Mr. John James Wilkinson - Canada

  • Group: of 4 persons
  • Date: From 18/11/2017 to 1/12/2017
Write to Mr. John James Wilkinson
  • j.harvie@...
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Hello Tu,

How kind of you to think of me.(us). Everyone is home safe and sound. I had business in Toronto all week so I just arrived home last night at 1:00 am. Celia picked me up at the airport. Celia did not stay in Toronto. She came directly to Moncton. It is a long and tiring plane trip. You are truly on the other side of the World and a big World it is. 
We loved our trip and we have you to thank. You are a very good tour/travel conductor.
Thank you very much and of course we will post our comments on trip advisor when we have a chance.
Jack and Julie are also well and also happy. They send their regards.
Peace on Earth.
Day 01 . Sat 18 November 2017 : Siem Reap arrival - Tonle Sap Lake (MH764 KUL REP 1035 1140 by Asiatica) (-) |  Guide and driver 
Upon arrival in International Airport, our guide and driver will pick you up and transfer to hotel for check in. 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 Kompong Pluk 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 02 . Sun 19 November 2017 : Siemreap - Angkor Thom - Angkor Wat - Siemreap (B, L) |  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. Overnight in Siem Reap
Day 03 . Mon 20 November 2017 : Siem Reap – flight to Sai Gon; city tour (VN3818 REP SGN 1010 1120 by Asiatica) (B) |  Guide and driver 
Have breakfast at your hotel before transfer to the airport at 7AM for flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, check into hotel. The afternoon is spent 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. Overnight at hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 04 . Tue 21 November 2017 : Saigon - Ben Tre - fly to Danang - Hoi An (VN136 SGN DAD 1800 1920 by Asiatica) (B, L) |  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. 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 Tan Son Nhat airport for flight to Danang, stopping along the way to visit the beautiful Vinh Trang Pagoda. On arrival, being transfered to Hoi An for overnight
Day 05 . Wed 22 November 2017 : Hoi An walking tour - Danang - Hue (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
In the morning, explore Hoi An ancient town, when visiting the Japanese Pagoda Bridge, Chinese streets, old Phung Hung houses, Hoi An’s market and ancient port. On the 1st and 15th of every lunar month, Hoi An’s ancient town is lit up by hundreds of colorful lanterns, giving it an extra portion of sparkle. Enjoy the city’s transformation and stroll through this quaint, glowing fairytale town in your free time.
After having lunch at a local restaurant, drive to Hue. Stops en route are the sensational Marble Mountain, Danang Beach and Danang city for a visit to the Cham Museum. We then follow the road over the scenic Hai Van Pass before arriving in Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam.
Overnight at hotel in Hue.
Day 06 . Thu 23 November 2017 : Hue visit - fly to Hanoi (VN1546 HUI HAN 1550 1705 by Asiatica) (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
Start the day with a visit to 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), 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 & Minh Mang Mausoleum, which is renowned for its architecture and sublime forest setting
Have lunch at a local restaurant, then transfer to the airport for flight to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 07 . Fri 24 November 2017 : Hanoi - drive to Sapa - Cat Cat village (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
After early breakfast, you will take 6-hour drive to Sapa. On arrival, check in hotel & have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will visit Cat Cat village, home to H’Mong ethnic people. They are excellent “tho cam” weavers, a kind of brocade fabric. The “tho cam” of Cat Cat village is of especially high quality, as it is dyed with natural colors, polished with beeswax and embroidered with unique designs. Cat Cat silver jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings are known for their sophisticated production techniques. A walk through this old village offers a glimpse into traditional customs and practices of the ethnic Black Hmong. We will stop at a beautiful waterfall and the remains of a hydroelectric plant built by the French during their colonization of Vietnam. Overnight at hotel in Sapa.
Day 08 . Sat 25 November 2017 : Sapa - Lao Chai - Ta Van - Giang Ta Chai - Sapa (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
Depart from Sapa town by car to Lao Chai village, following the road down the hill. Views of the Muong Hoa valley and magnificent surroundings of mountains and rice terrace fields can be seen from this road. Along the road, people from many ethnic groups (H’mong, Zay, and Red Dao) are likely to be met, and there are stalls along the way that serve tea, fruits and sweets. Soon after turning off the main road and taking a local path, we will arrive in theBlack H’mong village of Lao Chai, where you will experience the daily life of the villagers.After that, we walk from Lao Chai to Ta Van village, where the Zay hill tribes live. Here you take a rest and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by your local guide in a local house. After lunch you trek up and downhill. Specially you will trek through bamboo forest then relax beside the waterfall. Explore the Red Dao village of Giang Ta Chai where you will also have the chance to see their daily activities. In the afternoon the car will pick you up for the return journey to Sa Pa.
Day 09 . Sun 26 November 2017 : Sapa - Bac Ha market - drive to Hanoi (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
After early breakfast, drive to Bac Ha by car to 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.
On every Sunday mornings, it is literally a riot of color as many different ethnic groups gather to trade. Most of the goods are simply farming products such as rice, corn, vegetable and herbs. While the local women are more interested in foods and clothing, the unique cattle area draws a lot of attention from the local men. After spending the rest of the morning to explore the market, you will enjoy lunch in a local house in a nearby peaceful minority village.
After lunch, you will leave the colorful market behind, and drive back to Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi
Day 10 . Mon 27 November 2017 : Hanoi- Tam Coc (B, L) |  Guide and driver 
2 persons: being transfered to the airport at 7:30 AM for departure flights (AC9790 HAN HKG @10:50)
2 persons: continue taking the Northern trip
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 11 . Tue 28 November 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. 
12:15 - 12:30 Embark to Aphrodite Vessel. Check-in to cabin
12:30 - 13:00 Proceed to the dining room for general information and safety briefing (3rd deck)
13:15 - 14:45 Lunch is served in the dining room
15:30 - 16:30 Visit Sung Sot Cave for hiking and exploring the stalactite and stalagmite formation. 720 steps in total (1 hour 30 minutes tour). Rubber shoes and sandals for hiking are highly recommended
17:00 - 19:00 Happy Hour promotion (Buy One Get One Free) (applied for House wine, Long drinks, beers, Soft drinks and canned juice)
17:45 - 18:45 Cooking demonstration on the sundeck/dining room (optional)
19:00 - 21:00 Dinner is served in the dining room
21:00 - onward Squid fishing at the reception or watch movie in the cabin.
Day 12 . Wed 29 November 2017 : Halong – Hanoi (B) |  Guide and driver 
06:15 - 06:45 Start your day with Tai-chi class on the sundeck (optional)
06:45 - 07:30 Light breakfast is served in the dining room
Guests can choose one of the two options for joining as below:
07:30 - 08:45 Option 1: Visit Luon cave for kayaking
07:45 - 09:00 Option 2: Visit Titop island for swimming and hiking (towels are provided)
09:00 - 09:30 Regular check-out time (if you have any heavy luggage, put outside of your cabins
and settle your bills at the reception, 1st deck)
09:30 - onwards Full breakfast is served while the cruise goes back to the main port
10:45 - 11:00 Disembark Aphrodite Vessel. Drive back to Hanoi for overnight
Day 13 . Thu 30 November 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.
Day 14 . Fri 01 December 2017 : Hanoi departure (AC9790 HAN HKG @10:50) (B) |  Guide and driver 
After breakfast, transfer to the airport at 7AM for your flight off. End of our services!