Miss. Saratha Sankar - India

  • Group: of 7 persons
  • Impression: VIETNAM IN DEPTH
  • Date: from 16/12/2017 to 25/12/2017
Write to Miss. Saratha Sankar
  • saratha.sankar@...
  • We hide the tail of email address Miss. Saratha Sankar to protect our clients' privacy online.

Hi Jenny,

Thanks a lot for checking on our arrival back to Singapore. Yes, we have reached safely after our relaxed Vacation. It was wonderful and memorable trip for all of us. Hotels in SAPA village and Ninh Binh were pretty nice and cool.  Had good time on those hotels. Shopping in Ceramic village was another highlight of our trip. Thanks to you for arranging reroute trip back to ceramic village on our return back from Halong bay.  It really helped us to buy those elephants. Food made at Chapel's house was incredible.  We loved it.  Also, thanks a lot for arranging vegetarian food for all of us during this whole trip.  Wonderful support from the cruise team too.  In cruise, manager (Mai) helped us to move to suites, due to few issues faced in our deluxe rooms. She gave full support to us. They did whatever possible from their side. Had wonderful time with both of your Guide (Mr Hoang & Mr. Que).  Thanks a lot to them for their wonderful support during the whole trip. 
Would like to share few feedback with regard to this trip 
a) Hotels in Hanoi - while suggesting the package for us, you could have suggested hotel options inclusive international chains in Hanoi with various cost structure.  We are not stating that the hotels were bad, but if you could have suggested earlier, we could have stayed in a little better hotels. 
b) Cable Car. We felt that was an wonderful and amazing experience we had during this whole trip.  (Even we can say that it was highlight of our trip) 
b) Cruise - As its winter, you should have suggested only a day stay in cruise. On the second day, we were sent on the day boat out from the cruise to explore, sight seeing, swimming and kayaking. As it is winter time, for sure swimming is ruled out.  So then left with Kayaking. It was an hour of kayaking and not all were interested in kayaking. Anyway, other than this, we had wonderful time in cruise. 
If its summer time, It could have been different as kids would have gone for swimming and we could have relaxed in beach.  But being winter with the rise of water,  there was no beach to sit/roam around.  
Apart from few those few hiccups all arrangements were awesome.  Last not the least, thanks a lot to you & your team to arrange such wonderful and memorable trip for us. Thanks a lot for such a wonderful gift. We loved it. Thanks once again for all your support for this trip. Sure will share pics for your reference. 
Hope to get in touch with you for our future trips. Wishing you a very happy New Year 2018. 
Saratha Sankar
Day 01 . Sat 16 December 2017 : Hanoi arrival (MI654 @17:45) (-) |  Guide and driver 
Arrival in Noi Bai airport , you will be picked up then transferred to the hotel in city center. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 02 . Sun 17 December 2017 : 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. Wrap up your day with the traditional water puppet show. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 03 . Mon 18 December 2017 : Hanoi - Bat Trang - But Thap - Dong Ho - night train to Lao Cai (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
This morning, take the excursion to the Bat Trang ceramic village. Visit the craft factory of pottery where the production is still done by hand. Your children will be able to try the art of turning the clay & bring back the work done with their own hands. Have lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, transfer to But Thap Pagoda, explore the architeture, the stone stupa in pen shaped, antique buddhist statues, especially the 'one thousand eyes and arms Goodess of Mercy' wooden statue. Finally head to the village of Dong Ho Village, where you can explore the unique art of Dong Ho Paintings and learn the traditional Vietnamese arts of wood carving and sculpture. Dong Ho Village with its famous paintings has become an aesthetic symbol in Vietnam culture. Located to the left side of Duong River, Dong Ho stood for centuries making their unique art work.
Driver take you back to Hanoi to relax at a mini hotel before transfer to the train station to catch the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train (private 4-berth cabin)
Day 04 . Tue 19 December 2017 : Lao Cai arrival - Coc Ly market - Sapa (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
Upon arrival to Lao Cai, you will be picked up, then follow national road 70 traveling through the lush farm land of Lao Cai province for 42 km to Phong Nien Commune, turn left and follow provincial road 154 which sneaks through the country side along the Chay river for 17 km to Coc Ly which offers beautiful scenery of high mountains, narrow valleys and terraced rice paddies. Enjoy several photo stops along the way, especially of the beautiful tear farms near Phong Hai. Arrive in the market place at about 09.00am, at crowded time of the market. Join local ethnic peoples for about 2 hours of the morning to enjoy the exciting atmosphere as well as activities of this weekly market. Walk from section to sections, corner to corners, seeing and smelling of different local product, spices, vegetable, farming tools, handicraft, even medicinal herb…especially meeting smiling peoples every where. Coc Ly is also famous cattle market where local farmers from villages in the region sell and by cows, horses, water buffaloes, pigs…, and there is a large ground just beside the main market place for this activity. The market is always crowded for the whole morning and over after lunch time. Leaving the market at noon, have lunch then boarding a motor boat and cruising down stream the Chay River for 1.5 hour to Trung Do village of the Tay which is beautifully set on the bank of the river. Spend about an hour walking to explore this charming village before continuing the boat trip briefly to Bao Nhai. Finally take the road transfer to Sapa for overnight
