Mr. Donald Floyd Zeidlhack Jr - United States of America (USA)

  • Group: of 2 persons
  • Date: from 17/3/2018 to 31/3/2018
Write to Mr. Donald Floyd Zeidlhack Jr
  • faye.zeidlhack@...
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Dear Jenny,

Sorry to reply so late. It was a crazy first week back at work and we adjusting to the time going to bed at 7pm! Hahaha. Anyway, we have great memories of this trip.  Once Don downloads the photos I will send you a couple of them.  We loved the Dragon  Ledgend cruise and I think it’s worth it to pay more for the nicest cruise line there.  Don and I LOVED the cabin we had on deck 3.  The food was very good as was the route they took on the Bay .  Don said one of his highlights was the Dragon Legend.

I loved going up to Sapa  and seeing the ethnic minorities in their beautiful clothes and villages. The boat ride on the river up there was really beautiful and peaceful as well.  The Silk Path hotel is gorgeous and has a very nice Spa. Fortunately, the fog cleared up so we could see the scenery  the next day.  I liked that we did the night train up and  the 6 person limousine back. That worked really well and I would recommend that….train one way, limo-bus back to back to Hanoi.  Did I tell you that we saw a movie star with Thoi in Old Hanoi!  We saw Harrison Ford and his wife in rickshaws right in front of us. Thoi knew their guide.  We loved Thoi by the way.  All our guides were great but Thoi was our favorite.  

Besides Sapa, one of  my favorite days was the day in  Hue where we did the bike ride in the countryside and the cooking class with foot massage. It was so fun to ride through the peaceful countryside and see people’s houses and gardens.  I also loved the cooking class.  Overall, the food in Vietnam was one of the highlights and Vietnam has a reputation for fantastic food in the US. I’ve heard many people say that and it’s true. They also say the Vietnamese people are so nice and  we found that to be very true as well.  

