Vietnam and Cambodia Multisport Adventure Vacations (17 days)Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The 17-day multisport trip covers all Vietnam and Cambodia major travel destinations including Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Sapa, Halong Bay, Da Nang, Hoian, Hue, Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), Can Tho, the Mekong Delta and Siem Reap, Cambodia. The highlight of the trip is the 6-day motorcycle tour to the north-western Vietnam is followed with sightseeing, history, cultures activities, boat cruise and sea kayaking. The vacation is concluded with a 3-day extension to Angkor temples, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Day 1: Hanoi - Mai Chau.
Leaving Hanoi and breaking out of the delta plains we pass through endless limestone karst scenery as we travel south through “Perfume Pagoda” country and extensive farming lands comprising a sea of paddy fields split by tree-lined roads.
After a picnic lunch near Chi Ne, we visit the hot springs at Kim Boi, before striking northwest and over two passes, finally dropping down to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau. Here we stay overnight with friends of the White Thai minority in a traditional stilt house.
In the evening, after feasting, we can enjoy a cultural show of Thai dancing and a range of special local liquors.
Overnight in Mai Chau.
Day 2: Mai Chau - Son La.
We backtrack on the main a few kilometres before embarking on a new road which drops down the side of a huge valley, steadily falling all the way back down to the Black River Reservoir. The 50 kilometres route has plenty of challenging surface and is prone to landslides. Much of the area is inhabited by Kinh and both Black and White Thai ethnicities.
Depending on time we can complete another side road which rises up the opposite side of the valley, offering impressive views over the area on a clear day. On good road looking high over distant mountains we head up into a forested region populated by H’mong people before descending into a mountainous tea-growing region. Soon after we follow a long valley floor covered in a sea of rice surrounded by Black Thai villages all the way to Son La with its bargain-filled market.
Overnight in Sunrise Hotel.
Day 3: Son La - Dien Bien.
Continuing the road no.6 to Tuan Giao after climbing the historic Phadin Pass where dominated by the H’mong people. Many stop for picture.
Arrive in Dien Bien Phu in the late of afternoon.
Overnight in Dien Bien Phu.
Day 4: Dien Bien - Phong Tho, Lai Chau.
Take a visit of the old French battle field, we will be heading out northwest from Dien Bien Phu the road passes isolated communities of H’mong and Thai people, whose small villages settle the bans of dark green rivers and on the steep slopes of the mountains.
After lunch by a forest stream the road begins to climb up one high pass. At the top for sunset before dropping sharply into the deep Lai Chau valley.
Overnight in Phong Tho.
Day 5: Phong Tho – Sapa.
If the days are right then we can visit one of three busy hill tribe markets as we head straight towards the main Fansipan Mountain range. The massive mountain range dominates the road until finally we must make a splendid climb up from Binh Lu and up to the top of the highest road pass in Vietnam (Tram Ton Pass). Crossing into Lao Cai Province at over 2000m the views looks out over the main range for miles and miles, before we descend to the mountainous Sa Pa valley.
Overnight in Sapa.
Day 6: Hiking Sapa one day.
Leaving Sapa at 09.00 am, transfer 15 km along the road 4D to the Mong Sen Bridge with several stops along the way for enjoying spectacular landscapes.
Trekking uphill along large dirt road for nearly an hour, then following a narrow dirt trail winding its way on steep hill-sides along the western bank of the upstream part of Ngoi Dum River for 2 hours to an isolated hamlet of the Black H’mong people, explore these isolated hamlets of the Black H’mong, then lunch break.
Continue trekking along the same trail for nearly 1,5 hours up and downhill towards Ta Phin Valley and arrive at the center of Ta Phin Commune in mid afternoon. Take a walk around this stunning valley, paying visit to some Red Zao families, then picked up for a road ride back to Sapa.
Overnight in Sapa.
Day 7: Visit Cao Son market. Travel to Lao Cai. Overnight train back to Hanoi.
Leave Sapa for a 2,5 hours road journey to Cao Son Commune. The first 50 km to Muong Khuong town let offers beautiful landscapes of lush farm land, tea and pine plantation. Enjoy several stops along the way. Then turn to narrow and quiet country road along the Chay River for an hour with stunning valleys and terraced rice paddies of all sizes and shapes.
Arrive to Cao Son market at about 10.00 am. Joining local to enjoy the excitement 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 medicial herb…especially meeting smiling peoples every where.
Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant .
After lunch, enjoy a walk in the afternoon to Tin Thang Village of the Flower H’mong. In this village, people still distill the wine from corn, making bacon in the most basic way and hospitably at offering special corn cake to anyone who drop by their house.
Transfer back to Lao Cai Railway Station for overnight train back to Hanoi.
Train ??? Departure at ??? (To be advised).
Overnight on the train.
Day 8: Arrive Hanoi. Travel to Halong bay. Boat cruise tour.
Upon your arrival at Hanoi Railways Station, you will be greeted again by our team and transferred to a local restaurant for breakfast and a short rest.