Day 05 . Wed 20 December 2017 : Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - night train to Hanoi (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
The day is devoted to a beautiful hike through the breathtaking scenery of Sa Pa valley. Start by road that descends in the wake of the street Cau May (6 km) En route, admire the rice terraces hidden behind mist of the morning, a truly awe-inspiring sight.
Follow a small track and cross Muong Hoa River and pass well tended rice terraces on your way to the Black Hmong village of Lao Chai. Continuing through the colorful rice terraces you will reach the village of Ta Van Giay. As you continue your trek along the Muong Hoa River you will cross a small suspension bridge, roughly 2km from the settlement. Here you can discover a fascinating collection of rock carvings. These engravings depict some beautiful images of man, stilt houses and some beautiful decorative patterns. We lunch in a home in the village. After lunch the walk continues through a bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai, a Red Dao ethnic minority village. After taking a rest nearby a waterfall to refresh, you start climbing uphill to a road where the car is ready for your journey back to Lao Cai for overnight train back to Hanoi. Overnight on train
Approx: 1-hour driving/ 4 hours walking/ 1-hour lunch.
Day 06 . Thu 21 December 2017 : Hanoi arrival - Tam Coc (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
You will arrive at Hanoi train station early in the morning at 5.30am. You will be picked up from the station and brought to a 2 star hotel to freshen up and have breakfast. In the morning, our car and guide will pick you up to travel to Hoa Lu – the former capital of Vietnam, about a two-hour drive from Hanoi. On arrival, you will visit two temples, one of them dedicated to Emperor Dinh and the other in memory of Emperor Le, followed by a brief visit to the remains of the Old Palace. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit Tam Coc (three caves), a peaceful valley among limestone ‘karst’ hills, There, you will be rowed along a gentle river between paddy fields and through the caves. After the boat trip in Tam Coc, the rest of day we will cycle along winding roads passing lotus ponds, temples and cottages, typical of Vietnamese countryside to visit Bich Dong Pagoda situated on a hillside. Overnight in hotel in Tam Coc.
Day 07 . Fri 22 December 2017 : Ninh Binh - Halong (B, L, D) |  Guide and driver 
After breakfast depart to Halong Bay via Thai Binh and Nam Dinh, passing a peaceful countryside typical of Red River Delta with endless rice fields and winding rivers. We will arrive at Halong’s tourist wharf around noon and embark an elegant wooden junk. DAY 1
11.30 - 12.15 Arrival at Hon Gai International Harbour.
12.30 - 13.00 Transfer by tender to boat, enjoy Welcome Drink, Depart to Bai Tu long Bay.
13.00 - 14.30 Enjoy Lunch while cruising to magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay, admire the fascinating formations on the way.|
15.30 - 16.30 Transfer from boat to rowing boat to visit Vung Vieng Fishing Village. Rowers are local people wearing traditional costume. It’s the opportunity to see the fisher’s daily life with the primary features in the charming nature.
17.30 Return to boat - Continue cruising through the bay.
18.30 Anchor for overnight at Cong Do area.
19.30 - 21.00 Savor a delicious Set Dinner in dinning room.
21.00 - 23.00 Relax, enjoy fresh air & overnight on board.
Day 08 . Sat 23 December 2017 : Ha Long visit (B, L, D) |  Guide and driver 
06.30 Enjoy Sunrise over the Bay.
06.45 - 07.45 Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries served in dining room.
08.00 - 8.30 Full Breakfast will be served in dining room.
8.30 Begin to cruise to some of Bai Tu Long Bay’s more Untouched Locales. Exact locations depend on tide conditions.
09.30 - 17.30 Enjoy a leisurely day of Sightseeing  and Swimming. A multi- course Lunch will be served mid-day.
18.30 Anchor for overnight at Cong Do area.
19.30 - 21.00 Savor a delicious Set Dinner in dining room.
23.00 Relax, enjoy fresh air & overnight on board.
Day 09 . Sun 24 December 2017 : Halong – Hanoi - street food tour (B) |  Guide and driver 
06.30 Enjoy Sunrise over the Bay.
06.45 - 07.45 Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries served in dining room.
08.00 - 08.30 Explore the well- hidden Thien Canh Son cave.
09.00 - 09.30 Check-out cabins and settle bills – Luggage collection
09.30 - 10.30 Having international Brunch served in dining room.
10.30 - 11.00 Arrival at the pier
Around midday we will return to the main harbor & drive back to Hanoi.
After that, discover the Old Quarter, also known as the “36 Streets & Corporations”. It is a veritable labyrinth of lanes where each of them is specialized in a trade or art. The best way to explore and discover this district full of life is by foot. Designed to capture all aspects of local life, the course will cover all the elements of the daily life of the inhabitants in an original way: crafts, Buddhism, temple, gastronomy, local market, visit of traditional house-tube (Vietnamese particularity), medicine…
Discover the capital through food, as a local, a real experience and a highlight of the journey.
The tour ends with a stroll around the HoanKiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword). Overnight in Hanoi
Day 10 . Mon 25 December 2017 : Hanoi departure (MI5875 @12:35) (B) |  Guide and driver 
Freetime before the transfer to the airport at 9AM for your flight off. Your room is available until 12h00.