Thank you for arranging such a great trip. I will be happy to recommend you and already did to one of my Yoga teachers who wants to go to Vietnam in a couple of years.  I will also write a review on Trip Advisor.
All the best,
Day 01 . Sat 17 March 2018 : Arrive in Siemreap - sunset watching (PG905 @ 12:35PM) (-) |  Guide and driver 
Welcome to Siemreap. Pick up and transfer to hotel for check in. At 17:00, pick up and transfer to enjoy the sunset paronama.  Overnight at hotel.
Tour guide contact - Mr. Meach Vannen - (+855) 12 64 26 46/(+855) 70 77 68 79
Day 02 . Sun 18 March 2018 : Siemreap- Sunrise - Angkor Thom - Angkor Wat by tuk tuk - Flight to Ho Chi Minh (VN3822 REP SGN 21:05 22:35 by Asiatica) (B) |  Guide and driver 
In the early morning at 5:30 AM, pick up by tuk tuk and transfer to watch sunrise . Back to hotel for breakfast. 8:30 Am, 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, Ta Promh temple, 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. Finish trip, transfer to the airport for departure flight to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) at 18:00 PM. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh. 
Please note: Standard check out time of hotel is 12:00 at noon
Tour guide contact in Saigon: Mr Tien (+84) 908847632
Day 03 . Mon 19 March 2018 : Saigon city & cyclo tour (B) |  Guide and driver 
You will be picked up at 9:00am from your hotel in Saigon, to 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. Finish trip in the morning by visiting War Museum.  Back to hotel for relax.
In the afternoon, at 15:00,  pick up again and join in cyclo around local market in Ho Chi Minh city. Finish the city tour by 1 hour walking around Ben Thanh market. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh. 
Day 04 . Tue 20 March 2018 : Saigon - Ben Tre - Saigon (B) |  Guide and driver 
 You will be picked up at your hotel at 8:30am and driven to Ben Tre. Upon arrival at Hung Vuong pier you will embark a boat to cruise on Ben Tre River, one of the tributaries of the Mekong River. Enjoy the lively activities on the river like fishing and water transferring. You will stop at a brick-factory, to see how bricks are made by hand in a traditional way. Your next stop is one of numerous coconut processing workshops located along the canal.
Take a bicycle-cart along a village path and stop at a farmer’s house for lunch (lunch will be paid by client). You then talk a walk to a mat-weaving village before embarking small rowing-boats to travel along palm tree lined waterways back to Hung Vuong pier. You return to Ho Chi Minh City, stopping along the way to visit the beautiful Vinh Trang Pagoda. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 05 . Wed 21 March 2018 : Saigon - Flight to Da Nang - Hoi An. (VN124 SGN DAD 1215 1335 by Asiatica) (B) |  Guide and driver 
After breafkast, free time until transfer  at 10:00 to the airport for departure flight to Da Nang .
Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to hotel in Hoi An. Check in hotel. At 15:00, tour guide will bring you to the old quarter for some tailor shop and old quarter visiting. The guide will be with you till 21:00. Overnight in Hoi An.
Tour guide contact: Ms My (+84) 935487969
Day 06 . Thu 22 March 2018 : Hoi An walking tour (B) |  Guide and driver 
You are free in the morning, then in the afternoon, at 14:00 , 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 07 . Fri 23 March 2018 : Hoi An free time. (B) |  
Breakfast at hotel and then day is yours to freely explore the peaceful riverside town in your own time. Overnight at hotel in Hoi An
Day 08 . Sat 24 March 2018 : Hoi An - Danang - Hue (B) |  Guide and driver 
After having breakfast at hotel, 10:00, check out hotel, then transfer ahead to Hue. Arrive in Hue at about 14:00. Check in hotel. Then transfer to visit Hue Imperial City, the remaining vestiges of Hue's citadel, including: Flag Tower, Ngo Mon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace and the Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh). Finish Hue city by Dong Ba market visiting. Overnight in Hue. 
Day 09 . Sun 25 March 2018 : Hue - Thuy Bieu village - Flight to Hanoi (HUI HAN VN1546 15:00 16:15 by Asiatica) (B) |  Guide and driver 
9:00 AM, pick up at hotel and 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. Walking/ or Cycling  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.
Finish trip in Hue, transfer ahead to the airport for departure flight to Hanoi at 15:00. Arrive in Hanoi at 16:20. Upon arrival, pick up and transfer to hotel in Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.
Tour guide contact: Mr Thoi (+84) 913 378 414
Day 10 . Mon 26 March 2018 : Hanoi city & street food tour- night train to Sapa. (B) |  Guide and driver 
You will be picked up at the hotel at 10:00 am. 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. Then back to 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.
In the afternoon,  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. The tour ends with a stroll around the HoanKiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) before leaving back to a mini hotel for shower. In the evening, at 8PM, you are taken to the railway station for night train to Sapa. Overnight on the train ( Private cabin).
Day 11 . Tue 27 March 2018 : Lao Cai arrival - Coc Ly market - Sapa (B) |  Guide and driver 
On arrival to Lao Cai, you will be picked up by our guide. After having breakfast, 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 (by your own account) 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 transfer back to Sapa for check in & overnight
Day 12 . Wed 28 March 2018 : Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai- bus 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 Sapa. Take the limousine from Sapa back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 13 . Thu 29 March 2018 : Hanoi - Halong Bay (B, L, D) |  Guide and driver 
After breakfast depart to Halong Bay, passing a peaceful countryside typical of Red River Delta with endless rice fields and winding rivers. 
12:00 – 12:30 Embark at Hon Gai International harbor.
12:30 – 13:00 Check-in. Cruise begins with welcome drink and safety briefing.
13:30 – 14:30 Set menu lunch served in the outdoor dining room (depending on the weather) while cruising into magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay; admire the fascinating limestone karsts on the way.
15:00 – 17:00 Cruise to Vung Dang – Cong Dam area: Swim or relax on a white sandy beach; Go kayaking through the mystery Karst Mountains in Vung Dang area.
18:00 – 20:30 Return to Dragon Legend Cruise to refresh yourself in Mineral Seawater Pool, Fitness Room or the Spa and Massage Services before dinner.
20:30 Spend the rest of your evening relaxing, talking with the on board team, watching movies, listening to music… Overnight in Tra San area.
Day 14 . Fri 30 March 2018 : Halong – Hanoi (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
06:30 – 07:00 Start a new day with a Tai Chi demonstration on the sun-deck.
07:00 – 07:30 Take in the morning view of the Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy breakfast in the fresh air.
7:30 – 09:45 Cruise to Cong Do area to explore the well- hidden Thien Canh Son Cave.
10:00 Check out your cabin.
10:45 – 11:30 Enjoy a Buffet while cruising towards the harbor.
11:30 – 12:00 Disembark & drive back to Hanoi
Overnight in Hanoi
Day 15 . Sat 31 March 2018 : Hanoi departure (@22:20) (B) |  Guide and driver 
Freetime before the transfer to the airport at 19:00 for your flight off. Your room is available until 18:00 (late check out included)