Mrs. Kamini Rachna Kumar - Australia

  • Group: of 8 persons
  • Impression: FASCINATING VIETNAM & CAMBODIA
  • Date: from 11/1/2018 to 24/1/2018
Write to Mrs. Kamini Rachna Kumar
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Hello Ms Tu.

We had a fantastic time and enjoyed our trip very much. There are a lot of things we were impressed with as a group. The buses we got for our transport was one of the impressive things -the younger kids enjoyed sitting at the end of the buses on the top seats. We had plenty of seats to move around and stretch on the longer road journeys. There was only one bus we got in Danaang and Hue which did not have a base at the back for the younger kids to place their feet on. The base was missing. The hotels were amazing – we understand that due to space restriction, some hotels were more smaller than the others. All the hotels were comfortable, clean, well appointed for us to sleep comfortably. The breakfast was enjoyable at all the hotels. Halong Bay and the junk we stayed in was really impressive. We did not think the Victory Star would be so very beautiful. Service in the Victory Star was first class. All the tour guides were great-we were able to bond, talk, share jokes and feel comfortable with all of them. They had good knowledge about local issues and were punctual. The internal flights went ok with minimal hiccups. With Huang in Hanoi, we walked through some of the back streets and alley ways one afternoon. We were tired but so enjoyed the walk because we would not have seen Hanoi as it really is for the common people. We shopped, bargained, laughed, saw some amazing things we would not have seen otherwise. Trip around Mekong Delta were interesting and fun. We loved Cambodia=the hotel Angkor Tara was beautiful and relaxing. We did some shopping and felt safe until late at night 10pm in Cambodia. We did opt out of some of the activities becos we were becoming very tired. That was the only drawback that we became tired because we were doing something everyday from quite early in the morning. We did decide with the guides to start our days at 0800hrs so we could come back to our hotel to shower then eat out and shop. We saw so much of Vietnam which we had hoped we would. We would definitely refer Asiatica to our friends/families and definitely come back to Vietnam and Cambodia. Thank you for organising such a fantastic trip for us. I will ask my kids to send some photos over.

Kamini Kumar.

 

PROGRAM DETAIL 

Day 01 . Thu 11 January 2018 : Hanoi arrival (SQ176 @ 11:40) (-) |  Guide and driver 

Arrival in Noi Bai airport , you will be picked up then transferred to the hotel in city center. The check-in is available at 2 pm. The day is free for your own exploration and shopping. Overnight at hotel.

1 pax: Mr Pravind Kumar VN593 @ 15:40

 

Day 02 . Fri 12 January 2018 : Hanoi city tour (B, L) |  Guide and driver 

You will be picked up at the hotel at 8:00am. Starting the day trip will be a visit of the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which compromises Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum (closed on Mondays & Fridays), his former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace 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. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

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. Overnight in Hanoi

 

Day 03 . Sat 13 January 2018 : Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay (B, L, D) |  Guide and driver 

After breakfast, at 8AM, you depart to Halong Bay, passing beautiful scenery along the way full of lush rice paddies and winding rivers, typical of the Red River Delta. You will arrive at Halong’s tourist wharf around noon and embark a classic wooden junk. Lunch will be served as the boat gently cruises past numerous islands and limestone structures rising from the emerald waters of the bay. It is also an ideal opportunity to enjoy the sea breeze and refresh your soul. An experienced chef will prepare a fresh seafood dinner. Overnight on board in your private cabin.

 

Day 04 . Sun 14 January 2018 : Halong - Hanoi - flight to Danang - Hoi An (VN 185 HANDAD 1830 1950 by Asiatica) (B) |  Guide and driver 

Rising to the tranquil beauty of the bay you have time for an early morning dip while the sun rises, followed by breakfast on board. We will continue to sail through the bay during the morning to explore more secluded areas. The junk will stay close at all times serving as a backup vessel for those that require it. Around midday we will return to the main harbor. A 3-hour drive will take you to Noi Bai airport for your flight to Danang where you check into your hotel in Hoi An. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An.

 

Day 05 . Mon 15 January 2018 : Hoi An walking tour & surrounding villages (B, L) |  Guide and driver 

08:00 Guide pick guests up at hotel, transfer along De Vong River to Cam An wharf.

Embark on the boat to Cua Dai sand dune, enjoy casting net show and learn how to cast net by local fisher man. Continue to Cam Thanh Water coconut village, have a brief introduction to the history there.

Take on the basket boat along the water coconut river. Fisherman will teach you how to catch the crabs (02 paxs/ boat). Divide group into 2 teams for basket boat racing and catching crabs. There will be a lovely present for winner.

Embark on the boat, enjoy the folk songs show by local people and learn how to make funny tools by water coconut leaf. Then get on board to Cam An wharf, continue to take a bicycle to Tra Que village. Have lunch and join in the daily activities with local farmer there. Back to your hotel by car.

Return to Hoi An town. In the afternoon, you will be taken on a half-day walking tour through the narrow, winding streets of Hoi An’s ancient town, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese assembly halls, the 200- year old Tan Ky ancestral house, and the Japanese Bridge.

Overnight in Hoi An.

 

Day 06 . Tue 16 January 2018 : Hoian - Danang - Hue (B, L) |  Guide and driver 

In the morning drive along the Mandarin road, a scenic journey from Hoi An to Hue, which allows you to see a picturesque Vietnam with stunning beaches and lush tropical forest. Visiting the Museum of Cham Sculptures, with many precious antique artifacts of the former Cham Kingdom on display & stunning Marble Mountain. You then continue our drive to Hue. Check in hotel for refreshment & have lunch at a local restaurant.

