, marking the move of Khmer empire's capital from Roluos to Angkor in the late 9th century AD.
 Afternoon, transfer to visit South Gate of Angkor Thom, famous Bayon, Baphoun, Terrace of Elephant, Phimean Akas, Terrace of Leper King. Overnight at the hotel in Siem Reap.
Diner with Apsara dance – traditional art of Angkor. Night at hotel in Siem Reap. 
 
Day 20 23th July Siem Reap - Tonlé Sap– B
In the morning, take a boat trip to explore Tonle Sap lake- the largest natural lake in Indochina. 1 to 2 hours cruising will bring you closer to the floating villages and Cambodian waterfront life. 
Continuing the trip, visit one of the more famous Angkor temples is Ta Prohm . The jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm is an incredible sight. 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. Night at hotel in Siem Reap. 
 
Day 21 24th July Siem Reap – departure– B
9h, depart to the airport for the flight to your country BANGKOK AIRWAYS
PG 906 12:20 13:35
 
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