At 8:00: Depart for Halong bay. Enjoy the journey through the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong around noon and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk).
Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Round over Thien Cung cave (palace of heaven), Dau Go ( grotto of wood ), Tuan Chau island, Dog island, Dinh Huong, Ga Choi (fighting cock mountain), Turtle island. Visit Sung Sot cave and enjoy one-hour kayaking trip or have a swim at Titop beach or Soi Sim beach.
Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner.
Overnight on board junk.
Day 9: Continue cruising and kayaking Halong bay.
Breakfast on board junk.
Continue visiting Halong bay while the boat cruise through Man’s head island, Tortoise island. Visit Luon cave by a small bamboo rowing boat.
Lunch will be provided on board.
In the afternoon, visiting Ba Ham lake, fishery village,Cua Van, swimming at Ba Trai Dao beach. Enjoy one-hour kayak paddling on the emerald waters of Halong bay.
Having dinner and overnight on the junk.
Day 10: Halong bay - Hanoi. Fly to Danang. Travel to Hoian.
Breakfast on board. Then we will go back to shore. Arrive at Ha long wharf at 11:00 and join our vehicle again for a 3.5hour drive back to Hanoi.
Upon your arrival in Hanoi, transfer directly to Noibai airport for onward flight to Danang.
Flight??? Departure at??? (to be advised).
You will be greeted at Danang airport by Lotussia Travel local team and transferred to your hotel in Hoian.
Check-in hotel for overnight.
Day 11: Visit Hoian ancien town.
In the morning, visit of this charming small town, first commercial center in Vietnam since the 15th century, with more than 800 classified buildings: Japanese Covered Bridge, Tan Ky Old house, Assembly Hall Chinese. Phuc Kien Pagoda, Hoian Museum and Market.
Free afternoon for your personal discovery or shopping.
Overnight in Hoian.
Day 12: Travel to Hue. Visit Hue tombs and pagoda.
After breakfast, leave Hoi An for Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. The scenic route passes through Danang before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and dropping down to the fishing village of Lang Co.
Arrive in Hue around noon and transfer to hotel.
In the afternoon, enjoy a boat trip on the Perfume River to visit the beautiful Thien Mu Pagoda. After our boat trip we will visit the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City. This royal residence was all but destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. If time permits then, we will continue visiting the mausoleum of former emperor Tu Duc or Khai Dinh’s.
Overnight in Hue.
Day 13: Fly to Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon). City tour.
Transfer to Hue airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh city.
Flight ??? Departure at ??? (to be advised).
You will be welcome by Lotussia local team at Tan Son Nhat airport, Ho Chi Minh city and transferred to your hotel in town.
In the afternoon, enjoy a half day city tour with Ho Chi Minh City most wanted highlights such as the Post Office, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Reunification palace. Then continue towards Cholon for a quick visit of Thien Hau temple and the Binh Tay market.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 14: Travel to Can Tho, the Mekong Delta.
After breakfast, transfer to My Tho.
Arrive in My Tho and enjoy the 3-hour boat trip to discover local people life with their daily work. Stop at a Con Lan islet to taste seasonal fruit and experience traditional music. Then continue to Con Quy islet, visit some home production chain of coconut candy, sweet honey bee farm, …take a chance walking on countryside road and exited riding. Rowing on small boat to return motorboat.
Transfer to Can Tho, the city considered as the heart of the Mekong Delta.
Arrive in Can Tho about late afternoon.
Check-in hotel & overnight in Can Tho.
Day 15: Visit Mekong Delta floating market. Return Ho Chi Minh city.
Early morning, enjoy a boat trip on the Mekong River to visit Cai Rang, the famous floating market in the west of Viet Nam, along narrow narrow waterways through the lush vegetation to an orchard garden where we have the opportunity to visit local homes as well as enjoy a lunch followed with seasonal fruits.
Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant.
Drive back Saigon.
Day 16: Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Transfer to Ho Chi Minh city airport for onward flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Flight ??? Departure at ??? (to be advised).
Upon arrival at Siem Reap airport, you will be met and welcome by our Cambodian local team then transferred to your hotel.
Start your visit to South Gate of Angkor Thom, the famous Bayon, Baphoun, the Terrace of Temple, Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. It is time to visit one of the great wonders of the world, symbol of the heart and soul of the Cambodia, Angkor Wat. Then view wonderful sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng Hills.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 17: Visit Angkor park full day.
In the morning, we will visit the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers, Pre Rup, East Mebon, and Neak Poan.
In the afternoon, we continue our day tour visiting Krovan, Royal Bath of Srah Srang and Banteay Kdei temples.
Tonight you will enjoy dinner with Khmer Apsara Dance Show.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 18: Boat trip on Tonle Sap lake. Departure.
We board on boat in Tonle Sap Lake, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia. Here, enjoy a brief cruise past floating villages complete with schools, restaurants, and hospitals.
Free & leisure at your own time for rolling at local markets or shopping until transfer to Siem Reap Airport for departure. End.
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