The afternoon will be spent visiting Hue Imperial City, the last royal city of Vietnam with various beautiful structures including the Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Forbidden Purple City or Tu Cam Thanh. We then visit the Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, which was built between 1864 and 1867 by 3000 soldiers and workers. It includes 50 monuments surrounded by a 1500m long wall and covers an area of 12 hectare. Take time to soak in its tranquil and relaxing setting. Overnight at hotel in Hue.

 

Day 07 . Wed 17 January 2018 : Hue- Thuy Bieu village (B, L) |  Guide and driver 

Start the day with a visit to Minh Mang Mausoleum, one of Hue's finest royal tombs. An architectural complex compromised of 40 buildings (palaces, temples, pavilions, etc.). Then, we will take a boat trip on poetic Perfume River. Stop to visit Thien Mu Pagoda (Celestial Lady Pagoda) built in 1601 - the symbol of Hue city. Cruise toward Thuy Bieu eco-village, an old laid back village situated on the bank of Perfume River known for its green tea fruit orchards. Arrive in the village, and join our cooking class to prepare Hue’s signature dishes with our chef’s instruction, then enjoy your creations in the open air riverside restaurant surrounded by lush trees. The afternoon is reserved for walking through the peaceful village, visiting several communal houses, ancient temples and the garden-house, a typical and unique feature of Hue. Soaking your feet in medicinal herb water followed by an excellent blind massage will refresh them after a day of sightseeing. Back to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Hue.

 

Day 08 . Thu 18 January 2018 : Hue - fly to Saigon (VN1371 HUISGN 0755 0925 by Asiatica) (B) |  Guide and driver 

have your breakfast taken away, then at 6AM, you will be taken to the airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

Upon arrival, check into hotel. In the afternoon you will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office. The Saigon city tour then continues along Dong Khoi Street, where the Opera House and the Peoples’ Committee building, built in 1897 by French architect Ferret Eugene, are situated. The 800 seat Opera House served as the home of the Lower House Assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. You will then visit The Reunification Palace, formerly known as Presidential Palace, which was the residence of the president of South Vietnam until the end of April 1975. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Day 09 . Fri 19 January 2018 : Saigon - Ben Tre - Can Tho (B, L) |  Guide and driver 

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 walk or go by 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 10 . Sat 20 January 2018 : Can Tho- Saigon (B, L) |  Guide and driver 

At 7 am we take an early morning boat trip through the winding waterways of Cai Rang floating market, the biggest and busiest floating market in the Mekong Delta. This is the best time to visit the market, as it is crowded with hundreds of sampans that offer fruit, vegetables, plants, food and other goods for trade. This is the perfect opportunity to take photos, communicate with locals and taste fresh tropical fruit. Leave the market, and return to Saigon. On the way back, we will stop at an old Binh Thuy house 5kms from Can Tho city and Long Dinh mat weaving village where you witness the making of a mat, a very popular item closely associated with Vietnamese culture.  Overnight at hotel in Saigon.

 

Day 11 . Sun 21 January 2018 : Saigon - fly to Siemreap - Tonle Sap (VN3825 SGN REP 1200 1310 by Asiatica) (B) |  Guide and driver 

After breakfast, at 9AM, transfer without guide direct to Tan Son Nhat airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival in Siemreap, you will be welcomed by our guide and brought to your hotel. 

In the afternoon, we will discover Tonle Sap Lake by boat. It is the largest lake in Indochina with a length of 100km. We will cruise for 1 to 2 hours and visit a fishing village where all fishermen live in floating houses. Explore the differences between these and other fishing villages around the world. We will then drive back to Siem Reap through the countryside and villages.

Overnight in Siem Reap

 

Day 12 . Mon 22 January 2018 : Siemreap - Angkor Thom - Angkor Wat - Siemreap (B, L, D) |  Guide and driver 

We will visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom also referred to as "Great City", the famous Bayon Temple built in the late 12th century and the Baphoun Temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the Terrace of Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and Phimean Akas known as "Heavenly Palace". In the afternoon, we will tour the World Heritage site "Angkor Wat", the world's largest religious building. We continue our day with a visit to Bakheng Hill Temple and watch the sunset from the top of the hill. Back to the hotel. Dinner with special Aspara dance show.

 

Day 13 . Tue 23 January 2018 : Siem Reap - Kulen Mountain - Banteay Srei - Siem Reap (B, L) |  Guide and driver 

Immerse yourself in the history of the Khmer Empire on a full-day tour from Siem Reap to the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen.

Located just north of Siem Reap, the isolated Phnom Kulen mountain range is formed of sandstone, and widely regarded as the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire. Upon arrival, you will go to the hilltop site to see the largest reclining Buddha in Cambodia, dedicated to the proclamation of independence by King Jayavarman II in 802 AD.

Phnom Kulen has now returned to government hands after the fall of the Khmer Rouge and is still fairly inaccessible because of the poor road conditions, especially in the rainy season. Navigate the rugged roads to see the intricate fertility carvings that are a legacy of the God-Kings who ruled Cambodia in the 9th century.

After lunch by the waterfall, continue to Bantaey Srey, visit the Butterfly center on the way. Located 16 miles (25 kilometers) north-east of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom, the unique temple is small in stature but stunning in detail. Considered by many to have the finest carvings of all the Angkor temples, you will explore the main sights of the “Citadel of Women,” before your transfer back to Siem Reap. Overnight in Siem Reap

 

Day 14 . Wed 24 January 2018 : Siem Reap – departure (SQ5023 @ 18:25) (B) |  Guide and driver 

You are free until transfer to the airport at 15:00 for the flight off.

 

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